Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Well I got transferred back to MD Anderson tonight. After a full cardiac work up its been determined that I have a pretty strong heart. However, the anesthesia cocktail they gave me was a bit too much for me to handle because I'm pretty malnourished.

I have been trying so hard to eat and drink supplements but it just doesn't seem to be good enough. My blood pressure is still pretty low and I'm at risk for this whole "heart stopping" thing to happen again.

So tomorrow my physician will talk about dreaded option B....the NG tube. For you non medical professionals like me...the NG tube is a tube that goes up your nose, down your throat, and into the stomach. I watched them insert my dads tube and the memory is etched in my brain for life. It's the one time I saw him cry...actually scream in pain. As soon as I was diagnosed with cancer I turned to my aunt and told her please don't let them put an NG tube in me while I'm awake.

And now...short of a miracle...that's exactly what's going to happen tomorrow. I'm scared....and even more sad. I spent some time talking to God about it just now. I have no control of what's happening to me anymore and all I can do is plead with Him to give me enough strength to make it through the rest of this process. Each day gets harder and more unpredictable...the old Sue would've had a nervous breakdown by now. But every day I see people...family...friends...total strangers...that tell me they are praying for me...and I know that's the only reason I've held it together so far. 

Tomorrow will come..and I will have to face all the unwanted,unexpected challenges it brings along with it. Please pray that I will be brave and strong and get through it so I can move forward with surgery....and recovery...and eventually have my life back.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Gods plans are different...

I went into MDA Friday morning fully expecting to have surgery and move forward with recovery but life threw me a major curve ball!!

Anesthesia was administered and I was ready to go. The docs were cleaning my belly for the first incision when my heart rate started dropping. The docs thought that perhaps the monitor was faulty. The next thing they knew I was flatlining. My heart stopped for five seconds...they had to do compressions to make it start back up again. 

The doc decided to reschedule surgery. When I came to I knew something was wrong. The Surgical fellow explained what had happened and told me I'd have to wait a week for surgery. I cried and said I didn't know if I could make it. I was so weak already from not eating and I couldn't imagine making it through one more week. 

Soon after I woke up...my cancer buddy was by my side. As soon as I saw him tears started flowing! I was so disappointed that I had to wait one more week for surgery! But my cancer buddy wiped away my tears and reminded me that God had a plan. If they had made that first incision...and my heart had stopped once I was already cut open...the ending could have been catastrophic. And I had been so weak for so long...my body wasn't really ready for surgery. He then said a prayer for me...and I instantly felt better!

I don't know what I would do without my wonderful family and my awesome cancer buddy. Their support really got me through one of the craziest days of my life.

It's so surreal to think that my life could have very well been over yesterday. Once again, I am so thankful to God for his grace ...for having a different plan for my life...and for showing me His love!
I'm doing much better today! Me, B, and cancer bud hangin out in the ICU!


Thursday, May 26, 2016

The night before surgery...

It's the night before surgery and after spending all day at MDA today, I am certifiably beat! Tomorrow, I have to be up by 4:30 so I'm trying to blog as quickly as possible and drift off to dreamland!

I want to thank all of you in the blogosphere for your thoughts and prayers and kind words throughout the past six months. I know that the strength that I have managed to muster up these past few weeks were only because of the thousands of prayers on my behalf. I also want to thank my awesome and amazing friends and family for their help, love, support, visits etc etc. I know the battle isn't quite over yet but it feels like part one is over and before I move on to part two I want to thank you all for helping me get over such an overwhelming obstacle.

I feel ready for tomorrow and for the recovery process ahead. I know that God is with me and that all I need to do is take one day at a time and trust Him! I will blog just as soon as my little fingers are ready to type again! As always...keep me in your prayers! For now...I bid you adieu, Blogosphere!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Praise Report...

I'm Blogging from my backyard swing this morning...it's become one of my favorite hangout spots lately. I've been sitting back here reflecting on this past week and how brutal it has been.  I went through so much pain and shed a lot of tears but looking back I know God was trying to teach me and show me to have faith in Him.

