Holiday Thanks & a Health Update

I have no problem sharing blogging tips and tricks, tutorials and the like, but I don’t know that I will ever get used to sharing my private life online. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago when I shared all of the challenges I have had with my health, I really went back and forth trying to decide what if anything I wanted to share. In the end, I posted a bit of my story because I felt like it was the right thing to do.

The time I have spent in the hospital and at home has given me time to reflect on the true spirit of the holiday season and the blessing my involvement with blogging has been. I wanted to post a bit of a happy follow-up and I have prayed that I may have the spirit to share my true feelings with you…

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Earlier this month I entered the hospital to have a total abdominal hysterectomy. Though I had several ultrasounds and a CT scan, the images still were not clear enough for the doctors to fully understand what was hidden beneath the surface. It turns out my abdomen was a bit of a crowded place. I had two very large tumors and about 20 smaller tumors that had entered an agressive growth stage on, in and around all of my reproductive organs. By the time I entered surgery my uterus measured the size of a full term pregnancy (sheesh, I feel for those of you who have carried children).

The tumors were putting pressure on many of my internal organs, pushing them every where but where they should have been. To give you an idea, my bladder was located clear up under my rib cage. In addition, the largest of the tumors had developed some rather large veins, which explains my lack of energy and oxygen.

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Fortunately, I had a wonderful doctor (if you’re in the Salt Lake area and would like an OB/GYN recommendation, please let me know) and though there were some complications, the surgery went very well. I spent less than a week in the hospital.

I’ve since had all of my staples taken out. In addition, I have received the results of my blood tests and I am happy to tell you that I am cancer free!

Since nothing had spread and all of the organs in question were removed, it’s very unlikely I will have any additional issues. I am at higher risk for other forms of cancer and I will have to be checked periodically, but that is something I can definitely LIVE with.

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I continue to remain at home (mostly in bed) recovering from my surgery. I truly underestimated the time it would take me to heal. My doctor said I will start feeling a bit more like myself again by early February, but I am a little stir crazy. I am still taking a lot of medications and sticking to my bed. I hope you will understand if it continues to be a little quiet/slow around here…

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Thank heaven for your calls, your comments, emails and the wonderful cards you’ve sent in the mail. I read each and every one of them…Most of all though, thank you for your prayers. Though the constant stream of cards has made the numerous medical bills pouring in more palatable, I believe it’s your prayers that have lifted me up, comforted me and provided me with the strength to get through this rough patch in relatively positive spirits. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your gift to me this holiday season is one I will never be able to repay.

There is just one more thing along this vein that I would like to mention. Please take care of yourselves. As women, we’re so used to taking care of and serving others that sometimes it’s a little hard to take the time to take care of personal needs.

If you feel something may be even a bit “off,” please take the time to visit your doctor. If everything seems okay, make time to have a yearly check up.

Too many times in the last few weeks, I’ve spoken to you and you’ve mentioned that you don’t feel 100%, but you just don’t have time to make a doctor appointment because your family life is so busy. Trust me. Your family needs you healthy more than they need cupcakes and perfectly wrapped gifts or rides to practice.

You’ve mentioned that you don’t want to make a big deal about your issues, because there are others going through so much more. Trust me. No one is going through more than you.

I sincerely believe that God gives us the trials that we can handle. No more, no less. We are given those trials for a reason. Please don’t try to compare your trials or consider them trivial. And, please don’t be afraid to talk about them.

If I’ve learned anything in the last few weeks, it’s that this is a supportive community of women who are ready and prepared to reach out and, if needed, listen. 

Comments

  1. tears for you.
    oh friend.
    i read your first post and meant to comment and my computer was being wonky and then i kept forgetting to come back. yuck. so gross.
    but today…best. post. ever.
    cancer free?! you just made my christmas. cancer is the worst. it can totally suck it. hard.
    i’m so sorry for everything you’ve gone through. recovery is so hard. i only had a lousy c-section and it was hard! i can’t imagine all you’ve dealt with.
    hang in there. know there are thousands of us praying and roothing for you.
    and yes, yes, yes…loved the “your family needs you healthy more than they need cupcakes” line. you need to make that a printable. sell it for $1. then pay 1/1000th of your bills. because the bills come in at a close second in suckage. boo.
    merry christmas friend. big, giant hugs from california today.

