Saturday, June 28, 2014

Love One Another

I've been in Ohio for 5 weeks now, next Thursday I will be going under the knife again.  I realized  how much I need the Lord to bless me and watch over me.  I go to Him in silent prayer most of the days now, I don't have a lot of privacy, and I think it's been really good for me to be here with Diana, she's been a great source for me, as my nurse she needed to come to give me infusions every 12 hours.  We were under the impression I would have to get lab work done and see another doctor for clearance.  We did all of that last week, and I really should of just come home so I could see Eric and the kids.  For some reason I was not thinking straight, Diana suggested we go stay with her family who lives one hour and 1/2 away.  This would save us some money and get me out of the hospital environment.  It truly was a great distraction. Her sister and brother in law are empty nesters, it was a beautiful quiet home I could rest, read and have some quiet time.  Although it was awkward at first, I soon found out Angela and John are down to earth people, but also a very Christian Catholic family. This brought me relief, knowing I would be able to read my scriptures every morning, especially for preparation for my surgery on Thursday.

Diana and her sister Angela come from an Italian family, they love deeply, and laugh loudly--very loudly.  I think I will miss that the most when we part from each other once I am home, but I hope we will be able to keep in contact through texting and calls.  These people didn't know me, they didn't have to take me in for a week, they had choices, but they chose to show Christ like Attributes by opening their home to me.  I'm sad I didn't get a picture of John before I left, he and Angela were leaving to see their son daughter in law and new twin grandchildren in Columbus,  John did not get home before we left.  They truly are wonderful people, I felt like home and did not have one panic attack.

My new friend Angela--Thank you XOXO
Today we drove back to Cleveland to be closer to the Cleveland Clinic, we are within walking distance and it a lot less money, and actually a better hotel.  Tomorrow I am planning on going to a Cleveland ward, there is one within 1 mile of here.  Then we may drive to see the Kirkland Temple.  I can't risk catching the flu or getting a cold, so wearing a mask is mandatory when going to church or crowded areas.  I have had a great week--mentally trying to get prepared for surgery is always a quiet time of processing for me......I've decided no matter what the outcome of this surgery is I choose to be happy, I will not let this define who I am.  I have a great family who loves me, and been blessed with amazing friends who will not be embarrassed to be with me--I've tried to keep it light, not get to carried away with the facial paralysis, because the doctors are going to do the best they can, I have faith in them and they are very confident I will have great results.
  I never thought I would ever feel this way but I'm looking forward to getting this over with and getting home to my family.  I miss them more than I ever thought I could.  My grandchildren are growing through Face time Ezra looks so big and tall, Recker too, he came up to the phone and kissed me today.....I cried....then Ezra wanted to kiss me too.....I cried more.  Kayla was so sweet to follow them around the house with the phone so I could see what they were doing. Ezra is getting so smart, his daddy has been teaching him all sorts of things. He knows where his toes are, his eyes, nose, mouth and ears.  He also growls loud when you ask him "what does the Lion say?" He blows kisses, and knows how to throw away his diaper all on his own.  I sang Recker a song, its one I've sang to him since he was a newborn, he was intrigued and stood motionless as I sang it.
 I have so much to thank the Lord for, my life will go on, my circumstance may not change, but I am determined to learn something from this.   I will do all the doctor asks me to do and hope and pray the surgery goes well and the doctors hands will be still, and that we will have a great outcome.  Tonight, my thoughts and prayer as I lie down to sleep, help me get a good night rest, and ask the spirit to be with me all week as I prepare for surgery. I have been trying to practice what I preach and put to practice some Christlike Attributes by doing something kind everyday for someone else, even if it's hold a door open, or give a half smile to a person walking by (usually that scares people so I try not to use that one) yesterday I did something very simple, I bought lunch for the lady behind me at Chipolte and she was so happy, surprised and elated.  She decided to pay it forward too.  The world would be a better place if we all could give a little more, it's not necessary for it to be a monetary service.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Love came in a box

Update on the last couple of days.  It has become extremely difficult to be so far away from my family, I miss them and Love them so much. I have tried to Face Time with them, and most of the time it works, but on those days it doesn't  work my heart is a little heavy.  I miss my Recker Love,  and Ezra's smiles and giggles.  I'm so afraid when I get home they will not remember me.  With the changes in my face, they were already beginning to doubt my relation to them before I left.  Eric, Blake and Chloe have been in the Dominican Republic for 10 days--I was intended to go with them, this trip has been planned for quite some time, when my sudden surgeries took precedence Eric immediately wanted to cancel the trip, I begged him not to, and thought it would be such a great bonding time for him and Blake.  Turns out I was correct, they had a great time, and are all on a flight back to Arizona.  While they were in the Dominican Republic they had the opportunity to work with Dr. Kelly, a surgeon who my daughter in law works with, his family is also dear to our family and we adore them.  Dr. Kelly is a surgeon and has been going to the Dominican Republic for 3 years to serve and give dental surgery to those in need,  those who  otherwise would not have the money to pay.  I will never regret having them go, it has been hard here in Cleveland without family, but I feel blessed to have modern technology where we are able to see and talk to each other through satellite.  I felt the spirit telling me to have Eric go, it was so strong that I told him if he stayed home I would not come to Cleveland Clinic, or have any meant that much to me for him to go.  He has not missed out on one thing here, I have had to fully rely on the Lord to help me make some major decisions, it has been a great opportunity for me to get closer to my Savior than I ever thought I could, I have one spiritual experience upon another and I know this is where I should be.  I am not sure what the outcome of this surgery will be, but in my heart I know I should be here.

Kaitlyn always sending me pics of the boys
love love love

Haleigh with Ezra and Recker, thank you
for brightening my day
I got a knock at my hotel door this morning, it was a postman, (weird on Sunday) he delivered a package from the people in my home ward.  When I opened a gust of love took my breath away, it was filled with cards, notes, gifts and love from all the people I admire and love so much who live in our ward.  I was overwhelmed with the spirit as I read each and everyone of the cards and notes, over and over, and over again. I had no idea I was so loved.  I will never be able to thank each and everyone of them, but I have FAITH & HOPE in knowing they know.
Thank you, thank you

Marian Priday--source of putting together my box of love

 Eric and I moved into this ward when I was 30, Haleigh was in the nursery, all of my children were baptized while in this ward.  I was dealing with family matters, that eventually ended  sadly in my mom and dad cutting ties with me.  Wally Slade was our Bishop, since that time I relied so much on the women and men of this ward for an example.  It was one of the most difficult times of my life and I am so grateful to have moved where we did, I had to learn how to parent these little children of mine with lessons from Relief Society, I soon found the Lord leading my eyes and heart to watch and learn from the people around me.  Most of those people are still here in the ward, but as new people moved in and out our children grew older, teaching teens to hold to the rod was harder than I thought, and again I listened with my heart and watched with my eyes, there are too many people to thank, and most do not even know the example they have been.

