Cancer VS Suicide: Team Angels Won by Christine Handy

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Christine & a few of her angels, today! 

It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with breast cancer and completed my chemotherapies and surgeries before I felt full inside. I felt loved in a way I didn’t even know existed. I found the Holy Spirit through the teachings by my team of friends that we called my “team of angels!”

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The first days of my diagnosis I was set on suicide. In my mind I felt unworthy of the time and devotion I knew it would take for my family and friends to care for me. I was coming off an already brutal health problem and I felt like I had used up my “reserves” of care from my husband, parents and friends. I was ashamed to ask for more and yet I knew I couldn’t care for my 2 sons while fighting breast cancer. I believed everyone would be better off without me and without the intensity of my health pressures. I rationalized that decision and it made sense at that moment in time.

Then came my angels.

My friends rallied around me and made me believe the truth, Gods Truth. I was worthy and God loved me so much that He knew every hair on my head. The hairs before chemotherapy and each one as it grew back. I became overwhelmed with love, devotion and care by not only my family but my friends. They became my “team of angels”! And they were.

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Christine’s hair began falling out in the shape of a cross! 

I asked many of my friends why they gave up so much to help me. They gave up their time with their own families to care for mine. They gave up their lives in so many ways for my secured health and well being. And through their faith and teachings, I came to realize why.

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They did it for God, the Glory of God. Those woman didn’t want thanks, they didn’t care about the thank you cards , they taught me that the thanks went to The Lord.

I don’t know about you, but being raised a Christian doesn’t guarantee learning the principles that these woman taught me.

They taught me that my life was important and that I was worthy.

They taught me to give all my worries to The Lord .

They showed me what to serve really looks like even in a society that wants to take all the praise and the credit.

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They not only saved my life they taught me how to live. I went from giving up when I was diagnosed to fighting for my life with their help. I believe God put those woman in my life to change me, refine me and save me.

I am cancer free and love my life. I am never alone, I have the Spirit inside me. The terrors of diagnosis and the fears that come with it are devastating. But my life and my story are bigger than that day I was diagnosed, October 1 st , 2012. God has a plan for me that’s so great. There are days and nights where I feel doubt or fear but I remember my faithful angels and how they modeled the Truth for me.

My fears go away and I pray and feel comforted.

John 15:12-17
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.  This is my command: Love each other.

WALKING BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT: Celebrating Christine

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Hey Sweet Sistas!

How do I graciously begin a post about a topic like Breast Cancer? There’s really no gracious way to go about it except to say cancer sucks and when it hits the body parts that makes women feel feminine and sultry…well, it’s like one bad nightmare. On top of potentially losing your breasts, add losing your crowning glory? WHAT?

We all know or indirectly know a woman who has fought this battle and lived this nightmare. It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I invite you in joining me in celebrating a courageous woman who is my SHEro, Christine Handy. Now, SHE is the epitome of GRACE. Throughout her battle this past year, she has worn a smile (even through tears) and refused to become a victim, but a VICTOR! Yes, she has battle wounds, but remains a warrior. She has awaken from the nightmare and is living life! Did she want to give up? I’m sure she did, but she showed up every day- for herself, for her family, for her friends and kept putting one foot in front of the other walking by Faith. Here’s a glimpse into her battle: 

October 1, 2013, marked the one year anniversary of my BC diagnosis. (it’s a yucky story but here goes) I was home, unfortunately alone, about 8:30 AM…..I saw my cell phone ringing, picked it up and there was a very soft, but firm voice on the other line. My doctor told me quickly that I had Stage 2 Malignant Breast Cancer. He was unsure yet if my lymph nodes were involved and that I also had the most aggressive type, Level 3.

All I could remember after that was sitting down gingerly on my chair in my bedroom….tears started flowing. I didn’t want to embarrass myself over the phone with the doctor so I think I just sat quietly and listened.  I hid my tears…..

And then I remember asking one question….”Am I going to die?”

I will never forget the doctor’s answer…..

He said , “I would like to meet with you and your husband to discuss”. That was it………that’s all he said. That is almost all I remember from that entire day. I do know we told our son Noah that night because I couldn’t stop crying. We tried to wait, but it was impossible for me to hide my fear, sadness and utter despair. Noah needed to know. Luke was at boarding school and so we kept it from him until Peter could fly up there and tell him in person. I went straight to Arizona for my lumpectomy with my parents.  My parents flew me home and Peter flew up to Luke’s ‘Parent Weekend’ that I obviously would have to miss. Peter told him then.

 That said, we are replacing that horrible memory with a new memory and a beautiful day. OUT with the OLD in with the NEW.

I spent the entire day of October 1st, 2013, out of my house with friends and family who love me and they made it a FABULOUS day.  Now, we just have to go through the motions to the finish line….. MY SURGERY. I have delayed my reconstructive surgery indefinitely as it is too much on my body. I need to rebuild. I will get through the holidays after the final CHEMO which is now DECEMBER 3rd and decide then. I have had ENOUGH.

I have amazing friends, a loving family, parents that care so much, kids that love me and I am CANCER FREE!

WALK BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT.

XO, Christine 

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5 Fabulous Fall Styles (plus a few extras)

Hello Beautiful!

WooHoo!  Get ready to SHOP YOUR CLOSET!  Most of the looks for Fall 2011 are repeats and carried over from last Fall.  There are a few stand out colors for this Fall- MUSTARD GOLD & PEACOCK TEAL-  that you can simply add with a blouse or scarf.   In this week’s webisode, Stylist & Image Consultant, Hannah Hilburn and I give your our Top 5 Faves for Fall.

WATCH WEBISODE:

A FEW EXTRAS:

Everyone looks stunning in TEAL.   Get a beautiful blouse or scarf for an instant REGAL look- feel like a QUEEN!

Now this color is a bit tricky- MUSTARD YELLOW.  It’s the hottest color this Fall, but unfortunately- it doesn’t suit everyones skintone!  Make sure it’s vivid- not pale and muted.  Pair it with brown, khaki, metallic bronze or wine colors.


REMINDERS:

Win a super cute outfit from OTOMIX ACTIVEWEAR valued at $120.  Click here for details.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  I know we have all been directly or indirectly effected by this disease.  Thoughts and prayers go out to our Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Aunts, Girlfriends and Co-workers.  Please remember your routine self exams!  *********************************************************************

“DON’T PLAY SMALL! STAND UP! TAKE CHARGE! You are doing yourself & others a disservice by catering your actions towards how you THINK others will react. When you are simply being yourself you will ATTRACT everything that is in alignment with who YOU truly are. You will be shocked to see who drops away. Their absence will leave a space for NEW & AMAZING relationships to enter your life. Just be YOU & let everyone else do what they may. You will be rewarded for your COURAGE”. – Jackson Kiddard

Sharing the beauty, style + inspiration,

Tiff