Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Healing.



Just waiting for one last scab to fall off. 
Dying to see the scar underneath. 
Haha.




















This pic was taken on the weekend,
Cold has since cleared up and my face has lost the pinched/pissed off look.
(I hope.)


Looking forward to life returning back to normal.

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Caring co-workers who asked, all day long, how I was doing.
2. My view this weekend while doing a 24 hour read-a-thon:





























3. My view, every weekday, from my mom's deck:







Shalom,
xo


























Saturday, June 27, 2015

Summer - Day 5

This was the first day of summer for elementary age school kids.
So this is the day that REALLY feels like summer has begun.

I went to work.

Haha.

Sucks being an adult sometimes.

BUT, right after work, three of us carpooled up to the lake where we're doing a 24 hour read-a-thon because we are nerds like that.

Seriously. This is exactly the most perfect way to spend 24 hours at the lake. Reading. Sleeping. Eating. Haha.

I finished one book so far.
Will start another, first thing when I wake up. Which will not be the crack of dawn.

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Eating dinner on the deck.
2. Sitting on the deck with two friends, all of us together, yet in our own literary worlds.
3. My cold? Is mostly gone. Head is fine. Can breathe through my nose again. YAY.


Shalom,
xo

Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer - Day 4

God?

So much cancer talk this week.
Too many friends ...

You've got this, right?
I'm selfishly praying for complete healing for everyone.
But I guess more than that, I'm praying that Your will be done.

Please use their life changing diagnosis's for Your good and Holy purposes.
And give them a deep sense of peace in the process.

We want what You want, (and if we're struggling with that, maybe You could open our eyes to see what You're up to?), so God, go about Your business, using this week's cancer crap to make a difference in Your kingdom.

Also?
Broken hearts.
Oy,

Why do we find relationships so hard sometimes?
Can't it be easier?  WHAT IS WRONG WITH US?

Haha.
Don't answer.
We mess a lot of good things up, I get it.
Could you help us with our relationships? Especially marriages?

Mentors? Role models? Friends with insight and boldness?
Stir in our hearts the desire to work things out.
Muddle our minds so we forget the details and reasons why we were so fricken angry in the first place.
Open our eyes so that we see each other clearly, as You do.

Remind us to be kind. To say kind things. To do kind stuff.
Help us to forgive each other. Maybe make forgiving someone such an awesome experience that we want to do it over and over again?
Haha.

Create in us, all of us, a longing to stay married to the one we are married to. Put blinders on us so we don't get tempted.

I pray for healthy families. Ones that love You and each other above all else. May we be a community of people who value family. Do whatever You have to to help us achieve that.

And?
Sigh.

Drugs/alcohol addiction.
BIG SIGH.

Thank you that there's help available.
I pray that You would give boldness and opportunities to share their stories to those who have had some degree of success in overcoming their addictions. I pray that local rehab houses and AA/NA meetings would overflow with new faces desiring help.

I pray that those who simply need a nudge or an invitation would get what they need to start a new lifestyle TODAY. That they would have the courage to take the first step. I pray that You've gone ahead and have provided someone to walk alongside.

I pray that You've gone ahead and have prepared a path for their recovery journey, whatever that may look like.

I ask that You dispatch Your angels to be sitting on the roofs and at the doors of the safe places where those who are in recovery meet. May evil and temptation not enter. May those who walk through those doors find help, healing and may they experience hope and peace.

God I pray that they would surrender their will to You.

While I'm at it?

How about those needing meaningful work?
Can you help them find it?
Can it be awesome?
And perfect, considering their talents and passions?

Could the employer have integrity and morals? Could the environment be positive and life giving? Could opportunities for growth be abundant?

Are You on this? Have You gone ahead, and are simply working out the timing and details? Give us all patience as we wait.

...


Thanks for being by my side this week with that whole surgery/cold thing.
Thanks that my face is healing.
Thanks that my cold isn't going to kill me.

Thanks for smart doctors, and steady hands, and bright lights, and sterile working conditions, and this country, and our medical system, and skin that heals and friends that care.




Amen.


Shalom,
xo

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer - Day Three




Not because of rain, as the umbrellas imply, but because I have totally wasted the first three days of this amazing season by being sick.

Spent the entire day in bed.
I really did.
Ask my mom if you don't believe me.


A wretched mess am I.


I woke up with a swollen head. Not from too many compliments. Or an inflated view of myself. There was just so much pressure building. In my nose and behind my eyes.

Cold meds did not give me any relief, so I just stayed in bed.
All day.

By 6 pm, I was really feeling sorry for myself.
And I was tired of holding back the tears.

So I let myself cry. Big ugly sobs that had been stored up for 72 hours.


It took less than 30 seconds for me to realize what a 'orrible idea that was, So I tried to stop the flow.
Twould not be stopped.

Oy vey.
What a mess.

I finally prayed for some help.
Haha. Been praying for any and every thing else in my life all day while stuck in bed, and never asked for relief for myself, because, COME ON. It's just a cold. And a tiny surgical site. People are dealing with REAL cancers. And REAL broken hearts. And REAL job issues. And REAL addictions. And REAL relationship crisis's.