This morning I went to the Shaker Ward, it was about 10 minutes from my hotel....everything was pushing against me to get there on time--I needed to check out of the hotel, and barely made it to Sacrament.  I felt like home as I walked in sat down and was able to, with a very still soul partake of the sacrament.  There are two things I would change, the bread for the sacrament (thank you Junel Durfee) and the music, I kept thinking to myself "we have such a powerful man behind every note played in our little 6th ward, and his name is Stephen Phelps" tears bubbled up and rolled down one cheek I miss my home ward.

I was glad I had on my mask and eye patch, two reasons 1. no one could see my eye, and tears only fell from one eye.  2. with the mask on they cannot see my crooked smile, a little girl walked by and I smiled at her with my eye, she smiled back.  I will never forget this little girl, she sang 'I'm trying to be like Jesus' with an angelic voice, I closed my eye and listened it was beautiful.  Then the counselor who was conducting announced how the meeting would go from that point, it was something I had never seen before--and I loved it.  He said they were going to have a Hymnology.  It seemed to be a normal thing that they maybe do a couple times a year, and today was the day, how blessed I felt to be there.
It is something like a testimony meeting, only who ever feels the spirit goes to the podium and tell of their favorite Hymn and why then the congregation sings the song.  The list of Hymns were some of my favorites too.  Count your many blessings, Praise to the Man, Love at Home, Where Can I turn for peace, Master the Tempest is Raging, I know my father lives, Because I have been given much, The Iron Rod,  I believe in Christ and Sisters in Zion.  This ward is filled with multi cultures, it was refreshing to see and hear from members of all races.
Sister Franklin

Bore such a strong testimony today

Sister Franklin and her Nephews
 A little boy with Down Syndrome, walked up to me and hugged me, then said "Hi" he reminded me of CJ Udall-- tears filled my eyes, but then what he did next was even more touching, without knowing I had a BAHA implant in my head, he turned around then back and looked at me,  took my hand and placed it on his BAHA, he too has SSD (single sided deafness) I have yet to meet anyone who has a BAHA.  I have no idea what his name is, but I will never forget his piercing eyes as he stared into mine, at that moment I could feel the Savior's love all around me.

When the meeting was over I was filled once again with the strength to get through this  week as I prepare for the next surgery.  Today has been a day for giving me inspiration to continue on, knowing whatever the Lord has planned for my future is His will and although I may not understand why things happen the way they do, I can rely on Him to get me through ALL of my journey here on earth until I return to Him again.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Finally Surgery on the Calendar

Dr. Hamberkamp
This morning I had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Haberkamp for a pre-op appointment and to talk about all the drama yesterday.  He is such a nice man, always happy and most importantly optimistic about reconnecting those nerves in my face.  I guess time will tell, but I still love his positive outlook and optimism.  I truly believe in positive mental attitude, I have been working on my own body to try and get some results.  If I tell my body to do something for long enough I believe my brain will do it.  Sounds crazy, however, being positive and optimistic is better than the opposite, even if no results happen I will still be happy.  Why?  because I choose to be happy.

Dr. Haberkamp looked in my ear and could see some crystallization, which means it's healthy tissue, I have worked really hard to get some healthy tissue with Bacitracin and my $100 bottle of antibiotic. 
Essentially what he said is having the blood is OK, we don't want to lose too much blood and I can't afford to buy new clothes everyday, but it shows him that there is HOPE in the fact that tissue is alive.
Surgery is set for July 3rd.  To keep my ear from bleeding anymore the doctor put a coagulant in my ear, it will stay until surgery. It feels like slime, but I think this is the best my ear has looked in a long time.

That white is the coagulant
 I have labs and I'm assuming more appointments before my surgery, so I will be staying in Cleveland until then.  Counting my blessings today--so happy for too many things to count. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dr. McDreamy

Been there, done that....never again....

That little black area is where the source of blood came from

So much for that shirt, bra and undergarments

I felt every bit of that blood trickle down

Ambulance.....? REALLY...?? I wonder how much that will cost me/
I decided to venture out of my hotel and see if I could find some pants, I only brought one suitcase and have run out of clothes.  I thought by now I would of had surgery and been home with my family, so I didn't bring extra anything....really, you can believe it, I'm a woman and didn't pack heavy--my husband should be impressed.
I made it to a Macy's department store and was looking on the sales rack (Eric you would be proud)
Nothing there, but while I was standing there I heard something behind me hit the wall, I turned to look and it was a significant splatter of blood.  Immediately my ear was gushing bright red runny blood, down my neck, I felt a puddle forming in my undergarments but was afraid to look--I grabbed my ear, sure enough it was not stopping there was blood everywhere.  The sales associate took me to the bathroom, sat me on a chair the blood was still gushing out, the blood was saturating the wet towel and I could feel the blood going down my throat as I put my head back.
Macy's called 911...... I asked them not to, because I don't want to pay the bill for an ambulance when I can just drive to Cleveland Clinic.  As soon as the EMT's came and saw inside my ear, they decided for me, and soon I was being lifted up into an ambulance.  I had to tell the history of my ear issues over, and over and over today.  To top it all off when I arrived at the Cleveland Clinic they rolled me into the emergency area and was told to put me in room 13............."No I will not go in room 13, please don't take me in that room, I'll wait in the hallway, but do not take me in there"  wanting me to calm down the EMT asked me why I didn't want to be in that room, I said "I'ts not a good number, it's bad  and I need all the blessings I can get right now"  he laughed at me and rolled me into room 13......YIKES--Soon Diana and her sister who live here came into my room they waited with me until a doctor could come--An ENT came cleaned me up, and called for Dr. Haberkamp however he was deep into a surgery and would not be able to come.  We waited for one of his residents to come, finally he opened the curtain and said "Hello"  I couldn't resist it I replied "Did you have to be so dang cute?"
  he laughed, and as he walked closer I could see he had a hickey on his neck, again I couldn't resist it...."Um, you know I can see that hickey, you're not fooling anyone" he laughed and said "I'll have to talk to my wife about that"

By this time  it had stopped bleeding......this was so scary I had no idea an ear could bleed that much--Originally, the EMT told us he could see the blood seeping from the surgery plug Dr. Haberkamp had put in to cover the nerve. Dr. Cutie Pie said there was a small black area in the bowl are of my ear where the  the blood was coming from. He said since I was seeing my surgeon tomorrow, I could leave and Dr. Haberkamp would assess it tomorrow.   I was so relieved, it was very very scary to feel that amount of blood gushing from my ear and not know what to do.  I just held it, probably a lot like I did when I was a young child, I remember holding it when it hurt.  I thanked the doctor and said have a good day "Dr. McDreamy"  I think he was embarrassed but he smiled.

