Zoey is...

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Zadyn is...

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mother Hen

This is where I want my kids to always be...right under momma's wing. If I could just guide them and teach them about my Jesus then I will feel like I've done something important in my life.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Continuing My Story of Fighting Cancer

I apologize for taking so long to continue this post. I still have a lot more to write and I am trying my best to get to it. I will share it as soon as I get it typed. It's sometimes hard to sit down and relive parts of this. If you want to catch up, here is part one.

The planning process was a nightmare because it was a lot to try to coordinate with so many people (my entire family was going along with my aunt, mother-in-law, and my children). I was just beginning to feel as though I had managed to get some of the details arranged right around Easter. We celebrated Easter and then my dad’s birthday on April 9.
The night of my dad’s birthday my mom and brother spent the night at my house. It was pretty common for my mom to spend the night because she had practically moved in with us since my diagnosis but my brother only stayed occasionally. We all went to bed that night and all was quiet.
At around 3:30 am I was woken up by the Lord. I know it was Him. He was ready to get the show on the road. I was so nauseated that I got up to go to the bathroom and throw up. I managed to get my phone as I went. I remember leaning over the toilet to throw up and falling to my knees. The next thing I remember was waking up, again by the Lord, and feeling something wet trickling through my hair. I managed to sit up in the bathroom floor and rub my hair. I looked down at my hand and realized that it was blood. I turned around and there was blood everywhere.
I attempted to call my mom because I didn’t have the energy to yell for help, but the cell service wasn’t working so it took a few tries. Finally I got her and she came to me. She walked in and found me in the blood and I can remember faintly hearing her waking up my husband and my brother. The phone calls started and my mom, the calm one, began to get tore up. I convinced her to help me to the dining room. I sat down in a chair and called my pastor’s wife for Prayer.
The ambulance arrived shortly after and they attempted to get me to walk to the ambulance. I passed out in my driveway and fell. After finally getting in the ambulance and laying down I felt a bit better. The hospital ran some blood work and did an X-ray. There was nothing they could do for me because I had lost a ton of blood and my hemoglobin was 6.5. Since I had developed the antigens in my blood, it would take a couple of days at the least to get my blood typed and get matching blood. Every hospital they called to fly me to was out of beds except for Vanderbilt.
Within the hour, I was being loaded on the helicopter to be flown to Vandy. I can remember seeing my parents wave bye to me from the sky. I updated my Facebook page for Prayer on the way and was actually pretty calm.
I got to the ER at Vandy and was rushed inside. I can remember a whole team of people standing over me. All I wanted was to use the bathroom and all they could do was ask questions. They asked me a ton of questions and it seemed as though I kept answering the same things over and over. Finally, they did blood work and found my blood type. My aunt showed up. She had left Lexington and headed that way as soon as she found out I was going to Vandy. She was with me until my parents, husband, and kids arrived.
After getting some blood, I was finally able to walk to the bathroom by myself. This was a huge milestone for me. I praised God so much on the way there and back just because I could stand all on my own without passing out. The plan was to see where the bleeding was coming from, so they took me down later that day for an upper GI scope. They determined that I was bleeding from the tumor breaking down. The next day, I was still in the ER room, they decided to do another scope to see if the bleeding had stopped. They determined that it was oozing blood now instead of bleeding fast.
The team of doctors consulted with a surgeon there who said he would try to remove what he could of the tumor. This didn’t set well with us or my oncologist in Boston because the surgeon waiting to do the surgery at Mass General was considered a world class surgeon and he was confident that he could get the entire mass from my stomach. There was a lot of tug of war that went on at that point.
I was finally moved to a room and another CT scan was performed. Everything was still showing the same results. After a good night’s sleep and much Prayer, we decided that the best thing to do was to continue to fight to be transported to Boston. The doctors at Vandy did not like this idea at all and continued to fight us tooth and nail. They wanted the surgery to be done there so that the hospital would make tons of money off of it. They suggested that they could discharge me and I could ride on a commercial flight to Boston. If it had have came down to it, I may have done so, however we continued to push for a medical flight. I pay for a yearly service to one, the same one that flew me via helicopter to Vandy. They offer the fixed wing flight service and I wanted the hospital to pursue that.
