Tag: Pain

Memory Of Cleveland Clinic

Memory Of Cleveland Clinic

Every 3rd of July I am reminded of fighting for my life in The Cleveland Clinic. Four years ago today I was in surgery, literally hoping for a miracle. Little did I know the miracle was sitting right here in Arizona, with Doctor Lettieri.

On July 3rd 2014 I was rolled into surgery, Eric gave me a kiss on the forehead as they wheeled me into the operating room. Tears rolled down my cheeks onto the pillow, nurses kindly asked what they could do to help; shaking my head, watching them walk away I knew there was nothing anyone could do. Not even with the best surgeons on the face of the earth, no one could be able to bring my smile back.

The worst was still ahead of me, waking up in the recovery room after an eleven hour surgery I felt my head. It was full of staples, like a train track from one side to the other and down the back of my skull. My ear was pounding and swollen. I just wanted to see Eric and go home; after seven weeks in Cleveland I was depressed, sad and disoriented.

The next day, the fourth of July 2014 is a day I will never forget. No attending’s were in the ICU, the residents were in charge for the Holiday. Pain beyond my belief was surging through my body; a senior resident forgot to put orders in for pain medicine; I thought I would die on that day. I was prepared with letters to my children and dear husband. When the resident did not answer page after page to come to the ICU-I went further and further into a deep dark place, actually wanting my life to end because the pain was so bad. Nurses rubbed my legs and listened to me sing “Be Still My Soul” and “I am a Child of God” over and over again. It was an hour and fifteen minutes the senior resident finally make it to my room, followed behind him were other junior residents. He questioned my pain like I was faking; wondered why I was crying, and asked me too many questions; which I believe now was a senior resident showing off for the junior residents. I was gasping for air I couldn’t speak without trembling, he finally gave me the pain medicine. Even after the pain medicine was in my system my body shook like a baby, composing myself was difficult.

This is one of the junior residents Brendan Alleyne-he came to visit me after that incident and held my hand. The compassion he showed was nothing I will ever forget, I wish I could tell him what his acts of kindness did for my faith in the future of medicine. I’m thinking about him today, Dr. Lettieri is constantly telling me about the ego’s of residents, just like the senior resident I encountered at Cleveland Clinic. They forget who they are serving, I often wonder if he would have treated me different if I had been his mother, wife or child. Thank you Dr. Alleyne wherever you are today, I believe you are caring and sharing for your own patients now and hopefully learned something from this experience that will help you always remember patients are real people, with real families and a story to tell.

XOXO Monya

His Grace

His Grace


So Much To See

I remember taking this picture in 2015, just a year after being diagnosed with facial paralysis. Frenchie took me on a trip between surgeries; funny I can’t remember where we were. We’ve been on so many trips together trying hard to mark everything off of my bucket list. I do recall looking out of the window far above the clouds and seeing this breath-taking view; it was at this moment I realized I have taken so much for granted; our world is beautiful so many nooks and crannies we will never explore, but just knowing they are out there gives me hope and a sense of a spirit much larger than my soul can imagine.

There is so much to see in this beautiful world of ours; but my favorite place to be is with my family, there is no other joy and peace I feel watching my children grow into happy, healthy adults who cherish one another and understand the importance of time, time together making memories to last for eternity.

I started back to work yesterday, it was physically painful however I’ll take the pain over depression any day any time. There is something about being through so many surgeries, procedures, pokes and tests that make me wonder once again what I am supposed to be learning.  I am well aware of all my weaknesses-I say damn and hell every once in a while, I judge people when I should be reaching out to them, I’m simply not perfect and not ready to die. I try daily to be better than I was the day before and so often fail in my attempt; but one thing I never do is leave my Heavenly Father out of my daily routine. He guides me and helps me to become the woman I strive to be.

This was me on May 1st, 2014 I thought I was so happy, look at my smile, my beautiful teeth. Oh how I loved to smile.  I’d finished chemo, radiation and several surgeries and was well on my way to being ‘ok’ with living with cancer. I see some wrinkles, but mostly I see joy in my eyes for the happiness I felt being alive. Then life came to a screeching halt and I was once again faced with an unfortunate life altering transfiguration.

On May 15, 2014 this was me lying in the Mayo Clinic hospital fighting for my life.  There was a sadness I had never experienced. My life would never be the same, my face would show the sadness and sorrow. There was simply no one on earth who could possibly understand what it felt like to hear my surgeon tell me “I’m sorry to tell you, your face will never be the same again, you need to get used to the new you”

That task seemed daunting and unachievable I didn’t know how I could face a world where physical beauty had become the main focus for so many people. I never realized I was one of those people, I was vain I wanted my smile back I wanted to be normal, heck I’d even take typical. With help from Dr.Lettieri teaching me grace comes from within, I have been able to somewhat come to accept who I am, what I am meant to do here on earth; and it is definitely not to be a fashion model. My Heavenly Father has so much more in store for me and I’ve come to understand true authenticity and absolute beauty comes from knowing who you are and where you are going, it comes from first loving yourself no matter the circumstances life throws at us.  It certainly sounds easier than it actually is to do, I have spent 3 years working on myself, studying and trying to teach our  youth to love their life. If all of us could see ourselves through our Father in Heaven’s eyes I think we would be surprised to know what He sees in each of us; I believe He knows my heart, He feels my pain but mostly He understands I am trying everyday to become a worthy woman of infinite worth in His eyes.