Besides a migraine, I felt fine when I left the hospital.  I just wanted to go back to the hotel and sleep, I was exhausted.  I did my usual going to bed regimen, I was finally able to lye down and once again the blood started gushing. I remembered Dr. McDreamy told me if it started to bleed again to put some Afrin on a cotton ball and put pressure on it.  I did exactly what the doctor said, and voila' blood flow stopped.  I put some bacitracin on it, covered it with a cotton ball and band aid.....and off to sleep.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The 'give and take'

He's at the door waiting to hear from us

It's late, after midnight, I need to sleep, but can't.  Not much has changed, the sitting and waiting is so hard.  Today, Cleveland Clinic surgery schedulers called to get me one more appointment with one of the surgeons for Thursday.  Also to make an appointment with internal medicine, and to get all my lab work done.  After I speak with the surgeon on Thursday I will have a better understanding of what exactly they are going to do to me, how they are going to do it, and to make sure my insurance is covering all of this.  I've always said that I believe everything happens for a reason, I know the Lord does not just toss us out into the world without an answer, but sometimes life does throw us under the bus.  Tonight I went in the bathroom and did my ritual of staring at my face and saying to my eyebrow "move" over and over when I had no luck there I did it with my eye "blink" over and over really concentrating with my brain on making my eye blink--it did two times--it is funny to watch me do it, but if a positive mental attitude can help me regain movement, even if just a little then I am successful and it tells me I have the strength to retrain my brain to get those wires reconnected.  One last try with my lip I say "smile" staring at the right side of my lip....I think I may have seen a slight movement...It may not happen today, but I believe when I least expect it, it will happen, I'm not sure how long I'll have to wait.  Sometimes I wonder if Heaven is even listening to me.  Do I need to change my prayers?  Tonight after my facial ritual, I sat on the floor of the small bathroom turned off the lights and prayed.  I know God has heard every prayer, Heaven often surprises me when I least expect it, because tonight I felt the spirit--yes, right there on the floor of a hotel bathroom.  Who would ever expect to get an answer to prayers while sitting on the dirty dark floor of a hotel bathroom?  Not me.

Today, I needed to go out and get some food for my hotel, a little girl was with her mom and grandmother, she was about 4 or 5 she pointed right at my eye as I walked in and said "hey, what's that on your eye, do you have an eye?"  Her mother was mortified, but I stopped her and said "Oh, I'm OK I just have a little boo boo, so I'm keeping it covered"  then she proceeded to show me her boo boo on the heel of her foot, the band aid was coming off, and she then told me "it's not a real boo boo, it's just for play"  I started to smile then realized that doing that would start a whole new conversation, so I just shook her hand and told her to have fun with her mom and grandmother.  They apologized, I told them they had nothing to apologize for, I appreciated her asking instead of staring--her little brain is learning and this is her way of processing boo boo's--they were very kind and apologized again as they walked away.
It's interesting how the Lord gives me sight when I can't see, the sight he gave me today was exactly what I needed.  He took  my doubt and replaced it with truth, He took my fear away and all I could feel was Him.  He takes me as I am, takes me by the hand He sees into my soul and He takes just what I need, so many times when He is refining me, leading me through the bitter sweet, I'm trusting him to make me complete.  I may never be the same Monya as far as my physical appearance, I know He sees my heartache, but He sends His sweet grace to help relieve me of those days when I feel my HOPE fading.  I know this 'give and take' that the Lord seems to be guiding me through over these past few years has blessed me to see that 'giving and taking' away are exactly what I need, to get me through those bitter/sweet times.  I'm hoping through this refinement I am going through now, He sees I am worn out, trying to keep up, and I can be left a lone for just a bit--I'm not sure how much more I can take.  

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Be a light to those who walk in the dark

Today is Sunday,  I wanted so badly to either go to the Kirkland Temple, or to a church close by.  I wanted to take the Sacrament, today neither one happened.  Tonight I am watching conference from my laptop, also listening to the Slade Family music, and the Sound of Music soundtrack.   My eye is getting worse everyday, and I fear losing it completely.  I've been keeping it hydrated and covered with a patch, but when I take it off for some relief--all I see is cloudy...don't be surprised if the spelling on this post is wrong.

This is a little city--white coats everywhere
I've been praying for a surgery date--tomorrow I hope something will be accomplished, I'm ready.  I want to get home and be with my family--Sundays are the nights we all get together have dinner and family home evening, oh how I miss them.  Since we've been empty nesters it's been really hard for me, I love my family around--if I had my way I would have them all move back in with us.  I haven't seen my grandchildren in 2 weeks--I haven't seen my children in 2 weeks--Eric and I Skype, so I get to see him, Blake and Chloe everyday.... I WANT YOU ALL TO UNDERSTAND THIS:  Eric and I had been planning a trip to Blake's mission in the Dominican Republic, when I was in the hospital Eric wanted to cancel, when we decided for me to come to Cleveland, I told him he has to go on the trip with Blake no matter what, just cancel my flights.  Of course he was not going to do that, he wanted to be with me, but I had a very strong feeling he needed to go and spend some time with his son, Blake will always have those memories to look back on when we are gone.  Still he was insisting on being here.  I told him if he came here, I would cancel the surgery and go home, now that made him think.  He knows when I'm serious, so he and Blake left a couple days ago, I've been talking to them everyday, thanks to modern technology.  Chloe will be working with Dr. Kelly while she is in the Dominican Republic, so this is good dad/son bonding time.  I told Blake this morning to have a great time and not worry about me, all Eric and he would be doing is sitting around (just like me) waiting for the scheduler to call. Besides the time I've had alone has given me a chance to reflect, process and get back on track with the spirit.  I have had some really serious spiritual experiences while fasting and praying for answers.

