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My Thanksgiving Blessings!

I am going to do a year in review. It is time to reflect on my past year to see all the blessings I have experienced this year.

This time last year I was getting ready for a surgery that was to happen on December 8th. The surgery did not go that well. I ended up with a vent on each side of my chest, a trach, and looking at a whole new way of life. My vents are still sore even though it has almost been a whole year. I have had 5 surgeries this year all trying new things to keep my throat open so that I can breathe. I lost one of my favorite doctors, only to gain two more who are willing to face the challenge of keeping my airway open and me using my voice. Even though the travel up to Seattle is a chore, Dr. Hillel and his team are a HUGE blessing. Dr. Berinstein whom I just met a few weeks ago is another blessing on my team. Plus, I finally started the Rituximab (chemo) drug on October 30th, after my disastrous experience last December with the drug and I had my last one on November 13th until May sometime when I will get it done again. I am still praying for remission. I am still praying for the ability to figure out what my assignment is and how to use the skills and things I am learning to help those around me. My medical team includes now my primary doctor, my Rheumatologist, ENT doctor in Seattle, and one here in Vancouver, a therapist, and soon a heart specialist. I am immensely blessed, because if I did not have good health insurance I would not be able to get the help that I need to breathe and live.

Another blessing of this year is the fact that I have been writing Jamie Chases Butterflies for a year now. My dear friend Summer Clemenson built it and maintains it for me, so that I all I have to do is write, copy and paste, upload my pictures, and publish it. I like not having to worry about the details. I have also been keeping a journal that I write in daily to help keep my emotions verbal.

Another person who I have added to my team to aide me on this journey of illness is a care giver who comes in 4 days a week to clean my house, take me shopping, and help me with my trach care. Changing the collar on my trach is something I need four hands to do, the only thing about the trach care that I cannot do myself. My caregiver does it well. I have learned a lot from accepting help. It has relieved a lot of pressure from my family.

Even though I hate having a trach, I am blessed with the mind set to take it out, clean it, and reinsert it back in. Finally, after much practice and an expert in the field I have learned the value of lube. Having the lube to put on my Jaxton trach (surgical steel) helps the darn thing slide in. I realize that importance with Dr. Berinstein slid my Jaxton in effortlessly when he replace the XLT trach and put my Jaxton back in.

And of course, I cannot forget the biggest blessing in my life, my Nicholas. Who soft fur snuggles makes me smile and calms me. He is my faithful companion who loves me no matter what I sound, smell, or even if I spit at him and blow on him in the most unusual way. He loves me anyway.

Many blessings include my brother and his wife giving me rides up to Seattle on numerous occasions and even doctor appointments here. My sister who supplies me with vitamins, journals, and laughter when I need them and helpful tools and my friends Summer and Karen who make me giggle every chance they get. I am looking forward to doing the Angel Telethon this year, since I had to miss last years due to my hospital adventure and I am looking forward to spending a few days with them relaxing at the beach with our friend Linda.
My goals for this year include:

Finding a place in Longview to live so that I can be with those who know me and have more of a social life than I do here
Writing my blog
Writing my book
Doing the Sahaja breathing exercises I found
Eating differently for my body
Get weight off and reduce the amount of medications I have to take
Move, get my body moving. It is time for me to start using the Yoga DVD I bought or even the exercise DVD I bought.
And the most important thing is breathe…
What are some blessing you has had this year?

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