Tuesday, October 25, 2011

goodbye pick line:)

Oh Happy Day...
                                             Today I went to I.V therapy for my last iron i.v
and to get out my pick line.
(cartwheel) (woo hoo)
Mama is getting her groove back.

I thought it was pretty special to
have Kathy there with me,
Since she has seen me through this.
I feel pretty brave posting this picture..
I am already forgetting about the miracle
of life, and worrying about how to loose
all this weighed I gained when they 
starved me for 6 weeks.

I take a minute and remember that I
don't...  I won't let myself forget what
really matters.

Things like the joy I feel when I see this 
picture of kathy by my side.  The love
that has healed me, and the tender mercies.

The patient in the room next to me at
the huntsman center was not so lucky.
I overheard the Doctor come and and
tell him to enjoy what time he had left
because it wouldn't be very long.

Sometimes miracles come
and sometimes they don't.
I don't know the rhyme or reason behind
his plan.  But I know one thing for sure.
He has a plan for each of us.

I have thought a lot about how I have
been blessed to have an "illness" for a trial,
people know what to do when your sick,
dinners, cards, visits...flowers, prayers
and fasting...and trips to the temple...

But it's the other trials that break my heart,
the trials that cause silent suffering,
and painful game faces on the outside
when your dying inside.

I have had both.  I think women need a code
word for when they are having the silent trials...
like code blue or something.
Just a flag to raise without an explanation
that will say...

I need your prayers,
I need your faith,
I need your love.

Just raise your flag...
and I will be there.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Good News~

I took this picture of my favorite Doc
 when he was changing
my T.P.N feeding tube.

I love this  picture of my Doc.
It shows his tender heart.
and steady eyes.

He talks with his eyebrows a lot.
Right now his eyebrows are telling me to
put my camera down and focus
on cleaning my other tube.

But we were watching M*A*S*H
at the time, and Clinger comes out
in one of his desperate attempts at A-walling it.
(Red dress with lacy hat and a matching purse)
And Garrett's serious Dr. brows 
change to his silly brows.
I like his silly brows.

But today for the first time in 7 weeks,
his beautiful brows lost their worry...

After a day spent at the Huntsman center,
and weeks of labs, labs and more labs.
I have been declared
CANCER free.
and my pancreas has now healed,
to a point that I can eat!
In fact for the first time all my labs
look beautiful!!!!

There is still a few bumps ahead,
like convincing my colon that I really 
am well enough to eat  more than baby food
and getting...
my iron levels back to a place
where I can stand vertical long enough
to shower.

But it is coming!
Which at one point, I wasn't sure if it would!
Thank you my Father in Heaven,
Thank you all of you....
who were there for me!

And to you...
My beautiful browed man,
thank you for standing beside me,
or should I say Kneeling beside me,
all of this time...
I love you to the moon.
to the moon~

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Love in Action

This is my new organized basement:)

It was going to be the perfect weekend.
The boys were off to the deer hunt,
and Shellie my big sister was coming to
help me organize my basement for the weekend.

But my body had other plans.
My colon is not being to kind
to the food I am finally able to eat.
and I am beyond anemic because
for what ever reason my body is not 
absorbing iron.

So after a night in the E.R
I came home and slept for 2 days.
I woke up to the above picture.

My devoted sister did it all on her own.
And she didn't stop there.
She and Ed did all the handy man work
I have needed done for so long,
without asking.
She fed my children, organized my
laundry room, Took the kids out
on little dates.

Every time Shellie comes to my house
she leaves it better than she found it,
She made these  curtains:

She decorated for Halloween
organized my coat closet,
and for the past two years she has put 
up my Christmas decorations with me.

I have written three posts tonight,
because I so urgently want to share
all of the tender mercies
my family and friend have 
shown me.
(And I haven't even started Thanking kathy)
God bless them.
Everyone of them.

I am having a procedure tomorrow 
at the huntsman center,
and to be honest, I am kind of scared,
I am actually feeling all kinds of anxiety 
in side about...well everything,
especially my kids, .....

I guess to be quiet honest,
I have this fear that I am going 
to burn everyone out.  
But time after time...
just when I think I am going to
have to make the last few miles 
on my own.

You step up and show me that you
are there.  I love you all for that.

