My Life’s New Challenge

Hello Dear Readers,

Sometimes life takes an unexpected turn.

A turn that for me, that I thought I would have never, ever,

faced. Not in a bazillion years.

We all have those bumps in the road.

But for me, it is a “lump” in the road.

My Life’s New Challenge.

But hey!…I love a challenge and this challenge I will win

with the love and support

of family and the overwhelming outpouring of friends,

and my incredible team of doctors and staff.


Fall Tablescape-Housepitality Designs


So what happened?  

I am so diligent about getting my yearly physical,

going every year to the dermatologist,

getting my yearly mammograms.

Trying to lead a healthy life and healthy diet,

with the exception of a great burger and fries from time to time

and let’s not forget the Chardonnay!

I have even been on a gluten (or somewhat) free diet.


Blue and White place setting-Housepitality Designs


It’s not uncommon that I get a “call back” for further films

or an ultrasound

as I am dense…..not my mind… breasts!

In late July, there was a call back.


Fall Tablescape Centerpiece-Housepitality Designs


I never panic as those call backs have been fine.

But not this one.  

Something not good on the films and ultrasound.

Now, last years’ films were good


Fall Tablescape-Housepitality Designs


A referral was made for a biopsy.  

O.K., I got this . . . I’ll be fine.  

Hey my mom is a very healthy almost 94 year old!


Fall Tablescape/Centerpiece-Housepitality Designs


A tissue biopsy was performed (that was an experience!)

They said it would be 3 to 4 days before I would get results.

O.K.  no problem.


Fall Tablescape-Housepitality Designs


The phone rang on a Friday afternoon.

Hello…..”is this Shirley?”  

“yes it is, hello, how are you?”  

“I’m fine . . . do you have a minute to talk?”

Uh oh … that did not sound good.


Fall Tablescape-Housepitality Designs


I often thought of how I would react

to a not so great phone call.

I feel like I am pretty strong.

I was strong as she gave me the diagnosis, 

thinking all the while….this can’t be my diagnosis!

My mammo was fine last year. Am I dreaming?


Fall Tablescape-Housepitality Designs


No, it was not a dream or should I say nightmare?

My hubby joined in on the call when he heard me

talk to the Breast Center’s nurse coordinator.


Fall tablescape-Housepitality Designs


You could tell he was in shock too.

There have been many tests

and physician visits of each specialty.

My hubby and my son have been at my side in every visit.


Fall Tablescape-Housepitality Designs


My son has been the “journalist” 

taking incredible notes in his journal 

and asking very pertinent questions.  

I so believe that each specialist was very impressed by this.

My hubby also taking notes and asking questions

while I am trying to let all this information sink in.

Am I still dreaming?


Fall Tablescape-Housepitality Designs


I have been pretty healthy all my life,

so this was a total shock.

I am Triple Positive,

so my treatments will be appropriate to that.

Chemo for 4 months, surgery, and radiation.


Fall Tablescape-Housepitality Designs


When the news hit family and friends, 

I cannot tell you what the outpouring of love

has been….beautiful gifts in the mail, 

knocks on the door with a smile and hugs a pretty in hand.

Beautiful emails, phone calls, texts, visits.. .

invitations to dinner, etc.   have been constant.



Fall Tablescape/Dining Room-Housepitality Designs


A friend has already made me 2 batches of  

Magic Mineral Broth.

So I will be sipping that broth often.

I am staying positive and finding my strength 

through the love of my family, friends, and above all,  faith.

My “team” at UNC is phenomenal!!  

I could not be in a better place.

My first chemo treatment is Wednesday and I am having that

Cold Capping treatment done

in hopes that I will not lose much hair!

I got this!!!


Graylyn's Turkey-Housepitality Designs


Oh by the way,

this blue and white Fall tablescape,

was created a couple of years ago.

And on another  happy note:

Do you hang on and covet those precious handmade things

by your children and/or grandchildren?

  I do! Like this sweet turkey

my granddaughter made for me so many years ago

and I still have a little Halloween ghost I put out every year

that my son so proudly made when he was 5 years old.

He always says, “you still have that?”

Yes I do and one day I may have it bronzed! 🙂



My table is filling up with such wonderful things.  

I am truly blessed!

Hopefully, once I get into my “care routine”

I will be bringing you

updates on the house.  Yes, in the middle of all of this

we will be moving….Hey, it gets me out of lifting boxes!

The house decorating will just have to wait! 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Have a most beautiful day everyone!


Will try to post when I can.

Watch my progress and happenings

with the house and my “just a lump in the road”  

also on Instagram.

