About Me

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This blog really isn't designed to be about ME, however I am willing to share my life with you so that you can gain knowledge about living with cancer, the importance of continued research in cancer fighting drugs, and how the FDA's decisions on releasing or pulling a drug from cancer patients can greatly impact many lives. While my cancer is advanced breast cancer, I am fighting for all cancers, and actually life in general. My life has been directly affected by many other cancers as family members, friends and chemo buddies have died from various cancers. Each one of these people have shaped my life and I am fighting to honor their fight, and to continue fighting for all of us touched by this horible disease in some way. Most of all, I'm fighting for the right of my 11 year old daughter to continue having a healthy mother, and for my Husband and Mother to keep them from the pain and torment that comes from seeing a loved one die from cancer. The FIGHT IS ON!! Please join me!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"It's My Fault Julie!"

Sunday, March 27, 5:30 pm.  This is the first time in over a month that Dewey and I were alone.  Someone has always been with us since that first day that I went into the hospital.  It was nice having time to ourselves.  We talked and talked about what had just happened and couldn't stop talking about the whole ordeal  This is unusual, because Dewey simply won't talk about anything that has to do with my health or his work.  His way of dealing with my health is to move forward and act as if there is nothing wrong and to talk about any bad reports or feeling bad is moving backwards in his mind.  I guess he thinks that if we don't talk about it, and pretend it doesn't exist, then life can continue as normal. 

So, I was happily surprised when he started telling me all about the month I lost while being sedated in the ICU.  He talked and talked and told me all sorts of things that he, my mom, family, and friends had to endure.  Wow!!! What a roller coaster ride for all of those waiting hour by hour to hear more news on a diagnosis.  Dewey told me that I was diagnosed with everything under the sun.  It was to the point that Dewey himself was researching various pneumonia and he would ask the doctors, "Have you checked this, or that pneumonia?   I'm sure he probably wasn't even close to pronouncing the word correctly, but he had done the research on what it was, how it is contracted and what the diagnosis is.  The doctors assured Dewey that they had checked these diseases and I was negative for all of them.

At one point, three of the doctors gave my family no hope, while two gave them hope.  Who and what to believe became difficult for all of them.  So I ask Dewey, "How on earth did you know who to follow?  and who did you believe"?  I'll NEVER forget Dewey looked me straight in the eyes and said, "Well, Julie,  I followed the Lord!  I believed in him"!  My heart sunk as he said those words.  I was so proud of his faith in God, and that during this most difficult moment of his entire life, he turned and trusted God and didn't give the doctors a second thought.  Wow!  What faith!  We should all follow the Lord.  He really is the only one that completely heals.  His powers are greater than anything or any force that we have here on earth, and he is always on our side and ready to fight for us.  That is the most amazing medicine of all!!

Then Dewey looked up and straight into my eyes with a little smirk in his voice and he said, "Oh, by the way, it't my fault Julie".  "What do you mean it's YOUR fault, what's your fault?", I responded.  "It's my fault that you had pneumonia, and a bad case of pneumonia.  It's all my fault!", he said.  "How could this be your fault?"  I didn't understand.  With a strong, yet fragile voice, Dewey said, "After the doctors said that your lungs were full of cancer, and they basically gave us no hope at all, I went to the chapel to pray all day long".  He said, "I've never prayed so hard and so much for something in all my life!  I prayed that you didn't have cancer, that you just had pneumonia, a really, really bad case of pneumonia."  I just looked at him with a strange look on my face.  Then he said in a fun, childlike voice, "Yep, Julie,  It's all my fault that you had pneumonia, sorry about that, but you get what you pray for, and that's what I prayed for, so it's my fault".

I don't know that I will ever hear or see cuter words and expressions come from my husbands mouth than when he shared that story with me.  I had no idea the trama that they were having to deal with while waiting to learn what was wrong with me and hoping that I get better soon.  I am so thankful that Dewey is sharring his side of the story with me.  It is important for me to hear these stories from as many people as possible that were sharing this moment of change in our life.  Some of the stories that have been shared with me by Dewey, Mom, and friends make full sense to me, and I'm able to explain to them why I would move my arm certain ways, and once I woke up why I said some of the things I said.  Most every motion made and word spoken had a purpose and wasn't involuntary. 