    • Jeannett, I sincerely believe that all the prayers offered on my behalf have allowed me to process everything that has gone on and left me feeling blessed. My hormones have been so out of whack I really was prepared to spend the month overly emotional and depressed. I am blessed.

      I have no doubt your are very familiar with sucky medical bills. The worst part is how confusing they are! I will definitely be happy to have everything (including those darn bills) behind me.

      I think of you and your family often.

      xoxo, T.

  2. I am so sorry to hear about your illness! I have a friend that has had similar issues and went through the same surgery with great results. She is tested for cancer each year and has had a clean bill of health each time. I will be praying for your recovery.

  3. Hugs and prayers for you! I hope that you start feeling more like yourself and have a Merry Christmas. Thank You for the reminder that we all need to take care of ourselves. We can’t take care of others if we aren’t taking care of us. xoxo

    • Thanks Beth! I really appreciate your thoughtful comment. I do hope that everyone takes the time to listen to their bodies. I am likely just more sensitive to people’s comments now, but I sure have noticed that mom’s always put their own well-being last. xoxo, Tauni

  4. Although we haven’t met, my heart is heavy and full at the same time. T hank you for sharing your story – I will pray for you, your recovery, and your family. Your post gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes. I’m thankful that you listened to your body and your doctors were so thorough!

    • Donna, Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate your warm thoughts and your prayers. I am so grateful for finally being on the mend. I know there’s still a lot of healing to do, but I am simply grateful to be getting well. xoxo, Tauni

  5. So happy to read that you are doing better and Cancer Free!! I hopw you have a happy holiday and a very healthy 2013. Much love!

  6. Tauni,
    Wonderful news! I’m so glad that you came through surgery and are cancer free! Praying {still} for your family this Christmas Eve and giving thanks that you’re alive and able to be with them. Wishing you a wonderful, amazing 2013.

  7. Oh Tauni!! I’m so glad that it is NOT cancer, but I’m so sorry that you’ve lost all chance of bearing children. I know its something that you have been dealing with but this sealed the deal and I can’t imagine how that feels. You went through a c-section with no baby at the end. My first was delivered that way and I can tell you one thing, the recovery is miserable. I’m so sorry for your loss and I hope you take the time to mourn for yourself a bit and heal. You’ll still be in my prayers that things keep looking up and that you’ll find something like knitting to keep the time at bay. I sure love you. Merry Christmas wonder woman!

    • Melissa,

      Thanks for your sweet note. I truly had been hoping to be able to have children (at least one!) and that was perhaps the most disheartening news of all. Fortunately, Derek has three boys that I absolutely adore. It helps. A lot.

      I honestly had no idea that recovery would take this long. They told me six to eight weeks, but I did think it would be a bit quicker. As it stands I am looking forward to leaving the house for a couple of hours tomorrow because I haven’t been out of the house for over a week! Eek!

      Interestingly, I have been trying to teach myself to crochet. I have to hard a time reading things online!

      xoxo, Tauni

  8. So Grateful your are Cancer Free! (phew!) Thank You for being Brave & Posting about your Personal Trial & most Importantly the REMINDER! I need to make an appt. to go see my OB GYN…
    Take Time to Heal… I think it’s in our Human Women nature to feel like we are not doing anything by lying in a bed. But you are. You are being Brave & posting about your Trial & “Helping” others & Inspiring others – Women like me. “Thank You!” Have a Wonderful Christmas Tauni! xo

  9. Tauni, I’m so happy for you and your family and the good cancer free news! Take care and have a wonderful Holiday. Merry Merry Christmas to you!!!

    ~Chrissy

  10. YAY, Tauni!!! I seriously put the laptop aside and jumped up and down when I read you’re cancer free!! I’m SO happy for you, and will continue to keep you in my thoughts as you heal. Merry Christmas, my friend!!