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  1. Shirley, You are such an inspiration to me with your positive outlook. It is no surprise to me at the outpouring of love from your friends. Keeping you close in my thoughts and prayers during your journey and as you ‘Keep Calm and Chemo On’. Much love and hoping you’ll have the energy and time for some flower therapy soon. ♥

  2. Dear Shirley,

    Wish you all the best in your fight.
    Stay strong. My thoughts are with you.
    Love Anja

  3. You have incredible resolve, Shirley. It is so comforting to know your son is advocating for you already! And, of course, your husband too.❤
    Know that I am on the sidelines, cheering and praying for you. Your positive attitude is a light that outshines any darkness and cannot be snuffed. You’ve got this!
    Rita C at Panoply’s recent post…Tales of the Traveling Tote #20 and a GiveawayMy Profile

  4. Oh Shirley, I will holding you close in prayer as you embark on this journey. So thankful that you have such a loving family and community around you to lift you up… I will be following, praying, believing, claiming complete healing for you. Love you, friend. xo Heidi

  5. I will be praying for you, Shirley. Your family, friends, faith and positive attitude will get you through this. Sending you healing vibes.
    Calypso in the Country’s recent post…Preparing for Fall – Best of the Weekend 08-30-19My Profile

  6. I am so sorry you are going through this— I am praying for you, Shirley!

  7. You are so strong, Shirley! I have been praying for you since I read your IG post yesterday afraid something was wrong. Please know I will be lifting you up.

  8. Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

    This was one of the psalms at the Mass I went to the day after a similar diagnosis for my Son. He’s 10 years OK, and the Dad to my 2 beautiful Granddaughters. Prayer is an amazing thing. Best wishes.

  9. I’m right there with you not believing any of this is but a bad dream, but the fact is it’s a reality. When you told me a spot was found I said surely it’s nothing and of course that is what we were hoping for. You are very strong and with your positive attitude and outlook you will beat this thing! I’m so glad you have a good team, close family and friends to support and pray for your healing. I wish this wasn’t at the same time as building your new home, but cancer doesn’t care who or when! With all the love and care you will beat this. Thank goodness for mammograms that can catch these things early. I wish I lived closer so I could go with you to your treatments, but I’m here praying everyday for you to be healed and praying that this journey won’t be too difficult. Thank God you have a loving and supportive husband by your side.

  10. Shirley, you are an inspiration with your strength and courage. You have the best support group that is surrounding you, family and friends are walking with you on this journey, and the most important of all…your faith! You remain in my constant prayers and thoughts dear friend. Sending all my love and hugs your way.

  11. Sandra White says

    As a long time reader of your beautiful blog, it was upsetting to read this post this morning. My thoughts and prayers are with you all the way. You will beat this!

  12. Ruth Miller says

    I am so sorry to hear this. My son in law has just gone through chemo for follicular lymphoma. He, my daughter and their little boys, 10 and 7 remained positive and strong throughout the whole ordeal. They did not let a single negative thought enter their space. We are sure that helped his outcome which is cancer free we just found out on Friday!
    So, good for you. You are on the same path of staying positive and you will come through this too just fine-learning grace and resolve along the way and who knows what other good things will happen as a result?
    Praying for you wishes for strength and thankful for the good caregivers you will have.

  13. Blessings dear Shirley. You spread such joy through your blog, I love your take on this ‘lump in the road’
    Be well friend, you are in my prayers.

  14. Linda Schmidt says

    Everyone is pulling for you and with God on your side you will see this through, we all will continue to miss you and love and pray for you.

  15. Shirley, you are so strong. Just remember in your Valleys, God is there. Will be praying for you for strength and comfort in the low times. You are a blessing to so many of us. I always look for your blog posts as they are my favorite! Take care and post when you can. Prayers and hugs!

  16. I’m so sorry to hear this Shirley. They say attitude is a big part of how you handle a situation like this. I think yours is the best. I will keep you in my prayers. You have so much love and support around you which is wonderful.

  17. Praying for you dear virtual friend.

  18. Shirley, like you said, you’ve got this! I, too, have dense breasts and with a mother that was a breast cancer survivor, I’m very diligent with my mammograms and self checks. Unfortunately, I’m familiar with those “call backs” as well. I wish I could give you a big hug! You are strong, a warrior! Prayers for you my dear friend!

  19. Well this is shocking news and my heart goes out to you. I am so glad to know what good hands you are in that is so important. Having family and friends supporting you will help you through this journey. Take care and know that all of us are praying for you.
    Liz’s recent post…Out Back Gardens Of Late SummerMy Profile

  20. I am so sorry that you are having to go through this, Shirley. It sounds like you have a great support system and a good treatment plan in place. You probably know that I am fighting lung cancer, so as I read about your experience so far, I very well remember how I felt at each stage of diagnosis. I will be praying for you and I wish you nothing but the best as your body fights this terrible disease.

  21. Shirley, your strength is great, and you are blessed to have such loving family and friends. It doesn’t surprise me that so many love and care for you. You are a sweetheart who is always so kind and thoughtful to others. When I started blogging, you were so good to me offering advice and always there with an encouraging comment. You will never know what that meant to me. Sweet friend, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I’m sending love and positive thoughts your way.

