Thursday, August 27, 2015

I'll Miss You MVY

I'm kind of missing my home this week.  It has been an incredible Summer in MVY even with the recurrence of Ovarian Cancer, but there is something said about being home.  I miss my beautiful, comfy bed.  I miss my cozy little recliner.  I miss my vitamix (even though my mom brought me a mini blender that works great for my spinach shakes).  I miss lifting weights and swimming at my gym.  I really miss my spin class.  I miss my Bosh and making homemade bread (and I miss Aunt Leslie's Bread).  I miss my normal meals like quinoa bowls.  I miss my favorite supermarket Sprouts and their super cheap delicious produce.  I miss my visits with my aunt and uncle, cousins and their children, especially at Sunday dinner.  I miss hiking with my girlfriend's.  I miss checking my little mailbox, even though I usually only get junk mail.  I miss having more than a suitcase of clothes to select from.  I miss my cute primary children.  I miss my kitchen with all of my cooking supplies and I'm sure there are many other things that I miss.

However when I leave MVY in less than a week, I will wish I was back here on this little island.

I'm going to miss living on the beach with my gorgeous view and the only bright, little yellow building on the island that I love, but don't even know what it is.
I will miss driving 1 mile to work.

I will miss walking to the super market.  I'm really going to miss my visits with my dear friend Melanie, our lunch time chats, her delicious cooking and her sweet friendship.
I'm going to miss my awesome nurses and providers that I've had the privilege of working with for 2 Summers in a row.
I'll miss the tree's, gorgeous landscapes, sand in my toes, crazy rain storms and humidity.
I'm going to miss the many kind people that come from all over the country and different parts of the world and hearing their stories of their lives away from vacation.  I'll definitely miss the trauma and the amazing team of professional's that I have worked with in ER.
Oh, yes and did I mention the bulls eye rashes from lime disease?  We see at least 50 tick bites a day.

I'm really going to miss the cute little boats, million dollar yachts and the beautiful sailboats which I can never get enough of, which makes me want to redecorate my guest room in a nautical theme.
I'm going to miss the gorgeous view of the ocean all around me.  I'll especially miss the absolutely beautiful sunsets and sunrises that allow for great reflections on the water and which have given me a sense of peace when I feel I can't handle another round of chemo.
This was tonight's sunset.  First time there wasn't a yacht parked there.
But most of all I'm going to miss being on vacation (even though I'm working I'm still on vacation) in a place where everyone else is also on vacation.  There's just something about this island that is so relaxing that if you haven't been here you will never understand, even though I've tried to paint you a picture of it all.  How I wish I could wrap all of the goodness of the island up and give it to each of you to experience the greatness that abounds here, ah that would be so fantastic, but I can't so you must just put it on your bucket list and come experience it for yourself!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

More, Savior, Like Thee

I've been thinking today about what it is I need to learn from the trials that I'm experiencing.  Why after already going through cancer once, do I have to go through the process of chemo and doctors appointments, side effects and setbacks again?  I remember in April getting into bed one night thinking to myself, "I finally have my life back."  Since moving from Charlotte in October 2011 and going through cancer the first time I felt that my life was like a bumpy dirt road with so many up's and down's, but things were finally starting to feel normal.  And then cancer returns. 

With the return of cancer, doctors appointments, chemo, going home, returning to MVY and having guests here, I haven't really had much alone time in the last few months.  This weekend I've pretty much just slept as I've allowed my body to react to the chemo and to let it work at healing me.  I actually have had no other choice, since I have no control over the deep sleep the chemo puts me into.

However today as I've pondered the question 'why again', the words of the song More Holliness Give Me continue to play through my mind and have answered the why.  The simple answer is so that I can become more like my Savior and so that I will have more faith and trust in Him and his plan for me.