They kept saying it wasn’t going to work. Just when all hope seemed gone and everyone in my hospital room was so upset... God stepped in. I can remember everyone talking all at once and me trying to make a decision as to whether I should stay or go commercial. I closed my eyes and Prayed for God to just show me because I was so scared I would make the wrong decision. It wasn`t five minutes later that the door swung open and I was told that the flight had been approved. Within minutes, I was getting ready for a fixed wing flight to Boston. We were told that my aunt could go with us and at the last minute we were told different because of the fuel for the plane and the mileage. So, I was headed to Boston on my own. My aunt was dropped off at the airport so that she could meet me there and my family headed back home to pack and fly to Boston the next morning. I remember a sweet friend of mine, Angie, had sent me flowers and they arrived right as the ambulance crew was wheeling me out to head to the airport. It was such a sweet gesture.
I can remember whizzing through traffic and looking out the back window of the ambulance. I felt like I was a princess.... I know that sounds crazy. I wasn’t feeling like a cancer patient at that time. I was feeling on top of the world because God was working all this out for me. He was opening the lanes of traffic to let His servant through. I felt so blessed. Another sweet friend, Daniel, called and had Prayer with me while I traveled to the airport. It was wonderful. Here I was being escorted and having special Prayer just for me.
We arrived at the airport and I was pleased to meet my flight crew. They were from back home in the next county over. They were so nice and so helpful. They really took care of me on the flight. After getting me settled on my stretcher by the window, they arranged everything and we took off. I talked to them a bit and then they gave me some medicine to help calm me during the flight. I can remember dozing in and out. I can also remember the best part of the whole experience, talking to God.
I opened my eyes and looked out the window into the clouds. I can remember saying, “I’m scared God.” God spoke back to me. He actually, audibly spoke back and said, “Alesha, if you look at the water, you will sink. But if you keep your eyes on Me, I will bring you through it all.” I remember saying, “I will God.” His voice was so calming and so soothing. He was kind. It was amazing to hear Him speak my name. It`s something that I never thought that I would ever experience. My mom has since told me over and over when I get scared that God doesn`t choose just anyone to speak to like that. She is right. It isn’t because I am something special on my own, but because He has a plan to use me to bring people to Him. The thing about my conversation with God is that I lost all recollection of it until later on after my surgery.
I arrived in Boston around 9pm I think. I was wheeled in and no time was wasted. The tests began immediately because my surgeon had squeezed my surgery in for the next day pending the test results and he was going out of town for a week after that so it was the next morning or nothing. I was wheeled down for scans and then started bowel prep. I was told that it would be a not lacking rest because I would be up and down so much and it was true. The saddest part was, I just wanted to rest. I was exhausted. I remember talking to my mom as she drove to the airport around 1 am and my husband around 3am. In the meantime, around 11pm, my aunt arrived which made me feel a lot better. She stayed with me for about an hour and then went to the hotel adjacent to the hospital to get a room until morning.
As promised, she arrived back at the hospital at 6am to be with me when the doctors came in to discuss whether or not we would proceed with surgery or not. The surgical residents came in and said the surgeon would make the call and then when he came in, he spoke as though it was a done deal. He said it would probably begin around 1pm. I was overjoyed!
I know it sounds crazy to be excited for surgery. But I truly was. I was excited to get that tumor out of me. I was excited to hopefully get back to a new normal. I was ready to move on with my life.
My oncologist came by to see me around 10am. It was a pleasant surprise because I wasn`t sure I would get to see him before surgery and he had worked so hard to get me moved there to help me. He talked with us for a bit and then left. It wasn`t too long after that, they showed up to take me down and prepare me for surgery. They were ahead of schedule. My family had been rushing to make it to see me but in the end, my aunt had to see me off to surgery alone. I remember her kissing my forehead about a million times and telling me it was all going to be alright and in my heart I knew it was. As I prepared to leave, I took my Prayer cloth that I always wore and stuck it under my ponytail holder in my hair. I wanted to take that physical evidence of Prayer with me. They let me wear it, too.
I was wheeled down to the operating room and prepared just outside the door. I began to get nervous. They started trying to do an epidural on me. They had to try about 4 times before getting it to actually work. I was sweating like crazy and was reminded of Jesus sweating drops of blood in the Garden of Eden. My situation was nowhere near as severe as His, yet I was scared. I can remember them wheeling me in and moving me onto the operating table. I can remember them giving me medicine to relax me and out I went as they finished prepping me.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Lil Travelers

These two are superb travelers! They've been to the beach since they've been born along with numerous local trips to the closest big cities we have and daddy's hometown. They have also been all he way to Boston and let me tell you they travel so well. Yes there are moments but they do great, for the most part.

Zoey's Hair

My baby girl's hair has grown so much. I can't get over how long it is. And it's so pretty. She getting too big too fast.

Silly Pix!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

We Are Still Out Here!

New updates and posts coming soon. Things have been very hectic due to my health problems. Please continue to remember me and my family in Prayer. Be back soon!