Today is a Good Day for a Good Day!

They say God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.  As of late, I beg to differ.  Two years ago, I stopped saying “Things have to get better, RIGHT?” because quite frankly, every time that thought crossed my mind, another bad thing happened.

Cathy had reached her limit last Monday.  The barium from Monday morning’s scans made her incredibly nauseous on top of the excruciating pain she was already enduring.  I can’t fathom the pain of vomiting with a broken spine.  As brave and determined as she’s been through all this, she had had enough; she was done.  She was ready to get off this hellish ride and to be honest, I can’t blame her.  As heartbreaking as it was to hear, she’s endured so much horrific pain due to her crumbling spine on top of all the other things too sad and difficult to discuss on this page.

She told Kelly she didn’t want any more treatment and wanted to cancel the appointment with the new doctor from a pain institute in Grand Rapids.  Her daughter hauled her butt in anyway and it is at that moment, we witnessed God’s Grace in action.

The doctor argued with Cathy when she told him she was done.  He’s like “You are so not done!  I can help you!”  He asked his team to work after hours so she wouldn’t have to some back, then treated her right then and there.  She received 10 epidural injections into her spinal cord.  I can’t remember all the details but Kelly knows.  I think there were three parts to each injection.  She can best describe it as she was allowed to stay in, watch and give input during the procedure.  I know, my niece rocks.  I would have dropped to the floor.

The procedure was challenging and painful on her spine due to laying on a table.  Because the appointment was only supposed to be a consultation, both pain patches and pain meds had worn off by the time she was out of recovery and back home.  I’ve never seen her worse than I did that night.  It was so incredibly sad to see her so sick and in so much pain.

All her kids were at her condo that night.  Her son and daughter-in-law were finishing up the new walk-in shower that Pat tiled for her as their two boys quietly read nearby on the hallway floor.  Her daughter caught Cath up on all her meds and patches and within two hours, Cath was starting to come around.

She was still sick from the barium but for the first time since Thanksgiving, she started feeling some relief.  Finally, she was feeling well enough to get out.   I packed her up and took her to our new paint booth at the Wilson Avenue Changing Thymes in Grandville so we could bat some ideas around for our space.  We had to close our Jenison shop down so Changing Thymes was a blessing in disguise.  A lot of our customers are already finding us there and we were happy to see a few of them while we were there on Friday.

We’re now located at Changing Thymes on Wilson

We had a blast and she did fantastic, though I threatened to park her in a corner twice when she got sassy.  She solved the empty corner dilemma by scoping out some crates one of the other vendors was selling.  They were a perfect fit!

Here’s Cathy seeing our NEW LOCATION for the 1st time!

2900 Wilson, Grandville, MI 49418 ~ Vendor #4150

It was so nice to see Cath out doing something fun.  I kept thinking we’d have to fly out of there due to pain but she did awesome!

She even went into Costco with me when I picked up my temporary glasses.  THANK YOU COSTCO!  I can now see to read, work and safely drive!  Thank you Jesus!!  Another blessing this week!  She was funny though at Costco.  I was going to haul out her wheelchair from the back but she said “I think they have motorized carts here”.  Sure enough, she was right.  Before I shut the door to the truck, she had zipped off into the store.

Saturday, she went to the bowling alley to watch Kelly & her family bowl.  She said it was so much fun to watch the kids doing something fun.  It has been a good week and we are so very thankful for each and every hour of it.

Tomorrow I’m taking her in to meet with her oncologist.  Scans showed that the tumors in her spine, skull and lungs are significantly shrinking!  Yay!!  Ironically, they also showed some concerning things going on in her hips.  Dr. Santos is consulting with an orthopedic oncologist to figure out what’s going on and what can be done to help strengthen their fragile state.  We’ll learn more about this tomorrow but for now, he doesn’t want her getting out of bed.  Prayers are appreciated.

We’re very thankful for some pain relief.  We’re thankful that her existing tumors are shrinking. We are so thankful mom is finished with radiation; we are thankful that after three months I can finally see using the special (temporary) glasses.  We are also ecstatic that Cath was able to get out and experience some fun days.  We are thankful for the doctor at Javery Pain I ~ what a huge huge blessing!.  And I am thankful for the random act of kindness from complete stranger who go generously came into my life and repaired my mirror when the Ford dealership left me with no hope for replacement.

