Well it has most certainly been more than a month since I have written I think. Sorry! it looks like my mother has filled you all in a bit. I think since last time I wrote I have been in surgery and been to Girls Camp, Lake Powell, Cedar City, Logan, Fairview. I have grown one year older and most definitely wiser too! :) Wow my life is hard eh?? :) Of course it was a miracle that I was able to be gone more than a week and through this whole time (minus the surgery) everything has been pretty smooth. It was so nice to spend a good amount of time away from all those doctors.
My life has definitely changed in the past month starting with Girls Camp.
I remember going last year...that is when I had to realize the severity of my cancer and what it could possibly mean. This experience was a complete 180 from last. I got to have so much fun and I got to realize what I have really learned in that year. I actually found a little journal entry from that day last year in my scriptures. Back then I was so scared to die and that was all I could think about. I was too scared that my life was going to be ruined because of this cancer. I saw it all as a horrible curse and really viewed it only as a disease. Soon after I did some serious soul searching and have learned a lot about me and my Heavenly Father. This girls camp my journal entry was much different. Instead of focusing on the hard parts of this cancer I got to focus on all the good things.
Okay I must go back to two days before Girls Camp even started. My mother did not want to go to girls camp...she wanted to stay home with me and make sure I would be okay...remember I had surgery the previous week. Being the stubborn piece of work I am I continued to tell my mother to go to camp and pack her bags. My momma's stubborn too and made it known that she would not be leaving me. That's when I knew I needed to go to girls camp. I really wanted to anyway so it was a good thing anyway. Sunday afternoon President Baudin came over... and I knew exactly why he was there. He was going to ask me to go to Girls Camp!!! My little heart was so happy to be invited to go. He asked to sit down and talk for a while. I got a little dissapointed after a few minutes because he was just interested in how my family was doing...I was scared I wasn't going to get to go afterall. Then he looked me in the eyes and told me he felt prompted to ask me to go to Girls Camp and I could hear the angels singing. I promptly said yes! I knew he was coming! I told my mom to go pack those bags she didn't want to pack! Man I love being right!!! Mom's going to girls camp...ahhh I just knew it. I practically danced around the house until Tuesday finally came. I wanted to go up early with Dad Monday but I guess the doctors wanted to see me before I went...:) We had planned all the doctors visits around Girls Camp before because we thought my mom was going so it all worked out perfectly. They said as long as I did not roll around in the dirt I could go! I have never been so excited to pack for girls camp! I arrived with no responsibilities or restrictions! I had full access to the freezer filled with ice cream and could do whatever I wanted!! Can it get better? I got to walk around from cabin to cabin and take naps whenever I felt needed! I did not have to go the hike or clean a single bathroom. I did not have to plan anything either. It was the most relazing girls camp ever. I was just to try to make people happy! I like that job.
President told me that I would probably get a chance to speak to the girls at one time or another. He did not tell me for how long or what day or what topic. He just said I would get to speak. I am actually suprised that this did not make me nervous. I usually like to have everything that I am going to say written word for word on a paper because I know that I am a rambler and my thoughts are not always completely coherent... evident in this passage I assume. Wednesday night came around and I happened to be earing dinner with the Stake Presidency. This is when President asked me what I thought the girls were supposed to hear this year. I thought "wait, isn't that your job President...to receive revelation and tell me what to speak on??" I guess not!! :) I had actually pondered a bit about what I would say to the girls previously so when he asked me I jut said the word that was written the biggest on my thought list. It was actually the very last thing I wrote on my list and I wrote it in the very middle and then circled it. I know that it is what they needed to hear and knowing that has taught me so much. Looking back I realize that I can recieve inspiration when my heart is in the right place. I thought that I would be speaking on Thursday night but then President through me for another loop and asked me to speak that very night...in about 30 minutes. I realized that there was no way I was going to have anything written down so I decided to prepare my heart instead of a paper. I had a good prayer and then relaxed and did not think about it again until we pulled into the fourth level camp. I had one word to go off, "temples". The greatest thing is that I have had experience with the temple and more importantly the spirit was there. I was able to stand in front of all those beautiful girls and tell them what I felt the Lord needed them to hear along with my strong testimony of temples. I guess it went well because President asked me to do it again the next night in front of all the girls. I was a little worried about doing it again...how could I replicate what I felt and what I said...I had not prepared anything. So of course the next night was much different but I believe it was still special and most importantly, the spirit was there. I could see princesses that were one day to be queens and I saw all the potential in their eyes. Of course I bawled and confessed my love for hugs so afterwards I got a hug from at least 50% of the girls. I will forever cherish those hugs. I will never have an experience like that. Those hugs made cancer worth it...they made all my pain worth it. I will never ever forget my time at Girls Camp and pray that I can go again next year. Young men are amazing but young women...ahh just a little bit better! :) I think I connect with them better. I sure hope I can go again next year. This girls camp changed my life and I only hope and pray that I could have helped someone else. I know why I am still here...I can help people. I also know why I want to stay here...so I can help again and hug more young girls and have more experiences like I had this June. I wish I could have stayed forever. My life has much more meaning now. I feel like I am doing something good in this world. I feel like I can do something good for my Heavenly Father. I know he loves his daughters...I love them too.
