Tag Archives: challenge

{Rusty} Under The Sun: I’m thankful for my wife

Look, her hair is coming back!

A picture of Sara, about four months after her last round of chemo nearly killed her.

Many of you don’t know me.  You probably know of me, though.  My name is Rusty, I am Sara’s husband, and webmaster for the site.  At the beginning of the month, Sara approached me and asked me if I would write a piece for her month of thankfulness.  Well, here it is.  One of the things that I am most thankful for is my wife.  Read on to find out why.

Love.  Sara has it in spades.  When we first met, we were both teenagers.  Being the young introvert that I was, I always did my best to drive people away.  I had a few friends, and Sara was only my third girlfriend.  I knew I liked her, but had no way to show it, and tried to push her away a great many times.  Early in our relationship, she had decided that she loved me.  I don’t know how, she had met my family, and even spent a great deal of time at my house.  Either way, it was because of her love that she stuck by, even when I made some bonehead mistake, or hurt her feelings.  Even today, you can see how much she loves based on her interactions with our daughters.  You can see it when she talks to the neighbors, or even to complete strangers.  She is not naive, but she still likes to look at life with rose colored glasses.  And I desperately need that in my life.  She always knows when to give me space, or when to say something.

I'm Thankful For My Wife

My wife is strong.  Now, I know, a lot of you are likely thinking “all women are strong,” or “my wife has had X kids, naturally,” or “I have four kids and a full time job.”  I get it.  No woman has it easy when they decide to partner up with just about any man.   As a veteran in the U.S. Navy, and having served with the U.S. Army, too; I know my share of strong women.  But I need to tell you, my wife takes the cake.  She miscarried about a year after we started dating.  Then again, seven months after we were married.  As far as things go, the two were not that bad.  No hospitalization, just a check up with the doc, and some pain meds, and things happened naturally.  Now, the second miscarriage might have been a blessing in disguise.  After nine months of marriage, we discovered that Sara had a severe form of Osteosarcoma.

The form of cancer she had was fairly rare.  We were told that there was about a 1 in 3 fatality rate, but that it was discovered early enough, and that the long term survivability rate is nearly 7 in 10.  When they biopsied the tumor, they did not find any concern to merit chemotherapy, so, they did the surgery on 7th September, 2004.  They removed 95% of her left humerus (the upper arm bone), and inserted an endoprosthetic made of a  titanium / magnesium alloy.  The surgeon that performed the surgery didn’t feel it was necessary to attempt to sew the muscles back together so that she would have any motion afterwards.  Which means her arm now hangs limp at her side. Nine years later.  She manages though, quite well, I might add.  About two and a half weeks after the surgery, the doctors came back and told us that over a third of the tumor had, in fact, been ‘high grade cancer’ as they termed it.  Which meant that if one cell had left the tumor and stopped somewhere else in her body, it would form a new tumor there.  Most often, it hits the lungs first, which has a higher mortality rate.  So, ‘we’ started chemo.

Sara was supposed to get eight rounds of chemo, but, due to complications, only received seven.  The last one almost caused her to develop leukemia, cancer of the blood.  She spent two weeks in isolation.  She couldn’t have flowers, or fresh fruits or vegetables.  She quite literally had no immune system to speak of.  When the doctor told her that the treatment for it is more chemo, she said she would not be doing any more.  I was devastated, but she assured me that she would be fine, and she got better.  All this chemo, while it may have saved her life, had cause her body to go into menopause.  If you read yesterday’s post, you already know that Sara beat menopause, too.

There is not much she can’t do.  I love her more and more each day, and I am ever so thankful that the Lord saw fit to partner me up with her.  She supports all my crazy ideas, like the fact that my garage is a haphazard machine shop while I build my CNC machine.  She has followed me to four duty stations, five deployments, the last of which she had a four month old and a two year old.  She followed me back to Michigan when I separated, and most recently, here to Alabama, so I can work for NASA.

I love you, Sara, and I am happy to let the whole world know it!

Me and Sara, 17ish

Me and Sara, 17ish

 ***Who in your life are you thankful for? Why are they so special?***

If this post touched your heart. Or you enjoyed it for any reason, please share on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or any where really.

Creative K Kids

Week 2 of The Living and Active Challenge

Week 2 of The Living and Active Challenge

Yesterday kicked off Week 2 of The Living and Active Challenge. My first week did not go anything like I imagined it would when I started the week. I pictured being able to carve out 25 minutes a day 4 times a week easy peasy to do the routines suggested at Peak313. Instead I found myself getting creative and doing things that involved the kids and things they could get excited about.

My first day we went for a long walk. While a walk may not sound like much of a workout at first blush, I would say that it all depends on what you do to challenge yourself during the walk. I walked with the 16 lb baby strapped to my chest, while we trekked up and down hills. So with this walk I was really able to get my blood pumping. Also on the first day I spent a couple of hours in our garage lifting and moving  boxes. While the work in the garage was not a set routine it was still just one more way to be active.

On my second day of working out for the week the girls and I held a dance party. I set up some music and for 30 minutes we moved and we grooved. There was lots of fun and silliness to be had. ūüôā

My third day of working out last week was on Saturday. Since Rusty was home I was able to find time alone (at least for part of it) to workout. Still instead of doing a prescribed routine I made up my own. I marched ¬†(knees high) around the house for 20 minutes. When I was done there I did crunches, scissor kicks, and honestly I can’t remember all that I did. I know I did calisthenics¬†and stretching though.

Sunday, my 4th day, I got to the end of the day and I realized I had not done a workout routine up to that point. I had a decision to make. Go to bed early, and give up on successfully completing the challenge before the first week was even up.  I decided it was only 25 minutes I was just going to go for it. My workout  was the same as the day before.

By the end of the week, I had got four workouts in. I was sore and exhausted. Not only had I done four workouts I had been busy in the yard most of the week.

The verse for this next week comes from Matthew chapter 6 verse 34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

*** How did your first week of  The Living and Active Challenge go? Did you complete all four workouts? Did you memorize the scripture verse?***

Living and Active


Previous posts in this series

Living and Active Challenge Week 1

Living and Active Challenge Week 1

"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12  Accountability is important when trying to achieve any goal.

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
Accountability is important when trying to achieve any goal.

I have decided to participate in¬†Peak 313’s¬†¬†Living and Active Challenge. I want ¬†to invite you to join me in the challenge. It may have started yesterday but it is not too late to join. For the record, while I am naturally thin that does not mean I am in shape. So I am using this challenge as a spring-board to living healthier, getting in shape, and finding another avenue to getting into the word.

This week’s verse is: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

You my dear friends will be my accountability partners. If you decide to join me in this challenge I would be honored to be your accountability partner.

So if you want to join me in this challenge, I encourage you to click the link I provided, and learn a little bit more about it. I think you will find that it is manageable, and there will be much encouragement along the way.

At this point I plan on trying to go with the workout routines provided, but considering the issues with my left arm that may not be completely feasible. I will more than likely have to modify the routines to fit my ability. I will also be walking with the kids as another form of exercise and getting moving.

Another before photo.

Another before photo.

***So will you take the challenge and join me?***