So here I am, two days before the surgery that I have been waiting a year for, and I am full of second thoughts. This blog is mostly going to be about the Chiari, and the impending surgery, but I'm also going to share where I have found inspiration, encouragement, and peace throughout it all.
Last weekend really kind of started the emotions rolling. On Friday, when I got the news that the surgery was in one week, I almost panicked. My heart started racing, I got all sweaty, it was crazy. You know what helped instantly? Talking to my mom. Its funny, you are never too old to need your mommy. My mother, brother, sister and aunt, and all my nieces came over that night for swimming and a cookout. It was a fantastic time, and it so helped to have their support and their love. It was something I missed. Then on Saturday, it was my uncle's wedding. It was a very happy occasion, he married his long time partner of 12 years, and if anyone deserves to be happy, he does. And I cried. And cried some more. I think that was the trigger that opened up the flood gates. I cried because I was happy for them, because I missed my father horribly, because I was heartbroken for my mother, because I was overwhelmed with everything that had been happening in my life. It was a good cry though, very cathartic. The Sunday at church, my friend Benjamin Tubbs sang one of my favorite songs, "Healer", and my friend Ken encouraged us, loved us, let us know our church was there for us, and then the whole church gathered around us, and prayed. There were hugs, tears, words of encouragement. It was amazing.
Monday morning was rough. It was pre-testing day. I was feeling overwhelmingly angry. Angry with all the doctors that missed this and then dragged their feet for so long. Angry that my supplemental insurance is fighting the claim. Angry with all the people who criticized me, doubted me, and told me to get over it. I posted something to that effect on Facebook, and got some nice comments back, but one stood out. It was a post that one of my oldest friends from high school and the old neighborhood wrote. Her name is Michelle Whitehead Hastings. She lives in Arizona now, with her husband, and children. Michelle is a beautiful person. Fun, loving, devoted, inspiring. She always has been. Michelle is also fighting her second bout of colon cancer in three years. (you can read more about her and her story here: michellewillwin.blogspot.com)
I was perfectly happy in my pitty party. Grabbing on to anger with all I had. Until I read her post. Here's what she wrote: "Send letters. When I'm
actively advocating, I hear about ppl all the time that are blown off,
only to be diagnosed at a later date. I encourage them to put words to
paper, and let the drs know what happened. They are ppl too, and need
to know that a mistake happened. By doing this, you might help.someone
else from going thru the same thinh you're going thru. Just my two
Uuggh. A punch in the gut. Here was me, looking at, well, me. Instead of realizing I was one of the lucky ones, who only struggled with this for a few years, compared to other people who have struggled with this for decades, I was basically whining. Michelle, thank you for that eye opener. And for those of you who don't know her, that is very much a piece of who she is. She hasn't let her cancer beat her, and she has served more people, encouraged more people, and inspired more people, not only with her words, but her character, and journey as well. So, that is my new goal. Not sure how, or even where to start, but after my recovery, I will bring more awareness to Chiari Malformation.
As of today, all preparations that can be made, are done. I am feeling anxious, scared, (who am I kidding, terrified), yet blessed, loved, and ready for whatever may come.
Emily will be updating Facebook often, and once I am better, I will write about the whole process. With that said, thank you all for your love, prayers, and continued support. See you on the flip side!!!