Brownies are done... I will finish the rest of my adventures later!! :)
Yesterday was a wonderful "doctor day". 9:30 we went to Dr. Kumi (infectious disease) who said Tara can get OFF her antibiotics as of Wednesday. He wanted to put her on a pill form until her next MRI (next week) but I reminded him they make her SICK. Honestly, do these doctors not know how yucky people feel while on their meds? I made Tara tell Dr. Kumi how sick she's been while on this drug, and then he said, "are you sure it's from this drug?" Really, after almost 5 months of antibiotics, I think Tara would know what makes her sick... anyway, he said she can stop! Tara has been especially sick the last 2 weeks, and I, for one, and very much looking forward to NO MORE antibiotics and I know Tara will enjoy not having a bottle attached to her chest for 4 hours a day. (these are IV antibiotics) So, we did NOT make a return appointment with Dr. Kumi!!!
Next, Dr. Joganic (plastic surgeon). He put his hefty magnifying glasses on; looked at Tara's incision; and proceeded to take ALL the stitches out! All of them! This is the 1st time in 5 months stitches have come out without a residual, non-healing, scab on top of Tara's head (which equates to a hole in the head). This is the 1st time since February that we have gone to the dr, and not had surgery again within that month. Dr. Joganic said Tara's head had "completely epithelialized" guess what that means? The dictionary says "completely cover with epitheliam" which is SKIN. It's the outer layer of skin on the brain for all you non doctor people. Dr. said this was starting to epithelialize last month; but yesterday he had no worries about her head and reassured us it was healing. There were a few spots I was still bothered by; but Mr. Magnifying Glass said he wasn't bothered or worried, so that's good enough for us! Yea!!!! No return appointment for Dr. Joganic, either! 2 doctors out of our life! We really love our doctors; but when we don't have to see them, that is awfully good news. We don't even have to see Dr. Smith; but we want to - so next week when we go for the MRI (Tuesday) we will stop by and have him rejoice as well with the condition of Tara's scalp. He's the doctor above all who encourages Tara to "live a little." He told her at Lake Powell to "put her feet in the water and live a little." (although she didn't do that regardless - she was so careful about water).
I was pretty much dancing out of Barrows, and Tara had goosebumps. Last month she got all teary eyed when Dr. Joganic said her wound looked good and was healing as well. That is really music to her ears!!
So, we have Dr. Shapiro, Dr. Smith, and an MRI next week. We're trying not to worry - it's always a bit of a worry at MRI time - but we have to remember that faith knocks away fear, must remember and remember that. Tara has had some bad headaches lately, but I reminded her last night that Dr. Smith said those weren't a sign of the tumor reoccuring - her tumor would have to be large to have that happen; and with constant MRI's, he doesn't think that would be the case. Tara just can't have a headache without a little concern. Normal people can have headaches, but I guess Tara will never be normal - we all know she's extremely special, not just normal!!!