Monday through Thursday of last week I was either at home in bed , at the clinic getting IVs, or at the hospital running tests. I was literally starving and miserable. Every night was sleepless as I tossed and turned in pain. I would cry and pray and ask God to give me enough strength to get through the week and travel to Houston for surgery...which seemed like an impossible fete.

My sister, nephew, and my little friend were going to visit over the weekend and I felt so sad that they were going to see me in such a terrible condition. Thursday I went to get IVs at the clinic hoping it would give me at least a bit of energy. While I was there my aunt encouraged me to request a pain patch that might give me some relief.

I was skeptical about the pain patch but by Thursday evening I was in so much, I eagerly put it on. That night Jeeves and I went to pick up Beena and Aaron  from the airport and I was so miserable sitting in the car. The entire time I wondered how I would be able to sit in a plane for an hour if I couldn't sit in a car for fifteen minutes. That night was just like the rest...I tossed and turned in pain.

Friday I woke up feeling different. I couldn't eat and still threw up but I had more energy.  I felt really good. I was fueled by little to no food but I had the strength to make a crab boil that night and watched everyone enjoy it. Key word...watched. There was no way I could swallow it and I was vomiting pretty profusely. Regardless, we had a great time!  And I slept like a baby...didn't toss or turn or cry at all!

Saturday morning I woke up feeling great! Again, I was fueled by little to no food but had enough energy to make breakfast for my little friend, had a great, long over due visit...then spent the rest of the day with Beena and Aaron. We even went to the outlet malls and spent an hour or so walking around! 

I know it seems like I'm sharing trivial tidbits of information but in this case I thought it was important to share the details...because Monday through Thursday I didn't leave my bed unless I had to. And by Friday, I was a different person! I don't know if it was because I was surrounded by some of my favorite people all weekend or if the pain meds kicked in...I'm pretty sure it's both combined! But, I was so grateful to God for giving me the strength that I had pleaded with Him for! I was so happy that all my visitors got to see me in good spirits and doing well! 

I see now that in my time of weakness...God was building my faith. He showed me that the prayers and the tears I shed every night were not in vain...He was with me and He was listening... He gave me the strength I needed at the perfect time. He has showed me that my strength doesn't come from IVs or the food I eat...but it truly comes from the Lord. There is no other way that I'd be functioning so normally right now.  Even during one of the darkest most painful times of my life...He didn't leave me or abandon me...God was teaching me to have faith and trust in Him. He knew that I needed renewed and strengthened faith in Him to help me get through the remaining challenges and obstacles I will face in the next few weeks. 

It's hard to be positive when you're in pain and even more difficult to remember that God has a plan for all things...and that's ok. Everyone has moments of weakness and I believe that is the time for us to draw closer to God and seek his comfort and strength. You might not always FEEL that His prescence is with you when you are sick and in pain but you must KNOW in your heart that He is always by your side. Don't give up on Him because he will never give up on you.  What I learned this week is that God is good ALL the time and ALL the time God is good...not just when we feel good but especially when we don't.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I'm hungry....

So I've been experiencing a lot of pain lately...when I eat, after I eat, when I don't eat at all...overall I've been miserable. On a scale of 1-10 I'd rate my misery at a 9. Chemo and radiation were a walk in the park compared to this. 

So what is this? After today's scope The docs discovered this is an ulcer on my tumor....what I've assumed all along. It's very red and irritated. And pretty much there's nothing they can do to help make this situation any better until surgery. So that means I have 11 more days to suffer. 
To torture myself further I've been watching foodnetwork and staring at food pics on Pinterest. I thought I'd share some pics and torture you guys as well...

Pork carnitas...my favorite Mexican dish to make
Butter shrimp curry
Plain ol delicious fish curry
A burger that makes my mouth water
Apple dumplings!!!
Some amazing looking shrimp pasta
Peach raspberry lemonade!!...I'm definitely a southern girl!
Cinnamon roll pancakes
And now if you'll excuse me...I'm off to shed a tear or ten!! 






Sunday, May 15, 2016

29 years later...

I would've never thought that I would be  fighting the same battle my father did 29 years ago. Because of the example he set for me, I strive to fight this disease with strength, grace, and faith.

