Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Do you really want to help?

Written yesterday, 4/13/2015

Today was one of those days that I wasn't going to be afraid to ask for help. I was excited to get a
call from someone who asked, "do you need anything?" I replied I'm hungry, fatigued, home alone, and nothing is cooked! Just when I was about to ask her to bring me something to eat, she quickly cut me off and said, "go and get some rest" and then ended the conversation. Maybe I should have left the sob story out and spoken quicker. Lol!

I know most people are sincere, but stuff like this makes it hard for me to ask for help. This is not the first time this has happened during my illness. I've had people to say they were coming by, but were no shows nor called to alert me. SIGH!

So what's my current status: I'm hungry, fatigued, home alone with nothing cooked, therefore I'm plan to go to sleep, HOWEVER, my neighbor and church member Alindria Carroll responded to brought me dinner.

I am learning lessons on how to be a better servant. I have not been a good servant. The lesson for me today is to make sure when I offer service that I mean it. Sometimes it’s the spiritually correct thing to ask others if they need our assistance, but when we do not allow the ones we serve to respond with what their needs are, it is like extending a helping hand while keeping it in your pocket.

What's going on with me!

It’s been a long time since my last blog entry. A lot has been going on in my personal life. Physically, I am doing better. All four of my current doctors have encouraged me to get back to whatever possible normal activities, including preaching. I just have to “know my body” and rest when needed. To help with headaches, my doctor gave me a few tips on what to do before I speak. Yes, I still get headaches. I’m looking forward to the day when I am completely healed from them. I’m scheduled to have another MRI done in June. I still have a “tumor sheet” that must be monitored. Because my concentration and memory has gotten better, I have returned as the Director of the Soul Care Counseling Ministry of my church. I’ll be back on the road, with my faithful husband/driver, ministering in conference this week. I’ve been attending church worship service sporadically, but more frequently.  
 
The Sunroof!
My facial muscles, seems to be regressing, therefore I’ve started my speech therapy exercises again. My hair is slowly growing back. The “sunroof” on top of my head is slowly filling in, except in the area of the “parting of the Red Sea” incision. Check out the picture. I’m not feeling this natural hair. My preference is the creamy crack! I’m addicted. Unfortunately, it will be a long time before I can put products in my hair, so we shall see if this natural hair grows on me. And when did I get all of this grey????? I thought I was a blonde! Blame it on the tumor! LOL! I AM NOT MY HAIR--- just wish I didn't have this jacked-up do! LOL!
 
In the upcoming days I will share some of the past pics and thoughts from my journey. I hadn’t posted it because during this recovery time I was having great difficulty writing and staying focused, As I look back on some of the stuff I did I can’t help but laugh at my silliness and praise God for bringing me thus far!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tumor Humor And Real Talk: STRESS IS NOT GOOD DURING RECOVERY

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. Here’s an overview:
The man who cut open my head
twice in one month!
My neurosurgeon Dr. Rammos
  • March 13, Daughter Cat has oral surgery
  • March 20, Cat, who is a Type I Diabetic,  is brought to the ER. She has a kidney infection.
  • March 21 – Was suppose to visit my mom but the plans did not work out.
  • March 22, Cat’s condition is getting worse.
  • March 23, Cat is taken to ER. She is suffering from  an adverse reaction to the meds. Doctor says it’s the worse case he has ever seen. She is released with care instructions. Throughout the day she gets worse, however improves after a call to a doctor who gives additional care suggestions. If she had not improved within 6 hours it would have been back to the hospital.
  • March 24 – Dad is major league trippin’ big time. Sometimes I wonder why do I even try.
  • March 25 – Appt at the rheumatologist for blood work. Dad calls again. Just when I thought it could not get worse, he takes it to another level.
  • March 26 – Doctor’s appointment. I was in the office an extra hour and a half over a concern that turned out okay.  To add, I got very frustrated with having to depend on others to drive me. Those chide remarks can be annoying.

Then, early this morning, while my entire family is asleep, we had a 4:15 am scare at my home. We are laughing about it now, but I wasn’t laughing when I called the police. Let’s just say, I’m glad “I came to myself” when I was about to step outside in my tee-shirt and underwear to help my husband who was surveying our perimeters. Can I blame it on the tumor? LOL! The New Orleans chick was ready to fight whoever was trying to break into the Thomas Castle. It was a false alarm, but tumor or no tumor, I WAS PROTECTING THE FORT!! LOL!

Today, I had an appointment with my neurosurgeon. As a doctor he has good bedside manners, is frank, and tells you the truth no matter how hard it may be to digest, and yet he is gentle and compassionate. I appreciate this. However, in my Kevin Hart’s voice, “I wasn’t ready” for one of his concerns today. I’m still chewing on it, so maybe I’ll share it later.  Another brain issue is the unavoidable stress I have been dealing with the past few weeks. Dr. Rammos agrees this high level stress is not healthy for my current condition. I’m getting headaches because of the stress, and can run the risk of a seizure. I will be scheduled to have hopefully my final post-surgery  MRI in June. I have got to do a better job of calming myself. Dr. Rammos said my incisions has finally closed and looks great! Thank you Lord! I still have a pulling pain from where they had to pull my skin together twice to staple my head shut. I also literally have a hole in my head! For real! It’s going to take some time foe the bone of my cranium to heal. It’s still very sensitive at the top of my head.

Lastly, today I fell and thankfully I did not hit my head. Yep, I was doing something I should not have been doing. At the time it seemed like a good idea. Before y’all lay into me, remember you have done some dumb stuff too, LOL!  Now, my body is sore and I have a headache! UUUUgggghhhh!!!!  