The two main sources of most importance are my eye, and to see if the bone is infected.  Not sure about the eye, but I feel really strongly that my bone is good, no infection.  I do not leave the hotel without a patch on my eye, the wind blows a lot here, it is extremely painful on my eye, it gets really red I have no peripheral vision out of the right eye. Not a good combination, deaf in the right ear, and can't see out of the right eye--boy I'm a mess--
I was thinking today, the body is so perfectly created by our Heavenly Father, 
when something is not working correctly we take note of it.  I never realized how important it  is
to be able to blink your eye--or how much people stare when they see someone who is not looking like the typical person should look.  
A little boy was with his dad and said "daddy, what's wrong with that ladies eye?" The dad quickly scooped him up trying to distract the little boy with a flavor of ice-cream, he asked his dad again.  I looked at the little boy and said "I have a boo boo and I'm just trying to cover it so it won't get worse"
I could see it bothered the boy's father to have me explain it.  The little boy said a few minutes later to his dad "what is wrong with her eye dad?" no answer.  I was trying my hardest not to laugh, I love little children and their ability to say it like they see it, but the father acting like I was an alien was a little bothersome.  I waved good-bye to the little boy, and off I went.  Seeing out of only one eye when I have the patch on is really strange, every step I take is difficult because my brain tells me the curb is closer than it is, I look about as gracious as a bull in a china shop. I have ran into walls, stepped on my own feet, dropped or grabbed for things that look closer or further than they really are.

The body is an amazing creation and when it is not working like it was intended to, all of what you learned, has to be retrained.  My mouth does not work like it used to either (I know most people are happy about that one) but I can only eat very small bites of things, they need to be cut up, and I can only eat on the left side, sometimes it is such a chore, my speech is OK, but hard sometimes to say my "P's and B's"  I have to hold my cheek out while I talk so people can understand.  While I Skyped with Eric and Blake this morning, he couldn't understand what I was saying, so I held my cheek out, we laughed about it---One thing I've learned in the past 5 years is that I am not in charge, Heavenly Father is, he is testing my knowledge of HOPE,  in my ability to  listen to the spirit, and step forward with FAITH.

I'm still staring at the mirror  15 minutes a day and telling my eyebrow to move, my mouth to smile and my eye to blink.....guess what? It's working today I caught my eyelid blink a couple of times while I was concentrating on it.  When Eric and I first got married he used to make me stand
in front of the mirror and tell myself "you are beautiful, you will succeed, you are going to have a great day"  I felt weird doing that, but it works--I've never met a more positive thinking person than him.
My face will work again, I know it will--just need to practice a Christlike attribute--patience.

I always despise the beginning of anything,  I'm starting to embrace these changes in my life.  I've been told I will never look the same again, well maybe physically I won't, but all these changes keeps me alive and open to new challenges.  So now it's time for one more change, I will survive, and I will go forward no matter what the doctors are able to do or not to do.  I am living in a world full of people who feel forgotten, they are not alone, I want to find a way to help them find their happy places, in spite of whatever trials they are facing.  I have given my heart and soul to HIM and to the doctors, I want to be a person who gives more than she takes--listen with my heart--smile with my eyes--and give back everyday I breathe to help someone in need.  I did a smile project, while I was going through my chemo treatments--

I have a new project, I'm in the process of  now and will tell you about it when I get my results. My focus now is embracing the new Monya--still the same heart, still the same personality, I'm trying to get refined around the edges.  I have no doubt that my Heavenly Father knows the strength I have in me, I know when I kneel down for help, he WILL answer back, however, I also know from experience it is not always the answer I want. I've tried all my life to be a humble servant, I've felt healing power in my life and in the lives of others, I have a grateful heart, right now I feel a  calm and quietness, the stillness of what I'm feeling draws me near to HIM. It makes me want to be a better daughter of God by serving others and giving back what I'm learning.  Even though I'm far away from home I know there is someone I can always turn to, and He is just one prayer away.  I realize this road ahead of me is long and is hard, but not devastating--I am concentrating on Happiness in my life--giving and sharing what I know can help others.  I am still in this school of learning that we all call LIFE.  When I look back at where I've been, I never saw these challenges in my future, I imagined it much worse--I have truly been blessed with a beautiful life, an eternal companion I call Frenchie, 4 amazing children, 2 of the best grandchildren who can light up my life with just a smile, I have FAITH in my future, I want to look back on all of this and  see that I did what was right when no one was around watching--keeping my eyes on Eternity,  I want to be a light to those who are in the dark, I want to bring them into the light and see what I see--I am the only one who can decide how I live, and I decide to LIVE HAPPY.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Smile with your eyes--

It's been almost 2 weeks I've been in Cleveland getting opinion after opinion.  I have finally found the surgeons I feel really good about.  The process they propose will  take a few more surgeries than I had anticipated and I really did have to place a lot of faith in my Heavenly Father to make decisions that are not only going to help the look of my face but also  the newest procedures in medical technology.  I asked all the right questions, most important, how many times have they performed this procedure.  The doctor I chose said he does this everyday, with 98.8% good result with patients.  I really liked him and he explained all the medical procedures in a way that I could understand, just like Dr. Kreymerman used to do. In fact I've spoken with PK several times about my procedures and doctors, he is fully confident I am in good hands here at the Cleveland Clinic.

I've spent most of my time in a hotel waiting for doctors to call--and you can believe every morning they get a call from me asking if anything has moved closer to a surgery date? Nothing yet.

Yesterday while I was at the Cleveland Cancer Center, I had a panic attack in the waiting area--I was not prepared for it at all.  I swift whiff of chemo threw me off--that smell is oh so familiar--there were a lot of sick people all around me--all I wanted to do was hug them, help them, talk to them,  laugh with them, spread some happiness with them--all these emotions raging through my body--I wanted to run, just run away as fast as I could--"Monya Williams" across the loud speaker shook me out of that odd place I was allowing myself to go.

