Dog With A Blog

I’ve decided to make an article on dog health, as it can be just as crucial and important as human health as well. Not only do I have health issues, but so does my nine year old West Highland Terrier, Gizmo (or Mo, as we usually call him).

Now, we have only had Mo for about 5 months, but he has seriously become my best friend. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a bond with a dog before. Don’t get me wrong, I love my other dogs, especially Finn who I have had for three years now, but there’s just something about Gizmo. I don’t know if it’s just because he’s a senior dog, and not a puppy, like my year old husky, but he’s the best dog I could have ever asked for. So it’s really hard for me when I see him so uncomfortable and so itchy all the time. When we adopted him from the humane society back in August, he had a long list of about 12 pages of medical history and vaccines he had had. This little guy suffers, for sure. It really broke my heart when I found out that he was adopted from the humane society two years ago, and then his owner brought him back because she didn’t want to deal with his health issues anymore. And the people at the shelter informed me that there is absolutely no way that she did any preventative maintenance or treatment for the entire two years she had him. Before we adopted him, he was already in the shelter for two months. But let me tell you, this boy is ITCHY. Imagine 100 mosquito bites all over you everyday for your entire life, and the itchiness just never ends. Luckily my vets are great and have prescribed him a pill that he takes once a day, to keep his itchiness under control. Because seriously, it gets to the point where he will chew so much on his skin that he bleeds.

I still try to understand what all he has, as it’s a lot, but what we gather is he clearly has really bad allergies. He has been diagnosed with a severe case of dermatitis. He has a history of severe flea allergy dermatitis as well as mange. They informed us he has to be on flea control for life as it tends to worsen severe skin allergies. When we adopted him, he was being treated for a yeast, skin and ear infection, which have all now resolved.

Due to all of this, Gizmo has a mousse formula that we rub through his fur every two days, along with a medicated bath weekly. He also is on a monthly flea preventative and a pill for his itchiness. This boy has been through a lot, and all that matters is he has a comfortable life. He clearly has little to no fur on his belly and arms, along with his butt and his tail. Due to the itchiness and hair loss, when winter time rolls around, we put this boy in warm sweaters because it’s easy for him to get cold. He has his own sleeping spot above my head, with his own pillow, blanket and lizard stuffed animal. It’s great for him, even though half the time I wake up cuddling his butt.

Now, what exactly is dog dermatitis? Atopic dermatitis in dogs (allergic dermatitis, canine atopy) is a hypersensitivity or over-reaction to a variety of commonplace and otherwise harmless substances in the environment. These allergens include plant pollens, house dust mites, or mold spores. Most allergic dogs begin to show signs between one and three years of age. Due to the hereditary nature of the disease, several breeds of dogs appear predisposed to allergies. These dog breeds include Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, West Highland White Terriers and other terriers, and Bulldogs. However any dog, including mixed breed dogs, can have atopic dermatitis. (via:

Moose, Finn & Gizmo. Follow them on instagram: @thepoddogs

Ever since adopting a 9 year old dog, I’ve realized how much I love senior dogs. It’s just they are least likely to get adopted compared to puppies, but they deserve a chance as well. I want to be the one who can give them a good, loving home for their remaining years of life, whether it be five years, or one year, they matter. No animal deserves to be alone in a shelter. Same goes for the disabled animals. I’ve told Chris that the only dogs we will be adopting are ones with health issues, or old ones, because it just hurts to know they are all alone in a scary place. So honestly, if you are looking for a dog to adopt, try and adopt a senior one if anything. I know it’s not as “fun” because people usually want puppies. But I mean a housebroken dog is way better anyways. Imagine waking up and not stepping in a big pile of pee? Amazing. But seriously, old dogs are just as great and playful. They cuddle and love just as hard as a puppy would. Losing a pet is always hard, especially one you may not have had as long, but creating those memories with them and knowing how happy that makes them, is 100% worth it.

