A sign?

A sign? I was just having a conversation about how discouraged I've become with my medications and this chemo and whatnot. I said I don't know what to do because I'm hitting that wall that I hit every few years where I want to quit all the meds and become noncompliant because the side effects are so hard to deal with sometimes. I said, "What's worse? This disease process or the side effects you have to live with?" I prayed for guidance and some wisdom and minutes later I saw this. Food for thought.

lurve you, xoxo v.


Makes my heart smile

Two of the best friends I have ever had,
and they're both pregnant with baby boys just a week apart!

Oh how I wish I could be there to rub their bellies!
lurve you, xoxo v.


lurve you, xoxo v.


Bad news

 I thought the "monster" got out of prison on 12/16. The website now says 12/9. *sigh* That's a whole week less time.

lurve you, xoxo v.


Things you can't unsee....

Oh my eyes!


Help me understand what is wrong with people!
I've started compiling the crazy crap like this that I find...
You can find all the pictures HERE.

Holy Cow.

lurve you, xoxo v.


Let it go

No.  More.
Just because you are my son,
does not mean that you are allowed to speak to me the way you do.

You will not verbally abuse me,
accuse me of "stealing",
accuse me of being a bad mother,
and all of the other toxic, horrible and degrading things
that you have said about me.

I don't care if you have an idiot father that eggs you on
and encourages you to act this way just because
he is bitter about having to pay back child support that 

I love you,
but I would rather love you peacefully and from a distance
than have you in my life in the form of an abusive man.
I am done with abusive men,
and that includes YOU.

If you are ever interested in having a healthy, peaceful, functional relationship
with me, then it will be up to you to pursue that.
Until then, I am done with this.
This is what you have created and I hope that you are as happy with yourself
years from now as you are right now when you see the damage that you have caused.


Go in peace.
But just go.


It's a girl!

 It's a girl!!!! Meet the newest member of our family! She is Ly Thi Thanh. She is a four-month-old Vietnamese orphan. We have committed to provide for her needs until she is adopted by her "Forever Family." Isn't she adorable??? I saw a baby that looks just like her (was it her?) in a video they were showing and was drawn immediately to her. Then when we went to the table with all the little pictures on it, I kept looking at all the kids and kept coming back to her. I was just drawn to her squishy little face. I wish we were able to really bring her home and love on her!

lurve you, xoxo v.


Quick update

Home from the Dr... don't have to use the crutches unless I need them (!!!) and can even try normal shoes (with my orthotics) if I can tolerate them. He's afraid to have me do P.T. because he's afraid the therapist will be too aggressive and might rebreak the bone, but I have some exercises to do on my own. He said I'll be walking like a "little old lady" for quite some time, but it's progress! YAY!

lurve you, xoxo v.


Looking forward

2011 was a tough year.  I was trying to think of all of the things that happened this year and wow.  There has been a lot.  I think it was tougher than other years in some ways but easier than others because in other tough years, the toughness that I experienced was much of the time because of my own doing.  Spent too much money?  Then had financial difficulty.  Made poor decisions and did things I knew I shouldn't?  Then experienced heartache.  I read an interview with a woman who was more than 100 years old some time ago.  She was reflecting on what she had learned and one of the things that has always stuck with me was this...

"Trouble is what you bring on yourself.  The rest is just life."

