#Happyanniversary to us! But this is marriage – doing all you can for the other. It is so strange, but I had no idea what love was all those years ago. I learn to love him more and more every day! I also think Pepper sleeps more than I do at the Cancer Center, and I’m the one pumped full of benedryl as part of my “pre-treats!”

#cancer #chemo #ihatecancer #19thAnniversary #weddinganniversary #Starkville #Mississippi

It’s just going to take a little time

Now that the nose is fixed (but still a bit sore to the touch!), I am working on all the other repercussions from the Battle of the Spider from last month. #ALLSPIDERSMUSTDIE Pepper is still keeping watch over me while I shower. My new rule is the Suzanne Sugarbaker rule, “I think the man should have to kill the bug!” Thank you Wanda Garner for reminding me!

The non-emergency room issues after “the horrendous crash” were my shoulder and my jaw. The jaw is not broken (praise the Lord!!) but my teeth are not just right. The dentist said my they should get back aligned in a few months and it will feel much better over time.  “If not, come back to see us!!!”

But it is physical therapy for the shoulder that’s the killer! Cried two days this week. I am not that kind of girl. It was TOUGH! But it was a little better today! My advice: Let the men kill the spiders! It’s not worth it!

On another note, my oncologist said we are going to hang out for about three months and see if the tumor markers continue to decrease on the one tumor that could not be burned during microwave ablation. He said if the numbers continue to go down, that is a good sign. Dr. Hill said we will make new treatment plan after the results for tests after the three-month period. As all cancer patients know, it is always as a “hurry up, and wait” situation. Pepper and I think we received good news, so that’s what we are going with!

It hasn’t taken long for Pepper to start singing and dancing again. I am sleeping in the recliner, at first for the nose surgery and now for the shoulder pain. He will come in and stand in front of the television (in all stages of dress) and sing to his heart’s content! Usually just one song (praise the Lord) but I have found the picking the phone up to make a video of him singing gets him on the move! He DOSEN’T want a photo taken while he is acting and singing! Too funny!


Marie Mason – Her Cancer Journey

She never misses a year. Even in a year when she has struggled with the return of breast cancer and a round of powerful chemotherapy.

Marie Mason usually leads a team from Second Baptist Church of Starkville to help raise money for the American Cancer Society through the Oktibbeha County Relay For Life. She loves it. She is passionate about leading by example and giving back. Mason said if people can see that she can keep moving forward with a good attitude, it may give others hope.

She quotes her favorite Bible verse, “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?” from Proverbs 18:14.

“I love going and doing something worthwhile,” Mason said about Relay for Life. “It is important to keep moving forward.”

“Marie is a true inspiration,” said Caleb Rich, one of the organizers for the 2017 Oktibbeha County Relay for Life. “She has always been a person who put other’s needs before her own. Her leadership as the team captain for the Second Baptist Church team inspired the team to step up in a big way for her as she’s been going through treatment again. Marie Mason is truly the heart of what Relay for Life is about.”

And even though Mason did not lead a team this year, many volunteers in Oktibbeha County dedicated this year’s Relay for Life in her honor. As usual, she was there, but not leading a team. For Mason, this year has been reminiscent of a time 24 years ago, when she first discovered breast cancer. Continue reading

Locals participate in the Memphis Marathon Weekend


Winona Marathon Team members include: (front row) Mike Kotecki, Amber Austin, Belinda Morrison, Rachel Watkins, Murry Catherine Alderman, Lexie Flowers, Betsy Tompkins, (back) Becky Dees, Erica Dees, Shoni Montgomery and Chris McRae.

For many Winona High School team members, the race was part of a personal mission to help cancer patients and their caregivers.

Several Winona residents traveled to Memphis on Dec. 3 to take part in the 2016 St. Jude Memphis Marathon.

The race course takes participants through downtown Memphis, including the campus of St. Jude.

“That is a very overwhelming and emotional time,” said Amber Austin, marathon participant from Winona. “Seeing the children and parents waving and cheering for us provided me with the endurance I needed to pick up my pace and motivated me to finish. I can’t wait until next year.”

Continue reading