Learning To Dance Again When Your Feet Stop Working

In this article, I’ll be discussing self love, the highs and lows of life, and toxic situations, along with how to conquer insecurities within yourself. I will be discussing parts of my life that have impacted me for a long time, and which helped me reach an outcome I never could ask more for. This article isn’t just meant for people who suffer from Crohn’s, but for anyone who suffers from these inner demons we always seem to find. Whether you’ve experienced abuse, losing a close friend, or an absent family member, these are all things we can overcome. It just takes time.

Warning: This article contains themes of rape, self harm, depression and trauma.

I’d like to start off with telling you all a little bit about my past with depression and personal insecurities. When I was twelve, I suffered from the loss of my grandmother who I was deeply close with. She passed from breast cancer which also spread into her bones. After, that, I found myself realizing how hard life could be. I didn’t have my father in my life growing up for about 13 years, due to substance abuse, and she was the closest thing I had to him (she was his mom). After her funeral I began questioning why my father wasn’t around and why life was so hard and wondering if there was a God, and if so, why does he take the most innocent and beautiful souls from us?

When junior high started, I found myself being bullied. Rumors were constantly spread about me at my tiny private school and they would really make me look down on myself. I struggled with weight, due to girls calling me fat and a rumor that I was pregnant (in seventh grade, I hadn’t even had sex yet *eye roll*). When eighth grade began, the bullying intensified. Girls began telling me to kill myself and calling me way more harsh names. I was self harming at the time, and they’d make fun of that as well, while encouraging it, so I did what any rash teen would do, and ran away with my then boyfriend. We got caught, I went to a juvenile detention center and then spent a month on house arrest. I started at a new school, and things began to seem somewhat better. Until the boy I was dating began turning abusive. The yelling and fighting and controlling turned into pushing and shoving and threatening to kill himself, or hurting me. I was fourteen when I fell in love with him and stayed with him until I was sixteen. On top of this, I fell victim to sexual assault and convinced myself that “I’m his girlfriend, this is what I’m supposed to do“. Even if I told him no. I kept this all to myself, for fear of him and fear that he was right and no one would ever “love me” the way he did. Then I ended up leaving him and he showed up at my school, dented my car door, and later that night broke into my home when I was home alone and I was forced to call the cops on him. Which resolved nothing except I never heard from him again.

For a very long time, I was in denial about what happened. I didn’t really understand until people helped me realize what I had gone through. I couldn’t accept it. I hated him for a very long time and then recently I realized, I can’t continue to hate someone, especially when they don’t even realize what they did was wrong. I tend to make up excuses for peoples actions and I believe we just were too young to understand our emotions. We fell in love hard and fast and we didn’t know how to process that so we became controlling and possessive. That led to abuse that I didn’t really realize was abuse until much later. But like I said, we were young. Now, I’m not excusing his actions, but, I have learned to forgive him whether he knows that or not. I can’t continue to hold on to this anger, as it’s only taking a toll on me. What’s the use in being angry with someone, especially when I haven’t spoken to them in nearly 4 years. It took me a very long time to be able to call what he did to me, rape. Because it’s such an ugly word. And most people when they think of rape, they see it as violent or from somebody they didn’t know. You don’t usually think of a boyfriend raping their girlfriend. But no is no. And of course, there were times I said yes, but there were also times that I did say no. And that’s enough for it to be assault. It’s hard to think that someone who claims to love you, could do that. It makes you build up this wall around you that you may never want to tear down. And there are still days, 4 years later, where I can’t handle anyone touching me. Where things remind me of him or I feel how I felt when I was with him. I also had hated sex for a long time, and couldn’t find a way to enjoy intimacy, until I was able to meet the right person.

In the images below, there are texts from that person from when we were not together, but I was still to scared to cut him off. This is what I endured, yet still couldn’t call it abuse. If a man says these things to you, it is ABUSE. Warning for below photos, as they are vulgar and depict abuse.