  22. Shirley, you are surrounded by so much love, prayers and support from friends and family. What a blessing and support for you as you begin this journey. Your positive attitude is so impressive and will help you through each day ahead. Sending lots of hugs, love and prayers.

    • Shirley – what scary news to be given but I’m glad your husband was there for you! You have such a wonderful family and support system and most importantly your attitude is so positive. Stay strong my friend! Soon you’ll be filling your new home with wonderful memories including that pinecone turkey and little white ghost! Love you ?

  23. Kirby Carespodi says

    You’ve got this, Shirley! Your diagnosis is no match for you and your husband and son and the power of positivity that surrounds you!

  24. Hang tough and keep your beautiful, positive attitude. You will beat this!

  25. Margery schneider says

    I’ve added you to my prayer list, Shirley. Best wishes.

  26. So sorry you are going through all this. You have such a positive attitude and such caring folks around you I’m sure you’ll beat this “lump in the Road.” Sending light and love your way.

  27. Shirley, my prayers are with you. You have a wonderful support system and the lord is by your side. Stay positive and God’s blessings.

  28. Robyn henningsen says

    You are in my thoughts and prayers in the coming days. UNC is a wonderful hospital and I am so glad that you are so close. Stay strong and positive!!!

  29. Donna Grimes says

    I am so sorry you are going through this, Shirley. You are such a beautiful person surrounded by so much love and support. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  30. I will be praying for you Shirley…I am sure your positive attitude and the support of all the people who care about you will help you get through this with flying colors!

  31. Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things says

    I am so sorry that you are going through this. I know that you have an amazing support group surrounding you and a positive attitude that will see you through this time in your life. I will be sending good thoughts your way. xo

  32. Pat Francoforte says

    Dear Shirley,
    I walked that path a little over 2 years ago. A shock. But I made up my mind early on that cancer would not define me! I gave my fears to God and He placed me over and over in the midst of people I could lift up during radiation. I prayed with and for all the doctors, nurses, surgeons, etc. cancer is life changing. But I believe God is right there every minute lifting us up. I placed you on my morning prayer list. You are a gentle, beautiful soul, and you’ve got this! Hugs and prayers from Florida!

  33. Prayers for you!
    One often doesn’t understand why God sends us the trials He sends nor the timing…I sure did not when my Jay died of a massive heart attack at age 61 while working in India…a half a world away from Kansas! So many plans gone ….major financial life change….new responsibilities….soooo scared! But with my faith strengthened in God knowing He has a plan and will see it through, I came to understand that I was to be a witness to other widows, listening, encouraging, sharing, loving.
    He has sent me some fabulous women and we are making it through….thought I’d never survive the 1st year but here I am 6 yrs later. So, Shirley, with your faith in God and your loving family, you will be in inspiration to all who you touch as you go the this rough patch. You have been an inspiration for me in your decorating, as we have similar tastes, I have dropped 98% of the blogs but cherish yours. So, Shirley, I know He has a plan for you and His loving arms are around you, so stay strong and know what an impact you have already made on so many & will continue to do so. ??♥️

  34. God’s blessings. I am holding you close in my heart and prayers. Remember I am nearby.???

  35. I have been and will continue to pray for you. If I was closer I would be with you for your treatments. Please know I am there in spirit. God bless your hubby and son for being by your side. Your attitude and spirit will get you through this and I know you will best the heck out of this!!!!! You are a true inspiration to me and I’m sure many others. Stay strong. Sending love and hugs ♥️♥️? ?. Love Pinky.

  36. HI, Shirley, I never like to see these posts from friends, but you’ve got such a positive attitude and I know you are going to beat this too! Hugs to you friend on your treatment and getting through this cancer diagnosis. My mom had breast cancer when she was 67 and she’s 91 now, so I know it can happy to any family at any time. You definitely have the right frame of mind for beating this thing!

  37. Praying for you.

  38. Shirley…your positive attitude speaks volumes! You will get through this because of that positive attitude….and your sense of humor. Sounds like you have a fantastic support system behind you…both professionally and personally. Wishing you well! 😉

  39. So sad to hear your devastating news! It is all our worst nightmare to get that call. I’m one of your subscribers from Ireland and I will be praying good Irish decades of the rosary for you! I’m sure you’re in wonderful hands over there…..and while cancer is still a dirty word they have come on in leaps and bounds with treatment. Plus the biggest thing going for you is your positivity! A positive mind can heal anything. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Loves and healing hugs

  40. Shirley, you are a shining example of courage and faith. Being in Chapel Hill, you will have the best care possible. You and your family will face this with courage and resolve and faith. My mother was cured from leukemia. I have had many friends that have been cured from breast cancer. I will be praying every step of the way for you. You have a host of followers who love you. What an inspI ration you are in every way.

