At various points while reading this blog, you may get a little confused about when all of these crazy things I write about happened. So here is a brief timeline of my super crazy life for the past few years. A subheading for this page could be : How I survived 6 surgeries, the removal of 3 major organs, a cross country move and becoming a mother to twins with my optimism, sense of humor, and sanity (mostly) intact.
May 2011: Lose a baby in a devastating miscarriage.
September 2011: Find out I’m pregnant… with twins!
February 2012: Pack up and move from LA to Dallas, TX when I am 32 weeks pregnant with said twins and basically look like I am smuggling a 30lb turkey under my shirt
March 30, 2012: Give birth to my beautiful baby girls, E &K, 4 weeks after moving by emergency c-section
May 2012: 6 weeks after their birth wind up having an emergency hysterectomy- this story is the epitome of SuperCrazy
March 2012- present: Become a full time stay at home mommy to these amazing twins who are quite possibly the worst sleeping babies in the history of the world
March 2012- December 2012: Live through my auto-immune disease (Ulcerative Colitis) getting progressively worse and a long series of seriously not fun treatments until my doctors and I decide to cure it (Yay!) by getting a surgery that removes my entire colon (not so Yay!)
January 2014: 3 days before scheduled colon surgery find out that I have a nodule on my thyroid that is possibly cancerous and that I need a biopsy
In above mentioned office visit: Flip the f&#k out
January 2014: Get surgery anyway and spend 8 days in the hospital
February 2014: Find out I do have thyroid cancer (totally unrelated to anything else) and get surgery to remove my entire thyroid gland
April 2014: Recover just enough to go back in and get another surgery to complete the whole colon removal process, spend another 7 days in the hospital.
And somewhere in there I found the time to deal with debilitating panic attacks, depression, an ostomy bag, severe anemia requiring IV iron, and something else… oh yeah, my twin girls who had grown into twin toddlers!
But here I am! I don’t think you can possibly go through all of that and come out of it the same, but somehow I managed to emerge as a person I am proud to be. Now, I am not saying that this was all Happy Happy La La or that I have some miracle way of keeping a positive outlook when everything is going crazy in your life… unless you consider Xanax a miracle (which I do.)
I promise this blog won’t be depressing, though. I’m going to be honest, so some parts are tough, but my ability to laugh at a really hard situation helped me keep from loosing my mind completely. I mean sure I struggled with some depression and anxiety but with everything I dealt with in a 2 year period of time, I consider it a win that I didn’t wind up at the back of a bus in a bathrobe and tutu loudly singing “She’ll be coming round the mountain” while chugging Boones Farm Strawberry Hill and yelling at people for stepping on my imaginary cats!
** Update December 2018**
I just wrote a post and realized that I hadn’t updated this page in a LONG time so here is a brief timeline of life since April 2014!
October 2014- Feel called to offer a friend with cancer help with her childcare and in the process wind up starting a non-profit organization.
Winter 2014- Mommies In Need turns into a full-time gig as we get a board and 501(c)3 certification and start taking on more families, providing free nannies to moms going through a health crisis.
January 2015 – MIN grows and begins to help multiple families at a time, kids are crazy and fun, my recovery from all my surgeries is difficult but manageable. Then I start experiencing this horrible “mystery pain” in my abdomen, go through a billion tests, almost send myself to an inpatient stay at the Mayo clinic to figure out what is going until…
October 2015- My awesome Dr suggests a nerve pain medication that turns out to be a miracle for me! I still have the bleeding problem but the pain is reduced to almost nothing.
December 2015- Find my hidden superpower!
2016- Still battling anxiety and depression, I get word that my chronic anemia that has been present ever since my 2014 surgeries has gotten significantly worse. No one can figure out why I am bleeding so I Just Keep Swimming.
November 2016- Mommies In Need keeps growing, we accept our 16th family! But I go through another minor surgery to cauterize my bleeds, which does not work and I am hospitalized AGAIN.
Fall 2017- Still dealing with significant un-identified bleeding and also coming to terms with the fact that a good friend of mine, Amanda, is nearing the end of her six-year cancer battle.
October 2017- Amanda dies just three days before a local group does a benefit concert for Mommies In Need. At the event I get the beautiful and very difficult chance to speak for her and dedicate a beautiful candlelight song in her honor.
November 2017- I get news that forever changes my world. My 28 year old brother has died suddenly and unexpectedly. As I describe in “One Breath at a Time” I am uniquely prepared to be able to give his tribute.
February 2018- Hospitalized again for severe blood loss, go through days of testing and finally come to the conclusion that the solution is another surgery. On February 14th, my friend Annie, and the mom I started MIN to help passes away.
March 2018- Have a j-pouch revision surgery done, go through a truly terrible recovery for it.
October 2018- Start to stumble through figuring out how to live with all the loss of the past year but also begin to trust the drastic improvement in my health.