Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mr. Potato Head

6:00 P.M.

This is Gabrielle here with my very first post.  I am doing the talking and Renee is in the corner writing all this down.  Therefore, sentence content is my fault.  Any spelling errors are on her.

Last February 18th I turned 52.  In order to make me feel better about reaching that glorious age, Daniel decided that we would call me "Fifty-
too-wonderful-for-words."  I only bring that up because this week I've been ruminating about the "two" side of my age.

To begin with, as all of you have now heard, it was
two weeks ago that I started having stomach aches which were the miracle that led me to the hospital to discover that I have ovarian cancer.  As you might imagine, cancer is an unexpected and unwelcome surprise.

The Bible says in Genesis that when a couple chooses to marry, the
two become one.  And when cancer came into my life, it really came to both Steve and me.  It affects us as two, but we fight it as one.  He has been by my side from the very start and I feel great joy and strength in knowing that he will be there with me every step of the way.

And then there's another
two that have risen to the occasion in a way that makes their mother very proud.  In this past two weeks, Renee and Daniel have also come alongside me in this journey.  They have made me laugh, fed me ice chips, read me Scriptures and devotionals, prayed with me, had "slumber parties" with me in the hospital, and shown me their overwhelming love for me.

I mentioned a minute ago that cancer is a journey, and every journey is a series of steps.  So I will now tell you why I titled this post "Mr. Potato Head."  When Renee and Daniel were
two years old, we were potty training them.  We had two bribes to assist us in this process.  Every time they peed in the potty, they got two plain M&M's.  But sitting high on the top bookshelf in the living room, far beyond their reach, was a brand-spanking-new Mr. Potato Head toy.  They were told that when they learned to poop in the potty, Mr. Potato Head would be theirs.  They gazed at him longingly.  They begged for me to let them play with him.  But it wasn't until they were victorious in their goal that they received their prize.  My first goal this week made me feel like a two-year-old.  My first goal was to get that %#&$ catheter out and learn to pee in the potty by myself.  I am proud to say I have accomplished that goal!  But like my little two-year-olds, I have to achieve that second goal before they'll let me out of the hospital to go home where I belong.  Being home again to continue this journey with friends and family surrounding me will be better than any Mr. Potato Head ever was.

Thank you for all the love and support you have given our family during this time.  Thank you for meals.  Thank you for flowers.  Thank you for cards and notes of encouragement.  And most importantly, thank you for continued prayers for my healing. 


  1. Hey there Sisti-Ugh ... It's me, Marti. SO: When I was potty training your niece & nephew (more success with one vs the other, you may recall), I didn't have a Mr. Potato Head, but I did have CANDY ... and it worked pretty nicely. (No other candy was to touch their lips, except for after this much-deserved accomplishment). SO: for you, here's the deal: Once you "do number two, I have a superb chocolate for you".
    Make it happen, Ms. Competitor and you'll have your reward! :)
    --See you at home SOON! love you!

  2. You are such an inspiration auntie! How you can be going through such a tough and painful time and still keep your head up and be so cheerful is beyond me. I am so proud if you and you are so blessed to have such an awesome hubby and kids to love and take care of you. I am sending you positive vibes and loving thoughts your way! Feel better and keep that awesome positive attitude of yours. Love you much!

  3. Rooting for "#2" didn't escape me either! Hope it escapes you soon, Gaby! You are so loved!

  4. Why Mrs. Dudley, how you do talk! Is "o/o#&$ catheter" a brand name? :) This feisty you tells me you've got loads of fight left in you, PTL! You and your family do a beautiful job of capturing what this journey is about. God be with you today, you and your heroes. And hey, you, Alison, me, we're all-stars. Significance just won gold at the CASE awards! Hugs from us'ns in UC. -- Clint

  5. I laughed (but with professional restraint because of my open space office), I cried. So good to hear from you and to be encouraged by "two" and all its iterations. Peace to you today.

  6. Gabrielle, you crack me up! Way to keep your sense of humor in the midst of it all. Praying for much success with #2, and trusting that you will earn lots of good prizes when you finally accomplish that task. Praying for you!
    Jennifer Perrow