So, I guess since I'm new to this whole blogging thing, I'm kind of nervous about putting it all out there. But that is exactly what I intend on doing. The good, bad and the ugly...it's all gonna be here. I'm just gonna use this first post as trial and error and to explain how my life is completely different now, at the beginning of 2011, than it was this time last year in 2010.
Last year started out pretty bad. I certainly didn't think it was an indication of how the entire year would turn out; I don't usually think that way. I try to stay pretty optimistic, so when my sister started getting really sick, I was very worried but tried to think, "this too shall pass". My sister and I are very close. We weren't always because she is six years older than me, but I guess that's what growing up will do to people. When she was three, she was diagnosed with an extremely rare cancer called rhabdomiosarcoma. Basically, a cancer attacking her muscles. She was sick most of her childhood, fighting for her life for about nine years and winning in the end. She is a trooper; one of the strongest people I know. Having said all that, we got pretty worried when 20 years later she started having difficulty breathing for no apparent reason. After a few weeks of her symptoms getting worse, she finally went in for a chest x-ray. The results were shocking and heartbreaking. They found a mass in one lung and a lot of other junk in the other. We were terrified for her, but we all have a very strong faith in an amazing God, who graciously rocked our world when he healed her the first time. We had to believe that this time wouldn't be any different. After lots of other tests were done, about a month of waiting and an admission to Emory in Atlanta, we found out that she did not have lung cancer like we all were thinking but that she was in heart failure. All the stuff they were seeing in her lungs was fluid caused by the heart failure. Thank God! Heart failure, while it still is not a good thing, was a way better diagnosis than lung cancer. They began treatment right away, but couldn't find the reason for it. To this day we have no idea what caused her heart failure. Outside of having cancer as a child. she was a healthy 33 year old who had not been sick with any infections and didn't and does not do drugs. Her doctors were stumped. Before she left the hospital, however, they were doing one last scan of her left lung because they kept seeing something in there. When she was released, she got a call from her doctor a couple days later who told her they didn't find anything in her lungs, but they did see something of concern in her left shoulder. Okay, so she's in heart failure and now she has to go see an oncologist. Is it ever going to end?...the question we would be asking ourselves for the whole rest of the year. After going to the oncologist, he confirmed what we were dreading to hear....cancer, for real! This time it was a form of bone cancer. A tumor that went from her shoulder almost down to her elbow. Really? As if she isn't already facing enough, now she's faced with her worst nightmare of having to battle cancer again. Luckily, though, it hadn't spread and it would be very easy to remove. So, after getting her heart failure in control, her surgery to remove the tumor was under way and scheduled for sometime in June. The surgery was a huge success; they had to cut out the entire bone from her shoulder to about an inch or two up from her elbow and replace it with a prosthesis. Things were finally staring to look up and we were so very thankful. While all this was going on with my sister, my husband and I found out that we were going to have a baby at the very beginning of June. My sister was so excited...we all were actually. We needed this joy in the midst of such a hard year for our family. We saw this pregnancy as a gift from God. But little did we know, things were just about to get a lot harder, except this time it was gonna be hard times for me personally.