Hope

Hope

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Sometimes, a grown up likes to play Fortnite -J. and Dad

Just want to let you guys know, my name is Samantha Mixon, I was diagnosed with stage 4 NSCLC with an EGFR mutation in 2012.  Now, I'm assuming J's dad thinks I'm not the real Samantha Mixon...but come on.  Those that know me know I've loved playing video games when stuck in the house.  Right now, I'm stuck.  And I'm not ashamed.   We play Fortinite in this house.  It gives me an escape when I desperately need one. How do I prove you prove to someone you are who you say you are?  Well, I'm writing in now.....and Please, Facetime me J's dad.    You have no idea what I've been through.  So playing a video game helps.  Dad cannot do research and say I am fake, just because I have articles online..  J's got my number.  Facetime me.  Please.  

And to all the moms and dads out there, when I play and kids are playing, I don't let your kids cuss or pick on others.  It's not right and sometimes mom and dad don't see that.  So, Mr. Jerzee's dad, I challenge you to facetime me.  So you can see, I have been fighting for my life for 10 years.  I'll show you my array of wigs or the black dress I wore to the superbowl.  And would even show you my daughter but she's out of town. 

So, It is very disheartening, that an adult such as yourself can come to the conclusion that I'm fake.  Especially after this fight for my lfe that I'm still in.  However, I will continue to fight with God on my side, and when you meet him at the pearly gates, you can explain why you lied to your daughter.  J, It was fun playing on there with you.   But I cannot stand liars.  If you have a question, ask it..  Dont ASSume, because you know, thats a bad look.  A little disappointed in you too J. You didn't do your own research.

However, J's Dad, I do applaud you for keeping up with who your daughter was playing with.  Too many parents these days don't do that.  But if I end up playing with your kid, rest assured, no creepers will be around.  As a mom myself, I would want someone to do the same for me.   So how about a little communication before you pass judgment?  My only Judge is God.

I had to step away from advocacy to preserve my own mental state.  But I still show up most times and keep my blog active.  Don't forget, none of us are here forever.

She has my number and so do you.  Think what you want, but I am me.  So you can continue lying to her or call me.


and....Rona got me  UGH


And to Gina Hollenbeck who we recently lost.  You were an amazing advocate and your legend will live on.  I love you girl.  My heart was broken yesterday.  The Lung Cancer community is no longer the same.  Fly high sista.  I'll see you soon.  And teach you to play Fortnite too.  



Thursday, June 9, 2022

She's fine. She's been alive so long and doesn't even look sick. -TRIGGER WARNING

 I don't pay attention to social media anymore, so unless someone tells me, I rarely know what's going on.  I am not purposely insensitive.  And I don't expect people to stop their world because of me.  I always love prayers.  But I mainly keep to myself because I know others have so much going on.  Unless something drastic happens, I never post about my condition anymore.  I have heard this so much, that I can't begin to explain how I have to just sit there and listen to people who have never been in my shoes, or tried, to chastise me for not checking on them.  I don't know if something is wrong unless someone tells me. I am doing my best to survive and be a good mother and good Christian.  Please forgive any grammatical errors or misspellings (sister lol).  I'm too tired to check.

Speaking of shoes, after over 9 years of tarceva, my nails are growing into my skin.  I'm constantly having to pull them out.  I'm going to see a dermatologist too, if anything could be done.  It's not just my toes, it's also my fingernails.  In fact, some of my toenails are just falling off.  All of my nails are weak and brittle and sometimes the nail breaks off in the skin and I have to keep digging.  I have a topical solution to put on them, but needless to say, it's painful to type because my fingernails are so thin.  

I've gained about 20 lbs since January.  Yay say most cancer patients.  But, the only reason I gained it is because I've been dealing with my nails and MRSA since the holidays.  I haven't been able to walk properly without pain.

Additionally, I have moderate degenerative cervical disc disease as well as a possible torn rotator cuff.  I've also been living with a fractured rib for about two years.  When I bend over to clean something, part of the rib makes presses inside and I have to immediately lay flat on my back.  It's so frustrating to barely be able to sit.  I mostly lay back or walk, not sit.

