Monday, December 31, 2012

the time has come...

I am sending a prayer up right now before bed: Please, Lord, please let 2013 be a year that beats 2012 in every way possible. My family, friends, and I cannot handle anymore stress, ailments, loss, or sadness. I just want a year that will open my mind to everything the Universe has to give me. I want an open mind, and an open soul. I wish desperately that my dad could be ringing in the new year with us, but he will be in Heaven with his friends and partying it up like crazy. He deserves it. 

This year was so hard on me. I had a ridiculously hard surgery to overcome, my dad got sick and was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma and he died in July after being diagnosed for 5 months. He fought so hard and he kept a smile on his face the entire time. I wouldn't trade my last moments with him for the world. I just hope nobody else has to endure that ache and pain in their lives in the new year. Please send up a prayer of happiness for those who need it, health for those who need it, and love for those who need it. 2012 is so done. I am ready to say goodbye and shed the skin and bad energy off of me that the year has draped over me. It is done.

 I am surrounded by a white light of beauty and protection and love and I know my loved ones are as well. We deserve all the best in the world and it is coming for us. Stay open-minded and the universe will bring you what you want...even if it isn't something you necessarily need right now. Go with it. Accept it. Everything happens for a reason and if we don't understand what the lesson is that's being taught, keep asking questions and keep asking for help. You will find the answers in unexpected places. Just hang on to your beliefs and resolutions. Something good will come to everybody this new year. 

You all deserve it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dad.

This is in Corvallis where RJ and I spread some of my dad's ashes. It's not at the Wildlife Refuge which was my first choice, but due to the weather conditions we chose to go to Peavy Arboretum, which is another place my dad used to take my sister and I. It was raining but beautiful. We walked to the lake (which we have dubbed December Lake) and found this perfect spot. It was amazing. I cried, and prayed for him. I could feel him there with us. The mist coming down with the rain was ethereal. I love you dad. Rest in peace. You are my hero, my inspiration, and forever my dad. Happy birthday.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Update on health and my dad's birthday.

Well my IBD friends, I did indeed have a Remicade allergy. My poor mouth is chapped and split from the swelling, but it's getting better. I am doing 20mg of prednisone for 3 days to help the allergy reaction. My GI has finally agreed to do a colonoscopy (will be picking a date tomorrow) to see if I do in fact have active disease. I know in my soul that it is my Crohn's; he thinks it's IBS, which is bullshit because with IBS you don't fucking bleed when you use the bathroom unless it's from an external cause. 

I asked my PA what she thinks my next course of action is now that I have literally exhausted every option when it comes to Crohn's medications. She said if I do have active disease, the last medication I can try is Tysabri...which is scary and not available locally, so I'd have to drive every 4 weeks to the large hospital over an hour away. It's where my dad had his chemo infusions and where he died :(

Speaking of my dad, tomorrow is his birthday. He would have been 58. I haven't really processed these emotions yet and I am just so sad. After school RJ and I are going to  go to the wildlife refuge where my dad used to take Kim and I (my twin) on walks ALL the time. We called it Walking In The Woods. I will be spreading some of his ashes there. It will be very sad but I think he'd be happy with that choice. I will post pics tomorrow and write more later. 

Just please, everybody, be sun safe. Wear sunscreen or makeup/moisturizer/lotion with an SPF EVERY SINGLE DAY, EVEN IN WINTER. Melanoma (and skin cancer in general) can strike whether you tan once a year, or you have never a day in your life. Know your risks. Melanoma Research Foundation has amazing information that can literally save your life, as does AIM for a Cure, which is the organization that is hosting the Melanoma 5k in 2013 I will be helping with and participating in! Check them both out, read the stats and facts, learn your risk factor(s), and please-if you are able-donate to both. Any amount helps. Also check out these blogs that will not only give you inspiration, but it may change your life: Adventures With My Enemy Melanoma is written by my friend Chelsea who is a Melanoma survivor and has amazing insight and spirit. Pretty In Pale is a blog written by my friend Katie and she lives in Oregon and is the amazing Melanoma warrior hosting the Melanoma 5k I am participating in in Oregon! Happy reading, and have a wonderful night!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

My heart is broken...

The holidays this year have been extremely hard and I am struggling a lot with the death of my father. I knew this time of year would be hard, but I didn't realize just how much it would hurt. I haven't heard much from my dad's side of the family (except for my cousin and one of my aunts, out of eight aunts and uncles) since he passed, and actually since even BEFORE he passed. I've sent emails, texts, and nada. Nobody will contact me or anything. On Thanksgiving I sent a lovely email and text to the entire family and only two people bothered to write back. Two out of eight. Since Thanksgiving, not a damn word. So I sent the following verbose email to my family last night at 11pm in hopes of getting answers, expressing my feelings, and letting them know that I am not happy with the way I have been treated during all of this. Here is the email, in its entirety.