  11. So happy that you are cancer free!!! Prayers still coming your way from my end of the country. I’ve had two c’s, and an incisional hernia repair and yes the recovery time was almost harder for the hernia. You are too true that women put our own needs usually last of all and we need to remedy that. I”m trying. It’s hard. Many prayers your way and blessings for a Merry Christmas and a well rested and Happy New Year!

  12. Thank you for sharing this! Praying for a quick and smooth recovery for you! I sat down and made my long overdue yearly exam appointment when you shared your story initially. Thank you!!!!

    • Melissa, Thank you so much for leaving a note! I am SOOO glad you made your appointment. Though 99% of the time things are a-okay, it’s better to be safe than sorry. I appreciate your sharing that with me. xoxo, Tauni

  13. Glad to hear everything is looking better and that you are cancer free!! Praying that you keep feeling better and that you get to have some much needed time outside! :) Hope you have a wonderful Holiday.

  14. I’m so happy they were able to remove everything and you are cancer free. Such a scary thing to go through, but yes, our trials make us stronger. Sometimes I think we women are given trials so others can serve us and it makes us have to sit back and accept their assistance. Speaking from the hysterectomy standpoint – you will feel good again! And you will feel so much better than you ever did before. It took me a long time to recover (physically & a bit mentally) from the surgery but I do feel like myself again. Merry Christmas Tauni and I wish you a speedy recover. Hugs!

    • Becky, Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Even though I know so many women go through something similar, it makes me feel so much better when it’s people I know and can relate to. I have to admit, when the doctor told me it would be a 6-8 week recovery I sort of dismissed it, but I’ve come to realize it really is going to be at least that long. I am looking forward to feeling better. xoxo, Tauni

  15. I’m so sorry to hear about what you’ve been through the last few weeks. But after knowing what you’ve been through the last several years, I hope you’re feeling relived that you are in the 9th inning of this game. My very best to you this Christmas and here’s to a better one next year. So glad you have answers and relief to your medical mystery.

    • Kristin, you hit the nail on the head. I am so excited (fingers-crossed) to be on the mend and hope this is the last thing I will have to deal with. Interestingly enough, it was my visit to the hospital the day we lunched that caught the latest of my issues. I am grateful I kept that appointment! xoxo, Tauni

  16. Tauni, Many prayers that you are able to have a very speedy recovery and that 2013 brings joy and health. I know you have some busy months coming up. Please let me know if you need anything. I am happy to help wherever I am needed. Merry Christmas to you and your family!
    Kristin

    • Kristin, A speedy recovery is what I am hoping for at this point…I am so impatient and I am going a little stir crazy at home! Thank you so much for your offer of help I super appreciate it. Happy holidays! xoxo, Tauni

  17. Wow Tauni. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your struggles. Modern medicine is truly miraculous! I often think of the women in history whoddidn’t have the luxuries we do. You are blessed. Take care and Merry Christmas!

    • You’re so right! We really do live in an amazing time with so many luxuries and comforts. I am so grateful for the doctors who helped me. xoxo, Tauni

  18. Alicia West says:

    Tauni,

    It has been way too long since we saw each other in person but I am so, so, so elated that your surgery went so well and that you are cancer free…that is the best present any of us who love you could have received today. Big hugs from me and hopefully we’ll get to see each other in person in 2013 so I can hug you for real and tell you how inspiring and fabulous you are.

    Love,

    Alicia (Jones) West

    • Oh Alicia, thanks so very much for your thoughtful note. I am so excited to be on the mend. I still have a long road ahead, but the prospect of a healthier 2013 is exciting! xoxo, Tauni

  19. So glad you are on the road to recovery and on the mend. Hope you have a wonderful holiday! Thank you for sharing your story and reminding all of us to take care of ourselves. I think all women need to hear that from time to time. :)

    • Laura, Thanks! This situation has really helped me to realize how selfless most moms are. I hope that everyone spends a little time this next year taking care of themselves. xoxo, Tauni

  20. Tauni! You are incredible! I just can’t even tell you how happy I am for you that things have gone so smoothly! You are amazing. Thanks for being willing to put yourself out there, you just never know who your story is going to touch. You may even save a life just because you shared your story. I tend to forget about my own health. I really do need to focus on it more. Thank you for the friendly reminder and I hope you continue to take it easy for a while until you are fully healed!

