Sunday, February 18, 2018

LIVE LIFE NOW! - Nicole Russell

This is the hardest blog I've ever written.  It's taken me a few days.  Our lung cancer community and her family and friends experienced an epic loss Friday.  Nicole Russell was taken from us, her children, and her husband, Jonathan.  I know we all have different beliefs, and I usually don't discuss those beliefs with friends, mainly because I don't want to force religion down someone's throat, but also don't want to lose friends.  Politics and religion are the two things I don't discuss.  But I am not ashamed of my religion.  No, I'm not perfect.  I sin.  But I do try to follow the path God has laid out before me, wherever it may take me.  That's why I post my thoughts.  That way, if you don't agree, you don't have to read.  But if you do or don't mind reading my beliefs, I hope I can help in some way.  But I need to write as a release now.  It's like an addiction.

I got the call Friday while driving home from Atlanta.  I had to cross 4 lanes of traffic to vomit on the side of the road, I was crying so hard.  I try to be hopeful, but lately it's been hard.  I waited too long to go visit her.  I will never forgive myself for that, and please don't tell me I should.  I had no idea how sick she really was.  She would always worry about everyone else who meant something to her.  She would seriously facebook stalk and track down their friends and family to make sure they were okay. 

She sent me silly snapchats to cheer me up on a regular basis ever since we met in person at the LUNGevity Hope Summit last year.  We also texted and talked on a regular basis.  She quickly became one of my closest friends.  I told her she was thug.   But, she always ended up making fun of me for being thug when I got mad.  We shared the same views on a lot of things, such as how you say a loved one has passed away.  She felt that if she wrote it, everyone could get over the way she says it because those are her thoughts and words.  And who are we to judge?  She was right.  Totally and completely right. 

She was spitfire.  She didn't sugarcoat things.  I LOVED that about her.  She didn't put up with anything.  Most of the time I don't either. To me, Nicole was fearless, except when it came to leaving her loved ones behind.  She didn't worry about herself.  She worried about everyone else.  I know she was so tired of living in this cancer world.  She took breaks but she LIVED.  With her family, she really LIVED.  She didn't let cancer define her.  She defined the way we should be living with cancer. 

There are no words I can say to make anything better, other than, she is no longer in pain.  She is gone from this world that was making her so sad due to cancer.  I believe she's our guardian angel now. 

After Nicole passed, I posted I wouldn't be attending the Hope Summit.  Ron Fong told me to make a page.  Ron and I share a lot of the same beliefs.  He is an angel on this earth.  Within 10 hours the lung cancer community raised $1,650 to go.  I was amazed.  I am so blessed that so many people cared enough to donate for me to go.  But what was truly amazing, is that Katie posted there were more people.  As if it were an instruction from God and Nicole herself, it became a domino effect.  Our community began raising so much money.  We needed that love, that hope, that unity to help those who couldn't go otherwise. Now we can share stories, love and hope.  There are angels walking among us.  God bless them for working with man upstairs and Nicole on getting us together.  That was the main reason she wanted to go.   To see her friends.  Well Nicole, we will be there and there is no way your presence won't be. 

I love you my friend.  Thank you for making me laugh, cry, angry, and to purely LIVE like there's no tomorrow.  You took a piece of my heart.  Hold onto it until I see you again.  I have so much more to say, but I don't know how to put it into words. 

Thank you all for your continuous prayers.  Love you all.  God bless.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

It's 3 am I must be lonely

I so miss the good old days.  I still know the words of that Matchbox Twenty song like it came out yesterday.  "Well I can't help but be scared of it all sometimes".  The last verse.  It's always stuck with me.  It's now 4 am.  I couldn't sleep.  Tomorrow night will be my first time alone since I had that pulmonary embolism January 15th, Karley's birthday.

Let me tell you, pulmonary embolisms are no walk in the park.  I'm just now getting around to do things.  I did some laundry, dishes and straightened up.  Then I literally passed out for 3 hours.  I don't have near the energy I used too.

I get serious vertigo now too.  I can't just jump out of bed like I used too.  If I sit up to fast, I fall back down.  I actually passed out getting out of bed the other day.  Thank God it was the bed I landed on.

And then I feel like pure crap.  Just everywhere and then there's uncontrollable crying.  It's ridiculous.  I don't cry much but this feeling is awful.  And it's been this way for weeks.  When researching I found it takes some people up to a year to recover.  Forget that!  I'm getting up and pushing myself because I refuse to feel like this for a year.  Time is precious over here and no way am I going to be miserable for a year.

I do feel myself slowly getting better.  I can stand up while holding something very slowly.  WTH?  I'm 38 years old.  I guess I'm just bitter, mad, and having an after hours pity party.  I know I should feel more blessed that I didn't die that day.  I know I should be grateful for living this long.  And I know everything happens for a reason.  I can't wait to get to heaven and find out this reason.

Karley worries about me so much now.  She's not sleeping well.  I hate that for her and as strong as I try to be around her, I'm a single mom and only human and just break down.  It's just been lately I've been doing this.  I just want to feel normal again.  Not the before cancer normal, even the after cancer normal would be a blessing.   But, I'm still here, trying to give everything to God.  It's so hard.  I haven't been able to fully let go, but in time I will hopefully quit scaring at every little pain. 

Well, now that I've written this, maybe I can sleep.  That's usually how it happens.  I miss being on the go.  My car hasn't been driven since January 14th.  She needs some love so maybe I'll feel good enough to go sit at the beach tomorrow.  It's always so peaceful during this time of year. 

Thank you mom for staying and taking care of things and doing so much, Betty for bringing us food, a new friend Adam, my ex Brent, Karley's father John, and all of you who have checked on me and helped us and thank you all for your continuous prayers and kind gestures.  You all give me much faith in humanity. And Cheri, thank you for taking me to the hospital that day.  I'm not sure I ever thanked you.  It's been a whirlwind year so far.  Maybe I'll start 2018 in March.  But, in all reality, I give God all the glory for bringing me this far.  There's a reason I'm still here.  I just need to get out of the funk.

Have to throw in some pics.   Here is my last oncology visit last week.  I get bored and play with snapchat. 

My dad is the most patient person ever.