If you missed Part 1, catch it here!
On the afternoon of August 10, 2016 I received a call from my stepmom telling me my Dad passed away. I would later find out, my stepmom had signed the paperwork to remove my Dad from oxygen and feeding tube. My brothers and I were not asked nor were we made aware that her plans were to disconnect him from life support. She did not allow anyone to be present except for a woman she had met in the waiting room only three weeks prior. I was devastated. I learned two days later from my Dad’s heart doctor that my Dad’s prognosis was good and that the doctor begged her to wait and not disconnect him. I struggle every. single. day. with her decision. I don’t believe she had the right to make the decision to end his life. , especially based on what his doctor claims was a full recovery. I have many, many questions regarding my Dad’s death. I sought legal advice and that is ongoing. I hope to find the answers I am seeking.
The rest of August was spent healing, both from my Dad’s death and my surgery. At the end of August, my Mom decided she wanted to move to California to be closer to our family. We made arrangements to start her move across country. This would involve selling her house, having a huge garage sale and packing the rest of her belongings and driving us all to California. While packing her house in Indiana, we received a letter from an attorney my stepmom had hired. It stated I could not pursue probate or any legal action to obtain my Dad’s medical records because I was not his biological daughter nor did my Dad adopt me. Another set of challenges and emotional to say the least. After a discussion between lawyers coupled with proof of my Dad being my father , my stepmom agreed to sign the paperwork releasing the copies of the medical records. 2,000 pages total. I am still not able to read all of the records. It is too painful for me to see his struggle in medical terms. In due time I will read it all and hopefully find the answers I am looking for.
Our trip across country turned into a bit of a vacation. I was feeling better physically by this time and we decided to take our time driving to California. Wayne and Hannah flew to Indiana the day before we left and my nephew decided to come and stay with us in California, so there were five of us travelling. One of the best parts of the trip was stopping to eat at restaurants where the food was indigenous to the area. Our first dinner was in Memphis, Tennessee. We ate a great restaurant with the best barbecue I have ever tasted. We spent the night in Little Rock, Arkansas. Nest stop was Texas. My stepsister lives in Fort Worth, Texas. One night was not going to be enough time to explore Texas so we stayed two nights. The Stockyard and Magnolia Farms were just two of the places we visited. We had a great time just exploring all the sights and food of Dallas and Fort Worth.
And then I found a lump in my breast. It was October 12, 2016. I will never forget that date. I didn’t tell anyone while we were in Texas. I wanted to enjoy our visit and not worry anyone. I thought for sure I had injured my breast while loading furniture or I just had a blocked duct. I ended up sharing the news with Wayne at the hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At that point I couldn’t wait to get home to make an appointment with my doctor.
I plan to share “My Breast Cancer Journey” every step of my treatment. It will be a long process. I will pick up the rest of my story with you in my next post. I hope my story will help women who are going through the same thing as I am and help women to know what to look for .
Reflecting back on the past two years is emotional, but empowering. I made it though losing my vision, sickness of Hannah, my daughter, Wayne’s PTSD, the deaths of both my father and stepfather, the betrayal of my stepmom and aunt, a cancer scare and tumor resulting in a hysterectomy, eight surgeries in a year and a half and finally breast cancer. We all go through storms in our lives. Many times I didn’t know how I was going to see through this storm. It was not easy physically, emotionally or financially. I was strong spiritually. I tightened my grip on my FAITH. I know God has held my hand through this. I am grateful that i am able to see what HE had in store for me all along. He has given me strength so that I can share my experiences and help others along the way. Had I not gone through the storm, I would not know what to say to other women who are experiencing struggles. Now I know.
I have my goals set out before me. In times of crisis or trouble, I think it is important to dream and set goals for yourself. It helps to maintain some control over your life when it feels like everything is out of control. What trials are you going through? What goals can you set for yourself? Even small goals WILL be worth it. It is time to move ahead to the path in front of us. Will you join me?