India bound

I’m busting at the seams today!

I know when I get like this way too many words come spilling out, so I will keep it short.

When I think back to what life looked like ten years ago. Two babies, pregnant with a third. Married. Focused on my husband, children, and decorating my home. It seems almost surreal. Like a dream compared to what surrounds me now.

Do you ever have those moments, your own life appearing almost unrecognizable?  Continue reading

Update on Bob (Part 2)

I need to add something here.

A friend of mine sent me a message yesterday about a little girl who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. She sent me over the post and I could just feel the heaviness of these parents as they shared with the world that their little girl had only months to live… a year if they were lucky.  Continue reading

Update on Bob

A quick recap. I met with my neurosurgeon last October and the news was good.  The radiation was effective and Bob had stopped growing.

I had another scan scheduled this past April. I wasn’t as afraid this time. I was settled. It’s funny how that happens when you have weathered enough storms; they don’t seem to rattle you as much.  Continue reading

Dear Bob

Well Bob,

I knew this day would come…

It hit me today that several days have passed and you were not there, not there crashing into my conversations- my dreams-on my life. I guess that is to be expected, that my thoughts of you would fade and that life would soon return to normal, and while you, dear Bob are starting to fade, life will never return to the way it was. It can’t. Continue reading

Bob’s Big Day

 

photo 1

Well, Bob this has been quite a day. I moved through my morning with much emotion, allowing myself to feel everything. If I focus on the good that you have brought into my life, then this is it; I enjoy the moment. Bob, because of you I have slowed my life down. I see more. I feel more. Even when it is hard I want to feel.

My day started with my favorite (and most handsome) Starbucks date.

photo 1-3

 

Monday mornings are our time. I buy him Starbucks and he gives me his undivided attention. Some might call this a bribe, but I refer to this as mother-son bonding time with a little incentive. This morning was especially sweet. I asked him if he would pray for me and he did. It was simple. It was him. And then we did one of our favorite things. We laughed. We laugh well together, Jake and I. He loves to show me funny text and he couldn’t wait to share this one with me…

photo 2

 

I laughed so hard, that I had to pull the car over because I couldn’t see. You see, dear Bob, all you have done is made laughter more precious. Who knew this is exactly what I needed this morning… a glorious nipple joke.

I dropped my Jake off and headed out to Cedar Sinai. I was directed to a certain parking lot. I pulled in and ran into the front building with a few minutes to spare. As I was asking directions to the imaging center, the gal saw my parking garage ticket in my hand, “Ooooh honey, you do not want to park in there. It will be over $20 by the time you are done.”  I dropped my head onto the desk. If I moved my car, I would be late. I hate being late. She directed me to another garage on the other side of the building. As I ran out of the building, I could hear her yelling after me, “You better run faster, sister.”

I jumped in my car and headed out. As I exited the garage I inserted my ticket- $5.00. What! I hadn’t even been scanned yet! I explained to the parking attendant my situation, I had the wrong garage,” but she wouldn’t budge. And then it happened. Yep. I knew it was a matter of time. I started crying… again. Over a stinkin parking fee. I knew it was lame, but I could’t help it. I tried to make them stop, but they just kept falling out. This is ridiculous, I thought, you just spent twice this amount at Starbucks. Let it go, but it didn’t help. Sometimes, dear sisters, we just don’t make sense- none at all- and that is okay. Sometimes we just have those days.

She got the manager and I cried to him, ” You see, I have this brain tumor named Bob and I am just trying to get to the right parking area so I can have a scan done and now I am late.”  Poor guy, he didn’t even know what hit him. “Bob- who’s Bob? Never mind that… It’s okay lady,” he said wide-eyed. He scrambled as fast as he could, “We will get you out of here.” I wiped my snotty nose and tears as I tried to apologize and I zipped through. Definitely not a proud moment for Bob and I.

I couldn’t find the correct parking so I finally landed in the cancer area. Close enough.

I made it. I looked like a wreck, but we did it, Bob. We made it. I gained my composure as I waited for my turn. I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths. Here we go.  They called me back. I followed a young kid in scrubs through a maze of corridors. I just want to move through this well. They led me back to the changing area. It seemed surreal. I began to think back over this past year as I changed into my hospital gown; this was my fourth MRI this year. My fourth.

So how did Bob and I do, well…. we decided to handle it by doing this…

photo 3-1

and then this…

photo 4and then finally this…

photo 3yep…. that did it. We were ready to go.

As I walked back to the big room I asked the tech if I could get a few picks. I explained that I was logging my adventure- Bob and I. He seemed amused by the whole thing. Apparently I was the first patient who  asked if they could take a selfie with the Bob-o-matic 5000 (aka MRI machine). While I couldn’t take the phone near the machine, he was more than happy to snap a few picks.

Another tech joined in on the fun and asked if I wanted a picture with him. He was the tech of the month. I would have said yes, but I was told we were now running behind thanks to all of my shenanigans.

