Friday, September 13, 2013

A Day of Care Packs in Pictures

Jessica is the front desk manager at the Grace Stephenson
Cancer Center and she always greets me with a smile each time I go
to chemo.
 My grandmother just moved from Oregon to OKC,
 and has taken it upon herself to start helping me with the
 Cancer Care Packs. These care packs had an extra special "Nanny"
touch with teal ribbon wrapped around the green tea bags
 Cancer Care Packs

1. Gatorade
2. Protein Bars
3. Hand Sanitizer
4. Lotion
5. Note pads
6. Face Scrub
7. Chex Mix
8. Pudding
9. Green Tea
12. Chocolate
13. Crossword puzzles
14. Cheeze- Its
15 Peanut Butter
16. A handwritten note
When you go to chemo you can expect to get poked a
few times.


She didn't get that darn vein to "float" as they say, which means push
and hope it goes..
Looking away to pray!
Third time was a charm this go around. Chemo Tip: Drink
lots of water!

Each Care Pack has a hand written note included.

I never knew "Teal for Tarah" would grow into
"Tenaciously Teal" and I have the support and prayers
of so many to thank for that!

Dragging the chemo pole around and handing out
 Care Packs is the best
part about coming to chemo.

This is a special lady battling a rare form of Breast Cancer
She gave me some good advice about handing out Care Packs
at a chemo center she initially had to go to, and one reserved
for those without insurance. I am looking forward to visiting the infusion  center
she spoke of and spreading some more smiles and encouragement to those
who need to be praised for their FIGHT!

In the notes I typically try communicate to people that they are fighters
 just by coming to chemo, encourage them try and keep smiling, look for the Cancer silver linings,and remind them that
 somebody loves them!

Sometimes to keep fighting you have to look the other way
pray and think happy thoughts!

If you would like to help Tenaciously Teal minister to Cancer patients enduring chemo by providing them with a Cancer Care Pack please visit
Thank you also to Fishwater Tees for selling Fight Like a Girl Tees for Tenaciously Teal's Care Packs

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Daily Reminder

I haven't posted a lot recently because it is sometimes hard to believe what the last ten months has consisted of. I've had almost thirty chemo infusions, two surgeries, a handful of cat scans, numerous blood draws, and lived at times in the emotional turmoil that comes with Cancer. In the last ten months I've also learned the meaning of true friendship, experienced a mixture of fulfillment and inadequacy, and recently  re experienced the mundane daily aspects that get taken for granted.

As my strength returns, my hair grows back, and I continue to try and smile, the impact of the battle grows evermore distant, but a lasting mark still remains. It hoovers in my mind and in my heart, and it is the remnants of impact not only from Cancer but returning to the ordinary.

The battle not only continues for me as I return for maintenance chemo tomorrow, but for all of us who are fighting their own battles. Darkness shows up as fear, pain, heartache, failure, defeat, self-doubt, despair or even trauma, and unfortunately until we make it to Heaven not one of us can say our lives are free from such burden. In fact I know for myself at times that these feelings are given permission to rule over our lives, and we allow such control in our hearts, to lead to charge over our brains.

Our hearts and our brains are powerful. They can tell us " We are going to make it" or " What is the point?". My heart and my brain often play devil's advocate against each other. One moment it's " we got this" and the next moment I realize how enormous the obstacles in front of me are, and in the same breath how minute my problems are comparatively.

This started out as an update, and I've become sidetracked, so for those still reading I have chemo tomorrow, and will anticipate feeling pretty crummy the next couple days along with living with some severe joint pain until the chemo cycle repeats itself. I could fret over those symptoms, but I can also look forward to returning to work after I recover, and passing out Cancer Care Packs as I've done each time since I started this ministry back in February. I look forward to letting my heart lead tomorrow, and encouraging others who need a reminder that they are fighters

I'll leave you with this  verse of encouragement, Act 2: 25-28. " David said about him: I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices. My body also will live in hope because you will not abandon me to the grave Nor will you let your Holy One see decay.You have made known to me the paths of life. You feel me with joy in your presence.

Be glad, rejoice, and live in hope because He will not abandon you or I. God will make a path so we can be granted the strength to continue and FIGHT LIKE GIRLS!!

If you would like to assist with Tenaciously Teal's Care pack operation you can email me at or purchase a bracelet or shirt. All proceeds go to making Care packs to hand out in the chemo room.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Boomer Sooner & TEAL

Yesterday I experienced my first live opening of college football with around 100,000 other fans who congregated in Norman, OK. Taking it all in I exclaimed to my husband, "everyone not in team colors sticks outs like sore thumb". We both laughed about coming across someone not in their teams color giving it a, "come on man, get with the program." thought.

Now I have not always been a college football fan, so I probably don't have a lot of room to talk.  In fact, when I moved to Oklahoma twelve years ago I wasn't totally sure how the game was even played, and certainly didn't have so much OU gear.

Gaylord Memorial Stadium
covered in Crimson and Cream
Once in the stadium I was in awe of so many there for one purpose, and the roar of the cheers coming from 82,112 other fans inside what a hundred degree day had turned into one hot and steamy playground. I was taken back by the commitment of so many who had come together as a united front, and my mind drifted to the many others gathered in stadiums across the globe and still others who were hunkered down with friends and food in front of their TV's.
Benjamin and I in our Crimson
 and Cream at the OU game.

When it comes to the college football fan there is no doubt who and what they are cheering for, and wearing a specific color aligns you quickly with a team.  Over time, however, those who put on the colors again and again realize those colors, being a fan,  represent more then just a desire to win! Likeness in color  represents being a part of something greater than yourself, it represents family, embodies love, and maybe most importantly symbolizes unity.

 Since last November I have started sporting another team color, and I have definitely acquired a lot more of it! TEAL is the designated color for Ovarian Cancer Awareness, and SEPTEMBER is important because it signifies the start of college football but also represents Ovarian Cancer Awareness month!

There is power in teams, so I am asking my friends and family to come together and help spread the word about a disease that has been referred to as the silent killer. According to The American Cancer Society (2015), ONLY  15%  of Ovarian Cancer patients are diagnosed early, and a women's lifetime risk of developing the disease is 1 in 72. Early diagnosis is key, and helping spread the word by wearing teal throughout the month of September could save a life.

This month when you put on your fan colors also remember to wear your Teal, and symbolically stand in unity with the over 14,000 women who will be diagnosed this year and 22,000 who will lose their battle to the disease.

As much as your team needs you the fight against Ovarian Cancer needs you, so wear your Teal and spread the word! There's some teal at the link below, but ANY teal is better than no teal!