I find myself wondering how he must have felt through his battle. I never saw him break down from the pain like I often do.  But I know it must have been excruciating at moments and he must have had so many fears...
I miss him every day...but especially today...




Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Another sleepless night...

I've been given new meds to help with the pain, but nothing seems to be touching it. I think I've accepted the fact that I'm going to be hurting until surgery... Until this thing is out of me. But, of course surgery will cause a different kind of pain and have a different set of obstacles to overcome.

Today I booked my flight to go back to Houston and I'm working on getting my apartment back...the MD Anderson website has officially scheduled my surgery for May 27th. So it's all becoming very real. 

So far, I've been pretty strong, happy, and positive for the most part....but when you're in pain it's really hard to stay that way. I thought I understood pain when I was on chemo...and then came radiation...but what I'm feeling now is more intense than both. I think the pain hurts me physically and emotionally now because I thought my time home would be pain free. After all, I'm off treatment! But nothing about cancer is predictable....

I was awake and just searching the web for some inspiration and found this quote...
I think that when its all said and done...this is my goal...I want to be a beautiful person. I want to believe that every second of pain I feel has a purpose...and that it's shaping me into becoming a better person.  It's so much easier to fight when you believe there is a purpose to fight for.

Monday, May 09, 2016

The big reveal...

I haven't been feeling well the past few weeks...and the past few days have been even worse.  Each day swallowing seems to be getting increasingly difficult.  I wanted to eat all my favorite things now...before surgery...because I know I won't be able to enjoy anything afterwards for a very, very, very long time.  But, I'm already having to turn down a lot of my favorite stuff because it's just way too painful to eat.  Actually everything and anything is painful to eat.  There's no longer any rhyme or reason to it.  Sunday afternoon I ate a sandwich for lunch, and realized that I was crying as I was eating it because it just hurt so bad.  My friends  invite me out for meals, but eating with people is starting to give me anxiety because I wince and make strange faces as I try to swallow...  I definitely don't feel like my insides and my outsides match at all.  People tell me that I look like I'm doing so well because cancer hasn't left me looking emaciated or weak....(and also bold lipstick colors work wonders) but inside I feel terrible.  The pain is so intense it wears me out.    I try really hard not to focus on what I feel like inside...I've been so busy with the one goal I had set for myself for this time post radiation/chemo and pre-surgery....the craft room.  It was a huge task to take on, and I had loads of volunteers ready and willing to help me with it.  But, in the end, I wanted to do it myself.  So despite the pain...and the fatigue...I pushed through and have been working on the room and I'm fairly  happy with what it looks like now. 

I went through everything in the room, cleared out 4 huge bags of trash, sorted, organized, labeled...it was SO exhausting!!  But, boy did it feel good to get it done...on my own!  But, I wasn't fully satisfied...I then wanted to work on the cosmetics of the room.  I wanted to paint my craft table and chairs, but everyone kept telling me I would have to sand it first...and that didn't sound like fun at all. Thanks to CCL for telling me about Annie Sloan paint...you can paint without sanding!!  Also, a big thanks to Jeeves for helping me move the furniture outside, helping me paint, and helping me move everything back!  He was such a good sport...and a pretty decent painter!  We got the furniture set up, and I added some finishing touches to the room and.......VIOLA!  It's finally done!!  I wish I had a before picture...but I really couldn't even get inside the room to take a decent before picture.  So, we'll have to make do with the afters...
I decided to go with a gray/white/robins egg blue color scheme.  I thought the colors were inviting for my clients (when I'm ready for clients again, that is)...and it makes the room look brighter and more spacious!
The dead lady's shelf....I got this shelf from an estate sale, which is why I call it the dead lady's shelf.  With the help of  some bins and labels...it's all organized and tidy now
You know what happens when you can't see all your ribbon/tulle/streamers?  You buy more!!  I won't have that problem anymore
The inside of my craft closet!  It's organized to perfection!  
I put this quote up when I bought the house...I didn't realize how messy it'd actually get in there!!
I thought this accessory fit the craft room project quite perfectly..."She believed she could, so she did!"
This wreath was in my closet collecting dust, so I refurbished it to match the room.
Some of my favorite invitations that I've made in the past on display...along with the mobile craft table my uncle built for me!