We did a little small talk as he prepped me for the machine. I shared that I used to teach high school long ago and was now in school once again. We chit chatted a little more as he  inserted plugs into my ears, followed by a headset that allowed him to speak to me from the other room. He  locked my head in nice and tight with a plastic contraption and I was good to go. He informed me that he would be pulling me out in about 40 minutes in order to inject dye into my system for the contrast image. That was it. In I went.

I nodded off for a bit and then next thing I knew, I was on the move. I blinked my eyes, which I always keep shut even when I don’t fall asleep (because it does feel a little eerie in there). The tech was standing by my side. He was saying something but I couldn’t hear him or see him very well because off all the paraphernalia. He leaned over as he was preparing my I.V., and continued talking. “I can’t hear you… the head set,” I mumbled, as I shook my head. He lifted my headset off. ” How are you doing in there?” he asked as he felt for a vein. “Oh, good. I guess.” Silence. “I bet those high school boys thought you were the prettiest teacher.” What… is this a joke. I looked at him sideways through my very attractive plastic halo. “Oh, come on,” he said, “Don’t tell me those high school boys didn’t have a crush on you.You were probably the most beautiful teacher on that campus” I started to chuckle. Of all times. I mean I never, like NEVER EVER, get hit on and now… like right now.  Oh Lordy, Lord. What in carnations is going on today! If anyone ever tell you God doesn’t have a sense of humor, then they don’t know my God. I told him I was flattered, and then very gently suggested that maybe we should focus on getting the IV into my arm. He obliged, finished the job and in I went again.

Well Bob, we made it. We did it. We did it well. The emotions were there and so was my Jesus and we did just fine. I had a thought as I was driving home, Bob. I wanted to thank you. Yes, thank you. Oh, I am not thankful that you came into our lives, but I am thankful for what you have taught me. I never would have known that I could walk through something this challenging. I wouldn’t have known that my God was BIG enough to carry me through. In all my tears. In all my mud. I am grateful that I have had a chance to see what my faith looks like when it’s walked out. So thank you, dear friend, thank you for that. 

I don’t feel like writing

I don’t feel like writing.

I don’t feel like feeling today.

I stumbled across a heart breaking story of a darling 29 year old girl who was diagnosed back in January of this year with a brain tumor, a different kind than Bob. She was originally given ten years to live. Ten years. And they were wrong. Dead wrong.

I sat watching the video with a colleague of mine. We sat there sober afterwards. I finally whispered, ” I think that is my fear. What if they got it wrong?” Thank goodness D was there to catch me. (not trying to hide his identity, that’s just what I call him, “D”) I sobbed and sobbed. What if they are wrong. 

I moved on with my day, but I was angry- no, I was pissed. I didn’t want to be where I was. I didn’t want to feel. I just wanted to disappear.

So, how can I go from trusting and loving the Lord one day and in the throws of my pain and fear the next…. because sisters, I am human. If my $50,000 education in therapy ($45,000 for tuition and books and $5,000 for coffee, lattes and wine to get me through the program. I might be slightly exaggerating, but you get the point)  has taught me anything, it is to move towards how your pain. Embrace it. Let your anger or hurt sit for a bit and see what rises to the top. Trying to cope with our hurt by shoving it down doesn’t solve a thing because it won’t disappear. Oh, we think it will; we think that if we just push it down far enough or drown it out we won’t have to deal with it, but pain doesn’t play by our rules. It keeps surfacing and resurfacing, rearing it’s ugly head, leaking out every which way. But, pain that is moved towards- embraced- now that is where the healing takes place.

So tonight I gave myself space to be angry. Angry at the world. Angry that it’s me. I know a lot of other people that are mean and crotchety; who aren’t active or eat healthy; they should be the ones going through this, not me. I don’t want it to be me. I don’t want to be here. I want to be falling in love. Having a baby. Planning for the future. Anywhere but here. I am angry, God, and I am angry at you. This is too much. Too much. 

I let it sit and I let it be okay.

Okay to be angry. Okay to be hurting.

Okay to not point to Jesus right in this very moment.

I let it be okay to stay right where I was… and then I talked to myself. “You talk to yourself?” Yes, I talk to myself. We listen to lies all the time in our heads saying that we have failed, that we are not good enough, or we should be more like this one or keep a house like that one. I figured since we have all that going on, it’s time to start butting in and caring for ourselves- being kind to ourselves.  So yes, as crazy as it sounds, I talk to myself.  “You’re just fine, ”  I tell myself. “Of course you are angry. You’re scared and you’re afraid” I give myself room to feel and then I gently, very gently, remind myself of the facts. Okay, so here is what I do know. I am doing everything I can. I have been proactive. This is not easy, but I have done everything in my control. I can go only on what my doctors have told me. I will have the MRI and I will know soon. I end with the most important fact of all…..

Alisa, God has not abandoned you in this moment. He hasn’t Because love never leaves. Love never abandons. He loves you right where you are and He knows  you love him. 

And slowly… slowly, my breathing calmed… and peace returned.