Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Orientation Done!!

Well, I finally finished my three week orientation class. I have a week until I start the real thing. I start with remedial courses pretty much: Principles of Health and Wellness ( :P) and Introduction to University Studies (blah!). Oh well, at least I'm in and starting! I know it's a long road and not a lot of folks believe that I will finish, but I will! I'm trying to gather as much support as possible because, truthfully, I am not what you would call a "finisher". I tend to bite off more than I can chew. This time, though, I am taking a slow and comfortable pace. I am in no real hurry, I have no need to race anyone to the finish line. I have nothing to prove to anyone except myself! I have ideas of what I would like to do when I finish each of my goals...like PARTIES!! My gift to me for finishing the orientation is going on to the next level and begin working on my AA. I am both excited and nervous, but here I go nonetheless.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Yay Me!!

I have done a lot in secret lately, but I'm trying to stop that. I believe there are things you should keep to yourself, of course, but the things I have been holding to myself have just been out of insecurity. I don't like to be judged (even though it's one of my favorite pastimes). I actually care what people think of me and I don't think that is a bad thing as long as it's not taken too far. I don't like rejection either, it effects me in a bad way. I was hesistant to share my entering into school again for fear that I would fail and people would ask about it. At this point and time I do not feel like I am going to fail, in fact I feel quite positive about it. I understand my risks so don't you worry. With that being said, I have another little secret to share: I have been trying to take better care of myself. I don't like to say "diet" because to me that seems to imply that it will all come to an end rather than being a life-long venture. I don't have a weight goal (that's too depressing for me) but I do have a simple goal of just doing better (whatever that means to me). I won't go into too much detail on how I'm doing it simply because I don't want any unsolicited advice. What I am doing is actually working for me, thus the "Yay Me" title of this post! I don't stand on scales because I will obsess too much about that, but I can tell it's starting to work because my clothes fit much better! I pulled my more snug pair of jeans right out of the dryer and put them on without any trouble! No huffing and puffing, no having to manuever my body positioning to fit in my jeans. Nope. Just put 'em on one leg at a time! It..was..AWESOME!! I don't think my weight loss is very noticable, but at least I can tell and that helps me carry on! Yay Me!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Merry Christmas to ME!!

I don't know why it has taken me almost 3 weeks to realize that my school starts just two days after Christmas!! Right now I am doing an orientation class to get me acquainted with the classroom format for an online course. It is a 3 week class which ends on the 18th of December. Then my REAL schooling begins on the 27th! WOW! So excited and so scared at the same time. I think I'm ready for it though. Bring it!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Week 2 of School

Just like Alice of Wonderland fame, this school stuff is getting curiouser and curiouser.
Right now I'm only in the trial or Orientation phase, but I've already ridden the roller coaster of knowledge a few times. Some things have been difficult to get the hang of, but like so many other classrooms, I was not the only one with questions (and many of them the same!) But I think I'm finally getting the hang of it all...except...
Because there is no formal classroom that we all meet in (we're all in different states including the Professor) we have to have discussions somehow. In order to be flexible for all involved, the idea of Skyping or any other online video chat is really out of the question. So, we all do sort of a chat room/blog room. The teacher posts questions for us to respond to during the week and we post our reply. The frustrating part of it is, you don't get credit for just replying to the question. You have to comment on others comments. I'm not very good at this because although I blog in a lot of ways it is just me with a few comments here and there...and I'm not graded on it!
Oh well...I guess I have to be more friendly and comment more...here goes week 2!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Start of a New Day

I sometimes live my life by words of affirmation; either ones I have read or ones I come up with myself. My current philosophy is not to live by constantly "picking up the pieces". I find it both simpler and more difficult to just redefine myself. Instead of constantly trying to find the broken parts of me and figuring out how to put them back together, I am taking what is left after the pieces fall and molding a newer, better (hopefully) person. I'm still me, but my goal is to grow after being in "the refiner's fire". A sort of phoenix rising out of the ashes if you will. And that leads me to my new adventure!

I was planning on keeping it to myself and Ben (you know, in case I fail) but that doesn't feel like the right thing to do at this time...at least not with this.

I have decided to finally go back to school and finish what I started. Except this time I have a plan, an objective, a goal. I know I have to start at the beginning essentially, but that's okay. My family has always said I would be a good teacher and that's what I intend on doing. I have had secret desires to teach for a while now and with the past couple of year's events and with much planning, I believe this is what has been set in front of me to complete. Several things have fallen into place to make this happen and I hope they continue to do so.

I am finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel! I know that I/we are not even close to the end of our ongoing trials, but rather I see the light of hope that our burdens are starting to lighten and doors are slowly opening. There aren't any definite things as far as Ben and his health are concerned, BUT there is opportunity where there was none before! To me, this is more than exciting, it's uplifting! For a while, hope was a four-letter word for me. Now, it feels like something I can hold on to and not be afraid.

