Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 280

The Aftermath of Cancer vs. Sarah Elizabeth Lien
This last month I have needed a V.I.P. access card with the short line at the check in counter at the E.R. I am asking who is on staff that night and I have my favorite rooms…it’s getting sad. Last night we were on the phone with the pain clinic on-call doctor at the University of Washington and she said because of how I was doing she was worried about dehydration and not being able to keep my meds down. Her advice was to go to the E.R. and ask to be admitted. I think I was being stubborn last night because it was a really rough night of sleeping in the bathroom but the negatives of going to the hospital are all I can think about. I feel like if I give in and go I am losing some part of this battle and I just start to cry. I feel so weak and vulnerable but I know I am in God’s hands. Please pray for me. I need your help to get through this and you have not failed me yet! Pray! Pray! Pray!

Let’s see how today goes…..

Love Always,

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 279

Looking for a Rainbow...
I wish I could tell you good news but I don’t have much to say to brighten your day. I was in the E.R. again with nausea symptoms along with pain and more pain. I have started my new regimen of my pain cocktail that consists of taking it four times a day but it doesn't seem to be helping all that much. My pain specialist says the nausea is being caused by my body getting used to the new pain cocktail and it will take some time for everything to calm down a bit and my body will accept the pain medicine. If the pain doesn’t settle down I may have to up the dose and that may cause more nausea so I am on a road that may not have a happy ending until God heals me completely…oh please pray that a miracle happens because our God is certainly capable of miraculous miracles! It just seems like with all this rain falling down on me every day making life more and more difficult to cope with, there should be a sign of a rainbow somewhere. I’m looking but don’t see one but I could sure use a boost by finding that leprechaun and his pot of gold!

I have been pushing my body harder than I should be these last couple days and I am paying for it with "I told you so's" from family members and horrible pain and exhaustion. The reason I push my body so hard is I won’t let the effects of cancer hold me back any longer. I won’t let cancer hold me back from making a fort with my nephew and climbing on all fours to play with trucks under the table. I won’t let cancer hold me back from spending an entire morning at the Zoo with my sister Bethany, who is a nanny, gather up her little "chicks" and scoop them up in arms, give piggyback rides and lift them up as high as possible to see the giraffes. Let’s just say I over did it…a little…okay a lot, but when will I have that moment again? Realistically…never. I want to savor each day. Remember the Sunday School song "This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it"? That’s what I want to do. Every day is a gift and I won’t let cancer take away my gifts from God. Be mindful that I don’t feel this way every day…some mornings when the pain is searing through my chest and back I say "this day is lost…let’s try for tomorrow". I hate losing time, not checking something off my to do list, accomplishing a goal and when I stay in bed or curled up in a ball on the couch I feel worse at the end of the day because I am a purpose driven person and when there are hundreds of things on my plate there is no time to lose. Cancer may have gotten me down this last year and a half but cancer doesn’t know who its dealing with…I’m a Lien…formally a Hawkins and when you mix those two together you better watch out because I am a force to be reckoned with. Just wait until Kirk and I have kids…watch out world!

Okay, I feel a little better now. I have left you with a sweet thought mixed with a little sunshine. Thank you to all those who have responded to our fundraiser letter; it never ceases to amaze me of the generosity of our family and friends. Cancer is so expensive. Thank the Lord Kirk and I have insurance, without insurance the average yearly cost of cancer treatment is $300,000! And that doesn't even count all the follow up treatments for years to come. God has really provided for us in every way and all of you are part of that support circle that has been raising us up in prayer and in love. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again I’d be lost without all of you. Thank you for being there for me.

Love Always and Forever,

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fundraiser Letter

Click On Image To Enlarge
Click On Image To Enlarge

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 278

ER Once Again...
For the past three weeks Sarah has been having a continual increase in pain due to the nerves in her chest and arm waking back up in the aftermath of her double mastectomy surgery. What her pain feels like is when your leg falls asleep and feels like pins and needles when you move or touch it , but x100. Every time she moves or touches her chest it is excruciating.

We finally got Sarah in to the pain clinic at SCCA and they put her on a new regiment of medication that will get this new pain under control. However, this new regiment will take 3-5 days to start to make a difference and probably 1-2 weeks to completely control the pain. To give you an idea of how resistent Sarah is to medication, the pain clinic had her try a pain medication that was 50x stronger than morphine and it had no effect on her at all.

