Welcome to my Blog! Yes, I have been in the fight of my life against Leukemia, insomnia, depression, side effects of medications, molting skin, pooping my pants and this list goes on.... however, I still love my life, and that's what this blog is about Real Life. I hope to meet others who trails have brought them closer to the Lord and molded them for the next step in God's will. In January 2011 , my family, physician, and Be the Match was featured on a Fox 5 news story about bone marrow donors and transplants. In March, I was interviewed on Atlanta and Company along with Be the Match. I was chosen to sing the national anthem at the Be the Match Run last year and will also be doing it this year, along with some other songs. My team, no thanks to me, raised over $4,000 and raised more than any other team! Please join my team this year or consider donating here at the Run those Stem cells out ! Team I was also chosen for a patient advocacy panel for the international council meeting at Be the Match in MN in November. How exciting!! I ended up not being able to attend due to the relapse. I had hoped I could help raise awareness about how easy it is to sign up to be a donor and how many people need your help! Please go to bethematch.org and sign up! I was able to have my bone marrow (same as stem cell) transplant at the end of March thanks to a 22 year old donor oversees that I hope to meet her one day. As I came up on my 6th month mark and continued to add more normal activities to our lives, I relapsed, meaning that the that the cancer had mutated and the leukemia came back. I spent 2 more weeks at Emory and some other nights here and there and now I'm on a drug from the FDA. I have a compassion waiver so I am able to get it. I have to take it day by day sometimes hour by hour. Time keeps moving and my little girl is growing up. I'm lucky that I'm getting to see it. I continue to praise God for his wonderful blessings he has shown us including my wonderful husband Jonathan, baby girl Evalyn Rose, supportive family and friend, great medical care, new readers, and the chance to make a big difference, even if that means being a Lab Rat.
God Bless You!

Please read, comment, enjoy, learn, grow, LOVE LIFE.

Most Recently I have started a booth at a local consignment store with handmade jewelry from friends, crafts, and my own art from recycled materials. It is called DAY by DAY. God was very clear with me starting this. Please look over to the right of blog and click on Day by Day to see some pictures. I'm just getting started but I am taking orders from people that I know. You will be able to personalize items, etc. I just haven't decided how I will be selling them via internet yet. But for now, the jewelry is at A Weekend A'fair in Athens, GA and will hopefully be at some stores downtown soon.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Watch your P's and Q's

