10 days out

I have to admit, I didn’t think I would be in this good of shape 10 days after having major brain surgery that most brain surgeons deemed was “inoperable.” I think good shape is a relative term, but I’m a pretty functional human being for the most part. I’m able to feed and dress myself, read books with my daughter, carry on a normal conversation (most of the time). I still need help washing my hair because of my incision but its healing really well and really quickly! My headaches have definitely improved and are the best they have been in months! It’s such a relief to not be in a constant state of pain. My vision is still a little bright and blurry but it’s definitely getting better too. Just taking everything a day at a time because that’s all that I can do right now!

My mom left Saturday and boy was that hard. I loved having her here with me so much. I seriously don’t know how she has been as strong as she has around me. When I look at Sarah and imagine her going through something like this, it totally and completely breaks me. As a parent you want to do everything you can for your child and not being able to fix something like this, I just can’t imagine how that would feel. My mom has seriously been so strong through this. I admire her so much for it because I really don’t know if I could be as strong as she is.   Luckily for us, the doctors don’t think that what I have is genetic so I don’t think I have to worry about passing this to Sarah. Hopefully it’s just a one and done kind of cancer. Really though ya’ll. I have the best mom in the world. After I woke up from my surgery, the first thing I asked my nurse (Jesus) was if I could call my mom to bring me some chick fil a. So as I’m waking up from anesthesia, I called my mom in the waiting room and asked her if she would go get me chick fil a (ya know, instead of calling my husband to let him know I was alive and well). I remind you, we didn’t have a car or anything so she was going to Uber to a chick fil a for me haha. Luckily, Michael told her not to, which was good because I didn’t end up eating anything over the next 24 hours. But she was all for it! Crazy Stephanie just woke up from brain surgery and wanted a chicken sandwich and my mom was right there and ready to make it happen! I just love her so much!

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Although I was sad to see my mom leave Saturday, I was extremely excited to see my best friend of 27 years, Amanda. The good part about being in Oklahoma is that I’m only 7 hours away from her! So she made the trek down to come and spend the weekend with us! And I’m so glad she did! For those of you who don’t know, Amanda and I have literally been friends our entire lives…since diapers. So that’s 27 years of amazing friendship. The crazy part is that we have almost consistently had a long distance friendship. We grew up in the same city but I moved when I was 8 so we haven’t lived in the same state since then. It’s hard having my best friend so far, especially right now, but I’m just so thankful to have a friend like her. She has seen every side of me (trust me, there are some crazy sides), but she is always right there. Always. Her wedding is 3 weeks away and she dropped everything to come see me for the weekend. AINT NO BRIDE GOT TIME FOR THAT! I think that’s been one of the hardest parts over the past few weeks is my lack of involvement with the wedding festivities. I had to miss her bridal shower and bachelorette party because of my tenant and it seriously killed me. I can’t even talk about it without crying. I want more than anything to just be there for her the way she was for me! She is seriously going to be the most beautiful bride. Mark my words, I may be bald and puking my brains out going down the aisle, but I WILL be at her wedding in a few weeks. Nothing will keep me away, not even brain cancer.

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In addition to our fun visits and recovery over the last week, last week also marked the start of lent. I had every intention of writing about it earlier this week but time got away from me. The priest said something at mass yesterday that really struck me. “For some of you, this will be your last Lenten journey.” Sure it’s a morbid thought, and although I don’t feel he was talking to me, it’s crazy to think about. What if this was your last Lenton season here on earth? What would you sacrifice or add to your life? Seriously. Deep stuff guys. I keep half jokingly saying I’m giving up cancer for lent but really instead of focusing on sacrificing something, I’ve turned towards prayer. It seems cliche. You get brain cancer so you pray more. But really, taking the time every day to say the rosary has changed me. It’s changed my marriage. I could count on one hand how many times I’ve prayed the rosary before all this happened. It’s not that I didn’t want to, it’s just that I didn’t make time for it. It wasn’t a priority to me. It sounds terrible but it’s just the truth. Then you are given a year to live and it’s funny how important prayer becomes. The first time Michael and I prayed the rosary together was after we found out I had a brain tumor.  It was 99% him while I just sat there and sobbed. I sobbed because I was scared. And I felt so guilty that it took something so big to bring us to a point where we could pray so openly together. It still makes me sad to think that we could have been living like this all along but I know that God has a grand plan. I know that we have to get through this part first to get to where we need to be. I’m not sure where that is yet, but I know it will be grand. And I also know there will be sugar and carbs there too!

