I have been thinking about what I want to blog about in 2016 and I have a few ideas up my sleeve, so stay tuned...
I don't get super personal here, but wanted to share a little about what has been going on in 2015. You may want to pour a cup of coffee...it is a little long.
In November 2014 I moved to Williston ND, where Mike accepted a position as a pipeline operator for an oil company. The thought of moving was very hard!! Leaving my kids behind in AZ, leaving warm and sunny AZ, starting over in a new state (with No Target), you get the idea...lots of mixed emotions. I am so thankful my employer offered me the option to work remotely, it helped me keep a bit of normalcy.
Since we moved in November, the weather in ND was COLD and SNOWY (luckily I grew up in Connecticut, so I wasn't too shocked at what winter was going to be like for me going forward). Since I was still working 40 hours/week and learning my new surroundings (not a lot to learn...this may be a blog post), my blog took the back seat. It was a nice little break. I am sorry that I didn't update you and let you know what was going on. I have to say that every so often during my hiatus, I thought, I really need to start blogging again (I missed it), but I didn't know what I would blog about.
At the end of May,
Josh called me on his break at work to say "hi", after a little random chit chat, he mentioned he had a lump on his sternum. He said he has been Googling it and jokingly said "mom, I have cancer". I told him not to go online to get a diagnosis and to have his doctor check it out. He said he would make an appointment. Thankfully he kept his word! He went to the doctor and they said they were 99% sure it was a stress fracture, but they wanted to have it biopsied to be sure. He asked me if I thought he should do it, since he had not met his deductible yet. I suggested to get it done for his own peace of mind! I was not sure what he was going to decide, but I figured 99% is pretty good odds. Luckily Jess (Josh's wife), told him to get it done.
Fast forward a week or so....
I received another call from Josh on his break at work, this time, he told me that his doctor just called to let him know that his biopsy was CANCER (I was in total shock!!!). I don't remember much from that day, I was numb, I kept thinking that I was in a bad dream (did I really just get that news??) I kept waiting to wake up and everything would be back to normal. Unfortunately, it was not a dream.
What did this mean,
what was going to happen? (so many unanswered questions!). Josh made an appointment with an Oncologist and found out that he had (a type of bone cancer, and his was fast growing). His doctor assured him that they were going to set up an aggressive treatment plan and he was going to beat it (it was curable!)!
I went to AZ for a visit in July, because I needed to see the kids, and I wanted to be with Josh during one of his chemo treatments (luckily I have been able to visit numerous times).
Since his cancer was so aggressive, he has to get his chemo administered in the hospital in very large doses. He had already had a couple of rounds of chemo and decided to shave his head, since his hair was starting to falling out.
He and Jess have had such a positive attitude through all of this, I am so proud of them. But I would change places with him in a heartbeat if I could! It is heartbreaking to see your bald kiddo in the hospital getting poison pumped into his body. But I choose to be positive, that poison is killing the cancer, and making my family stronger.
I am so thankful for Ashley, Nate and Jess' family, who visit Josh in the hospital. And I cannot express how thankful I am for Jessica (that deserves an entire blog post on its own)!!!! She stays with Josh (overnight), during EVERY treatment, she is just so GREAT!! It makes me feel so good to know that he has so many people that care and love him, especially when I cannot be there.
At the half way point...
In September, I flew to AZ for Josh's surgery. He had his sternum removed. Let me just say, this was even harder to watch, seeing him in so much pain. He handled it like a trooper and bounced back very quickly. He got the results back and the margins were all clean!! He is cancer free! Such fantastic news!! It was so great to get that part of the treatment behind us! Josh started radiation and he said that part was a breeze (compared to everything else). It was great to know that at least one part of this treatment wasn't too bad for him!
Mike and I drove to AZ in November (with the dogs) to visit the kids. It was so great to be together as a family!! I enjoyed every minute of it. I was glad that Mike was able to be with Josh during one of his chemo treatments too.
Josh is in the final stretch (however, it doesn't feel like that for him, I am sure). He has 8 more chemo treatments to go and then he is DONE!!! I am so excited for him to get back to his normal life and his job (he is getting a promotion when he returns, because...he is AWESOME!).
I don't want to leave Ashley out...
Ashley's license request was approved by the board and she finally got her L.P.C. license (I am so proud of her!). She has had so many obstacles on this journey, what a relief that that part is done! She has had her share of difficult situations last year as well (I am not sure she wants me to share them on the blog), but like her brother, she is getting through it and helping others as she goes. I could not be more proud of the person she has become!!
As I mentioned above, I am able to work remotely, which I love (especially since I don't have to drive in the snow!). It has also allowed me to fly to Arizona several times to visit the kids and work while I am there (to save on my vacation time and not miss much work), and I like seeing my co-workers too!
So there you have it!
It has been a crazy year! I hope you will join me in 2016 by enjoying each moment and try not to sweat the small stuff!!
Oh yeah, and always get the test done!! Even if you are 99% sure it isn't serious! And if it is bad news...try to remain positive and try to find humor in the hard times, that has kept me sane (and the roller coaster ride a little less scary).