By the Faith of others

posted on: Wednesday, August 6, 2014

We have been having quite the month over here as many of you know and the apprehension that comes from poor test results is something I was sure I could handle. I have had many medical tests in the past couple years, and have received a myriad of diagnosis that have brought twist and turns in our life. The last couple weeks have brought such pain from the thoughts of ever being taken away from my family, and the many different things that can happen with cancer.

Even if you have been through something once, as your life progresses the experience can be entirely different. This time around I had a sweet baby who requires much of my time, energy and most of all, my heart. It kept me up at night thinking of the possibilities of what my life could become with just a few words from a scan, it is almost chilling. Meanwhile I had many feelings and promptings to share my experience and our trials with those around us, even though it was difficult to do so. I would much rather deliver positive and happy news, then share in a painful experience. I am thankful that I followed those feelings, because there have been many miracles large and small resulting from the faith and prayers of others.

I have heard news from the doctors that though the masses look discolored and resemble the qualities of cancer, I do not have cancer.

When I heard this I felt so much release from burdens and fear, it was like I was completely released. The news gets even better. The protocol for my medical history would be Radioactive Iodine to clear out thyroid tissue and any possible remnant of cancer cells. We were planing to go through with this until this morning when my doctor came in and told me that this did not feel right to him. He really said that phrase and then left to call a doctor whom I haven't even seen yet, but specializing in this field. He came back with a big smile on his face, and informed me of an alternate treatment that I am eligible for because of the exactness of my case. Further, he told me that because we had performed this exploratory procedure, there was an anomaly found in my neck. One of my arteries runs right through the area of my trachea and if I had ever had some sort of tracheotomy done, I would surely die within minutes. He sat back and told me how blessed I was that we figured this out, for something very simple in the future could have proved fatal.

There have been so many blessings my family and I have received in the last two months I honestly don't know if there are enough prayers I can offer to give proper gratitude to them. Thank you for your prayers, for I believe that this process has turned out to be such a positive one because of them. Thank you for taking time out of your lives to think of us, and plead on our behalf. Thank you for the emails, calls, letters and packages filled with support and love. They really did help carry us through this time.

I am not sure why everything happened the way it did, (I am always trying to figure out the plan as I go through it) but I do know one thing, I know for a fact that Heavenly Father can lift our burdens so they are light. Through scriptures, prayer and love of family and friends, I felt invincible and knew that if it was necessary I could carry on the fight longer. I know that this strength didn't come within, and I further know that I can call upon this in the future trials of my life.

Thank you for being my people, I really cherish you and couldn't be more grateful for today.

alot of my thoughts are summed up in this talk and I am thankful for it.

love love love
Jennie & Ar

It always starts with a nodule

posted on: Sunday, July 13, 2014

In the beginning of June we were told to get full physicals for the purpose of fulfilling a requirement
for Aaron's insurance provider. That is simple enough? Aaron went and got his, Teddy went and passed his with flying "above-average" colors, and last was my physical.

We started the appointment by briefing the doctor of my medical history, Aaron and I batted back & forth on the details of the last couple years.

{Before 2010- I was a super healthy kid. I had strep once, and allergies sometimes, but all in all I was healthy. Starting in late 2009 I showed signs that after a series of tests, showed a nodule in my thyroid. In Feb of 2010 I had that nodule removed and a partial thyroidectomy, the nodule came back as cancer so we watched my thyroid closely and the following year had the other side removed with another nodule that presented itself. That one also turned out to be cancerous. That year they also found fibrous tumors in my wrist and foot, so for a space of 5 months I was in bed quite a lot. It was a crazy time, but I learned how to let Aaron serve and take care of me, which has been a huge and beautiful blessing in our marriage. Our first year on paper, sounds insane, but in actuality was some of our sweetest and most tender times. We have done extensive research on thyroid related issues, and every doctors visit since the full thyroidectomy I have had small or large complications relating to the lack of thyroid in my body. Its been a journey, and we joke that its shocking that something so small could lead to so much damage. Much like a furby, or a tamagotchi, if you don't treat it well and in a timely manner, it will make your life miserable.}

We ran all the normal tests, that you receive in a physical and got a full blood work up. Unfortunately after a series of tests, we found that once again my cancer has come back and is more sassy than ever. I once again have a nodule in my right thyroid bed, and it is larger than the previous two I have had before. It has been a very stressful three weeks of testing and doctors appointments, and we have felt such a myriad of emotions. There were tests showing not only the cancer, but problems with my heart and liver. The worst problem with health issues, is the waiting period and not knowing the extent of the problems, your mind goes crazy with all the possibilities. I realized we made a huge mistake going to the movie "the fault in our stars"when three minutes into the movie the main girl starts her story with "It started with thyroid cancer." There may have been a bit of old fashion ugly crying. It was a semi-traumatic experience, but now makes me laugh how the series of events played out. I will officially be doing more research before I go to the movies...