Thank you for your continued prayers.  This journey is long from over and we need appreciate every prayer along the way.  Thank you!!  Have a great week!  Shelly

Acts of kindness are still greatly appreciated.  Cath is home much of the time and can often use a hand with errands, light household chores… We’re doing our best to take care of those things for her but we have got to start earning some money for our own families as well so if there’s any small gesture of help anyone can offer, it would help immensely.  There are so many ways to help even if it’s a five minute task of making her a cup of coffee, throwing in a load of laundry or mopping the floor.  It helps and right now is a good time to pop in for a visit ~ as long as your healthy.  Small amounts of groceries and meals also help out a lot.  It’s the little things, some tortillas, chicken, cheese, fresh salsa and sour cream make for some killer quesadillas.  Cath isn’t eating much of anything these days.  Mom isn’t either but she’s trying; she knows she needs to put weight back on and is doing the best she can to get there.  The gift cards to Russ’s… have definitely been put to good use.  Thank you!  All these things are all priceless.  Meals have died down but the link is still active if you’re so inclined to help any of us out that way too: Take Them a Meal.

Cath should be on the right track with the right insurance now but there are still a lot of bills rolling and our income has substantially decreased with both Cathy and I being unable to work.  I’m heading in the right direction with my arm and have been able to keep the business afloat by cutting out a lot of unnecessary overhead, the assistance of many amazing friends, customers, volunteers and by the Grace of God and am forever grateful!

I did set up a GoFundMe Account to help Cath out during this time of need.  Donations for Cathy can be made by clicking this link: Cathy’s Go Fund Me Account for anyone who’s inclined to do so.

Shizzle Girls Need Your Prayers

Repost from December 1st – Hi Friends of Shizzle!  My name is Liz Kamyszek and I’m  writing on behalf of Shelly and Cathy!

They are going through a tough time right now.  Shelly just had another surgery on her shoulder and has a 6-month recovery ahead of her.  She can’t drive for two months and is relying on rides to and from work where friends are all pitching in to get the work done.

Cathy received some pretty tough news last week and could really use some encouragement.  If you’ve ever been inspired by the Shizzle Girls, consider paying it forward by mailing Cathy a funny or inspirational card.  Mail to:  Cathy Blood, 696 Amber Wood Dr., Byron Center, MI  49315.  

They will share more details on whats happening later on this week.  Shelly started a Caring Bridge site for Cathy last night.  If you’re  interested in getting updates on Cathy’s progress or leaving her comments, you can do so visit:

I know they are getting tons of emails,  texts, messages… and I want you to know that it is very hard (or impossible) for them to respond at this time.   Shell’s sling has her arm totally immobilized, so even texting is difficult and quite painful.   She’s doing it anyway but it’s taking a toll.

It is comforting for them to hear from you, I just wanted you to know that they most likely will not be able to respond to each individual message.  If you would like to send well wishes or help in the way of a greeting card or a gift card, please look up this link on “Take Them a Meal”.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support for these lovely sisters (and their Mom)!!! :

Finding my way back with paint therapy

Finding my way back

For the first time in over a year, I’m thrilled to be creating again.  I lost my passion for painting this past year between the divorce, my diagnosis of cancer, major surgery, long recovery and almost losing our mom to an unexpected heart block.  

 After spending months in physical therapy and basic survival mode, I’m finally climbing out of the haze.  The fog is clearing and I can see hope for a better tomorrow.  Painting furniture is therapeutic, having lost that lust was like losing part of my inner soul and I’m so thankful it’s starting to come back.


I tried the Frenchic for the first time when I returned to work after surgery.  Cathy had raved about it for months and it didn’t take long for me to understand why.  Frenchic is absolutely dreamy and just what I needed to spark my passion for painting again.  0111

Continue reading “Finding my way back with paint therapy”

The Cancer is Gone, My Arm has been Rebuilt, now the Long Road to Recovery

Words cannot express the overwhelming gratitude I have for all the friends and family who’ve come along side the girls and I since I was diagnosed with cancer.  From my primary doctor, Kristi Kern, to my orthopedic oncology surgeon, Dr. Joel Post, I’ve had nothing but exceptional care.

Chondrosarcoma is an extremely rare form of bone cancer.  Most oncologists will NOT experience a case of it in their entire career.  Because of its rare qualities, it often gets missed until it’s in a more advanced stage.  God was watching over me that day because Dr. Kern spotted my tumor within minutes of my walking into her office.  She didn’t know exactly what we were in store for, but she immediately ordered MRIs for my arm and shoulder and a CT scan for my chest.  Chondrosarcoma typically doesn’t spread but if it does, it typically will metastasize to the lungs.

I went in complaining of pain in my shoulder-blade and 20 minutes later she discovered the tumor in my bone.

The heartfelt prayer by my close friend Kami meant the world to me the morning we arrived at the Lemmon-Holton Cancer Pavilion in Grand Rapids.  She’s dealt with the ultimate sacrifice of burying her own child so to have her stand along side me and give so effortlessly is a true Godsend.