I've also heard how I've kicked cancer's ass.  That could be further from the truth in clinical terms.  I have a genomic mutation that will eventually find a way around my medication and I will become actively sick again.  By then, I'm biding my time and waiting patiently for something great to come up.

I still get pet scans every 3 months.  The first week in July I have an MRI, Petscan, Oncology appt, dermatologist appt,  Pulmonologist appt, Orthopedic appt, and a mammogram.  I'm pretty sure I will meet my annual deductible at that point.  

I just had a follow-up with palliative care, which has been a lifesaver for the pain.  Additionally, I will most likely end up in the ER because the back of my calf is hurting so bad I can barely walk.   Which could also mean a DVT (blood clot).  I still have two smaller pulmonary embolisms.

A friend called me recently, and I completely broke down crying because I felt for once, that someone without cancer was really "getting me".  

You see, most people think I quit advocating because I was cancer-free.  WRONG.  I will always be stage 4 lung cancer until the day I die.  The best I can hope for is stability.  My right lung is awful.

Don't get me wrong, I have been amazingly blessed by God to still be here.  I'm not sure why (which is the same question I asked when I found out I was sick).  The reason I quit advocating is that the loss broke me.  Yes, motivational speakers will tell me to carry on for them.  But I'm tired, so tired.  All of the women recently passed in the last year or two.  My friend told me it's like being in a war.  He's damn right.  But, I didn't sign up for this and neither did they.  So, I hold them and my father close in my heart. And a huge shout out to Lyndsi Kofal who wrote a statement last night that nailed exactly how I feel mentally and physically.

I've always felt like I'm running in circles, Einstein's theory of insanity when advocating.  I burned out.  And I decided, that whatever time I have left will be with my family.  So, I have pretty much distanced myself from social media.  I'll post pics of Karley and memories occasionally.  But, when I open my feed, I can't help but be so deeply depressed seeing other lung cancer friends fighting, but still going downhill.  

After all, your heart can only take so much.  Mine is shattered and I don't know if it will ever be repaired.  

So, as for the title, I'm not fine mentally or physically.  I don't always look sick when I put on makeup, but I am.  And living so long is a blessing in terms of my daughter, but a curse when it comes to relationships, mentality, and pain.

So, trigger warning, the worst of the Pics are at the bottom.  But these are 3 different nails.  They are still attached.  I've had 3 just completely fall off.  So, folks, this is lung cancer.  This is me and not a day goes by I'm not reminded of my limitations.



ON THE BRIGHBRIGHT SIDETSIDE. MY HAIR IS GROWING, AND MY DOG IS CONFUSED.

MY WORLD

THESE WOMEN ARE GONE.  THEY ARE JUST THE ONES OVER THE PAST YEAR OR SO.


I MISS MY LITTLE SISTER IN SUCH A SIMPLER TIME



TRIGGER WARNING:  GROSS PICS BUT THIS IS REALITY.  AND ITS OFTEN.
I DIDN'T TAKE PICS OF THE AREAS WHERE I HAVE NO NAILS ANYMORE.


This huge nail grew under my toe.














Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Overdue Update

Lung Cancer Milestones















 Well, I've been super busy lately.  Cancer Treatment side effects are driving me to wits end.  My nails have been curling under the skin making them painful. Both toenails and fingernails.  So many people have treated me like I'm a drug seeker for the past 10 years, including my own PCP. 

With my targeted treatments I can only use narcotics, not any NSAIDS.  So, I've been breaking away from most social media because it's not real life.  And somtimes it makes me sad.  So, I'm living my real life through this blog.  It's not fake, not sunshine and roses; but exhaustion and painful joints and too many medications.  And by the way, I just began palliative care.  I'm not giving up. I'm trying to be more comfortable and live my best life.

My scans have remained stable, so far I've been blessed. And watching Karley graduate is my next milestone.   I cannot believe I started this blog when she was 7, and she will be 18 in January.

I praise God constantly for the time he has given me.  Life can change in an instant.  Be strong, for He is always with you.  So far this year, I've seen the unprecedented conviction of the first hate crime in the state of Georgia, with the conviction of the spineless men behind the death of Ahmaud Arbery.