  41. Bonnie Gutierrez says

    I am very sorry that you are going through this. My prayers are with you.?

  42. Terri SantaColoma says

    I am praying for you. Wish I could do more to help.

  43. Oh my word, I hate this kind of new. You are in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless

  44. Shirley you will most definitely be in my thoughts and my prayers and I pray a lot. One minute at a time one day at a time holding onto your precious moments. Sending a big hug too ??????

  45. I will be praying for you. You are such an inspiration with your beautiful decorating ideas and sharing your lovely home with us. God is with you!

  46. Shirley, you are in my prayers, stay strong and know that God will be with you through your journey. Best wishes.

  47. Your strength in receiving this awful news is an inspiration to me. Your great attitude is going to go a long way in your recovery. I love the “lump in the road” saying. I am going to call and get an appointment for my long-neglected mammogram recheck after reading this.

  48. Allison M Wade says

    Hi Shirley….The news is devastating to family and friends alike, but the inspirational God energy coming through your blog comments is a wonderful motivation. As a member of our church’s Prayer Group, I know well how prayer is the answer to all our life’s challenges. I live by Romans 8:28 that “in all things, God works out for the good, for those that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.” Lots of prayers for you, your medical team, and all supporting you. Keep in mind (and to all out there with cancer health challenges) that you are what you eat, and it would be wise to remove both alcohol and sugar from your life now and forever. Something to research on sites like TTAC,, and the like. Keep us updated on how you are doing. Blessings, Allison

  49. Dear Shirley you will be in my thoughts continously. I’m shocked but you are strong. You have great family and it sounds medical team. You will get through this I know it.

    Hugs, ???


  50. Over and over again God tells us to Be Strong and Courageous and I heard that as I prayed for you a few moments ago. I know you are leaning on God and His Word. Do not ever doubt it is His plan to see you through this to complete health. He has a good plan for you and your husband, be confident in this. I’m so glad you have such a wonderful friends and family support system. Rest and take care of yourself. I’m in prayer agreement with you for complete healing. Hugs and love, Debra

  51. Best wishes for your journey and recovery. Hugs, Kym

  52. Shirley, I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Healthy eating and plenty of rest and relaxation are the best recipes for strength to get through this challenging time. If there is anything at all I can help with from the Houston area, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

  53. Carrie Kyoko says

    You are brave, and you’ve got this Aunt Shirley. All the ladies in our family are behind you 1,000%!!! ???

  54. Shirley, I am sending warm hugs, prayers and positive thoughts your way. May God’s healing touch be upon you. Keep that positive outlook and just know that we are all here to support you on this journey!!

  55. Sending you love and strength. You are so upbeat and positive, you will push through this and be even stronger. Love, support, rest with excellent care, you are a winner!

  56. Elaine Reese says

    May God bless you, give you strength and see you through this.
    Elaine Reese

  57. Darling friend, from the moment you told me your news, Ive been praying. You are an inspiration to all of us, your positive attitude is admirable. I know that you are surrounded by people who love you to pieces, and you’ve got the best doctors around. I love you friend, and you are nothing if not determined so I’m confident nothing will get in your way.. From our calls I know you are getting the best advice and care! Xoxo Lidy

  58. Be assured, Shirley, that this cancer has not taken God by surprise. He is faithful and in control of all things and loves us with an everlasting love that we can’t even fathom. His ways are higher and greater than our ways, even when life doesn’t make sense to us. He is not the God of fear, but gives us that peace and comfort that passes all understanding. His mercies are new each morning. Know that He is carrying you through this valley and will be with you each step of the way.
    I’m so thankful that you have an incredible support system and the best advocates (your son and hubby) anyone could wish for. I know you’re going to get through this with such grace and will be able to be an even better encourager to those facing difficult challenges in life.
    You’re continuing to be in my prayers every day!

  59. I am sorry to hear about your health challenge. Your healthy lifestyle, positive attitude and support of family, friends and your readers will get you through this. During this time you will experience kindness from maybe some unexpected sources and you definitely will find out who is really there for you. I wish you all the best in your latest journey and look forward to reading your blog as you are feeling up to it.

  60. oh shirley, you are so loved not only locally but all over the country. i hope you feel that love and uplifting in prayer as you go through the next 4 months and beyond.many hugs, much love and prayer, laura

  61. Nancy Brantley says

    You’ve already got this “just a lump in the road” already beat! Your positive attitude is what it takes with FAITH! Praying for you and family. GOD, I ask you heal Shirley thru Jesus name I ask?

  62. You’ve got this girl!!! You have a great team both on the medical side and on your life side. Everyone is here for you and cheering you on as you enter into this journey. Cancer is rude and comes uninvited so you need to teach it some manners. Your faith and positive energy will keep your body moving forward. Your emotional and spirital positivity will keep you sane. There is a light at the end of this journey. I am keeping you in prayer f and will keep good thoughts going for your first treatment. Big hugs. Kris

  63. Shirley, I was so hoping that this wouldn’t be the news you would share. Your fabulous attitude and team of people who love you will make all the difference though. I truly believe that!! You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Stay strong friend!!

