As bad as I thought 2015 was at the beginning of last year, 2016 proved to be the worst year of my life. I want to be positive and say that I am sure I will learn some valuable lessons from all that has happened last year, but first I must rest and fight for my life from everything that has happened in 2016. Reflecting on 2016 will allow me to dig deep and perhaps start 2017 with a fresh outlook. I share my story with you to show that even in the darkest times, living life to the fullest is always possible.
January brought fresh perspective. Literally. My third eye surgery was in November 2015 and my eyesight slowly improved. I no longer had to wear contact lenses and use a magnifying glass to look at my over-sized computer monitor. (You can read all about my eye surgeries HERE). However, I started experiencing some pain in my lower right side and made an appointment to see my primary doctor to get checked. On a brighter note, my Dad planned his move to Southern California from Northern California. It was nice to have him be closer to our family again after he had lived away for a year and a half.
In February I had surgery on my left eye. The purpose of this surgery was to pull together the back half and front half of my eye so that I can slow the myopic degeneration occurring in my eyes. I was glad this would be the last step in my long journey to eyesight recovery.
In February, I had an ultrasound on my abdomen and the tests came back abnormal. The ultrasound revealed a large tumor n my right side. I I dealt with the pain as best as I could and was hopeful that pain probably means I don’t have cancer. We started scheduling doctor appointments with specialists to figure out the plan to remove the tumor.
I continued my eye surgery recovery in March. Around this time, a shift happened in my relationship with my Dad. He became very combative and negative with me and everyone around him. His health began to decline. His skin was very wrinkled and dry. He no longer tested his blood sugar or ate healthily, which for a diabetic is critical. After a miserable Easter holiday with him, I chose to create some relationship boundaries and tell him I needed space from him if he continued to have a poor and negative attitude towards me and others. This decision proved to be life changing.
Another life changing event happened in March when my daughter, Hannah, called us to tell us she wanted to move home from college. She had been unhappy at college for several months. She cried and my heart was breaking that she was so miserable. She shared that she wanted to change her major from Pre-Med to Nursing. There is nothing her Dad and I want more than for her to be happy in her future. We moved her home at the end of the quarter and began “healing” her heart and soul from anxiety.
I was so happy to see Spring arrive. It had been a long Winter and I was looking forward to improving eyesight, Hannah being home helped and it looked as if things were stabilizing except for the tumor. Hannah signed for Summer courses at our local college and our business was booming. I was scheduled for exploratory surgery at the beginning of May. My Mom was able to fly from Indiana and take care of me during my recovery. Surgery in May went well. The tumor was discovered attached to both my right ovary and uterus. My doctor and I decided the best course was for me to have a hysterectomy and right ovary removal. Surgery was scheduled for August. Those weeks of waiting for surgery was troubling and depressing. I was nervous I had cancer and just wanted the surgery over with.
When July rolled in I was recovering from surgery well and just waiting for my next surgery in August. However, on July 10, I received a phone call from my brother in Arizona. He wanted to know what was wrong with Dad. Since I had not heard from my Dad or stepmom since March, I wasn’t sure what he meant. My brother explained that he received a text from my stepmom telling him and my youngest brother in Indiana that Dad had suffered a heart attack and was in the hospital. Since both brothers live out of state, I called my stepmom to find out what was happening with Dad. She never answered my call, but did answer my subsequent text. My stepmom stated she didn’t know if I wanted to know since I said I wanted nothing to do with my Dad, which was untrue. The month of July would prove to be the hardest time emotionally for me as my Dad spent the rest of the month of July in a coma. The emotional tug of war between me and my brothers against my stepmom was exhausting and heart breaking.
I had surgery on August 5 2016. This was my sixth surgery in 13 months. I was exhausted emotionally and fearful my Dad would die while I was in the hospital, but since the threat of cancer was possible, I knew I had to continue with the surgery as planned. My surgery was successful, but the recovery was painful. I was released from the hospital on August 8, 2016. I was so fortunate to have my Mom and Wayne and Hannah with me to assist in my recovery, but the worst was yet to come.
Looking forward to sharing the rest of the story in my next post. Until then….