Friday, September 11, 2009
All my life I've tried to be a very positive person, and I'm still trying now, but it seems that these days every time I write something in my blog it's negative.
I'm astonished at how my life has changed over the last year. This time last year, Tommy and I were doing well, living a comfortable life, and making lots of plans for the future. One year later, our entire world is turned upside down.
In May I lost my paralegal job when the law office where I had worked for over 15 years closed permanently. Tommy told me not to worry, that even though the job market in our area is very bleak, we would be fine and get through it together. I'm still looking for a job.
He encouraged me to go ahead and go on my hiking trip in Arizona that I had been planning. I did so and had a fantastic time.
In July we learned that Tommy's employer is shutting down and his job would be ending in October. Now he began to worry, but I tried to encourage him that no matter what happened, we still had each other and our health and we would get through all this together.
The news of little Maddie's death last week was very hard to swallow, but again, we pray and continue to move forward.
Yesterday, after a short two weeks of what we thought were some minor medical issues for Tommy, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He is scheduled for surgery on Monday morning, but his doctors are not very hopeful for a good outcome. They said his cancer appears to be advanced and they don't know what they will find in surgery. The best case scenario they've given him is that if the surgery is successful, he may live 3 or 4 years, but they said realistically most people have 6 to 12 months.
I am numb as I sit in my husband's hospital room today trying to be strong for him. At the same time, my sister is preparing to bury her granddaughter today while calling me and trying to support us. It's just mind boggling that our lives one year ago were so different from today.
I am trying so hard to be strong for my husband, but he is the one who is being so incredibly strong through all of this. I can no longer say that at least we have our health. All I can say now is that we will take things one day at a time and get through this together.
I sit here today, a day that already holds so much sadness for our nation, and think about all that has changed in our lives over the past year, and I wonder what the next year will bring. I wonder if I am strong enough to handle this, and then I look at my husband, my best friend, and see how strong he is and know that I am so fortunate to have him in my life. With the help of God, family and friends, we will walk down this path together.
Thanks to my Spark friends for being so supportive during these rough spots in the road. Please go and be with your loved ones and enjoy every day that you wake up healthy. We never know how long we have on this earth or what tomorrow will bring.
Sunday, September 06, 2009
No parent should ever have to bury a child. Yet that’s what my wonderful niece Stephanie and her husband Jimmy are now facing. At only 20 months of age, baby Maddie lost her battle against Leigh’s Disease today. She was born on December 31, 2007, but very early in her life Leigh’s began to take its toll on her tiny body. She always had a smile on her face and was a fighter to the end. Unfortunately, this cruel disease was too tough an opponent for such a small child.
Maddie had been placed back on a ventilator on Friday before slipping back into unconsciousness. After talking to her doctors and her neurologist, Maddie’s parents had to face the harsh reality that their little baby girl was not going to improve and that the end was near. They made the heartbreaking decision to remove her ventilator today. Being the loving parents they were, they did not want Maddie’s last moments to be inside of a hospital room. Maddie had always loved to play outside in the park, so they took baby Maddie into their arms and carried her outside into the hospital play yard filled with flowers and sunshine. There they held and hugged their sweet angel until her soul slipped peacefully from their hands and into the hands of God.
Maddie’s life was much too short, but she was a blessing to her parents and everyone around her. She will be greatly missed, but the memory of her smile will warm us forever.
Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers during Maddie’s struggle. I hope you’ll continue to pray for a cure for this disease as so many other children are fighting this same battle.
Friday, September 04, 2009
The last few months have been very tough on my sister and her family. My niece (Stephanie) has a baby girl named Maddie. At only 17 months old, she was diagnosed in June as having Leigh's Disease, which is a metabolic disorder. Without going into all the specifics, there is no cure for this disease and children diagnosed with it rarely live more than 2 to 3 years after diagnosis.