I was 14-16 years old when I was with him. Remind you, these texts were from when I was either sleeping, with family, or at work. I was accused of cheating, when I never did. (He was also the only man I had ever slept with at the time). I was threatened with a gun he owned, and cheated on by him. He would make me send photos to him of where I was just to prove it to him. I wasn’t allowed friends of either sex. He once broke up with me for seeing a movie with my step dad. I couldn’t wear tank tops or show my shoulders or belly. On Halloween one year, he drugged me, raped me, and then cried because I was shaking so bad and my eyes were red and I thought I was having a seizure. I threw up eight times that night. It took a lot out of me to end this relationship, but it helped me grow as a person and learn, and truly, I hope the best for him and that he gets better.

One thing I always say to people, is moments are temporary. Even the ones that feel like they will never end. And that’s something that takes a while to fully grasp the concept of. Sometimes it feels like whenever my life starts to fall into place, something happens, making it fall back apart again. But that’s when I have to remember that everything happens for a reason and eventually, this all will have been for something. I believe everything that has happened to me, has made me the person I am. I’ve grown from these challenges and I’m moving on. It takes time but healing is worth it. I have learned a lot from having an absent father. I used to want him in my life so desperately. My mom told me that when I was 6 years old, I used to ask her why my dad didn’t love me. Finally she had told me when I reached an appropriate age, that he was a drug addict and it was never my fault. When he got married to my now ex-step mom, I saw him more. Mostly due to her, because she wanted me there, especially because she had a daughter my age who is still a close friend. But then after about four years, they got divorced and he seemed to fall back into habits. He is so far from being fixed, it seems. And it took me a long time to realize I shouldn’t have to be the one who fixes him. He is the adult, whereas I am his child, so he should be the one reaching out to me. But, if it weren’t for me contacting him first, I’d never hear from him. And so I took that up and decided it was for the best, because having him in my life seemed to just be more issues than needed. But man, I used to blame myself so much for him disappearing, but I finally reached an age where I figured out it was not my fault. And what is best for me, is to choose my family. Because it is a privilege to be a father, but not a right. Which I had to realize with my sons father as well. But I truly stick to the fact that you choose your own family. Whether it’s cutting out certain family members because their lives seem to collide with yours, or if it’s adding friends in as family. We should never have to be around toxic people, if we don’t want to.

Self love and acceptance is a challenge I believe many people have yet to overcome. We all struggle with something. Whether that be our weight, the way our face is shaped, our nose, a bag attached the their abdomen, etc. There’s something we all are insecure with. And that’s okay. You can still love yourself and not like certain things. But the key to healthy relationships with others or with life, is to love yourself first. Yes, it’s a tad cliché, but am I wrong? I mean how can we love somebody when we can’t love ourselves properly? And then we will find ourselves settling for less than we deserve and it just becomes a chain reaction. I found myself in yet another scenario of abuse, which tended to be more mental abuse if anything, but after my son was born, I couldn’t keep either of us around out so I left. Now, of course I wasn’t perfect. I had my times too, where I was at fault and should have approached things differently. But you can only take so much pain until you yourself becomes toxic too. And that’s the hard part is excepting when you are the toxic person in someone’s life as well. And we all have been. Whether it be a friend, family or spouse. Each of us has been in a place where we haven’t been good for somebody, and the only thing you can do is remove yourself from that situation. I spent a year where I mostly had little flings here and there, but never fully let myself get to that vulnerable stage with someone. I had spent more time focusing on myself, rather than people. And it got me to a place of happiness. I figured out how to love myself by hiking and writing and even just spending time with no one, but me. Because in the end that’s all you have is you. We are born into this world alone, and we die alone. A lot of people hold fear of being by themselves, which I was one of them. I always had to be texting somebody or facetiming someone, but finally at 20, I’m at an age where I don’t feel I need that anymore. I go through times where I completely disassociate with all social media and just do me for a bit. And that is totally healthy. We need that solid concrete ground for us to feel safe within ourselves. We can’t always depend on other people to be there when we fall down.

