Thursday, November 24, 2016

Giving Thanks

On this very day (late night Friday, early morning Saturday), in 2012, I was hanging out with Sonja and Reggie visiting my family for Thanksgiving.  We went to Taco Mac that night, it was  Friday the 23rd.  My sister and I began arguing because she believed I was taking pain pills for recreational use. I don't blame her, I would've thought the same thing.  We argued that night and I stayed with Reggie and Sonja at a hotel across the street.

I kept crying, uncontrollably all night.  It wasn't like me....at all.  The next day we left, I was exhausted but felt better and the 3 of us loaded up in my car to take Sonja back to Douglasville.  I felt fine to drive and my headache was gone.  After leaving her, we headed back to Stockbridge to get Reggie's car.  I asked him to drive though because I could feel my headache returning.  

Suddenly, a wave a nausea overcame me and poor Reggie crossed 6 lanes to get to the side of the road.  I vomited profusely.  But it was white.   I hadn't eaten anything.  Instead of getting his car, Reggie drove me to my dad's.  Karley was at my mom's.

Reggie let my dad know what was going on and I laid down his couch where I didn't move all day or night.  Both of my parents were concerned I had a drug problem at that point too.  But, Sunday morning, the 25th, I asked them to take me to the hospital.  I knew something was wrong.   Something had been wrong for a long time.  But I needed someone to advocate for more tests.  I knew that person was my mom.  I knew she would not take no for an answer.

After they performed an MRI of my brain, they came in and told us the news of the brain tumor and would be transferring me to Piedmont Atlanta for brain surgery.  I had my dad bring Karley to the hospital so I could give her a hug and tell her I loved her, just in case I didn't make it out.

I don't remember much until 11/27/12 when the crainiotomy was complete and I was told I had lung cancer, stage 4.  I was told there was no cure but it could be treated to an extent.  I was told, as far as they knew at that point, I had 12-18 months left to live.

Wow.  Imagine yourself getting that kind of news.  However, there was a silver lining....maybe a few of them.

I quit working, found out I had an EGFR Mutation so could take a pill a day instead of traditional chemo, and decided to spend more time with my daughter and with my own life, making long lasting memories.

I don't believe God "gave me cancer", but I don't think he prevented it either.  I think it is part of my story and always has been.  Without cancer, I would be working like crazy and not spending time with family and friends or making memories.  We always think we have time, but when you know you don't, your perspectives change fast.

This Sunday will be my 4 year cancerversary and Team Draft's 5th year anniversary.  We will be celebrating with them before heading back to St. Simons.  I wasn't expected to live this long, and I'm living it well.  God put me where I needed to be this time of year four years ago.  He put me with the people He knew would take care of Ms. Independent.

I look back, and I give Him so much thanks.  God has taught me more than I would've ever known in these past four years and has made a true believer and follower out of Karley.  This alone makes this life worth living.

Well, I'll have some more posts in the next few days, giving thanks and remembering.  I am so very blessed.  I have a wonderful husband, daughter, and stepdaughter I get to spend today with as well as my parents.  I am one blessed chick.

Thank you all for your continuous prayers and please pray for the families and victims of the Tennessee bus crash.

And remember, you don't know when it will be your time.  Make your amends now, tell your loved ones how you feel, stop and enjoy the moments, for tomorrow is not promised.

I give thanks to God for the time I've had and hopefully will continue to have.   Thank you Lord!

The beginning of the end of the old me.

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