Friday, December 31, 2021

Holiday Grief - The first year. Forever Changed

According to an article from Dec. 14, 2021. from the attached link  about the psychological effects of losing a parent as a grown child can change you forever.  Grief and the effect

I  am perfectly aware of the circle of life.  I know that we all will one day go on to be with the Lord.  And there will be no more sorrow or pain.  And I know that one day we will see our loved ones again.  But does knowing this really make it easier?

Since I got a lung cancer diagnosis 9 years ago, I've had two people that have been my rocks.  My parents have been with me through everything.  This is because my life is divided into two parts.  Before cancer and after cancer.  

Time after time, month after month, for 9 years I've been losing friends to this disease.  At this point, I don't think I can mentally handle involvement with more lung cancer patient relationships.  Yet, they are the people that understand so I need them.

As to my question about knowing the circle of life and having the faith that I have, does it make the death easer?  I really thought it would  I've lost loved ones throughout these 9 years.  And each one has taken a little bit of my heart.

This year I'm dealing with the unexpected loss of my father.  My hero, protector, comforter, and my person.  I'm not taking anything away from my mom.  She first and foremost has been by my side every single step of the way.  Everything I've been through, she has been there.

In the beginning, my father was too.  I remember how painful gamma knife radiation was after they removed the screws from my head without pain relief.  I've never screamed in pain.  I did that day and I thought my dad was going to jump over the nurses desk and attack them.  So I sent my mom, she can be a little more tactful.

But, my mom and sister both know that I inherited my father's bluntness, quick to anger, but also quick to help anyone in need to the point it puts my own health at risk.

So, after making plans for his birthday (May 15) on March 27th at around 8:04 p.m., I had no inkling that would be the last time I would speak to him.  He sounded so happy and healthy even though I knew he was getting weaker and during covid we had him stop going to my appointments.  

LOOKING BACK

Every year I've been at my mom's on Christmas and then driven the 5 minutes to my dads to see him.  There was no question, it was like clockwork.  I would be in Atlanta.  But my mom got very ill.  She's still battling a bit so prayers for her would be much appreciated.

Instead, I've been home by myself since Christmas.  I hung my dads old stocking under his urn and sat it in view of the Christmas tree.  I think Christmas was always our favorite time of year.  He would continuously watch "A Christmas Story".  I don't know how he didn't have it memorized.  He would drive my mom crazy with, "she still loves me, my betroved".  

I believe they came back in each others lives because of my diagnosis.  And they never stopped truly loving each other. And finally, my first bit of good news about my tumors shrinking came in December 2014 over the holidays.  My dad never took his tree down after that news.  He said it would stay up until I beat this.

The most recent scan I got showed no tumors or bright lights, and my SUV level was at 1.8.   Above 2.0 is indicative of cancer.  He was supposed to be here for that news.  He would've been elated, yet he passed away worrying about me like always.  I finally took down his tree and donated it to a 2nd grade class.  He would've wanted to still bring love to all of those children.  It was ironic that Karley was in that grade when I was diagnosed.

THE GRIEF MAKES YOU CRAZY WITHOUT SUPPORT

Psychologists have nailed it when it comes to grief and the stages.  It's only as if the stages never end.  They make you feel crazy.  Every case is different.  In my case I've just wanted support.  Friends to acknowledge my loss and check on me.  But I know it's the holidays and everyone is busy, but a few people I consider dear friends don't understand my need to be surrounded by love right now.  

I know I have the support from my mom who is sick 5 hours away and my sister in San Diego, but they aren't processing it the same way.  My mom has been so sick and my sister has two little ones.  I remember it being all about Karley in that way too.  It would have been a great distraction.

But shes on vacation with her boyfriend now and next Christmas she will be a senior.]

So for the first time in my entire life, I am alone for Christmas and New Years.  I felt like I had friends that would be supportive.  I'm not talk about Amanda and the ones that have always been there.  I needed a distraction from today.  But I'm not getting one so am about to go back to sleep.

I  suffer already suffer from PTSD which makes the loss harder, and the fact I talked to him the night he died.

When a parent dies unexpectedly , you tend remain in anger and denial longer, often leading to major depressive disorder or PTSD.  And having those already is like a walking bombshell.  It increase them.

