Surviving almost dying

It was Monday, 12 August. I have no memory at all left from that point on. The only memories I have are those told to me. Tuesday I am told somehow I was to go to a doctors appointment. And had arranged for a girlfriend to take me. I’m not sure of the details but for some reason either on the phone or in person she felt I was way too sick for her to handle she called my son Austin and then my husband John. By the time they got to me I was throwing up, not able to walk and not lucid. They went ahead and took me to the doctor appointment only to have the physician say this “woman needs to be in the hospital emergency room.”They called 911 and the ambulance came and got me at the doctors office.

They took me to the emergency room at Hoag Hospital Irvine. I have absolutely no memory of any of this. There I was incapacitated and incoherent. I was saying strange things, scaring my husband my son and my friend.

For the next five days I was unconscious and unaware of what was happening to me or my body. As I finally became conscious and aware of my environment it was confusing and scary to me. For some reason I knew something must’ve happened. I had some peace that obviously I was being taken care of regardless if I knew what happened. My hubby says that I called him and he was so excited to get my call. UnFortunately the first words out of my mouth were “why did you leave me here and where are you!” A nurse was in the room and it was able to tell him not to worry that she would take care of everything and when he was ready to come on in to see me. He was recovering from a shoulder surgery he had about 12 hours after I was hospitalized. The reason why he had it done was no one had any idea what was going on or how fast I would recovery. He of course thought I would betaken care of at the hospital and that he would be able to come on in and see me and they could take care of me while he was healing. I totally agree with this and I’m glad he did it. He needed the surgery and waited over a year and a half in pain. The only thing we did not prepared for was that I would come home without the ability to process information and to walk. Having someone with one arm taken care of me was more than we could handle. That is when my girlfriends stepped in along with neighbor, family and more. I’m so grateful to my daughter Madi for setting up the schedule and calling people plus making sure there was someone here to help us. Honestly without the help there’s absolutely no way we could’ve done it. We’re still in the midst of it and have people come in this week and hopefully the following week.

This post is explain how I could in the midst of this horrendous trauma still hang onto the Lord. Maybe I know no other way. In the darkness of my hospital room when I was alone, it was only me and God. I never felt totally alone because through prayer I felt connected. I also knew that God had a reason for everything he did and eventually we would find out what the reason was.

I’ve had an incredibly adventurous life. Traveling the world, teaching photography writing books, the things dreams are made of. On the other hand I’ve also had quite a bit of trauma. I totally feel that I am beyond blessed that at one time in my life they were people like my girlfriend Pj, who told me about God and about the peace he can bring you. Today everybody talks about finding peace, serenity and harmony but we can’t find it in things we can only find it in our Creator. And through this wildly incredibly rare situation that put me in the hospital, kept me from walking, and put me some of the worst pain I’ve ever had, I know I will get through it and I will be better for it! Because Jesus is my Lord and Savior, Jesus was God here on earth and when he walked here, he walked with such peace serenity and harmony. And that is the example we are to follow.

Healing room

Healing Room

Why do they keep asking me “do I feel different”? I am happy and hopeful that so many prayed over me. Praying to heal my body, to destroy cancer and be free from disease. I know that it will be a miracle if my cancer stops growing. Modern medicine says it won’t stop growing until I die from it. I am grateful for the prayer. However, the truth is, I feel the same. I can only be truthful, and tell them the pain is still here. I feel pressure from the healing room prayers to give them a sign their prayers worked. As if I am a circus sideshow to place on display. “Look world, we cured her cancer!” they would say. It is not about them, it is about God.


This morning was difficult. My body did not want to move, to wake. I had to push myself to lay flat. I knew the pain from laying flat would wake my brain. I had come to this place for my mind to rest, my body to rest. I needed to come here. I needed to be with God. To hear His voice. I awoke and walked to the window, opening the drapes to see God’s magnificent work. The gorgeous view in front of me. Cascading mountains and hills below. The organic shape of the lake moving between the mountains and hills. The single pine tree left to frame this wondrous view on top of the mountain. No sounds, no voices, no music, not clatter, horns or engine sounds. The stillness with God’s creatures fluttering, flying and singing. I went and sat down outside in the warmth of the sun. There at my feet lay a single large feather, an eagle feather.


Ah, Lord, you are here.

But those who hope in the Lord

Will renew their strength; they will fly up
On wings like eagles; they will run and not

Tired; they will walk and not be weary.

Isaiah 40:31

Words were spoken over me at the healing room yesterday. I was not cured instantly yesterday, this walk is not over, it is in God’s hands.


I Smiled

When I see your face

I smile

When I think of your face

I smile

When I hold your face

I smile

When I look down at your Precious face

I smile

You’re long eyelashes

Your chubby cheeks

And sweet little lips

I smile

Even today as you walk tall and brave

Towards me

I smile

The Cat is Out of the Bag

It was 8:30 at night, I was in my art room painting. I heard my cell phone ring. As I looked at it I knew it wasn’t good. The phone rang again and I saw my doctor’s name. I had gone to see my new primary care doctor only a few days ago. My right hip has been giving me quite a bit of pain and I thought I had injured it. After seeing Dr. Kathleen, we had scheduled me to start physical therapy the next day. The phone rang again. Composing myself I answered. Dr. Kathleen started talking immediately, “don’t go to physical therapy tomorrow, she said, “it looks like the cat is out of the bag.”

What does she mean, “ the cat is out of the bag”? My head was spinning and I was trying so very hard to grasp what she was saying. Dr. Kathleen continued “I have scheduled you a brain and body MRI plus a chest x-ray for tomorrow. We will have to do several tests in the next few days to confirm it.”

What was she saying? “The cat was out of the bag” my mind hummed. I hung up and in a daze, I went talk with my husband John. I was thinking to myself ‘what would I tell him?” We had only been married for eight months. In that short time, I moved in with possessions from a family of four. We were remodeling his 25-year-old townhouse.  He had been a bachelor all his life. We had taken in my friend’s daughter Bella to live with us. Now I had to tell him this!

“The cat was out of the bag”

The first thing I said to him was “I need you to be strong, really strong, like a rock I need to lean on you and for you to keep your emotions inside. My doctor called just called. That pain in my hip is not an injury, it is a tumor. She doesn’t know what it is,, but given I already had stage 1 breast cancer before, it is probably breast cancer that has moved into my hip. Please be strong for me,” I said. “Tomorrow is MRI, scans and blood test. Let’s wait before we make a conclusion.” John said nothing. He came over to me and held me tight.

“The cat is out of the bag”

Dr. Kathleen was trying to tell me,  something I already knew. 30% of women with early-stage breast cancer will become stage four. Cancer hides, sometimes for years. Showing up later in the bones, brain, liver, and lungs. My cancer had hidden for 4 and 1/2 years. The last time I saw my first oncologist, he said to John and I “go live your life you’ll never have to worry about cancer again!” Now I had received the news no one wants to hear. The date was October 22nd, 2015. The same date, Marty from Back to the Future 2 movie travels to in the future. And here I was losing my future.


#cancer #breastcancer #metastaticbreastcancer #lifewithcancer #life #mystory #women #lifechallenges