That day was in the winter of 2007 in a hospital bed at St Raphael's Hospital in New Haven CT. I was having a Crohn's flare and my rectum had collapsed, my sugar levels were so messed up they had to give me insulin, I developed pancreatitis from a daily chemo pill called 6mp and the pain my body was in was incredible. You can not describe that kind of pain. I would scream bloody murder every bathroom trip and the nurses did their best to medicate me. The veins in both arms were all failing so all the pain med they gave me was bubbled up on my arm. Just pockets of morphine and dilaudid. My body had been vibrating and lifting off my bed in pain and then all of a sudden the pain was gone and I was in this white mist.. I remember feeling a peace and calm like my anxious self has never known. Then this ornate and beautiful door appeared before me. I remember studying it and being blown away by its detailing. Then next thing I know I am in my hospital bed with a lot of nurses and staff around me. I didn't know if this was a near death experience or if it was just drug induced.. All I know is from that moment on I felt like I was suffering and living this way for a reason. All the childhood abuse, the rapes, the pain and all the trauma that I suffered wasn't in vain. I knew I had to fight as hard as I possibly could to overcome this and get out of that hospital bed and back into my life. But my life was never the same after that day.
The day after I came to I agreed to get a chest port-a-cath placed so I could start IV chemo treatments and have a better way to give blood and get meds while I was in the hospital recovering. My older brother Rick had multiple ports when dealing with his cancer battle and I felt like he was with me. I felt at ease getting it knowing Ricky was strong enough and I could be too. I drew a lot of inspiration off of watching him lose that battle with cancer with dignity grace and a beautiful smile. I knew how to treat the staff with respect and admiration whether they were surgeons or the person cleaning my room. I knew to shine my light because I had his example and felt like he was on my shoulder in a way. Ever since that experience he has been even closer to me and I am SO grateful for that. Rick may not be visible but he is with me every step of the way. All I have to do to call him near to me is sing, and anyone who knows me knows all I do is sing!
I don't know my purpose but I have created my own reasons for why I think I am here. When I feel weak I have a core group of amazing people who lift me up until I can get up on my own two feet and stand again. I am so blessed with having a home and food and clean water. Even my poor health is a blessing. It has made me a woman I am extremely proud of. I used to fully credit my strength and courage to my loved ones who have inspired that strength and courage, but it was always my creation. I can finally take credit for all my attributes, positive and negative. I am so far from perfect but that is just part of being human. Its all part of the experience.
|This photo was taken when I returned home from the hospital in January 2007|
I never saw myself sharing this story and to be honest didn't tell a lot of people about it at all. But it was a huge turning point in my life and so I want to acknowledge it and share this story with you guys.. Because this moment in my life changed me and made me into this woman you all love so much! I don't feel bad at all saying I am my top priority. I don't feel ashamed or embarrassed of who I am and what I have done and lived through in the past because I love every aspect of me and I am DAMN PROUD of who I am! I never change myself, I am me all day every day so love me or leave me. I cuss spit and fart but I'm still a living work of art!