Friday, August 31, 2012

A Full Heart

I've been doing very well recently (thinking if my mental state). Right now I feel at peace.

I've been making an extra effort to feel God's spirit in my life. It is amazing that when we just put a little bit of effort in, our Heavenly Father blesses us with unmeasurable blessings. Both to our mind and to our heart.

I am still going to do more. Read more from the scriptures, get on my knees more...but I love the hope in my heart. I'm so grateful for it.

Not that the tears have dried up, or that our worries have disappeared...but I feel lifted up. A miracle in my heart.

And the amazing thing is, I know there is more for me to learn and experience.

Just wanted to share my full heart.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

End of The Day

I am so tired. I need sleep!!! I hope that's all I need...

I'm feeling unsettled because my back is still very sore (I promise I tried to take it easy today). It is a very strange, painful, stiff feeling.

And... eyesight is acting screwy right now. Not good, in that I need to drive myself to radiation in the morning. I like being able to see! I am having to close one eye in order to focus on typing. My vision is getting "crossed" again. I hope this isn't a bad sign.

Hopefully a good night's rest is all I need.

Prayer. I need to talk with my Creator, and after that I hope to have a good night.

(This is a very "hopeful" post...haha! I just noticed that I typed it 3 times in about 4 thoughts.)

A Necessary Evil: Steroids...A Necessary Blessing: Friends

I woke up at 2:45 am. *sigh*

I do take comfort that I am in  my own bed...but I am jealous of Jess as he rubs it in my face by  sleeping so peacefully next to me. Show off. 

I am on Decadron (Dexamethasone). It has been a blessing. It has taken the swelling down in my brain enough to where my vision is near normal now and I don't really have headaches, but as with any medication, the side effects are no fun. I've had to be on this drug before when the last tumor was crushing my spine, so I now it all too well.

The one bugging right now is that it isn't letting me sleep (obviously). Plus it upsets my stomach. 

Want more info? It's fun stuff. Lol. Decadron (Dexamethasone Oral) 

What I mostly struggle with is insomnia. upset stomach (yet increased appetite...figure that one out), edema (swelling of my body), weight gain, and over all body soreness...oh...and I almost forgot my favorite one...facial hair. Ugh!!!

So if I get a little chubby and am sporting a few sprouts in my chin, hold back the chuckles.   OK?

Of course they gave me Restoril (Temazepam) to sleep, but I'm trying to avoid another medication if at all possible. I'm kind of stubborn like that.

To add to the fun of tonight too, my back is sore. Hurts to do any bending in my lumbar spine because of the Spinal Tap (Lumbar Puncture)  procedure I had done yesterday. I took some Tylenol, but that's as much as I'll take. Having to get off of prescription pain meds was extremely hard last time, and I don't want to feel those awful withdrawals again! 

The procedure itself went well and my Dr was very skilled. (An answer to my prayer right there!) I did cry...of course...but I didn't have to be alone. 

While I had great friends (and husband) helping me with the necessities of running my one was lined up to be with ME! (Again I'm exposing how needy I am.) Then a hospital angel flew to my side. 

Yay Brandi! Bless her sweet heart for driving the hour just to come and hold my hand...then "girl talk" for an hour afterwards to keep my mind off of the crappy stuff. 

We met as neighbors, I recruited her mad skills as my hairdresser, we've moved twice and never lost contact. She's helped me through al the emotional trauma that a woman goes through when she finds herself having to be bald. Her husband even raffled off his Harley Davidson Motorcycle to help us pay some medical bills...who does that??? 

Amazing people and a blessing in our lives.

Now she is an up-and-coming tattoo model and has an idea to use her "pretty girl" influence, and my "pity girl" pull (I call it that, she doesn't) to try and help us with more of our mega costs. Her and her husband really have hearts of gold.

So my heart was happy.

Shortly after she left, Jess came by to to take me home! The hour ride in the back of the car (laying down) wasn't even bad. I think the joy of going home just took over. I wasn't disappointed at all once I was reunited with the kids. They were so glad to see me! Especially Lily...she would't leave my side. *special*

So that's where I'm at. 

This has taken me forever to type because I am laying on my side, typing with one hand. Necessary to keep my back straight. Now it's almost time to get up and Jess left for work an hour ago...oh well. Once I get the kids off to school I can rest.

Wish me luck on m first day trying to be a mom!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Face Twin

The brain my creepy face twin.

(Alright. Putting my vanity aside and posting this pic even though it is extremely unflattering.)

First they warmed this piece of plastic. Mind you that it had no shape and was completely flat. Once it is warmed, they press it hard onto your face while you lay on a not-so-comfy table and you have to wait for the plastic to harden. If you look closely at the pic you can see the indents in my forehead and cheeks from the mold.

They press hot plastic into your face and secure it to the table!