And I am such a whimp.

Anyway, as per usual, He answered. I took two more Advil Cold & Sinus tabs, rolled over and slept for a couple of glorious hours. When I woke, my nose was under control.

So I went upstairs and ate some left over pizza and a few grapes.

How's that for a fine third day of summer?

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. If I have to stay in bed all day, this is a great one to spend it in.

2. So glad I bought some groceries yesterday. Oranges, grapes, pizza ...  maybe a chocolate bar or two.

3. Cold meds = best invention ever.

4. Answered prayer.



Shalom.
xo


Summer - Day Two

(If I keep this up its going to be easy titling my blog posts all summer.)

Thank you, thankyou, THANK YOU for praying and posting encouraging words on my Facebook page. The past 48 hours have been rough, but I'm on the mend. (If only this cold would 'break'. The congestion just keeps building and building. My eyes will not stop watering. And I cab breave out of my nose.)

So.

Second day of summer.

I went to work.

And lasted three hours.

Seriously Can Not breathe.

Plus, this face. It demands attention. Which, haha, I would rather not have. Ever. So I left the office and worked from home.





























(By the way? This will not become a 'thing'. I won't post daily updates/selfies... although I may post a pic of what the scar looks like once the tape and stitches come off/out.)


Three things I'm thankful for:


1, The internet and my employer who both make it possible for me to work from home.

2. Advil Cold and Sinus meds which make it possible for me to breathe for about 2 hours at a stretch.

3. Disney/Pixar for making movies. And Danica, for sitting in a dark theatre with me.

Shalom,
xo

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Summer - Day One

I guess technically, the first day of summer was yesterday. But that was my Travel and Worry Day, so it doesn't really count.

I refused to invite thoughts and concerns about today's procedure along on my trip. So when I got home, I allowed myself to think and pray extensively about it. The word cancer is just so scary, right?

Even if it IS just a small spot on the skin next to your tear duct.

Sadly, because undergoing surgery on my face wasn't enough, I came down with a horrible head cold over night. Completely congested with head and body ache.

I got up at 7, worked online for an hour, then drove myself over to the Jimmy Pattison Surgical Centre. Swiped my Care Card (originally this was cosmetic, elective surgery. I was going to have to pay for it. But then when my doctor took a closer look, he speeded up the process considerably, and just like that, it's covered) and found the elevator.

I made my way to the fourth floor, mouth breathing, because my nostrils were very plugged. Within 10 minutes I was stretched out, flat on my back, on a gurney with a mega bright light shining on my face. The surgeon came in, took a close look, explained that he was going to gouge it all out and he'd be stretching skin from the bridge of my nose to cover the gaping hole he'd leave behind. For the next year or two, I'd have a red, raised zigzag scar running from the bridge of my nose to my left tear duct.

I concentrated on not crying.

Then he took out the world's longest needles to freeze the location, One went in under my eye. One in the corner, right beside the tear duct, and the last one? From the bridge of my nose, downward towards my cheek. Yes. It hurt. ALOT.

I used up energy like crazy, determined not to cry,

"I'll be back in 10 minutes once it's good and frozen. You won't feel a thing."

The nurse, who was sitting beside me added, "You'll feel some tugging and digging and stretching and but you won't experience pain."

She then proceeded to cover my face with cloths.
"We want to cover all the non-surgical sites..."
So my eye lids were covered, my head, my cheeks, my mouth, the bottom of my nose...

Once she was done she talked about my shoes and how she loves them, then she left the room.


I tried not to cry,

I tried to breathe.

I was super congested, and laying on my back, with cloths all over my breathing holes was making me anxious.

I was not going to cry,

But shit,  I felt so alone. And sore. My head was pounding and I couldn't breathe.

With nothing to think about but the imminent slicing and dicing of my face, I started to panic about sneezing half-way through and losing an eye lid in the process.

"Do not cry. DO NOT CRY. Don't think about this. Think about something else. Anything else. Get a grip woman. THINK OF SOMETHING ELSE.

OK. My kids. God? Please be with them all this Monday. Be there, right beside them. Help them with whatever they're going through or facing right this minute. Fill the space around them with Your presence. Give them wisdom, or peace, or courage. Or whatever.

Maybe could you fill this room too?
Help me to stop freaking.
Help me to breathe.
Help me to not cry."

And then they were back.

And she was right. There was no pain, Just a lot of tugging and a dripping sensation. (That was blood.) And instruments being passed back and forth. And more pressure. And more pressure. And tugging from my nostril to my eyelid and I was just plain scared.

"God? Uh. I. I don't know. You're here right?

.
.
.
.
.
.
Our Father. Who art in heaven.
Our Father. Who art in heaven.
Our Father. Sorry. I can't remember the rest. Other than Thy will be done.

OK?

Our Father. Thy will be done. Here in this room. And over there were my kids are. And over there, where those friends are. And over there were those folks I love are. And in this room.
Thy will be done.
Our Father."

For half an hour that's all I could do. Was pray/say those words over and over again. Otherwise I would have lost it.