Everyone learns how to love themselves in a different way. Some people, sadly never do. But if I can preach one thing on this site, it’s to try. There are of course days where I feel insecure or down about myself. Or I can’t stand myself even, but after a certain point you have to move past all that. When I had the ileostomy bag for four months, I was on steroids which made my face look HUGE. I hated leaving my apartment and couldn’t stand the site of myself. It took a long time after my reversal surgery and after I took myself of those steroids, for my face to go back to normal, and I really never thought it would. It was defeating. It took me so much time to get to a place of feeling beautiful, and felt like it was destroyed in just a simple two weeks. My heart was broken because of the insecurity. But I got better and everything fell back into place, as it usually does.

Now, being pregnant with my second son, I’ve experienced a very deep low that I hadn’t been in in a while. The only people who seemed to understand was my fiance and mom. First trimester, my hormones were going insane. I never wanted to leave the house. I felt tired all the time. I felt really lonely even though I wasn’t and I just felt very very depressed. It was challenging and I felt like I had to justify to people constantly on why I was moody or lazy. Hanging out with people made me just shut down entirely. I couldn’t be in a social setting without getting really consumed by depression and just mood swings. I tried having a Halloween Party and it just blew up in my face. I just had no energy. As soon as I hit around 18 weeks, I felt back to normal. I was able to finally start socializing again and felt like I could be myself. But at this time a lot of people seemed to not like me, or just not want to be around me. And you know, I made my bed so I needed to lie in it and accept that I put this on myself. So of course I owned up to it and apologized, explaining where I was coming from, and some of my friends were so understanding, and some were not. But at that point, after you put that first initial step of effort in, and they don’t reciprocate, it’s not on you anymore. You tried, that’s what matters. And now, at 23 weeks pregnant, my baby seems to have a LOT of health issues and basically I’ve said if people can’t accept that sometimes I’m not in the best mood, I really don’t care. And you shouldn’t have to always be so concerned on how people view you. Or how people are offended by you being in a bad mood. We aren’t all perfect, and people need to understand that. So don’t ever blame yourself if a person has took it upon themselves to not accept you. That’s their loss.

It’s not often you find good friends who stick around. Especially when you go through some really dark places. Not only eight months ago, was I in such a dark bad place that, yes, I became a person who was practically unrecognizable. I was depressed, in a way that I was trying to do everything in my power to hide my true self because it was just a bad time for me. I don’t remember much, as I was drinking heavily and trying to suppress some dark emotions that I have since then, overcome. But it actually hurt a lot when the friend who I thought would help me through it or even just be there for me, as she knew that it would pass, left. I don’t blame her though, because she probably assumed I was just gone for the worst and that that was me. But I was actually concealing a lot of emotion. I was possibly in the darkest place of my life and I understand that sometimes people need to remove themselves to better their lives but things were said that will constantly be ingrained in my brain. Because it’s not like I was permanently changed. I don’t even know that person that I had become and thinking back on it, I still don’t. But what confuses me is that every 20 year old or so, has partying days. I don’t know any of my friends who don’t party. Yes, it was excessive, but it was necessary for me to grow as a person. It’s a really hard thing admitting when you are wrong. And I can admit, yes I was not a perfect person or friend. I had times where I had acted out of selfishness. But you must remember, it takes two people to cause a fight. And yelling isn’t always the best option. If we had sat down and talked about it all in depth, maybe I would have understand right then and there. But things were said, on both parts, and it just resorted to something that shouldn’t have happened. I’ve grown from it. And even though to this day it still is painful for me, as I loved this friend a lot, I know that it needed to happen at that point in time. We both were toxic for each other. Not just me, and not just her. Both of us. And sometimes admitting that, can be challenging. But you get nowhere from saying “Oh, it’s their fault. I didn’t do anything wrong, blah blah blah.” Because everyone perceives things differently, and in this case, we both were wrong for how it was approached and dealt with. And that’s a strong powerful thing to do. But god, I don’t know of any friends who were roommates, that hadn’t had a huge falling out like this. My mother even told me that when I was one years old, she and her best friend lived in an apartment together and they had a huge fight, just like this one, and didn’t speak for a whole year. And now? Still the best of friends. It happens, it’s not unusual. I just wished that I could have stated my case to her. But I don’t act reasonable when I’m angry, and it basically just turned into a screaming match, on top of me balling my eyes out, because I knew I was losing her for good. And it’s hard, God, it’s fucking hard. But the best thing you can do for yourself, is point out the problem on BOTH ends, solve it on your own, forgive them even if they have no idea you’ve forgiven them, and move on. And hey, maybe one day, you two will talk again, in my case, we have not. But that’s okay too. It’s okay to miss somebody, even if they hate your guts. Because the best thing you can do in a world full of negativity, is be a little positive.

