Sunday, January 18, 2015

I Am

The past couple of months have been a mix of emotions.  I am so excited for our new grandbaby to arrive in February.  Kaitlyn is so cute pregnant, and I love watching Brian transitioning from husband mode to the responsibility of becoming a father.  They are going to be fantastic parents.

I've decided Cleveland Clinic is a great facility, but not for me.  It's too difficult to be away from my family.  After the last surgery I had in December, I have not heard back from them.  This, makes me nervous.  We have been told several times when working with a nerve there is a small window of opportunity to work with.  After discussing my feelings with Heather and doctor Barr's, we decided to get me in with a fantastic doctor at Mayo Clinic.  He is employed by Rochester Mayo Clinic, but resides here in Arizona.  He works at the Maricopa County hospital and also does surgeries at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, seeing nerve and trauma patients every Wednesday and Fridays.  I was blessed to get an appointment with him.

I will be having another surgery on February 6th.  I feel really good about the procedure he is going to perform.  This first surgery will be a nerve graft, I will be finding out more about the details when I see him next week.  Then in a few months, there will be a much longer, more risk surgery. I will be spending at least a week in the ICU.  I am at peace with our decision.  I know I am going to be questioned about why I am going through with these surgeries.  I already have been told by several people, if the doctor wants to do anymore surgery I should tell them no.  It was suggested I should just be happy with how I look and move forward.

I have contemplated and pondered that bold statement for over a month now.  I am not a quitter, I am strong, I am willing to do whatever it takes to get my smile back.  Vain? I don't think so, I fighting against a time frame to work with this nerve. I know myself well enough to know if I don't try and that window closes, I will have regrets.  I choose to leave this life with no regrets.  Once I am told there is nothing more they can do, I will let go but until that time, this is what I think is best.

I want to point out I was told only 2% of people have a nerve die for no reason. This is not caused by a stroke or bell's palsy, most of those patients have full  restoration of facial paralysis.  My nerve is dead, it is not coming back to life, not with therapy, not with standing in front of the mirror everyday begging facial muscles to move.  There is no comfort I get knowing I need to live with this.  There are no support groups.  I have felt alone and disconnected from my family and friends.  I have shed more tears over this than I ever did over my diagnosis with cancer.  I will not apologize to anyone for how I feel.  I would hope people would be considerate of the decisions I have to make, they are difficult.

Most of us, including me have this conception of ourselves.  None of us want to think we are concerned with the look of our face.  I am here to tell you, unless you have been through this, a part of that 2% you do not know how you would handle it.  This has really messed with my head, and made me doubt myself in so many ways.  I'm trying so hard to be patient, to remember when I felt like most of you.  The fact is, I am part of that 2% and I do have to deal with it.  This may take years for me to feel comfortable.  So many people have asked me why I am involved with Nerium International.  It has been a year now since I made that decision.  Before the paralysis, I felt like I needed to get out of the cancer world and instead of always thinking about my next doctor appointment, get reconnected with friends.  One of the best decisions  of my life was to become a partner with Nerium.  Little did I know my life would be so richly blessed with self development.  I know without a doubt the Lord was watching me.  He knew what this facial paralysis would do to me. I have learned to love myself on a level completely different than I ever imagined I could.  I truly believe happiness comes from within, it is a process of finding yourself.  I am in that process now.  I have friends who don't know anything about my cancer journey, who didn't know me before the facial paralysis, they have helped me along this road of self awareness.  My friends who have known me for years and seen me through so much, will forever be embedded on my heart, I love them eternally.

I believe I have nothing to offer Nerium International, the company will grow and flourish with or without me, but I need  to flourish and grow right now. I feel a part of something, something wonderful.  The philosophy of the company I already believed in, the integrity and loyalty I feel is something I have wanted to be a part of my entire life.  This is so much more than about money for me. I have a chance to really make a difference in not only my life but to help others do the same.  Right now this is where I need to be.  I have constantly relied on the Lord for 5 years to guide me in the correct decisions.  I am not going to turn my back on the feelings I have now.  I know He is with me, He is blessing me along this journey.  I am continually telling myself I am beautiful, I am a daughter of God, I am an influence, I am important, I am going to survive, I am choosing the right.