"There is the mud, and there is the lotus that grows out of the mud. We need the mud in order to make the lotus," Thich Nhat Hanh.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Alex Has Passed Away

A Beautiful Girl, Loved Forever
Alex's Surgery History:

Pre-First Surgery Post

First Surgery

First Surgery Pre-Op

Pre-First Surgery Post

Second Surgery Post

Her head lump came back, and this July during her annual exam I talked to the vet about it.  The vet said that she couldn't help Alex, but we could take her to an oncologist down near Minneapolis-St.Paul.

After the wedding, Tim and I took Alex to the specialist.  The vet there diagnosed her with mass cell tumors, stemming from the ear, and spreading.  It had gone into her lymph node.  During her spleen ultrasound, nothing was seen, but the blood work indicated that there were tumors in there.

We were given options, including chemo, surgery, and a lot of different medications.  After talking it over, Tim, Alex, and I decided to put her on prednisone and a couple of other OTC meds and let her be happy at home for as long as possible.

She was tolerating meds pretty well, but last week she really began to itch at her head lump.  Bad enough where it was very bloody and very torn up.  She was suffering.  I made an appt to see the local vet Thursday afternoon.  My mom came with me.

The vet said that she could give us antibiotics and a collar to prevent her scratching, but we would be back soon.

Alex let me know it was time.

The vet let us use the exam room as we waiting for Tim to get home and we were able to have one last video call together.  He was able to say goodbye.

I held Alex as they gave her the injections on the exam table.  I talked to her between sobs, telling her that she would be out of pain, she was so loved, and that she will always be loved.  I told her we hoped that her next life would be so much better since she helped so many people and brought so much love into the world.  I told her I would miss her.

She died September 18, 2014.  She was 10 1/2 years old.

That night I bawled and curled up with her towel.  I bawled over the weekend.  I have never been so sad and heartbroken.

My kitty girl was gone.  My best friend was gone.

We thought we had more time.  We hoped that she would hang in there until Tim got here.

I miss her so much.  Tim misses her so much.  Family and friends miss her.

We get her ashes back in a few weeks.

With the hysterectomy stuff, I know how grieving goes.  This is just so much more and so much more pronounced.

I just want her back.

I'm so glad she's not suffering anymore, but I want her back.

Tim wants her back.

We want our family whole.

She was so loved.  So very loved.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

I'm Married!!


Tim and I were married on August 5th.  It was a fantastic day and things were wonderful and our families had a great time.  It was just his family and mine; his flew over from the UK to be here and my family had a great time hosting them.

Tim left for the UK on the 14th, and the paperwork to get him here to live and work legally is in.  We were given an estimation of 6-9 months for it to be processed and approved.  Alex and I can't wait until he's back.

I'm going to try to get back into blogging so more wedding stories will make their way on here.





Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I'm Back!

Holy cow, I haven't blogged in forever.

Since I last posted

  • I came back from England
  • We're getting married this summer
  • My bro Justin got married in December
  • I had surgery February 20th
    • No endo was found but my pelvis was pretty much stuck together with adhesions
  • My pelvic pain hasn't been a problem since
  • I'm back to work
  • Alex is awesome, she turned 10, and wants spring
It's amazing how busy life got once I got back to "normal."  Work and wedding planning and hanging out with family and friends, and also cleaning!  I can vacuum now without pain!  

I apologize for being absent.  I will try to post details about my surgery and I know some of you will be wanting to know about our upcoming wedding!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Unsung Lullabies Radio Show

Whilst I was in England visiting Tim, we did a Technical Difficulties radio show live with one of the authors, Janet Jaffe, of Unsung Lullabies on November 29th.

It was a very tough, emotional show, but it was worth it.

Please have a listen here.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I Saw My Endo Dr

Thursday of last week I went to a local gyn to make sure nothing was obviously wrong.  I got there and he said since I have dealt with endo so long, what did I want him to do.  I said I needed an exam and a shot of torodol if possible.  So he did an exam, didn't feel anything wrong.  Then I got the shot.  It helped for a little bit.  The doctor then told me that because of how much pain I was in I needed to call my endo specialist to make an appt asap.

I made an appt for Monday morning, so my dad and I went down to the Cities on Sunday.  We found a neat little Thai place to eat at, and then went back to the hotel and watched baseball.  I tried to go to sleep early but even with ambien, heat, and ice I couldn't sleep because of the pain.  So I caved and took some Vicodin.  That helped with the pain but then I was wired from the Vicodin.  I eventually fell asleep tho and got a few hours in before my appt.

At my appt, he did an exam and also did not feel anything wrong.  So then he says my endo is probably regrowing again.  I mean, I haven't had surgery since 2011 so it has been a while (thankfully!).  So he gives me three options:  increase my Danazol, try Lupron (oh hell no), or surgery.

I elected to go with option number one.  He said there's a 50-50 chance that the increase will work within a month.

A month.  You know, when I leave to go visit Tim.

He also gave me more Vicodin.  But if it doesn't work, there's a high probability of more surgery.

I'm overwhelmed.  I'm in a lot of pain.  I'm so frustrated.  I'm missing work.  I'm missing family stuff.



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pelvic Pain

Owwwww.

A week ago Sunday, my pelvic pain decided to flare up.  At the time I didn't think too much of it, since I do have the occasional flare up.

But it didn't stop.