  64. Praying for you, your family and your medical team.

  65. Shirley, I can relate to your diagnosis. Three yrs ago this month I had Triple Negative BC diagnosis. Surgery, Chemo and Radiation. Trust me it’s doable. I broke each phase of treatment down in to weeks. There was satisfaction is ‘checking’ off each week. It felt like progress and not endless. I would suggest you look at wigs and select one beforehand just in case the cool cap isn’t helpful. Again, it’s taking some control and not feeling like a victim. Also a dental checkup and cleaning before starting treatment is good. See if your dentist can fit you in if time is short. I’m three yrs out now and you will be in the same place too. Good Luck….you will get past this.

  66. Sherry Carroll says

    Shirley, You are a strong woman with an amazing attitude. I know in my heart you can beat this. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  67. Dear Shirley, with so much courage and a positive attitude, I’m sure you’ll be fine soon. Sending you lots of encouragement and caring. I loved the way you mixed so many beautiful and inspiring photos with your report.


  68. Shirley,
    Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers as you face this new life’s challenge. Life does have a way of throwing us a curve ball when we least expect it. I know you have not only a great medical team but a great support team from your husband, children, family and friends.

    Last time this year, Anne Graham Lotz (Billy Grahams daughter) announced she too had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She had surgery first, chemo and radiation at the NC Cancer Center. She is doing really well now and I know her strong faith had a lot to do with her healing. I want to strongly encourage all women over 40 (younger if you have a mother/sister who had breast cancer) to get their yearly mammograms. Early detection is the key! Continued prayers for your healing and strength as you undergo treatments.

  69. Bette Jo Denny says

    Shirley, I am so sorry that you are going through this but I am so happy to hear the positive attitude that you have. You’ve got this and you will win your battle. So happy that you have a wonderful family and friends to help you along this journey. You have my prayers as well. God will be with you each step of the way!

  70. Sending prayers your way to get you through this. Just know a lot of people are thinking of you…take time for yourself and stay your positive self while healing.

  71. Shirley, my daughter just went thru the very same thing. Your story sounds exactly like hers. Shes 42. Double mastectomy,chemo and radiation. Her surgery was Oct 4,’18. Her hair has grown back and shes in remission and gets her new breasts in March. God answers prayers!! A wonderful Christian support team and great positive attitude are blessings in this fight. Keep your faith strong, God has you in the palm of His hand and you’ll be fine My prayers are with you. Darlene Andrews, Nashville

  72. Renee Harris says

    God bless you. May He give you His perfect peace. Bless your family, Doctors and care givers. Lifting you up in prayer. Reneé Harris. Georgia.

  73. Shirley….asking my prayer warriors to get to work in Minnesota! I am so grateful you are proactive with your health. We are the best advocate for ourself, I will be an eleven year survivor next month to uterine cancer. Nothing showed on film…I had to push for biopsy. Never a bad pap.

    I hope all of you that are reading Shirleys post today that you stay on top if your screenings. Question when something seems
    off. My dear friend received a perfect mammogram a year ago. I shared with her the week before I had a recall and finally at 65 someone told me I had dense breasts. It bothered her enough that she called her OB. Her mom had dense breasts but no problems. OB ordered MRI and she just had her one year folliwup with her oncologist.

    Sending you peace and calm.

  74. Shirley,
    I am sure it was hard to share this with us, but thank you for doing so. Our burdens can seem lighter when we share them with others. I will be praying for you as many others have promised, too. Here is a portion of Scripture that has encouraged me numerous times during trials:
    “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.” Lamentations 3:21-24

  75. Karen carter says

    Thoughts and prayers ??.

  76. Sandy K Park says

    Oh Shirley, so sorry to hear about this. My prayers are with you and your family. My god be with you every step of the way.

  77. Mary from virginia says

    Lots of prayers coming your way. Wishing you the speediest of recoveries.

  78. Shirley, no one ever wants that phone call but we all know family and friends who have had it. I admire your strength and positive attitude and as you said, you’ve got this. Prayers for you, your family and especially your sweet momma.Hugs.

  79. Trina evans says

    Shirley, will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. My mother also had the same diagnosis with lumpectomy, radiation and daily medication. She is doing fine several years later now. You’ve got this! So glad you have such a wonderful family and close friends for support, as well as all of us in blogland. Take care and take your time with the decorating….you have many who will be willing and able to help you.

  80. Alice Genzlinger says

    “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not us. We are afflicted in every way but not crushed, perplexed, but not driven to despair…..2Co 4:7-10.Shirley I am praying that our Heavenly Father through Jesus will give each and every person that is administering your care, wisdom and knowledge to heal your body of any and all disease. Keep asking Jesus for strength and keep asking Him for answers. Jesus is about to display His glorious power through you!

