Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hello, I'm baaaacccckkk!!

Well, it was great to hear from those of you who actually missed me. It wasn't intentional to go on a blog vacation. My computer hasn't allowed me into the application and our family also was able to fulfill my 90 yr. old grandpa's dream.

So let me start off by saying, I'm going back to work in 3 weeks. I can't hardly believe it. I've wanted normal for so long but now, I'm a little worried about it. I think I'm getting the first day back at school jitters. My first thought is how far behind I'm going to be and can I fill the shoes of the person who filled the shoes while I was gone? Silly stuff that I used to tell others not to worry about...well, stupid me...it crosses my mind. Secondly, I wonder how I'm going to hold up going into work day in and day out. I still get very tired from being out for a few hours...and I know that it usually takes a year or so to really get your energy back so I'm trying not to stress to much about that. I'll work my hardest but do what I know that I can do.

Secondly, some of you know that we had a surprise birthday party for my grandpa's 90th birthday last year. I asked him what was one thing he had always dreamed of but never got to do. He said every since he was a little boy, he had always wanted to go see the Redwoods in California. We had a money tree at his party and I started making plans. His birthday is in June so I, always trying to be pro-active made our flight plans, hotel and car rentals for 8 people. Well, after the plans were made in June.....I was told I had the Big "C" word in July of 08. After my diagnosis, my grandpa said that he would wait until I could go. Others offered to take him and I strongly encouraged him to take them up on his offer but he was adament....he would not go until I was able to go.

I was able to call and get our tickets held for a year because of my medical condition but after a year they would expire with no refund. I started making the plans back in March knowing I still had chemo and testing and based on those things might make or break this trip. Well, as you know I got the good news at the end of April and I had set our vacation May 2nd.

I asked my oncologist about traveling with all the sickness, etc. and he said, be very careful but there were not any restrictions on me to take a pleasure trip. So, we had to get a couple of wheelchairs for my grandpa and dad and off we flew.

It was the most I had moved in almost a year. We flew into San Francisco and stayed for a couple of days and then drove to Fresno, which is a great stopping place to visit Yosemite Park and Kings Canyon State Park and then back to San Francisco for a couple of days to rest for our trip back.

I must say it was the most beautiful, breath-taking trip I've ever taken in my life. Yosemite Park was absolutely amazing. The redwoods at Kings Canyon were another moment of wonder. Grandpa got tears in his eyes just looking at these trees. There is not a picture that you could ever take to show the grandeur and magnificant show of these trees. It is something everyone should experience. We saw so many but we saw General Grant, the 2nd largest structure in the world I think and the Giant Grizzly. These trees had limbs bigger or as big as the largest trees. They stood so high that you had to bend your head all the way back just to see the tops of these trees. Some of the limbs were 5 ft. wide. It looked like trees pushed into the side of another tree, the limbs were so large!

The trips over to Fresno was groves and groves of grapes, Pistachio and Almond trees, strawberries, cherries, garlic, artichokes, orange trees and sometimes I wasn't sure what was being planted. At one of the farms, we couldn't tell if they were grapefruits or lemons. We stopped at several of the fruit stands and had the most delicious fruit. The strawberries were huge and were very sweet compared to any we get around here. We passed dairy farms with hundreds of cattle....and then you would pass those most beautiful rolling hills with the sun sparkling over a large lake in between seeing all the farming....you didn't want to close your eyes because you would miss something.

In San Francisco, we did all the touristy type of things....visiting the Golden Gate and Bay City Bridges, drove down the crookedest street, shopped in China Town, went to Ghiradelli square, watched all the sea lions on the wharf, ate at Boudin Bakery, shopped and dined at Fisherman's Wharf, drove over to Sausilito, was at AT & T Park, was 2 exits away from Candlestick but didn't have time to visit except to take pictures as we passed by, rode the trolley up Hyde street, rode the public trolley to Union Square and took a boat tour to "The Rock" Alcatrez.

I had to buy a coat in San Francisco because it was cold and very very cold to me. I wore a coat, sweat jacket, extra shirts, etc. the whole time we were there. However, it was in the 80s when we got to Fresno. Everyone tells us that San Francisco Bay is always cold like that. Grandpa, dad and mom ended up buying a coat too!

I must admit the only way I was able to hang with the big dogs on this trip was constantly taking pain medication. As soon as I got home, I stopped taking it and every bone in my body ached so badly that it has taken me several days to re-coup. I find myself finally getting up at night and taking something because when you lay down it gets worse. The past couple of nights have been worse than normal.

