Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dear Family & Friends

February is the month of love, but there are so many types of love. The love I will be writing about is that which I have for you, my family and friends. I am so thankful for each and every one of you. You are a blessing in our lives.
I wanted to write this letter at Christmas time, but as the month sped by, it occurred to me how many other cards and letters you would receive and how busy you would be and the probability of you reading my letter were slim. So this idea of a Christmas, New Year, & Happy Valentine letter came to mind for me to share what wonderful things God has done in 2010.
As many of you know, 2010 had a rocky beginning with chemotherapy treatments, surgeries, radiation, more surgeries and in my mind a blur of practically everything that took place from January through July. It was a very rough time with chemo and the adverse reactions. I was not very sick but in a great deal of pain and from what I am now told, I had steroid rage and wasn't a nice person to be around most days. As a family we had our ups and downs but are grateful for this experience because it drew us closer as a whole family.

My mother in law, Nelly came from Chile and was with us for over 7 months helping me with my diet and making me much more health conscious. She gave me massages, foot rubs, and babied me through my most difficult moments. To her, I am forever indebted and thankful. My husband took off from work many days to take me to treatments, countless doctor appointments and has made a habit now of dropping me off at the door and picking me up at the door. Such chivalry has made me fall further in love with him. My mom and dad of course also played a huge part in our lives, helping with Emma, her schoolwork, and taking me to radiation treatments an hour away for 6 weeks straight.

Everyone that stuck to my side offered encouragement and lifted me up in prayer when I couldn't find the strength to do it myself, to you I am appreciative. Thank you is not sufficient. Even my family and friends in Chile would call, Facebook, and message me when they caught wind I was down. But the one who sustained me most was God and His words in the Bible written "just for me."

I read the book A Shepherd's Look at Psalm 23 by Philip Keller, three times and each time found comfort with how much my Savior cares for me and goes to great length to protect me. This chapter in Psalms became so dear to me, my mom made a gorgeous cross stitch of it to hang over my bed. I have scriptures clipped to lampshades, taped to my television, written on construction paper and taped to the wall. Surrounding me and putting myself under the influence of God's word was part of my cancer treatment.

Our family took two vacations, one in summer and one before Christmas. The first trip was right after my chemo with Pablo, Emma, Nelly, and Sweetie (our pug) to Helen, GA. A dear friend of my mother, named Helen, offered us a cabin where I was able to recuperate, go tubing, and walk 1 mile straight up to Ruby Falls. I was so proud of myself for making it all the way to the top. This was something very challenging for me in my physical state but I MADE IT! We relaxed and swam in a nearby lake while Pablo tried to fish - with no luck I might add, read God's word as a family, and drew ever closer still.

Nelly had to go home to take care of her mother in September, who was being cared for by my best friend in Chile, Sussy. I know it wasn't easy for either of them but want to thank Abuela Abuela for lending me Nelly and thank Sussy for the hard work she put into caring for Abuela Abuela. Without the cooperation of the two, I wouldn't have had the blessing of Nelly's care. I miss her dearly, as she became not just my mother in law but my 2nd mother, friend, and confidant.

Well this brings us to Christmas which we (My Mom & Dad, Pablo, Emma, Me, Sweetie & my parent's dog, Betty Boop) went back to Helen to enjoy Helen, GA's first White Christmas in 100 years. It was a blast watching Emma see her first snow, make a snowman and snow angel, and enjoy snowball fights. The day after Christmas we headed out in the snow storm to Pigeon Forge, TN where we were slammed with inclement weather. The trip should have taken 2 hours but instead took 6. Needless to say, there were terrible traffic jams and 5 wrecks along the way. Once we arrived we enjoyed our time at Dollywood, shopping in town and going to the outlet.

For New Year's Eve we got home and Pablo, Emma and I went to our friend's house for dinner, a little bit of celebrating, and talking by the fire pit until we rung in the New Year. It was great fun and we got to make even more new friends.

What I have left for last is probably the most amazing thing that happened in 2010, I am officially in remission. Now for a stage IV breast cancer patient that does not mean I am cured because the cancer will come back. What it means for me though is it's gone for right now, today and if there is anything I have learned through this journey it is to live every day to the maximum, share my faith with others and make God look good, a lesson recently learned from attending Calvary Chapel Melbourne. How good does He look right now with me in remission? I know this beast will come back but I know my God can keep it asleep for a very long time and that is my prayer.

To conclude, my dear family and friends - thank you for making 2010 a year where you remembered me in your prayers. They were answered, but continue to pray for me as I continue treatments to keep my cancer in remission. They are powerful drugs that I'm taking and the side effects include much pain and fatigue. I love you all and thank you for the love you have poured out on me and my family.


Adrienne, Pablo & Emma
P.S. To follow, you will find a link to my American Cancer Society Relay for Life Team: Butterflies of Hope. It would honor me greatly if you went to my page and made a donation in my name or of that of a friend or family member that has won the battle, is still fighting or lost their battle to cancer. If you decide to mail a check, please send to my home address made out to "American Cancer Society." It is my dream and prayer that a cure would be found for this terrible disease. For more information on what the American Cancer Society does, please log onto my page http://main.acsevents.org/goto/aconde
where you will find a link, to copy and paste in your browser, that leads you to more specific information.
American Cancer Society:
Saving lives by helping people stay well,
get well, find cures, and fight back!
Keep in Touch
1423 Sorento Cir.; W. Melbourne, FL 32904 *  321-544-9361 Adrienne's Cell * 321-506-7991 Pablo's Cell *

Sunday, November 21, 2010


It is so easy to praise God when things go your way but in the midst of your trials, illnesses, circumstances, do you praise God with the same gusto? This question popped into my mind as so many praises poured into my Facebook, e-mail, and phone. It’s hard to admit but I didn’t have the same reaction at hearing my test results on Friday, as I did when I heard that the chemotherapy had done nothing and that my cancer had actually grown during the treatment. I think that reaction is human.

I realized through with this good news, I need to learn to “praise Him in the storm” AND where I am today. I am so happy right now to be cancer free and give God the glory. My cancer is one that will come back in time, so continue to pray for me and that if and when it does come back, I can praise Him even then.

Thank you for you prayers and may this Thanksgiving be a time where you do not obsess about cooking the perfect turkey, getting to watch your favorite football team play in a bowl, stress over your in-laws, or anything else but that you would focus on being thankful for even the little things God is doing in your life.

About the author: Adrienne Conde

It has been a dream of mine to write a book but today that seems so limiting with blogging available. So this is where this little project of mine has lead me to a blog on my favorite book of the Bible: Proverbs. Feel free to leave comments, lessons learned, life experiences that validate, encouragement, etc. Join me on my quest for wisdom and my greatest burden- imparting this wisdom to Emma, my life project.