Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Long Healing ~

Christening the New Year 2010

I told myself that the day after Christmas, "There would be no more messing around for me," and I HAD to get serious about studying for the NCCT. I stayed away from the computer, phone, television and got down to business. Although on New Year's Eve, I did manage to stroll through my favorite blogs to see what everyone was up to and how they were celebrating the transition of the old and coming New Year. I came across a blog post that touched me deeply. Darlene decided to do an exercise of looking back on the past decade that left her reeling. I decided to try this exercise and I started writing down events that happened in each year. There was a couple of years it was very hard for me to remember things. As I wrote, it was interesting to me what lead to the loss of memory and looking at it made more sense to me and helped me to understand where I was at that time in my life.

Looking back I realized the first two years were preparing me for the next eight. The first year we had a lot of friends that we spent a lot of time with. We had dinner on a regular basis, went shopping and scheduled our vacations together. Time was rarely spent with our immediate family. The second year, I started to feel a shift in the circle of people we spent so much time with and started to see things for what they truly were; there is a reason why it is said, God ~ Family ~ Friends. I started to rely more on God than my friends and everything started to fall into it's right place. I got a call from my dad saying that he wasn't feeling well. The next eight years were rough. My sister and I took care of my dad for a little over a year while he had lung cancer. He unfortunately lost his life at a young age of 59 years of age. Seeing someone you love go through an illness like that was very hard. For the next year, I crashed and if I wasn't in bed sleeping, I dragged myself to work (school cafeteria for 3 1/2 hours). Charlie took me to see our doctor and I was put on an anti-depressant for almost a little over a year. I then started noticing changes in my daughter. She finally realized and admitted she had a eating disorder; it got pretty bad and she went to Stanford for a while. I got off of the anti-depressants and crashed again. Long story short, I started taking care of myself. My son Rob went into the Military and that was scary all on its own. I started learning coping skills to help deal with life. Things were starting to look up and almost five years after my dad died, Charlie wasn't feeling good, went to the doctor, and he had cancer. I will never forget the first two days of learning this news; I was in a fetal position lying on my bed. I remember picking myself up and getting on the computer, trying to learn everything there was to learn about cancer through swollen eyelids. I had to be strong and be there for my husband; we were going to get through this. I will never forget the support of family and friends through this difficult time. We had friends that came to the hospital (one who would tell me to take a break), family and friends that brought us dinner (at home and in the hospital), friends that stayed with Charlie when I couldn't be there and friends who would leave me messages on my blog and emails from all over the world lifting us up in positive thoughts and prayers ((Thank you)). Charlie sat me down after his chemo was finished (Feb-May) and said I had to go back to school and get my high school diploma because it was making him sick to think of what might happen to me, if something happened to him. I concentrated on getting him stronger through the summer (he got down to 115 lbs during chemo) and I enrolled in Adult school that September. I had to take the exit exam and graduated the following May. (I have to tell you though, I was asked to speak for our graduating class and also got a scholarship that helped pay for Gurnick). The next month in June (of this last year), a scan that Charlie had said that he may have had bone cancer. Roller coaster of scans to follow. In September I enrolled at Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts in the Phlebotomy program (Charlie lost his mom two weeks into this program) and got my certificate in November. The end of this last December we finally learned via a Pet scan Charlie underwent, that there was no evidence of bone cancer and also no other cancer was apparent. He has three more years to have tests ran. Our doctor told us these tests aren't bullet proof and we are not out of the woods yet. Although this is very good news!

Now, in all of that time, all three of our boys got married and we have seven grand children between our two oldest. Our son Rob finished his four years and processed out of the military this last September and is back home with us. Diandra graduated from CSUS last June (who knew me High School and her college LOL!) with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and was accepted to the Master of Arts Graduate program in Psychology. She is currently getting ready to apply to colleges all over the country in the Fall to get started on her doctorate the following year. Our Nessa also graduated from CSUS last June.

It has been a journey but I/we got through it. I wish that I could say that I have traveled the world and the seven seas, but then I would not have been stretched the way that I have and grown in ways that I could not have imagined otherwise.

How does that saying go? "That which does not kill us makes us stronger."


  1. Definitely one though decade for many. We shall continue with our destiny and face the new decade looking forward. Thanks for sharing.

  2. you my love have always been strong it is something you have inherited from your Daddy and your Grandma Garcia! And they would be so proud of
    your strength and grace and the strength and grace of your entire family! I know we are and it is cause we are family that you know we are always here for you all. I am going to take stock from you and look back on what happened in this last decade in my life.
    thanks for sharing
    sending you all hugs and love always oh yes I adore the photo!


  3. Looking back over a decade. It's hard to realize all you've been through...and then reading it in one hits you. Thank you dear for sharing.

    Love your celebration picture. You are continually in my thoughts and prayers.

    Love and Hugs
    Wanda Mom

  4. you are so lovely and you have so much to be proud of, xox