A special thanks to my frenemy and Janson, one of my grooms (as in one of my wedding clients) for cutting down the jungle in my backyard!!  I love sitting on the swing back there  and listening to the birds sing now that I don't have to worry about what's lurking in the jungle!  When I'm better, I'm looking forward to planting a flower garden and sprucing up the yard since it's now a blank canvas!  In the meantime, I had this old ladder that's been sitting on the fence forever, so I thought it would be perfect to hang some flowers from it!  It's amazing how much cuter that old, tattered ladder looks now!!

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Mother's Day...

My mom isn't much of a blog reader, but it's Mother's Day, so what else would today's blog post be about??  I used to refer to my mom as the Maternal Unit in previous posts...but I recently came up with a new nickname...."sMother"...because my mom smothers me with love like gravy on a chicken fried steak, ya'll.  Now as an adult, there's been times that I haven't been so appreciative of this love and I even might have told her to cut the umbilical cord a few dozen times.  However, I know there's not a human alive that loves me as much as my mother does.  She's been through so much in her lifetime and has come through it with strength and resilience.  Most of my personality traits come from my dad...but when people tell me that I'm strong...I know that comes from my mom because she has never given up when most people would....and I know that she doesn't give up because of her love for her kids. Happy Mother's Day to my sMother!!...Who knows what bridge or underpass id be living beneath without her love and support!

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Paint your art out...

I've been feeling extreme level crappy the past two days.  I've been refusing to call Dr. H because I figured...what's he gonna say?  You have cancer?  But today, I just couldn't take the pain...and I broke down and called him.  I have an appointment scheduled with him in a few days.  I can feel that the tumor is really ulcerated now.  Everything affects it....spicy, cold, hot...it's always miserable and so am I!!!   The result of this pain has been me lying around a lot, but Htown and I had scheduled this "paint your pet" night weeks ago and I sure as heck didn't want to miss the opportunity to paint a beautiful picture of my Moussey girl.  So, I toughed it up and sat through the 3 hour class.

I felt like I was off to a bad start when the ladies sitting near us started talking about their husbands/sisters who had cancer, went to MDA for treatment, and died.  I figured it was going to be a very long night!  But, then one of the instructors sat down to help me and pretty much never got up.  Jay was so talented and highly entertaining...  It's like I have a neon sign above my head that says..."My name is Sue.  Please push my buttons and harass me."...because that's exactly what he did.  We pretty much became buddies within a matter of minutes...I think I might have convinced him to build me a pergola in my backyard too!!  I have to admit that he basically painted 90% of my painting.  I wish I could take more credit...but I only painted the handkerchief, background and 1/4 of her face.  Jay did the rest and called me a lazy painter pretty much all night.  Christine on the other hand, is a natural...a Pablo Picasso of sorts.  She did all of hers and Jay just added a few finishing touches.  I think they both turned out fantastical!!  I came home and showed Moussey and she had the same expression as she did in her painting.  "Who cares? Where's my biscuit?"  I can't wait to hang the painting up!  If you're in the NW OKC/ Edmond area I strongly suggest Paint Your Art Out...the instructors are so much fun and super helpful and the paintings are phenomenal!

In other news...snocones seem to be a pretty good medication for the pain situation...so I've created a special "pain relief fund" in my car console especially for my visits to Aloha Ice.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Live blogging...

It's 1:30 a.m, and I'm awake....a little earlier than normal. Usually I wake up around 3 or 4, but I went to bed early last night, so I guess it makes sense that I'm up earlier. This is how it is every night. I can't remember the last time I slept through the entire night. Why am I awake? I feel a burning sensation inside my chest and it woke me up. So now I'm live blogging in the fetal position...

I don't know what's causing the burn....I used to think I was feeling the effects of radiation but maybe it's just this ulcerated,angry tumor. Or maybe it's because I had Indian food today. Im sure you're thinking... Well, stop eating Indian food!! But, ehhh, I'm Indian!!! I'm trying to eat a normal diet now since surgery is fast approaching and afterwards my eating will have to be completely different for a long while. It's frustrating that some days are worse than others and I have no idea why...or that I can swallow some things with such ease and other things fight its way back up my throat and there's no rhyme or reason to it.  All I can think about right now is a snow cone... Because the thought of swallowing that cold ice seems like it would relieve the fire in the middle of my chest.