  81. Praying and trusting the Great Physician to do the healing in your body that is needed. Nothing is too hard for Him. May the “lump” in the road be a time of rest and renewal for you. You are so blessed to have the support of family and friends. Expecting to hear positive things and looking forward to updates on the house.

  82. Rebecca turner says

    Bless your heart, Shirley! I’m sad for you, but hopeful. When I read your news, I immediately sent up a prayer. May God strengthen you, heal you, comfort you and encourage you! Your fight will likely be tough, but I’m glad that you have a good support system (your family) and something wonderful (your new home) to look forward to, as well as victory!

    My mother, who will soon be 82, was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in October of 2014. Her doctor said that it wasn’t the typical “little old lady cancer” of the type that she usually sees in women of Mom’s age. It was a battle. She couldn’t quite finish her chemo, and she elected to have a mastectomy. For her it was the right decision, because she’s had a clean bill of health now for the five subsequent years. I hope your outcome is as good! Hugs to you!

  83. May you feel God’s strength and peace~

  84. Love you Shirley! Big prayers for you! You’ve got this! Love, Christy

  85. Hi Shirley! Just want you to know that you are in my prayers. May God continue to give you His Peace and strength as you navigate this journey. Here is one of my favorite scriptures, one that has helped me through many challenges.
    “Be of good courage,
    And He shall strengthen your heart,
    All you who hope in the Lord.” Psalms 31:24

    Much Love and God;s courage to you,

  86. Amy Chalmers says

    You my friend are a very strong woman, and one who deserves this outpouring of support! I know you will be a source of inspiration for all of us who fear getting the call too. You’re in my prayers dear girl! Xoxo

  87. Shirley,
    You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. You got this girl, I know you are going to beat this and come out stronger thane ever!

  88. Dear Shirley, God and you have everything under control. Blessings and prayers are coming your way.

  89. Praying God holds you and your family extra close and gives you strength. You ve got this!

  90. Praying for you and all those surrounding and supporting you as well. His love and mercy are with us always.

  91. Shirley, You do not know me, however, you are a dear friend to me because you have invited me into your beautiful homes through your blog. I will be praying for healing and health for you. Looking forward to many more years of reading your blog and getting home design inspiration from you.

  92. Shirley, you will be in our thoughts and prayers. Love you.
    Randy and Debbie

  93. Wow! I was diagnosed with triple positive breast cancer in October 2016. I had surgery, 13 rounds of chemo and 33 rounds of radiation.
    In December 2017 I was in remission. I have been in remission for a year and a half and went back to the gym and feel better than ever!
    So many things I want to tell you about the experience.
    Breast cancer is so very very treatable. I have my so many women who have been in remission for over 25 years!
    My only suggestion from my own experience is to treat yourself to medical, homeopathic and spiritual treatments.
    While I was in treatment, I was fascinated that one of the best oils to treat was frankenscence and myrh.
    I’m praying for you. One of the ways my Mom coped was to make chemo caps. We make them and give them to those that need them for free. If you would like some, please let me know and I will send to you

  94. So sorry to hear this Shirley! Sending you lots of prayers!

  95. You will be in my prayers Shirley!!!

  96. Susan Smith says

    Oh, Shirley, I’m so sorry to hear you have been included in this epidemic of breast cancer. But it is not the end of the world. I am a 19 year survivor and I have many friends who are breast cancer survivors too! So stay positive and this will make you new friends who are on this cancer fighting journey too. You will be in my prayers. You’ve got this! Love and hugs from Oklahoma, Susan

  97. Shirley, May God continue filling you daily with His strength and peace. You are already a testimony to all who know you, whether in person or through this blog. I will be praying for your complete healing and the continued love and support of your family and friends.

  98. Oh Shirley! What a frightening diagnosis – no matter how positive you are, it’s a punch in the gut that keeps aching. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 60. She had let it go for quite a while before seeing a doctor and we were terrified. She had her surgery and then went on an oral medication (I think chemo pills but can’t remember now). Now she’s 94 and has never had a relapse of any kind. There have been many developments in treatments since that time and I am certain that you will be healed. You are in my prayers. If there was one piece of advice I could give you, it would be to take up a new interest that totally absorbs your attention. Distract yourself from this diagnosis as much as possible. I truly believe that is key to healing quickly. Be well!

    Love you xoxox

  99. You got this! Hoping the move and new home keeps your mind off your boobs!

    Love and prayers for you!

