Sunday, July 8, 2012

Living Guardian Angel

This post may be out of order and long, so please let me apologize first!

What a great weekend we had!  Friday, my parents and sisters left with all of the kids and headed to Watseka IL to visit with my dad's side of the family.  Don and I went to Northwestern and met with a surgeon and then met up with them later in the day.  I must brag that 2 of those family members are breast cancer survivors!  Congratulations to both my Grandma Garrison and Aunt Marilyn!  

Next we drove to Lafayette IN and spent the weekend celebrating my Grandma Freeland's 90th birthday.  WOW!  That is a milestone and you would never know she was 90!  She still lives on her own, and is smart as can be.  My grandmother has 8 kids, 5 daughter / son in laws, 14 grand kids, 7 grand kid in laws and 22 great grand kids!  I sure hope I have this right....feel free to correct me if I have missed something!

Grandma Freeland has been very special to me my entire life, when we were driving back today, I had some time to think about just how special she is to me and how much she has recently helped me! A memory book was made for my Grandma yesterday.  Several months ago, each grand kid was asked to give 1 word to explain Grandma Freeland.  I of course didn't play by the rules and gave a 2 word adjective and I think I gave several different words, but the one that came the quickest to me was she is my Living Guardian Angel.  That is what she is to me!  I love you Grandma!!  I probably can not thank you enough for all of your continued prayers and support! 

Almost exactly a year to go to date, Don and I found out we were pregnant with Ryan.  That day came with A LOT of joy, but also a lot of concern!  Most do not know and probably would never know unless I started to open up like I have with this, I had a miscarriage a year before I became pregnant with Ryan.  It then took us a year to become pregnant with Ryan.  During that time, because it was taking longer, we did a lot of behind the scene testing.  The week before I found out I was pregnant, the Dr. told me my levels were out of control and that we would probably require further fertility assistance to become pregnant.  Don and I were not prepared to move forward at that time and were going to just give it some more time and think about it. The last thing we wanted was to become pregnant with multiples.....Multiples ARE NOT bad, but they are not for us!!

Fast forward one week and SURPRISE! I found out I was pregnant.  The next 2 days went from joy to concern.  The Dr. ran blood work and my results discovered that I have a blood clotting disorder which may have caused the miscarriage the year before.  They immediately wanted me checked twice weekly and I was started on extra Folic Acid because what I have is also linked to issues with the way the body absorbs folic acid and can cause defects with the baby and on top of it, the blood clotting issue could cause my body to cut off the supply of blood to my baby.  So this called for me to give myself a shot a day in the stomach of a blood thinner and a daily baby aspirin.  I was so scared!  And the Dr. were not positive that I would get out of my first trimester.  They did the best they could to prepare me if I lost him and what to do if certain things happened.   This was so scary and sad to me as I had been through a miscarriage and knew the pain and anguish it causes and was not prepared to go through that again.  

During this difficult time, I needed Grandma Freeland.  Grandma was always known to have a direct connection with the man upstairs and there were many times when my mom would tell me something difficult someone else was going through and I would always tell her to call Grandma because Grandma would make sure they were taken care of.  What I did next was call my mom and asked that  she call Grandma Freeland to get her praying for me and the baby!  She did just that.  She prayed so much for us!!  Finally in November, well out of my first trimester and after having a 20 week ultra sound and finding out we were having a boy and he was PERFECT, Grandma asked me if she could put some others in front of me on her prayer list.  I agreed it was time for her to put others in front of us that we were going to be okay and that her prayers had helped! 

Our little blessing was born on time, with mom and baby having no complications!  which leads to my next thought....Don and I and the Dr. are pretty sure this cancer was possibly growing before I became pregnant with Ryan.  We can not help but wonder what if they would have discovered it while I was newly pregnant or later in the pregnancy.  Would Ryan be with us at all or would he have had to be delivered prematurely for me to start treatment.....We could have been faced with a lot more than I think I could have handled.  Ryan is a blessing who helped us find this nasty disease but I think the saying "God will never give you more than you can handle" is right.  I am far from thankful for this stupid cancer, but I am thankful that we discovered it the way we did.  

This June, Unfortunately Grandma Freeland came to my rescue again!   When we were waiting for my biopsy results Grandma was praying away the bad.  Unfortunately we got the unwanted news of cancer.  After the biopsy results I asked mom to call Grandma so she could change what she was praying for.  I know this is not the call my mom wanted to make to Grandma and nor did I want her to have to tell her that her granddaughter was fighting cancer, but I needed her to change her prayers!  Grandma then started praying for my bone and CT Scans and my strength.  I know this was a lot on her!  She had me added to many prayer lists because she needed to make sure he understood how important it was that the worst news was behind us.  Last Friday night I was strong enough to call her myself to let her know her prayers were answered and that the cancer was contained.  She and I were both so relieved!  When she told me how much sleep she had lost, I felt so bad.  Here I am expecting so much from my 90 year old Grandma!  But she knows just what to do and what to say and has made sure that I am added to every prayer list possible to get the word out to help me fight this!!

I am just as appreciative to everyone out there praying and supporting us and wish I had the time and energy to write about everyone, but I needed to plug my grandma!  She is one special lady and I wish everyone reading this could meet her!  I love you Grandma!!

Having the port placed tomorrow if my counts are up enough.  They were low on Friday, which is to be expected, but they will re-test tomorrow morning before the surgery.  Please pray for high enough levels so we can have this done.  After that, nothing until Friday.  Round 2 of Chemo!  YUCK but YAY for getting another one behind me.  I am dreading the feelings of tiredness again since I finally feel like "Amber" again, but it is what we have to do!!

Love to all!



  1. So thankful for the posts, once again Amber. And so thankful we could all be together this weekend, celebrating Grandma, and you! Seeing you and Don was a reassurance that all of us needed - we wanted to hug you and not let go! You have certainly been through more than any of us would ever want for you. I hope you can get the port in with no problems and that you are able to rest after the chemo on Friday. Come Friday, another day you can check off! Love you more than you know! Aunt Tam

  2. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family today, Amber. What a beautiful story of a persistant living guardian angel! Be well!

  3. hi Amber - what a great story about your grandma. :) Glad to hear things are going as can be expected and that you seem in good spirits. Hang in there with those chemo treatments.
    Deb Sliwka