That Friday I emailed my endo doctor, saying that something is going on.  I got the reply that he was gone til Monday.  I also put in a request for more Vicodin, since I was needing to take them more and more frequently.  I got an email back saying that I had just filled an rx last month for it.  Um...no, I hadn't since January.  I had enough to get me through the weekend (which I spent on the couch with my heating pad) and we got it all sorted out on Monday.

I talked to my endo specialist on Monday as well.  He says to wait another week and then if the pain is still there to make an appt to see him.

Is it scar tissue?  Is it endo?  Do we need to up my Danazol?  Do we need to change something we're doing in PT?

My PT worked me in for an appt Monday evening.  Today, Tuesday, I missed work.  I couldn't get my pain managed in a way that I could work.  I have another PT appt tomorrow.  I confessed to her that I was getting really worried about my pain and afraid that it was going to hurt like this again like it used to, but she said she's confident that it would never get to that point again.

I just want to work.  I go to the UK next month.  The next month I have my brothers' wedding in Florida.  I need this pain to stop.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Today Was Better

Today was so much better.  I woke up and the first thing I noticed was that my head stabbing was gone.  I quickly got up, showered, ate, and went to work because I didn't know how long my head would behave.

I made it through work and then some errands afterward.  I made supper, and then my head started to hurt and I fell asleep during the Braves game.  When I woke up I hoped that I wasn't snoring loud enough for anyone outside to hear me through the open window.

I think yesterday's blog post helped me feel like I got some stuff out so I could cope better with the pain and having to miss out on things.  I got used to being "normal" for the most part and I didn't want to lose that.  I still don't.  But now I'm not fighting it.  My health can change like the weather.  Everything is in change.  It's a lot easier to just go with it than to fight what it is happening.  I had forgotten that.

This weekend I want to get caught up with stuff around the house, and do my nails.  I haven't done my nails in over a week.  That's how crappy I have been feeling.  Now just to decide what I want to do with them!

So yes, a much better today, and I savored it.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Migraines

Lately, my migraines have been getting worse and worse.  I saw a neurologist last month and he prescribed a med to take on the onset of a migraine and it did it's job, but the last couple weeks my migraines became more and more frequent.

I began to miss work.

I started to cancel social plans.

I can't believe this is happening.  Again.  I am finally doing well:  working, hanging out, making plans, keeping plans, saving up money for my trip to see Tim in November.  Then my bro and his fiancee decided to get married in FL in Dec so I'll need money for that too.

Then bam.

Pain.

I saw the neurologist again on Tuesday.  He agreed that the frequency of my migraines was becoming a problem, so he prescribed a daily preventative med, and then also I got four nerve block shots in the back of my head.  Yeah that sucked.  Now it's Thursday and it's still sore, no matter how much I ice.

I'm trying everything I can to get these under control.  And it's not enough.

I don't know if I can do this again, to watch everything I've worked so hard for slip thru my fingers again.  Seeing everything falling apart while I'm laying on the couch.

Tim says I can.  He reminds me that I've done it before, and I'll probably do it again in the future.

I have done it before.  So many times.

And I'm burnt out.

I'm doing what I can to make sure I don't start a downward spiral into a depression.  I am watching the Braves, I game when I can, I snuggle with a baby girl, and I do text with friends.  I also know that these nerve blocks should kick in soon and the preventative med should start to help before too long.

So technically it's not all doom and gloom.

But it certainly feels like it.

This week so far I've missed work two days, and cancelled two plans with family.  I was supposed to visit an out of town friend this weekend but I postponed it.  This is a friend I've wanted to go visit for the past how many years but I was never well enough to go, and now I was and my body is all like "ha ha, think again."  

Missing work and plans and pain was so last year.

I know I'll never be 100% pain free.  If it's manageable and tolerable, I can work with that.  I tried pushing thru these migraines but they just became too debilitating.
I just want to get back to work and back to my social life.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Oh Hai!

Me and My Girl
I got a Chromebook for my birthday so now I can blog easier.  I was using my brothers' old Windows Vista laptop and 1) Vista sucks 2) it was dying and 3) Vista sucks.

So yeah, I had a birthday, I'm 29 now.  It was a nice birthday; the weekend before I was at the lake with Alex and it was just us, my parents, and their zoo (four cats and a bird.  Who can meow.  It creeps me out).  Then on my actual birthday (the 8th) I worked and then went out to eat with my bro, and then afterwards I hung out with a friend.
Alex enjoyed my birthday treats

What else has been going on:  work is going great, it's been busy but not too bad.  I played and passed "The Last of US" which was AMAZING.  My brother Justin proposed to his girlfriend so I'm getting a sister-in-law!

Exploring the lake shore
I went to a friends' girls' birthday get together yesterday.  Her girls are now 8 and 3.  I got them nail polish.  I had fun nomming, putting together toys, and I gave the three year old a mani/pedi and she was on top of the world.  I even got to hold Amy's two week old niece.

I held up really well during the party.  But when I got home...I started feeling sad.  It was the mani/pedi I gave Ivy.

I will never be able to buy nail polish for my daughter.  I will never paint her nails.  I won't get to teach her how to care for her nails and how to paint them.  I won't get to know what color combinations are her favorite.  Or if she'll like crackle or any other special type of coats.

I wrote to her last night.  I couldn't sleep.  Between the party and finishing "The Last of Us" yesterday, the daughter that I will never have was on my mind.  I won't spoil the ending of the game for anyone, but let's just say that there was a teenage girl and a choice had to be made on her survival.

I feel empty.

It sucks.