 

 

 

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21 thoughts on “10 days out

  1. Oh, Stephanie, you are amazing, you really are! I love your wonderful mentions of your mother, and she’s beautiful, too, like you…and then you wrote about your best friend whom you’ve known since diapers, and that touched me SO much, because I have a friend Iike that, Becky. Our Moms were best friends and Becky is 1-1/2 years younger than I am and Becky rolls her eyes when I tell this story, but it’s the truth…when I was about 3 or 3-1/2 months old, my Mom and Dad wanted to take my two older siblings (one is almost 10 years older than I am, the other about 7 years older than I am) on vacation but NOT take Baby Suzy, so they left me with my Mom’s best friend Barbara. Barbara and her husband Stubby took care of me for about two weeks. They already had three children, and the youngest one was almost 2 at that time. They had so much fun with me that they decided to have one more baby…and that was Becky! Becky has always been in my life since I can remember. We talk on the phone, I see her at least once every year, and when my husband died in 2014, she showed up at my house the day before his funeral and I had no idea she was coming! Then just a little less than a year ago, I had major surgery to remove a benign tumor from my chest up at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, one that was causing me to have atrial fibrillation (for 13 years). She lives 1 hr. 15 minutes away from the Mayo Clinic, and she said “you just come up here, stay with me, I’ll be at the hospital during your surgery and I’ll be your advocate while you’re recovering” – it was supposed to be a minimum of 5 days and a maximum of 14 days in the hospital. Then when I got out after 5 days, she took me home to her house and took care of me for 10 days before I was doing well enough to fly back to Colorado where I live. So I “get” your friendship. You are soulmates like Becky and I are. These are friends who will always and forever be a part of our lives. We are both blessed as not everyone has this kind of friendship! Not ever. I’m praying for you and pulling for you and hope your tenant leaves you sooner than later!

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  2. Stephanie, you are amazing, beautiful and funny! Keep your mental strength and your smile! I know you’ve got this battle won! Cheering for you!
    Carole from Philly

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  3. Stephanie, you are SO inspirational. I just love reading all your posts, and reading about how positive you stay. I keep you in my prayers, and continue my prayer that God grant you total healing. Nothing but good luck with the up-coming chemo. I hope you get through those sessions as easily as you seem to have gotten through everything to this point. Love to you and Michael. –Linda Bjorn Woods, Chillicothe, Oh

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  4. I look forward to your posts so much and they always make me smile (and tear up too!) Gosh you are so beautiful inside and out. Thanks for letting us all “in” on your journey! Love you friend!! ❤

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    1. Ditto what Jenna said( I’m her mom). I was thinking the same thing. You are such an inspiration. Keep the faith. I will continue to pray for you

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      1. Are you really her mom? Your daughter reminds me so much of me!!! I also have GBM a horrible cancer. But don’t know a good one. In July I will be a 6 year survivor.

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  5. You really are recovering quickly, praise be to God! And I have to say that a relationship with a mother is such a blessing! I am glad to say that my mom is the type of mom who would get me anything I asked for, just like yours. (Hope you eventually got your Chic-fil-a! )
    Keep praying and we will; too! Hugs!!

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  6. When you say “It still makes me sad to think that we could have been living like this all along”, I have that thought every day. Not about payers cause I’m not religious, but about life in general. I always tell people my tumor was kind of a gift that way. I’m better at life now… I try to focus on that 🙂

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  7. Thank you for your update. Even though you and your mama don’t appear to look alike, you’re both beautiful women!!!!!