This year, much of what happened wasn't trouble, it was just life.  Here's a short list...
  • Lupus & Fibromyalgia worse than ever before.  At this point I have been on mild chemo for several months now.
  • Because of this, I am exquisitely fatigued, losing some hair, in pain and nauseous nearly all of the time.
  • Was treated for Pericarditis and Congestive Heart Failure.
  • I received a notice from the IRS stating that they overpaid me a few years ago and I now owe them money.
  • My car repeatedly gave me trouble.
  • My lupus decided to attack my uterus and it caused massive bleeding for several months.  I became anemic. I was put on heavy hormones to try and stop the bleeding, but they were unsuccessful.
  • Because of this, I had to have an ablation done to my uterus to stop the bleeding and also have coils placed in my tubes to prevent further pregnancies since I will no longer be able to carry them. The first month of recovery was pretty tough.
  • I missed a step while in a patient's home and faceplanted, breaking my ankle.  I have now been on light duty for eight weeks and unsure when there will be any kind of ending in site.  The foot specialist said that this was the hardest bone in the foot to break and is the hardest to heal and only God knows how long it will take to heal.  Combine this with my medical history and medications and it will undoubtedly delay healing as well.
  • Because I've been on prednisone for so long and now have a bone fracture, I was sent for a Bone Density Scan (Dexa Scan), which measures for osteoporosis.  I was originally told that I was "osteopenic" which means pre-osteoporosis.  When I got the copy of the report for myself, it states "this patient is osteoporotic and at high risk for fractures."  So, at 38 years old, I have osteoporosis thanks to the prednisone.  They scan both femurs, hips, pelvis and spine.  The scan then assigns a score to each bone.  Zero and above are normal.  Zero to -2.5 means osteopenic and is borderline.  Beyond -2.5 is osteoporosis.  The more negative the number, the more brittle the bone.  My averaged overall score was -2.7.  The head of my right femur (my right hip) is around -3 and many of my vertebrae in my lumbar and thoracic spine are like -3.9.  I was trying to google and see how bad this was and one report said that at -3.7, I am 12 times more likely to break my spine in a fall than a normal, healthy person.  This all scares the crap out of me.
  • I was told last week that my last dentist applied all of my crowns wrong and now I am getting decay behind the crowns where I can't clean.  I can either pay $10,000 to have them replaced or I can sue the other dentist (because of course the other dentist says he sees nothing wrong with them and sees no decay).
  • I now have bursitis in my right shoulder and have sprained both wrists due to hauling my big butt around on crutches for the past 8 weeks.  
Okay, these are just the highlights.  See what I mean?  THIS people, this right here is why you aren't hearing from me much.  No blogs, calls, texts, fb statuses, tweets, etc.  It's because there hasn't been a whole lot of positive to talk about and I hate that I am at this point in time the person that has all of this crap going on in their lives.  So, if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.

But now... onto some good stuff.

This past week, I was also reflecting on the state of the union here in the H-A household and know what I realized?  For the most part, things are pretty good.  There is always some sort of kid drama to be had and there will always be the random day where you just aren't feeling it and wish your partner would just shut up, but I have to say that those days are very rare lately.  Things here have been calm, peaceful, joyful, loving.... all of the things they should be and that I had been praying for.

So, I started trying to pinpoint when this all happened and exactly what happened to bring this about.  Some of the obvious answers are that we are just starting to settle into a routine and cement a little more as a blended family.  We have been back in church for a year now and there's no question that abiding in the vine brings about more fruit.  Then I started thinking about myself.  What have I done this year?  Well, I think that because of that long list of things up top there, I have gotten quieter.  I am tired, I don't feel very good, I am quite humbled and realize just how quickly blessings such as the ability to walk or work can be taken away.  I have been changed in the way that I have become much more still.  I don't have the energy to be quite as spunky as I always have been.

Oh believe me, there's still some spunk left, but not nearly to the level that it was before.  Also, my focus has shifted to more important things.  Suddenly, I am less worried about how someone else is acting and more worried about keeping myself calm and healthy.  If Paul is being short-tempered or judgmental, then he is responsible for his actions and it's not my job to convince him how he's wrong.  He will be accountable for his actions, not me.  I'm not Captain Save-a Ho and can't be running around trying to fix everyone like I always have.  It amazes me that I've never been an animal person and I've come to realize that it's probably because I've already had a bad habit of bringing home strays.  They were just men and not animals.  No more.  Come healthy and functional, or don't come at all.

Know what happened when I became quiet and still with no energy to fight or fix?  It's the most amazing thing.  Get this, when I quit trying to fix everything myself and just laid it down, God actually picked it up and fixed it for me.  Wow.  Imagine that.  What I've been told for years is true.  Lay it down.  The battle is mine says the Lord.  When I got out of God's way, he had time to deal with other people and situations and the results have been wonderful.  I have enough of my own stuff to deal with, I don't have it in me to save the world today.  It's good to know that while I'm off-duty, I can count on God to come through.  Amen and amen.