Thank you for being their for my kids,
they have been so loved.


If there is one thing I know for sure,
is that we can't do it alone.
I have read hundreds of books and 
spent hours taking classes about how
we can train our brain to attract exactly what we want
out of life.
And yes, we do create what we focus on,
I don't argue with that.

But after all those books and all those classes,
I know one thing for darn sure.
We can't do it alone.
We weren't meant to do it alone.

And no matter how pure our thoughts are..
there will come a time when God in
his love will hold us over the fire and 
smooth us out...
in a way that only he can.

I have also learned that the only thing that really
impresses others....is the way we love them.
all the accolades and accomplishments in 
the universe only impress if you use them
to strengthen and uplift the people 
in your life.

Today I thank God for sisters.
Perhaps I should say sister in laws...
but nope.
They are my sisters
and they have been there for me through thick
and thin.
They come to me almost daily...
do my wash, my dishes,
lay in bed with me and share their thoughts,
they love my children and invest their time in my children.

We had a silly day last week, because I told them
I wanted pictures of us together...
small problem...no photographer,
so we took a million pics ourselves,
this is one of the few that turned out:)

It takes a brave person to stand next
to any of my sisters...
They are, as you can see, drop dead

But theirs is a beauty that comes from their
hearts.  They love pure and undiluted.
 They have shared their
stories and worries with me and
let me do the same. 
I will always love them for showing up
good times and bad.
And I want you to know
that I will always be here for you.

Kristalyn cutting my boys hair.

A beautiful day in the neighbor hood

These are pictures, from the walk about Henry and I 
took this week.  
I grabbed my black coat, hat, and jacky pack,
Henry took his new spider man bike.
We started off with Amanda.
My neighbor who has been there
through the thick and thin of
my life since the day we moved in.
Her husband Kirk is usually by her side
doing what he can to help out.
He is currently helping River get his eagle.
This is my friend Heather,
who just happened to be out with
her son xander..
is Henry's best buddy.                                                                                
This is My friend kari with Amanda.
I was beginning to feel pretty blessed to see 
so many Friends out and about on this
beautiful day...
This is Marci's house.
Uber creative that girl.
She is even creative in the way she serves me,
She has brought me a tea maker with
dozens of my favorite flavor teas,
dumb dumb suckers, my favorites lavender
lotions....she even took the time to cut
out the seeds in cucumbers so I could eat them...
the list goes on with Marci...she has a gift for 
knowing just what and just when.
love that girl.

This is my friend Dana's house.
I love the way she celebrates.

As we walked Henry would stop for a bug
here and a worm there.
I love my stinky bug loving boy

This is my friend Julie.
She came to the hospital and did my hair,
and waxed my brows and my embarrassing
mustache that I inherited from my grandma.

Julie was on her way to do another friends hair,
Wanda.  Wanda is one tuff woman. she  
was in a bad car accident, and hasn't been able to walk
since she was 16 years old.
She had a back surgery...
one she should have had years ago.
I am telling you this women is amazing.
All women are amazing.
I wish I had a picture of all the incredible women
in my life....
Like Ruth,  my visiting teacher,
who has made sure that I didn't have to do this alone,
that my family was fed, and loved.
Thank you.
Thank you my friends.

I decided to hop in the car with Julie, and 
my other friend Stephanie,
who were going to do
 Wanda's hair.
I'm telling you....
My neighborhood is the bomb.

I am tired today,
and I simply don't know how to write all that is 
in my heart. But my heart is full of gratitude
for the amazing kindhearted people
I have in my life.

I am so grateful I didn't have to do this alone.
Your are God's hands.
All of you.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


This Package arrived in the mail for me yesterday.
It was packed to the brim with Aloha from my Ohana
in the islands I love.

Dozens of letters, chocolates, cookies,
 pictures,  more chocolates, macademian nuts,
and my favorite quava juice,
overflow and overwhelm my heart.

It has just about everything but the sea itself.
Oh my sweet friends,
I feel the love
and my gratitude is bigger than the surf
on the north shore in January.

I wish I could pack myself up in that
box and return to you fed ex style.

