One gracious blessing after another!

“From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.”  John 1:16 (NLT)

To be completely raw and honest, one of the most difficult parts of this journey for me to anticipate is the hair loss.  I fear not being attractive to my husband.  I fear losing my femininity (especially considering a likely mastectomy in the future also).  I fear the looks and stares as hair loss just screams “CANCER” anywhere I go.  It will be a constant reminder of my sickness each time I get a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  When I think of this part of the journey to come, my eyes fill with tears  (as they are now even as I’m typing this).   I KNOW in my head that hair is no big deal. It’s just hair for goodness sakes!  But in my heart it still feels like a big deal.  I want to be honest and share the hard parts of this journey with you all as well.

I’ve talked with the Lord a lot about this heart struggle with my hair.  And, as He does, He gently meets me where I am and reminds me that He’s in this part of the journey, too.  So often when I encounter something hard, I just want Him to take it away; remove it from me.  But more times than not, instead of navigating me AROUND the Hard, God lavishes His grace, and carries me THROUGH the hard.  It’s not the easier way, but it’s the sweeter way.  As I go through the hard I can experience His grace and provision.  He draws me nearer to Himself and there is more depth to my heart-understanding of who God is.

That brings me to how I’ve seen His grace abound this week.

I wanted to get one last family photo session with my long hair, since it will be a very long while before my hair is this long again.  My very special friend Sarah Cain came over to do my hair and makeup.  She said she just wanted me to feel beautiful.  And my friend Becky Williamson came down from Fort Mill to photograph our family.  We took pictures in and around our home and neighborhood, and we had lots of laughs  (and maybe a tantrum or two from a certain tired three year old!) 🙂  I am so excited to see the pictures!



Another fun part of the week was on Wednesday when my friends hosted a “hair party” for me!  When facing hair loss, it is best to cut your hair short prior to starting chemo.  I knew this would be a hard day for me, not necessarily because of the hair cut, but because of what the hair cut represented: the first step on the way to losing all of my hair.  My sweet friends wanted to turn it into a celebration of friendship, and my friends Amanda, Stefini and Brooke even decided to get their hair cut too to support me.  Seriously, I’m blown away by their love.

Sarah was an absolute blessing because she stayed late and cut all of our hair! AND she’s very pregnant, and I’m sure was extrememly tired after working all day, but so graciously stayed till 9:30 cutting our hair. We got Zoe’s to eat (my favorite) and we shared lots of laughter.  It was a night I will always remember.

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the ‘before’ shot – with our long hair

I’m just in awe of how God weaves our stories with one another.  I met Sarah about eight months ago through a “Divine Appointment”.  I shared a testimony at Focus about my “divine appointment at a hair appointment”.  I could do a whole entire post on this girl and how our lives have been intertwined in just 8 short months!

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the “after” with dear friend Sarah (due end of June!)

I have to give a huge THANK YOU to this dear friend, Amanda.  We met 11 years ago through Maria Owens who set up a “friend date”.   I walked with her through a dark valley of suffering in 2014.  It was a joy for me to encourage her and be a first hand witness to God’s grace through trial.  In God’s perfect plan, much healing in her life has taken place, and now she is strong and ready to help ME fight with joy!  Amanda loves fierce and loyal, and I could write for days on all that she means to me.  She’s taking the lead on my care team, so if you offer to help our family (which is so appreciated!) I will be sending you to her! I love you Amanda!


last shot of “Sweet & Spicy” before our hair cuts (that’s what we call ourselves)

And last but CERTAINLY not least, another glimmer of grace in this journey is that I have gotten to talk with my sister more! The Lord took her family to Houston at the end of last year, so it’s been difficult to be away from her during this time.  But, God’s love and a sister’s love spans beyond miles.  God laid it on my heart this week to begin praying and journalling through the Psalms as I go through treatments.  There are 150 Psalms, so with doing one a day that will get me right around the time my treatments will be over.  I asked my sister and we are doing this together, which is so exciting to me because we’ve never been able to be in a bible study together.  But now through texting and phone calls we can share time together in God’s word!  What a blessing!

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sisters with babies….2010

Can’t you SEE all the glimmers of grace! His grace abounds!  I could write so many more, from the gifts, to the meals, to the CUPCAKES (yum) to the times of prayer to the sweet family times.  His grace abounds.



All went well with the echocardiogram, the results won’t be available for 3 days but I have no reason to believe that there is anything of concern.  This was just to get a baseline on my heart function before starting chemo.

My port surgery was this morning (Thursday 5/7).  Dr. Tucker inserted a port on the left side of my chest.  Everything went well and there have been no complications!  The pain has been a little more than I expected but I’m staying on top of it with pain meds.  My parents graciously offered to watch the children overnight tonight so I can recover.  I miss them!

My first chemo treatment will be next WEDNESDAY, 5/12 at 8am.  It will likely last until 4pm.  They wanted me to come in on Tuesday, but Samuel & Selah’s preschool graduation is that day, and no way I’m missing that!


  1. Marsha Ward says

    Your new hair cut is just precious, as are you!!! What sweet friends you have! You will have lots of support through this trial and I will always be here for you. Love you sweet girl!!

