Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Reality Check

Let's just say I got smacked in the head with reality today. I had the honor and privilege to accompany Suzi & Megan to the hospital today as Megan needed some blood platelets and I wanted to be there to give my friends a little support.  I've been saying to myself all this time that I can't imagine what I would do if I were in Suzi's shoes and if I would even be able to handle all of the decisions and heartbreak she has had to endure the past 7 years while fighting this horrible disease that is about to rip her daughter out of her arms and her life.

 Walking into the "Hot Unit" at Children's Hospital today as Megan held onto my arm and her mother's arm for support, we walked across the skywalk and came up to the check point where you have to get a visitors badge, it was then I realized that Megan was no stranger here at Children's Hospital and proved me right every stop we made along the way as "everyone" knew who Megan was.  Megan brought a smile to every one's face as they all greeted her with a warm embrace and a compliment on how great she looked with her long red hair, in which her response was a sexy raspy "Why, thank you"(in her most Mae West voice), and a sassy tug at her long red locks!  We then were escorted to a room to check vital signs and then brought to the "procedure room"  where they got the transfusion started .  As we were getting settled for our next few hours there, Susie, a P.A who has been working with Megan for the past 7 years was able to pop in a sit with us for a while and chat in great length with Megan and her Mom about how things are going, her pain management and what to expect at this stage in the disease. This is what hit home for me...hearing this woman explain to Megan that there wasn't much more they could do for her and that they needed to consider not prolonging the inevitable.  Now don't get me wrong, this woman was a saint and had a wonderful, calm reassuring bedside manner, she was as gentle with her conversation as anyone could ever ask for.  She explained to us, some pain management solutions and what to expect at the end of this journey and let me tell you, there was not a dry eye in that room, including the P.A.  Watching Megan react to all that she was hearing was wrenching at my heart and completely smacking me in the face and telling me OMG this is really going to happen and there is nothing anyone can do about it and then I felt this sense of panic come over me at that point and then realised how my girlfriend of 30 years must be feeling as a Mom...I lost it, and found my friend supporting me at this point. (which was clearly not what was supposed to happen)

 How does a single mom of 3 do this alone....completely alone?  How do you get up day in and day out knowing your daughter is dying and face the fact that it's only a matter of time that you have left with her? How do you manage caring for the other 2 children who desperately need you and your guidance too?  How do you find the strength to take a shower, eat, work out, clean the house, feed the dog, do the laundry & shopping, pay the bills and to top it all off, fight with insurance companies while taking care of a terminally ill daughter?  I can't imagine, because I, thankfully, have never had to do it.  But I do see my friend day in and day out doing all of the above that I am questioning and now after today I have to say that she is so  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and has more courage, grace and strength then I could ever dream of and I now have a whole new respect for. 

(This is Suzi holding onto Megan's leg as we were listening to the P.A explain to Megan)
I came home a bit blue after the hospital visit and talked to my daughter Krysta about my day and about Megan, while shedding some more tears she asked me if I ever thank God that my kids are healthy and my reply to that was....Absolutely, as a matter of fact, I thanked God several times on my way home today for the healthy family I was blessed with.  And Krysta said, don't you feel guilty saying that? and I said, no...I feel thankful, because I truly am thankful and this experience along with today's hospital visit has put things in a whole new light for me and put me in check. 

So tonight I'm going to hug my kids a little tighter and a bit longer than usual and never take for granted any of the gifts that I have been given. And vow to be there for my friend with all the love and support she needs.  Like the Martina McBride song says "I'm gonna Love you through it".....I promise I am.   