Please send well-wishes to me and my family as we all try this new path to recovery in its many forms. We're gonna need it!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

WE are Family

Our family has changed a lot since this photo was taken a little over a year ago. Since then, I have learned to love our little family more than I thought ever possible. I learned more than I wanted to. I definitely haven't learned it all...yet! I know there is SO much more to come our way. I've always been a sucker for knowledge, well I guess I got what was coming to me huh?!

But I miss it. I miss what I had thought we were heading for: a life filled with wonder and amazement and frustration all from being new parents. I miss those precious first few months of Christopher's new life. Those months instead of being full of sleepless nights and joys of parenthood were tainted by sickness, stress and death. The following months didn't get any better, they got worse. I know we can never get those back or start again. I know all I can do is learn from it all and move on. But I'm having trouble with that last part. I'm stuck. I'm wounded. I am working on all that right now, but it's a long and painful process. There are feelings and emotions I haven't yet let myself go through, but I know I have to in order to get past this.

With Ben there is still much to do and it seems I am the only one that can get them done, or at least the ball rolling. I'm not sure I am ready but the time has come. I'm scared and I'm lonely. I'm reading MAKING SENSE OF SUFFERING and I am currently clinging to a quote from it: "Suffering places us behind a door and hides us somewhat from the view of others. The privacy allows adjustment, renewal and transformation. The fortunate interruption allows us to break old chains. When we emerge, we need not put them back on....Friends and loved ones will be quietly relieved that the pain recreated us." This last part is helping me not be so angry.

I don't know why I am writing all this. I guess I'm hoping that I can just vent enough to keep breathing. Also to let people know that we are still here. We're just trying to recuperate so we can join the human race again.

Monday, April 26, 2010

False Alarm!!

AAAAHHHHH!!!! What's the saying? "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions." Not until this moment did I realize that "Hell" is meant for the person(s) that the "intentions" were intended for!

We were generously offered this pie-in-the-sky offer that we thought was carefully and meticulously thought through, otherwise why would such an offer exist?!

So, if you don't quite catch my drift with my vague metaphors, let me spell it out. We are NOT moving as of yet.
So, I guess a "hurray!" is in order considering the chance we actually might get to keep the home we worked so hard to get. It's just the roller coaster of emotions that we have gone through these past few weeks has been crazy to say the least...maybe taxing is a better word.
It seems the safe route for me right now is to live on a month-by-month basis because anything we have now this month can all be taken away next month. At least that's how it has been working out.
So, sorry for the confusion, sorry for the upset...I didn't mean harm by any of it. I really thought this was the end of this particular chapter of our lives, but there seems to be an appendices.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Another Statistic

So, with all the stuff we have done we are now set to become another statistic. We fought hard through our trials since being married; all of the miscarriages, job loss, home searches and even cancer. But we have lost the battle of our home. We have been struggling to make ends meet for some time and gotten assistance through church and family. But with Ben's pending health issues and the uncertainty of income prospects, we have given up on our home here. We have, thankfully, a very generous offer from my folks and we will be moving up near them in the next few months.
Like most people in similar situations, we did not go into this with the intent of just abandoning our home. On the contrary! We were always in the middle of a home project and became "weekend warriors" with regards to that fact. We even planned well when we bought our home, making sure we were not biting off more than we could chew. We had set in place nearly six months worth of savings in case of job loss, but with Ben getting so sick so fast and for so long, it wiped us out.
We have thought long and hard about our leaving in such a way. We tried the possibility of renting it out, but there is too much work to be done on the home. We have thought about a short-sale, but we would be so far under that it's just too ridiculous. We have decided to pay the consequences of a forclosure. I am sad and down-trodden. I feel beaten and that I did not lose a battle, but simply surrendered.
You may think poorly of us for our decision and I would not blame you. I thought the same of others before. But I hope you will forgive us and not think ill of us for too long. You may have done something different if you were chosen to walk our path. As for us, we saw no other way.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


My grandpa used to say that church was for guilty people...and he wasn't guilty, so he didn't have to go! I'm not quite sure I agree with that philosophy, but I do choose not to attend church at this time.

I don't have any problems with principles or views, no, rather, at this time I am still too angry at God to praise His name. Which also makes me too angry to have people approach me at church and ask about my prolonged absence or inquiring about what's going on in my at this moment. Normally I would welcome such questioning, but right now I am too angry and I think I would snap at people, not meaning to.

