For Loretta

God seems to be doing a job on my heart now, spent the last couple of days thinking of him, getting the joy of the Lord back through praise, worship, those special songs.  I know a lot of this is everyone’s prayers, so thank you, thank you, thank you.  We can’t replace Loretta, but we can sure be thankful for the time we had her, and what she gave us…Ture Love and Happiness.
To Loretta - I’ll see you one day, sweetheart.  But I’m going to put joy in my heart and a smile on my face because I even had the privilege of you in my life, and you introduced me to a God I didn’t know in this way previously.  You showed me what an innocent heart is, what true love for our Lord can be, and the value of heart-felt worship.  You are Beautiful, forever now.  But, that is just you and your wonderful, sweet, innocent spirit.  I Love You.  Forever.  And a day.  (and…it’s still going….)  Until you show me around our mansion, I know you are making ready now, I will miss you dearly.  My heart rejoices for you, finally in the presence of our Savior.  How Glorious that must be!!
You won, my wife.  You won.  Now, I’ll get busy winning too.
You are my sunshine.  My only sunshine.  My precious wife.  I love and miss you dearly.  I’m so happy you really really understood just how deeply I love you.  So until we are together again, I’ll just keep you in my heart, where you’ve always been.  Love you!!  Sweet dreams.

- Your Hubby


As most of you know, Loretta passed from this world on 9/21/09.  Words can’t express the loss we feel.  We thank everyone for their support, prayers, and just generally “being there” for all of us.  We are blessed to have such a wonderful Family and extended Family.

New update

We are home from Houston.  The news was not great.  The “new” area was a tumor, mostly anyway.  Loretta will be starting on a new infusion chemo, Avastin.  She will do a 90 minute infusion every 3 weeks, and follow up with MRI’s in Houston every 6 weeks.  Avastin works by attacking the blood vessels feeding tumor, and if it works, they say it works “astoundingly well”.  There is a 50/50 chance on it working on a given individual.  The drug has been used to fight other types of cancers, but has just been approved by the FDA for brain tumors in the last 2 months.  That will help with getting it cleared on insurance, at least.  The good thing about it, there are no significant side effects.  The Temodar that she was taking really knocked her down for the 5 days out of every month she was on it. Poor baby could hardly get out of bed. :(  Since it works on blood vessels, there are issues with clotting and bleeding, but Loretta is a good candidate since she has never had issues with clotting / not clotting.

We are praying for a wonderful outcome, and that she responds very well to this new treatment.  The strange thing is, the other tumor site is still completely clean, while the new one started.

Most of our trips to Houston have been “non-eventful” as far as the travel is concerned, but this trip, we were not so lucky.   45 min from out Hotel off of South 610, the car in front of us hit something hard and white in the road…best guess is it was a PVC “L” joint that had fallen off of a work truck, about a foot long, elbow-style.  When it came out from under the car in front of us, it was jumping around like a jumping bean.  I tried to avoid it, but we were doing about 70, it hit our right front tire which threw it up under the undercarriage, BAM.  Huge impact.

I watched in the rearview mirror to see if the next car was going to hit it, and about 10 seconds later, it comes tumbling out of the sky.  I think it got about 50-60 ft of air!  Well, I had a bad feeling after that impact, and sure enough, about 5 min later, our AC went completely hot.  We were heading into 4:45PM rush hour traffic, temperature was in the high 90’s.  Not good.  Loretta was peaked when we got to the Hotel, but we did manage to get the Van fixed and AC restored (I won’t mention the price tag; I’m trying to forget…).  The trip back was, thankfully, much easier and less eventful.

Thank you for all the prayers and support.  God is about our only comfort.

Update on Loretta

We saw the neuro-oncologist, and the “new” area has grown.  With a twist.  He had a lengthy scan review with what he deemed as “one of the best radiology scan interpreters in the world”, and they both agree this fits all the signs of radiation necrosis.  Every checkpoint was positive for necrosis vs tumor.  They have said this before, but the scan does look “different” this time.  There is no solid anything, it’s just a whispy-white cloud-ish looking formation.  Tumors before have always showd up as solid white masses.  So, I remain cautiously optimistic.

They do have a special MR that can tell with 70-80% accuracy if this is necrosis or tumor.  If it’s necrosis, there are very good treatments that can probably help her regain her speech and limb movement.  If it’s tumor, they are going to try another chemo that attacks the blood vessels feeding the thing.  The original tumor they were treating with Temodar is completley gone…as a matter of fact, in the same scan that showed the new “area of interest” (don’t you love how they put things?) the original tumor they were fighting was completley gone, which is one of the points that support the new area not being tumor.  Other things were, it’s appearance, location, and that the new growth doesn’t seem to be what’s causing her to loose speech and movement directly.  These facilities were lost either substantially or in small increments as a direct result of seizures she had.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support and prayers.  It means so much to our family.  From the bottom of our hearts, thank you all for being there.  We appreciate every bit of everything everyone has done for us.  We are truley blessed.