Now, you may ask, “Mara, what was the point to this extremely detailed article about your life?” And I may answer with something like, “To show you how to love yourself!” But that’s not the case. I still have days where I don’t fully love myself, or feel confident. And that’s okay! We are all human, it’s just in our nature to have insecurities. But, you must be the person who picks yourself back up after a downfall. You can’t depend on others to. You must be the person to realize your faults after arguments, or disagreements. You must own it. But you should never feel obligated to let people take advantage of your kindness. You should also always try to picture yourself in others shoes, and reason with them. Life is suffering, and the only way to make the best out of things without putting yourself down in the progress, is acknowledging the fact that life can be a huge bitch. Just learn to get over it, and confront your problems head on. So I guess the main point to this article is to show you, we all go through shit and you never know what people are going through behind closed doors. You just gotta learn to deal with it to ultimately find peace and happiness. And remember, with time comes healing.

Hydro- what?

Well, hello everyone. I seem to be back. For who knows how long this time since I’ve practically been MIA for god knows how long. I know, I know. I suck at keeping the people informed, so maybe politics would be a suitable career option. Well, to keep on track, I guess I could start by informing you all that I have had my ileostomy bag removed this previous April 2019. Making it a total of 4 months with the poop bag. It was a hell of a time, but we just had to part ways. A difference in feelings, I suppose. Since then, I’ve gotten engaged, and am also roughly 23 weeks pregnant. Sadly, my knowledge of health issues and medical terms have seemed to have grown since we last spoke.

HYDROCEPHALUS: a condition in which fluid accumulates in the brain, typically in young children, enlarging the head and sometimes causing brain damage.

In November 2019, when I was 21 weeks pregnant, I went for my midterm pregnancy ultrasound screen. Which is basically where you lay for an hour on the ultrasound bed and they scan your belly to see if there is anything not growing properly. I hadn’t thought anything of it, due to the fact that I have a healthy two year old son at home and despite my Crohn’s, I’ve had no issues. My family, has had no issues either, besides a lot of cancer. Afterwords, I was told to wait in my Doctors office. Which let me tell you, my OB is absolutely outstanding. He gave both my fiance and I his personal phone number in case we need to reach him, he’s contacted better GI doctors for me and already has a prescription on order for me for after I give birth to help with my depression. He’s great. Well he comes in, and basically throws all these medical things at me that he admits he doesn’t fully understand either, and tells me that the baby seems to have excess fluid in his brain, called hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is common in downs syndrome babies, but also can just be by itself. It basically is just too much fluid, causing it all to be very squished in his head. Because of this, when he is born, he will need a shunt placed in his brain, to his stomach, to drain the fluid. The shunt will be there his whole life. The surgery though, could take place up to 6 months after he is delivered.

DOUBLE BUBBLE (Duodenal Atresia): When part of the bowel fails to develop normally in the fetus, a blockage of the duodenum can occur, otherwise known as an atresia or bowel obstruction.

Now, after this appointment, he sent me to a high risk OB – or MFM, if you will. There, they did yet another hour long ultrasound where not only was the hydrocephalus found, but along with some other concerns. The first being, what is called a Double Bubble. I still am having trouble understanding what exactly a double bubble seems to be. But from what I gather it’s just a problem with the bowels. What they had said is that if the baby is not able to poop, or is vomiting more than he should after being born, they will need to go in, do a surgery where they remove a part of his intestines and yep, you guessed it, place a temporary ileostomy bag. Ironic, I know. Between 1 in 1,000 and 1 and 5,000 babies have this issue when born. Another thing noted was that this is yet another problem which occurs with downs babies.