Friday, November 4, 2011


Tonight was the scheduled night to take Malissa to Potowotomi Casino to play Bingo for the first time!  Krysta thought it would be a fun memorable belated birthday gift to give her sister. Malissa was excited to go and she even got carded by the security guard as we were headed towards the Bingo Ballroom and she gladly pulled out her ID card to prove she was 18 and can legally play Bingo now!
Boy, let me tell you if you have never played Bingo at this place do not go alone.... There is definitely a lot to know about the whole process, if you have been there then you know exactly what I'm talking about!  When we first got started it was a bit stressful because you have all these papers and bingo cards and tickets to fill out and then they start calling numbers and you have
to know what color card your supposed
to be playing on and what the design shape your supposed to be achieving and then they are calling "buddy" numbers and it's so confusing, you feel like.... OMG, what am I doing?  Thank God we were with a couple of veterans who helped us through this overwhelming experience because Malissa and I decided that if we weren't with the vets tonight that we were sure we would still be at the casino trying to figure it all out!!So thank you Krysta and Anna for your guidance tonight and I guess that's why you are both in the "Firekeepers Club" and we're not!!
This top photo was how messy my table was when I first got there and the bottom photo is Malissa first legitimate photo of her in an actual Casino!  The two of us managed to get are groove on the whole ordeal somewhere after the intermission and then we were good to go!! These photos were taken with my cellphone so I apologize for the poor quality!  I have a feeling it will be a while before I go back again because the more I think about it the more I'm convinced that I don't even need to leave my house to be that stressed out! LoL, just kidding, I will go back for sure!  Maybe next time I will leave as a winner.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Okay, so I have to admit I am a wee bit nervous about having to have the long over due, dreaded MRI and MRA tests done tomorrow.  I never really got any special instructions regarding any prep before the tests so I will just go about my day tomorrow until its time to go! 

According to what people are telling me, these MRI machines are very big and extremely loud and that they actually give you ear plugs to put in because its so loud and sounds a lot like a Jack hammer.  I guess I have to put my head in a cage like Hannibal Lecter and it kinda locks you in place.  Now I don't have any claustrophobia issues but this might become a problem for me if I have to stay in this position for over 45 minutes! And not to mention I have to have an IV for the contrasting imaging stuff they need to pump me with to get the images.

For those of you who don't know why I am having this done, it was recommended by my mothers Neuro-Surgeon for myself and my siblings to be tested for Aneursyms because they are hereditary and it could easily happen to one of us.  Just being preventative because I certainly don't wanna go through any of what my mom has experienced this last year.
Maybe I should just stop whinning and be thankful for many things about this whole experience, for example: 
1. Thankful for having the insurance and the ability to have a very important test done. 2. Thankful for my Doctor who has pushed me into getting this done sooner than later. 
 3. Thankful that my Mom is still here to encourage me and tell me that all will be fine and that it's better to find out now before something bad happens to me like it did with her.
4. Thankful my older sister had her MRI done when she did and caught her MS before it was really really out of hand.

Although I'm pretty confident that everything will be ok tomorrow but still nervous about the whole thing none the less as well as results because you just never know.
I will say my prayers tonight and ask for everything to be ok with my test and trust that he will see me through! 
I will keep you all posted~ Nighty Night friends  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mom Update

Today was a day we have been waiting for for a very long time.  It will be 8 months tomorrow that my mother had her brain aneurysm and survived it after being told she would more than likely not make it through the first night.  But as most of you know she is one very determined lady who's time was apparently not up!  After all the hurdles she has been forced to jump she amazes me as she continues to beat the odds everyday.  Let's face it, she was dealt one bad card after the other when she was hit with this brain bleed and I'm not too sure if anything more wrong could have happened to her.  It was bad enough just to have an Aneurysm let alone the Pneumonia that settled in after some time, a Tracheostomy, needing a Pacemaker while in a medically induced coma, 4 head surgeries w/ 2 separate shunts needed at different times , 3 Blood Transfusions, GI Food Tube, a Sub Dural Hemorrhage (2nd bleed), several falls (while in hospital) the final fall resulting with a Hip replacement, VRE (infection), Months of therapies  and I'm probably leaving out a few things...

