Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Reality, vanity and coping

I have tried to start this post for a week.  From an update perspective, I had a "clean up" surgery last Monday.  This was a surgery we knew was going to need to happen.  The goal was that this would be the last one for this part of the body.  Its about a 50% chance I will have to go in again.  Waking up the day after surgery and seeing a swollen beat up body...well for me inspired crying.  No matter how I try, I don't see myself.  I see this thing that has been beat up and altered and is broken.  

I found this quote and could not help but think, what environment am I putting myself in to "fix" me.  I have been spending so much time trying to fix me.  I realize now I need to adjust the "environment"...what for my is my inner voice.  

Some days this seems like the hardest thing I have done and then some days I remember, we have lived through loosing a house due to job loss and rebuilding our life together.  This realization made me find some perspective on my body...it took us almost 7 full years to fully recover financially from the job loss in 2008.  We were so blessed to have made it through that with a stronger marriage then I could have ever imagined I would have.  So, if we apply that to this...I need to give myself some time.  So, in 7 years I will have a different body, but a stronger, healthier and happier body and soul!  What a blessing I have been handed!
I have some of the best people I could ever imagine!!  This is what Lacy and my sweet littles made for me to come home to.  I am a blessed mama!!

This quote continues to make me tear up.  He takes us as we are...weather we have scars, sins, sadness, no matter how broken we are...He takes us as we are and makes u more than we ever imagined!  What more could we ask for?

Some of my scars are big...like almost 2 feet long.  They are not "pretty" and sometimes I feel embarrassed by them.  Sometimes I think they are ugly.  Sometimes I wish I did not have them.  But then sometimes I look at the little faces I created and I am so grateful I have them.  So grateful I have these reminders that I am willing to do anything asked of me.  That I am willing to do hard things.

So, today was hard.  Tomorrow might be harder.  But I am determined to not give up.  I know I will have hard days.  I know I will have good days.  But I am grateful for everything the Lord has blessed me with and for all I have yet to learn on this journey.  SO here is to some reality and coping!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Headed back...

After what seems like a very short 12 weeks, 2 surgeries and 5 weeks of not being able to stand up straight and 9 weeks of not being able to walk much I am headed back to work. It's been an amazing journey, that I am not even close to done with yet!!  I have learned so much. It's amazing what you can learn when you are physically broken and have nothing but time on your hands. I am so grateful for my amazing support system and for an amazing team I get to go back to. I never could have imagined feeling more supported or loved. So, more updates to come, but for now...I head back to work. My bags are packed and the house is clean and the laundry is done...bring it on Monday!!  

We took some pics today while we were at church...quick and "dirty" but I think they turned out!!

I could not be more in love with these faces!!


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Be like a seed...

I have had some complications with my largest incision and that means I have to go back in for a cleaning and closure surgery.  While I have found peace with this, it has been a rough couple of days.  I was so ready to be on to the next phase of recovery (there are 4) that it became very overwhelming to me when I was told we were basically starting half of this over.  When the incision first began to open I would cry every time I changed the dressing.  It was gross (still is).  When it started to spread open I was so frustrated and continued to be overwhelmed.  What could I have done differently?  What did I do to make this happen?  Lucky for me I have the best support team that reminded me that I had done everything that had been asked of me and that there was nothing I could have done differently!  After I met with the dr, and we made the plan to go back to the OR, I knew we had the right plan and that no matter the pain and frustration, this was what was meant to happen.  

I came across this quote and have read it probably 50 times in the last week.  The more I read it the more I think I understand it.  I have always been a person that is grateful for feedback for growth purposes (often I am sure I annoy people when I ask for feedback).  I also like to think that I am a person that does not like to shy away from things even when they are hard.  But this was a new way to look it!  I have never felt more like a seed then I do now.  Literally coming undone.  My shell has cracked.

I have never felt more broken (physically or emotionally).  I have so much I can not do and so much I am still trying to understand.  I have spent the last almost 4 weeks trying to be a clear open vessel for what the Lord needs me to grow into.  I have had days that feel like complete emotional destruction.  Knowing the Lord has carried me makes me realize this is about change and understanding and growth.  

My mom asked me this morning if I ever wonder "why me"?  I have not ever even thought it...but as I thought about it this ALL day what I realized is I do think that.  Why did you choose me to bless?  Why did you choose me to share this immense love?  Why did you choose me to want to grow?  Why do you love me this much?  I can not even imagine what a different person I would be if I had not been chosen to experience this process.  I am so grateful for the things I have learned and the things I hope are still ahead.  So for now, I am grateful I was chosen and grateful for His grace and tender mercy of love.