  2. julie beasley says

    You look gorgeous…shorter hair makes you more radiant than ever…this light you hold from your Father cannot be diminished by chemo or any trial. Trust me when I tell you that your husband will love you with more depth and devotion than you can imagine. You are loved by many and surrounded with a heavenly Host of Angels as we cry out in your behalf.

  3. Audrey Andrieski says

    Brooke, I have been thinking about you but God is great! You caught the cancer at an early stage. He will wrap you in his love. I will be saying a rosary a day for you and your family. I can’t imagine what you are going through but will pray for strength and healing.

  4. Linnea Scott says

    I have enjoyed reading your blog. You are a beautiful lady inside and out!

  5. Susan Bowers says

    Praying for you daily! Thank you for sharing this journey with us. You will beat this sooner than you think:) Love and Hugs to you and your sweet family.

  6. Erin Carroll says

    What precious friends and family you have. The body of Christ at work is a beautiful thing to watch and I love that you are so willing to share all the parts of this story. I’m continuing to pray for the lives that you will touch through this trial, and of course for your complete healing. We prayed for you at our Shandon Women’s Ministry meeting last night and I could feel the spirit of The Lord in that room. I can’t wait to see your pictures! You’re beautiful, Brooke. With long hair, short hair, and even without hair I know you’ll be that beautiful girl we all love!

  7. Merrette Dowdell says

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us Brooke! I feel blessed to read your story of strength and brutal honesty. I know Selah, Samuel and Hannah will be rewarded to watch a woman with your strength and character battle this trial.

    “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
    Isaiah 40:28-31

  8. Erin m demo says

    Brooke– I LOVE hearing all of the parts of your journey! I would love to help from afar so PLEASE share my email address with Amanda so I can be plugged in.
    You remain in my thoughts and prayers



  9. I am an ovarian cancer survivor. The hair loss can be fun. I decided what color and style I wanted to be. The American Cancer Society will give you one free wig. I bought two others from a web site that I was given at SCOA in their packet of materials. I also wore a lot of scarves. You can use this time to have any style hair you want. When it started falling out in clumps, I had it cut to 1/2 inch so that I wouldn’t have to watch it every day. Then I just wore wigs. After the trauma of the hair cut. I moved on to other worries. I have been cancer free for 3 1/2 years. Praise the LORD.
    When it was all over, I gave my wigs to other cancer patients who could not afford wigs.

  10. Heather says

    I didn’t know you were getting a hair cut on Wednesday, but coincidentally I got mine cut that day too! I love your new “do” but your beauty shines best from the inside. It is more radiant than any hairstyle! I’ll be walking at Relay for Life for you tonight. Hugs!

  11. When I read your post, this verse from Luke 12:7 came to mind. “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. ” The Lord is so god that He too cares for each hair on your head. As they grow in and as they disappear during treatment Praying that as you lose each hair and as each hair regrows back in, you will be reminded that He is in that too. Praying for continued glimpses of Him daily. Thank you for sharing all parts of your experience. I know it already is helping others to know Him more. Love you!!

  12. Dovie Turner says

    Praying for you and love your haircut.

  13. Jen Clary says

    Your hair cut is beautiful! I’ve been praying and will continue to do so! Please let us know how we can help-we will in any way we can. Enjoy that graduation! Such a sweet time!

  14. Susan Stephens says

    I am a 20 year survivor with breast cancer. Just know that I will be praying for you during this time. I had two mastectomies with chemo in between. We opted for the second one a year after the first, with reconstruction of both. The Lord carried us through and helped us one day at a time, sometimes one minute at a time. We realized through it all that in everything we face in life we can be used of Him. We saw such opportunities to encourage others and while doing it, it encouraged us. Thank you for sharing. I will be praying!

  15. Kathy Powell says

    Love the hair!!! I think the short hair really looks fantastic on you! I want mine cut like that too!!

  16. Cindy lavender says

    precious girl. You write so well. I’m much older than yu, but remember all too well those feelings about my hair, my husband…the fear. You will find that you a beautiful without hair! My husband loved my bald head. He loves me. When it was all gone, it was a relief in an odd way. The anticipation is the worst.
    I’m going to request friend on Facebook to follow you and pray with you through your journey. Feel free to contact me if I can be of any help.
    My daughter said you helped in her photography class…does that sound familiar?
    I can’t remember if I mentioned to you the miracles the happen. They will! Be ready and accept them.
    Praying without ceasing!
    Cindy lavender

  17. Janet Hubbell says

    Having always had an insatiable desire to know “how things work”, I approached my first echocardiogram with some nervousness of the unknown (will it hurt?), but mostly with curiosity.

    What I didn’t expect was the overwhelming sense of amazement. I couldn’t take my fascinated eyes off the screen as I watched images of that incredible God given/ life giving part of my body. My own personal heart had been unceasingly “lub-dubin” for 60 years! Sixty years, over and over, never stopping,. Without any intention on our part, our hearts just “do their thing”.
    My only possible response was an awed, totally inadequate “Thank You LORD.
    Praying you will continue to experience His Presence on this journey.