Saturday, January 16, 2010

Trip to the Mall with Deborah

Tonight I had to go to the mall to pick up just one thing from Nordstroms. A quick trip to the mall.

As I was leaving, Deborah asked if she could go. She's missed Mommy a lot lately with all of my appointments. She used to never cry when I'd leave, but for a while she would just sob every time I left. So, I said, "Sure!"

So, Deborah and I went to the Mall. We bought the one thing that I needed, but we spent almost 2 hours. She led the way. She wanted to sit on a particular bench. So, we did.

We spent 20 minutes looking at a window display of flowers made from plastic bottles. She took dozens of pictures. We sent pictures to Daddy.
We had fun.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Another treatment down and just 2 more to go.

The best part of today's treatment is that my veins cooperated and allowed Laura (my nurse) to get the IV on the first stick. What a relief ... for me and her!

I came home this afternoon and continued to sleep most of the day. Now, I'm going back to bed in hopes of getting some more sleep, aided by some meds.

I want to share with you some thoughts I've had recently about cancers ... not just physical cancers, but also spiritual and temporal cancers. Perhaps tomorrow. I'm too incoherent tonight. :)

So, good night all!

PS Don't forget to pray for all those people in Haiti and their loved ones! I can't even imagine being there or having a loved one there. I pray they will be comforted.

Treatment #6

I'm off to treatment #6. Only 2 more after today. I hope they get the IV on the first stick today.

Monday, January 11, 2010

This Made My Day!

This afternoon Dwight answered the phone. (Rare event.) It was obvious from his tone that he thought he was talking to a sales person. He hands me the phone and said something like, "It's a sales person. He said you won a vacation from Vamos Travel." You know how Dwight can sound, right? Then as I was answering, Dwight said, "Tell them we're on the do not call list."

I answered the phone. I'm familiar with Vamos Travel. I was excited. Could it really be? But, then again, I too dislike those sales calls where they claim you've won a vacation, but to pick it up you have to listen to a 2 hour, high-pressure sales pitch. Do you ever get those?

Well, the man on the phone said something like: "Hi, Tina. Was that your hubby?" I said, "Yes." Then he said something like, "He sounds like he NEEDS a vacation." (Good thing he didn't say that to Dwight.) I simply said, "Yes." Then he said, "We received your letter. The staff read it and everyone voted for your letter!" WHEWHOO!!

Have you put it together yet? I WON A VACATION!! Isn't it great to get good news! I'm so excited!!

Do any of you here in San Antonio watch Vamos Travel? If you do, then you might know about their recent giveaway titled, "Do you NEED a vacation?" If you don't know about the show, then you should watch it ... if you're in San Antonio... Vamos Travel, Fox29 (which is channel 11 on Time Warner Cable), 6 pm on Saturdays.

So, do you want to read the letter? Are you curious about it? After I wrote the letter, I almost didn't send it because I thought, "Oh, this is too whiney!" But, here it is:

Dear Vanessa,

I first discovered your show while sitting by my 16 month old son's hospital bed. I thought, "I certainly NEED a vacation!" The past 18 months have been filled with exhausting challenges.

I am the mother of 6 amazing children. I am very thankful for each of my children and feel very blessed to have them. Life has changed for our family since the addition of our youngest son, Ryan.

In August 2008, Ryan finally came home after a 2 week stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. We thought at the time that he was a "premature full-term baby" and looked forward to him catching up quickly. However, by 4 months of age, it had become obvious that Ryan was not meeting his milestones. We soon learned that Ryan has Cortical Vision Impairment, Encephalopathy, a submucous cleft palate, and suspected Cerebral Palsy. Ryan slept by our bed for the first year of his life because he would frequently choke and was unable to move his head enough to clear his throat.

We have been blessed with 5 amazing therapists who come to our home each week to work with Ryan. He is now able to turn his head from side to side, kick his legs, and hold his head up for a few seconds. We have also been blessed with a team of San Antonio's most talented physicians. Ryan has had 2 successful surgeries that have helped to strengthen him.

Unfortunately, life's challenges didn't stop with Ryan. During the past 18 months, we have lost 2 homes that we were leasing due to foreclosures. My husband has been laid off twice due to the economic challenges that companies are facing, and now I am undergoing treatments for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Cancer that was discovered in November. My husband, Dwight, has been very supportive and helpful through everything. He is so good to our family and I know he is just exhausted from all his hard work.

While we have been very blessed by great friends and loving family through our challenges, I really, really NEED a vacation! And, more importantly, my sweet, loving, husband NEEDS a vacation! So, please say, "Vamos!"

And, then, I of course signed it with my phone number, email address & blog address. What do you think? Would you have sent the letter?

If I liked my teeth, I would take a picture showing you the biggest, cheesiest smile I've had for quite a while!

Thanks, Vamos Travel and Bauhaus Media Group, Vanessa, Luis, and all others who made it possible for us to go on this trip! Thank you!!

Battling with old demons

This past weekend was a rough weekend in some ways. Ryan is still running a fever and obviously feeling quite miserable. I felt okay health wise - horrible headache, low grade nausea, and slight fatigue, but okay. Yet, it was a rough weekend spiritually. An old battle flared up. Without going into details of the events, I want to share with you the small victory.

There was a point when I felt very hopeless about the situation this weekend and I found myself fighting demons that I thought I had conquered long ago. I was tired. They were strong. Stronger than I was. I kept them at bay for a while. I asked for relief. The relief didn't come.

In the past, I have had a tendency to isolate myself and just work through my problems on my own. Believing that I'm strong. Believing that I might be weak if I'm not independent. I was able to successfully "defend" for a while and then I grew tired. Keeping with the battle analogy, hostages were being taken and nothing was being spared for the win.

When I realized that it wasn't working, I thought of the comfort and strength I have gained from sharing my physical (health) trials with you. I thought of the strength and the support I have felt from so many prayers on my behalf. I decided to try something new.

I reached out to a few friends. I asked them to pray for me and briefly told them of my struggles. Two responded almost instantaneously. Another responded later. It didn't seem to help immediately like I wanted. I had a vision of how the battle would end. It wasn't happening. I continued to fight my hardest.

Then something really wonderful happened. Hearts were softened.

The battle wasn't "won." It became unnecessary. Unimportant.

Prayers were given ... and answered.

I hope you have no battles today. I hope your demons all stay away. But, if you ever have a dark hour ... or a dark moment, I will pray for you.