Last night we were on our way back from picking up the new medications when Sarah's pain started to worsen. It was so bad that I made the decision to take her to emergency room. They kept giving her more and more pain medications but nothing helped. She was there for about six hours and her pain was not touched at all. By the time we made the decisionn to go home Sarah was in intense pain and was very frustrated by not getting any relief in the ER. We headed home and tried to go to bed. This morning Sarah's pain hadn't lessened, but the breakthrough shooting pains that sent her over the edge had ceased. She is feeling a little better and we are eager for her new pain control regiment to take full effect.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 277

Mother’s Day
First of all if you are a mom I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day. I have two moms and it was very special spending some time dedicated to just them! I love you Mom! I love you Mom2!

I had an emotional mother’s day. I was angry that cancer was still holding me back from what I wished for my life and I was sad because Kirk and I have 17 embryos but had no baby to hold. I cried in the shower. Cried getting dressed and cried just wishing the sadness would pass. As it now stands I have 689 days left until I can start to have children. Pathetic that I know the days? I don’t think so, I see it as a woman that is very excited to be a mother.

Kirk being a sweetheart took me to the pet store to see the little cuddly puppies and although it made me forget about the sadness for a while, the smile slowly faded and I was gloomy once again. What made the whole day turn around was….Roman! Roman was slated to come over to my house for a couple nights and it has been so wonderful to hold this precious boy and read him a story before naptime and have picnics in the kitchen and secretly wear my very high, and very expensive heels around the living room. We made a fort under the table and played with cars until his little eyes were drooping. He crawled up into my lap and fell asleep. I am so happy to have a nephew who is fun and is always a darling. I have one more night with Mr. Roman and I can’t tell you what adventures will come next.

Thank you Bethany for allowing me to babysit your son. He heals my longing heart with his laughter and hugs. You are a super sweet sister to share him with me. Let’s start calling the day after Mother’s Day Happy Aunties Day!

Love Always,

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 276

Craft Fair
The craft fair day had finally come and I was going to be showing my handmade creations to the public! I was excited but nervous…what if no one liked my gifts? Kirk and I set up my table at Lake Connor Park and we waited until the first customers walked through the doors. I met some great people who owned lots at the park that I hope I will see again this summer; also I met some people who had baby showers and grandchildren coming soon so my business cards were flying. Overall I wished that there was a little more customer flow but what do you expect for Mother’s Day weekend? What I did not expect was the generosity of the people who stopped by my table. Some people came by and read my sign that I give 50% of their purchase to charities who support children in Africa and they just handed me money and said “it is great what you are doing”. The whole reason Emalene was started was to help African children so you can imagine that my heart melted with every donation.

Thank you everyone who stopped by my table. You are not only helping me but you are supporting a much bigger cause. I even had the pleasure of meeting one of my faithful blog reader’s family. Thanks Heidi! (I hope that is your name…I still have chemo brain…it’s a miracle I remember my phone number these days.) Thank you to everyone who has been excited for this business venture. I hope I can make a mark for a greater cause and if not at least I’m making baby’s heads warmer.

Love Always,

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Come On Down!!!

Come on down to Lake Connor Park in Lake Stevens. I am having my first sale of Emalene hats at their craft fair. I give 50% of my profit to charities that benefit the children of Africa. I have such a heart for them and this is my way to show them love.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 275

Trying to walk forward
The effects of cancer still cripples me down to my knees. I’m lying in bed sick from hotflashes, intense pain, nausea, and a headache that is making the room spin. I am in Cle Elum helping my friend Sherri cook for some 25 pastors and I feel helpless; unable to be away from the bathroom and unable to help a friend that has gone above and beyond for me. I’m so done with having cancer run my life. When will I be in charge again? I know that the road to recovery is taking 3 steps forward and 1 step back but some days it feels like I’m taking more steps backward than forward. Please pray with me that I will be able to help my friend serve these pastors and for complete healing will be on the horizon.

Lord, I want to serve your people and not let those who count on me down. Heal me Father. I want to be your hands and feet but I feel like my body is holding me back. Have mercy on your daughter and give me strength for the days to come. Thank you for the gifts that you give: my husband, my family, my friends. Father you bless me day in and day out; please give me strength to do your will and help those in need. I love you. Amen. 

Love Always,