  100. Wow, Shirley! I just love your strength of character and spirit it! You’ve got this and were all cheering for you ❤️

  101. Longtime reader. You’ve got this. Prayers from me in Louisiana.

  102. Bless your heart! I will be praying for you. I hope you feel the strength of prayers from all over for you!

  103. Life does take unexpected turns and this is a journey none of us want anyone to face! As a 21 year survivor, I know and appreciate that there is life after cancer. My prayer is for complete healing, strength along the way to complete your course of treatment and life more abundantly when you have hurdled past this bump in the road. May you be surrounded with the love of family and friends. Your readers are praying for you as well!

  104. Bobbi Duncan says

    I am so saddened to learn of your cancer, Shirley. I can fully empathize as I had my own battle with the big “C” 40 years ago while pregnant with my last child. It was a rough time, but I stayed positive that God would get us both through it…and He did. Attitude is so very important, and with the way you are already approaching this ordeal I know you will be giving this your all…just the way you always do with everything you endeavor to do. It helps so much when you have others around who love and care about you, and I can see that you are in good hands there. You are in my prayers, sweetie. Big Hugs!

  105. So encouraging to read the comments from all these wonderful, strong survivors. I have no doubt that you will be joining them, Shirley. You are blessed with such a wonderful support system, I can feel how much you are loved all the way from Georgia!
    Much love to you, Shirley! Keeping you in my thoughts, sweet friend!

  106. I just celebrated my tenth year of breast cancer survivorship. I truly believe that a positive attitude is just as important as the medicine. When I was going through treatment, one of the things that helped me the most was talking to survivors. Give a support group a try. It really helped me. Talking to women who are going and have gone through the same thing is very helpful. Stay positive and know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. 🙂

  107. Teresa Harral says

    Prayers for you and your family as you travel this new road. Hugs!

  108. Shirley, I have enjoyed your posts along with Mary, Pam and Lidi on Monday blooms! I will be praying for you and know that you will have the best of care here in NC.

  109. Our prayers are being said for you.

  110. Debra Haselton says

    Hello Shirley,
    I’m a fairly new reader from Virginia. I’ve followed you for about the past 6 months and have enjoyed your new home building progress. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma last October and began 56 months of chemo on November 1, finishing in early April. My hair is growing back now and I am enjoying a pixie cut! I never would have cut it this short but I think I rather like it! I am a dentist and now I don’t have to tie my hair back when working! My dental assistant was going through breast cancer treatment at the same time as I was getting diagnosed so we sort of had a cancer thing going in my office. You are finding what I found….that you have many, many wonderful friends and a great support system. That made all the difference for me! Cancer is a scary diagnosis, especially with not knowing how you will respond to the chemotherapy and other associated treatment. I am hoping that you will find as I did, what works for you with respect to managing the chemotherapy. I actually worked the entire time, but did cut back my patient schedule to shorter days and didn’t work the day of chemo or the day after. I sort of got into a groove around the treatment and learned how to manage it. My team at my office was great and we figured it out. Everyone is a little different, but I never like to sit around, even when I’m not feeling great. I found that working and trying my best to keep a schedule, albeit lighter was a good “distractor” of sorts and made the time pass. I was concerned with keeping my practice running but with the Grace of God made it through all of that. My patients were wonderful! One lesson I learned is how to help others going through similar situations and all around us there are opportunities to do that. I included you in my prayers last night and will continue with the hope that good health will bless you once again. I’m sorry you are having to experience this journey and hope that your positive attitude and great care team will help! Please feel free to e-mail me if you wish to talk about chemo or anything treatment related. With warm regard, Debra

  111. Sweet, sweet, sweet friend! My heart is aching for you. Truly. You are so brave and so positive and such a bright light and I know you are going to KICK CANCER IN THE BUTT!!!!!!!!!! Sending prayers your way and lifting you up! Let me know if you need anything! I will happily arrange content for you with other bloggers if you need that too! Ask anything and it’s yours.


  112. Shirley, I’m saddened to hear your news. You are so inspiring with your positive attitude and I wish you an abundance of strength to overcome this ‘lump in the road’. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  113. You will get thru this. I was diagnosed in June of this year, had a partial mastectomy in July and am looking forward only (no rearview mirrors for this one!) 😉
    I was lucky, it is/was HER negative and caught quite early. I chose NOT to have the radiation or the “pill” for 5 years, which is to prevent recurrence. My chances of recurrence without the pill is 15%. What I did decide was to live a healthy lifestyle, not easy for this 70+ year old!! I do play tennis once or twice a week and consider myself an “active adult” but I’ve added 2 days of exercise to that plan and I’ve moved to a plant-based diet after much research and several webinars. Our bodies were designed to heal themselves IF the immune system is strong. Over the years with all the processed food and junk I’ve eaten, no doubt I’ve compromised my immune system. So getting back to more natural, organic, healthy foods. Whatever your choices are, the important thing is to stay positive even amidst the difficult days. You can and you will do this. God bless!

  114. dawn darveau says

    Just read your blog about the lump in the road. I enjoy your blog and your attitude on life. I wish you only good thoughts, good wishes and a great outcome.