The list of friends who’ve come along our side is endless from the Veldhouse ohana who so graciously mowed our lawn to the Curtis / Kok / Koster & Kosters families who showed up as the “Molly Maid” team to clean the house.  Alicia and Sue who washed our windows, Laurie Popma who has been driving Kekai back from practice and meets on a daily basis.  We’ve had meals dropped off from people at church and endless prayer warriors praying us through.  My mom, sister and daughters continue to fill in the gaps with in every other way and I also have friends helping me with everything from paperwork to coordinating other types of help we’ll need as the leaves begin to drop…  Thank you!!!

It’s been a long, challenging year of unwelcome changes here at the Andrade house.  My daughters and I took a pretty good hit early this year and we’ve worked hard to push through the pain and disappointment that this betrayal continues to bring to our  family.

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right?  Well, it must be true because when the doctor called to tell me I had a very rare form of bone cancer, it barely phased me.  My having cancer pales in comparison to hearing the gut wrenching pain that my daughter’s going through after having her heart-broken by a man she once called dad.  There’s nothing worse than seeing your kids hurt and it’s going to take the Grace of God for me to forgive him for his poor choices.


Cathy shot this video shortly after they did the nerve block.  It didn’t take long for my arm to go completely numb at which point she took full advantage to shoot a video.  I must have had some kind of happy juice too at this point.   I remember everything suddenly made me giggle, especially that goofy paper hospital gown that pumped hot air ~ all around me to keep my body at a warmer temperature.

Almost two weeks out of surgery now. I’m slowly improving but am still in a lot of pain. It makes sense when you consider how much of my bone had to be removed from my arm. Taking pain meds every two hours 24/7 has zapped my energy. It’s almost impossible to get any real zzzz’s when I can’t sleep longer than two hours at any given stretch. To top it off, the constipation these stupid drugs cause is horrific. I’m not kidding! I’m weaning off one of the pain meds this week but it’s been a challenge. Basically, the past two weeks have been hell. I do my best to put a smile on for everyone to hide my pain and keep praying for the best. I have the most incredible friends and family standing by my side and helping with everything the girls and I need. The kids themselves had been such a God send; such troopers! We are incredibly blessed by all of you!! Monday morning (9/28) I find out if any higher grade of cancer was found during the thorough pathology report so prayers for a great outcome are definitely appreciated on that. That’s that last scary immediate hurdle. I should be able to start physical therapy at some point down the road so I can begin my road to recovery. I will however have to get scans every three months for the rest of my life. Pray that I’ll find the means to do so and that they continue to come back clean. .

Yes, this is my mom and sister making fun of me… and below are a few of the x-ray shots of my new arm.  Just call me bionic or a super hero or something…

chondrosarcoma shelly andrade right humerus 1 chondrosarcoma shelly andrade right humerus 2 chondrosarcoma shelly andrade right humerus 3

That’s all for now.  Cathy is the smarty pants who taped Mc Dreamy to my board.  Of course all the surgeons, oncologists, anesthesiologist, nurses, techs… saw it but there was nothing I could do.  The nurse put an alarm on my bed so I couldn’t escape without their help.  Yes, I was busted the first night trying to run to the bathroom, IV’s, drainage tubes… intact because I needed to puke and the nurse call button was on the floor.  What’s a girl to do?

chondrosarcoma shelly andrade right humerus 5

By the way, the cool sox I’m wearing are compliments of my friend Ann Schneider from The Front Porch in Waukesha, WI.  She has the coolest sox and rumor has it (they keep the naughty ones behind the counter 🙂 just sayin!)

Signing off for now.  It took me a week and a half to get this written.  Visit out Facebook Page ShizzleLLC for more frequent updates and hopefully, I’ll one day be able to paint again.  For now, I’m just thankful to be alive.

chondrosarcoma shelly andrade right humerus 6

chondrosarcoma shelly andrade right humerus 8

chondrosarcoma shelly andrade right humerus 9

chondrosarcoma shelly andrade right humerus 10

A hui hou ~ Shelly

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Thank you for your Prayers…

Our Jenison Shizzle Shop will be closed Wednesday, August 19 as my family and I meet a team of doctors at Spectrum Health’s Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion.Shizzle Design Free Paint Demo Best classes Largest selection of chalk clay paints in grand rapids michigan

At this point, I’m not sure what the future holds for me.  They haven’t determined yet if the large bony lesion inside my humerus is malignant or not.  My primary referred me to The Soft Tissue Mass & Sarcoma Multi-Specialty Team at Spectrum Hospital and that’s scary enough.

I’ve had several tests so far including X-rays of my shoulder, which is where I’ve experienced so much pain.  Even though they were imaging my shoulder, part of my arm ended up on the picture.  That’s how they discovered the lesion in the first place.  