Routine questions by the nurse--my legs were shaking I hate sitting still while I am have those panic attacks--it's literally impossible, but today I sat and stared out the window at the beautiful trees and floral, it's amazing how the Lord is always there when I need to be shaken up a little and brought back to reality--I can never deny how it makes me feel when I have these moments--I know He heals-I know His love is real-I've seen the truth revealed to me--I've felt the truth of His love---I'm proof of His unconditional love-- I've been praying and searching for answers, I know He has lead me with His hand and by the spirit to this Cleveland Clinic, but at times I'm lonely I wonder if I should be home helping my daughter with two small children, she is having surgery on Monday to have her tonsils taken out---I wish I could make time stand still sometimes--make everything in life perfect, just for a minute or two.  I could really use a batch of Recker and Ezra right now--if I could I would ask our Heavenly Father to let time stand still just for time enough to go to each and every person who has touched my life and spread happiness in my life--I have seen so many of my friends of all religious believes come together and unite as one, as we stand together our cause is greater than we will ever know--we are not just living in a weak world, we have so many around us that do know right from wrong and are strong in their convictions--I WILL always choose His way, in a world where there are so many who will not follow our Heavenly Father, I and many of my friends have made private commitments that we WILL stand for truth and righteousness.

Now it's time for me to meet a new doctor, another surgeon on my team who will be helping during the surgery--I really liked him, he was animated and excited as he gave me his run down of what he thought was best for my individual situation--half way through his explanation he lost me with his medical jargon I asked him to slow down and explain it in "blonde" terms.  He smiled and went over every option, he also typed it out and gave me a copy so I could process this. Basically this is what we discussed.  I have no function of the right ear, and have a large mastoid bowl with a fibrous base.

The ear is a major emergency that needs taken care of asap, however believe it or not my eye is the most important issue right now--I am in jeopardy of losing my cornea, and having to get a cornea transplant.  He is going to put a gold weight in the eye lid which will give the me ability to blink when my brain says it needs too, however there will be some training and re-hab on my part.
There is significant concern about the boney loss in the mastoids that have been removed, this  will need some level of bone resection.
All surgeons agree that if a good frontal nerve stump can be found then a sural nerve jump graft is necessary. In English--- if there is a good nerve they can use they will do a graft of nerve from one side of the face (left) to the right side.  It's best to not let this wait because of progressive osteomyletic changes.  If this is the case then they recommend a more simple reconstruction 1st, which most likely could be done with a SCM (google that) flap and skin graft.  If this fails I can get a radial artery free flap.  He explained all the risks, benefits and was able to answer all my questions.
He agrees with the other doctors involved this needs to be done asap, however trying to get this many doctors schedules in sync is difficult, all are willing to cancel a day on their clinic schedule but finding an OR for 12 hours is going to be hard.....and so I wait.  He seems to think it could be possible in the next couple weeks.  The symmetry of the mouth, and eyelid will be later, basically the surgery and healing will take over a year.  
My speech is difficult to understand, it's slurred on some pronunciations, I will have to learn to train my speech again....everyday I look in the mirror and I say in my head "move, I know you can do it, just move, to my eyelid" then again I do this with my mouth.  I try to eat on that side too, it is very difficult I want to work those muscles.  
One of the things I'm having a hard time dealing with is the looks I get from people, I understand why they look.  When I smile it is completely crooked, today a group of kids were with their teachers at Barnes and Noble, one of the kids looked at me and said "what's wrong with that lady's face?" the teacher said "she's smiling at you with her eyes" I walked into the bathroom stall, cried a little then realized ..... I smile with my heart all the time to Recker my grandson who has non-verbal autism.  So many times he stares at me with his eyes and I know we are communicating.  I am going to start a happy, positive thoughts and actions experiment--if anyone wants to do it with me, let me know I have an idea....I had some tears today, but through it all I know I am where I should be right now, and it sounds like it's going to be at least a month.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Another Day at the Cleveland Clinic

This morning, I called the doctors office as soon as they opened, I was greeted already aware of my situation.  She said Dr, Bernard is working on getting this on the surgery schedule,  bringing three doctors in on the surgery is harder than it sounds.  I received a call to see another doctor on Thursday.  In the earliest time frame I will be having surgery on Tuesday--one more week here.  This hotel is not cheap, it is most definitely convenient, if the hospital or doctors offices call it literally takes me 5 minutes to get there, without having to go outside.  Walking through the hotel, and hospital all I see is doctors in white coats--their everywhere.

It is a bright sunny day today and I want to get out for some fresh air. I do not have a car, I just stay at the hotel waiting for a doctor to call and say "surgery time" Today I was a little disappointed wanting to get this over with, my anxiety level is on high alert.

I spoke with Kathleen from Dr. Barr's office to update her on what is happening here--she was so sweet and reassured me that she and Dr. Barr's only want the best care for me, I let her know I have been praying, friends and family are praying, and I feel good right now about being at the Cleveland Clinic.   She wished me luck and told me to let them know what is happening. That phone call was hard for me I never want to offend or hurt anyone else's feelings and I have a feeling to get a 2nd, 3rd or 4th opinion like I have has got to at least make Dr. Barr's feel bad, and that makes me sad.  However, the most important outcome for me is the doctor who can give me the best results for a long lasting look, every doctor I have spoken to has told me the process Dr. Barr's wants to do is not the best option, it is a great solution for someone who is 80 or older, it's a temporary fix.  This process we are trying to organize here in Cleveland is much more advanced and will give better results in the long run--it will mean more surgeries, but when it's all said and done it will be a better option for me.

Today--no surgery date yet --- more sitting in the hotel waiting--tomorrow I will call the office again, hopefully answers will come tomorrow.  Tonight my legs are hurting, it;s going to be a restless night.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Promises not broken

