Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Day To Reflect.

Today's date, September 23rd, is a significant date in my life.

Twenty one years ago today, Wendell and I were married, in a rather small ceremony at my Mom and Dad's house. Josh, 9 years old at the time, gave me away, not so happily!!! He loved Wendell, but was not happy about us going away for our honeymoon without him!!! We ended up only spending two nights away because he wanted us home. We didn't mind, we missed him and Stephanie too. Stephanie was six years old at the time. She loved Wendell and called him her "hummy bunch". I think she secretly dreamed of marrying him herself, back then, although she WOULD NEVER admit it now!!!! Now... Josh is thirty years old and Stephanie is twenty seven....and of course Wendell has gotten older too!!!LOL!!!! Where did all the time go.... every time we are all together we spend hours reminiscing about their childhood. (Sorry Misty and Michael :( I know our stories must have gotten boring after about the hundred time!!!) We never had a lot of money or material things, Wendell and I worked a lot of long, hard hours, but our house was filled with a lot of laughter. We spent time together...going to amusement parks...water parks...state parks.. and just spent time being together....playing whiffle ball or kick ball in the front yard. Then Punky and Kiah came along and from that moment on there has never been a dull moment in our home!!!!

September 23, one year ago, was the day I had my last radiation treatment. I remember that last week of radiation more than any of the 37 treatments. Wendell had drove me the 70 something mile, round trip to Knoxville, five days a week, for seven and a half weeks. I was physically at the lowest point I had ever been in and hope to ever be in again. I remember being so weak and frail that I had a hard time even vocalizing a prayer. At one point I didn't think I could go on and finish the treatments. My mouth was full of blisters, I couldn't eat and could barely drink, I had lost over fifty pounds. Once again I had turned to those that had kept up with my journey via this blog and had asked for prayer. Once again the Lord's grace was sufficient and I was able to finish the treatments. It's sometimes hard to believe it has been one year ago today!!! I am still feeling the physical effects from the cancer. I have jaw pain, mouth pain, ear infections, tooth aches, and pretty bad bone pain. My diet consists of soft moist foods, my swallowing, I have come to terms with, will never be normal again. My mouth will open about a half inch. My speech is abnormal and can be quite comical at times!!! New acquaintances think I am either mental, deaf, or from a foreign country!!!! There are several words best left unsaid by me!!! The girls, if I'm ordering at a drive thru, no longer ask for cheese sticks!!!!

As I reflect back over the memorable September 23rds in my life, I wouldn't change them if I could. The Lord has taught me soooo much. I am so thankful for the life he has given me and has allowed me to live thus far. Wendell and my marriage has not always been a bed of roses, there were times I didn't know if we would make it or not. But God's grace in our marriage has been sufficient. With His Help, Grace, Mercy and Guidance we have spent twenty one years together. I love him even more on this September 23rd than I did on the September 23rd twenty one years ago!!! And, like my marriage, this cancer journey has not been a bed of roses either!!!LOL!!! But with God's Help, Grace, Mercy, Guidance, and Your Prayers, I am ECSTATIC to be here to celebrate this September 23, 2010!!!! God Is Good!!!!

Preacher Mason Goodman, Me, Wendell, Steph & Josh.

Punky & Kiah LOVE my fashion sense!!!!

My Granny Roxie, My sisters Teresa & Kim, Me, Wendell, My Mom & Dad, Teresa's happy son Aaron, Teresa's Daughter Rachel, Stephanie, & my happy son Josh!!!

Wendell's sister-in-law Becky, His sister Pam, His sister Tiny and Scott, His Dad, His brother Tim, Wendell & I, His sister Donna, His Mom, Becky's daughter Ashley and son Rex.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mikiah Is Still Seeing 20/20!!!!

I was just sitting here thinking of all God's blessings on my family. I can never thank Him enough for the life He has given to us. No our lives have not been a bed of roses, so to speak, but through the good times and the bad we have had Him to turn to.
August 2008, I think the date was the 4th, on a Sunday night, I saw Kiah having Bryon put eye drops in her eye. When I questioned her about it she said her eye was blurry. Kiah has allergies so we thought it probably had something to do with that. Two nights later she came in the living room and told me her eye was still blurry and the wall looked wavy. Needless to say that scared me to death, although I tried not to let her know. I called Carolee and she got us in with one of the eye doctors she works for, first thing the next morning. I don't think I slept at all that night, being the optimist I am, not, all I could think of was a brain tumor pressing on the optic nerve. As soon as Dr. Mende checked Kiah she had a diagnosis, Histoplasmosis. I had heard this word before because Stephanie had came home from an eye exam several months prior and told me Dr. Mende asked if she knew she had it. Stephanie did not know. Dr. Mende had told Stephanie at that time it was dormant and was just something to keep an eye on (haha no pun intended). Anyway, she sent us directly from her office to a retina specialist in Knoxville where we spent the rest of that day having tests done on Kiah's left eye. To make a long story a little shorter...Histoplasmosis is a very serious disease. Kiah went from having 20/20 vision in her left eye, to off the charts, over 20/400 in a matter of days. People go blind from this disease. It causes bleeding on the retina, when they are able to stop the bleeding the patient is left with scars which cause the blind spots. It is not curable and can happen at any time. I have since learnt that we live, here in the south, in what is known as the Histo belt. Histoplasmosis is caused by chicken and bat droppings. The fungus is in the air. If we were all tested for it most of us would test positive for it, but it remains dormant in most people, they do not know why it becomes active in some. When it does become active it is usually in some one a lot older than Kiah. The doctors were shocked that she had it at such a young age. We had people everywhere praying for Kiah. She had a laser surgery which made her vision worse not better. Finally after much research and changing doctors, Kiah was given three injections, one a month for three months, in her eye. She was just 15 years old at the time. She was wide awake for the injections. Can you imagine having your eye held open with a clamp and watching as a needle is fixing to be stuck in it? It was a very traumatic experience for her and I. It is something that I pray she never has to endure again. It was all I could do to hold it together each time until we got back home and I could go "loose it" privately. Everyone we know, and people we didn't know, were praying for her. When all was said and done she was left with what is virtually unheard of ... 20/20 vision in that eye!!! She has a blind spot and has to adjust the way she uses that eye when reading but she has her vision!!!! The Dr. was left amazed by her, we were left amazed at God's grace and power!!! I am thinking of this now because....She had her last injection in October 2008. The last time she saw the specialist we made a follow up appointment for three months later but had to cancel because she was playing basketball at that time and had an away game on that day. We were suppose to reschedule but then I got my diagnosis and we started my battle. Of course I asked her constantly about her vision and she would say it seemed the same. Anyway, we finally went for a checkup this past Friday. Her vision is still 20/20, even though she has to look "around" the scar. Dr. Miller was amazed that she has done so well for two years now. I just want to give God the praise and glory. I know He hears and answers prayer!!!! He has proven that to my family time and time again. I thank Him for His precious grace that is still sufficient. Please, when you think of it from time to time, say a little prayer for Kiah and that if it is God's will this disease will continue to amaze the Doctor by remaining dormant in Kiah!!!
Tomorrow's the last holiday of the summer!!! I hope everyone has a great Labor Day!!!