And then he was done.
"It went pretty well, considering. I think I got it all. I'll see you next week to talk about it."

He left the room.

The nurse who liked my shoes gave me a piece of gauze and told me apply pressure for the next half hour. But I was free to leave now. I sat up, all woozy and took in my first big breath of air.

"I'm to come back? How do I make an appointment?"

She replied, 'I put the instructions in your purse. It really will heal up fine, you know. It might take a couple years, but it will eventually be just a fine white line from your nose to your eye. The surgical tape I've put on your face is skin colored. No one will even know you've had surgery today.



Never in a million years would I have predicted that I'd post a pic of my naked face and dirty hair. 


























I wandered around, trying to remember where I'd parked.
Found my truck, started it up, holding the gauze over the site, sopping up the blood.

"Do not cry. Do not cry. DO NOT CRY.
You can totally do this. Just drive home, one-eyed. You can do this."


I did do this. I drove home. Let me mom have a look at it. Then went straight to bed.
Where I have remained all day.

I will not cry until this cold is over. And then I will have a glorious melt down. I'll save it for when I can get puffy eyes and blow my nose without it interfering with the healing of my face.


(I took that pic eight hours post op. I look worse now. My eye is swollen again. And blood had seeped under the surgical tape, leaving a black mess in that area.)

But I am so very thankful. For attentive doctors. For skilled surgeons. For supportive kids who like the new bad-ass look. For friends who prayed. For an employer who is very understanding. For a God who listens. For this upcoming season of sunshine. For the way Facebook makes it easy to stay in touch. For my mom who is bringing me oranges and tylenol. For this bed. For boxes of kleenex. For a body that will eventually heal. For our medical system. For this amazing life I get to live.


If you're reading this and feel like you should pray for me, please pray also for all the other folks in our lives that are facing challenges today. People who are afraid of diagnoses. Friends that are hurting. Family members who need to feel the presence of God. Strangers who are lying on gurnies having trouble breathing. Doctors who need steady hands today. Nurses who gently ramble on about shoes. Pray for a cure for cancer, patience for those working with the elderly, and new discoveries for those in the field of medical research. May His will be done, today. Amen.

Shalom,
xo



Monday, June 22, 2015

Vacation Day 9

Today was a travel day.
Got up.
Flew home.

End of vacation.
Haha.

Home is a wonderful place.
Even if it's in the soggy, wet basement of your dad and mom's house. (The basement/my girl cave has had issues and All My Things have been removed, as well as the carpet. No TV watching for me for the foreseeable future. The floor is very wet in there.)

That said, I still have my bedroom. With my own bed. That I'm not sharing with anyone tonight. (I've been on my own for Soooo Long, that sharing a room, never mind a BED, is always a stretch for me.) So I am just lying here, smiling.



Yes, I will go back and fill in all the missing details from the previous 8 blog posts. But in the meantime, here are my Top Three Travel Highlights:

1. Hands down my very favorite-ist part of this trip was the event we built the vacation around in the first place: the Third Day concert at Red Rock Amphitheatre. AMAZING evening. Stunning scenery. Incredible music. Fantastic venue.

2. Garden of the Gods. You must go visit it. Breathtakingly beautiful.

3. The boulders in Boulder, Colorado.


Las Vegas was fun, and sitting beside the pool was relaxing, but it was really, really hot. Like, yesterday it was 112 degrees. Which made it tricky to fully unwind. Keeping hydrated became a never-ending full-time quest.



Three things I'm thankful for:

1. This life I get to live.

2. Today is Father's Day. I am so thankful for the dad I got. I am thankful that he is being a Bups to all the kids in heaven. He's likely teaching them to wink, use blow torches, hammer nails, and ride quads. Love you dad. Thank you, God.

3. Thankful that my doctor took a closer look at my lumpy face two weeks ago. That spot by my eye/tear duct? Is cancer, so he fast-tract-ed an appointment with a 'guy in Surrey' (plastic surgeon) to remove it. Thankful for a speedy surgery date (June 22, 9 am). Thankful that God's in control. Thankful that I haven't had too much time to worry.



Sunday, June 21, 2015

Vacation Day 8

Saw this. Twas excellent:
























Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Lots of sleep on this vacation.
2. As well as much sunshine.
3. And some fantastic shows.

This holiday was brought to you by the letter S.


Shalom,
xo

Friday, June 19, 2015

Vacation Day 6









































Finally.
Last night? I slept.

For ten straight hours.
With my mouth open.
In this dry heat.
With a fan blowing.


I drank three bottles of water as soon as I woke up as my mouth, tongue, tonsils, throat, nose and eyes had dried up. COMPETELY.

No moisture in my face at all.

I was out at the pool by 1 pm.



And cheering for this sibling duo at 7.



























Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Sunshine
2. Cheetos Cheesies
3. Watermelon


Shalom,
xo

































Thursday, June 18, 2015

Vacation Day 5

We started this day at the airport.

Sandra had slept. I had not.

We ended this day in Vegas on The Strip taking pics of pretty lights...





























More tomorrow. (I know. I always say that. But maybe I'll be true to my word in the next 24 hours.)