I know without any doubt one day I will be strong enough to believe in this promise.  Right now I am feeling vulnerable.  I am so afraid I have spent a week in Cleveland trying to find a doctor who will take on my case, one in which I was told by two doctors they have never seen during their time as practicing doctors.  I am being fine tuned and my sharp edges are being sanded down.  Heaven has shown me so many miracles....and one thing I know for sure is,  the Lord will not take our pain away, I also believe he could take it away but when he does that we are deprived of blessings we would of never had the opportunity to endure, come closer to the spirit and strengthen our testimony of FAITH and HOPE in Christ.  
One day a few weeks ago I let Recker and Ezra play in my car while I was cleaning it out, they love to just play in the car because when he drive they have to be in their car seats so when bonbon let's them play they are all happiness and smiles.  The next day I was driving and I noticed both Recker and Ezra's feet and hand prints on the windows, I pulled my car over to the side of the road and stared at those prints with the biggest smile on my face--thinking "I want to absorb this moment, those little hand prints are my cute little grandkids...." why did they not look as cute when they were my own children's? Or maybe they were but I just forgot.  I later noticed in my house on one of the mirrors Recker's hand prints all over it, I did not take the windex out--instead I cleaned around it, this little boy has blessed my life more than anyone ever has--I love Ezra too, and I love him just as much, but the connection I have with Ezra is different than the one I have with Recker.  Last week when I was home I had the picc line in my arm, and a wrap around my ear, like a bandaid.  Recker always comes and gives me hugs, but this time he gave me the hug and then a had to inspect my picc line and I tried to explain it was a boo boo and bonbon just needs some medicine.  Then he hugged me again looked at the bandaid on my ear he first looked at it then looked me straight in the eye, as if to say "it will only hurt for a minute" and that fast he had ripped it off my ear and ran as fast he could---NO it didn't hurt, he just hates bandaids and obviously if he doesn't like them he assumed bonbon wouldn't either.  This little Recker boy is 4 and a half, he is still non-verbal, but he and I can communicate with our eyes and our hearts--He has a special bond with our Heavenly Father and I treat him as though he is a typical child, because we do not want him to think we think he less worthy or less loved than anyone else in this family. 
he's my little angel
I know that one day we will understand why some children are born with this special veil surrounding them and protecting them from temptations of the world.  When I look at this picture up above, it always makes me think of Recker, I believe his foot prints will also be next to mine, yes his perfect little foot prints walking next to me and helping me to get where I need to be.
Tomorrow is a big day for me, I am praying the doctor has already cleared his schedule for one day and is able to get me in asap, if not then I will be carried once again on an airplane to my next doctor on the list hoping for an answer.  I have a really good feeling about the Cleveland Clinic, and I know they have already told me my situation is an emergency case.  I realized a long time ago my life will never be the same, it will never be 6 days of exercise for 2-3 hours a day, riding a bike 150 miles a week, lifting weight twice a week and doing kick boxing 3 times a week....I never thought I could give those things up because they had become such a big part of my life, now I realize  my Heavenly Father has a specific plan for me, I'm still not sure what it is, but I want to be the instrument He expects me to be. The way I will accomplish whatever it is I need to get my body healthy again, and I will.  I always seem to forge forward, and I;m able to do it with the FAITH HOPE AND PRAYERS of all my friends and family.  Without them I would not be able to accomplish any of my goals, I don't ever want to let people down or be less than I know I can be, that's just who I am.  Because my life has been spared so many times, it tells me I have more to learn.  I truly believe everything happens for a reason, Heavenly Father is not just going to throw us out to the lions and not have a plan for us--still there are times when I  feel like there is nothing I can do but rely on Him, friends and family to pray for me.  I agreed to come to earth and take a body, and that earth life would be a difficult task at times, I believe when Heavenly Father sees our pain it must hurt him, because He can take it all away, however, if he does that we will not grow and learn and share with others.  My prayer for tonight is to help me sleep, even if I have to cry myself to sleep.  I will wake up in the morning prepared for a good plan from my doctors.  Tomorrow will be a good day, one day closer to feeling the sunshine on my face again.

Friday, June 6, 2014

It's not my time to go

I was hoping to get my picc line taken out today--NO SUCH LUCK--All the Cleveland Clinic doctors I see are out of town for a convention.  It was also a suggestion that I keep it in until my surgery.  I think I've finally made some decisions after talking to a few doctors, the proposal Dr. Barr's gave me is reasonable, however 3 doctors have told me that taking muscle from my tongue is a temporary fix and if I was an 80 year old women they may consider that option.  What they have seen work the best with someone who has a dead nerve like I do, is to take a nerve from my leg because it is the nerve that best replicates the nerve in my face. This can only be done if they find good nerves to work with in my ear. If there are no good nerves they will take a muscle from my arm and connect it, close off the right ear completely with some tissue from my arm and bring in 2 other doctors who will help assist with this process.  The plastics part of this surgery could be 6 months or more down the road.

When the ENT vacuumed out my ear and cleaned it up a little, he said the inner ear  looks good all he needs to do is clear a place in his schedule--This I will not know about until Monday.  This was good news, however I am still being cautious with my emotions, getting let down is so hard on me.  He was so reassuring to me that my face will not stay the way it is right now, drooped on the right side. He said there is so much that can be done with technology today.

Right now my head is on overdrive trying to keep up with my health  and  my Nerium business.   I'm thinking about giving up or quitting,  I'm gonna keep pushing forward, but there are times I can feel myself slipping, I know I need the Lord by my side.  I have to get constant reassurance from the Lord that I am doing what is best for me--I live by every word, every answer I get from the Lord.  I just need Him to let me know that I can do this, I would love to hear him say "your faith is bigger than your fear, and you can handle this"  Do you know how many times I have asked for the same things in the past 5 years?  I have made choices that led me to no where, but I had to find out myself when I arrived where I thought I was supposed to be, it was a closed door--then I would have to get back on my knees and ask again for the Lord to actually take my hand and lead me to where I was supposed to be. He sees the way I'm supposed to go, if He would just take my hand and lead me there I know I would be protected and safe, I would know exactly what to do.  This time it is different, I'm struggling, I wonder sometimes I've been forgotten, I wonder sometimes if I am even being listened to, it seems like the words are going to Heaven but the door is shut.  Sometimes I have to be told NO to understand the YES, and to realize sometimes my Heavenly Father says NO because he has a better plan for me.  It's just so hard sometimes to recognize the blessings that come in disguise, I have seen so many miracles happen in my life--I had a very spiritual experience happen while I was in the hospital, I don't feel comfortable sharing it right now, I shared it with my family the night before I came here to Cleveland.

All I know is that right now it is not my time to go to Heaven...the Lord has work for me to do here on earth, which is why not getting clear answers is so difficult.  I have no doubt He loves me, He always will, through the good and the bad.  Fear gives me doubt sometimes then I learn that the doubt is because of my fear--I felt like I was finally in a good place in my life,  I have studied the Lord's love for all of His children, it is so hard to comprehend, I guess the only way to maybe come close to understanding that unconditional love is to have a child of your own.  Never in a million years would I have imagined or thought I would be sitting in a hotel at 1:00 am across the street from a hospital wondering if the Lord is listening to me, does He know I need these answers?  In this early morning hour I am sitting in a bubble bath wondering if I have been abandoned by Heaven--realistically I know that is not true--many people are praying for me--I have prayed for me, I've prayed for Him to take me on His wings and take me away, like I can't do this anymore, I just want His sweet peace to pour over me and heal my soul,  I wish I could physically have His arms wrapped around me, give me some warmth, I want to go to the place where He can heal me, he's done it with other people, I need his mercy and grace to take me away, lead me to that place where I can feel no pain, no decision making.

