11.01.2008

November: Thankful and Blogging About It

So, I am officially declaring November "Thankful and Blogging About It" month. Not that we can't blog about how thankful we are at other times...but, this month seems appropriate-after all-the rest of the America has it on the brain! So my posts this month will largely (give or take a few posts) focus on thankfulness, things I am thankful for, the One I am thankful to, and teachable moments for our children to learn gratitude, etc! Hope you will join me this month as I take time to give thanks!

To start things off, I will share with you why I am thankful for the last three years of my life.

In January of 2006 I was diagnosed with Stage I Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma, which is a fancy word for uterine cancer. I had a low grade version of this extremely rare cancer and at 28, almost 29 years old, I was blown away by my diagnosis. It was stage one, yes...It certainly was not the end of the world, I was thankful to be alive, I did not have to have chemo or radiation and in what seemed like a whirlwind of events, I was diagnosed, treated and given the blessing of "no evidence of disease". What I haven't told you in this story is that at 29, I had a total abdominal hysterectomy. This meant they took everything-ovaries, tubes, uterus. It also meant that I would be enjoying premature menopause. Bleck! You cannot prepare for such a thing as this. Cancer. For me, however, there was little down time. Little Time to "reflect". With a 2 year old and 1 year old, there was little time to stop and contemplate what it all meant. At times, I felt like I never even had cancer-except that every time I put on my PJ's, I see the 6 inch scar on my tummy. I struggled for many months with depression and I never fully relied on the One who saved me. I battled the hormone fluxes inwardly alone. I am however thankful for these last three years because in July of this year I became a Christian (To read more about that, click here.). Had God decided that January of '06 was "my time", I might not have gone to heaven. And the last three years have made me continually thankful for two precious children. For you see, had my husband and I waited to have children-they might not exist. I was pregnant with my daughter 3 months after getting married and pregnant with my son 7 months after my daughter was born. I was diagnosed with cancer when my son was 9 months old........I am deeply deeply thankful for my two little blessings. Cancer survivors and those in the midst of battle often say they are thankful for each day they are alive. It's not just some pithy saying...they say it because it's true.

What are you thankful for today? Won't you share it with me?

103 comments:

  1. Michelle, Thank you for sharing a little bit about your story. I'm so glad that you have have found the courage and are trusting in the One who gives life. Our family will join you in sharing our thankfulness, which so many times can be forgotten.

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  2. What a touching story.Isn't it amazing how He works. You were given the gift of those two babies because He knew what was is store for you. I'm glad your well and thankful to you for sharing your story with us. God Bless.

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing -- I enjoyed going back and reading your salvation story, as well. Yes, sometimes God does get our attention in less-than-favorable ways, but I'm always glad He did after the fact. :)

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  4. Love the idea of a Thankful November. Thanks for sharing your story - can't imagine how scary that must have been. I have no doubt that as your kids get older, they will be thankful for having such a strong mama.

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal story. It's amazing how such times in our life that offer such heartache and anquish bring about the most amazing outcomes, as you have found with your new relationship with the Lord.

    This idea of a thankful November is a great idea!

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  6. Wow! Amazing. Thanks for sharing your story. I am doing the same thing this month...trying to focus on all the blessings I've been given. Started yesterday. I did it last year and loved it!

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  7. Nice to read your blog. It's a good time to be thankful and you are reminding me to do that. :-)
    I also had ESS and wonder.. are you a member of our ESS yahoo group?
    Glad to hear you are NED. I am close to 7 years of NED now. A lot to be grateful for!!

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  8. Hello! I am just reading your blog and getting to know you as I plan to participate in Muffin tin mondays (whenever possible). What a great post. Mothers have so many blessings in their children and yet so many look at them as burdens. Sorry to hear about your cancer but I am thankful to hear that you rest and rely on the Lord. So pleased to hear you got saved! He will lead and direct your paths (Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you" says the Lord, "plans to give you hope and a future!" Now you know - no matter how long your future is on Earth- you will always have a bright eternal future! None of us should ever take a day for granted! This is the day that the Lord has made- we shall rejoice and be glad in it!
    Hope you will be voting tomorrow! We need to protect our freedoms and our children!
    Thanks for hosting this meme. I'd of hated for it to end just when I was jumping aboard!
    SchoolinRhome
    www.homeschoolblogger.com/SchoolinRhome

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  9. Hi I'm from SITS.

