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Another post op story

Fresh and new tag lines are not my game. I hope this post finds you all well. 2 week post op appt happened yesterday. Well, back up. Can we talk about what a pleasure I have been these past 2 weeks? I have been passenger number one on the struggle-bus. I am all about authenticity, and today friends, I share more than I have in the latter days. I share to show His grace is enough. At the end of the minute, hour, day, did He leave me? Am I right where He has me? Or did I slip between the cracks and am suffering without His notice?

Never.

Even though this has been by far the hardest recovery, He loves me and cares for me. Still. I am under His good protection and mercy and I stand by my hearts desire to be nowhere but in my Savior. 

I share my heart to encourage all of you walking through your own labyrinth of hard. My comfort and confidence is in my all powerful Jesus. I hope my deep dependence is contagious and you too will find peace amidst your own battles.

Because you all so sweetly ask and lovingly check in, I will give another update. My personal recovery looks like buckets of humility, pain, a lot of discomfort, me being all the unbecoming things.

God brings me to this verse far too often. It consistently brings me much comfort and I want to share with you all.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

-2 Corinthians 12:8-10

All day, every day. But especially in these last days. 

I am still on steroids, which help with pain and inflammation but give me the nervous energy of a toddler on red dye. 

People-I cleaned window sills and baseboards. Who am I? 

These steroids don’t allow my body and brain to rest which is desperately what I need. 

As I wean off these crack pills, I need prayer for God’s help in allowing me to not be overburdened with pain. 

Speaking of-next item for the complaint department are pain pills. (God bless them). And then the opposite. I hate that they are the only thing that can help. They make me feel horrible and nasty and yet able to function all at once. I have been fighting taking them thus chasing pain, which seems to never work out. (Quick learner here) 

Figuring out a weaning schedule with another Dr. Thursday. I think my surgeon got annoyed with me-thus the hot potato. 

Lastly, the pathology came back yesterday. Grade 2. It was a grade 1 (shockingly) for allll those years-and now moved to a grade 2. I don’t think that’s that’s a good thing, but I believe the positive is if it grows back, I qualify for other trials with that new grade. 

The tumor board meets Friday over what is next. Truthfully, I appreciate their input, but I am giving myself a break. My body needs a rest from everything. Except chocolate. And cuddles. I love you all and am so thankful for your prayers, meals, love and thoughtfulness towards myself and my familia.

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Happy and thank you


Each of you have changed me. Forever. You have been God’s tools and instruments in my life to bless me beyond my wildest imagination. I love you so big!!! You might have signed up to bring a meal. Asked awkward questions that I actually appreciated, encouraged me when you had no idea I deeply needed it. Perhaps you brought me juice lunch and groceries again and again? Maybe you heard about me through a friend, and showed compassion on me and my family and prayed or shared. 

Driven me around consistently. Listened to me tell a story that had absolutely no meaning for you. You didn’t give me huh?!face. 

The common thread? You all are the same tribe that lovingly prays for me. Is there an any more meaningful act of love than a heart felt petition on behalf of a sister and friends’ soul? Negative. It is sacrificial, done in humility, and a completely intimate request and conversation between our One and Only.  Thank you friends for your commitment to faithfully draw near to our King’s throne on my behalf! My prayer through this all is that this bananas trial grows your faith as deep as it does mine. That in years to come we gladly share of these miracle laden surgeries and recoveries, wash and repeat, in complete awe. That we learn His nature on a deeper level and that we would actively seek to have His eyes and heart for others. So much so that we would be the light drawing people to salvation. That friends, is the success we seek, defined. What a beautiful thing this would be!! 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for every single prayer, sharing my requests, asking for prayer…

Tuesday, I felt like a kid getting picked up for a surprise, NOT like the fearful chapter ahead where I felt like I was jumping off a moving train. Chad I both were ready and given this most beautiful promised, perfect peace. And then 2 hours of not awkward/ not awkward silence ensued. 

….And then they found a hair. How funnnn. Can you Imagine? 7 hours on 2 other surgeries, sanitized for a 3rd time and there is a hair. The room now has to be transformed for the 3rd time into the cleanest, coldest  freezer in Orange County. Doesn’t everything almost die at 32° anyway? For sure that is where my freshly shaved legs go to flatline. Let me tell you how thrilled I would be as a nurse on team discovery. 

Not. You know that hair blower was crowned hated nurse of the week. My heart goes out to you human. 