Then we could sit by the sea,
and feel the sand between our toes,
and find precious seashells
that remind us while we are being
tossed against the rocks of uncertainty,
God is just smoothing us out
and shaping us in to some thing
more precious and more beautiful
than our jagged edges.

oh I send my Aloha.
Aloha on steroids.
Thats how much I love you!
Mahalo my dear friends!

Puffer fish face

I am sitting in I.V therapy, getting myself some iron, and decided to take a snap shot
to remind myself Just how lovely I am.  Who knew that after 6 weeks of starvation
I would look like an albino puffer fish.  So very lovely.
Don't be jealous.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Grandma's house

Every Fall,
we love to pick fruit off of grandpa's fruit trees.
I love everything about this tradition.
The sticky fingers, the sour bites,
and rusty ladders...

But mostly, I love to swing on their hammock...
Never... Ever have I found a place in this world,
that could hold a candle,
to the upside down view of the most beautiful
walnut trees I've ever seen.

If you catch a ride just before sunset...
during the golden hour.
you will see millions of particles of light
spilling between the green
and filtering it like a gift made just for you.
If I have any say in what my heaven would look like,
it would defiantly have a hammock.

Come to think of it...
I think heaven feels a lot like their back yard,
With echoes of laughter, and love,
and memories good and bad are exchanged
for savoring the moment...
right here...right now.

If the scripture that claims
By their fruits ye shall know them...
is true...
Then that's all I have to say about these
two amazing people.
Because they sure have a lot of good fruit.
And they share it.

How blessed are my children
to have a grandpa and grandma,
who will always be there for them,
through thick and thin,
sweet or sour.

I love the way I feel around them...
It is a feeling that reminds me I am safe,
because I am loved
good days or bad.
Shadowed or shining.
And this is why my children love to
be at grandma and grandpa's house...
pure. simple. consistant
Thank you for the constant love

Thank you.  Thank you.
All of you.
Today I ate some apple sauce!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Knowing eyes...

It was a Beautiful weekend,
I had two days in a row with no nausea,
and the best part...
I can now eat applesauce and sherbet
with out my colon confusing it for a porcupine.

Today I woke up determined to go to Sacrament,
There has never been a better time for me
to teach my children where to turn 
when all the leafs fall.
but I must say
It's always quite the dance trying to get our family
to church on time,
and I was having so many issues with my jackypack,
that I almost wondered as I sat down in my seat
with my tubes all tangled around me
if it was really worth the possible risk of 
infection that I was risking.

But then I realized that...
behind us sat my dear friend,
who lost her child this week. She was
Stoic in her faith and in her spirit, but
her swollen eyes carried the burden of her
grief and her faith.

I call them "knowing" eyes.
Knowing eyes are earned like a purple heart
to a brave soldier 
Both an honor and a burden they carry....
The honor of knowing they are on the Lords errand...
and the burden of the price they
paid to see life a new.

In front of us sat a family that lost their child
in another way. 
In in her eyes I saw the "knowing" as well.

I hope I have earned my Knowing eyes,
The eyes that see past the weariness,
arrogance and weakness of others,
I hope my eyes can pierce right through
silly shallow agendas
straight into the heart of those I care about.
So I can love them and serve them
in their language.

I hope I can give my children knowing eyes
and then I remember they must
earn them, through their own heartaches,
the thought makes me sad,
thinking of my children suffering in any way,
I bet it hurts God too.

* Here are some pics from our drive up to Sundance today.

Two blue birds joined us.
I think they were a love note from mom...
My dinner: apple sauce, cucumber slices:)
and Jacky pack...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Our magic Garden

Our Magic Garden...

Last night,
We lit up a dozen or so candles,
and put them in the pumpkin patch...
in our Garden...
our magic Garden,
(magic because it can grow pumpkins with all the weeds in it).
But also magic because we
planted it in granny's name
the spring after she died.

Savannah grabbed some blankets,
Daddy grabbed some chairs,
I grabbed my black coat and
 my witch hat 
with Jacky pack in tow...

 When I glanced in the mirror I thought
that perhaps I should have been a ghost,
because my pale face and dark circles,
are enough to scare something fierce...
But wow...Isn't she beautiful.
Inside and out that one.