    I enjoyed reading your thankful post. You are so right, it is not a pithy saying when we say how grateful we are to be alive!

    Another cancer survivor,
    Sandie

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  10. My story is sort of the same but different! I remarried to a man who had never been married when I was 36 and he was 28. My two children were 4 and 7, the older is a girl, the younger a boy. With two kids we never thought that we wouldn't be able to have a child of our own which we deeply wanted. After about $20,000.00 worth of IVF etc. They finally discovered that I have an antibody called antiphospholipid antibody. There's treatment for it so you can carry your pregnancy if you're doing this high tech stuff. My last 3 frozen embryos died on thaw so DH and I decided to quit as we had spent all the money we could justify and then some. About that time our two turned into teenagers and we praised God that we didn't have any more kids! Now we're just beginning to enjoy emptynesthood. You don't get that time together when you get married with a full family in tow! I'm glad you had your babies when you were just married and I'm glad God loves us so much that He died even for one! Meet ya in heaven, SISTA!

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  11. You are such an inspiration. Thanks for sharing such a touching story. I'm thankful each day for the chance to enjoy life inspite of the troubles life brings. Come visit me sometimes and see my own journey in life :)

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  12. What an inspiring letter, and what a journey you have been on!

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  13. what an awesome testimony. it's so nice to see someone's 'heart' shine through on their blog. it has to be 'hard' to share but so worth it, when YOUR BLOG could be the thing that leads someone to our loving savior. how awesome. thanks for sharing.

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  14. wow, what a great stroy!! so glad you got saved through all that mess. some would get bitter an dangry about getting cancer, but God truly worked a miracle in your heart!!! i, too have had a totally abdominal hyst. i had a small fibroid tumor that was giving me MAJOR problems with excess bleeding and pain. so i was going to have my uterus removed when i found out (i'm adopted so i didn't know my families medical history) that ovarian cancer runs in my family. so we decided to go with the total hyst. they took the uterus vaginally. they tried to take the ovaries and tubes lapro. but ran into problems, so i ended up with an 8 inch incision on across my belly. so, i have ben going through surgical menopause for just over a year now. good times ;) anywho, i ws touched by your story and wanted to let you know...be blessed!!

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  15. God really is good. I don't know if you planned children so quickly after you were married, but what a blessing that you have TWO lovely little ones at a young age...though your body won't be producing any more.

    His mercy. His grace. That sustains us.

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  16. I'm thankful for SITS, because it brought me to this post. How inspiring you are.

    xo

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  17. Hm, I wished I'd read this post in November, but that's okay. I have a bunch of things to be thankful for today. For my family... For my ability to love so much and let myself be loved... For having a man who is a true angel... For my daddy's birthday (Today!)

    Thanks for reminding us that no matter how things seem to be (tough sometimes) we always have things to be thankful for.

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  18. I am thankful for our adoption process to be near the end.

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  19. Wow....I'm so glad you found God in the middle of all of that!! Thank you so much for sharing this with everyone....God bless you SITSta.

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  20. Amazing story! How scary and wonderful all at the same time! Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Michelle, you are amazing!

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  22. Wow, thank you so much for sharing such a touching story. It puts so many things into perspective.

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  23. Oh gosh Michelle, what a story. So glad you have those kids and your life.
    Greetings from South Africa.

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  24. I too am a Cancer Survivor...ovarian 1991. I was told 6 months to 1 year and that would be it. I am a three finger fish...the kind God throws back into the pond. Still here and still kickin...GOD BLESS..hugs rozzi

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  25. Visiting from SITS on your special day. What a terrible experience to have had and at such a young age as well. I"m glad you are doing well now.

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  26. wow. you truly are blessed to have those children...i commend you on counting your blessings even through such a difficult trial!

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  27. Michelle,
    That's an awesome testimony. God is good. He is so faithful, even when we aren't (yet). It's amazing how He had you in the palm of his hand before you even recognized that palm.

    Praise the Lord!

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  28. What a beautiful and touching story! Thank you for sharing.

    Happy SITS day!

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  29. Praise God! Glad to have heard your story!

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  30. Wow, what an amazing story and what awesome things to be thankful for. I'm glad that you were able to be rid of the cancer. God does work in mysterious ways.

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  31. Awesome, awesome post. So happy that you found your true happiness, and that God has a plan for you. Without Him, you have nothing! God is good all the time!

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  32. Thank you for sharing your story. You have beautiful children!

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  33. Incredible story - it is amazing how timing works such wonders in our lives!

