Monday, January 30, 2012


In Sunday School at church on Sunday we had this really amazing lesson. During part of it a discussion was started about people comparing their lives with another person and how we should never do that because in Heavenly Father's eyes we are ALL important and ALL of our individual struggles are equally important to Him. Someone mentioned that we can never compare with someone elses life because on the outside it can look like they live the charmed life when inside they can be struggling so horribly that we just never know. How many times has someone taken their lives or committed some horrible crime or we've seen a couple divorce and said "I never would have known. They seemed so perfect." or "Its the last person I ever would have suspected of something like that." It happens everyday.
So anyways, as I was sitting in class and listening I started to think to myself how throughout all my health stuff that has come up in the last couple of years that the one thing I hate to hear another person say is "I hate myself for feeling sorry for what I'm going through when I see your life. You put everything into perspective for me. What I'm going through just isn't as important as what you're going through." It truly breaks my heart to hear another person say something like that. Especially when it's a friend. I have always felt so strongly that ALL of our struggles are equally important. What I deal with on a daily basis may seem bad on paper, but what another person struggles with may be something that I could not handle. So as I say that, I do think that sometimes other people can put your life into perspective in a positive way and help us be grateful for what we have. You can see a homeless person and be grateful that you have a home to live in. You could see someone who has lost a child and be grateful for every moment that you have with your children. So although I don't think we should ever feel like we are going through individually is not important... I also think that there can be something positive in putting things into perspective. So here is my moment of perspective:

When I was working at University of Phoenix I worked in the enrollment department. I met all sort of great people throughout the years via phone. I worked for the southeast coast so all the people that I worked with and helped to get their degrees were likely people I might never meet face to face, but that doesn't mean you can't develop a beautiful friendship. It's been 5 years almost since I stopped working there and there are only 2 people that I have kept in touch with. They are both very special to me and one of these lovely ladies has helped to put my life into perspective.
This woman's name is Cathy. I've never met her face to face (although I know we both look forward to the day that we will). We have spent countless hours on the phone together though. It was one of those incidents where we both knew that God brought us together for a reason.
When that phone call came through around 2pm one day we got to talking about before I knew it everyone had left the building and the lights were starting to dim and it was going on 7pm. haha. That's how most of our conversations went. I always knew when one of our conversations were starting that we would be talking for hours on end and I know that we both enjoyed each and every second of our conversations. During that first conversation I found out that she had beat breast cancer and become a spokesperson. She sent me a poster with a picture of her as a spokeswoman for beating breast cancer. I hung it up in my cube and looked at her everyday. To know my friend you have to understand that you could never meet a more positive person. She has a faith in God that is inspiring. She never has a negative thing to say. She accepts everyone for all the good and bad and differences between them all. Her heart and personality is truly one to be admired and one to set your own personal bar to. She has also struggled more than anyone I know. She has been through more with family, loss, health, etc. than anyone else I know and yet still.... still she is SO positive and so filled with faith that all of it happens for a reason. Her nickname is "fireball" and that name fits her like a glove. Nothing keeps this woman down. And that's why I know that what she is going through right now is something that she will get through and someday our dream of meeting each other face to face will come to pass.
I had selfishly gotten caught up with all my own struggles recently, that I didn't even know what she was going through the last few weeks. Not long ago her cancer came back. She has had to under go so many surgeries and chemo and radiation. She had another surgery recently and it got infected. She has had a fever of over 102 and has been so sick. They have had to put her chemo on hold with her being so sick. Can you imagine praying that your fever and infection go away just so that you can continue your chemo/radiation. I mean how bad does that stink? And yet.... the most amazing part of everything is that she still has that fireball attitude. She is still full of faith and prayer. She is grateful for the people around her and she is so positive and still crackin' jokes. She is amazing. She is SO amazing. I just love her so much and she has put my life into perspective. She has taught me so much. She is one of my best friends. We have shared our deepest darkest secrets and fears with one another and right now she really needs as many prayers and positive thoughts sent her way.
So please if you could take a little time during your prayers and add cathy aka fireball to your list. I know that it will bless your life as much as she has blessed mine.
Thank you. Love to everyone. And please everyone remember.... you are ALL important to me and you are all important to our Heavenly Father.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Daddy/Daughter Date

