When Alexia and Devan where little guys I remember one morning in particular... we were headed out the door and it was taking forever! For those of you with kids you know what I mean, no one can find their shoes, someone pooped their pants right as we were walking out the door.....As I laid them down to change them real quick I remember feeling so frustrated about this comedy of errors. I was a pro at changing diapers so it didn't take long and we were on our way. As we pulled out of the neighborhood and headed up the street we came upon a very serious accident that had clearly just happened. The thought came to me loud and clear..."Do you see why I had to slow you down today! I had to protect you and your babies! I had to keep you safe!"
That moment humbled me so much, it also taught me that when it seems like something so bad and frustrating is going on it just might be moving you in a different direction.
So now on to the brain scan.....
Let me explain a few things first. I only finished Brain radiation 3 weeks ago. Radiation continues to work on the body for 4-6 weeks post your last treatment. Meaning the side effects continue and in some cases get worse. But this is also why they don't do scans until 6 weeks after in-order to get more accurate results. So why did I get one at 3 weeks? Because I have great Doctors that know how badly I wanted to go on my daughters Senior trip that we had been planning and paying for for over a year. The deal was if there was no swelling or hemorrhaging I would be clear to fly over seas to Paris and Barcelona! At their advice we set up for my amazing best friend to come on the trip with me for added support. We just had to wait for the green light.
First thing this morning I went in for my Brain MRI. Then by 10:30 I was headed in to see the Amazing Dr. Herman! He came in and explained that all 13 tumors were still there and unchanged, there were some that appeared bigger but that could be due to inflammation. Not too discouraging because I was only 3 weeks out. Now the good news... no signs of any new brain tumors! And the not so great news there is a lot of swelling in my left front temporal lobe and hemorrhaging. There it was, no Europe. While I continued to talk with the Dr. I realized that Cameron was behind me crying. (He knew this had always been a dream of mine and he was so sad to see this happen) When I turned to console him the Dr. said to me, "You knew didn't you?" Yes I did. This whole time I have fought, I did all the treatments, I bought a new suitcase and clothes for Europe! But since Saturday I have not been doing good. I tried to chalk it up to just finishing Radiation on my lungs. But soon it was clear that some of this was definitely my brain. My legs and arms seem to weigh 500lbs. I constantly feel like someone is pushing me to the right. Head aches, extreme pressure in my brain. The list goes on. But the thing is about 3 days ago that same voice that said "Do you see why I had to slow you down" came back with "I'm so sorry but your not going to Europe, it's not safe for you" Yet again I was being both prepared and protected.
I was immediately put back on the steroids for the next 6 weeks and then re-scan for the MRI to see if the radiation did anything to the tumors. Keytruda has been put on hold again so long as my brain is swollen.
Although I am sad, I know this is for the best. I called Alexia during her lay over in Florida to let her know the news. She was very understanding. This is a school trip that she will have friends and chaperones on so she will still be able to go.
Thank you all for your prayers! Don't think for one second they are not being answered! Remember it is always His will be done, not ours. We have no way of knowing how we are being protected, and what amazing things are being prepared for us!
Since I am currently spending so much time in bed I thought it would be fun to do some ask Michelle Blogs. You can ask me anything! If you want to be Anonymous you can directly comment to this blog post as anonymous. Or you can reply on the Instagram or Facebook posts with your questions. I'm looking forward to hearing from you!
PS. I have to give some shout outs to some Incredible People that made my anniversary Super Magical....I'm sure there might be more but here is who I know about: Dream team member Becky Forse, Landon's Swim team Mom Janis Page, The Archer Hotel here in Austin, Lush, Paul Martins, and Mad Mikes Cakes here in Austin (What that man can do with cake is unreal!) Do me a favor and if you can go support those businesses! The generosity from them has been amazing!
And Now for your Dance Party! Enjoy!
Mawage. mawage is wot bwings us togeder today. mawage that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dream. and wuv, twue wuv, will fowow you foweva. So treasure your wuv. ~ The Princess Bride
Michelle mentioned that she wanted to write our wedding anniversary blog together, after all this marriage has involved both of us. In full disclosure she wanted to make it clear that there was nothing she would say without my knowledge and support, we tell each other everything. FYI that means if you have ever told her a secret it means I know it too. The blue is me and the black is Michelle. It's not that I don't have a lot to say it's just that she thought of things first and anything I thought to add ended up being redundant.
On this day 20 years ago I married the Love of my Life. Notice I call him the Love of life, not the perfect man. Because the truth is he wasn't, which was a really good thing because I was far from being a perfect woman! It meant we could learn and grow together through and because of the Love that we had for each other. So all my friends out there looking for the perfect person to marry STOP! You are doing it wrong, instead you need to be looking for the person who inspires you to be a better version of you, who will go through life with you, willing to grow, improve who they are, and above all else someone who will cherish and protect the Love that you have for one another at all times.
Seemed way too easy in some respects. In a sense it felt like we were playing house and it was ridiculously fun! We had a blast those first few years. Were there challenges, of course! When those challenges arrived we developed a habit of saying "Are you sure about this, Eternity is a really long time" Which was our way of saying does this "issue" really matter with the eternal perspective. We did however face some really big trials in those first few years to. Ones that would instantly cause us to question "are we going to make it?"
These years were hard! Not gonna lie! Having babies back to back, moving to a new city away from family, postpartum depression, kids with LOTS of medical needs, multiple miscarriages, including a midterm loss, I will never forget our trip to Disneyland after the baby died. Yes, two grown adults went to Disneyland without kids! Because sometime you need a little break from the real world and why not the happiest place on earth!?! It delivered for sure, along with sticking my feet in my beloved Pacific ocean in Huntington Beach.