Why can't my life ever just be normal?  I have praised Him for every miracle that has come to me, I have given all I have to the Lord, and He has lifted me to higher ground and allowed me to see miracles happen--for some reason it is not happening as fast as I need it to--have I not done enough to be worthy of this request--I put my face in a pillow and screamed as loud as I could tonight--what am I doing or not doing to get the answers I need?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Dream Big

 ☝My goal for today--Please give me the strength to do this ☝

Yesterday was a windy, rainy day here in Cleveland--Diana and I stayed in the condo the entire day waiting for a phone call from one of the referred doctors that Dr. Bernard gave us.

The 1st call came I was told we would be seeing the neurologist at 1:30 tomorrow (today) and be seeing the ENT doctor at 3:30 (today).  A few hours passed and I got another call saying that the neurologist and Dr. Bernard thought it would be best for me to see the ENT doctor first, and then they can assess whether I need to see neurologist.  This makes sense to me, Mayo clinic neurologist had released me from their care for this surgery after many tests they decided they did not need to be involved.  The reason for bringing in the neurologist is because the nerves involved are in the back of my neck at the base of my skull, and they want to make sure there is not skull based infection.  According to the Mayo notes, it's not clear.  So I will see the ENT tomorrow (today) at 3:30.  I am anxious to see him, because I really have so much respect and love for Dr. Barr's I want to see if this ENT say's anything different.

Just so I make myself completely clear, I love Mayo Clinic, I have had the best care there, especially with my cancer treatments, my team of doctors are incredible. When I was volunteering at Banner MD ANDERSON I was grateful for the treatments I got at Mayo Clinic.  These two hospitals do not run their programs at all the same, for me Mayo Clinic is a better choice for me.  One time at MD ANDERSON, we had two patients because of religious beliefs came to Banner MD ANDERSON for radiation because they wanted only women to radiate them.  These ladies were awesome and I loved them however, two weeks in a row there were not enough women there to radiate (they needed 2) and one was on vacation.  Without telling the patient they had me radiate these women, the one female tech that was there went in got the patient set up, and on the other side of the wall was ME and the men techs, they told me exactly what to do with the radiation and I did it--these poor women had no idea what was happening, after I did that a couple of times, I respectfully asked them to not ask me to do it again.  THIS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN AT MAYO CLINIC!! Coming from a cancer patients perspective, if I had known a volunteer at Mayo Clinic had radiated me, I  swear (not litterally) I would would of sued them--no one should be using those radiation machines unless they are educated and trained.  I had the hardest time dealing with that, I couldn't sleep, I wanted to tell someone, but also loved and respected my friends that were radiation techs.  When I was fired from Banner MD Anderson as a VOLUNTEER--it was sad for me, but I kept going back to that time when they had me do that and I realized that was not a volunteer job for me.  Oh and just so everyone who reads this knows Banner MD Anderson--is NOT the same as MD Anderson in Houston TX. The employees get their check from Banner not MD Anderson.  MD Anderson in Houston actually called me after reading some of my blog and asked me if I would be willing to blog for them, as a cancer patient now volunteer.  I chose not to do it because I just didin't have time, but when I talked to this sweet lady in Houston, she reassured me that the Banner hospital uses the name MD Anderson for publicity reasons, they do try to follow protocol similar to MD Anderson in Houston.  This made me feel better, because I have several friends who have gone to MD Anderson in Houston and have been so blessed with the treatment they received.  

 So back to my Mayo docs, Dr. Kreymerman, what can I say?  He knows, his wife knows, my family knows I LOVE HIM, and that love goes far beyond him as a doctor he is a great man--not too many doctors would leave their office and come over the OR to be with a scared patient (me) and hold my hand until I was put under anesthesia, especially when it was not his surgery, he did that for me because he cared, and understood the anxiety I had going into that surgery.  Dr. Magtibay (my gyno oncologist), love, love, love him, he took me from a dark place to a new life, a new beginning.  Dr. Northfelt, I loved him from the day I met him, then was a little upset because I was not seeing him every time I had to go to the breast clinic for follow-ups.  I asked Dr. Kreymerman about him, and he said "if I needed an oncologist for my wife I would choose Dr. Northfelt, he is head of his department and has a lot of administrative things he is responsible for" I requested to see Dr. Northfelt at least once a year, just to make sure we are on the same page with treatments, and because I feel more confidence when I get to see him, I feel like he's not just a "silent partner" every time I see him I do feel reassured that "yes, he is going to be with me to the end of my journey"  Dr. Northfelt has a heart of GOLD, I love him and have learned to understand why he cannot see every patient every time they come for check ups.  I love Maryann Forrett his assistant, she is sweet, kind and compassionate just like Dr. Northfelt, I know I can talk to her about anything.

In 45 minutes I will walk over the Cleveland Clinic and listen to another ENT, get some advice and hopefully have some answers as to how to proceed, compare those with Doctor Barr's proposal and make some decisions....Time for more prayers, my knees are getting caloused.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Cleveland Clinic Day 1

This is the picture Dr. Barr's took during surgery--the greyish is the graft he did and it died within 5 days.

Today I spent  4 hours with a specialized doctor at Cleveland Clinic.  I was extremely impressed with him, his bedside manner and his credentials--however, he had not received any of my reports from the Mayo Clinic, I got them and actually faxed them and email them ..... they had nothing, none of my films, path reports, lab report, OR notes--we spent, luckily I had copies of it all with me but it really was frustrating to have to tell the story all over again and again--The doctor's PA came in to discuss why I was there--she looked at me and didn't seem to have much compassionate--for some reason I was so frustrated trying to get all my paper work in order--she said the receptionist who usually brings these referral patients paperwork to them to study before the patient gets there was out of the office, so they had not read anything or seen any pictures from my surgery---I told Diana, I was worried this would happen.