"Hello there!
This email has been sitting in the back of my mind for quite some time now. I have not wanted to send it, but since it hasn't changed I have decided to go ahead and do so.

I sent all of you emails and texts out at Thanksgiving that were genuine, from the bottom of my heart, and real. Out of all  those who the emails/texts went to do you know how many of you have replied? Two. Just two of you. Since my dad's East Coast service you had for him, I haven't heard basically a word from anybody. There are a couple of people who do keep in routine contact with me, and for that I am so so happy and grateful for, but I haven't heard from anybody else. Why? What I have done that is so wrong that NONE of you will acknowledge my existence, or even say 'Happy Thanksgiving' in return? Am I not a Stewart anymore? 

Every single night I cry myself to sleep-and I am being 100% literal here-because I feel like none of you want anything to do with Kim and I anymore. I am going through scenarios in my brain where we could have done something so heinous as to warrant this behavior but we haven't done anything. We lost our dad-we didn't lose his family, and yet it feels like you all died with him. Do you know how much this breaks my heart? Some of you I haven't heard from AT ALL since well before he passed away. 

My heart aches right now because I feel like every day I am losing him a little bit more...the sound of his voice, his laugh, his mannerisms, and it would be so wonderful to have family to talk to, to encourage me, and to keep me going during my struggle with grief. And yet most of you have yet to even bother to reach out at random and ask if I am okay, or if Kim is okay, or even my mom or Teena. We all love him and miss him and cry for him daily. Thanksgiving was beyond hard to get through without him and not any one of you bothered to call or text or email me back (with the exception of TWO PEOPLE). Do you realize how much that hurts? My heart is completely broken right now and I don't understand what I did to make you guys hate me to the point where you won't even acknowledge my existence anymore.

I am not angry, and I apologize if this email makes me sound so, but I am just extremely hurt and sad. I NEVER expected this from anybody in the Stewart family, and I know for a fact that my dad would NOT want you guys acting this way. I understand that it is hard to write emails, or calls due to the emotions involved, but it hurts worse to be completely forgotten about and ignored. 

His birthday is on the 11th and I was going to send an email out to see how you all were holding up, if you were planning on doing anything special in his honor, or if you were just going to think of him and that's all. Then I decided not to even bother because my last few attempts at communication have been pointless. I miss you all with every fiber of my being. My heart aches for my father and I know all of yours do as well. So why the silent treatment? I need you all more than ever and yet I feel 100% abandoned by everyone. That's not fair and I know my dad wouldn't be happy. He would want us sharing memories, sending updates about our lives, sharing stories, emailing and calling and texting just to keep in contact. We are BLOOD relatives. His blood runs through all of us. It's not fair to shun the ones who live the furthest away. I Just don't get it.

Again, I am not angry. My feelings are extremely hurt right now. I am grieving and the holidays this year have so far been the hardest to get through. I can't do this aloneKim can't do this alone. We need our family, and that means all of you, not just a couple of you. ALL OF YOU. I Just want to know why. Why am I crying myself to sleep every single night? That shouldn't be happening. I thought the Stewart's were tight-knit through thick and thin. That's how it should be and that's how I would like to see it start to be. I don't want to lose you along with my dad. Please, don't get upset or mad at this email. That's not the reason I am sending it. I jsut want to know why we have been ignored and forgotten about. I love you all and I miss you all terribly. I don't want to lose all of you. That would break my heart even more than it is right now.

Love Always,

Now how many replies do you think that email has given me, since 11p last night (and mind you, they are three hours ahead of me)....NONE. Not a single person has replied. I am so beyond heartbroken right now. Family is supposed to stick together. Family is forever. This is NOT how family treats each other and I am just heartbroken. My dad's birthday is coming up on the 11th and I won't bother emailing any of them to make sure they are okay. If they can't extend that courtesy to me or my sisters, then why should I extend it to them? I love them and I miss them dearly, but I deserve to be treated better than that. 

In my opinion, Melanoma didn't just kill my amazing dad, it killed my family ties as well. I hate that disease. I hate that my dad is dead. I hate that my own flesh and blood won't communicate with me, and I hate that I feel these ways. I shouldn't have to. Nobody should. I just needed to vent tonight, guys. I'm sorry.