Emma is in need of a few new things because she is growing so fast lately. Her church dresses are getting a little short and her shoes are getting too tight. So Adam decided to take this opportunity to take Emma out on a daddy/daughter date. It was so cute! Emma was so excited all day. She asked me to do her nails and her hair so they would be pretty for her date with daddy.
Emma was finishing up her dinner and I was finishing up doing her hair and putting her shoes on. She went over to Adam and said "daddy, is my hair pretty?" and he of course told her how beautiful his little princess is. Then she said "Daddy, are you ready for our date? I'm ready." Then she went around saying "bye guys" to her brother and sister. She gave me a hug and said "mommy, I'm going on my date with daddy now." Then I watched Adam and Emma walk hand in hand out the door with huge gleaming smiles on both their faces.
It was so adorable and sweet. I love that Adam takes the time during this busy time of year to make sure that he still takes the kids out to do one on one things. He took Michael out on Tuesday to his gymnastics and then they spent time together. Emma's special date is tonight and Hailey's will be next week. It's very sweet to see how excited they get to spend their special time with daddy. Of course they love to see him and play with him all together each day when he gets home from work, but this is their special "one on one" time. It's just so cute. It was a bright spot in all this stress lately.
I have a friend that sent me a beautiful card in the mail today. She is a doctor and said that in one of her patients life was changed by her positive thinking in an impossible situation. She truly believed it saved her life. It was a good reminder to read that and to remember how good it can feel to try and stay positive for myself, my family and my friends. Just because everything seems to be falling down around me, that doesn't mean that I can't fight back with a smile and a positive attitude! :-)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

First off, I am so sorry that I haven't posted anything recently. It's been a week of ups and downs, but with everyone having done so much praying and fasting for me, I should have posted all those ups and downs to keep everyone updated. Sorry I haven't done that.
My doctor didn't call me back for several days even though I was calling and leaving several messages a day. He still to this day hasn't called me back. However, Adam went in for a doctor appointment of his own and confronted the doctor about everything and the doctor said that the test they did WAS the right ct scan (I'm not sure I believe that... I think he's just trying to cover his own butt). He said that my lungs are clear! Can you believe it!!! A few days before my lungs were covered in masses and now they are clear!!! He said that when an MRI is done that the pictures are taken over a long period of time and because I'm breathing and my chest is going up and down, that several shadows formed on my lungs and it looked like masses. The CT scan however takes several pictures very quickly to get an accurate picture and that shows that my lungs are clear with no masses on them. Thank heavens!!! I just have to hope that's true and that he's not lying. I don't know why he would, but it still bothers me that he never called me back to explain that all to ME and instead violated HIPPA laws and told my husband everything. Oh well. I think that all the fasting and all the prayers were a success. I think that all that faith healed my lungs. It's a miracle! :-) Thank you so much everyone!!!
I do still have some things to deal with. I need to find out how large my pleural effusion is (that's still there). If it's really large I will need to do a surgery to put a chest tube in and then do a few rounds of chemo and radiation. I will continue doing my weekly chemo injections and my monthly IV infusions for now.
The doctor is sending over a request for a pulminologist because I have had a "cold" for 18 months. Plus, I've been coughing up blood daily for several months. With the masses on my lungs gone, there is no explanation for it now.
So there is still plenty to deal with and I don't have all the answers and I haven't been able to ask my doctor any questions directly, I'm just going off what Adam said.
But lets think positive and believe that a miracle has taken place and that the masses on my lungs are gone! woo hoo!!! :-) :-) :-)
I don't believe this miracle would have taken place if it weren't for all the prayers that have taken place on my behalf. Thank you so much to each and every one of you.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Results... kind of....