But to you Dewey, thank you for the many prayers for me to have bad pnewmnia...I'll take that anyday over cancer.  Had the doctors told you that standing over my bed where I could have heard them, I probably would have KICKED the fire out of them, because I even knew this wasn't cancer I was dealing with. 

Dewey said he no longer takes what Doctors say as a final diagnosis.  When Tina found out that the doctors had everyone upset over the cancer diagnosis, she pulled a nurse out into the hall and wanted to know why any doctor would tell a family that simply by looking at an xray.  She said, have the taken blood yet?  Tissue samples? Pet or Cat Scans with contrast?   All answers were NO.  I'm not sure if it was because of her persistence or not, but the doctors then ordered a biopsy of the lung tissue, and guess what?!?!?!   It came back negative.  One of the doctors came to Dewey and those waiting for me he said loudly, "The biopsy was negative.  There is NO cancer".  I haven't asked Dewey how he responded to that news, but if I were to bet on it, I would say he literally broke down to the ground and cried and cried while thanking God over and over.

I am so proud of Dewey.  This has been a difficult month and will continue to be difficult as things are never going to be normal as we knew normal, but we are looking forward to a new chapter in our lives, we just hope that the changes come softly and that we can transform without extra stress and with only good intentions.

So many of you were there with me or in the waiting room with family.  If you have stories to share with me, I would be so appreciative to you if you would write down your memories of what was taking place.  I don't know if this is normal or not, but I want to know what happened each day.  I slept for 3 weeks, and I'd like to know what I  missed.

Eventually I will share with you what was going on in "My World" while I was sedated for three weeks.  I have my own interesting stories to share with you.

Thanks for reading!
Please share my story with your friends.
Until Next Time,  GOD BLESS!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

No Words!!!

Some things that you want to express are far greater than the mind can grasp and there are no words that can explain the feelings.  This is one of those moments that I want to express my gratitude and love to everyone in my community and beyond, but it's a perfect circle, no beginning, no ending, just a forever continuation flow of compassion, kindness, love, and concern.

Dewey would stand by my head and talk to me. "Julie, YOU are So loved!  Wake up, I want to tell you about all of the people that have come to see you, and have called.  I love you so much and you are doing such a great job!  I'm so proud of you, you have so many here that want to see you, you wouldn't believe how many people are here for you.  Can you wake up for a little bit, come on Julie, you can do it, just open your eyes.  You are doing so good, I love you!" 

I remember several occasions where Dewey would be talking to me saying the kindest things and wanting me to respond to him.  At the time, I tried to open my eyes and respond, but the medication that I was given to keep me sedated was so strong, that even though I tried and tried to respond, I'm sure that Dewey and my Mom couldn't tell that I could even hear them.

The doctors had me in an induced coma so that my body would be able to focus on healing.  Dewey said he looked forward to seeing the "white medicine" bubble because he knew there would be a small window of time that I may be able to hear him, open my eyes, or respond to him before the nurses would administer more diprivan.  I do remember the words he would say to me, but I was confused and didn't understand what was happening around me, and before I was able to put it all together, I would be completely sedated once again.  Thank God for sedation, when tubes are going up and down, in and out, sedation is the greatest thing ever!!

During one of these moments of Dewey talking to me, my attention peaked when I heard the words "Michell is on her way back to see you again Julie!"  I wanted to open my eyes and jump up and down in excitement.  I love my family, and we are too far apart, and just knowing she would be back meant so much to me.  Then Dewey went on to tell me, "Julie...Michell and Amy are organizing a benefit for you so that the stresses of our bills can be eased since you won't be able to work for a while".  I heard those words so well.  That was the first I heard of what was to turn out to be an event of love that is far to great for words.