So you are laying there, feeling like you are being suffocated, while you head is bolted to a table. It was a crazy feeling. I don't recommend this if you are even a little claustrophobic.

Then once the mold is dry, they keep you down and pass you through the scanning machine a few times to take some pics of the old noggin. They do this to make sure you are in the same position each time and that the radiation is going exactly where it needs to go.

This whole time I am trying to stay calm and breathe!

It was overall painless...just no fun. Boy was I glad when they peeled it off of my face.

Now they are able to start radiation tomorrow.

Be Brave...Easier Said Than Done

I found this picture and it fits perfectly how I feel this morning. I have part of me "shut down", so to speak, and yet I am forced to keep one eye open. I need to see and understand what lies ahead, but so much of it is unknown.

 If I think about the unknown too much I am uncontrollably emotional. So I just feel like I can only peak through my fingers and know one thing at  time. Handle one thing at a time. What scares me most is my anger. Through all of this I have never felt this before. 

Fear, determination, sadness, confusion...all familiar feelings. But I am actually angry

I think it is being angry that scares me the most. I have a hard time feeling close to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and even (sadly) to think a prayer for the last few days. I thought I had faith. I actually know I do...somewhere...but it is buried I guess. I'm ashamed to admit it, but it's just a huge struggle right now. I feel a bit scared and uncomfortable even sharing these personal feelings.

I think in the eternal perspective of things I'm probably acting like a spoiled child. A child who keeps asking for something, and when she doesn't get exactly what she wants, how she wants it, she throws a tantrum. Maybe even giving her parents the silent treatment for a while. That's how mature I feel.

Again, as I write, I start to think clearly. You are literally reading things as they come to my mind. (Proof to me that I haven't been forgotten by our God, as he is constantly forgiving me for my shortcomings. Even in this moment he is enlightening my mind.)

I have been waiting to feel comforted. To feel like everything is going to be ok. I guess I just wanted it to fall out of the sky and into my heart. No effort required.'s not working like that. I am committing right now to our Father in Heaven, and myself, that instead of waiting to feel my strength of faith again, I will fight for it.

I will seek it out. Study and pray. Even if it feels hard. know...I have felt like this long ago. It is coming back to me now...

When I was struggling through my teen years I made decisions and choices that pulled me away from the spirit of God. I felt separated and distant. Similar to how I feel now. Not that this cancer stuff is anything due to bad choices of mine, but I can't help but notice how similar I feel.

When I was struggling with repenting back then, my Bishop told me that Satan was working hard on me. Trying to place my guilt as a wedge between me and the Lord. He told me that I had to push past it and know that Heavenly Father wanted to hear from me and help me, despite how I felt inside.

I remember the struggle as I tried to draw near to him., but felt so distant. 

Now I feel like Satan is trying to use my anger as a similar wedge.

I must fight it.

I overcame before and I will do it again. Seeking out His word and drawing on the strength of Christ's atonement. I will stop letting myself be tossed in the wind, and instead reach for the Iron Rod that will lead my heart back to Him.

Being brave and full of faith is easier said than done...but I know it will be well worth the work.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I'm Not Home :(

It has taken me a while to come to a place that I am able to blog...but I am better now. I just really had my heart set on the first plan. Then when that plan was changed (in my fragile emotional state) it took me a while to come to grips with things. 

So here is what's going on.

Like the title says, I was not able to go home today like I had wanted. It seriously broke my heart. I was looking forward to tucking my kids in and being held in my husbands arms. But three of my doctors are concerned about how many times this situation has recurred and want to do an extra test tomorrow. They are going to go into my spine and get a sample of my spinal fluid to look for anything off or cancer related there. If it is there, then it will add further treatment to my plan to try to cut the head off of this beast. If it is not there...well then we are throwing a party! Hehehe...seriously! 

I am very, very scared of this procedure. It is very delicate and has to be exact, or there will be very negative side effects. One thing I am glad that is not being discussed anymore is a biopsy of the tumor in my brain. While I am unsettled about the idea of them going into my spine, I am frightened at the thought of them going into my head! That would be way worse. So I'm trying to focus there. 

I also want to thank you for your love, concern and prayers.

I do have to admit that I blog for selfish reasons though. I blog for me. To keep my head straight. To figure out what I am thinking and to be better able to organize my thoughts and the facts. I tend to blog when I'm most scared or things are unknown. Kind of how I cope.

To know that I am not alone and that others are out there pulling for me, and thinking of us, helps me a lot. So know that I need you. I have always been the kind of person that loves to be surrounded by friends that feel support and love me. I've tried to be the kind of person that people want to love in the first place! But I just had to thank all of you for caring.

This is very scary. It never gets any easier. But I am strengthened by you. <3 div="div">

I will post an update as soon as I can as to how tomorrow goes. 

Good night!

Monday, August 27, 2012

So Far...