My nurse from the doctors office called me a few minutes ago and asked me why the CT scan was of my spine and not my lungs. And I said "I have no idea, you guys sent the request for the CT scan over to the office." So my nurse is currently on the phone with the imaging office trying to figure out what happened. From the looks of it the office did the scan on the wrong part of my body and now I will have to go in for another scan and wait for results again. So much for STAT orders. Geez!!! i've been holding my breath for these results for a week and now I have to do it all over again. Unbelievable!!! I mean really.... could one person seriously have this much bad luck.
I'll keep everyone posted. Thank you so much for all the prayers and concerned phone calls and texts and emails. I really do appreciate it and it's given me so much strength and comfort. '

Love you all!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I just wanted to post a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me and prayed for me throughout this time. Everyone who has babysat for me, came over with dinner, visit, phone calls and texts if support. And I have to thank all of those that are participating in this weekends fast for me. I had no idea the number of people that were involved in this fast until tonight. It's really nice to know that I have people from all over the world supporting me through this right now.
You're all the best!! Your support and encouragement give me that extra boost of energy I have to keep fighting and smiling on through another day! :-)
Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!
I love you all so much!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Just when it couldn't get any worse....

So maybe it's not worse and maybe I'm just so use to getting bad news at the doctors that I'm over reacting, but....
I went with my mom to her work dinner party tonight and I had a pounding headache and was really sick to my stomach.
As some of you know on top of everything else I also have kidney disease. It's something I've had since I was 15 and I still have good function, but it's something that will progressively get worse over time and I have to keep an eye on it and watch what medicines will affect me kidneys badly, etc. I just have to protect them while I'm young so I can put off going on dialysis for as long as possible.
So the dye that they used for the CT scan is very bad on kidneys. For people that have perfect kidney function, one bad reaction to the contrast dye and that alone can land them on dialysis. So of course here I am with not the best kidneys and I have the allergic reaction.
So, here I am at the work party (for those of you who don't know, my mom works at a dialysis unit). So I'm surrounded by people who work on dialysis that know that I had this bad reaction to the contrast dye and a few know about my kidney troubles.
They are watching me sick and bad headache and start asking me other questions and then start getting really upset that the nurse that took care of me during my CT scan didn't immediately have my kidney function checked.
Apparently I am now showing several of the signs for kidney failure.
Lets hope that is just an over reaction from people that work in the biz. But seriously. That better not be the case, cause if I have to go on dialysis, and radiation along with the chemo I'm already doing.... I'm going to land myself in a room with padded walls. lol.

Friday, January 13, 2012

CT Scan...

Well today was my CT scan. A good friend of mine watched all 3 of my kids. She had a house full. She has several of her own kids and she even had a couple of the neighbor kids over. My kids ended up having a wonderful time, but when I was dropping them off it was terrible. I have had so many dr. appts that I have barely seen them this week. Emma went straight in to play, but Hailey and Michael were clinging to me crying and begging me to stay and not leave them. I held it back as much as I could, but then I broke down crying. I don't want to ever leave them. I'm constantly having to leave them at people's houses for all my appointments and I know they enjoy themselves after they calm down, but having to leave them there crying and clawing at the door screaming "mommy! don't go! Mommy, please! I love you!" I just can't handle it. I keep thinking "my God, how will I say goodbye if I really do have to leave this life. How could I ever get through that. How could they." Gosh, I've got to stop thinking like that. My head keeps going there and I keep hoping it's just fear and not God trying to prepare me for what is to come.
So I got to the CT scan office. Dried my tears and headed in. The lady that did the scan was very nice. She put in my IV for the dye (I have so many puncture wounds from IV's, IV infusions, chemo injections, blood work...needles don't bother me at all anymore). She told me to lay still and that the machine would tell me when to hold my breath and all that. So as the dye starts to make it into my system suddenly I got really overheated and my throat started to close. My airway was swelling up or collapsing. I couldn't swallow and I couldn't breathe. I started freaking out and pounding on my chest, but I couldn't scream. The nurse was watching closely from the other room and quickly came in and tried to calm me. She put something into my IV to help with the allergic reaction I was having to the dye and then something to calm me down cause I had tears streaming down my face and I was freaking out. It felt like it took forever, but in reality I'm sure it was really quick. They ended up having to the CT scan without the dye contrast. Hopefully they still get a good image of everything.
She said they will rush the results over to the doctors office and I should hear back from him early this next week. She actually said she had already called my Dr office before I even got off the table. That worried me. You think if it's good news then they wouldn't have to phone the doctor so quickly. But, I'll try and stay positive and not think that way.
I feel really blessed and really loved. I have my entire family near and far doing a fast for me this weekend. Friends from all over the world are fasting for me. Several people at church.... it's just amazing. To think that I have all this faith and love coming my way. I have to think it will be enough to heal me. Or at least give me the strength to fight this and win.
I keep praying they will call and say "sorry, we gave you someone elses results." or "turns out there was just weird shadows on the MRI. Looks all clear now." That's wishful thinking with my symptoms, but it's happened. I firmly believe in Miracles. God provides those all the time. The lame walked, the blind could see. So many miracles that seem impossible. Maybe I'll be blessed with one soon. I sure could use one after all this.


