Show Your Stripes!
Good Lord it has been a roller coaster of emotions lately! I guess that is all to be expected. Remember that time my heart stopped?! Yeah- that was a bit stressful! While I was in the hospital, the doctors were trying to figure out the best game plan for me…the first decision was to pause my chemo round. I was in the middle of round 8, but my oncologist in Tampa felt the best choice was to take a pause, figure out my heart, and then we’d move forward with tumor treatment. So the next plan was for me to get fitted for a Life Vest. This thing was basically a portable AED that was strapped to my chest…like a bomb. It had a chord attached to it that attached to a 90s looking car-phone type battery pack that I had to carry around like a purse. Uhhh…what?! Oh, and it had to go on under everything…even my bra. Uhh…how is this supposed to be conducive to my lifestyle? So I wore it for a full 24 hours when my doctor decided this isn’t the best way to go…I needed surgery to have an ICD implanted. (ICD= Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator) I had the surgery on Tuesday, 4 days after I fell out, and I was released from the hospital the next day. Now I have my own portable AED/pacemaker/defibrillator that goes with me everywhere! It’s almost as if I got an implant on one side…unfortunately, the doctor couldn’t do both sides and help a sister out, but it is what it is. The earliest I would be allowed to work again was a week away, but I was ready. I was ready to go back to normal and live my life! I got to come home from the hospital on Fischer’s birthday and celebrate him turning 5 with all of my family…perfect! We were still organizing the details for his birthday party that weekend, and all the while I was planning to return to work in a week. Then we got word that I would start my chemo round again with a different regime, but it would begin on Monday and end on Friday. As in the Monday before I would return to work on Wednesday…hmmm…well that doesn’t seem like ideal circumstances to returning to work…BUT, I got it! I got this! Hear me roar! Okay, let me figure out logistics…I can’t shower for 2 weeks (because of surgery)…I can’t drive or even ride in the front seat for 2 weeks (because my implant can’t risk getting blasted by an Airbag going off)…I can’t raise my left arm and have to wear this odd brace/tie down around my waist…and I still feel like a complete and utter moron from all the anesthesia and meds I’ve been on (I’m hoping it’s from the meds and I’m not morphing into an idiot)…but it’s okay…I’m going back to work…after cardiac arrest…and being on chemo…
Right, so Mike and I had a chat. A few chats because I still had some amnesia and didn’t remember all of our chats. We decided I needed some time, and I didn’t need to rush back to work. This is why we have benefits, so if you need them, you take them. I think it’s safe to say that I need them. I need some time to rest and try to get as healthy as possible. My mom was SO relieved…and so was my friend Trisha! They definitely wanted me to take the time, and it turns out that my mom’s job gave her some time off too so she could stay with me and look after me. Mike went back to work after taking an entire week off and missing TWO football games…yes TWO…can you believe that?! He really does love me! Proof is in the puddin’! Mom has been chauffeuring me around and helping me get the kids ready and to school. We have had so much fun that if this is what it’s like to be a stay at home mom, then sign me up! I mean, mom and I have just been hanging out, running errands, spending time with my boys, laughing, resting when I get worn out, and she’s been doing our laundry. Clearly, this is not what “Stay at home mom” life would always look like, but it sure looks good right now!
In all seriousness, what my take away from this moment in time is that I’m thankful. I’m so thankful that I am alive! I’m so thankful that I have this time with my mom, my husband, my boys, my family. Damn life is easy to take for granted…you just never know what is going to happen…but I tell you what, I am thankful to have this time. My sorority sister told me that her neighbor is an ER Dr. who is a resuscitation scientist, and he said that only 10% of people that go into cardiac arrest survive. 10%! That’s it! That’s terrifying! So while I certainly have my moments of “why does this dramatic stuff keep happening to me?!” I also feel like, “if God were trying to kill me off, he’s had plenty of opportunities, and I’m still ticking!” He must have something great planned for me, and while I’m on this break I am praying for guidance. I hope that he helps me find my path, so I can do all the great things I’m supposed to do. I have felt SO MUCH love from my family, friends, school, community, and cheerleading world. So today on this quiet Saturday morning, I am going to just allow myself to be thankful and grateful that I am a part of this great place we call life. We don’t have to have all the answers today…but we can be thankful we’re here to try and find them.