- E

Next surgery is Wednesday (10/21) should be short and sweet and home that day!

Friday, October 16, 2015

We have only to ask!

2 weeks ago we had the opportunity to hear from LDS church leaders.  One of my favorite talks was from Dallin H. Oaks find talk here.  I found this quote so powerful.  "We have only to ask".  What a simple and powerful statement.  I think we so often forget that the Lord is positioned to provide us the support we need to continue to go on, we must just ask.  What a great reminder from a servant of the Lord.

The interesting part of this processes is that I feel like I have learned so much and still have so much to learn.  It is the hardest, most painful and beautiful think I have ever gone through.

There has been so much I have not been able to do.  I knew going into this that it would be hard, but the number of things that I still can not do is so large.  I am so grateful for my mom and Bob here helping with everything.  Not being able to pick up my babies is probably the hardest one and it will be at least 6 more weeks before I can pick Noah up!  I found this quote so insightful...so instead of focusing on what I can not do, I am trying to focus on what I can...what are the "things that matter most".  I have been trying to find ways to spend time with my babies and not think about what I can't do.  They have had so much fun outside these days...going on walks or just in our backyard.  I have been able to find new and inventive ways to spend time with them outside and watching them is my joy!  The purest and greatest joy!

Watching these little people reminds me that every single bit of this process is for them.  They are the reason I am going through this and the reason I know that everything is going to be okay!!


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

James Taylor and being alone

When I was in high school we sang a James Taylor song called "That Lonesome Road" and to be honest I did not really ever understand it.  I loved the tune, but the lyrics were lost on me...

"Walk down that lonesome road all by yourself,
Don't turn your head back over your shoulder.
And only stop to rest yourself when the silver moon is shining high above the trees."

This song came to my mind when I was in the hospital this last week.  Due to some unforeseen circumstances I had to be at the hospital for 2 nights and 2 days on my own.  There were so many things that were hard about this.
1 - I had never, up to this point had to spend more then 20 minutes alone in the hospital (ever)
2 - As we learned during my mastectomy journey asking for help is not something I do well, and even when I learned to ask, it was of those that loved me the  most in the world.
3 - There were some really hard things coming up during the days I would be on my own.
So, as I sat there the first night, I started to sing, "Walk down that lonesome road all by yourself, Don't turn your head back over your shoulder"...and all I could think was "buck up, you have to do it on your own"

The next morning I said a little prayer that I would not have to do it on my own, but alas, PT showed up wanting to get me out of bed.  I needed to get out of bed and to the chair.  Now, I have done this 4 times now, you would think it would be easy, but this time was different.  This time I could not rely on my arms, I had to rely only on my legs and butt mussels to remove myself from the half laying position I was in.  PT was not very compassionate, nor did they care that I had "done this before".  They were right, this time I had many more precautions and could more quickly hurt myself.  So they walked me through the process of what I needed to do and then said okay, when you are ready.  So, with tears in my heart I started the process.
- skootch
- skootch
- breath
- skootch
- skootch
Still no where near where I needed to be.  So they helped me skootch to the edge of the bed and at this point I was in full "ugly cry".  Nothing was being held back.  All the while being angry inside that I was ALONE!!  "How could I be left to do the hardest part of this ALONE!"  "How is this so hard?"  
To fast forward, I finally got to the chair after lots of tears and "you are almost there" encouragement from PT.  Then when they had me settled in the chair, they left.  And there I was again, alone!  
I let the anger stew, and just kept crying.
I had to get back in bed later that day, and let me be clear, it did not go a whole lot better then the first time!
During my time in the chair I had to ask the nurses and techs to do things I had never asked them to do...this is what my "person" in the hospital is for, I should not ask them, kept running through my head!
So the sweet, kind, gentle, patient nurses helped with:
- finding my chapstick in my overnight bag
- finding my brush in my overnight bag
- then brushing my hair and putting it in a ponytail
- finding my face wash
- finding my face lotion
- endlessly adjusting the temp in my room
And they did so with smiles on their faces!

So, the next morning I had to "ambulate" down the hall!  This time, no tears, no thoughts of being alone, but anger.  Anger that I was again, doing this hard thing alone.  I ended up walking 5 times that day.
My mom came to visit for a few hours, it was great to have her up to visit and have someone to talk to.  Bob was able to come up that night and spend the night with me.  It was so nice to have him with me.  The next morning I was discharged and we headed home to my babies!!