So how am I? Welp. Better question is how has God answered our prayers? In His amazing Grace-I am alive! So thankful. So eternally thankful. I can hear. I can see. (I do have a floaters. A lot of random ones.) Headaches are strong and steady. Trying to come up with a pain management plan with doctors and nurses has been the challenge. I am in a lot of pain. A doctor specifically assigned to this role has walked through this door, and I am not going to lie, while he is aggressive, I do believe it will help. I need to get an Uber on the speed dial, but there is relief to be had for these debilitating afflictions in real time. I truly need to get over it and just accept the help when I get to that point.
Here is my battle wound. You can’t see it because I can’t for the life of me figure out how to put a picture in here maybe tomorrow?

I only accidentally touch her 20 times a day with dirty nails. Walking through through that web of you are probably going to die of an infected wound not a brain tumor or stroke is a fun little game I have been playing as of late. 

My loves, I have nothing left to write. I am officially out. ✌🏼I love you and thank you! Brain><out!

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Guest blog: Michelle update

Hey all, Chad here. Michelle asked me to post something to let you all know the latest. First off thank you for the thoughts, prayers, texts, and kindness. I’ll do my best to give some more background behind the surgery other than “it went well” (which it did).
In classic Michelle fashion she was 30 minutes late to her own surgery. Fortunately the surgeon was an hour late to the surgery so we hook slid in before he started hunted us down. The surgery was delayed again when the OR nurse found a hair – you can’t make this up- on the OR table so they had to sanitize the OR all over again.
that’s the main reason things took so long to get rolling. Around 7 pm the surgeon called to let me know everything went great. He removed all of the new tumor. It was the size of a large olive, and we all know no one likes olives. He also was able to remove about “25%” of the old tumor. All in all a good day.

With the new COVID rules it was just me there today and the nurses let me spend a few minutes with Michelle before kicking me out. She’s doing great and has her vision and control of all the important stuff like wanting to give me a kiss before I left. 😳

I had to share with you how beautiful she looks after brain surgery. I know, it’s not fair!!! I’ve thought the same thing every morning for the last 15 years….


I’ll be back at 8:30 to see her but as always would appreciate those continued prayers!!

Thank you all!

Chad and Michelle

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Sweet Friends

It’s been foreverrrrr. I miss you all! I miss writing. 

Wow 2020. Wow. Excited to never see you again! It’s been too long. I have lots of excuses. The main one being I can’t think straight. Talk straight. Finish thoughts. You are welcome. Writing this post felt like mental olympics and probably confirms these admissions. Hold the bar low people. 

So much has happened! I keep looking in the clouds for Jesus, because if he was coming soon before, He has to be hovering. This world. It breaks my heart in a thousand ways. There have been so many blog posts I (PRAISE GOD) didn’t publish. In re-reading I have come to realize maybe I can be a little judgmental. And right. And a sometimes wrong on things. More than anything, I realized chirping about political climate, corruption, or oppression is divisive and that’s really not what this blog is for. That’s not what glorifies God. 

I have always been an open book and I regret not sharing with you all the many beautiful things God has given us through this past year,  trials included. 

The c word has been {enter any negative or hateful descriptive} for so many people. It’s caused unbearable pain and loss for too many, undeserved blessings for some and a universal opportunity to grow in endurance. Or the desire to pound sand. 

So many of you are sweetly checking in on me, showing myself and family so much love, please know I appreciate you! 

Time for an update. 

This last year has been good and hard. So many more blessings than trials. And even if it was not this way, God is still and always good. 

Chad is amazing. Working from home this past year was a gift, (for me at least), and it was eye opening to see all that he does and accomplishes in a day-his work ethic is as consistent as his good attitude. He is my everything and I will never stop praising God for his life and heart. 

Our spawn are thriving and truly my treasures. They don’t laugh to my face when I get frustrated trying to heat things up in the refrigerator or ask the same question for the 87th time. They are patient when I can’t find words. Their telepathy skills are on point. 

We have been given countless provisions and have amazing family and friends that God has gifted us. I could ball my eyes out right now. I don’t know why they/ you all love on me? I smell questionable most days, I forget everything and I can never reciprocate. Another great resume builder: unreliable and again, hate the whole shower-fix my face-eyebrow hunt and pluck-blow dry- hate the style-redo said style-painting of the mug…oh wait, I forgot to shave and deep life decisions ensue. Do I go back?! 

Get me? 

Back to brain. 

January 2020 was the last big surgery. Tumor doubled down and grew again. 