Unfortunately, it appears that Maddie's disease is progressing very rapidly. Maddie was admitted to the hospital three days ago with breathing problems and initially diagnosed with pneumonia. She was placed on a ventilator and is now in the hospital in the PICU where they have been running tests on her for several days. They were able to wean her off the ventilator yesterday, but her condition appears to be deteriorating as the breathing problems return. Further tests today showed that her current problems are a direct result of the Leigh's Disease.
The family is devastated while their 20 month old baby is fighting for her life. I don't know if Maddie will improve enough to ever go home again; only time will tell. I don't understand why this innocent baby has to go through something so horrible. It's a tough reminder that life isn't always fair. But, I have to remind myself that this is in God's hands and that if it is her time to go, I pray he lets her go peacefully and that my niece and her husband, my sister, and the rest of the family can also find some peace knowing she's in better hands.
Please pray for our baby girl and her family.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
For the last several months, I’ve been on a roller coaster of emotions. During that time I’ve “fallen off the wagon” in my eating and exercise and now it’s time to get back on track.
The law office I have worked at for the last 15 years permanently closed it’s doors at the end of May and I found myself out of work. I considered canceling my backpacking trip to Havasu Falls in June, but was relieved when a friend called and said he had talked to the owner of the company where he worked and they wanted me to come to work for them in July. With my spirits up, I headed out with my best friend to Arizona and Utah for our two weeks of backpacking and hiking. It was a great trip.
Unfortunately, when July came around, the owner of the company where I was to start working decided he didn’t want to hire anyone new with the economy like it is right now. Suddenly I found myself out of work with no prospects. I immediately started putting my resume out and applying for jobs, but the job situation in our area is very bleak with most companies laying off workers and very few hiring. I soon found myself sitting at home and growing more and more depressed by the day. I began to exercise less and eat more and the pounds started coming back on. When I thought things couldn’t get any worse, we got the news that my husband’s company where he’s worked for more than 30 years is closing their location here and he will be out of a job in October.
We have both spent way too much time worrying about all of this. While I still don’t have a job, I am ready to stop the downward spiral and get back up, dust off and try to welcome the opportunity to change our lives for the better. We’re now exploring other possibilities for the future and fully intend to do whatever is necessary to weather this storm.
Now that I’ve gained about 10 pounds back, I’m ready to get back outside and get those back off. My oldest son has vowed to help by getting me on the tennis court early in the mornings before his college classes start. I also plan to get back to my hiking trails starting today and get back on my bike next weekend.
Time to look forward to the future instead of dreading it.
Thanks to all of my Spark buddies for your support!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
They say bad things happen in threes. If that's true, I can only imagine what is coming next. The last few weeks have been REALLY bad.
First of all, my injured right foot has continued to bother me. I finally went back to the doctor 2 weeks ago and he sent me for a bone scan. It confirmed what we thought all along; I do have a stress fracture. I had stopped hiking altogether and tried to be very careful to allow it to heal, but apparently it wasn't enough. They put me in this huge Herman Munster looking boot that I have to wear all the time and when I asked what I could do, I was told "Nothing." That's not good news since I really needed to get back to hiking to prepare for my planned backpacking trip in June. I've now drug my Schwinn Air-Dyne and small weight bench up to my bedroom so I can spend a lot of time pedaling away (should be interesting with this thing on my leg) and doing leg lifts on the weight bench to try to keep my leg muscles built up. I will probably have to wear this thing about 8 weeks, which means it will only be off for about 1 month before my trip.
As if that wasn't enough, the attorney I work for came in 1 week ago and announced that he will be closing the office. He has been appointed the new Clerk of Court in our county as the old one is retiring. I'll continue to work here for a couple more months closing everything out, but after that, where I'll be is still a mystery. With the job market being what it is right now, there are not many promising leads. But, I'm sure things will work out somehow.
Once again, it's time to stop whining and figure out what I need to do to get things back on track. Somehow things will work out.
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