So after that stressful period of time, we finally came to the point where we know what treatment plan we will be moving forward with. It all starts in two weeks, where I will have my third exploratory surgery with my thyroid nodule removed as well as some surrounding tissues/lymph nodes. This will be trickier than before because of the extent of my scar tissue inside and the positioning of the nodule. I am thrilled to have this icky cancer out of me, but nervous because one of the higher risks for the surgery is voice box damage. BUT, I decided the other day that there are too many possible risks that I could sit and worry about and for heavens sake- I have had cancer 2x before this and made it through, so why not a third time. I could sit and worry about all the possible things that could go wrong, but that could cheat me of this entire experience. I have been shaped and blessed so much in the past from my trials, and I hope that this hurdle will do just the same.

So, its been a crazy two weeks, but we have already seen huge miracles with the process of getting in with doctors, and the people we have be referred to. We have had some wonderful care given already here in corpus, and Aaron and I are grateful for wonderful health insurance and medical care. I have been reading quite a few talks in the last two weeks, and this talk: Come what may & love it, and this talk: the infinite power of Hope have brought me so much peace. I honestly don't know how I could have made it this far without the strength that comes through Heavenly Father. I have felt so much peace from prayer and from the prayers of others. Its very humbling to know that people are thinking and praying for you, it brings me so much gratitude for their efforts on my behalf. So if you are one of those people, thank you so much, I appreciate your prayers and love more than you know.

Come What May & Love It,
Moss Momma

My Favorite Salmon and Paleo Dill Sauce

posted on: Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My Favorite Salmon & Paleo Dill Sauce
The Moss Momma

2 Fresh Salmon Filet
2 tsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Lemon Juice

Paleo Dill Sauce:
1 Cup Paleo Mayo
1 1/4 tsp of Lemon
1 tsp of dill

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Take the two filets, wash and pat dry and brush with the Olive Oil. Line a pan with foil, and place the filets inside pan, then cook for 12-15 minutes until the fish has cooked through. The last three minutes I cook the filets, I bump the oven to broil to crisp the edges of the fish. Then take the fish out to cool. While the fish is cooking you can prepare the paleo mayo. After the mixture is complete, add the lemon juice and dill, and you have a wonderful dill sauce to top your perfectly crisp salmon. Enjoy!

The Moss Momma

Watermelon Lime Spritzer

posted on: Saturday, June 28, 2014

I grew up in LA, my mom used to take me to Downtown LA to pick out fabrics for sewing and crafting projects. We spent some beautiful and sunny days down there, as she taught me all about how to tell the difference of quality of textiles and trim. My mom is a class act, and most of my favorite memories of life have surrounded her and her great influence on me. One association I have with those special days downtown, is watermelon spears with lime and cayenne pepper in Ziploc bags. There are local vendors who have large coolers stuffed full of watermelon, mango, and cucumber with lime and cayenne lining the streets outside Micheal Levine's. My mom & I would pick up a bag or two and share some fruit & enjoy the satiating taste and perfect combination of flavor. Its one of those taste combinations that takes you to an exact time and place, and anyone who knows me-knows I love memories.

Watermelon Lime Spritzer
The Moss Momma
Servings: 4

2 cups of Seedless Watermelon
1/8 cup of Lime Juice
1/2 can of Lemon La Croix
Handful of Ice {my handful is generous because I LOVE it slushie}
1 tsp of Cayenne

Blend on Low for maybe 5 Seconds and you have yourself an incredibly perfect summer drink. This would be very low budget for a party drink, and one watermelon would yield for quite a number of people. Tasty & cost effective is a total win in my book. 

Happy Summer,

The Moss Momma

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