They also noticed that his heart had a defect. In January 2020, I will be seeing a fetal cardiologist who will do a 2-3 hour ultrasound to listen and observe his heart function. The defect, is a mystery, as they were not able to confirm what it was. But guess what? Another issue down’s babies seem to have. He also seemed to have some minor issues which can be fixed when he’s born, but one thing they could absolutely confirm, none of these things are from my Crohn’s, my food poisoning I had a week prior, or anything I could have done to possibly impact it. It’s all just because the wrong sperm went to the wrong egg. Yay reproduction! I am working with a genetics councelor who will provide as much information and support as she can. I took a genetics test from my bloodwork, which would basically tell us if it is Downs Syndrome, which we all expected. Well, recently I received the results, and they came back negative. So now, we are more at a loss because he most likely has another genetic disorder. So everything is sort of thrown off.

The doctors gave me an option of terminating the pregnancy, but I really can’t. I’ve already formed this connection with my baby, that I can’t see that as an option. I would rather quit my school and raise a dissabled/special needs baby, than lose him. A sick baby is better than no baby, to me. Because I have the ability to make that choice. Not every woman does, and that’s absolutely okay. I already know my whole life and world is going to be turned upside down. They already told me he will be in NICU after being born. There is a chance of C-Section and also a chance of stillborn/miscarriage. Which I am TERRIFIED of. I love this baby already, with or without all these problems. Good thing is, I know how to change a poop bag, and a diaper. G Ostomate Mommas!

Also, side note, we’ve decided to name the baby Fox. Yes, it’s a little out there, but I mean come on. My name is literally Mara Jade and my son’s name is Caspian. I think we all already know I’m a little out there. And plus I’m a huge X-Files fan. Fox Mulder, duh.

Look, it was a whole lot of information I had to take in during my six hour MFM appointment, so I apologize for not recalling it all. I know there were some other concerns, but they weren’t as serious and had solutions. These were the three that stood out. I don’t know how many of you have seen Deadpool, but remember the scene where Wade finds out he has cancer and is staring at Vanessa as the doctors talking to him, but he doesn’t hear anything except his thoughts of her? Yeah, that was literally me. Relatable for sure. It’s weird when you are diagnosed with a disease you’ve never heard of (i.e. Crohn’s) It’s weirder when you’re unborn child is diagnosed with a multitude of things you’ve never heard of.

Well that’s all the information I have for now, but stay tuned for updates on baby Fox and whatever else I decide to post here.

Resting Moon Face

Yes, It’s a thing.

I’ve probably talked about my moon face to every one of my friends and none of them really knew what I was talking about until I explained it.

Prednisone is a steroid that of which will help with the pain and inflammation temporarily while a different treatment plan is underway, usually.

Well, I’ve been on Prednisone since late November, and let me tell you, it’s nice to have some help with the inflammation in my gut, but the constant eating, and changes in my body are driving me nuts.

For starters, I’ve been getting these bumps on my forehead and my shoulders. They aren’t even pimples, just little annoying bumps. Also, I’m almost always hungry, and everything tastes good. I can’t think of a single food I wont eat. And lastly, moon face. While, I haven’t experienced much weight gain except maybe a few pounds, my face has turned into a literal circle. I see myself and think ‘Human or hamster?’ because I look like a little rodent that kids keep as pets whenever I smile. It’s kind of insane and I absolutely hate it. I have an ileostomy bag at the moment, and I’m more insecure and concerned for the roundness of my face and my puffed out cheeks, rather than the bag full of poop on my stomach.

Now, you may think I’m overreacting, but people have actually noticed this change. So figured I’d provide some photos from when I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s in August of 2018 to just a few days ago in January of 2019, for reference.