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  8. Thrilled that Amanda got there safely and you had several hours to be together. Sometimes I think friendships are bound in heaven and reading your story surely does convince me of that. Praising Him that you are now well into your healing therapy program with the radiation. Prayers that every session kills many more cancer cells…..so that the chemo will complete the task. Prayers that it is God’s will to rid your body of this uninvited tenant! One scripture jumps right out at me today….”Be still, and know that I am God”…… He is your God, Stephanie, and He wants only the best for you, and your family. Blessings to you as you step into one more day!!

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  9. We are all praying for you here at St. Benedict’s, Stephanie, and for your family as well. The Sisters get so excited when I put your posts on our prayer board! I love God’s little surprise of you knowing Elisa Ugarte, who is a friend and been here many times. I have been praying Is 29:1-3, and Jer 29:11-14a. Wonderful verses that give us strength! Blessings to you.

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  10. You amaze me everytime I read your blog. You are such a strong person and your faith is amazing! I know God is going to use you and Michael to minister to others where ever you go. Still praying!!!

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  11. Keep praying- prayer changes things- so glad you have turned to Mama Mary- I 💗 the rosary & will be remembering you in mine! God bless you!

    ps sugar feeds cancer check out the new research on ketosis and starving cancer

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  12. Stephanie, I am glad to be able to follow your journey and to add my prayers. Your outlook is full of beauty and optimism. Having walked through impossible medical situations with my husband the last two years, I totally get what you mean about praying more … it’s not about begging or bargaining with God. It’s an amazing, hard-to-put-to-words experience when He makes it clear that He holds us in the midst of crisis. May every day bring a fresh joy and renewed strength.

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  13. I’m so happy you had visits from your mom and Amanda. That’s a lot of love right there with so many blessings for all of you. Stephanie, I’m so glad you are adding the rosary to your prayer life. I find so much calm and strength when I pray it and I am certain you will too. Mother Mary has always been there and she will continue to be. Lean on her often! “Prayer is powerful beyond limits when we turn to the Immaculate who is queen even of God’s heart.” 💙 Keep finding your joy!

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  14. Hi Stephanie this is Bonnie and it is my first post! I have been praying for you since your journey began having heard about your cancer from A member of “The Women of Grace” a ministry at our church. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your posts and the impact it has had on my own life assuring me of the power of prayer and the reality of miracles even today ! And I love the way you write !!! I particularly took note however of your final comment regarding sugar and carbs. I am in a 12 step program for food addiction ( my personal experience of the miraculous) and have not eaten flour or sugar for three years! Yup that means no pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving… no popcorn at the movies, and no birthday cake ( or in your case wedding cake) with ice cream lol! Hopefully this life saving abstinence will continue with my 1% and God”s 99%! So that being said I’m gonna hold you to that last line!
    This is being sent with much love and gratitude to God for your presence in my life as a witness to the power of His Grace at work simply for the asking! 💜
    PS yours prayers will be coveted! Just lift up my name … God knows all about me 🙃

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  15. This really struck a chord with me, Stephanie. It took a major physical event in my life for me to focus on prayer, and even after that prayer hasn’t consistently come naturally. I often think about how after a life-changing event, within a few weeks, things kinda gets back to “normal” and I get lazy with prayer until the next big thing happens that compels me to seek God more strongly. It’s an ebb and flow. I’m still sorting out my feelings (and guilt) on that, but I will say that I am super grateful that you have shared your story, because watching and reading all of your updates has brought me closer to God once again and I feel like I have a reason to pray. I just love reading your posts – your light shines through every positive word and photo. You are an amazing woman! 🙂

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  16. Just pondering today about our omnipotent God and how ABUNDANDANTLY ABLE He is. I was remembering Ephesians 3:20-21 as I read your blog. We surely do not know his great plan but I love when I get a glimpse of his work being done in the midst of prayerful strangers. To God be the glory.

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  17. Oh I wish I was able to talk to you about your cancer and mine. Since we both have the same kind. Especially since your young. I was 30 when I was diagnosed and I’m 36 now. Michelle

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