Thankful

I’m happy to announce that I am writing today’s update from the comfort of our hotel room! Sure, it’s not home, but I was discharged yesterday and am able to rest more and rest more comfortably here without 5 IVs coming out of my arms and being woken up to get shots and medications and vitals taken every couple of hours. Although I will say, Michael and I surprisingly got a lot of rest at the hospital, even sharing a twin sized bed. A few weeks ago I would have never guessed that my treatment would be in Oklahoma but now that we are here, I know it’s exactly where we are supposed to be. Our surgeon was nothing short of amazing, along with all of sweet nurses who took such great care of me, made me their VIP patient,  and kept my spirits lifted (shout out to Abbie and  Becca!)

Recovery has been slow. It’s hard trying to take things slow and not over do it. Even reading messages on my phone can be quite the challenge because of the light. I feel like a vampire because I just want to sit in the dark 90% of the time. My headaches have definitely gotten more intense over the past couple of days (air pockets in your brain are no joke) and I have been experiencing some double and blurry vision post surgery. I’m hoping that most of this is only temporary and that I can start to see normally in the next week or so. In addition to these fun new symptoms, I am also dealing with weaning off of steroids. I’m not sure why but my body does not handle steroids well, or at least coming off of them. I feel so weak and shaky. It’s such a miserable feeling, but at least I know what to expect this time around and I know it’s only temporary. So I just need to make it through the next week and I know I’ll be feeling better!

In addition to all of those fun changes, today I began radiation. It was pretty uneventful and only took about 10 minutes. You don’t feel anything (except the awesome mask pushing against your face), although it was pretty uncomfortable laying on my incision without a pillow. But if that’s as bad as it gets, I think I can handle it! I should be starting chemo sometime in the next week as well. Not looking forward to it but I am hopeful that we can knock this out while it’s down.

The highlight of my week definitely came today when I got to see my sweet Sarah.  This was the sweetest reunion I have had to date. It’s hard not to get choked up looking at these pictures because of how much I love this little girl. She is such a light in my life and seeing her smile gives me hope on the days when it’s hard to find it. I’m hoping that I stay well enough to keep her here for the remainder of my treatments but I know that every moment is a gift so I’m just trying to soak up every sweet moment and smile that I can. Gosh I love that sweet face!

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A friend of mine sent me a message the other night that resonated deep with me and I just have to share it. It brought a completely new perspective to light on this whole situation:

“I want to encourage you and all to present your prayers in a way most do not pray when one is facing cancer…I want to encourage you to NOT present your prayers as if you need to “fight” or “beat” the unwanted tenant. That type of prayer makes your body think it is in a battle and can deplete much needed energy.  Rather, let the tenant know that you recognize him….you see him… thank him for coming to reveal to you any spiritual lessons that you needed to learn…tell him you appreciate the opportunity for your spiritual growth and let him know that you are ready for him to “move through” your body….he is no longer needed and you are going to use your energy to heal your body now….tell him you have more work to do to grow yourself and assure him that you are going to use this experience for good.”

When I read this my jaw must have hit the floor. What an amazing perspective on such a bad situation. And she couldn’t be more right! I am so incredibly thankful for how this has changed me, and boy, has it changed me. I am so thankful for the spiritual growth this has brought me and my marriage as well as the appreciation I have for the smallest things. So as much as I want this to all go away, I’m simply thankful. I’m thankful for this experience because it has opened my eyes to see so much more than I could have seen without it.

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27 thoughts on “Thankful

  1. You are an amazing women. Truly and inspiration on all fronts. I am praying for you daily. Lots of love and support from Alaska.

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  2. You are an inspiration to me. Your friend speaks such words of wisdom. I wonder if she has seen any of the videos on Square One – http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com. I Saw a few of them and will try and watch the rest this weekend.
    I know your heart was full when you were able to wrap your arms around Sarah. There is nothing like having our little ones with us to lift us up. I am thankful you are out of the hospital and will continue to lift you up for complete healing. Your journey and blogging has been a blessing to me also and shows me how even in the hardest times God never leaves us and wants us to continue to seek and grow more in love with Him. Thank you for sharing with each of us. God bless.

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  3. Stephanie I know we have never met but with an amazing friend like amanda I feel like we are already friends. Your story has been a huge renewing of strength to me and has taught me so much. Amanda called and asked me to pray for you and I was more than glad to but this time I wanted to approach my prayers differently in that I was going to truly believe what I was praying. Your story has strengthen my faith and has encouraged me to share God’s goodness with others more. I will continue to pray for you and your amazing family. We will meet face to face one of these days and I look forward to that. God will see you through this and you will help lead people to him.

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  4. I literally jumping for joy and crying tears of happiness seeing these pictures!!!! 😍😘 so happy you are all together. Still praying for you my sweet friend. Xoxo

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  5. How AWESOME you are all reunited !! 🎉🎉🎉 Seeing you & Sarah together brought tears to my eyes…she is like sunshine and I know your heart is full. All the best with your continued treatments, Stephanie. I’ll keep praying & you keep choosing Joy!! 😍😍

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  6. You are doing it!
    By the grace of God Almighty …
    You are doing it!
    You are counting it all joy!!!

