Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blessings from above

I've been taking a break for myself. I started to get sick Wednesday and by Friday I was coughing a lot and I worried whatever bug was in me would make it's way to Tenley. I couldn't let her get even sicker from me not being cautious enough.

Friday started out as a good day. My very best friend Kim came to visit and we gabbed, laughed, enjoyed the food she brought, and Tenley smiled at her as though she was her second mother. Which in a way she is.

My Mom came by as well, and I was still in a cheery mood. Overall we were in good spirits about everything.

Tenley loves to look out the window. She points at the cars, we marvel at the rolling hills covered in fall leaves, the buildings standing tall downtown, and of course I point out the temple to her each time. It's quite the task to move her around that room though. She is hooked up to an I.V. tower with 4 or 5 cords running from her little body and up to this machine. This tower is usually plugged into the wall with an extension cord as well. You can imagine the tangly mess we can get ourselves wrapped into!

As we looked out the window, and traveled back to the crib for diaper changes, then had to get vitals from nurses, then tried to eat some bits of food, that happy cheery mood I had began to dwindle down. I felt so enclosed in this room I'd be spending hours upon hours in. It all became too real thinking of this life we'd be stuck inside. Then I got a cute picture of Taryn that my sister sent me, sitting in the stands at the Olympus football game.

I lost it... totally had a freak out. Here I was finally in Utah with the beautiful mountains I've been aching to be by. For months I have wished so badly I could be with my family... going with them to Oly games, seeing my little sister cheer, eating at Cafe Rio, running to Target with Kim, doing the normal things I love to do.

I'm finally here, but I can't really be here. The realization set in too fast and I had to escape that room before I closed in on myself. Robbie told me to get some fresh air, to go to the game, or just do whatever I wanted to do. I cried the whole way out of the hospital. I wondered what people thought of me, leaving this place like the building was on fire.

I made it to the car and cried so hard. I prayed and cried and prayed with anger and pain. How can I do this Heavenly Father? How can I live in that room? How can I watch my little baby change into this cancer baby? I want to be NORMAL! All I've been wanting was to be here and to live my old life!!! I want to take my kids to McDonalds and not worry about germs every second... I want them to be able to play together and not have all these scary cords hooked to Tenley. How am I going to do this?!?!

My little tantrum made my cold feel so much worse. I calmed down, but my voice sounded hoarse and my head was pounding.

That evening I sat at the computer and read and re-read the messages that so many have left me. I felt a gratitude of love from each and every one. Amy and Connor were playing with Taryn while I sat there coughing and hacking away. My mom called while she was out running some errands and suggested I get a blessing. I had received a blessing from Robbie our first night at the hospital. It was beautiful and comforting, just like blessings always are... but he was there and I was here. It was a Friday night and I knew most of our close friends and family were out. She said, have Connor call his Dad, see if he is home.

He was home, and said the missionaries had just popped in right before we called. My mom walked in the door and we decided to go just the two of us over to the Johnson's home. Doug was dressed in a suit and tie. Of course the missionaries were as well. Those boys were so sweet and listened to our every word as we told them about Taylor and asked where they were from. South Africa, and Seattle. We talked about Tenley and me feeling tired and worn down. While I watched these two young men, I thought of Taylor. I was so happy they were there.

As these three priesthood holders stood tall around me, the one missionary from South Africa anointed healing oil upon my head. As he placed his hands upon my head I felt that power of the priesthood in a way I never have before. It ran through my body and was undeniable the faith this young man had.

Doug gave me a beautiful blessing. It was also powerful and brought peace to my heart. The blessings he offered upon me have made themselves known. They are real blessings from Heavenly Father and I have faith in His words. I know they are true words of God, and all I have to do is accept them.

Before we left the Johnson's, the missionary from South Africa said he wanted to share something with us. He told us that in his patriarchal blessing, it says while he is serving the Lord, his priesthood power will be strong as he blesses those in need. My eyes ran over with tears. I told him I felt that power and how grateful I was that he was there. I'm so grateful that they listened to the promptings of the spirit and came to the Johnson's house that evening. Yet another miracle I have seen in this last week.

So, having my faith rejuvenated, my day off yesterday, getting a lot of vitamin C, and a couple of good night's of sleep, I woke up this morning feeling recharged and ready for this week! I know Heavenly Father is watching over me and will always no matter what.
That is a blessing worth living for.


Trav and Lizzie said...

What's so neat about you shawna, is that you recognize the small things and choose to see tender mercies in your life. Being happy, recognizing and accepting blessings in your life-- that's a choice. You are a very wonderful person, one who I have learned from again and again.

If I could be a little more like you, I would be a better person.

Ali said...

Ditto to what Liz wrote.

I attended stake conference this morning and heard from the Prophet, an apostle and other wonderful leaders. After reading what you wrote, I feel just as enriched and inspired as I did after hearing those talks today. I ache for you and your sweet Tenley. I hope this week is full of bright moments and peace.

ericksonslc said...

I know that you will have the spirit of the lord with you and Tenley as your constant companion through this trial. This I know to be true. I love you all so very much.

Em said...

Ah! In tears again. What a beautiful experience. I can tell you are a great mama and your husband and daughters are so lucky to have you. We continue to pray for you each day.

Devrie Pettit said...

Your words pull me in. You make me want to be a better mom. When I feel like I am going to lose it with my kids, I think of you and little Tenley. Then, I can take a deep breath. It's not fair that you have to go through this. Sometimes I think Heavenly Father puts strong moms like you in the spotlight to make weak moms like me be better. Thank you for sharing Tenley's journey. We continue to think, pray, and hope for your little gal. It was great to see you the other night.

carolynnjoy said...

D&C 84

33 For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods(being worthy and asking for blessings) of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling (the holy calling of Motherhood), are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies.
66 In my name they shall do many wonderful works;
68 In my name they shall heal the sick;
88 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.

Obviously, these scriptures can be applied to sweet Tenley, But remember, God has ordained to you a most holy calling, motherhood. Continue to keep the faith and rely on the power of the Priesthood. Don't feel guilty taking time for yourself. Recharge your batteries so that you can be the best you to your husband and sweet girls as you can. We will be praying for you all!

Piano Mom said...

All of us Cancer Moms have had those "totally lost it" moments. Mine always seemed to happen in a big public place. I used to keep a lot of my feelings in and tell everyone "we're just fine" when really inside I was screaming with pain and anger. I love your outlook on life, you are strong and Tenley will do wonderfully with this treatment. These little kids are so strong and there will be many angels entertaining her throughout the long months of treatment.

Love, Jill (Erin's mom)

Allison and Josh said...

Shawna, you have such a way with words. Thank you for sharing your strength and faith. I admire you so much. You and your sweet family are constantly in my prayers. It was so good to see you for a minute tonight. As soon as I get my flu shot, I'm going to grab us some Cafe Rio and come see you. Love you so much!!!

Lindz said...

You are an amazing woman! We love your little family, and you are in our prayers!

Kaymee said...

what a great experience and tender mercy. We are thinking of you constantly. Sunday was so sweet as everyone fasted for and prayed for Tenley. Everyone told me to pass on their thoughts and prayers and love as well!!