The holidays are always so hectic, but even more so this year because one of my best friends has Stage 4 Gastric Cancer. I've written about this before, but I feel compelled to share a little more. My friend Katie Renz, mother to boy twins Nate & Will who are five and Hunter who is eleven (boy time flies!), and the wife of Kevin, was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Gastric Cancer. It's a very aggressive cancer too. Currently she is in the hospital (she's been there since Christmas Eve). Today she is getting started on chemo as the cancer is not operable at this time. You can read the details on her blog at katiespaperhaven.blogger.com, where she is journalling about her wild ride with this disease. She started Chemo today (3 types) and most of the side effects are similar to what she is feeling now (lots of nausea and pain, plus needed to be transfused Christmas Eve with blood too). She is in a lot of pain, and it is very difficult to eat (read that as 3 cans of Ensure). She is a fighter and has many loved ones and friends praying for her constantly and lifting her up to God, along with the boys and Kevin. This is one of those times where I wish I could bear it myself, she has so much of her life before her. :-D
I met Katie two years ago when Lori with Clear Dollar Stamps invited all of us on her design team to go to the Winter 2009 CHA trade show In Anahiem (Lori's stamp design team and card/projects team). These are some of my favorite memories, along with the 2010 CHA-W & CHA-S Shows. Angela Beavers came along with us during the 2010 Winter show (I met Angela on the 2009 Artful Cruise to Mexico with Tim Holtz), and we all hit it off and had an awesome time! Ang, Corrine (another cruiser) went to the Chicago show this year and we had a great time there too. You all are my buds!I thought I would share a couple of photos from the shows. We had an amazing time, and we are looking for even more amazing times in the future! Our God is a God of Miracles, we are hoping and praying and believing that the chemo will nuke it all! She's in decent spirits considering how fast all of this is happening. A million times I have wished we lived closer!
So here are a few pics of all of us at various shows.
Nancy Grant & Katie Renz chilling on the SCS couch during the consumer show.
Katie waving to her fans after registering for the CHA-W 2010 show.
Angela and I at the CHA-S 2010 show.
Starting on left, Laurie Wilson, Nancy Grant, Kim Teasdale, Katie Renz, Lori McCroskey and Vicki Conquest (me) eating dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Tasty!
All of us bugging Steve Posner and taking over his booth! Great guy!
Katie and Nancy at the Cricut booth checking out new dies during consumer show.
I hope you all enjoyed my walk down memory lane! These ladies are five of the most talented people I know,and I am PROUD to call them my friends! Get on over to Lori McCroskey's web site, Clear Dollar Stamps and check out the new stamps and products they are sneak peaking this week, and the new dies that match their stamps. AWESOME!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and truly appreaciate your friends and family. And most of all, don't forget the reason for the season, a baby wrapped in a manger, given to us by the Father to redeem us by His shed blood, risen and interceding for us! What love! God IS the Miracle Man, and we are praying for one now!