And then some of your "friends" make you feel crazy.  They haven't suffered this loss yet though so how can they judge the way I'm my processing.  In reality, they cant understand and call me petty and dramatic and other many other things.  

But this isn't true, losing a parent so close can make you feel crazy  One minute you're happy and the next sad and the next angry.  And you can only pray to have the support you need.  Especially over the holidays.  I did so good until now.  Because tomorrow, my dad will have not existed in that year.  I feel like I'm leaving him behind.  It's an awful feeling.  Though a part of me will always be with him and him with me, I can't help but feeling this way.  

So, I'm not celebrating.  I'm sleeping.  And maybe I'll see him again one last time this year.  There are no rules on how to grieve.  But having support is so important.   When you don't, you feel like things are spiraling out of control and you are helpless.

Friday, July 2, 2021

My Dad - The Man I Loved the Most

The Day My World Changed Forever

Everyone I know on facebook saw that we lost our dad the night of March 27, 2021.  Although the official record declared his date and time of death to be March 28, 2021 at 7 a.m. when the medical examiner called it, I know he left us before midnight.  No one can change my mind.

On the evening of March 27, 2021 at 8:04 pm I spoke with him and texted him at 7:54 pm for the last time.  Earlier that week I called Piedmont to schedule my PetScan and blood draw.  It was then I realized my father's birthday was on a Thursday.  So we were considering later in the month until I saw that.  It was perfect.  I could go to my scan and then out to dinner with my parents to celebrate my fathers birthday.  My parents may have divorced but the grandkids and my illness always brought them together and they truly had a deep unbreakable love and bond for one another.

I called my dad the evening of the 27th.  When he answered, I shouted, "Guess who has a doctors appt on your birthday?" to which he replied, "me!"  Both of us could be overly silly.  I asked again and he finally got it right with "you!".  I told him it was perfect.  I could drive up to Atlanta Wednesday and we could go out to eat after my scans.  I'll never forget how excited he was.  We talked about some miscellaneous things, our conversations could be a bit morbid.  I would tell him what I wanted when I died and he would do the same.  That night he mentioned to me some things he wanted his granddaughters to have.  I just took it as a regular conversation.  He was very adamant about it, which was strange.  It stuck in my head. I texted him a few hours after we talked, I needed his advice, I needed him, and he didn't reply.  I called a few times because I knew he would answer or reply to my text.  He always did.  He's always worried about me, as has my mom, since I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer November 27, 2012.  He would've answered or replied had he still been with us.  But, I thought he would call me in the morning, he's been in a lot of pain.

So, at 5:04 a.m. the next morning my phone rang and it was my mom.  Immediately, a wave of dread came over me.  My mom would never call so early unless something was wrong.  Through her sobs, she said, "Baby, you need to come home.  It's your dad".  I asked her if he was gone, and she said yes.  She was sitting next to him and did so until they came to retrieve his body.  He was still in the living room.  His girlfriend had called my mom in a panic.  My mom said it just looked like he went to sleep and she kept waiting on him to snore.  She sat next to him and talked to him the whole time, about how she tried so hard to stop loving him but never could.  She stayed until they carried him away.  He never stopped loving her either, but he did that day.  Which is why I'm going to add this ominous song which is the one that was playing when I cranked his car for the first time.  It was the last song he listened to.

I grabbed clothes and threw them in a bag.  It took my maybe 15 minutes to pack, funeral dress included, and I was on the road.  My thoughts were everywhere.  How could he die?  We just made birthday plans and he was so excited.  He wasn't in pain, he hadn't taken any pain pills.  He was happy.

I made it to Atlanta in record timing and immediately went to my moms.  My sister was driving down with my nieces from Quantico, VA where her husband, Patrick, a marine was going to join us the next day.

A lot of what happened after was a blur.  My mom, sister, and I each had our own ways of handling this.  I became numb to a point of sporadic crying when alone, whereas my sister was so emotional and my mom somewhere in-between.  I think she was in shock.  My sister and I had never experienced such a loss and before long were at each others throats.  I look back now and regret that happened, but all of this brought us closer together than we have ever been.  She did the planning, I had a fractured fibula.  