Each memory of Dewey talking to me from that point on was him expressing the out pour of love and support that the community, family, friends, customers and even complete strangers had been snowballing.  He wasn't aware that I could understand his conversations with him, but during those moments of the medication finishing, and a new dose beginning, I was able to understand him perfectly.  Confusion was still in the picture, because I'm not sure at that point if I knew where I was, and why.  But I did know that Dewey was there for me and that he assured me that everything was going to be okay and that life as we had known it would be less stressful.  He let me know that I wouldn't have to stress from work anymore and that we would be sure to take care of me before worrying about bills and our financial burdens that various life and health situations had landed us in.  I wanted to open my eyes, smile, squeeze his hand, just anything to let him know I understood and heard him.  As weird as this may sound, hearing those words from him took a burden off my back right then at that very moment.  I'm sure if I could go back and see my vitals shortly after him letting me know this, I would find that all of my vitals improved.  Just knowing the stress would be lifted gave me great comfort and a new hope to continue fighting for. 

There is so much to add to this particular topic, that I will have to add on to it.  What I have written here has taken me two days to write.  Please be patient and know that I want you to hear all of it.  I'm still very weak and sitting at the computer typing is a difficult task still, but I'm excited to share my story, and it is good for me to blog both mentally and physically.  My fine motor skills are improving, but my attention span is that of a 2 year old.  Please continue to follow and share with your fb friends.  My testimonies are incredible and you will see Gods heart and hands at work.  He is amazing.

Before I close for the night.  I can not possibly find the words to express my gratitude to all of you for the love you have shared with me.  I have heard wonderful stories of the dinner, auction and entertainment.  I'm in a state of pure euphoria.  I've  been to funerals where everyone would say, "Wow!,  he/she  would be so happy to see how many people loved them and are here for them!"  Even though my body isn't healed enough to have been at the event, I 've been gifted with the knowledge of love and support that has come my way.  What a gift.  A perfect gift knowing that love is all around me.  I thank you for all the acts of kindness, love and compassion that you have shown me and my family throughout these difficult times.  I am so prould to be part of a community that pulls together to work towards a common goal that is focused on love and support.  Life IS good!!!  Even when there are no words!  Love comforts!  Even when I can't find the way to respond when under so much sedation, and tubes down the throat, just knowing and feeling the love....It comforts all.

Until Next Time.
God Bless!!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Story...What a Blessing!!

Oh, how I've missed blogging to you.  I'm not sure how long I'll be able to blog today because my hands are already shaking, but I'm going to try and blog each day to let you know my story and latest journeys and what's to come in the future.

When I began this blog, I said it wasn't about ME, but for now, these post will be about me and the past month.  I hope you find courage, comfort, peace, and a stronger faith in God, friends and family through my experience

Before I begin I want to Thank God for blessing me with a wonderful family and faithful friends.  Your prayers got me through this, and for that I am forever grateful.

So the story begins...

Exhausted!!  Months of pure exhaustion that was only getting worse.  Sleeping in between photo shoots became a  normal part of my daily routine.  Tina was coming to the studio to help me make a backdrop for the New Madrid homecoming dance that we were to photograph in a few days.  One more photo shoot, but I had 3 hours before it began.  How I would survive to last at the studio another 3 hours, I had no idea!  I grabbed my pillows and cover, locked the front door and was sound asleep within seconds.  The next thing I know, Tina is at the studio with me and I remember telling her that there was NO way that I could work on the backdrop, I simply didn't have the energy.  Tina helped me with my last session and the second they left the studio I looked at Tina and said "I think I need to be in the hospital."  We left my car in Charleston, and Tina took me straight to the hospital.

Just as I thought, that was exactly where I needed to be.  At that time I had pneumonia in my left lung.  This was on Thursday, Feb. 17.  My appointment in Houston was only 5 days away, so I thought, "Oh, I'll be in here over night, possibly 2 nights, then I will continue with my plans to fly out of St. Louis to Houston for my routine check-up.  Yeah.....right.....!!!!   Things didn't go as I had planned.  God had other plans for me that didn't involve Houston at all.

For the privacy of my doctors and nurses, I won't mention any of their names during the blog, however it goes without saying that I had the absolute best care that a patient could possibly receive.  Both Missouri Delta Medical Center in Sikeston, and St. Francis Medical in Cape had incredible doctors and nurses.

This is just the surface of my story, please check back tomorrow as I plan on sharing my entire story over time.  It's going to take time and I believe you will find parts of it amazing, and other parts may put you to sleep.  (no punt intended)

Until Next Time!!! GOD BLESS, and THANK YOU!!!