Needless to say, my Mother is the strongest, bravest woman I know and today marked just another small milestone in her journey back to health.  She had her Food Tube taken out today and she was tickled pink to have that thing gone and to her it was another hurdled accomplishment.  I could see the relief in her face when the procedure was over and the sigh she let out swelled my heart and made me reminisce about those long, hard, unknown days that we, as a family experienced as we watched her fight for her life for days on end, for months on end.  I am thankful every single day when I think about her journey and how close we were to losing her and I am thankful for all the support, all the prayer and encouraging words from everyone that was there for us.  GOD is good....for sure!

Adele....Currently in my top 3

If you haven't heard this song yet, you have to because she is amazing!

Monday, October 10, 2011

OMgosh....When did this happen?

I can't believe that this year we had to have Malissa's Senior Pictures done for the yearbook. She only just started high school it seems. So we made arrangements for a very special person do the pictures for us at Whitnall Park and although it was hotter than Haiti's outside we managed to get in some pretty fabulous shots!  Malissa's BFF Kay was able to come along and have a few "BFF" shots taken together of the 2 of them at the end of the session.

As I watched Malissa posing for these shots I couldn't help but wonder where the time went.  It seems like yesterday we would look up at the clouds together and point out shapes and characters we would see in the cloud formations or the nights she would curl up on my lap and fall asleep while I would gently brush my fingers through her hair...

Now here she is, at a blink of an eye, attending her Final year at Whitnall High School, working 2 and sometimes 3 jobs at a time, driving and always on the go. And all I can ask myself is "When did this happen"??? When did she stop sitting on my lap, when did we stop looking at clouds together, when did she become so independent?

It's funny how busy life is and then something like this happens and slaps you right in the face. It's a little bitter sweet, but I am happy to say she is turning into a beautiful young woman, although very opinionated, stubborn, wise beyond her years and doesn't always make the best choices for herself, she has turned out to be an amazing young girl!  And even though we have had our moments through the years and we don't always see eye to eye on certain things, I am very proud of all that she is and the woman she is becoming!  I love you sissy... Always, Momma Donna <3

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Charicature Engagement....

Well, he finally popped the question! My nephew, Kolten is now officially engaged to be married to his high school sweetheart, Aerial.  She currently lives in Texas and Kolten went to visit her and her family this past week and told Aerial he was heading back home to Missouri  two days prior, when in fact he had the whole proposal premeditated, once he got permission from Aeriel's father of course.  Even though he really didn't go back to Missouri like he said he was going to, he stayed at a friends house and planned everything. Kolten had Aerials  family meet him in San Antonio for a "family day" and he had pre-hired an artist to draw this picture shown above, (unbeknownst to her)!  All the while Aerial thought he was drawing a portrait of just her, as Kolten was standing in the background waiting with the ring! When the artist turned the portrait around she was very confused and actually thought the artist was proposing to her, while out of the corner of her eye she saw someone walking towards her.

If you look closely, you can see my nephew in the background waiting for the que to step forward and ask the big question! She still doesn't know what is happening at this point!
He finally gets the Que and comes from behind with the ring and asks her to marry him!  There were tears, excitement and disbelief from her, but from the looks of it she was very happy!

He asked, she said yes......Stay tuned for an update on when the wedding will be!
Congratulations Kolten & Aerial we are all very happy for you both <3

Friday, October 7, 2011

Feels like forever....

I am really going to try and do this "Blog" thing a lot more often than I was doing.  I'm finally getting over all of the past years events with my Mom having a brain aneuresym and surving it, the heart breaking decision of having to put Mom in a temporary rehab hospital and then dealing with everything that possibly could go wrong and did, learning that someone very special to me is losing her daughter to Cancer, to my oldest sister being diagnosed with MS.  Needless to say it has been a crazy year and things are finally calming down a bit for all of us.
BUT.....let's not forget the blessings that were given to our family this year. The biggest blessing of all is the fact that my Mother survived and fought through the anueresym she had on Feb 12, 2011 and although she is not the same "Mom" that she was before hand, I am very thankful and lucky to have her here.  We were also blessed with a new baby in the family this year, my Niece Karlee and her husband Perry welcomed a new baby boy in June little  ~Jackson Parker Ashlock~