Sunday, August 11, 2013

Vacations, and babies, and houses... OH MY!!!

Well, hello there! It has been far too long since I have last posted. It has been over three months! In my last blog, I mentioned that I was tired of living in the "transitional phase" of life, and that I was was ready to start living my life! And boy did I start living. The last three past months have been full of so many wonderful things, as well as some fear, anxiety and unexpected changes. I do not even know where to begin, but let me try!

I have had a lot of dreams and goals in this "new" life of mine; post cancer. These dreams and goals have always existed, but some have grown stronger, and some were forced to be put on the back burner. One of my dreams that I, very painfully, had to put on the back burner was having children. I found out that after so much chemo and radiation that I was unable to have children. I attempted to have my eggs removed and frozen, but was only able to retrieve four, as my ovaries had completely "shriveled up," according to my Endocrinologist. I was devastated. Being a mother was always a given to me. It was extremely difficult for me to come to this realization, but I got there. I knew that fighting for my own life was my number one priority. Well, as many of you already know, I have been blessed with a true miracle. The day after I posted my last blog, April 30th, I discovered that I was pregnant, without medical intervention. At first, I was numb. Completely shocked. But at the same time, I could not believe that God had allowed me to become a mother, after I had accepted that it wouldn't happen for me. After the shock wore off, I was elated. I kept touching my stomach, and could not believe that there was a little life growing inside of me. It is an amazing and wonderful feeling. However, I could not feel 100% happy about this until I shared the news with the father, Kris.

Kris is someone that came into my life after Dan passed away. He is an EOD tech as well, and worked with Dan. When Dan passed, I needed a friend. I needed someone who understood what I was going through, but was still far enough removed to be able to be there for me completely. Wow. That sounds incredibly selfish. But I will admit, that was a very selfish time in my life. Kris was also going through a loss, and was in the middle of a divorce and a custody battle for his two beautiful children. We bonded through our pain, and become friends immediately. Friendship turned into a relationship, which turned into a very real love. And in the past few years, we have had our ups and downs, like many relationships. However, regardless of where we stood, Kris was ALWAYS there for me, and I for him. Even when he was deployed in Afghanistan, he supported me through in-patient chemo, and was also a huge part of my recovery from the surgery last September. He truly is my best friend. And I could not be happier to be sharing this journey with anyone else. Not only is he a wonderful father, but he is a great man. He will make a great daddy to our little miracle. No doubt. We are thrilled to welcome this little girl into our lives.

Prior to finding out that I was pregnant, I was looking into buying a house. It was something that scared me, but it was also such an exciting and validating feeling. Finding out about the baby only made my desire to own a home that much stronger. I didn't want to bring our baby girl home to a condo. I wanted to make a home for my little miracle. And a little part of me always wanted to move out of the home that Dan and I started together after he passed. I fear that if the baby had not come along, I may have never left. I have so many memories and emotions attached to that place. I needed a start fresh. And that is what I got. I purchased a home about two months ago, and absolutely love being a homeowner. We are able to start our family here, and make new memories. And so far, we are loving every minute of it. It is a very stressful event as well! There are so many little things that need to be done, especially before the baby comes. But it is an exciting type of stress, if that makes any sense. But we are making progress, little by little and inch by inch. Buying a home is just another exciting chapter in my life.

And if the past three months haven't been busy enough, we hosted the 3rd Annual Daniel Johnson Memorial Golf Tournament on June 11th. And once again, the event was a success. It was our most successful tournament to date. I absolutely love doing things that honor Dan, and help to keep his memory alive. It is always such a fun day, full of wonderful memories. It is so humbling to watch this event grow bigger each year. The people who come out to support Dan, and our family, are so amazing. We are truly blessed to live in such a supportive and loving community.

And again, as if we were not busy enough, my family and I left for a family vacation to Hawaii on July 1st, after we wrapped up the golf tournament. Since my first bout with cancer in 2008, my family has been by my side. And throughout the past almost five years, they have never left. I know I mention it in every single blog, and it is probably getting annoying and repetitive, but I have the most amazing family that anyone could ask for. I wanted to find a way to thank them for being my rock, my punching back, my nurses, my therapists, and my shoulders to cry on. So off to Hawaii we went! Our week together was great, and it was such a wonderful way for us all to let go of the everyday stresses of life, and just focus on what is most important; each other. And although I did not know I was pregnant when I booked the trip, the timing was perfect. Once my little girl and my little nephew are born (due dates just four weeks apart,) I imagine our family vacations may be few and far between. And although my family has never once required even a verbal thank you, I am glad that I was able to provide us all with the Hawaii vacation, and some wonderful and lasting memories.

And to top things off, Kris left early yesterday morning for deployment. Here I go again. Even though this is not my first deployment, they don't seem to get easier. The past week has been so busy, and so full of last minute "to-do's." Watching him pack and do his pre-deployment errands was really difficult. But the only thing that I can keep telling myself is that by the time he returns home, he will be returning home to our little family. He will not be here for the birth, and that scares me a bit, but I know that I will be okay. Going through the last four months of my pregnancy without Kris is not ideal, but I know that things could be much worse. I have been so blessed to have him by my side through the bouts of morning sickness, sleepless nights, and doctors appointments. And now he must go off and do his job, and I will support him 100%. And when he returns home, his little girl and I will be waiting to welcome him with open arms.

Okay, I think you are all up to date! Whew. I must remind myself never to go that long without blogging. Writing is still my passion, although I do not find the time to do it as much as I would like. But that will change. Writing a book is still one of my many dreams that I plan on making come true. And I believe that this new chapter of my life is the perfect way to wrap-up the last five years of my life. I am very blessed, and can't wait to see what is in store for me next!