It was probably a lot easier on me because I got to go be with adults all day. It could be tiring to come home from a stressful day at the office and have to jump in to help make dinner or clean up a kid created disaster, but at least I had some more variety to my daily routine and was not stuck trying to figure out how to keep two, then three, toddlers occupied. Juggle the countless doctor and therapy appointments.
But at least I had Dance! Even though it was with more kiddos, teaching and dancing got me through some really tough days!
The second middle.....
We almost didn't survive this...almost.
This is when we made the big move to Texas. Which left her alone in Colorado for 2 months caring for 3 children, trying to sell a house, while I primarily just had to go to work and do some house hunting. There were so many good changes moving to Texas for my family especially my son Devan! But it threw our marriage into chaos. Year 7 was rough, all the way through year 12. We each take responsibility for the events that took place during those years. Each are proof that in a marriage there are times when one person is strong and the other is not. Carrying the weight of the marriage on your shoulders can really take a toll. Satan is powerful and will find ways to make you see every negative flaw in your spouse! The two most important lessons I took from these years were 1. Communication is KEY to a successful marriage (Thank you marriage counseling, that was the best thing for us!) In order for us to communicate we had to form our own unified language instead of insisting that the other do it our way. 2. Thinking about your needs, what you want, what makes you happy, is a fast track to a miserable marriage. The last thing you need in your marriage is selfishness. I'm not saying your needs don't matter but what I am saying is when you focus on serving the one you love watch how quickly that comes back to you! Win Win!
The 2nd Honeymoon....
When Landon was born we were in pure bliss! Life was so good! The kids were all doing really well! That's not to say there weren't still challenges, (we were about to have 2 teenagers) but because of all the work Cameron and I had done we were better equipped to handle them. We were making sure that our marriage was the priority. We realized that in the end the kids would leave and it would just be us for eternity. One of the best things we did during this time was make sure to take trips, just the 2 of us. Including a very epic second Honeymoon! I highly suggest that!!
And now here we are 20 years of marriage later! It has been everything a marriage should be.... full of Love, heartache, hard work, laughter, pain, joy, uncertainty,Forgiveness and Faith lots of Faith!
The "Experts" will say...We should have gotten a divorce, multiple times. But which time should we have not forgiven each other, which time should we not have shown compassion, mercy, understanding, which time should we have forgotten the sacred promises we made to each other when we got married for Time and all Eternity?
An Autistic Child
The loss of a Baby
just to name a few
But what we have found is that a Marriage was never meant to be between 2 people. A relationship between two people is called a partnership, it can be very strong and powerful and can last a lifetime! But a Marriage is between 3 people, it involves God and is meant to last an Eternity. Involving God in our marriage is the only way I can answer how we made it through all those trials. If at anytime 1 of the 3 was not willing to put in the effort that still left us with 2 people fighting for the marriage.
People wonder how we are keeping such a positive attitude when faced with our current situation, and all I can say is that an Eternal Perspective makes all the difference. Instead of getting beaten down by the problem that is right in front of you, you can see beyond it, and know that there is a plan and that this is not the end. Believing that while you may not physically be together, your relationship continues to grow and progress, it helps you see the light through the darkness.
L=Looking for the good and
O= Overlooking the bad by
V= Valuing each other's worth and
E= Empathizing, or putting ourselves in each other's situations, "Walking in another's shoes"
We love to have things in our bedroom that reminds us each day what our purpose is. The Love scripture hangs directly in front of our glass shower. So every day as you prepare yourself for the day you can't help but be reminded of what LOVE is!
The Vow art is something I made for Cameron for Valentines one year. It hangs directly above our bed as daily reminder to each other.
Here is a short list of some of our favorite books and movies that have helped us:
The Power of a Praying Wife - Stormie Omartian
Between Husband and Wife - Stephen E. Lamb M.D., Douglas E. Brinley
Solutions for Families - Paula Noble Fellingham
The Divine Connection - Loyed Newell
Dads Who Stay and Fight - Greg Trimble
The Love Dare - Stephen and Alex Kendrick with Laurence Kimbrough
The Movie "Fireproof" goes with the Love Dare
we also loved "War Room"
And repeated watching of The Princess Bride, I mean for the love of Pete they fight their way through the fire swamp and he comes back from being mostly dead. Also "As you wish" seems like a good lesson on the afore mentioned selflessness.
Now for your 30 sec dance party.....
This one is a special one! I did get permission to share this...
In 2006 a very special song was released. My sweet Husband hated this song.... well challenge accepted, I would find a way to make him love it! So was born the "Sexy Back Rule" which is when ever Justin Timberlakes "Sexy Back" is heard no matter the place or time Cameron must do a little sexy dance. After which I thank him for bringing Sexy Back! Many people are aware of this Law, my kids, my friends, many of my dancers (the older ones), even my radiation team! It doesn't matter where I am.....the car, the store, work, if it comes on I must call him and say "Babe, guess what!?!?! To which he rolls his eyes and says "Really right now?" This is when I will pump up the music, Yep your bringing sexy back! I will make him go get the kids so they can vouch that yes Daddy is shaking his booty! Its been 12 years and it's still going strong! Now you know and can carry the tradition on for me!
My name is Michelle Kaley but I have many other names.....Daughter, Sister, Wife of 20 years to my High School Sweetheart, Mom to my 4 Beautiful Children, Ms. Michelle to my hundreds of Students, and as of 2016 Cancer Patient was added to the list.