Monday, August 29, 2011
My dear friend Sarah Hays Shurtz was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer last year at this time. She has been fighting a strong physical and emotion battle everyday since. More than she even realizes she has been an inspiration to everyone who knows her with her continued faith, smiles and optimism. This past Saturday me, Chris, Luke, Julie and Steve ran the 2nd annual Sweatin for Sarah 5k. It is so touching to see hundreds of people out there running for Sarah, showing their love and support. God has a plan for each of us, and it is part of His plan for Sarah to be here with us still. Our prayers remain with Sarah everyday!
Here are a few pics and a letter that Sarah wrote to everyone for the benefit run:
One year ago I was diagnosed with “stage 4, terminal cancer.” The doctors predicted I wouldn’t live more than two months, it was difficult to determine. But here I write, one year later. I won’t say it’s been a blissful year, without any pain or difficulties, I just know I wouldn’t change much about last year.
Aside from being diagnosed with cancer, there were a lot of good things that occurred during the same time. I had a race prepared and ran in my name, married my boyfriend of three years, moved into a new house, and my health began to improve. The new chemotherapy started working shortly after I was married so I wasn’t bed ridden the first year of my marriage. I was living life to the fullest! Unfortunately all good things do come to an end and I ended up in the hospital for three days one month ago. My chemotherapy had stopped working and my painful tumors (sacral), grew back, causing severe nerve pain. I remained hopeful and faithful and the physicians were able to treat me with a pain pump and an additional ten days of radiation.
I thought I was through the worst when my oncologist informed me we were almost out of chemotherapy options. I hadn’t realized I had been on four different chemotherapies in the course of a year. Next Tuesday will be the second dose of my new chemotherapy treatment, (a chemo used to treat breast cancer). I’m currently receiving treatments to drain excess fluid that has built up around my lungs and abdomen. Apparently it’s a common treatment with advanced cancer patients. The tumors produce excess fluid and the liver can’t process or filter the extra fluid. Today I had approximately seven pounds of fluid removed to make me more comfortable. I laughed when I realized seven pounds was the size of a newborn baby!
With symptoms of pain and labored breathing decreased, I remain faithful that the Lord has a plan for me and remains mindful of my needs. I find it very difficult to give in to the fight against cancer while I still have friends and family refusing to give up on me. I remain forever grateful for the love and support given to me by so many.
All my love, Sarah Hays Shurtz
We love you Sarah. Keep on fighting, Sista!!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Firsts. While we were in NY for our annual Rathgeber Reunion Luke had a bunch of firsts. Sad that Chris wasn't there to witness them - but we sent him lots of pics. Wanted to jot some of these things down so we could remember. He's 7 1/2 months old now. Getting to be such a big boy.