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  34. What a great way to start the day, reflecting on all the things that we should be thankful for.

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  35. Thank you for sharing this Michelle! I am so glad you have found our Savior and I will be back to read your story on that later. I always love to see how people come to Christ.

    You are very blessed, and so are we to be able to meet you on your SITS day!

    God bless you!

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  36. Wow, what a powerful story. Thank you for sharing it.

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  37. Wow, thanks for sharing your story. God is faithful!

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  38. Praise God that you were able to stick around and tell your story! :)

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  39. Thank you for sharing your story. You expressed it beautifully. Thank God for your health, for reaching out to you, and for providing for your needs!

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  40. You were definitely blessed.

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  41. I am thankful for too many things to count. However, I wish my thankfulness and gratitude was more evident in my everyday life!

    Your story is amazing!!!!

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  42. Thank you so much for sharing your story...

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  43. Glad to meet you thru SITS. I enjoyed your story.

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  44. Your story gave me goosebumps - I don't always know why He does what he does most of the time but I try to have to have faith that there is a reason behind it. And then I hear a story like this and it makes it all that much easier to have that faith.

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  45. Touching story...everything happens for a reason and God makes it happen.

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  46. Just another example of how we make plans, but God has a greater design for us all. Thankfully, you listened. TFS and happy SITS day!

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  47. Oh Michelle, thanks for sharing your intimate story...I had no idea of all of these events in your life. You are a strong lady and very blessed too it seems. What a great attitude you have. Off to read about you becoming a Christian, yay for that! I need to find myself spiritually too and have been struggling with trying to find a church right for our family. Now, I can use you as an inspiration ;-)

    Jamie :)

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  48. A wonderful reminder that we are not in control...that things happen in His time. So glad that you are happy and healthy now, and have your wonderful family to share with us! God is good.

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  49. Michelle,
    Thank you for sharing your story. God is so very good. I'm thankful for my 13 year old miracle boys,,, 5 years of infertility treatment and 7 IVFs later, they were worth the wait.

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  50. Stopping by from SITS. What a touching story and thank you for sharing. It must have been truly scary when you were dealing with all of that.

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  51. you have an awesome testimony!!! Thanks for sharing.

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  52. What a great story. Thanks for sharing and reminding us all of how thankful we should be!

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  53. Brava for telling your very personal story!

    And congrats {again} on being featured blogger at SITS today!

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  54. Very touching. I think things like that happen so we appreciate the good things instead of taking them for granted.

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  55. Thanks for sharing your story. *hug*

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  56. Happy SITS day.
    I am glad that you have so much to be thankful for....

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  57. A friend from elementary school just found out she has stage 2 cervical cancer...her third baby just turned a year old. She's a day younger than me.

    Had me trotting off for a decade-due pap pretty fast.

    I hope that your good health continues for a very long time.

    (Happy SITS day again!)

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  58. What an amazing story, thanks so much for sharing it. So glad you were today's SITS blog.

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  59. This is so inspiring. Thank you for sharing it.

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  60. Here from SITS, thankfully your story had a happy ending!

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  61. Isn't it wonderful the way things work out, and how even something as terrible as cancer can bring something good into your life?

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  62. We are never thankful enough; unfortunately, sometimes we need dramatic events to realize how fortunate we are. Focusing on what we have and not on what we could have is the way to go.
    Thanks for sharing your story.
    Passing by from the SITSgirls.

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  63. Great reminder to stop and smell the roses. Life really is such a blessing, very touching experience you had.

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  64. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Cancer touches all of us on one way or another.

    I had to have one of my ovaries removed in 2004 but it wasn't cancer, thankfully and my left tonsil in 1998, it wasn't cancer either, thankfully.

    Visiting from SITS

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  65. What a touching story and happy ending. Thank you for your courage to share and strength to tell. Happy SITS Day!

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  66. Wow. What a story. I can't imagine the emotional side and the physical side of that at such a young age. I've been going through the meno junk for several years and it sure isn't fun even at my age!

    And praise God and Hallelujah for your conversion!!

    Hope you have a wonderful feature day with SITS.

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  67. You have an amazing story and testimony. Thank you so much for sharing it!

    Happy SITS day!

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  68. How fortunate you are to have your little ones. I know someone who had to have a full hysterectomy and didn't have any children when the had the surgery. Now she's childless at 45 and she's never been the same woman since.

