Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Being Thankful !

Today I have been reflecting on how thankful I am for many things in my life since I have been slowly recovering from eyelid cancer surgery. Yes, Eyelid Cancer. Never heard of it? Neither had I until a month ago when I went in for a sinus infection that wouldn't go away and had a guncky eye. Before that, I had a stye that kept showing up but would disappear after a few weeks so I had no idea I had a real problem I should have kept asking doctors about.

You can only imagine my shock when the doctor said "You have eyelid cancer". Sure that I had misheard what she said, I said something clever like..."what did you say", and then "I never heard of that". After I was "reassured" it was very rare...the panic started to set in. How do you treat this, what is going to happen to me...HOW BAD IS THIS?!?!?!?! You can only imagine my emotional state as I grappled with this prognosis. Our family was finally moving forward after loosing my brother-in-law to cancer several months before.

Well, after a biopsy to confirm I did indeed have eyelid cancer, I had surgery a week ago to remove the cancer from my left lower eyelid and plastic surgery to rebuild my eyelid. It is painful, it is gross, it is UGLY.

Even with all of this happening to me right now, I am so thankful that:
  • We discovered the cancer before I could loose my vision or worse
  • I have a great team of highly skilled doctors treating me
  • I am blessed with a support system of family, friends and co-workers helping me get through all of this
  • Even though my appearance is slightly altered right now, it will heal and I will be okay
  • Today is a relatively good day since my eyelid is less swollen and I can see out of it
  • I felt good enough to record these thoughts on my blog
  • I can help promote awareness of this type of cancer and encourage others to seek treatment
And most importantly of all....I am thankful for each special memory I have made and the joy I get from capturing those memories on film and documenting them for my family.
The week before my surgery I had lots of nervous energy and put it to good use creating a few scrap projects. Today I wanted to share this special layout I created with the new Jenni Bowlin Farmers Wife products. The picture is special to me since it represents FOUR GENERATIONS OF HAPPY O'NEAL mother-in-law, my daughter, my granddaughter and myself. We have so few pictures of the 4 of us the future I want to make sure I get more group pictures of us together.

Handmade embellishment using Jenni Bowlin Milk Cap Button
and pattern paper, crocheted flower and embroidery thread

I created the folded paper element that seemed to remind
me of a cute ladies skirt which seemed perfect for my subject

I love the clever Jenni Bowlin packaging and used the backing from
the milk cap cb button as pointer to my journaling on the layout

And PLEASE...spread the word about eyelid cancer and encourage people having eye problems to not ignore it and go to the doctor !

1 comment:

Sydney said...

Oh I am SO glad that you are feeling better today, AND feeling grateful ( and you do have so much good in your life) AND well enough to do such an extensive post. (thank you for your lengthy comment on mine too. LIke I said, Houston certainly has some of the nicest people ;-D )

I LOVE the picture of the four generations, That is a really rare thing these days, something to treasure. And you managed to make it even more special with what you did with it artistically.

Love the cherry paper. Sending hugs!


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