I just want to take a break from playing catch up from my story to tell y’all about my amazing and wonderful and awesome and supportive village! Seriously, I couldn’t have asked for a better support group and loving environment that surrounds me. I know there are many people out there, even in much more devastating situation, that don’t have half the support that I do, and for that, I am grateful.
I am going to preface this conversation by saying that I’m pretty independent person and don’t like accepting help, and especially don’t like asking for help (some people like to call that being stubborn as a bull!). I knew when I was told about my Cancer, I would need to lean on others more than ever before but I honestly had no clue how much. I still have a hard time doing so and often get yelled at for not doing so.
Family Introductions: As I said before I have two sets of parents (one in SC and another in UT). We see my Momma and Step-Dad probably once every 2-3 months (it’s a very long 7-8 hour drive) and only see my Daddy and Step-Mom once a year as it’s a very expensive flight. My Mother-in-law and Father-in-law are a quick 40 minute trip down the road from us in NOVA. We see them almost on a weekly basis and often spend the night at least 2 nights per month – we love spending time over there with all the siblings and the kids with their cousins!! My brother, Scottie, is currently staying with us in the basement of our house, while him and his fiance, Bridgette, (due to be married this summer) are saving for an apartment for their growing family – my 4 nephews and nieces ranging in ages from 9 years old to 8 months. My sister, Kristen, and her Hubby, Josh, just had my newest nephews 2 day ago at 33 only weeks – he’s itty bitty (and the definitely the cutest reason this post is a bit delayed)! My sister-in-law, Erin, and her husband, Lex, with my niece (age 4) and my nephew (age 3). My other sister-in-law, Meghan, and her husband Tommy, have 3 boys ages 5, 3, and 1. So needless to say, we all have some busy households!!
Now for the awesomeness – here are some of the examples of help and support I’ve received since my diagnoses in October. Prepare to be amazed!!! 🙂
My Hubby has come with me to most all my appointments and my ROCK throughout this entire process – you are more than I could have ever asked for through this process. I would have never thought we would have put our “through sickness and in health” vows into question already but you have passed with flying colors and I couldn’t be more grateful. My amazing Momma (also) came with me to my initial “you have Cancer” appointment, filled me in after doing all the additional research, my sound board and will be taking care of my kiddos when I receive the Radioactive Iodine Therapy – among many, MANY thing! My awesome MIL has been at almost all my doctors appointment and makes sure my voice is heard when I feel like I haven’t been able to speak up with my Endocrinologist. She calls to check up on me to make sure I made the calls I needed to make or turns in the paperwork when brain fog sets in. She took the stress off my plate when the bills started rolling in and said we would sit down and handle that together. My Daddy and Step-Mom flew in to assist with the kiddos during surgery and my Daddy stuck around to help for the initial 1 1/2 weeks following surgery once my Hubby went back to work to get me around the house. My Aunt (Jessica) and Sister-In-Law (Meghan) have listened to me day in and day out about my “no baby” issues and need to venting days and just every day talking when I feel like I’m going to go crazy. Not to mention, Jessica made TONS of food for us and I mean TONS. It was all amazing and kid friendly but just perfect!! And Meghan is a VERY busy Mommy that watches several kids at home but offered to come with me to each of my 8 appointments prior to my radiation (yes that’s 8 appointments in 9 days) and it will take us several hours a day between commuting to DC and the scans/bloodwork/etc. She’s awesome. My Sister has always been that person for me – my rock and my best friend; although she has done her best the last couple months, her life have been VERY crazy with my nephew who has been giving her hell, pretty much ever since my diagnoses. Now that he is born, I plan on spending many days Skyping again! My other Sister-In-Law (Erin) is my go-to person when I need to figure out what something medically means or to discuss my diagnoses. She is a walking medical book but has never been to medical school but I think she missed her calling. After each appointment I call to fill her in and she asks about 15 questions I would have never thought to ask and I think “I need an Erin in my pocket for each of these appointments so I don’t miss anything!” My Brother has been my comic relief – plain and simple. He says things that no one else would dare to say out loud but he knows that it will make me laugh and it might be just what I need. My neighbor, Ginger, has been awesome because she has been there to pick up my daughter each and every time we thought we might not make it in time as we live more than just a hop, skip, and jump from the closest family members. Not to mention the daily talks just to vent and she is just one of the most kind hearted people I know (and kind of has an obsession with pineapples…lol). My Step-Dad and Father-In-Law are both men of few words when it comes to these things (more like the “silent partners” that support their spouses so they can help me) – they hate every bit of whats going on and they say just the right thing at the right time. They give the best hugs, send the best messages, and give the best toast. And I know they would move mountains if they could. My best friend Jen, who is also my comic relief, we both have so much going on in our lives but she always does FaceTime on the days I need it best. She says (and does haha) whatever it takes to get a smile on my face. If she was a millionaire (and if my Hubby would allow it) she would have come and stayed with us a while ago to help out but I know she is always just a FaceTime away! My co-workers (Caryna, Bridgette, and Kristina) have been amazing friends to me and have continued to check in on me and be there for me. My Aunt Casey for taking the kid away and watching them when I got the flu shortly after surgery. Thank God they didn’t get it!! Thank you Angie for always being there for me and Mom so she could be there for all my appointments – it means the world to me!!
There were so many people that brought FOOD! Not just any food – but delicious and amazing food and food I didn’t have to cook haha! And I was even more excited that I was able to eat it after surgery. Seriously you were awesome for doing that!! (SPECIAL Thank You – Aunt Jessica, Daddy, Sonja, and Teesa!)
To the people that assisted (or offered to help) with my kids or watched other kids so I could get additional help, you don’t understand how much it means to me!!! Not having to worry about who was going to be where or when they needed to be there, was such a relief and a weight off my shoulders. And knowing that I had more people with me at my appointments because it was so hard to retain all of that information by myself in such a short period of time. And we had more questions answered with more perspectives present. (SPECIAL Thank You – Eme, Daddy, Momma, Step-Mom, Angie, Ginger, Meghan, and Scottie)
I know there were so so many people that have reached out to me since October just to give words of encouragement and support. I know there are many people that have assisted my family in more and different ways than I can even begin to put into words. Unfortunately, I’m sure there were some people that I may have missed and I’m so sorry for that – I can promise you that it was unintentional.
I hope this gives everyone a better picture of how much I am surrounded by an amazing group of family and friends and if you have even half the support that I have, then you can make it through anything!