  115. Just heard your news. I will keep you in my prayers. Sounds like you have a terrific family. . . .and many moments of joy. Fight the good fight. . . .you have so many talents. May all go well,I think all of us who have had a family member go through this understand in some small way.

  116. Oh Shirley, I just learned about your challenge and have put you on my prayer list…this upbeat post is amazing, what an incredible attitude you have! I so admire your strength and courage! Please know you are in my heart…sending you a virtual hug…

  117. Dear Shirley, I have just learned this morning of what you are facing. Do know you will be in my prayers and that you will have continued strength and courage. It is wonderful that you are in such a good place with medical care and that you have such strong support. I send you the best of wishes and love.

  118. Dear Shirley, you and I are total strangers, but we are sisters through the BC family. All of us many hundred of thousands are connected. We have all walked this long frightening road with all it’s twist and turns. As a 12 year survivor I can only tell you that with todays medicine its not as frightening as it used to be. Even in the decade since “my turn” it’s so much improved.
    For me it was the help and support of family and friends that made me wake up in the mornings and say “I can do this. I have to do this. They need me.”
    I’m also convinced we can not get away from all chemicals in our food and drink no matter how healthy we eat or drink. Like you, I was the first in my family to have cancer. It made me angry. I wasted a lot of energy being angry before I finally turned it around to positive energy. I came out a much stronger, more independent woman, and I was no shrinking Violet to start with.
    Today my life is full of energy and I don’t waste time with negative surroundings. We as mothers and grandmothers are the richest people on earth.
    So my dear sister, let everybody spoil you and when you feel at your worst, make lemonade of all those lemons.
    It was Mary’s Monday blog that sent me your way. I now have a lot to look forward to. Catching up on all of yours.
    Sisterhood is global, and in this fight we are all related.

  119. Darling Shirley, I missed this post. I am so very, very sorry about the diagnosis, but I am so glad that you’re getting the treatment you need! I choose to believe that those strong genes that are so apparent in your mom will bode well for you. This treatment won’t be easy, but you’ll get it, you’ll get through it, and this time next year we’ll be celebrating the fact that you got past the “lump in the road.” I am SO grateful you’re so close to UNC. . . state of the art care right in your backyard! I will be praying for you!

  120. Brenda from Sparta NJ says

    Dear Shirley, I save your blogs when I don’t have time to get read them so I just read this one today. Im so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I’m praying for you and feel in my heart that your going to beat this. With all the love and support you have you will beat anything.

  121. Shirley, September has been a crazy month for me and when I saw your most re ent post, I had to go back to the beginning of this new journey you’re on. So many bloggers I know are fighting this battle and it makes me feel so helpless for not being near any of you to help. But I’m loaded with lots of faith and I’m always in prayer for those in need. I’m adding your name to my current prayer list and will continue to keep you and your family in thought and prayers.

  122. I’ve been thinking about you Shirley and decided to stop by and see how your house was coming along. I was completely shocked to learn of your recent diagnosis and am SO completely saddened at this news. I have to say that your attitude is inspiring and you’re unbelievably brave! While I have no doubt you will beat this, cancer is an unwelcome guest and is life changing. But through the treatments and potential hair loss is a bright light of hope and love from family and friends, and perhaps a greater appreciation for the blessings we DO have and the people whom we love and love us.

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  123. Hi Shirley
    I have not join the post for a while. The last time I visited you, you announced that you were going away for a while and I found it a little strange then; especially while you were sharing pictures of Hickory cottage. This thing couldn’t have not chosen a worst enemy. It doesn’t know what’s in store for it. You are an inspiration to us all. Remember your faith will keep you through. I will keep you in my prayers. To all women out there going through this or who have been there this is for you. Stay strong!

    Sisters through laugh and pain
    Treasuring every blessed memory made
    Recalling past times, or each new day
    Overjoyed nor embattled we still stand
    Notwhistanding with fortitude but rather
    Giving hope just another meaning.

    Your faith will sustain you. Keep calm and pray on!

  124. As I read your story I thought I was reading my own. I was diagnosed and just went through a lumpectomy and reconstruction on the other breast to match the one that they removed the cancer out of. I will have to have radiation and just wanted to tell you, you are so right about how important your friends are. What a wonderful source of comfort and inspiration they have been to me. For someone that had never been in a hospital in all of my 57 years I was freaked out to say the least. I am so happy you have a great team it makes all the difference in the world. I have a great team that has helped me get through everything.

    Sending you lots of hugs and healing prayers.

  125. Oh my goodness, I am sincerely sorry for not stopping by more often. I have you in my prayers and ” you’ve got this” is your mantra my friend. God Bless and I am so happy to know you are surrounded by so many amazing family, friends and physicians. Hugs!

  126. Shirley, I pop in from time to time, and was sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I absolutely will add you to my daily prayers as you travel this new road. Sending you a BIG HUG today!

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