                  If I only had a blue tooth in my brain that recorded my thoughts and would automatically show up on this blog. I go through stages where I just can’t pick up the computer to write, to surf on facebook, to google something, or even to shop, I know it’s hard to believe. Maybe it’s a good thing, meaning I’m busy and even though very much still in this battle, I’m living my life. Again, no news usually means good news, for the most part. Writing this blog used to be an obsession, something I had to do, well cause I couldn’t do anything else. Yet now I’m capable of doing so much more but lack the energy or time to do them. I’ve let some of this go… seeing small steps turn into an almost completed project such as reorganizing the laundry room or going through our closet. Big Woop, don’t get too excited. Medically, I’m a walking Miracle and I think that after my 2 friends passed after relapsing, I just shut down a little. So many good things have happened over the couple of months. You know how I’ve said it’s hard to write when the bad things happen because once it’s “out there” it makes it true. Really true, for all to read. I have also started feeling strange feelings about writing about the good things in my life. Almost like if I write about them I’m giving myself a false hope or saying “wow look at me”. Then everything will come crashing down again. I’m on my third year… this is the time of year when everything looks up. The city is buzzing with students, football season, new things for Evalyn to do, I’m driving, able to walk, not in and out of the hospital and then as the ball starts rolling again…. Wall, hospital, yada yada. I know I shouldn’t think like that and I do praise God for his many blessings but I can’t help but feel I’m walking on a tight rope here. I mean really we all our but it’s really seen and felt by someone who has been through hell and back and back for more. Like a boxer that just doesn't know when to stay down. I know, it sounds psychotic and I probably am.
               I like time piece films or shows. The clothes, hair, horses, dances, real dancing, lanterns and petticoats just makes me feel happy and think of the simple things we take for granted this day in age. The wonder of traveling by railroad, families staying together, modesty and manners, and where everyone loved to read and learned to play an instrument or do something with their hands that had nothing to do with technology. Now we are like “ oh they are growing beef for us to each in tubes, no big deal” One of the shows I watched in the middle of the night “Hell on Wheels”, one of the lead railroad workers said “watch your p’s and q’s mister” and the cowboy said, “ I’ll mind the whole alphabet.” Ha Ha now that’s funny I don’t care who you are. I have a lot of P’s in my life… Preschool, Preschooler, payments, pools of water causing roof leaks, Parties, Panties, mostly Princess Panties for my Potty training Preschooler, Poop, lots of Poop. Dog Poop, Poo Poo in the Potty, Prizes,Pee,Pullups, Prices, Praying, Praying more, Playing, Pretending, Patient, Patience, Parenting, Prednizone, Protecting, Procrastinating on going to new doctors they want me to see, Plenty of food, love, and support, People that are affected by cancer, Preparing for the worse case and the best case , Probiotics,  Piles of stuff, Pounding of rain and more rain, Pain, Puppies, lots of Pickles. Are you bored yet.
             Well just know that all the great things going on that I’m going to tell you about is by the grace of God and if that makes this demon cancer try to kill me again or something related, I hope I Pull though, again and again. I got the P’s covered. The Q’s… well those are a little harder. Quitting, I won’t quit. It’s a fight to do almost anything do to my energy level but just like my new immune system is fighting the old and causing problems, I expect me refusing to give up is fighting the powers at be and every one that stand behind me and beside me. Or maybe I’m just full of it.
          Oh, my new bed… it’s a wonderful feeling to be able to be that comfortable with all my aches and pains and surgeries. I don’t regret one minute taking out my retirement money that I may never live to enjoy, to be able to rest… even if I still can’t sleep due to the voices in my head and someone or some dog snoring.
                Walking…. The last time I went to Emory a few weeks ago, so many of the staff were praise God because I didn’t have medical equipment attached to me and I almost look like a normal person. I thought one lady was going to have a holy ghost moment right there. Well, she kinda did in her own way. They think I’m so strong, so uplifting to others, so amazing. “You lift my spirits” my oncologists says “you are doing great.” And I think “I’m a lab rat, there is no plan here according to you, cause you all don’t know what to do about me, you don’t know why I’m still here, or how you are going to keep me here, we can put a man on the moon in the 60’s but you can’t figure out this horrid skin issue or what to do about this heart clot that scares the hell out of me, I think what you mean doctor is I’m doing great…considering.” I don’t feel great, that’s for sure, better, yes, but great? God is Great and that is the only thing. Yea, I know glass half empty. I’m here because of God and there is no other explanation.                If it were up to me I would have been willing to die in a heartbeat, many times I wished it would just be over and if you felt the same way at some point about me, I don’t blame you. I’m passed that now. Now I take each day for what it is, even when I’m scraping my lazy butt out of bed to be a half ass mom to my extraordinary daughter. I am a good mother, just not in the ways I expected I would be. But I'm definitely a better person in general.