Then we stood in a sort of circle
and picked numbers,
Malia got the first turn...
But we put a spin on our picking tradition this year,
Before picking it from the vine,
we had to name one bad habit that we
would "spook" out of our lives this year.
Malia's was spelling,
Garrett wanted to spook away my pancrease
and I am going to spook away my
diet coke...

Henry just wanted to spook his pumpkin.
When he found the perfect one,
he curled up in my arms,
and together with Aunty Shellie,
grandma kathy and grandpa Glenn,
we quietly watched the candles burn.

And with every flicker of light,
I Thanked God for my garden,
my home and my family.

Then I silently prayed for more 
faith.  More meekness and more
But I must say that 
Today was a great day...
I held some apple sauce down!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Remember...not to forget~

*This is the only picture (that I know of) that was taken in the hospital,  
it is with my aunty Yasmine...but she is more than an aunty...she is my sister,
my mama, and my granny.
She came and rubbed my aching feet and just listened,
just like she always does.
So tonight I am reaching back a few weeks to fish out this story,
because it is worth remembering.

Take a good look at the above photo, narrow in on the tube going in my nose.
I just think of that tube and my nose starts to run and itch and irritate.
That was my second attempt at being a good patient and keeping in the feeding tube,
I pulled the first out, for obvious reasons, but my body couldn't handle food, and
so they put in another one...this time they tied it in my nasal, so I couldn't pull it out.
(*Actually just realized that this is my first tube.)
After so long, my nose started to bleed, and run and the mucus would pile like dew
drops on the bull ring they had placed between my nostril.  So I walk to to the nurses
station and begged for some scissors.  The nurse looks up through her reading glasses,
raises her eyebrow and asks me just what my plan is.  Stupid me, I should of told
her I was making origami or something...but I can't lie.

I start begging, so she enlists the help of another nurse, I beg her too, I
was so desperate, I even pulled the transporter guy by the side and offered him
my mac lap top if he would take it out. I wasn't kidding either,
but he told me he liked his job and wanted to keep it.

Then they call Garrett and tell him I am being a bit unruly.  When he came,
I sighed relief and felt rescued...only to have him hold me at bay and tell
me that I had to keep it in...remember your fight?  It seems dramatic to
admit, but it felt like my best friend had turned on me in a school yard fight.
like I was laying on the cement with no advocate.  Just a gang of kids
hoovering over me taunting me with the fact that I was to sick to have a
voice of my own.
You have to think of your kids...you can do this...you just need to train your
mind to stop thinking about it...watch t.v....why don't we just give you a Valium
so you can sleep this off.....or my personal favorite...what are you thinking?

It was tough love.  And now I understand a much harder night for Garrett
than myself.  But the lesson I learned was that I needed a much higher advocate.
I needed my Savior, to either take this cup from me, or plead my case.
But to put a long story short.

I went in the bathroom and knelt right there on my knees and begged Heavenly Father to help me, I was looking at my
robe as I was kneeling, and there was a safety pin right there, pinned to my robe.
I took that as a love note from God, and went to work picking it out...and I tell you
never have I felt so much relief...I wanted to shout hallelujah, but called the nurse instead.
Bless her heart...I think she was as relieved for me as I was.

But as you can imagine, there was a consequence,   I had to answer to my family, the
family that has cared for me blood, sweat and tears, I had to tell them I couldn't hack it.
And that tugged at my heart...all through out the next day. Raw awful guilt sat in my
stomach like nausea. If only I was stronger.

Because I had no way other way to get nutrition, the next step was to put in an
i.v pick line for T.P.N feedings.  Within in minutes of their "training" me about
this little pump...(so many things can go wrong),
I realized that I may have just let my family down more than I thought.

With those thoughts racing in my head, I got up to take a walk and tripped over the
tubes tangled around my legs, and for some reason blood backed up and started
dripping on the cold white floor before me, and around my "sterile" environment.

I pulled the nurse cord, and apparently my reputation had preceded me, because the
first thing she asked me was....Are you trying to pull this out too?
All I could do was cry.  At this point anxiety got the best of me and the way she
quickly snapped everything back together made me nervous, So I kindly asked her,
Can I help you clean the tubes with alcohol? She glared at me,  not because
she was mean, because she was human, and in her eyes I saw weariness.  I wanted
to know her story.  But I also wanted my feeding tube sterilized.