I’ve also had an MRI w/ contrast  of my arm followed by a CT scan of my chest.   Sarcoma is prone to going to the lungs.  My lungs feel good right now.  I’m very aware of my breathing as I’ve had lots of problems in the past, but they seem good now.  

All results, including the CT of my chest done yesterday, should be in by the time we meet Wednesday morning (8/19/15).

The team of several oncology specialists, radiologists, a nurse advocate all work together to provide the best possible care.  They’ll explain what they’re thinking and then a biopsy will most likely be ordered.  From what I’ve read, it can be very difficult to tell if this type of tumor is cancer or not without actually getting a piece of it.

I am so very thankful for the outpouring of support and prayers coming in from so many of you the past several months.  

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It’s been a tough year.  My marriage has been fallen apart and the girls and I are doing everything we can to heal from it.  The process of divorce, along with all the emotional and additional expenses are taking a toll.  Guess God thought we could endure a little bit more.  Two major repairs on my truck and now this?  Cancer ~ Seriously?  




Please pray for our daughters!  They’ve been through so much this year already!


Thanks again for all your love and support!!

The best place right now to follow daily updates on our furniture, paint products & my current health condition is on our Shizzle Design Facebook Page

A hui hou ~ Shelly

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Did you know…

  • It’s just the two of us:  My sister and I own and operate Shizzle Design which originated in my garage.  We have and will continue to work hard providing the best customer service.
  • We specialize in painting furniture and are truly humbled to be known as a leader in the world of chalk and clay paints.  Stop in for paint and we’ll offer you honest and knowledgeable
  • We are blessed to teach people from all over the U.S.  Join us for a super fun hands-on chalk and clay paint workshop in a casual & fun atmosphere.  For a list of current classes, click here.
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  • Visit our Pinterest Page for our portfolio & more inspiration here.
  • Our Painted Furniture is offered at: Shizzle Design Paint Studio 2018 Chicago Dr., Jenison, MI 49428 AND Not So Shabby at 2975 West Shore Drive in Holland, Michigan.
  • Shop Paint:  Shop our large inventory of chalk and clay paint and supplies on our Online Shizzle Shop and at all three of our West Michigan LOCATIONS.




Merry Christmas!

My sister Cathy and I would like to wish each of you a very

Merry Christmas!

Shizzle Design West Michigan Expo Featured Speaker Painted Furniture chalk clay paint retailer supplies workshops 5

May you and your family be

blessed with

the most incredible joy

surrounded by

the most amazing friends,

enjoy the

happiest of times and

create treasured memories

that will last a lifetime!

I’m also feeling for and lifting up everyone who’s struggling with their health or has lost someone near and dear to them. May you all be surrounded with God’s amazing Grace this season.

Merry Christmas!! 

“Quiet Place” Beach Table

I’ve been buried lately in an endless mountain of paperwork.  Can I just say that getting everything ready for your accountant is pain in the butt when you’re self employed with a painting business?  I can’t stand paperwork, so for me, this is torture.
“Lets go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest a while”  Mark 6:31

Needless to say, I haven’t had much time to rest or paint lately but I have a very talented friend who has started hand painting pieces exclusively for Shizzle Design.

Meet Local Artist ~ Laurie Miller!
(photo coming soon)
She acquired the most amazing talent for painting recently which seems to have come out of nowhere.  I like to joke with her that she must have been struck with lightening.  She just laughs but has no idea why she can suddenly paint these beautiful images with no previous experience or training.  It must be a God given talent that she’s suddenly tapped into, we don’t know ~ but it’s amazing none the less.

Laurie is the sweetest, most humble person you’ll ever meet and she just laughs nonchalantly when I compliment her incredible talent.

Laurie painted this beautiful antique side table which she named ~ Quiet Place.
This painting was inspired by Mark 6:31 where Jesus said “Lets go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest a while”

Wow!  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I can’t think of many more relaxing places than a comfy chair on the beach.

The fresh air, sunshine and waves crashing onto shore sooth my soul like magic.

Laurie painted the legs in a combination of CeCe Calwell’s Blue Montana Sky and Omaha Ochre accenting it with Destin Gulf Green.

It is so pretty.  It goes perfectly in the beach house I’ve been dreaming about all my life ~ some day, some day.

This one of a kind table is headed to the Shizzle Design booth in Not So Shabby in Holland, Michigan.

To check out the availability of this piece, click here.

Thanks Laurie!!  YOU rock!!

Linking up at these great parties:

Domestically Speaking – The Power of Paint Party
The Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday
Miss Mustardseed – Furniture Feature Friday
Redoux – Friday Link Up Party
Homespun Happenings – Rustic Restorations Weekend
Funky Junk Interiors – Saturday Night Special
Silver Pennies – Silver Pennies Sundays
Knick of Time Interiors – Knick of Time Tuesday

a hui hou!


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