July of 2020 gamma knife-radio surgery on a small part of the tumor-that did not work. (Clearly) 

My MRI showed more growth back in November, and as I was not a candidate for another surgery, they decided to try and off label chemo pill. (For another cancer). The 1st 3 months were gold. No growth. The next 6…not so much. What can I say? It’s ambitious. 

The tumor is aggressive and has continued to grow despite the many efforts to axe that sucker. My MRI last month shows edema-brain is swelling. Justifies the kind of headaches that make you do very unethical things to fix. No balance, more stupid. 

I am super fun and pretty worthless 70% of the time. 

But God. 

God is who He says He is; gracious and faithful-full of mercy. Out of nowhere comes 1-3 days of easy, and for those days I am forever grateful. 

Because we have exhausted all options, the surgery they said they would not do is scheduled for Tuesday, August 31st at 1:30. 

It is high risk. We had a sobering difficult conversation with my doctor. 

I am in denial a little lot a bit. This is the 7th surgery. Each successive surgery holds higher percentages of not great things happening. 

If you ask me how I am feeling, I will tell you I am content, my heart is at peace. Fighting looking behind the curtain truthfully. What is holding Chad and I together is our trust that God has us in eternity no. matter. what. What and who does God say He is? This is where I go when I begin to walk the dark path of nonsense. I focus on what is true, and who I have entrusted my forever to. 

He is the God of creation, salvation, and love. 

He has held us this entire time and I know His timing and plan is perfect. He is incapable of making mistakes. While I am of course not looking forward to the recovery, the only place I desire to be is in His perfect will. 

Friends, please pray for us?

Specifically that: 

-God would be glorified in every step of the process. He would use this for good!

-God would guide the surgeons’ hands, give wisdom, and enable him to remove a significant amount of tumor safely. i.e. a successful surgery

-my vision would be protected

-God will gift us another blessed recovery and restore me

-God would empower Chad and our parents to take on all that comes with these recoveries. 

-The impact on others lives is minimal 

And lastly….I am just going to say it. Please pray God heals me again and brings me through another surgery safely?

I love you all. So thankful for each and every one of your souls. 

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

In His Love,

Michelle

oh and here is a visual of this beast.

Technology is rad.

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Pajamas and Victories

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalm 91:1-2
Trust. Refuge. My God.
This. This last week has most definitely been an exercise in trust. And allowing God to guard my heart from fear. The fear that comes from the unknown and the scary and the how long O’Lord? Today I praise God for the joy and peace He has graciously given myself and those caring for me as it’s become an unsteady chapter of recovery. My pajamas are my new sugar. What comes with these trials, other than wrinkles and a consistent expectancy of a new one to come, is an unspeakable faith that no matter what the outcome, He loves me. He will lead us as we lean in.
I wish this kind of love and trust for everyone-minus the burden it can put on others. For myself, this looks like a mother who has relentlessly protected and advocated for me through the entirety of this experience. Parents who love us and pray for us, drop everything to help us in any way. A husband who never leaves or complains. Makes wise decisions, is honest, and tells me when I need to shower. Friends who provide for every need and love on our family like nobody’s business. These same friends cry with me, pray for me, shower me with gifts, hugs and constant encouragement. God does not bring us to broken and leave us. When you have a real relationship with our Jesus, He brings you through the broken not to fix the situation always-but so you can experience His character. Experience His promises come to fruition. Experience how deeply He loves us and the power He exercises in provisions and how He graciously give us peace.  He changes our heart, not necessarily the circumstance. That, friends, is redemption. That is the contentment in all circumstances. If we are blessed enough, He chooses us for these faith building trials, which can allow us to share the compassion and understanding we have been shown to those whose trials are to come.This past week has been weird. I am tired. I don’t feel well. It has helped me see, yet again, I really don’t have control of what is going on or what the future might look like. I have been having more seizures. Chest pressure. Monday. Tuesday maybe? Can’t remember. We took a little trip to the ER. I had 2 bad seizures and apparently went unconscious for a bit. We were alone and Brayden had to call 911 and walk through the fear of us my mom ok? Why won’t she wake up? And be apart of yet another scary moment. He was also the one who was a part of finding Christian and experiencing that trauma. The kid, for as strong willed as he is, has had his own story. His own walk of what I pray is faith building. The doctor gave me another medicine that makes me another shade of stupid. Chad’s thrilled.  As I shared with my friend, my couch and I be like 🤞🏼. I went for a walk, showered and well, those are my victories today.

Much Love,
Michelle