I've never been a person that really asks "why?"  I'm more the type to ask "why not?"  Why shouldn't I get sick instead of the rest of the world?  I'm no better than anyone.  Why shouldn't I have some car trouble?  God is good even on the bad days and if He decides that it's time for me to deal with some issues, then okay, deal with them we will.  But it has come to the point where I'm beginning to ask, "how much?"  Haven't I had my share for a while?  I trust that if it's still coming at me that I'm obviously strong enough for it or God wouldn't be sending it.  But can I have some mercy for a little while?  I'm really tired.  So, since I know that what goes up, must come down.  And that for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction, I know that things will inevitably be turning around.  I also know that God will restore the years that the locusts have eaten.  I'm looking forward to the next year being more peaceful, loving, joyful and calm.  I look forward to better energy and health and prosperity.  I look forward to reaching goals that I wasn't able to reach this past year and getting more involved in our church.  I look forward to safety and laughter.  I look forward to the births of babies and more birthdays and anniversaries.  I look forward to writing and creating and watching my kids grow into the people they are becoming.  I look forward to holding Paul's hand and smiling at him.  Basically, I'm just looking forward.

lurve you, xoxo v.


You are stronger

Standing in the darkened auditorium, eyes closed in worship, I am surrounded by the congregation.  It's just another ordinary Saturday evening at church, some have their arms raised in praise, some stand quietly singing. I sing the chorus a bit mindlessly at first... "You are stronger, you are stronger, sin is broken, you have saved me.  It is written Christ is risen, Jesus you are Lord of all."  The music is usually my favorite part of the service.  It has a way of reconnecting me that sometimes words just can't.  Music does that for me.  All of my life events are connected to songs, it's the internal sound track to my life.  Because of that desire for reconnection, the longing to brush off all of the dust of the week, I try to go deeper; try to connect to the lyrics.  What is it that I am singing?

As I sing the chorus again, it happens.  Out of nowhere, as I slowly sing the words "You are stronger, you are stronger...."  Stronger than what?  Stronger than sin, death, the Evil One.  My breath quickens, my heart pounds and tears begin to flood my eyes.  The words "It's coming, it's coming, it's coming" flood my mind on a loop and I believe I had what must have been my first legitimate panic attack of my life.  considering everything I've gone through, to make it until now without having one (on a daily basis even) is probably pretty good, but I can now say I've had one.  The reality that time is counting down and in just one month.... ONE MONTH.... he will be out of prison and on the streets like a lion seeking whom he may devour overwhelmed me.

So I sang it again, this time clutching onto each and every word and claiming it's truth.  "YOU ARE STRONGER.  YOU ARE STRONGER...."  You.  Are.  Stronger.  You.  Are.  Stronger.

You are stronger than the possibility of him showing up at my door.  Than the possibility of him going to my kids' schools when I am not there to protect them.  Than the possibility of him stalking us and approaching us in the grocery store parking lot.  Than the possibility of him grabbing my children and running.  Than the possibility of him climbing through one of my windows.  Than the possibility of him cornering me and confronting me somewhere, anywhere, and hurting me... or worse.  Than the possibility that son will hurt him and throw his life away because of a desire for revenge.  That my daughter will see him out and about someday and all of the pain she has tried to lock away will flood her and hurt her all over again. You are stronger than all of my fears of things that may or may not ever happen.  You are stronger than the damage that has been done that I have struggled for years to overcome.  You are stronger.  I know that nothing that can or will happen to me will happen without first being filtered through your heart and your hands.  Nothing that can or will happen will happen without a very good reason that you feel is necessary.  You are stronger and my life is built around the fact that I trust that.

I will remain confident in this, I will see the goodness of the Lord.

lurve you, xoxo v.

"You Are Stronger"


Fear of falling

 I'm so sad right now. I know I'm freaking myself out and can be my own worst enemy, but regardless, here I am. I had to go back to Occ Health today because I now have shooting pain in my shoulder. I have bursitis due to being on these crutches for the past 8 weeks. So, I was ordered to not use the crutches anymore and they delivered a "knee walker" to my home. Have you guys seen one of these? It looks like a scooter but you kneel on the seat with one leg and push yourself around with your good foot. Well, this thing has FREAKED ME OUT. I always thought they looked easy and actually thought about renting one, but when I actually got on it, I feel SO unsteady and feel like I'm going to fall. I don't think I realized how afraid of falling again I was until I got on this and now I am petrified. I know I'm probably just not used to it yet, but I don't know how I'm going to get used to it when I'm so afraid of using it. I went about 20 feet on it and parked it and just keep staring at it with tears in my eyes. I don't know what to do about this. Worker's Comp says I have to use it, but...... :(

lurve you, xoxo v.
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