    • McKenzie, I love you girl! Thanks so very much for all of your support over the last year. I don’t get to chat with you as much as I would like, but I truly appreciate you! Thanks for the cute package you sent too! I was just enjoying a cookie with my hot chocolate yesterday. xoxo Tauni

  21. I was just talking to my mom today about what an amazing woman you are, and how you remain so positive despite all you are going through. I’ve been praying that you would get some good news in your life. So happy to hear that you are cancer free!!
    *Hugs*

    • Kara, Thanks so much for your note. I feel super blessed to have so many wonderful friends and I am not going to life, I completely attribute my ability to keep my spirits high to the love I have felt from my friends and family. I so happy to be on the mend! xoxo, Tauni

  22. Still praying for you, Tauni! So glad that the surgery went well. Thank you for the urging us to go to the doctor. I have been putting my appointments off, and I am going to be sure and go the first of the year. :)
    Take care of yourself and continue to get well. I cannot wait to see you soon! xoxo

    • Traci, I cannot tell you how much I value your friendship and prayers. I am so lucky to know you! Thank you for the lovely card you sent. It’s sitting by my bed :) xoxo Tauni

  23. Love you!

  24. Sending you major hugs and love :) Sharing your story is brave. Taking care of yourself is oh so important. Heal fast and feel better!!!

    • Thanks so much Gabby. I am super-happy to be on the mend. I know I have a long road ahead, but it’s nice to know that a healthy future is ahead. xoxo, Tauni

  25. So good to hear that you are cancer free! I’m glad you are feeling the love because you truly are loved! Please take it easy, I pray that you can feel 100% Tauni again very soon :) Hugs and love being sent your way!

  26. OH THANK GOODNESS!!! You have been on my mind so much! So happy for you! For us! :)

  27. YAHOOOOO!! BEST. NEWS. EVER!!!! I am so happy for you. I will continue to pray for a continued, speedy recovery! XOXOXO!

  28. Tauni,
    You are amazing and I adore you. Your faith and your strong spirit are such a source of inspiration for many of us, including me. Please let me know if you need anything, and I mean it.
    Love you my friend!

  29. I am so happy to hear this! It was so good to see you if only for a short time at Jen’s. I wish we had more time to talk, it seemed not the right setting for that kind of conversation. You will continue to be in my prayers as you continue to heal. Love you Tauni. <3

    • Kami, my friend, Thank you so much. Those couple hours at Jen’s were super rough on me actually, but I would do it all over again…It was so nice to see everyone! I am so grateful to be feeling better and healing. I am hopeful that 2013 will be a year of renewal for me. xoxo, Tauni

  30. I totally unplugged for Christmas and just now getting back into checking out things again. So happy that you are on the mend! You have been in my prayers daily! God is so good and I am so happy that you are cancer free! …, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Be blessed my friend and I can’t wait to give you a big hug at SNAP!

    Michelle

    • Michelle, I am so glad that you “unplugged” during the holidays. I think that is such a healthy habit…I’ve really not spent much time online this month and I am such a better person for it.

      I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your kind words. I truthfully believe that the thoughts and prayers of others are what’s helped me to keep my spirits high…Apparently this surgery typically comes with a lot of depression and I have been able to move through it relatively unscathed.

      Love you! Tauni

  31. Tauni,
    I am so very happy to hear of your surgery success. I pray for a speedy recovery. As I read your words “all I ever wanted to be is a mom” my heart was heavy as I remember hearing myself say these same words. I know you have your awesome boys and I know your focusing on healing your body but take time to heal your heart too. I hope you can read between the lines here as I don’t want to go into too much but my heart is with you, my prayers are with you and mostly my understanding is with you.
    xoxoxoxoxox

    • Laura, Thank you so very much for your sweet comment. It sincerely brought tears to my eyes. I have been very fortunate to remain in good spirits through this trial. I think that my family felt like my heart might break. It did. A litte. However, through the prayers and love of friends like you, I have been able to remain super positive about things and I can honestly say I am doing well emotionally. I truly feel blessed.
      xoxo, Tauni

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