My mom wanted to make sure he had a military funeral and between my sister and brother in law and his local American Legions, they made it happen  She did an amazing job.  I wrote the obituary and sifted through pictures for a slideshow.  It took me 10 times the amount it should've in order to do anything.

My cousin, John Allen Mixon, came down and began helping my sister and me.  I still can't find my favorite picture, I was about 10 and dancing on his toes at my aunt and uncles wedding.  I can still see it in my head so maybe I'll sketch it before time erases it.

Who was John Falton Mixon?

My dad was the most interesting person I've ever known. Sometimes I would listen to his stories and think, "no way", but he never wavered when he told them.  Always the same way.  He wasn't lying.  The stories he would tell and the sayings he would use, he seemed larger than life.  All of my friends knew and loved him.  After being honorably discharged from the Navy, he went on to be a red coat at Delta Airlines for 28 years.  My mother worked for Eastern Airlines.  The people that would request him to escort them out of the terminals were amazing.  One example was John Gotti.  Gotti only wanted my dad and they became acquaintances throughout the years. 

He loved Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, George Jones and Elvis so much.  We shared the love of Elvis's Blue Christmas when I was little.  He told my mother at the age of 26 and me at the age of 74, "when I die, I want the song 'My Way' played.  That was his song and that is the way he lived and died.  His way.  

I bought him a vinyl record player for his birthday.  It now sits in my house as I listen to the old vinyl's of his favorites.  One of my favorite Elvis is "Suspicious Minds".  My father didn't trust many people.  If he trusted you, you were good.  He could tell in 5 minutes if someone was a "snake in the grass" or a good person.

A few of his sayings, "my my how the worm has turned" when something changed in his favor.  When asking how he was feeling, his responses were, "hanging in there like a loose tooth", "if I felt any better I would have to be twins", "with my hands".  Regardless of how much pain he was in, the man would always make you laugh.  The life of the party.  I can't even think of all the sayings right now.  Always a smile on his face.

The first song I played on the record player was, "you'll never walk alone", which I didn't notice, just put on some Elvis, but found a video of us dancing at my wedding on his phone.  That was our dance.  It was perfect for me to hear at that point.

Younger Years

He shot a man in Florida trying to steal his car.  He fought it and got off.  His life wasn’t in danger   He just didn’t want his car stolen 🤷‍♀️.  He always carried "roscoe", his side piece.  He carried it everywhere, almost going into the airport with it when I dropped him off.  Roscoe belongs to Roy the Boy now if we can get our hands on it.  That gun never left my dad and was always on the coffee table.  We've been unable to find it.

He fought a midget intoxicated and was arrested for fighting a minor, although the midget got the better of him.  A funny story I will share one day.  He was in the Navy at the time and had a little too much to drink.  He was recognized by another Delta employee 20 years later who had been in the same courtroom on the same day.

He had a temper (sometimes) and some people were frightened of him. My mom tells me I got his temper.... But the things he did were always to protect his family, friends, neighbors and country.  There wasn't a thing he wouldn't do for us.  He always wore a sportscoat and an American Flag pin.  He always  proudly flew his American Flag.  If there ever was a patriot, it was him.  

It was funny the things he kept from his younger years.  There was one man that lived at the end of our cul-de-sac, my father despised him.  I honestly think he ran background checks on everyone.  Anyway, I loved basketball when I was younger.  He put up a basketball hoop at the end of the road.  I would love to go down there and play.  My dad soon put a stop to that and had him take it down.  For some reason this prompted a visit from the FBI (not the first).  My dad apparently threatened him, my sister and I know why now.  He was fired from teaching because he was in love with a 16 year old student and even told her parents he was! We read the transcripts my dad kept, not knowing how he got them.  Apparently the guy was also in witness protection so had to be relocated because of my father's threats.  

My sister and I are both sleuths like my father, just warning you this man is now the dean of a local Georgia University, I'll refrain from telling which one.  I guess his past got buried.

He was also considered the protector, not only of his family, but of the neighborhood.  Not many men would sit on their roofs for hours at a time dressed in disguise to watch out for the neighborhood hoodlums that destroyed our carved pumpkins.  But when he caught them, he chased them into their house.  He made these kids carve new pumpkins for the entire street. Those kids father even gave my dad their blessing.

