Saturday, May 29, 2010

Finding Happiness

I expressed my desperate attempt to be happy two weeks ago. I wrote about how sad and frustrated I was and the response I've received has been extraordinary. The love I’ve felt is incredible. It’s made me feel so strong after feeling so weak.

Two of the hardest weeks I’ve dealt with were followed by the most inspirational week. It has been full of more self-growth than I could’ve ever imagined. I’ve had to dig down deep and really look at who I am. For fellow Oprah lovers, I’ve had so many “AHA moments” in the past 5 days.

Here's a few of the fun things I've gotten to do or received: first there was “I love Carolyn” day on Facebook. Next, I got a package of notes from my cousin Casey’s class in Atlanta; who knew I needed some inspiration. They are juniors and seniors who spent there last day of class sending a girl they’ve never met well wishes. Third, we’ve been working on t-shirts and web/ logo design all week. Fourth, Make-A-Wish came for a visit. The volunteers, Amy and Don, were incredibly nice! I submitted my wish and they were almost as excited to get the ball rolling as I am. My wish was to promote the need for donors in the National Marrow Registry with Oprah Winfrey. Lastly, I want to talk about the statistics class at Gilbert High School. They used my story and a charity to compare the best way to fundraise. I was beyond surprised when they showed up at my door with a gift for me. This week has been full of craziness and love. I have enjoyed every minute of it. But I should mention; there were rough spots too. The steroids still leave me high strung and stressed out. But I’ve been trying to focus on what is really worth stressing over. I've continued to learn that if you can’t control it; there is no sense in worrying about it. All we can do is hope and pray for it to improve.

I’ve received some of the greatest quotes this week. Here are a few that really resonated with me:

“ We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” -Oscar Wilde

“Remember today is the tomorrow you were worried about yesterday.”

“You have the sky in your hands. Blow it away and watch the dark clouds disappear.”

I’ve caught myself feeling guilty about my cries and complaints. But it’s easy to look back and say I could have been more positive. That’s the way I was feeling those two weeks and I can’t be sorry for how I felt. But I can try and appreciate what I have more. I can focus on what is positive even when it seems so negative. And I can learn from those feelings I experienced.

Medically, my liver enzymes took a turn in the wrong direction. They removed the drug, called Posaconazole, that had initially been added to help take the stress off of the liver (funny how that works). It was the medication I took three times a day accompanied by fatty meals. That helped ease the crazy schedule slightly. Mycamine took it's place. It’s IV and takes an hour to infuse. I hook up at 9pm and then follow it with my nightly liter of fluids, magnesium, and potassium that finishes in the morning. After stopping; the liver maintained it’s levels, but the Tacro is now being metabolized more quickly so we went back up on that dose! If none of this makes sense, please forgive me. Up and down, up and down, I have to take notes while the doctors talk to try and keep it all straight. Regarding my blood sugars-I have some great news!! We have fine-tuned the insulin twice this week and we are starting to see improvements! Right now, we are at four pokes and five shots a day. I am proud to announce I can actually poke myself! (I think I’ve mentioned I don’t like seeing needles before; so this is big! My Mom still does it, but at least I know I can.) We had started a new medication last week that had a one percent chance of an itching reaction. It happened. Now, I think it’s actually kind of comical. So, needless to say, we stopped that too.

The difference in my weeks has been a mental change. It wasn't the activities I took part in that brought the happiness. I did fun things those two hard weeks, but I had been focusing more on the negative than the positive. It was the inspiration and hope, the love, and a realization that you just have to bounce back up that was different this week. It felt like the steroids took my personality and my ability to bounce back up. They can and have undoubtedly changed my personality. But they can only take it away completely if I let them. We all have a right to down days, down weeks, heck; being down for as long as we need to be. But we all have a reason to smile after we’re done frowning too. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of that. Thank you and thank God for helping remind me.

“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”


  1. I'm so glad you're learning to not let those stinking steriods get the best of you! I am also beyond excited for you and your wish!! And how much cuter could you get your little peach fuz head:) Thanks for sharing all the awesome quotes, they are truly inspiring. After graduation "The Climb" came on...twice!! I could not help but sing along:) Keep the faith and know that I love you so much!!! ~Corinne

  2. Ceci, I continue to follow your blog daily but have regretfully not been commenting back like I usually do. I will be honest..I struggled with things to made me so sad and angry at times that you are continuously tested and challenged with something new...whether it be physically or emotionally. I wanted to have the perfect thing to say to help you feel better, or inspire you or something. Then I read this latest post and realized...what you need is what you always have.....Us, your friends, your family, telling you we care. Telling you how proud we are of your fight. How human you are to feel everything that you are feeling. You have every right...we all have the blues. They pass and good things replace them. I never stop thinking about you or praying for you. You continue to inspire me. You are incredible and I look forward to seeing you on Oprah! :) Love, Kindra

  3. So did you also tell the Make-a-Wish people that all your family (including the Oklahoma bunch) want tickets for that Oprah show?!?! You are so awesome for that being your wish! You could have wished to go somewhere you've never been or to meet someone famous, yet you are so unselfish that your wish is something that will benefit others! I'm not surprised though. You have to be one of the most unselfish people that I know. I should really take notes from you on that! I hope you have a great week and enjoy Allan being home! Love ya, girl! Jena

  4. Ceci,
    I think your wish is amazing. I know it's weird, but my biggest dream is to meet oprah! I think if someone as big as oprah would help you promote the registry, it will inspire many others (example: the no phone zone pledge). Keep it going! I know you don't know me well and i don't know you well, but i check your blog every day and send a prayer for you. The road ahead of you is a long, hard one, but remember..... When all of this is done and over with, you can look back and think about all you pushed yourself through. You will move mountains!

    With love,
    Tanner Coburn

    PS - my 18th birthday marks the day I get put into the bone marrow registry :) my mother is a nephrology nurse and knows where i need to go to do it :).

  5. Ceci, I think most all of us can identify with focusing more on the negative than the positive---especially when the trying time is a long time like you have had. You are so right about the mental change---sometimes climbing to make that change is almost too tough to start---sometimes we have to crawl before we can bounce. YOU are sooooo encouraging to all of us. I especially liked what you said about us all having a reason to smile after we are done frowning. Thanks for the reminder---it is soooooo true. Love & Prayers, Kathy & Rexie

  6. What a strong girl :) You can give yourself shots now! wow what a jump!!! haha :) I love how you are just fighting all these medicines. You aren't letting them get in your way :) You're so strong Carolyn. i love you so so much! Keep climbing

  7. It's amazing how everytime I read this, you teach me something different! Thanks for taking your inspiration and inspiring everyone else! You are truly amazing in that way :) I love the quotes (Ha! I had to really think about that second one!). Make-A-Wish!! That's so exciting :D I love you so colosally much! Keep climbing and know you're loved THIS much :)
    Love always and dearly,

  8. Love the quotes. . . . .Sorry I've been gone to Utah and to Bellingham for graduation and haven't commented as much as I like. You continually inspire all of us.