        During a very short period I was pushed into full time patient to full time parenting with the exception of some help from family and a couple friends, which I am lucky to have for sure. As to no fault of their own finding rides, caretakers, and sitters has been harder than ever. So much that it has been hard to follow up with my appointments but this past week I was sick and my cousin and in law jumped right in. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger right? I think I mostly want her to be around a lot of different people because I know that if something happened to me she could go on going to school, dance, and see her friends and loved adults that understand our values and being consistent is the reason she is such a sweet girl. At preschool, everyday (3 so far) a different teacher or after school worker has told me that she is so kind, friendly, pleasant, nicest preschooler they every met, and one lady said something like a kindred spirit or compassionate soul or what is that term. Ahhh short term memory. 
          We are booked to put our 13 year old lab down on Sat. Please pray for us and esp Evalyn. She loves Chloe. No one has been through more with me than this dog. I wouldn't say that she is at the very very end yet. But with the incontinence (and the effect it has on other dogs) and the anxiety that she experiences during storms or at the threat of rain, if affecting our quality of life as well as hers. I was up most the night with her to keep her calm. We watched a documentary on bird watchers in Central park. She's a pretty big dog so when she pees or poops in the house it's a lot. She's also pretty deaf and doesn't seem to see very well. I know she is in some pain with her hips and joints but sometimes her and Wallace will play like nothing is wrong. I always thought I would wait until she couldn't get up or stopped wagging her tail. There are already things she can't do anymore that she loved.. going to little river canyon and cliff diving and bouldering, catching anything in the air, and jumping up on my bed. She still loves to swim, but should everything be taken from her before she goes. My Granny always says we are more humane to animals than people. God give me strength to do this.
           I have been able to get out and do more things... and wish I would have taken more pictures. My sister, Jennifer had a nice night out before she moved back to ATL and my daughter Corynne and I had a fun day shopping for school stuff. My newer and great friend Leslie has been a lot of fun and she loves to have Evalyn around. I have started back to my cancer recovery yoga class and can tell a difference in how I feel when I can get myself there. Evalyn and I both are taking classes at Dance FX. Your can google them... they are a non-profit dance organization and was able to give us scholarships to come to class. She is taking preschool tap/ballet and I'm taking a strength and flexibility class to work on the areas I had surgeries on. We had a great birthday party for Evalyn and everyone had so much fun! That being said, we have had to miss some celebrations, parties, classes, church, etc at times when I have not felt good. But, hey.... you make plans, some you can keep some you can't but you still make plans. The biggest plan yet is that I'm  going to meet Jonathan in Las Vegas after his business trip for our 5th anniversary! I'm a little nervous, haven't traveled by plane in a while and I have to where a stupid mask. You wouldn't believe the man power and effort it is taking to get Evalyn taken care of and get me to the airport. It's crazy. 

My friend Leslie and I went to eat yummy chargrilled oysters. You can tell I'm having a hot flash cause my hair is all slicked back. Like many new friends this year, she has a child and we have had play dates and she watched Evalyn at her house and even took her to a play... a princess play at that.

Evalyn's first day of dance. I got her a child size umbrella for back to school/dance. She seems to really like it and dances all over the house.

First day of Pre K in Mrs. Sherrie's class. She goes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Each morning is a little battle from the time we get up to getting dressed, to eating, and getting out the door. "I'm too tired I don't want to go Mommy." Then there is usually a 5 min time when I have to say "ok, if you don't want to eat breakfast, get dress, or whatever it is, go sit in the living room, while mommy eats and gets ready." Then she comes back and says "Hey mommy, do you want to share breakfast." Sure. Then when I pick her us she says " Can I go there again"  I'm convinced that tots are bipolar.

Our three pups... Abby, Wallace, and Chloe. 

We had a bad bad storm a few weeks ago that was almost tornado like. It took out many trees including this huge pine that has been at the farm forever. I'm not a huge pine tree fan but this one hung down over the water and provide much needed shade. Can't tell you how many hooks and bobbers I lost fishing near this tree. This has to be one of the last pictures taken of it. It will be missed.

Birthday girl turned 3 in July and had a big Dora party.

We sang songs, colored, played dress up, won prizes, had pizza and some friends brought some wild animals to play with including turtles, birds, and a huge rabbit!

My brother Scott said an amazing sweet prayer in front of everyone which shows how much he has grown up. My sister Anna was able to bring him to the party. Here is me with my side kick Dora outfit.

Here are the explorers making a silly face. We had a map of the farm and piled into the back of the truck to head to the troll bridge, the butterfly garden, the dock, and the rocky road. Singing kids songs and finding treasures (pool toys).

And here is the whole explorer crew. Thanks for your help!!

My cuz Shanna and her daughter stayed for swimming along with a few other friends!

Daddy's first time in the pool for the summer!

Visit with "Amma" and a nice lunch.

Evalyn with our new pup (5 years old). Her name is Abby.

She's my little pinup girl.

On Evalyn's birthday and my sister's too!

Out to eat for birthday week!

New dress, hot wig, and yummy mussels. 

The closest thing to this years family pictures.