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Friday, May 30, 2014

Sometimes it's Hard...

... but mostly it's Good!  Friendship... 

I was reminded again this week past what a treasure our friends are.  It was our annual camping trip extraordinaire!  With friends.  5 days.  Fun.  Fellowship.  Delightful Grace Break!

Some of my favorite people...
22 years of together, ups and downs, smiles and "frowns",
woven into one big beautiful family.
Y.U.C. stands for "You Ugly Camping" - don't ask, long story :-)
but we wouldn't trade a minute of this journey together...






The work of friendship in our lives is an undeniable labor of love.  To have kindred spirits who understand your joy and your grief... who get your kind of funny... who welcome you into their messy, crazy lives...
that's the love that keeps us going through the valleys,
that puts the smile in our hearts.
Praying your weekend finds you all knee-deep in joyful fellowship with one of God's sweetest gifts...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Honoring the Brave...

Today the flags were flying down Dad's street.


A beautifully poignant reminder of today's solemn celebration.  As the flag flies free in the warm breeze we have only to look to the brave men and women of our armed services to thank, for freedom is never really free...
Graced with Gratitude this day...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Promising Clinical Trial for Pancreatic Cancer...

Hope for a Cure... That's what clinical trials are all about.

If you haven't seen the news on MM-398 here's a sneak peak...a letter from Julie Fleshman posted on the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network this past week:

I am pleased to share some good news for the pancreatic cancer community. Today, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc., announced the positive results from its NAPOLI-1 phase III clinical trial. The study involved three participant groups, each made up of patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer who had been previously treated with gemcitabine (Gemzar®) -based chemotherapy.

Patients were treated with either Merrimack’s drug MM-398 (irinotecan liposome injection), the chemotherapy drug 5-FU and leucovorin (a standard treatment option) or a combination of MM-398 with 5-FU and leucovorin.

This study showed that a combination of MM-398 with 5-FU and leucovorin increased overall survival by nearly two months (6.1 vs. 4.2) compared to those patients treated with 5-FU and leucovorin alone. This represents the median, meaning some patients experienced longer survival, and some shorter. A statistically significant increase in progression-free survival was also observed in this group.

The patient group treated with MM-398 alone had similar results to the group treated with only 5-FU and leucovorin.

We are encouraged by the results of this trial. New developments will eventually lead to greater treatment advances. Last year, Abraxane®, in combination with gemcitabine, proved effective in treating newly diagnosed patients. Now, MM-398 is poised to help those who seek additional options after their initial treatments for metastatic pancreatic cancer. Two new medications in 18 months is a clear sign of the momentum we are gaining in the fight against pancreatic cancer.

Merrimack plans to submit MM-398, to be used in combination with 5-FU and leucovorin, by the end of 2014 for approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). MM-398 is not currently available to patients. We will share more news as we learn of it.

The 417 patients who enrolled in this trial have helped change treatment options for this disease and created a legacy of progress for those yet to be diagnosed. To learn more about pancreatic cancer clinical trials or have a personalized search performed for you or a loved one, please contact our Patient and Liaison Services (PALS) program. We maintain the nation’s most comprehensive pancreatic cancer clinical trials database and do not charge a fee for any of our services. PALS Associates are available at 877-272-6226 and, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., PT.

With hope,

Julie Fleshman
Julie Fleshman, JD, MBA
President and CEO

No, it's not a cure... yet!  But praying with Hope for treatment advancements for all going through the pancreatic cancer journey.

My Love,

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Flowers for Mom

A day of remembering...
...of grieving still...
... of missing that forever smile...
A day of Sweet Gratitude for the love she lavished on us all...
Happy Mother's Day Mom
Missing you every single day,
Loving you Always and Forever,

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Life Lessons

For your weekend, dear friends... a favorite reprint from Regina Brett, The Plain Dealer.

Here is one of her most-requested columns... the 45 Lessons Life Taught Me and 5 to Grow On

1.  Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2.  When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3.  Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. 
4.  Don't take yourself so seriously.  No one else does.
5.  Pay off your credit cards every month.
6.  You don't have to win every argument.  Agree to disagree.
7.  Cry with someone.  It's more healing than crying alone.
8.  It's OK to get angry with God.  He can take it.
9.  Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry. 
13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of any eye.  But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Life is too short for long pity parties.  Get busy living, or get busy dying.
17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
18. A writer writes.  If you want to be a writer, write.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood.  But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.  Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now.  Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything.  Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick.  Your friends will.  Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.  Make it memorable.
38. Read the Psalms.  They cover every human emotion.
39. Get outside every day.  Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Don't audit life.  Show up and make the most of it now.
42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved. 
44. Envy is a waste of time.  You already have all you need.
45. The best is yet to come.
46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
47. Take a deep breath.  It calms the mind.
48. If you don't ask, you don't get.
49. Yield.
50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

It's All Grace!
Much Love,

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Garden Gates Beckon...






A visit to Clark Gardens in Weatherford, Texas to welcome Spring!
May your weekend be filled with just such beauty and peace...
Praying you find Garden Gates of wonder to walk right through,
 wherever you might be.
In Grace Bowing Thanks,