- Kent

Football Dreams

I have to share a story with you all about my son and his school. He has played football for many years now, since he was in seventh grade. He has the best heart of any young person I know and he shares that with his coaches who notice that he has a different attitude than most players. So, he is applying at colleges and is joining a program at his school called pals. He had to fill out some paper work and answer many questions about why and how he would make a difference and who he can count on and who his hero is. Well, I was reading this and he had some wonderful things to say about why he wanted to be a pal to a younger student and how he can be a mentor to them and so forth. My husband even thought it was funny when he wrote “I am a Great person”,  I am proud of him and glad he thinks that.  My son thinks he is Great and he is! We get to the part of who his hero is and I was quite surprised he had put me, his mom down as his hero and he said you know why she is my hero: because she has faced cancer and never had a down moment always smiled through it all. I was so humbled by what he had written, he knows how much he is loved. Don’t tell him but he is my hero too!

Washed by the water

Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts rising
Even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water

Daddy was a preacher
She was his wife
Just tryin to make the world a little better
You know, shine a light
People started talking
Trying to hear their own voice
Those people tried to accuse my father
Said he made the wrong choice
Though it might be painful
You know that time will always tell
Those people have long since gone
My father never failed

Even if the Earth crumbles under my feet
Even if the ones I love turn around and crucify me
I won’t never ever let you down
I won’t fall
I won’t fall
I won’t fall as long as you’re around me

Better Hands

It’s hard to stand on shifting sand
It’s hard to shine in the shadows of the night
You can’t be free if you don’t reach for help
You cant love if you dont love yourself

There is hope when my faith runs out
Cause I’m in better hands now

It’s like the sun is shining when the rain is pouring down
It’s like my soul is flying though my feet are on the ground
So take this heart of mine there’s no doubt
I’m in better hands now

I am strong all because of you
I stand in awe of every mountain that you move
Oh I am changed, yesterday is gone
I am safe from this moment on
[Better Hands Now lyrics on]

There’s no fear when the night comes ’round
I’m in better hands now

It’s like the sun is shining when the rain is pouring down
It’s like my soul is flying though my feet are on the ground
So take this heart of mine there’s no doubt
I’m in better hands now

It’s like the sun is shining when the rain is pouring down
It’s like my soul is flying though my feet are on the ground
Its like the world is silent though I know it isnt true
Its like the breath of jesus is right here in this room

So take this heart of mine there’s no doubt
I’m in better hands now
I’m in better hands now

Loretta’s Story

Well, let’s get right to it. I had been having headaches for quite awhile and we went to see a neurologist, actually my then doctor referred me to one in my area. He ordered a ct scan and found that I had large ventricles and fluid on my brain(Hydrocephalus), he then set me up to have a Spinal Tap {lumbar puncture}. I saw a neurosurgeon, who thought putting a shunt in could make me have a stroke. He decided I had the fluid for awhile and it wasn’t getting worse. So, they sent me on my way: I wasn’t exactly satisfied with the answers they gave me. So, I talked with a nurse that I worked with and she suggested I go and see someone else. The problem with that was the city we live in doesn’t allow second opinions on Neurologists, so she called in a favor and got me in.

I can say it was the best thing that ever happened to me, he was the first and only doctor that did an MRI after 4 CT scans and nothing showed up but the fluid. He asked if I had ever had an MRI and I said no and he ordered one. Now days I’m getting to be a pro at Mri’s, I’m claustrophobic so I’ve gotten use to having them. I’ll never forget when the nurse called and asked if I could come in right away, and then my husband called and said he was called to come with me: something in me knew it was not good news.

Well, I was right: it turned out to be a primary malignant brain tumor and I needed surgery. So, my neurologist sent me to the best place possible MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. I had my surgery and radiation to kill the cells: and have been cancer free for a year and a half now. I still go back every 4 months for another MRI, at first it was every two months and then every 3 months and so on.

My faith in God is what keeps me going, he has been so good to me and my family. You know Bro. Russ asked me one day while I was going through the treatments, what is the hardest part? Well, knowing how much I missed my kids when I had to be away from them and my husband. I told him my hair, that losing it was the hardest part. It seems vain, but I am really not a vain person, it wasn’t about the looks it was about the emotion, God had given me this beautiful long hair and now the cancer had taken it from me. I tried to keep it long as long as I could, but too much started falling out and I finally had to cut it, it is slowly growing back but not in the place I had the surgery.  I am now on my way to recovering,  I am so Grateful for the time God has given me to talk with people and share my story and listen to stories about people with cancer. God Bless everyone!

Something Better

One of my favorite songs is Alabaster Box , when I listen to it; it makes me so appreciate my life and where it’s going. The message it carries is so precious and uplifting.  God’s blessings are so true and real, I love when the song says “I’ve come to pour my praise on him”, and “you don’t know the cost of the oil in my Alabaster Box. I owe him all the praise for all he’s done for me. If you have a favorite song tell me about it, how it touches you and what it means to you.

Welcome to my Site!

So, you may be asking yourself, why Song Smile? Well, it’s like this: I am a brain cancer survivor for a year and a half now and that is something to smile about. When I was going through the radiation, there was a song that stayed on my heart and helped me through it all,  ” Who Am I?” by Casting Crowns. Of course, God has helped me through so much in my life and we will get to those stories as we go along,.  You will meet my husband, my kids and my extended family. I will share stories and pictures with you and, hopefully, you will share with me. This is something I have always long to do;  Have my own site to help brain cancer patients find faith and hope, and have someone to talk to. So, let’s get started!