I spent most of the day resting, as just traveling home was exhausting!  
I had the opportunity to shower that evening (which was a big deal for me) as I still have 4 drains in (YES THERE ARE 4 OF THEM).  Now when I say shower...I mean I sit in the shower on a shower chair and Bob showers me!  In fact, today, I told Addison I was taking a shower and she turned to look at me and said "Mom, you need someone to help you do that you know"...even my kids get it :)

During this shower, I began to cry...you will never know the love someone has for you until you need them to shower you, and they do so with a smile on their face!

Like a bolt of lightning to my emotions and mind..."YOU WERE NEVER ALONE".  I thought, wait, I was "ALONE"...and then the tears came again!
I was never alone...
I was never "doing it on my own"...
I was never "left"...
How had I been so selfish and unaware
The Lord was with me ever hard step I had to take, and he sent me strangers to help me and love me along the way.  

I am not good at asking for help from people that love me the most in the world, and I was given an opportunity to learn that I was capable of asking for help from those around me, strangers!  Strangers that were sent to me to help me through those hardest steps.
I was being taken great care of by great people and had more notes of thoughts and prayers of support it was embarrassing that I felt alone!

As for those that love me most, there is no other place they wanted to be, and they were dealing with their own frustration about not being able to be with me.  How could I have not seen that?

So, just when I thought, this will be hard but I can do hard things, I have done hard things before, I as always get a nice little helping of, not so fast!!  This was and continues to be the hardest thing I have done to date!  On top of the physical and personal learning journey, watching my recovery impact my babies is heart breaking.

Logan can't look at the drains, and anytime I try to walk without my walker, he says, "mom I think you need your walker".  He teaches me love and responsibility daily!
Addison is naturally curious about the drains and what I am not "allowed" to do.  She is aware of the "owies" but keeps reminding me of the normal things she wants to do (pedicure is on the top of her list)
Noah is just sad.  I can't even have him on my lap now and won't be able to pick him up for several more weeks.  The first night I was home, he sat at my feet and just cried "mama".  I cried with him and kept kissing his head.

So to James Taylor's song, there is no Lonesome Road at least not for me!

I am so grateful for the joy that I am given everyday by supportive texts and thoughtful notes, reminders that I am never alone!  I am also beyond words grateful for my mom who has been here for whatever we have needed, me, Bob, the kids!  She is my Noah carrier right now and I love watching him look at her with his sweet loving face!  To my main man, there are no words that can encompass my love for him.  Right before this we celebrated our 8th anniversary, and I am so grateful for the 8 years we have had and can not imagine being more loved through this process!!
To my Lord and Savior, for his everlasting gift of the atonement.  The gift I have been able to use more then once in my life (I fear I have lost count).  His abounding love and his ability to heal not only my human flesh, but my human heart!

If you made it to the end with me, good for you :)
I go back in for my follow up next Tuesday and will hopefully get my drains out!!!  Everything looks amazing (I mean I look like I got beat up) but for what it is, it looks great!!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Faith not Fear

This struck me tonight...I have heard it before and I have even said it before!!  But tonight as I prepare for the second and biggest portion of this journey I began back in November, I find it of great comfort.

50 Inspirational Quotes to Live By in Daily Life | http://blog.piktureplanet.com/inspirational-quotes-to-live-by-in-daily-life/:

This next step is a big and scary one for me.  It is the next natural step and a step that will make me "whole" again (no more expanders, hurray) but it will require a patience and calmness with my self that I have never known or needed to know.

I am "prepared" in all of the temperal ways possible!  I have kids school clothes for days, I have lunches ready, bills paid...I have amazing people to hold down the fort while I am at the hospital and recovering.  I have found that it is harder to "prepare" for the emotional and mental parts of this process.  I spent the last few weeks trying to get prepared and what I finally have realized tonight is, I need to let my faith and trust in the Lord fill in the blank part!  

I head to bed tonight, being grateful for the knowledge that my Heavenly Father loves me and has provided a way for me to be here for my sweet family for as long as possible!!  

I also go to bed grateful that 8 years ago today I married the man of my dreams and he is such an amazing support!  I can not imagine my  life, let alone this whole process without him!!

I will update as I am able tomorrow after surgery!!

Surgery starts at 7 and should take about 8 hrs!!

Thank you for all of the support, thoughtful words and prayers!!


Sunday, August 02, 2015

Father's Day