My husband and I pray together at night. Tonight he was thankful for Divine protection because it wasn’t ADT (Alarm system) that kept is, but rather it was God.

Be blessed,
Roline

Monday, March 23, 2015

Father Can you Hear me?

Even though I monitor my dad’s affairs, take care of his wife (my mom), and make sure his needs are taken care of, and even moved him into my home (he went back to his home), we have a strained relationship. It’s his choice, not mine. He's a stubborn and proud man. If you don't go along with him a or confront his erred ways, he will shut you out. Narcissism is prevalent in his life. 

Since my diagnosis back in December, my dad has yet to call just to see how I’m doing. Surprisingly he agrees that he does not call me. He only calls when he needs something.

Today when I spoke with my dad, I got really upset. He had the audacity to tell me that I wasn’t emotionally feeling what I had said I was feeling--USED. Funny, he DID NOT say he wasn’t using me. SMH! Anyhoo, during the conversation he stated I was filled with the devil. In my ShaNaeNae voice, “NO HE DIDN’T!” That’s when my head began to turn 360 degrees like Reagan’s in the movie “The Exorcist.” Ut-Oh, did I just prove my dad right? LOL! In my Florida Evans voice, “DANG, DANG, DANG!”! I turned into a MAD BLACK WOMAN, and got sucked into heated fellowship which is not good when you are recovering from brain surgery. Dad has said some harsh stuff to me, but "the devil?" SMH & Chuckling! I’ll laugh out loud about this later, but now I have a headache! Pain meds to the rescue! (NOTE: Please, don't y'all go to bashing my dad.)

Too much drama can lead to depression and sadness. I need to change my way of thinking. Time to write in my gratitude journal. Lord, help me to focus on you. Change my attitude!

Lesson: Satan can’t possess the saved, but he certainly can influence them (including your family) to get you off track. You choose how you respond to negativity. Bad choices can adversely affect your physical and spiritual health. Illness does not make people act right towards you. Can I blame my part on the tumor?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Just Say No to Drugs.....wish I could!

My daily cocktail
Most illnesses require medication. I’m taking quite a few pills a day. I know many other people take a whole lot more medication that me, but I’m not use to this amount and I am very uncomfortable with it.
 
To aggressively fight my condition, I take a high dosage of Prednisone, a steroid. It’s mindboggling how the medication that is to make you better will also make you sick. Prednisone has caused me to have insomnia. Because I don’t sleep much, my body sometimes crash from fatigue. That is what happened today during church. I left the service early because I felt overwhelmingly fatigued and drained. Once returning to my home, I slept for 5 hours. Currently, I’m feeling much better.  
 
Plus 14 lbs! Prednisone sucks!
Another side effect of taking high dosages of steroids is weight gain. In November I was showing off my slimmer body after losing 35 pounds. Sadly, I’m getting pumped up, literally! Since December, I have gained 14 lbs. In my Florida Evans voice, “DANG, DANG, DANG!” Roline drops salad bowl and starts crying. LOL! Oh, well! There is an alternative. Take the steroids and get better, or not take the steroids and allow my health to decline., I’m no brain surgeon, but I’ll pass on the latter. Saying no to the drugs, prescribed drugs that is, is not an option for me.
 
The extra weight brings about an extra title. I’m DIVALICIOUS and THICKALICIOUS! Yes, I love to make up words! I didn’t choose illness, but I did CHOOSE MY ATTITUDE! No worries, just trusting God because I know this is for His Glory!  
 
 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Uncovering the truth......

Monday, I posted a picture of myself after having the remainder of my hair cut off. I appreciate all of the wonderful compliments by so many, however, I soon realized some did not know that I took the picture at an angle hiding the “real story.” In other words, the picture looked like I have a head of hair. Not so. I’m finally getting the nerve to post the real deal! After looking at the finished work of my haircut, I told the barber that he should carve my name or some designs into my hair. LOL! He said he wouldn’t do it. It already looks like it has “designs gone wrong!” LOL!

I’ve grown to like wearing scarves wrapped around my head in different styles. I would love to go without wrapping up my head but, 1) my incision area and balding can’t take the weather and 2) I don’t think I can handle the shocked faces, stares, and/or pointing (I’m just keeping it real).

Last December, I remember attending a funeral after being diagnosed. My face was very much twisted and shifted from the palsy which was caused by the tumor. A woman who usually converse with me approached me to say hello, but she quickly turned away and left me standing there alone. Since that time she has blessed me with calls and sent gifts to my home. I’ve seen her several times in church, but she noticeably avoids me. I believe she can’t handle the way I look and I understand, but it feels like rejection. Maybe I am sensitive, but in that moment I felt like I looked offensive. To protect my emotions, I choose to keep my head covered when in public, because although unintentional, the look I got from the lady at the funeral wounded me. I don’t want to get “the look” again, so I’ll just keep my jacked-up post-surgery hair covered. Thankfully, I do like the scarves.

Here is the real me. Drum roll please:


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

More Miles for Your Marriage

A friend is excited about the idea of his Ford truck reaching 400,000 miles. He is happy with and proudly brags on his truck. Even though the Ford performs at its best, over the years regular maintenance, attention, and care has been administered to prevent the truck from failing. The same should be with a marriage. You will only achieve longevity through proper maintenance of your marriage. Too many marriages are breaking down because of a lack of attention. Marriage ministries, conferences, and workshops are good ways to tune-up your marriage. It will be an investment that will yield a great return and you’ll have a marriage you can proudly boast about.