I've had a few people asking me for updates on what's going on. I don't have much of one. I had my IV infusion yesterday for the psoriatic arthritis. I was really sick last night. Head in the toilet, laying on the freshly cleaned bathroom floor (thanks to my husband). This morning I'm in a lot of pain. For whatever reason my back is just hurting so bad that I'm in tears this morning. Hopefully it will get a little better as the day progresses.

I have my CT scan scheduled for this afternoon. With it being Friday and the person doing the scan not able to say anything, I'm not expecting to hear any news until next week. Then I'll have to schedule the appointments with all the specialists.

I'm doing my best to stay as positive as I can. I'm living every second I can with my children. I can't do as much as I wish I could, but we do a lot of puzzles, games, playing toys, arts and crafts, etc. I'm just trying to make sure my kids have the best memories of me now. If this turns out to be something really bad then I will fight my butt off, but that's going to take alot out of me and I'm hating that my kids will have to watch me be even more sick than I have been already. They don't deserve this. And if I were to lose the fight and my children have to grow up without me.....well I at least want to make good memories with them now. Take lots of pictures... since they are too young to probably remember me and how much I love them. The idea of not being there for all the major events in their lives, and even all the little every day ones. .... well, I can't really think about that. It's not something I'm prepared to deal with yet. And I shouldn't .... not until I know the exact details of what's going on. But of course those thoughts still creep into my head.

I did cry last night finally. And I cried and I cried and I cried for hours. Wasn't sure I was going to be able to breathe again. But I'm here this morning. Still kickin. Eyes are puffy, but I just have to get back to it.

There is a lot of day to day stuff that needs to get done and I need to do it.

Lets just keep our heads held high and get through this thing best we can! :-)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It hasn't been very long since I found out everything that showed up in my MRI. Just a couple days. I couldn't believe the amount of people that showed up on my door step last night with meals, desserts, flowers, things for the kids. The out pour of love and kindness blew me away. I am so grateful to all of you. I do feel a great deal of support from everyone. I worry about telling anyone anything because I don't want anyone to be stressed or sad on my behalf. I tend to bottle it up and try to deal with it on my own.
I still haven't cried... but I'm not laughing anymore either. I think if I start crying I won't be able to stop. I look at my children and their sweet faces and I see how much they love me and need me. They are so young and life has already changed with the arthritis. I'm so tired, weak and in pain all the time. I rarely take them all on outings anymore cause my body just can't handle it. It's hard for me to run around the backyard like I use to. We use to play tag and chase each other. We would tackle each other and do tickle fights and now I just can't. My kids have suffered dearly for this stupid arthritis and now for them to have to watch me suffer through cancer or seeing me in the hospital with a tube hooked up to my chest. I don't know how to do this. Then there is my poor husband. I think he is in shock. Or maybe just trying to pretend it's not happening. My arthritis has effected him a great deal too. I'm not the woman he married and the plans we had for our future and the activities we wanted to do together have changed now. It's not what he signed up for and the amount of guilt I feel every second of every day is unbearable. He has so much on his plate with work and wrestling and school. He is an amazing father and spends all his spare time playing with his kids. And now he is trying to do so much extra housework. The amount of stress he must be feeling. Everyone is worried about me, but I'm worried about him and my kids.
I keep trying to find a silver lining or see what I need to learn from all this. So far I haven't found one. I thought I had enough stuff going on. I do have a large amount of faith that there is a reason for this. Maybe it's just my time to go, or maybe I'll win the fight. I don't know. I do know that I will fight though. I've been fighting for the last 18 months. I'm not stopping now.
I do try and stay positive. I keep telling the people around me that I'm sure everything will be fine and just not to think about it until we know for sure. And all that other positive attitude stuff I should say. But inside I'm scared to death. Inside my heart is breaking.... it's shattering. Even though I have all these people around me that love me and support me.... I still feel so alone. I feel so much guilt and fear and anger and sadness.
As I write all this I felt an overwhelming reminder of something I have been taught my entire life and that I have a true testimony of. Families Can Be Together Forever. My family is eternal. Even if I don't live as long of a life as I would like. Even if I have to leave my husband and my children prematurely... I know that I will see them all again because my family is forever. That gives great comfort to me... but it certainly doesn't mean that I'm ready to close the curtain on this life. I have a lot more living to do and my babies need me and I need them. So I will fight. Whatever is coming my way, I won't let it beat me. I just can't.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

