Sunday, January 23, 2011

Clear vision

Kelley says......................

For most of my life I wore either contacts or glasses to see. About 6 years ago, I had Lasik surgery. My vision was so bad that I was right on the border of my eyes being too bad to even having the procedure done. They told me going into it that I could possibly have to get it done twice. Well, they were right. I had to have it done a second time 1 year later. It was great for about 2 more years and then I could tell my vision was no longer clear and sharp. 

Last year I got glasses to wear at night because I could no longer drive at night. They worked great but I have always hated wearing glasses. The more I wore them, the more I realized how much I needed them. So last week, I decided to just go ahead and go get contacts. I found myself getting really bummed out. I mean, I have a really weak stomach and Lasik surgery is really gross. The thought that I had gone through this two times and here I am having to get my vision corrected with lenses was just really frustrating. 

But as I looked for another perspective I thought of what a miracle it is that I "can" see. I may not see 20/20 but I can see. If there was an emergency in the middle of the night and I didn't have time to grab my glasses or put on my contacts, I "could" drive if I had to. I can go to the pool or the water park and not have to worry about glasses or contacts ever again. When I wake up, I can see my alarm clock. My vision was so bad before Lasik that I couldn't do any of these things before. What a blessing!

As I started pondering these things I started thinking about this past year. How although I went through so much physically and emotionally, I am so radically changed spiritually. Someone told a breast cancer patient about me and we connected on the phone last night. Unfortunately, this ladies cancer has metastasized to her bones and it is just not a good situation. But I was able to talk to her for over an hour on the phone and hold it totally together. It was such a good feeling for me to actually be a support for someone else. When I first ever thought about helping other women I never saw myself reaching out to people who I know will die from this disease. But then God really convicted me that I could help any woman at any stage of this terrible disease  because if they have the Lord, they have hope. I just kept holding onto that during our conversation. 

No matter what you might be facing, cancer or disease/sickness, divorce, debt, whatever it may be, if you have God......YOU HAVE HOPE!! Sometimes life can seem so overwhelming and sometimes like life would be so much easier on the "other side". Sometimes we get so stuck in the now that that is all we can focus on. It is during those times when we have let our thoughts take control of everything. If this is you, catch yourself.........STOP IT! And know that your hope can only be found in God.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's a new day

Kelley says..........

I am so glad to report that I am doing SO much better. I received another brand new sewing machine!! My first day to start sewing gowns will be Feb 5th. I'm so excited to get started.

When I was first diagnosed, a friend of mine from church told me about her sister who had gone through breast cancer and was just finishing up chemo. She gave me her e-mail address and we started communicating. She lives in Chicago. She helped me SO much throughout my journey. Well, as it turns out, she ended up having to go back and get a double mastectomy because she had a genetic test and it came back positive. So I was able to turn around and give back to her since I had already gone through that! It felt great to be a support to her after she had been such a big support to me.

Last weekend, she came down to Texas to visit her sister and me and my family got to go meet her!! It was such a cool thing. When we met it was like we had known each other our whole lives! God is just so amazing.

I had the opportunity to co-lead another Life-Coaching Workshop last Wednesday - Sunday. I love doing it and love working with such high level leaders. And I always get so much out of it too. But above all, it always amazes me that God completely delivered me of my fear of public speaking. Has to be one of the most miraculous things that has ever happened to me before. I think we all have so very much to offer the world and that we could accomplish such great things if it weren't for our own fears. Sometimes, we HAVE to just do it afraid!!

God sure knew what he was doing when he delivered me from that fear because he knew what was coming up in my future. God sees the BIG picture and we only see today. All the more reason for us to trust him fully with our tomorrows. I know sometimes "right now" doesn't make any sense to us. But we just have to remember that he has it all under control and just because he might not answer our prayers exactly the way we want him to does NOT mean he hasn't answered!!

I challenge each one of you to step out of your comfort zone and do something you are afraid to do. Even if it is something small. Baby steps will be a great start!!

Monday, January 10, 2011


Kelley says...........

Well, it turns out that surviving isn't the cake walk I guess I thought it would be. Let me start out by reassuring you that I am okay. I don't blog as often as I used to. It seems like I blog in a highly emotional state. Whether it be high on life, an aha moment in my life, a really down and scary place, etc. Basically you either get the best of me or the worst. I think if you are a follower of my blog you know I am real to the core. I don't know how to be any other way. So just know that in between blogs, things are usually going pretty well. Things to blog about, moments of inspiration and such just don't come to me on a daily basis. I have to feel them deep within my own being before I am willing to share it with the world. 

This weekend was very tough. I hurt my husband emotionally in a pretty bad way. Something I am definitely not proud of. Saturday was definitely not good in the McElreath household. Things were bad enough that we didn't even go to church. If you know me personally, you know that was pretty bad. This hasn't happened to us in 17 years of being together so it was emotionally draining for all of us. On Sunday as we talked through all of it, I said to Deryl that every single thing that makes me a woman has changed. I thought I would welcome in 2011 and move chapter. It is looking like that just isn't how it works for a breast cancer survivor and maybe not any cancer survivor for that matter.

What makes a woman a woman? Her hair, her nails, her breasts, her sexuality, among many other things. Due to either surgery, chemo or medication all of these things have been altered. And yet again, I can't imagine how my mom went through this with such a horrible husband. She basically went through the emotional side of it alone which continues to break my heart. I had absolutely NO idea. I guess though if you don't experience it yourself how could you know. How can anyone know the thoughts in your own head. No one but God can......NO ONE.

One thing I know for sure is that the enemy is out to kill, steal and destroy. And he will stop at nothing to accomplish it. As women, we already let our thoughts get away from us. And it doesn't take many that get out of hand before we spiral out of control. 

We see things from the lens of our past. I just have to keep reminding myself that if my thoughts are getting crazy, I have to step back and think....what from my past is causing me to think these thoughts about THIS situation? Am I reacting or responding? I don't know if this is helping you at all but it is sure helping me! 

When I think over what brought me to this point, I think it started creeping up when I would think about having to go in for my first 3 month check up.  That is coming up at the end of the month. It is just a reminder that I am a cancer patient. Before cancer, I NEVER had to go to the doctor. The thought of having to go see doctors and have lab work every single time for the rest of my life just doesn't sound appealing. I just don't like it. I so wish that I could just get a prescription and be fine. I'm still at a point where I feel like planning my life isn't in my own hands. But I guess it never was. 

But ultimately, if my blog helps other survivors know that they aren't alone and they can read it and feel "normal", I will have accomplished my mission in life. And in case you weren't aware, I am available for one-on-one support to ANY breast cancer patient you know or ever meet free of charge. I think the more I reach out to help others, the more I myself will heal.