    We are all rejoicing with you over this sweet sweet reunion! Praise God for Sarah … your light! 💖💖💖

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  7. Thank you for sharing your friends prospective on praying. Where are you…..ACS has facilities free of charge while undergoing treatment and I have other numbers as well if needed for reduced lodging for cancer patients. The picture of Sarah and you is so precious….Love and Blessing Donna A

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  8. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I know through your journaling, God is most definetly with you and your family through this spiritual, physical, mental & financial journey. When my daughter shared your link with me, she warned me that I may tear up (I do over lots of things) yet I gained joy in knowing your strong faith has brought you so far and will continue to walk with you to the full recovery. God only gives us as much as He knows what we can handle and sharing your experience is God touching each of us saying, “With God, nothing is impossible.” It continues to remind us that miracles do come in all sizes from the hug of your daughter to the “Yes” on your forehead to Jesus tending to you in recovery.
    Someone shared with me a long time ago, to offer up all things, pain, joy, work, rest…for the souls in purgatory and your day will be better. I can attest that this truly works. So when you acknowledge him as above, offer it up for these souls being purified and awaiting entrance to Heaven. I end this offering up with these words “May as many souls enter into the gates of Heaven as were the drops of blood shared in your Passion.” Those souls will thank you in return by praying for you once in Heaven.
    I offer prayers for continued miracles of healing to full recovery and look forward to seeing and reading more of your posts and enjoying those wonderful pictures shared of your private life.
    May God continue to shower you and your family with all the daily graces like the April showers that bring the May flowers. Joy and peace to all.
    Chyl Boyer
    Panama City

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  9. Stephanie, please know of your family at ICC’s prayers for you, Michael and Sarah. You have been such an inspiration to us all. Your friend’s perspective on “the tenant” is spot on! Not only you, but all you have heard your story, have been touched in a special way and our faith lives have been enriched. We are all grateful for your sharing the journey with us. And now we join you in prayers to encourage “the tenant” to “move along” and hopefully help someone else grow in their relationship with God.
    Sending you much love and a “Carol-hug!”

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  10. Praising God for His continued presence in your life. It is such an inspiration to all of us to watch His awesome power at work, through all He anointed for His service. I also am very thankful that you have such a devoted friend in Amanda, who cares so much for you. Her prayers are such that they continue to lead and guide our hearts in prayers! God Bless you today, Stephanie. Keep your trust in Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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  11. We’ve never met, but I have no doubts that I was supposed to follow your journey. What you share resonates in me in that way that tells me God is Here. Your friend’s words struck me as if they were for me. And as I hug my own 10 year old “baby” at bedtime and pray with him, I’ll share this. Thank you for giving me this gift today!

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  12. I feel peace reading your blog today and seeing the pictures of Sarah(she was just a baby when you left Hampton).
    My heart felt so heavy when I first heard about the glioblastoma, but as I told Teresa, I believe in miracles.

    As the popular saying goes..”Believe as you pray.”

    Take care .

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  13. Wow. Those pictures brought tears to my eyes. To find things to be thankful for is the secret to happiness. What a fine example you are setting for your daughter, friends and family. Just like the name of your blog showed from the beginning, before you even had any concrete hope.

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  14. So happy you got to see that cute patutey! Her smile says loads about how happy she is to see her momma too! Just darling. Soak up as much of the love and joy from her as you can. And pull it out when you need it most. 👩‍👧 I love the sentiment that your friend sent you. It’s so true. Things like this do have untold spiritual benefit if you can let go of the fear and trust in God to kick the demon of cancer out. I know you are already doing this! I’d love to meet you some day just to hug you and tell you how awesome I think you are! ❤🙏❤

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  15. So glad to know you are out of the hospital! And glad to know that the radiation wasn’t too bad to handle. Prayers continue that the up-coming chemo will also be easy for you to tolerate. Little Sarah is absolutely adorable! She looked so happy to see her mommy! You continue on your path, and your blog readers will all pray along with you that your “tenant” realizes he has done his job, and moves on … permanently … soon. God’s blessings on you, on Michael, and on Sarah. >Linda, Chillicothe, Ohio<

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  16. We are beyond excited for you that you got to be reunited with your sweet little Sarah! Such a great reflection on being thankful. Gratefulness is definitely good medicine for the body and soul. We are grateful also for your story as it has also drawn us more to prayer. I also wanted to share this quote with you from St Mother Teresa of Calcutta:

    “Pain and suffering have come into your life, but remember pain, sorrow, suffering are but the kiss of Jesus – a sign that you have come so close to Him that He can kiss you.”

    This helped me realize that as I experience sufferings, however big or small, I should accept and bear them with joy, for they are bringing me closer to Christ. Love and prayers for you, the family, the doctors and their staff, friends, for others going through illness, and for those following your journey and story.

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  17. Stephanie,
    I am not sure if I’ve met you yet but I live in your neighborhood. Your story has been such an inspiration to me and to everyone I’ve told about you. Unfortunately, I can relate to some of the pains and nightmares you’ve gone through–I had brain surgery (actually Chiari decompression surgery) 6 years ago. When you get back home, I would love to visit. We are praying for you. ☺

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