And Now the Time Has Come

He outlived all of his siblings and most of his friends.  He was down because he began feeling alone but always lived for his children and grandchildren.  We were his life and there is nothing he wouldn't do for us.  I was afraid I would pass before him and my mother.  This weighed on me, it wasn't the natural order of things. We had a long talk several months before.  I asked why he kept carrying on in so much pain and didn't just go be with the Lord.  He responded, "because I have to watch out for you".  I told him it was okay and that I would be okay.   Some think that's selfish, but I could no longer see him in so much pain all of the time.

Now, I worry about my mom.  They had each other when Brook and I moved away.  And they took care of each other.  She's alone up there now.  Had I had the money, I would've bought my sister out of my dad's house and lived there.  But Karley still has 2 years of school.

We just had another celebration of life for him at his favorite bar on his birthday.  Although he didn’t drink, he loved the employees and locals and its a major hangout for delta employees.  He also loved his American Legion and would always proudly drag my sister and I around introducing us to everyone.

It's taken me a long time to write this, and I still don't feel as I've done him justice.  He's the man I loved most in my life and we had such a bond.  My house is slowly becoming a shrine to him, lol.  I even bought him a father's day gift I keep next to his urn.  It's a 1929 World War 1 Navy hat.  I hang out at the antique store way too much.  

There was so much more to my father.  Please feel free to share any stories on this post on fb, twitter, wherever.  He would've loved the attention.  

So, it's taken me a long time for acceptance to set in, I'm still sad but I'm not angry or in denial or anything like that anymore.  I feel his presence with me.  

My life has been a blur since March 28th.  I couldn't even tell you what happened yesterday.  I thought my experience with my friends who died of lung cancer over the past eight years could somehow prepare me, but nothing can prepare you for the loss of a genuine caring parent.  I think God my mom is still here.  And for all the parents out there who have loss children, I pray for the pain.  I don't know how you do it, but GOD BLESS YOU.  Anyway, I'll leave you with a bunch of photos and now will start blogging again.  I was in too much pain to do so until now.  Sorry for the novel.

But rest assured, he did it his way.  He passed peacefully on his couch with his dog by his side.  He went to sleep.  His heart gave out.  He always predicted he would do it his way....he did.  Frank Sinatra nailed it.



Click links below to watch a tribute and musical video - His forever song and last song in his car.





The last song he played in his car.  I like the Alan Jackson version sung at George Jones Funeral (so I added that one)  He sung it with such conviction.  Love it.






Friday, January 22, 2021

Catch up - And Scan results

I have seriously been neglecting my poor blog.  Between learning to walk again and the holidays, it's been non stop.  So....this is going to be a quick catch up.

I learned to walk again and by my birthday (Halloween), I was dressed in costume and house decorated so I could hand out to trick or treaters.  I never do this because I've always worked or had Karley.  But after my stroke, I felt like I had a new lease on life.  (Pic overload below)

I met someone I've been seeing since October.  He's pretty awesome and helped me out tremendously along with my mom in my stroke recovery.  I'm happy to say that I've regained all of walking skills and have totally recovered.  It didn't come without falls.  But it's going to take more to take out this cockroach DNA. (recovering pic below)

On 11/27/20 I celebrated my 8 year Cancerversary by eating pudding for breakfast and laying around all day.  2020 was a dumpster fire.  But my cockroach DNA is still thriving.  There are few reasons why and I'll mention them throughout.  

First, as soon as Halloween was over I put up Christmas decorations.  That's right.  November 1st.  My daughter just looked at me like I was crazy, as did her father.  It always drove him nuts when I decorated early.  Even Paul, the new guy I'm dating, probably thought I was a little crazy.  But at least my crazy didn't scare him off.  My only thought process was "I'll decorate for Christmas, that'll make everything better".  Yeah....it didn't.  Don't get me wrong, I loved the lights at Jekyll and our cozy little home all decorated, and always love celebrating Christ, but things were still bad.