I sat telling my story--long story of my ear--from the blow to the ear when I was 3, to the current status. I felt like she was looking at me, but not listening--it felt like she had no connection  with what I was telling her.  She left the room to talk to the doctor, soon he came in and again I had to tell the story as he typed it into his computer.  He seemed to be concerned for me and could obviously see my face was effected.  He did all the routine check points to see the damage of the nerve.  Then he explained that the ear needs to have a complete debridement of the ear cavity and canal.  He said he could not and would not touch any facial nerve surgery until the ear is clear of all infection, and is healed.  He explained, and I have agreed with this all along, so has plastics doctor should be going in during ENT surgery to do repair of the facial nerves.  When he read the reports from Mayo, he was very complimentary of all the doctors I have seen, he mentioned Dr. Kreymerman and Heather and said he likes both of them very much, Dr. Kreymerman trained here at the Cleveland Clinic.  It was nice to have a doctor with a connection to some of my doctors at Mayo, for me it's reassuring.  He agrees with Dr. Barr's about the window of opportunity to get any nerve damage a possibility of repairing.  however, does not necessarily agree with taking the mussel from my tongue. I have until April of 2014 to have all my healing done from my ear before he can touch anything else.  He explained how the process works.  Basically he made an appointment for me on Thursday with and ENT here in Cleveland, then Neurology needs to be involved because of the skull involvement,  We asked to see a doctor I was told about that is an ENT--he left the room to get those organized, and I sat in the window seal of his office looking out into the beautiful green trees, and grassy area, it was  surreal  to me.  It takes a lot of energy to keep my mind focused on the HAPPINESS I have in my life, I have so much to be grateful for, this place feels right, I know I should be here, I know one of these doctors can help, my eyes start to bubble up with tears, as they trickle down my cheeks finally landing on my arm I was a mess, I said to myself "how did I get here,? why am I here?" (not in Cleveland, but in my life) The doctor came in and we chatted about my favorite doctor ever Doctor,  Peter Kreymerman, and his PA Heather Lucas--he said PK is a great man (I've said that for 5 years now, and Heather he said is sweet, compassionate and a great resource for me. He then did a quick assessment of my ear, the routine facial tests, like raise our eyebrow, smile etc.....he mumbled to himself, "yeah there is nothing animated about this right side."  He then explained he cannot do what I need done on my facial paralysis until I get the ear healed, also that I will have several surgeries to fix my face. I cried, I never cry in front of my doctors, I suck it up and do what they say to do.  This time, I'm exhausted and starting feel the burden of this all, my shoulders are heavy with burden. I'm glad Diana was there, with her nursing background she got all the answers to questions I would of never known to ask--one of them is that after the debris is cleaned out and healed, instead of taking a mussel  from my tongue (which in his words is old school and does not bring animation back into the face, he takes  the mussel from my inner thigh) or another procedure could be to take a nerve from the left side of my face and pull it over the right side, and hope for it to connect.

Within a few minutes his PA came back in the room and told me she was able to make an appointment with this doctor who specializes in my issues, she said she would try to get me squeezed in tomorrow, but for sure I have an appointment with him on Thursday, neurology will also be on my itinerary.  I began to cry again, Diana teared up and the PA had nothing to say but she too teared up. I left there feeling like this was a waste of my time, Diana feels very hopeful and even said the differences between what I heard at Mayo "your right side of your face will never look the same as the left, and you and Eric need to get used to it) Is that this doctor today gave me some HOPE.  I'm exhausted and need to get a good night sleep, my mind has continually been on this ear problem that I have not had anytime to think of anything else. Still praying for a miracle.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Just Dream--Just Breathe

I'm uncovering some strength I've never felt before.  My fears are finally subsiding, and I'm allowing myself to feel vulnerable--Today I boarded a flight at 5:25 am to face either a storm, or a tender mercy.

Yesterday, I pleaded with friends and family to join united in prayer and fast for some relief, some answers to come clearly and quickly.  The spirit has a way of sneaking in and penetrating my heart at times when I am not expecting it.  I could not help but have the peaceful feeling of our Heavenly Father watching over me and listening to every prayer, I know through Him I will be able to endure, I am strong and I believe I would not be true to myself if I did anything else but face this storm and still be standing as it passes.  For the first time in 5 months I am allowing myself to breathe again, to dream again.  I realize this is my journey, my life, my story and I am still writing.  I wish I could go to each and every person who prayed and prays for me daily--this is what I would say to you--HE LISTENS AND HE ANSWERS PRAYERS--I LOVE YOU FOR  JOINING IN OUR FAMILY PRAYERS.

 It's been so hard to stay strong, this is a feeling I have not felt in such a long time.  Even when I was diagnosis with the VILLAIN I felt more in control than I do now.  So many times I have tried to bury my fears, thinking if no one could see my vulnerability I wouldn't have to feel it, if I just ran from it.  However, those shadows followed me to where I am now.

Today I've decided it's not about the race, or how fast I can go, it's about finding out what's inside of me, finding out who I can become--taking chances and staying strong.  Tomorrow I have a chance to see a great doctor, I'm takin' this opportunity with the attitude "I deserve this, I deserve to know if there is any other options for me"  I'm not one to want to hurt feelings or make any of my doctors think that I believe that they are anything but great for my prognosis.  However, I was recently told by a great friend who is a physician also, he said  "You always say you want to live with NO REGRETS, do you believe this will be a regret if you don't take it?" I knew the answer before he finished the sentence..."yes, I would regret it" "besides" he said "any doctor who is upset because you decide to get a 2nd opinion, or 20th opinion does not deserve to be your doctor"  I'm not sure if I agree with that last portion, I have been so blessed to have the BEST team of doctors on my side, cheering for me all along the way.  I love my doctors at Mayo Clinic, but when one tells me that my face will not change, and it will be this way for the rest of my life, I'm thinking I have a lot of years left in me, and I have to believe with all the modern technology there has to be a doctor out there who can help, that doctor may not be at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, or even at the Cleveland Clinic, but I know myself well enough to know if I don't take this chance I will regret it.  It's time for me to start dreaming and breathing again, I feel this fire inside me that needs to be ignited---but I'm not sure how to get it fired up again--I believe this trip to Cleveland Clinic is a good decision--now on to the next step--Meeting 'Doctor Right'

So I am looking at tomorrow as a gift and I am going to embrace it, I have no fear going into this appointment tomorrow.  Every step I take, and every storm I endure makes me stronger.  It's time for me to spread my wings and start flying--I know I was not sent to this earth to hide behind every corner afraid to face my fears, I was meant to embrace the future, and teach others how to do the same.  I trust the plan my Heavenly Fatter has for me and know His arms are around me, He will give me the calm I need for tomorrow.  On the nights like this when I am trying to sleep and can't, I turn it over to the Lord and ask Him to take this burden once more from my shoulders and allow me to sleep, allow me to rise in the morning, grateful to Him, and say "All I have is yours, all I have is because of your grace and tenderness you have shown me through out my life"  Now, I will sleep, but not before I say a prayer thanking my Heavenly Father for all the blessings He has bestowed upon me in my lifetime, helping me to see the love and faith of friends and family.