Earlier this evening I was holding baby Isaac and he was sitting on my lap playing and I wondered why I had pain in my GI junction (the point where my esophagus and stomach meet) and I realized it was because he was leaning against me and that's exactly where his little head was resting. 

Maybe my cancer buddy is right...maybe I will only feel relief and be pain free after surgery when the cancer is completely out of me. And although I am looking forward to that day....I find the thought of surgery and recovery to be completely daunting. It's not my first rodeo...I've been under the knife several times but I know the road to recovery will be a long one this time. 

I know there are countless prayer warriors bombarding Heaven with prayers on my behalf. I have been blessed to meet a few in person but there are others all over the world that I might never get to thank face to face. But I know that it is definitely those prayers that have helped me be strong through out the past five months. Even at times like this when I'm hurting and tired...I have faith that this is a temporary feeling...that God has a plan for me...and this too shall pass. I couldn't feel that way without the prayers and support that I have received so far.

It's 2:10 a.m...I'm going to fight past this pain, close my eyes, think of snow cones, and hopefully drift back to sleep!

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Can't stop...won't stop weekend...

Forgive me for quoting Miley Cyrus.  Trust me, it won't happen often on this blog...but that's just the only way I can describe this weekend.
By the way, how do you like my bitmoji's new summer outfit?  It's definitely something I probably have in my closet...except I'd wear a cardigan!
Saturday was pretty action packed.  I didn't think I'd get to participate in all the festivities planned for the day because I woke up to a case of the dry heaves.  But, I pretty much willed myself to get over it and have a great day with my friends.  My gal pal Sheb came to see Punu, her childhood bestie...oh, and me, of course.  We spent most of the day with my 2nd family...BF & Punu's cousins...and then I planned a little GNO for the evening...replete with a little coke and paint and a crab boil!  I was so exhausted by the end of the night that I pulled up a chair to my stove and sat to cook, but in the end, it was all worth it!  
I can't stop staring at mine and Sheryl's face swap.  I hate face swaps...they're typically scary but this one is friggin' hilarious to me.  Sheryl looks just like her son Ezra...except chubby...and I don't know who or what I look like, but I kinda like the look!  Times spent with this crazy clan is always time well spent!!
Ok, so our paintings sucked...correction, mine and Sheba's weren't quite pleasant to look at.  Pablo Picasso, err, I mean Sunu rather painstakinly painted hers to perfection.  I mean, she didn't crack a smile and believe me, I sat in between them and was providing a lot of comedic relief...which Sheba greatly enjoyed.  But Punu was in the zone...She didn't laugh.  She didn't talk.  And there were moments that I'm pretty sure she was holding her breath. I can't bear to throw away my painting...so it will be hanging in the garage for all to see.

There's a few things in this world that I absolutely love....
1.  I love having people in my house.  The more...the merrier, I say.
2.  I love feeding said people
3.  I love crab
The crab boil was a huge hit.  I'm pretty positive I enjoyed it the most.  Crab, shrimp, corn, andouille sausage and red lobster biscuits...what's not to love?  Oh and let's not forget water cocktail...water+cran-pomegranite juice.

Last but not least...today was a very special day...my nephew, Aaron graduated from the University of Florida!  Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to gator territory to celebrate his awesome accomplishments, so I want to take a few minutes to brag on him now.  I've been so proud of this kid from the minute he was born.  He's grown into such a hard-working, dedicated, driven, responsible, respectful, loving young man!  I know the sky's the limit for him, and I can't wait to see all the amazing things he's going to accomplish in his life!  He's been so busy with school and work, I haven't gotten to spend much time with him since our Greece Extravaganza...but, his mom told me they are coming to see me for a few days before my surgery!! (which has been scheduled, btw...May 27th)  I stole one of his grad pics from FB because I'm a creeper and an annoying aunt like that...