So far it is certain that there is cancer in my brain. Most of my symptoms (headache, double vision) were brought on by the swelling and are being controlled with a steroid right now. I will start radiation tomorrow and if it responds as well as they hope, I will be able to side step having any surgeon's digging in my head. That is what we are praying for!


This is possibly the same tumor that was in my spine that paralyzed me. It may have snuck it's way up my spinal chord, into my brain and made a home.

I am doing better emotionally now that we are pretty sure that I won't have to have brain surgery. That was freaking me out. Also there is a very good chance I can go home tomorrow and do everything out-patient...that is wonderful! That means I get to go home and be a mommy! :)

So, besides the crappy cancer news, we are very optimistic and hopeful that the radiation alone will do the trick this time. We will see. This cancer sure does like to jump around a lot and sneak into places it doesn't belong.

Thank you for caring about me and my family. I don't understand this trial. I don't understand why the cancer won't just go away. I have been considered to be in "remission" twice now, and neither period of time lasted for more than 3 months.

One thing being in the hospital does for me is helps me to re-prioritize my life. It is easy to be good at getting tasks done with the kids, and jobs completed around the house...but completely miss the meaning of it all. To loose the "why" behind why us parents do so many small, menial tasks looses the purpose of our daily lives. Doing small things, everyday, for the people we love is what this life is all about. Right?



Boy have I neglected this blog lately. I guess I go through phases of wanting a certain amount of privacy. Writing is sometimes a very vulnerable thing to do. So, oddly enough, it is when I feel vulnerable and scared, that I need to write. It is like writing keeps my mind clear. When I write it reminds me of how I feel...and that I really do have faith! Those things are sometimes easy to forget when fear is running things. So I'm going to try and be better to blog even when things are going good. I'm sure I'll get much joy out of sharing my life as it gets more "normal".

Thank you for being patient with me!

Ok...I didn't even look at my last blog to know where I left off. Basically things were gradually progressing, I was getting better and just a few months ago I got a clean PET scan confirming that I was in remission. I've been regularly attending physical and occupational therapy and making great strides. I even have started skipping!

I was gaining my life back as a mom and wife...and even a pilates instructor! I even have plans on the table to "assist" in a Zumba class to get me dancing again!!! And just so you know, so far those things are still happening. Just hit a speed bump I guess. here's how it all started.

One week ago I had a strange thing happen while I was doing some grocery shopping. Suddenly the isles and people were blurry and I had to stop walking. Not sure what was happening, I immediately stopped walking. I experienced large blind spots were I couldn't see whole carts until I was looking straight at them. Basically I hd no peripheral vision. While it was scary, I still had to finish what I was doing, then pick up the kids from school. I waited...waited...then it gradually improved. So much so that I saw normally, and had no headache! I could do all the driving that I needed to do and was fine until Jess got home from work. Then it happened again. An hour or so passed and the symptoms left.

We did lots and lots of reading and what kept coming up was "ocular migraine". We'll take it!

So 3 days pass and then it happens again, except my vision started to look cross-eyed this time. This was Last Thursday. Again with a mild headache. I rested. Again it went away.

But we did MORE research. Sudden loss of vision is always concerning, but "ocular migraine" kept popping we waited...and hoped and prayed.

Friday. Started off fine. I got the kids to school without a problem, but come time to pick them up was a different story. Bad headache and double vision. I saw fine out of one eye at a time, but not both. Cross your eyes slightly, and that's how I saw. Out of necessity I picked them up. I figured out that if I put my hand over my nose and up to my eyebrow I could get rid of the double vision. I must have looked silly driving. :) But I wouldn't have put my kids lives in danger, so know that I was safe.

The rest of the day I spent resting. And all of Saturday too. Having Jess with me was so nice. But by the end of they day we knew we were going to the emergency room. We planned it for Sunday morning while the kids were in church and I would go to a nearby hospital. We hoped to be back home in time.

The ER was empty so we got taken care of right away. Blood tests and  a scan. Blood good! Scan not. From that first scan they were saying "cancer" already.

Tears flowed. Many tisses were sacrificed. Jess and I know nothing about cancer in the brain. It sounds so scary. Still does.

By know we knew that I had to be hospitalized and we had decided to go where we had a good experience before, and where my background was known. Scottsdale Shea.

Jess brought the kids to the hospital to say bye. That was hard. Especially for Lily. She was fighting tears the whole time. Seeing her mommy put into an ambulance...again. Last time she saw that I didn't come back for over a month. I held it together for her. At least until we were out of sight. Then I could hold back my sobs no more.

So now I am admitted. I saw a Dr (that was very optimistic) and I've been having all kinds of tests done. My prayer is that they can treat it with radiation and not have to do surgery. Oddly enough no mention of chemo yet.

So that's where we are at. Emotionally, I am a mess. I am scared and I just want to go home. Distraction  is a great thing right now. I get to see my kids in a few hours, and that will be awesome!