More holiness give me,
More strivings within,
More patience in suff'ring,
More sorrow for sin,
More faith in my Savior,
More sense of his care,
More joy in his service,
More purpose in prayer.
More gratitude give me,
More trust in the Lord,
More pride in his glory,
More hope in his word,
More tears for his sorrows,
More pain at his grief,
More meekness in trial,
More praise for relief.
More purity give me,
More strength to o'ercome,
More freedom from earth-stains,
More longing for home.
More fit for the kingdom,
More used would I be,
More blessed and holy—
More, Savior, like thee.

In a book I'm reading by Richard G. Scott he states, "Our Heavenly Father did not put us on the earth to fail but to succeed gloriously."  I love that!  It makes me realize that as I go through trials, it is for me to grow and learn and to become like my Savior and to succeed gloriously!

At 2:30 this morning I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep so I listened to a conference talk by Rosemary Wixom the General Primary President.  In her talk she quoted Mosiah 4:9, "Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things...; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend."  At the end of her talk she says, "When the primary children sing 'A Child's Prayer,' they ask: "Heavenly Father, are you really there? And do you hear and answer every child's prayer?"  We too may wonder, "Is Heavenly Father really there?" only to rejoice when the answers come in quiet, simple assurances.  I testify that those simple assurances come as His will becomes ours."  That last sentence hit me to the core.  I will admit that when I pray I am praying for what I want.  I'm not praying for His will.  I want to be healed and to have a long life of happiness.  But I also have faith that Heavenly Father can heal me.  I hope that this is His will too.  But what if it isn't?  I hope that through this trial that my faith will become strengthened and that I will eventually be able to say that His will has become mine.

It is my hope that in the coming months as I continue to endure the grueling side effects from chemo that I will find ways to serve others as the Savior would, that I will come to know Him more and that I will be able to trust in Heavenly Father's plan for me. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Boston FF

1.  Saturday we spent the day with a book in our hands, the sand in our feet and the sun on our skin at South Beach.  Later in the afternoon we visited Ally's General Store and listened to this awesome acapella group at the library.  We had dinner at Jimmy Sea's; a little Italian place across from Backdoor Donuts that my nurse told me about.  It was absolutely delicious.
2.  Sunday we had the Sister Missionaries over for dinner, played cards, watched the sunset over the harbor and packed for Boston.
3.  Monday morning Tenielle, mom and I boarded the ferry for Boston.  The boys stayed behind to do some fishing.  It was super hot and humid the entire time we were in Boston, but we had a good time nonetheless.  We did a lot of walking, like over 18,000 steps in 1 day, window shopped on Newbury street and did the real thing at Talbots, had dinner at the same Irish pub as last year and bought cannoli's at Mike's Pastry's before meeting the guys back at our gorgeous and very comfortable hotel where we were ever so grateful for a shower.
4.  Tuesday we took in the beauty of Boston including the gardens and architecture, the medical museum and the beautiful library where we enjoyed the Hayden and Handle exhibit or at least us girls did; it put Tony to sleep.
5.  Of course the highlight of Boston is always a Red Sox Game, especially when they win!  At the beginning of the game they honored an Ovarian Cancer Foundation and who gave funds to Ovarian Cancer Research.  It was a nice surprise to me.  They also raised over 90,000 dollars for cancer in just a few hours.  The night couldn't have been better for a baseball came, as it finally cooled down some.
Teal Toes at Fenway
6.  Wednesday we did a little touring and then said goodbye to Boston and each other for a few weeks before we all gather in SLC for Labor Day Weekend.
7.  My 4th chemo treatment happened yesterday where we added back the Gemzar in with the Carbo.  Happily my WBC was up to 3.1. 
I pretty much slept through the entire treatment and the rest of the afternoon.  This chemo makes me so extremely tired.  Thankfully I'm not having as much abdominal pain and nausea this time as previous.  I think it did help that today I also had IV fluids, which I slept through the entire processes and all afternoon.  Tonight I did venture out to our little beach where I watched the end of the summer fireworks.  They were gorgeous and it was relaxing as I listened to the waves crash against the shoreline.  And now it's back to sleep I go.