Now, it may not look like a lot, because it really is just my face that’s gaining the weight, but I mean, COME ON, I totally look like a little hamster or something. And it’s fine, because I know once I’m off Prednisone in a few weeks, it’ll go back to normal, but wowza, gotta love modern day medicine and the lovely side effects!

So when you hear someone refer to moon face, this is what they mean. Medicine can have lots of negative side effects, and it sucks when the thing that’s helping your pain is also the thing making you look a way you don’t necessarily like. It’s hard to be positive or feel good about yourself when you can literally see this change happening right in front of you. There are days I just feel so insecure, whether it’s because of moon face, or the little bumps on my forehead, or the bag, I just miss the confidence I used to have and I’m trying so hard to get it back, but it’s hard when medicine is contradicting you. I just remind myself that moments are temporary. I can and I will get my groove back, I just need to keep patience in mind. Nothing happens overnight and right now my health is the main concern.

But damn, I am SO ready to start feeling AND looking good at the same time. So let’s hope when I get my reversal surgery in March, I will be.

Also, remember, if you have a bag, or moon face, or just anything you feel insecure about, try not to stress too much over the little things. We all are trying our hardest and I know sometimes things like this can be very discouraging and frustrating, but honestly, we all are beautiful no matter what. We all have things about ourselves that we consider flaws, but try to focus on it as a unique part of you. It’s what makes you, you. And we need to learn to just embrace ourselves and love every part of ourselves, because that’s the key to being not only happy, but healthy.

So ladies and gents, embrace that moon face, because it’s the only face you got and there’s no point in dwelling on it!

Loss & Illness

As I sit in the hospital bed, I hear my phone vibrate just as I’m about to drift to sleep after getting a 1 mg dose of Dilaudid for the night. It’s been 4 days that I have been here, getting pain meds about every two hours and also awaiting to find out if I will be having surgery or not.

The surgery in questioning is a resection surgery of my intestines where they would take out a part of my intestines and cut a hole into my stomach, placing a temporary ostomy bag for me to, well, to be blunt about it, shit in. Chances are I would only have this bag for 8 to 12 weeks, which is fine because whatever is going to help with this pain, I will take it at this point.

I look to my phone to see that my grandpa Bobby has passed. The past year or so, my grandma’s husband and my mom’s father have both been under Hospice care. Both suffer from dementia. Well, my grandpa Bobby was diagnosed with a very rare throat cancer just a few months back and they didn’t give him much longer to live. We honestly are surprised he made it to the new year. He was living very miserably these past few months. He couldn’t eat much and his throat couldn’t handle very cold foods, so we really were preparing for him to go. The hard part was being in the hospital while it happened, all the way across the country.

My grandmother has been taking care of him back in Ohio while my mother and I have been out in Arizona. She visited him many times throughout the weeks and always made sure he was as comfortable as he could be. Well, my grandma had arrived here in Arizona last night to see me in the hospital. And when we heard he had passed, I truly believe in a way, he waited until the three of us, His ex wife, daughter and granddaughter, were together so he could go and we could be there for one and other. It’s a very bittersweet thing.

Now, losing someone is never easy. Especially when you can’t be there with them when they go. And many people hold a lot of anger and regrets as a part of grieving. When my Grandma Sue passed away from breast cancer when I was 12, I resented myself for a very long time. I thought “Why didn’t I text her more?” or “I should have answered that phone call two weeks ago that I had missed.” I felt as though I didn’t do enough, even though I was just a child. And it took me years to finally accept that I didn’t do anything wrong. She loved me and I know she is here with me every step of the way through now what is my journey of battling a disease. So what you need to remember that when a loved one dies, they don’t pass with any disappointment or judgement towards you. And you have to try and accept what has happened and not stay angry at yourself, because living with regret is the worst feeling and not only mentally, but physically, it will take a toll on your body.

My Grandma Sue discussing her cancer.
Video uploaded by my father.

Whether you are religious or not, I truly think that this video is very inspiring and something people should hear. Sue was the strongest woman I ever had the honor of knowing and growing up with