I also don't want people to try and convince me that things aren't that bad and that I should just get over it. Or tell me that I'm not the only one that has problems, but that others don't let it get to them. Please let me be upset for a while. I'm trying to sort through myriad feelings and deal with them accordingly. If you wanted to come over and give me a hug, tell me things are going to be alright and don't mind me making a scoffing sound, that would be nice.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I am TOTALLY addicted to Christopher!! He is SO cute and sweet and silly! There are times when I can't stand him (usually when he won't sleep and I am really tired.) He is my reason for smiling and laughing nowadays. If he sleeps a little longer in the morning than he usually does, I get anxious and can't wait until he wakes to hold him. I know I am a "helicopter mom" but for right now, I'm okay with that! After having several miscarriages and a difficult pregnancy and the very real possibility of not being able to have any more children, this is the fate my poor Christopher will have to endure. I will be the best parent I can be despite this handicap.
I'm not perfect at the "love" thing with Christopher, though. I feel all three of us were cheated out of just experiencing being a family early on with the cancer and subsequent necrotizing fasciitis, that I wasn't able to give Christopher the complete love he needed and deserved right off. It took me six months for the PPD (Post-Partum Depression) to wear off and for me to honestly say "I love you" to him. Of course I loved him, but the struggles that were occurring, I, at times, resented him being around or at least being so difficult. It makes me sad to admit that, but it was the truth. Not until I had to seriously consider that it would be just Christopher and I because Ben was not going to make it through the necro fasc did I open my eyes and cling to my baby. Knowing that I could very well lose the love of my life and Christopher would never get to know his father I tried to start making up for all the time I skipped over hugging and loving opportunities.
I knew I would have to be both parents, but I still hoped and prayed that would never happen. I forced my into the hospital with Christopher so that he would have time with his father (even if he would never remember those moments.) I wanted to give Ben reasons to keep fighting and not give up. And if he didn't make it, he could still have the memories of his son with him and I could keep them with me.
Thankfully, we didn't have to cross that bridge but the scars are still there. I am addicted to Christopher now because he was all I had in the world, MY world, for that time. We clung to each other and I'm afraid I am still clinging.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Where We Are At Right Now

Hey there! Long time since we've last blogged...well things have been quite, uh, interesting...right now we are in the middle of trying to find a surgeon that will put Ben back together again the way we believe he can be. Right now Ben's health is in limbo...he's feeling alright, but we're still waiting to see what is his ultimate fate: will he have a permanent ostomy or will he be able to have a relatively normal life again and will we ever be able to have children again? I guess that is where we are right now: just waiting...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hey There!

sorry to have not written for such a long time but SO much has gone on! Ben has come and gone to the Arizona hospital ("The Center") for his reconstructive and tumor removal surgeries. Those happened in August '09. But right after (really, like 5 days after) he came home from a first of many recon surgeries he contracted necrotizing fasciitis aka flesh-eating bacteria. He literally almost died two times! He was in the hospital close to home for 8 weeks. I was lucky enough to get him home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. He has a lot of scar tissue (thankfully) where the bacteria ate away his original tissue. He's been wearing a WoundVAC for these past few months while he's been home and we think that has done a lot to help heal him quickly. He lost A LOT of weight and continues to do so with his health not quite up to par. We are now awaiting a schedule for Ben to go down to Arizona again to redo the recon surgeries (hopefully). He'll have an initial appointment at the end of this month (January) and we hope to start surgeries in late February/early March. We are fighting to save our home and pretty much stay alive because we have absolutly no funds coming in! Ben's job only allowed disability payments for the first 6 months but now he doesn't have anything. It takes 6 weeks to get the process of Disability from the state and that only started at the beginning of December! We get food help and other minor assistance from our church which has helped stay afloat this long, but I don't know how much more we can take! I think I am suffering from a bit of PTSD from all of this since last year's milestones were all plagued with something awful! We didn't get to enjoy the euphoria of having a baby finally because just a couple weeks later Ben was diagnosed! Easter, my very beloved and very close grandpa passed away...from CANCER! Then we were off to AZ for two months and my first Mother's Day and Ben's first Father's Day were spent in the cancer center where he was trying to stay alive while they slowly poisoned and microwaved him (aka chemo and radiation). Fourth of July he was back in the hospital with a fever of 104! He barely made it home for my birthday in August but was in such bad shape for my birthday I was running around town with a cranky baby trying to find medical supplies for my husband! For our anniversary Ben was getting his recon surgery. For October he was in the hospital trying not to die! For Thanksgiving and Christmas we get the news that his job is not secured for him and our medical insurance had been denied! For the New Year we get to try it all over again! woopee! :p Other than that, our wonderful son is nearly perfect and almost a whole year old! He is the only light in my life and the thing that keeps me going. If I didn't have him I don't know what I would do...no pressure baby! :D