This is why it worries me a little bit about going back to work...I worry that I will be able to keep up but I have to try....

The past few days I've heard and read more stories about other's who had cancer and was given a NED (no evidence of disease) diagnosis cancer coming back worse than when they first got it. I wouldn't normally put any thought into those things knowing I have the promise of the Lord and honestly, I don't feel that is going to happen but....it does make me think....what makes me better than anyone else? Why would my cancer be gone but others die from a reoccurence. I guess it is normal to think these things?? I saw where Farah Fawcett is having her last days being filmed so others can really see what you go through with cancer. It is an unsettling feeling that I've not had before. I think when I go back and have my liver tested again in June, I will feel better. Although the doctors say they think it may be an enlarged blood vessel, it had not shown up in any prior tests. Cancer traveling to your liver is the last thing I would want....

I always remind myself that it is normal sometimes to think about these things but not to dwell and know that this battle is not mine but the Lord's. There is nothing that I can personally do to change things but that is when miracles happen...is when we, as flesh cannot do anymore and we turn it over to HIM.

I always remember that I need to tell my storm how big my God is rather than telling God how big my storm is.

The days have been so beautiful outside. Angela's prom or Jr/Sr. Dinner as we call it is this Friday so I hope it doesn't rain. Next week is my nephew's Kindergarten Graduation and then next Friday, the 22nd is her graduation. My last child graduating from High School. Where does the time go?? Starting the 2nd week of June, I will have 2 in college....ugh, see why I have to make this work thing work?? ha. I love my work friends and love to contribute so I know I'll be glad to go back...it is the anticipation.

Well, that is alot said, huh? For those of you who've been wondering, asking and waiting....hopefully I've made up for some lost time. I hope all of you are doing well. I've missed the interaction. Steve, my wonderful husband spent his evening getting me back on and rolling.....
Have a great day or night, whenever you might read this!
Love to all,


Jana Floyd said...

Oh that sounds MAGICAL!!! You've sold me on a trip to California! :)

Jennifer said...

Wow Leah, you guys did alot on this trip. I got tired just reading it! It sounds like you'll had fun though. I would love to take a trip there, it sounds wonderful! I know you are happy to return back to work and I am so happy for you. You are going to do fine, just try not to over do it. God is so good and it brings tears to my eyes to think about you on this trip. Knowing that the Lord has answered our prayers and I'm so thankful He has taken care of my friend! I am so glad you and your family had a wonderful trip, it was much needed!
Also, I'm so glad you blogged again. I've missed reading your blog!! You know your going to be blogging from now, we're not going to let you stop, haha!! Your so uplifting and I love you and your family. It's always so uplifting to read and watch the Lord in the midst of a situation, moving and performing miracles right before our eyes! So thankful for the awesome God we serve!
Love & prayers,

Anonymous said...

Yea!! Glad you're back Leah. The trip sounds absolutely awesome! I've always wanted to go to San Francisco. I did make it to Seattle and LA, but not in between - maybe someday. It is so wonderful that it worked out for your grandfather to see his dream and for you to experience it with him. Thanks for the blog - we needed it. Take care and don't worry about going back to work. That's one of those things you take day by day and if you don't feel well, you just stay home and rest or telework - everyone understands what you've been through and are still going through. Take care.


Vernie said...

Hi Leah, and welcome home girl! After a trip like that you need some rest! You have truly been missed but I am glad to know that you were off having some over-due vacation fun. I'm participating for the 7th year in an all night cancer walk and this year I am walking for you during the celebration for survivors. In the past I've walked for many survivors, so it pleases me beyond imagination to be able to walk for you! I'll try to get some good pictures and try to send them to you.

Always thinking of you and always praying for you, much love!


Anonymous said...

Keep your head up sis! I know you are strong and strong willed. You will do great back at work, and I'm very proud of you for pushing yourself to do as much as you can. We had a great time with you guys and I really enjoyed getting to spend a vacay with my sis, it's been a while, hasn't it? As someone who doesn't see you everyday you really are looking so much better, I was very encouraged to see that.. nearly to the point of tears but to be honest I held them back for everyone else's sake..lol. You are and always will be my big sis and like a second mother to me.

Love you,
Matt(hew) <<< I go by matt but I threw in the hew just for you...lol.

Anonymous said...

Who you calling big dogs???
Uncle STB