There's more... seriously.....

So as I'm reviewing my MRI results it turns out that not only do I have the masses on my lungs and the 5 bulging discs, but one of my bulging discs is pushing into my thecal sac (which is the sac where my spinal fluid is located). If it gets punctured then I will be paralyzed. Woo hoo! And if that wasn't enough, they also discovered a great deal of fluid between my lungs and my thoracic spine. To remove it they would have to do surgery and put a chest tube in for several days to drain the fluid, followed by more chemo therapy and radiation. It's called pleural effusion. Really.... is this actually happening. I'm at a total loss for words at this point. I feel like God is saying "geez, woman I'm trying to kill you and tell you it's your time to go and you just keep fighting." lol. I mean my heavens. I have like 5 different reasons that I have to do chemo and 5 different reasons that I could end up dead or paralyzed. I'm just like .... wouldn't one be ok, do I really need all the rest. I have my appointment with the primary care doctor today at 4. I'll put an updated after I talk with him today. I haven't even cried yet..... I'm in such a state of shock that I can't feel anything. I'm so numb. I have laughed hysterically until I had tears streaming down my face, but I haven't really cried yet. I just kind of feel like I'm going crazy. My kids really can't live without me. The amount of time I would have to spend int he hospital, or the possibility that I could die..... they just can't live without me. I can't be without them. I can't even think about this.....

Monday, January 9, 2012

Laugh or Cry?

So I really don't know if I should laugh or cry. Part of me wants to burst into tears and scream at the heavens and the other part of me is just like "are you freaking kidding me!?! Is this actually happening?" Just when I thought it couldn't get worse. My health is in the toilet. Lets be honest. My body is falling apart and the treatments aren't working as well as I would have hoped or as quickly and no one knows why.

The pain is still awful and it's constant. My white cells are still really low. My lymphnodes are still swollen. I'm still tired and weak all the time... but I'm trying to stay vigilant and positive through it all. I'm doing my best to stay on top of the house work, taking care of the kids, taking them to their activities and dr appts. All the normal day to day stuff.

So anyways... I had an MRI done last week to check my spine and make sure it was ok to do the epidural in my thoracic spine to help with the pain. I've had them done before in my lower back and they really helped, so now I'm going to do it in my mid to upper back. I went into my doctor this evening to make sure my MRI was good and I was ready to go. She said "you can get the epidurals, but it looks like your degenerative spine has caused 3 new discs to bulge out of place." That makes a total of 5. Two in my neck and three in my thoracic spine. Then she got really serious and rolled her little chair over to be in front of me and said "there is something else. We saw several large masses on your lungs." Then she started going over my previous labs and asking me questions about my breathing problems and the cough and congestion I have had for over a year now, etc. She then told me that she was faxing my MRI results and a letter with her concerns over to my PCP so that he could refer me out to a pulmonologist and an oncologist. Apparently it looks like I might have lung cancer. The worst part, is that the treatments that I have been on for the psoriatic arthritis fast tracks cancer cells.

So seriously.... do I laugh or do I cry.

I'm trying to hold onto some kind of hope that it might not be cancer. But I keep thinking about the look in the doctor's eyes as she broke the news to me.

I'm really unsure how to feel right now. I feel numb. I keep telling myself "don't believe the worst case scenario until the definitive tests come back."... but that is a whole lot easier to tell yourself then to actually do it.