Mar 08, 2010
My goodness. Where do I begin? The past several months feel like a whirl wind. In fact the past several years have felt like a whirl wind. I feel like I have been just floating around existing and not really living. You think that after surgery you will just immediately be able to put your focus on yourself, but that is not the case. Both of my parents over the years became very sick. My dad had battled cancer since 2000 when they removed a huge mass. It went into somewhat remission if you can call it that in 2004, then returning in 2006. He had a bowel obstruction and things just went downhill from there. All along he was searching all over for someone, anyone to get him a "life saving surgery". It never happened, but we all got more time with him and I feel furtunate that we had several more years, some people only get months, weeks to live with cancer. My mom then developed uterine cancer. She was unable to have a hysterectomy because of her heart condition. She had congestive heart failure and a pulmonary embolism in 1998. She never fully recovered and for years was unable to walk because she had approximately 25% of her heart function. She lived it and overcame. She was able to get around the house and out in the public with the use of a power scooter. I am extremely proud of have had the parents I did. They were inspirations to me. Even after such trials in their lives they always managed to live life. They enjoyed going to the YMCA when they were both able and would dance around in the swimming pool. That was the only way my mom was able to walk (well float) and feel like she was able to walk. They were magical together. This year would have been 35 years of marriage. When I was born they gave me the middle name "love" because they told me i was conceived in love. What a blessing to know that you were wanted and planned.
My mom the last few months was struggling very hard to not lose her leg because of PAD (pulmonary artery diesease). This is such a deadly condition and you think that people who experience amputations are mainly diabetic. I was so wrong. The older a person gets and the problems you have had over the years with circulation can contribute to this condition. Her right foot (toes) started to turn black and before we knew it she was losing the skin layers and it quickly went into gangrene. They did an amputation below knee and after several weeks in ICU the infections would not let up, even after so many strong antibotics. She also lost the love of her life (my dad) during all of this and they say people who love each other so much just struggle living without them. My grandparents were good examples as well, married almost 65 years and died within 10 months of each other. I never imagined my mom would leave so soon, but I know she is in a much better place and once again with my dad. She passed away on February 23rd. Just a few short weeks after my dad.
This photo was taken in 2005, 7 months after my surgery. My mom did not like to take photos, so this is one of the few I have of us together.
Since all of this went down with losing both my parents. I decided to stop working full time for the bariatric program I was working for. I am going to go back to school full time to finish my degree. I am extremely close to finishing it and then have an externship to complete. I managed in the midst of all this to not put myself first because I was so focused on my parents as a caregiver. They say that people who are caregivers do not lookout for themselves and I have realized I was doing this. I have since had a great release of stress in making these decisions and I am grateful I decided to put myself first. I have a high GPA that I have maintained and want to continue to maintain until graduation. I am on the president's list and I made a promise to my dad that I would finish my school. One of the last moments we had together he told me how proud he was of all I had accomplished and the people I have helped over the years. He wanted me to go good things. He wanted me to finish school and continue to work in the medical field. Where the journey goes from here, I do not know.... but I know my parents will be smiling down on whatever I decided to do. I miss them both dearly.