Now for the reason I tell you this story.  Right then at that moment, on my wet pillow,
I asked God for a tender mercy.  And within minutes, My sweet friends Amanda and Kirk
walked in the room.  You see...no one else could have comforted me that night because Kirk
is a nurse anesthetist, so by profession, he was the only one that could
have reassured me that my lines were clean.
Did I mention this took place around 11:00 p.m?
With his usual humor he told me a little birdie told him I need to get out of my room.
So after he checked my lines, Amanda got a wheel chair and They promised to push me
around until he got tazered by the night security.  We went to watch the puffer fish in the
outpatient waiting room, and talked and laughed until I couldn't hold my head up.

I am not sure if my good friends realized this, but they were
on the Lord's errand that night,
Just as SO many others have been there for me at just the right moment.
And that is the reason I want to keep a record of this time...
because I never want to forget how my father in heaven
loved me through each of you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Seagull support~

Today was rough.
So very rough.
I even turned down company, and I never turn down company.

I wanted so badly for it to be a good day, because my dad is in town
and taking care of me.

I figure he has seen his share of suffering, So my plan was
to take lots of fall walks with him. 
Just me and him and my Jackypack.

But there was no game face today, just a lot of tears. 
I now have an upper respiratory infection, which is not getting along
so well with my already weakened body. 

I let my self go to that place today.  
That "I want to go home place"  and it scared both me and my dad. 
He gets a weird face when he is scared, and I think he is mad at me for loosing my fight,
so I cry more and ask him if he is mad at me.

He breaks down too, wipes the tears from his eyes and says....
"Oh Holly...I am a Segull supporter....all I do is fly in,  flap my wings around, shit all over the place, and leave."

Gave me a belly laugh good enough to get my fight back...Same with Garrett,
I told him as he was trying to hear my lungs....he laughed till he cried.
The good cry.

I got my game back on dad...  I love you my Segull man.  
Thanks for going the distance with me.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

laugh with me~

 We have a new tradition at the Smith home every night we call it the
M*A*S*H  Bash.

Garrett & decided that after one too many serious, scary days, we would
have one hour a day of giggling and NO talk of dying or at least feeling dead.

We want to LIVE.
WE want to LOVE
We want to LEARN
But dog gone it
WE want to LAUGH.

This particular night all the kids are crashed around the bed,
Garrett & I woo each other by putting on our lovely bedtime attire.
HIS: neck brace, wrist brace, and ankle brace
HER:  Feeding tube and bunion braces
Ya.  We know just how to set the mood...
Did I mention the four children jumping in bed with us?
Garrett drew the line with Willy our cat.
There is a silver lining to all of this...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Walk with me~

Forgive me dear friends and family
for not being so good at the updating.
I know many of you have been praying, watching, fasting
for answers.

I don't really have any for you today.
In fact if you are looking for numbers and medical explanations
I am no good for that either.

I keep waiting to write when I feel better
or when I have answers..
but I don't
(at least the medical ones)
and the memo I am getting from upstairs
is telling me to stop waiting
and to get to work.

I am sick.
I have not eaten in five weeks,
I have have gone through two feeding tubes
and a pick line 
that now feeds me
1800 calories a day.

I am home after being in the hospital
for three weeks on and off.
And I can tell you with certainty 
that there is no place like home.

That pretty much covers it.

The organ of the day is the pancreas,
it has been very moody and has thrown a great big old tantrum,

 My immune system 
has declared mutiny as well
So with the two ganging up on me I can pretty much say
I have had one foot in Hell
and one in Heaven.

I had a friend express her experience just like that once.
I thought I understood then.
But now I do so even more.

I have had moments of sheer anguish,
that have weighed me to this world,
and moments of sacred, beautiful peace..

That could only come from my father in Heaven

who is carrying me
and my family
and he has done it through each of you.

My prayer is that I can share my experience 
in a way
that can remind, renew and rest
all of you in your daily journey.

So here goes...
take this walk with me.
Because we can't get back to him alone.

If you are in a place to fast for me this weekend,
we are fasting to get into a pancreatic specialist in South Carolina.
(it is like applying to college all over again)
Guess he has some fancy stuff that can fix me.
God willing:)