It has been 25 days since the day I will never forget (April 23, 2018). When one of the nurses were wheeling me in to the operating room she asked me (with such compassion) what was scaring me the most. Wow, did I have an earful for her!! Not waking up and never seeing my three children again (the thought of them not having a mother) not seeing my family and friends again, being brain dead, stroking out, not being able to swallow and needing a feeding tube. This amazing nurse calmed me down and told me with such confidence (and an injection of Versed in my IV) how amazing my team of surgeons were and that God has got this!! My planned 8 hour surgery only lasted 3 1/2 hours and before I knew it I was in the ICU starting my recovery!! GOD IS GREAT!
This was one of those times in my life that I HAD to let God lead me and guide me to make the choice to have this surgery. I could not let myself or one person make this decision to have such a risky surgery for me. I will be forever grateful to GOD, Lizza, Jill, Kathryn, Tricia and Sarah for riding this rollercoaster of a journey with me especially in Rochester, MN. I was able to come home a week later to my family and friends with open arms. Not a day has gone by without someone or multiple people taking time out of their busy days to visit me, call me or message me or get me out of my house for a few hours. My parents even took me to Davenports Pizza my absolute favorite place growing up here in Mountain Brook. I felt like a kid again riding in the back of my parents car. That was a special moment to me I will never forget.
I know it is not over yet but I had this feeling come over me today that I needed to write tonight. My BWF/MBJH/MBHS/JSCC teachers/Professors might say I am not the best writer and may beg to differ but in this case that is not important (haha).
It hasn't been an easy road the past 3 weeks. I made one trip to the ER last week but then was cleared with a CT scan. I made another unexpected trip to my Neurosurgeon here in Birmingham yesterday and was cleared with a phenomenal MRI report and a perfect CBC. The pain is sometimes unbearable as all of the feeling is coming back where the incision from the craniotomy was but each day is better and better!! I have been getting out a little bit each day and even driving some. Today I had an amazing lunch with my dear friend Emily and her sweet baby. Set-backs don't ever make me even think of giving up. I cry more than I used to but my doctors told me that is expected and not to hold back, especially in front of my kids. THIS WAS AND IS A LIFE CHANGER. I will never be the same person, only better! I owe it all to GOD!
The best news I have gotten is that it is not cancer and it isn't even the tumor they thought it was. In fact it was rarer than they first thought. This Neuroenteric cyst turned mass over my 42 years is gone. There is a tiny piece left on my brainstem. I will go back up to Mayo in July to make sure there is no regrowth and to look at the tiny piece left. My surgeons are using the words "cured" and that alone gives me hope that I will not ever need the second surgery they once spoke of.
Last, but not least, I have the most amazing church family MBCC and work family MBCC Journey and the families that send their precious babies there. I could not be making it through this Journey without each and every one of you!!
Ok, one more thing...I GET TO SEE MY FIRST CHILD, AUSTIN KIRBY, graduate one week from tonight from the same school I did 24 years ago!! I am so proud of this young man!!
Please continue to pray for my three angels as they struggle some days and I know there is still a long road ahead of us!! They are my world and the strongest 18,17 and 14 year old I know!!!
AND...LIZZA IS A ROCKSTAR!!!!!!!!
With much love,