I feel like an update is long overdue.  Where I’m at including struggles and blessings, what I’ve been up to, where I am headed.
How I’m feeling/everyday life
With the supports I have in place (our nanny 4 days a week and my mother in law helping out) I’m doing very well.  What this means is that although my energy is more limited than in the past, I am at least able to manage when and how I want to use my energy.  I have to go to bed right after the kids at least a couple nights of the week and often take a rest during the day; but this allows me the energy I need to invest in what matters most to me. 
I continue to find multi-tasking very challenging.  I do well when I focus on one task at a time.  I end up “short-circuiting” if I am pulled in more than one direction.  This can be frustrating at times; but also with an awareness of it I can prepare better to prevent system overload.
I can handle and enjoy a couple hours of more intense energy output (either physical or mental/noise); but then I need a rest.  These activities include things such as watching my kids, preparing/organizing for an outing, going for a run, being in an environment with lots of noise (such as family gatherings with adult conversation and kid noise in the background or the church lobby with the buzz of conversations before and after church.)  Noise now factors in to what makes me tired as does multitasking/organizing where the mind needs to be aware of multiple requirements.  (In fact I found it interesting how tiring it felt to travel by myself to Calgaryby airplane in fall.  I’ve traveled quite a bit and this was a very simple route I’ve taken numerous times; but being completely responsible for myself and the buzz of all the people in the airport was tiring.  I was glad that I’m a relatively well-seasoned traveler so I was able to travel solo even though its taxing and mentally demanding.) 
My Christmas letter noted the specifics of what I’ve been up to.  The day in/ day out is variable but has a rhythm focused on getting my daughter to and from school and making sure I figure out something to feed my family.  If I have no appointments and don’t need a rest on the days my nanny is at our house, I often spend time at the library.  Slowly I’m getting closer and closer to completing the first draft of my novel.  Thursdays, I still try to make a retreat “day” (days are realistically only from 10AM until 2PMwhen I go pick up my daughter).  Here I work on my legacy writing.  I have only 5 or 6 letters left to write to my children for each year through adulthood.  “after school” I typically work on errands, chores, or school reading exercises for Rayna, since after supper my energy is usually zapped (I am very much enjoying facilitating teaching Rayna to read- she gets frustrated, but always wants to try; also I just finished reading her the youth version of the book I am Malala.  This was delightful – we were both inspired and it opened Rayna up to part of the rest of the world as well as to how reading can “take” you anywhere.)
I have my next MRI coming up this week (results to follow at the end of next week).  Awaiting these results has always been nerve-racking.  I’m currently experiencing mild headaches (probably tension headaches from typing/tending to small kids!) which just gets my mind going. (Also I noticed a small hard bump on my head about 3 weeks ago that may very likely be just from me bumping my head — the girls have bunkbeds and I bang my head way too often tucking Alli in L—- but it’s ‘something’ that my mind may use to deceive me into thinking negatively.
All this to say, I continue to be optimistic about my results and I ask you to pray with me that God’s perfect love would drive out fear.  That I would hold loosely to what the results will be and trust God.  I rest in HOPE.  My friend shared a devotional with me today that quoted:
 Romans 5:5 “Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given us”
Pray with me for miraculous results.
Hope in God does not disappoint.  So I am all-in hoping for the best; trusting God no matter what.
My goals for the upcoming months and year are as follows:
       Complete my first draft of my novel
       Begin and eventually complete writing out my story
       Keep blogging, living real life like an open-book
       Potentially explore speaking opportunities
And on my heart is a desire to bless the women of Chilliwack.  (The following isn’t completely clear to me so bear with me if it isn’t completely clear to you either!) I’ve received so much from so many people to help me in my challenges – from cosmetics through the cancer center and a beautiful gift basket for moms with cancer to gifts from personal friends, a jewelry party in my honor, etc. etc.  I needed the extra HOPE that these gifts helped to create; BUT SO DO SO MANY WOMEN IN MY CITY who are struggling in hopelessness of a variety of capacities (financial struggles, social struggles, mental health struggles, wounds of abuse, or like me crippling health struggles)!!!  As a pharmacist at Walmart I was privileged to meet people struggling in many of these capacities —- so I know first hand the need to bless and breathe hope into people in this city.  (My heart just happens to bend particularly to women.)
My vision is to champion sharing our stories to learn from one another and grow in love for one another.
My mission (though its still developing) is to champion bringing HOPE to Chilliwack women in ‘hopeless’ situations.
I will never forget the first breath of real hope I received after my diagnosis.  It was from my wonderful colleague who told me Glioblastoma survivor stories and told me I could be one of them.  Her words opened up a world of HOPE to me.  Similarly, I want to breathe hope into other women’s lives.
I’m not sure exactly what this will practically look like; but I have a dear friend of mine prepared to partner with me and hopefully launch something near the end of the year.  We have ideas and are excited to see how they will take shape.  I’ve become somewhat used to the fact that things happen slowly in my life; but I am excited for small steps toward this.
Partnership Opportunities
I invite you to continue to partner with me by reading my blog and sharing it and by praying.  My prayer requests are:
–Praise to our great God for His faithfulness and the blessings He has poured out on my family this past year.
            — **Miraculous MRI results next week**
            — **Peace as I wait for my MRI results**
            –wisdom and energy for my friend and myself to develop a beautiful and practical way to bless women in Chilliwack.
            — I have an online twin mom friend (her twins are a bit younger than mine) with cancer named Charlene, who just found out, rather shockingly, that her cancer spread.  Please pray for her and her family (they love Jesus too), for healing, wisdom, hope and peace. 
Now this next “partnership opportunity” I add humbly and admittedly sheepishly.  I feel an explanation is required, sorry it’s lengthy. The partnership opportunity is MEALS/FOOD
–cooking has always been a challenge for me, it’s simply something I do not enjoy (except for eating the home cooked meal!).  Plus as I mentioned multi tasking has become much more challenging for me, it just doesn’t seem to work! —and cooking requires a lot of multi-tasking! (I’m sure it’s partially”mom brain” but I also believe there’s a brain injury component from all my brain has had to deal with.)
All this to say, we are coping well with the blessed help of our nanny and my mother-in-law; but putting food on the table is still my greatest daily stressor.

So I present this opportunity IF and only IF (all of the below):

1) cooking is something you actually like to do
2) you desire to support me and partner with me in accomplishing my goals 
3) you have a surplus of energy
4) the words that I write are ministering to you &/or you also have a heart for the things that I do and am striving to promote &/or you just want a practical way to support/bless our family.
NOTE- this is not an urgent request and really 1 meal a week or so is all it would take to really feel my load lightened. (Message me for arrangements if you’d like to partner with me in this way or email me at cheryl.rostek@gmail.com)
And from the bottom of my heart – Thank you for loving me and my family and supporting us.  Finding and maintaining HOPE is truly a community endeavor.
Much love,