Friday, March 31, 2017

Jessi Colwell

I had the honor of meeting Jessi Colwell at Piedmont Henry a few weeks ago.  Her goal is to watch her 13 year old son graduate.  She was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer over two years ago.  They asked me to come in and give her some hope.  But if I helped her in some way, I know she helped me.  She was so grateful and I just loved listening to her talk about her journey thus far.  We had so much in common and shes been battling this beast for two years.  I don't get to meet many lung cancer patients face to face in everyday life.  This needs to change.  The emotional toll it takes on the patients and caregivers needs to be shared with others in the same situation.

If nothing else, to know you're not alone.  Thank you Piedmont and Amanada Lynn for introducing Chris Draft and me to Jessi.  Thank you for bringing me a friend I can talk to face to face and we can share our feelings and understand one another.  That day left me smiling from ear to ear.   

Thank you all for your continuous prayers and please pray for Jessi too.  Our children are so close in age it's crazy.  Thank you Lord for getting us together.  I'm looking forward to a long friendship.

I'll write more later when I'm not so tired.  I'm in Atlanta now and this bridge fell and Karley had volleyball so I'll have more to talk about later.  But today is the last day of March.  April is going to be better.  It has to be!   Love you all!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


So, we began with my dad's dog of like 18 years dying.  Now, my mom is back in the hospital for a heart condition.  Her heart rate won't stay stable.  She's now on the highest medications possible.  If they do not work in the next 24 hours, they will shock her heart.

I'm planning on going to Atlanta Monday through Friday morning.  This is not ideal, the traveling is wearing me out for sure, but she's my mother and she needs me I feel like.  It's something I really need to do, hopefully it will work out.

The good thing about this month is that I got to see Karley go play volleyball in Jacksonville this weekend.  It was amazing.  Otherwise, life is stressful.   Let me make this clear.  My life is stressful because of insurance companies.  Not my mother.   This is my life we are talking about.  I can't afford $3,000 a month.

This is beyond stressful.   I'm trying to please everyone, but haven't been taking care of myself like I should.  I've gained weight, which totally sucks.  All of those coffee flavored drinks.  Hopefully I can get down to my normal weight before summer.

My next scan is in April.  My biggest concern right now is finding the financial assistance to help with my targeted therapy refills.  I can't afford the monthly premium and have been admittedly checking non-profits that allocate funding.  All of the money for non-small lung cancer from them has been allocated.  Therefore, I have enough funding to get through April.  Hopefully I can find some financial assistance before April 30th.

Well, that's all for now.  Just a brief update.  On the upside, I haven't been in labor like that giraffe, April.  I really don't understand the obsession.   Thank you all for your continuous prayers for my family and me.  God bless.

Monday, March 6, 2017

March...you were supposed to be better

So far this has been a tough year.  It's been one of the most emotional years I've ever had.  March is supposed to be a lucky month.  I was really wanting this to be a good month.  I feel like the roller coaster has just been at a standstill for so long, something good needed to come out of this month.

It's now day 6.  And March, you've already disappointed me.  

18 years ago, I was living with my father.  I wanted a dog.  He consistently refused.  I knew if I could just get one in there, he would be okay with it.  I found the one I wanted in Dallas, GA.  I told my dad that my friend and I were going to the movies.  

I came back with a puppy in a shoe box.  My dad was so mad.  He told me to take the dog back but I claimed they were giving them away at the movie theater and I couldn't resist and the people were now gone.  I promised I would take care of him.

He conceded and allowed me to keep Dallas.  However, I was working and in my first year of college so was rarely home.  My dad was left with Dallas since my dad didn't work.  And what do you know, they bonded.  Dallas was no longer my dog.  He became my father's dog.  Dad began calling him "Dallas, the Big Headed War Dog".  He was a tiny thing.  What's so funny is my dad never fed him dog food.  He fed him the same thing he ate every day or dog treats.

One day, Dallas got out and was hit by a mustang.  He went into shock and we made it to an emergency vet.  They didn't think Dallas would pull through, but he did.  That was the first time I saw my dad cry.  I knew he loved that dog so much.  So, it wasn't a surprise when I moved out, he said, "you can go, but the dog stays".   I just laughed.  They were inseparable.  

Dallas has also been bitten by a water moccasin.  So, he's lived 18 years, been hit by a car and bitten by a snake and lived off of people food.  He's been one tough dog.  

But, unfortunately, he went blind and deaf and has gotten to the point he can't walk.  Today he was in pain and my dad took him to the vet.  The vet told him it was time.  My dad had always hoped Dallas would pass in his sleep so he wouldn't have to do the inevitable.  But, of course, life isn't easy.  

Tomorrow morning, my father will take Dallas to the vet and have him put down.  It's the only humane thing to do.  He was so adamant about not letting Dallas suffer.  I cried a lot tonight.  I told Karley when she got home from volleyball.  She too cried.  She rarely cries.  I'm writing this from her bed because she could not sleep.  She said, "mommy, I've known Dallas my whole life".  All I could do was try to fight back my own tears and comfort her.  I stayed with my dad for a while before moving down here with Karley.  Dallas was so protective of her.  

I'm so blessed that he gave my dad so many years of joy.  My dad is grateful for that too, but tomorrow will be so hard for him.  We've had so much going on in our family, I was hoping Dallas would make it longer, but God had other plans.  I offered to fly up in the morning, but my dad said this was something he had to do alone so I respect that.  And I know I would just make things worse by crying my eyes out myself.  So, I'll stay here and be strong.  I know you're thinking, "it's just a dog".   But this dog has been with us for 18 years.  That is amazing and he's made such an impact on my dad's life.  I hate this. 

So, screw you March!  You were supposed to be better but it's day 6 and I'm already crying my eyes out.  April, I have scans.  I need you to be better.  Please pray for my poor dad who is losing his best friend tomorrow.

And thank you for your continuous prayers for me and my family.  Please keep them up.  We need good scans in April desperately.  It's in God's hands. 

We'll always love you Dallas, the Big Headed War Dog

He does have a big head :)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Hello March!

It is an absolutely beautiful day here on St. Simons Island!  Although I am sitting in an office helping out right now, I have an ocean view!  And I will be leaving early!

I'm so glad February is finally over.  It was such a rough month.  January was too.  But March, you have to be better.  This month will be my first wedding anniversary married to Brent.  It's gone by so quickly.  It seems like only yesterday we were getting everything ready.  It's been a bumpy year, but he's been my rock here.

My mom is healing from her bypass well.  The whole lung cancer community is still in mourning over the passing of Elizabeth Dessureault.  There are no words for the loss of such a beautiful and positive soul.  It sucks.  I know God has a plan for all of us...and I feel she truly changed the face of lung cancer in her short life.  She did so much in the brief amount of time she was with us.  Praying for her family and friends still, as well as the entire lung cancer community.  We will mourn for a while.

But, of course, this is why we fight!  So that her death wouldn't have been for nothing.  We need to continue the work she was doing and pick our selves up and keep fighting!  That is what she would want.  This is why she did all that she did.  She was a fighter and she remained positive until the very end, and for that, I envy her.  She was one of the strongest warriors I've seen

I hope some of you will be at the Hope Lungevity Summit in D.C.  This is my 5th year living with lung cancer but only my second time attending.  I would love to come together so we can all fight this disease together.  I'm very much looking forward to it.  Unity.

As for everything else going on, just taking things day by day.  Every day is a gift.  Don't waste it on bitterness or pettiness. Stop, look around and take it all in.  You never know when it may be your last chance to do so.

And.....it's almost beach time!!!!!!!!!!

God Bless and Welcome March, wore my green today!