Sunday, February 06, 2011

Time Flies When You Are Having Fun

Or far too busy... hmmm... I wish I could update my blog from my iphone because it would definitely be up to date. I guess my lack of blog updates shows I am busy with life, which is a good thing. Lets see if I can update you... I visited my Neurologist and got the all - clear. I don't have to visit her on a regular schedule unless I start having headaches again. Praise God I have not had one since my surgery! This is such a change for me and I am loving it! I also went and saw my eye doctor and he says that my vision is getting better too. He encouraged me to go without my glasses and see if the double vision will resolve itself. He still feels that surgery would not be recommended for me. Knowing me, you'll know how excited that makes me. I go back in 6 months for another check up. I go back to my neurosurgeon in 3 months. I am in the process of gathering more information on a procedure I probably will do at OHSU. I am looking at heading back to Oregon in March, doctor permitting, to have my esophagus stretched and injected with botox... ugh! Sounds like fun huh? Anyone else dying to do this? At that time, I will also have my paralyzed vocal chord evaluated to see if I need to have a permanent fix done too. That may come later and involves a small incision made in my neck and an implant placed to make my vocal fold permanently midline. Both procedure should help with swallowing, which has improved since my last trip to Oregon. I now regularly enjoy McDonald's mocha frappe's and of course ice cream. Not too shabby, huh?

Two weeks ago, I started going to the gym, which is necessary for my continued recovery. I get to the gym by 5:15 am to work out and to be home before the boys wake up and before Darren has to leave for work. I have been going twice a week and still doing my three visits to Physical Therapy. This is soon to change! I am suppose to be discharged from Physical Therapy this Thursday. Yeah! I am filled with emotion. I adore my therapist and her coworkers and will surely miss them, but I am ready for the next step. I may even get my Dad to workout with my early in the morning, which would be good for both of us. I am trying to tackle my therapy goals before discharge and powered through one on Friday with a jammed/possibly broken toe. I walked on the treadmill that was going in reverse at 1.0 MPH and 7% grade for 15 minutes without holding on. Yeah Me! This was after I had just walked on the treadmill going the correct way at 1.7 MPH and 6% grade for 15 minutes with no hands. My goal is 2.0 MPH at 7% grade. I also have to stand on one leg, each side, for at least 10 seconds, 5 times in a row, without touching and walk a straight line with less that 5 errors (walking off the line). I may not accomplish them all, but over less than a year I have made huge gains.

My speech is improving also. My gargling wet voice is going away and I no longer have to carry my suction machine and a spit rag everywhere I go. I am doing a much better job of controlling my salivation, which is huge to me. My voice is getting louder and I working hard on annunciation. I am now using the phone to make brief phone calls and am going to the store by myself. I am enjoying my frappe's and ice cream, and have gained a little weight back. I cut back to twice weekly in speech therapy too. God is so good!

Point of Reflection/Gratitude - We celebrated Kadin's first birthday this week and had some family over yesterday to watch him shred his first cupcake. He is getting so big, he has 4 teeth and 4 more pushing through. He occasionally walks behind his activity walker and we have caught him standing without holding a few times. He crawls so fast. His birthday was bitter sweet to me. I remember what I was like this time last year. I remember hearing from doctors after my tumor was discovered that pushing Kadin out, could have killed me. I remember wanting to stay in the hospital an extra day so we had help, even though that wasn't customary. I am so THANKFUL that I can reflect on that day in February when it all went down hill and recount to myself and others that I have no doubt God was there, cradling me, my husband, my children, my family, my doctors and nurses in the palm of His mighty hand, orchestrating it all. I may at times really dislike this journey or feel inadequate with where I am today, but I know God has a purpose in it all. He is given the glory, as He should be! I am so grateful and so humbled that I was chosen to lead this life. I know that probably sounds silly, but I would trust God so strongly and rely on Him so much if I had not endured this. Did I enjoy it? No, not really. But, I met some amazing people who have taught me incredible things and I have seen characteristics in others that I never knew existed.

I am not done with this journey yet! I have big plans for my future and I know God does too.

Thank you for traveling this journey with me! I am filled with gratitude for the love, prayers, comments, encouragement, and support you have shown me. I may not know you, but others have made your goodness known to me.


P.s. February 25.2011 - This is my one year anniversary! Please continue to lift me up in the coming year. If there is anything you want to know or are curious about, please leave a post and I will try to address it.


  1. You are truly an inspiration, Jessica. Not only have you worked so hard and diligently on your rehabilitation, you do so with grace and a positive attitude. You are always thinking of others, in so many big and little ways; the gifts you give are many! Take care and keep on blogging! See you tomorrow for more torture. Anne, Speech-Swallowing Therapist

  2. Jess, you continue to amaze and inspire me. Just think - the way that you're choosing to view this whole experience is making a difference in the lives of others. Your attitude challenges the rest of us to embrace our own struggles and to work hard to overcome them. Your determination to succeed encourages us to keep fear and uncertainty from prevailing. And, your acceptance and grace of what most people would fight and question will allow the rest of us to heal. Thank you for being an instrument of His comfort and peace. I love you much more than words could ever convey.