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  69. great post. i also had a complete hysterectomy in march 07 due to endometriosis. i was 30 years old. so i can relate to enjoying early menopause. :)

    enjoy your sits day.

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  70. Thanks for your touching story. It is reminder to all of us to be thankful each day.

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  71. That's amazing what you went through! I'm glad it all turned out for the better!

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  72. That's amazing what you went through! I'm glad it all turned out for the better!

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  73. WOW! You do have a lot to be thankful for! Thanks for reminding us to remember to count our blessings daily!

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  74. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It's reminded me of all I should be thankful for, but have been taking for granted. A thousand thank yous.

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  75. Thanks for reminding us to be thankful for what we have and not focus on what we couldn't have. Happy SITs day.

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  76. I love stories with happy endings! I too battled cancer(although not as difficult as yours)and now watching my mom battle her cancer. You have two miracles that were given to you as a gift....you have much to be thankful for!

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  77. What a wonderful story! I love stories of survival. You are a strong woman.

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  78. Thanks for sharing your story. Glad to hear you are doing well and enjoying your family.

    Happy SITS Day.

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  79. I love your picks! Happy SITS DAY

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  80. This is such an inspiring story. Thank you for sharing it :)

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  81. Very inspiring, but terribly scary. I'm so glad you can celebrate three years.

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  82. Michelle, blessed is what you are. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your faith. You are inspiring.

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  83. Michelle! This is great. Thanks for sharing. I was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer when I was 21 (single at that time), and also had total hysterectomy. So..I understand perfectly what you went through, and I too was saved by the Lord through cancer. I now call it my blessing in disguise. Stay strong in the Lord!

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  84. Wow! I've been following your blog for a little while now (thanks to MTM) but never knew this about you. What a story!

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  85. I can't even imagine how stressful that must have been all the while caring for 2 little ones. Glad you are OK.

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  86. I'm so glad to hear that you survived it all and came out of it with extra blessings too!

    A friend of mine is currently dealing with this exact same rare cancer. She is taking a chemo route for now because she is hoping to have more children, but she doesn't know if it will work or not.

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  87. You certainly do have a lot to be thankful for. I'm so glad that you have had a good outcome and are here for your babies.

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  88. What a wonderful story! I'm so happy that you were able to have your children before all of this happened to you. Congrats on being such a strong woman and getting through such a difficult time! Blessings!

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  89. thank you for sharing. It was a very great post reminding us to be thank ful all the time.

    Happy SITS day. :)

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  90. Thank you for sharing.

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  91. That is such an amazing story, thank you for sharing it with all of us.

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  92. Thanks for sharing your story. You definately have much to be thankful for!

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  93. Wow, thanks for sharing your sotry with us. A year and a half ago my 28 yo daughter was dealing with breast cancer. She's cancer free now and I am so thankful. Enjoy your SITS day.

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  94. How amazing of you to look for the blessings in your life when others might just feel sorry for themselves. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Sitsta.

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  95. It's so great hearing this! Thank you for sharing your great story!!

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  96. Thank you for sharing your story and inspiration! Well wishes to you and your family.

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  97. This post gave me goosebumps! I totally believe God's work is to thank for your blessings...and what beautiful blessings they are!

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  98. Thank you for sharing... I'm thankful for people liek you who remind me of what is important.

    {peeking in from SITS}

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  99. Well Michelle (hey that rhymes!) besides sharing this cool name, looks like we are both survivors. Great thing they caught it so early (but that was exactly how it was supposed to happen). I found out at the age of 15 that I was not invincible after all, when the car my boyfriend was driving landed upside down, breaking my neck. I asked God that night as I lay on the frozen ground, staring up at the billions of beautiful stars, "Please don't take me yet, I love my parents so much, I can't bear the thought of leaving them yet!" So I am thankful that I was allowed to stay, and thankful that 14 years after that night,He sent a sweet little soul from heaven, who picked me to be her mommy. God bless you and your beautiful children!

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  100. I'm thankful that you survived and you have were saved by Jesus and Redeemed and that you have two beautiful children.

    What a blessing this post was.

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  101. AWesome - not the cancer part but that you became a christian and are enjoying your blessings! How amazing that God is using you to share your testimony! Right on sister!

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  102. What a wonderful post. I am going to read about your journey becoming a Christian too. I always enjoy stories of other people who became Christians late in life. I was baptized when I was 27, and have enjoyed the love of God fully even though life has been hard. Happy SITS day!

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