So, I began selling all of my furniture and replacing it.  I've gotten so good at thrift shopping I actually made a profit!  If you saw my house before Thanksgiving of last year, it has TOTALLY changed.  I started with the couch.  I found a great one that didn't smell like cat urine at a thrift store.  The owner was amazing and walked around to show me all of the couches on facetime since I didn't want to risk it.  So, shout out to "Junk for your Trunk" thrift store in Brunswick!  And this is how my transformation began.

I love the Holderness family.  So when I watched the video of the things she's done, I felt like we were related.  My daughter has a new "vintage" bedroom suite with a queen bed now.  Our spare room is no longer an art room but an actual spare room with a full bed.  Any of my friends wanting to visit this summer, lets get vaccinated and covid tested and come stay with me for free!  The beach is a whole 4 miles from my house.  After redoing every room besides the kitchen of my house, I decided to declutter.  I sold so much furniture and so many electronics.  I currently have 5 full bags of clothes for a yard sale.  And the longer I stay home..the more decluttering will come.  It's like a want a new home and can't have one so decided to redo mine.  And I bought an old wii with some "Just Dance" games.  Great exercise after a stroke.  I'm back at 100% physically.  Mentally...it's never been 100%.  I've included the video from the holderness family below.  It's the one where Kim is my spirit animal.  I never realized until I saw it that I wasn't the only one going absolutely crazy.  And NYE didn't put that dumpster fire out.  It just kept burning.

I tried to stay away from the news.  I have enough on my plate.  And they say "ignorance is bliss".  There have been no truer words ever spoken.

Tuesday, my daughter took her driving test.  She is now a legal driver, with her own car.  My extended family helped me tremendously.  I'll have two small car payments for a while and quite a few medical bills.  But, I can only pay what I can pay.  I would've much rather been on a vacation for the price I'm paying back to the hospital for the stroke.  Could've toured Europe!

I feel so blessed that not only did I get to see my daughter pass her driving test, but I got to see her get in her car and smile excitedly and wave goodbye to me.  Of course I cried.  But they were tears of joy.  I never thought I would see this day much less ride with her during it.  I am just praising God tremendously.  My life isn't perfect.  It's a disaster.  But I know what's important and material possessions are not.  The love for my daughter cannot be described. It's everlasting, as is my love for Christ.

Lung cancer is severely underfunded.  So, a few members of our Lung Cancer Community are working on "The White Ribbon Project".  Its up to us to get the funding and make others aware.  I've attached a few of the pics we did.  Heidi and Pierre made this ribbon and so many more to send across the country.  Mine now resides in the cancer institute at Piedmont Hospital.

And finally, I'll wrap this up and promise to get back to posting more.  My scans yesterday showed no evidence of active cancer.  Just the same two dormant tumors.  We still have to find out why I'm having strokes, but the news to my family, friends, and myself couldn't have come at a better time.  It's like we are beginning to slowly awake from this crazy year.  Baby steps of course.

Thank you all for your continuous prayers.  Please pray for my dad, his friends, and so many of my friends.  Survivors guilt has really done a number on me mentally this year.  But, I know I need to keep going.  Showing my daughter to always pray and don't give up, even if you're told no the first time.  Keep trying.  Sometimes it pays off and God answers those prayers.

Thank you all for following my journey through this crazy thing called life.  You've all seen my family change and get older and that sweet 7 year old when I was diagnosed is driving now.  It's incredible.  God has a plan for us all.  Don't doubt that, it could lead you down a very dark path.  I'm prepared to handle what comes my way.  I have faith that He sees the big picture and everything happens for a reason.

God bless you all and I'll write more in a couple of weeks.   Mucho shorter next time!



Halloween - Up and walking (mostly) and decorations out







I fell quite a few times learning to walk again

of course this is where they would send me for a new neurologist

We miss you Kelly Kayuk


Christmas 2020



Lights at Jekyll


Yep, I rode in a Cinderella carriage 









Picture Day - White Ribbon


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world.  Indeed it is the only thing that ever has" - Margaret Mead

Scans Yesterday


My favorite Oncologist/Doctor ever!  Dr. William Jonas - He's been with me since Day 1

Karley turned 16 and is driving!








I love these girls all grew up together and are still so close.  Mine is the second tallest in the back.



Click above for the video I was referring too.  The Holderness Family on YouTube.  I love this family.