On May 5th, 2010 our life was redefined when we discovered that I have a tumor
growing in the spinal cord of my neck.

The purpose of this blog to keep an updated record of our "Life Redefined" and give you the details you might be wondering about (surgery, recovery and other random daily stuff, etc...)

For our friends and our family members who want to be kept updated this is the easiest way for us to do it. It's also good therapy for me to write it down!

We still want you to call or visit if you feel like it - we find so much strength from you. All of your words and encouraging thoughts and prayers are a great blessing for us!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Home Again, Home Again! Jiggety Jig!"

As my mom always said when we arrived home after time away..."Home Again, Home Again!  Jiggety Jig!" 

I am home!  I have been home now for 4 days and it has been, well let's just say...wonderful and "all of the above!"

Maria and I!

We left the hospital at about 12:15 p.m. on Saturday.  I was, believe it or not, sad to say goodbye to some of the people I had grown to love while there.  My therapists, my new friends and some of the nurses and staff.  After 5 weeks with these people I feel like they are my friends and I care about them and it's hard to say goodbye. 

We headed 1st to have lunch with one of my best friends from high school, Erin, and her family.  They had just driven in from Arizona for a family vacation!  It was perfect timing because Erin and I rarely get to see each other!  After eating we headed outside for a picture of all of us, I was only using my crutches. Sure enough, within 3 minutes of me being on my feet I started to feel extremely ill, it was very scary.  I knew that I was within 60 seconds of fainting and Brian looked at me and told me that I was "as white as a ghost."  I barely made it through pictures and hugs goodbye and got in the car.   I am certain that my blood pressure dropped and that something was WAY off.  After that the 1st hour of our drive home was me recovering from that scary experience.  Isn't that typical?  2 hours out of the hospital and "where's my nurse?"!  I guess that was just my friendly reminder that while I am out, I am still recovering and I still need to be very cautious and take it easy.

Hope you had a great vacation at Aspen Grove Erin and Ryan! It was so good to see you!
(Do I look pale to anyone?)

When I arrived home it was just Brian, Levi and I.  Emily and Andrew were in Victor with Brian's parent's.  I walked into a completely clean house and filled refrigerator and freezer...thank you to the mystery cleaners and those who brought us food! 

For the 1st two days this house felt like a new house, like we had just moved!  It felt so wonderful!

Emily and Andrew arrived Sunday evening and it was a very sweet reunion!  They were darling and showered me with pictures and projects they had made for me while I was gone.

My mom showed up a few hours after them and we were well on our way to what I think I'll call "grateful chaos."  I am so grateful to be home and I am continually grateful for the amazing progress I make each day and the service from our neighbors, friends and family, but it is chaotic around here. 

Doing my therapy stretches with the kids! 
Even Levi was into it, pretty impressive for a 6 month old huh?!

I won't lie and say it's been nothing but wonderful since I arrived.  I am even now more aware of my new limitations and I continually ask myself, "when will I be an independent mother again?"  Like I said, I help out when I can, but it's limited.  For all of those other moments I just watch my mom and Brian count the millions of steps it requires to be a mom.  I don't even know how I did what I did before.  It baffles me.  Because of this it has caused some stress and I have had two emotional breakdowns since.  They come and they go. 

Physically, I continue to improve with each day!  I am able to walk around my house, very carefully, without any kind of aid,  for short periods of time.  We met with my new Physical Therapist today and he seems to have a good plan to maximize our time together and my physical progress!  I am in a lot of muscular pain in my neck and upper body and then the nerve pain sometimes takes it's toll.  I am hoping that my upper body pain heals quickly because that is one of the hardest parts of my day.

I am so happy to be home and I love all of the extra spontaneous hugs that I get from my kids!  It is not easy, we are having to adjust in so many ways and there is a fair amount of stress involved.  So, like I said it is "grateful chaos!"  We will be fine and in time we will all be adjusted to our "new normal" and hopefully, our "old normal" will be in our sights...only that we will be better, more humble, loving and serving people!  I am trying...


Lindsey said...

So glad you're home!

mmorgan said...

So happy you made it home Kara and that you're continually doing better! Let me know what/when I can help you-even if it's grocery shopping or whatever!!

Larsen said...

What an emotional roller coaster this ride has been. From the beginning of your blog to now, seems like it should be full circle, but some how, as you pointed out, this journey for you is still going.

Call if you need help Kara, with anything. I can be an on call nurse, even if I have no training. : )

Ryan and Heather said...

We are so glad you are home!

kaisha said...

Yayyy!! So glad your home!! Let us know if you need anything at all!!

Karen said...


We are so glad you are home! We will be in I.F. over the 4th so I will definitely be stopping by! You are doing great! I love the pic of Levi doing the stretches!! LOL *two enthusiastic thumbs up* =o)

amy said...

welcome home

tarabuckley999999 said...

I'm so glad you are home and having "grateful chaos". I'm continuing to pray for you friend and I enjoy reading your story! Hugs!

The Chamberlain Family said...

Kara, I am so happy that you got to go home and be with your family! You have been through so much-I cant even imagine. I have loved reading of your faith filled story. Love you! Andrea

Backwoods Browns said...

It was SO nice to see you and might I add you are an AMAZING person!! I am thankful and I love that you are doing so well!!