This was me just a few days ago at Shane Wright’s luncheon after his funeral; I love this picture with Archer, still bruised and swollen looking at this picture I realize my grandchildren will never know the face or person I used to be they only know Bonbon exactly how I am today, and they love me unconditionally as I do them. The woman in this picture has come a long way with still so much to learn about herself and other’s. There is no better Hope than knowing I have many years to learn and teach other’s how to cope with unforeseen circumstances and to accept to love themselves in away no one on earth can understand. I am truly blessed and Amazed at the grace He so fully offers all of us.

Monya Bonbon



There is simply nothing better than being a grandparent; and one who is needed. Kaitlyn and Brian flew to Utah a couple of weeks ago to say their final words of love to a beloved husband, father and grandfather; we will truly miss Shane Wright’s presence in our lives. Sharing grandchildren with he and his darling wife Dee Dee has been such a joy.

Haleigh, Kayla and Chloe and Blake stayed with the boys while I recovered enough to help out. They have been with me 24/7 for the past 4 days; tomorrow we will fly to Utah for the funeral. It’s hard to imagine these sweet grandsons not having the opportunity to remember what a giant of a man Shane Wright was. I imagine, as I did with Eric’s mom Kaitlyn and Brian will keep granddad Wright alive in the lives of these boys.

For me, the recovery process after this last surgery with Dr. Lettieri is going a little bit slower than I imagined it would. After visiting with Dr. Lettieri this week, he was pleased with how things look, the flap took and the stitches from one side of my head to the other are beginning to dissolve. The pain is subsiding; well it was until Archer flung his head into the area where I had my surgery, yes I saw some stars but mostly wanted Archie to know it was not his fault.

I forgot how demanding little one’s can be when they are in your constant care 24/7. Archer has not been feeling well and unfortunately I believe he has passed it on to me.

Monya Bonbon


Porte Jaune Here I Come

Porte Jaune Here I Come

Tomorrow I enter Mayo Clinic surgery center, close my eyes and go to my happy place, Porte Jaune Paris.  This surgery is going to be regenerating some of my own tissue from bone marrow into my hip, hopefully alleviating pain and giving me more mobility. It’s a fairly new procedure, insurance does not cover it, but I rather try it on my right hip before going for a hip replacement. If this is successful I will have the left hip done. I’ll be using a walker for awhile (don’t laugh) I cannot have any weight on that hip, but the good news is the recovery is only days instead of months.

I’ve actually gone a year and a half without a surgery this will be #41. Dr. Freeman is my pain doctor, I love teasing him-but the truth is he has really helped me for over 5 years now to relieve the pain with cortisone shots; it’s just time to try something new.  The Lord has blessed me so much, little by little He’s helped me understand the reason I have gone through so much.  I needed to be refined, He wanted me to get out of my comfort zone and serve other’s.  I used to look in the mirror and wish I could go back to where I once was, I wanted my smile back (I still do at times) I sometimes close my eyes and pray for the Lord to allow me to feel again, I mean really feel my life is worth all of this. It takes my breath away many times.  Then I’ll meet someone who needs help more than I do and I have to remind my heart to beat again, I look into the eyes of a child who needs food, clothes or a hug and realize I have a second chance to make my life mean something, I really want to leave this life having made a difference.

So for tomorrow I will get stuck with needles once again, then slowly drift off to Porte Jaune riding my bike, picking wild berries and watching the beautiful white swans drifting through the waters. When I wake Eric will be at my side like he always is.  Then I get to start all over again learning to walk with a healthy hip-time and patience will tell. I’m grateful for modern medicine and the opportunity to try regenerative procedures that allow me to heal quicker.

XOXO Monya Bonbon


I Can Only Imagine

I Can Only Imagine

My body has physically been through so much trauma, I often wonder how I have survived it all.  Yesterday I had the pleasure of picking up Recker from school. My Heavenly Father knew I needed this sweet boy in my life, he was born just four months after I was diagnosed, I was blessed to be able to watch him when his mom (my daughter) went back to work.  I will never forget the day I stood at the top of my stairs and begged Eric not to go to work, the depression was so bad during chemo I wanted to literally die. Eric looked up at me and said “Your almost done babe, just keep fighting. Recker is coming over today you need to be here for him.”  I sat on the floor and bawled as I listened to him shut the door.  I couldn’t imagine one more day of throwing up, pain and depression.

When Recker arrived I dried my eyes and held him in my arms.  I’d make it through another day staring into his beautiful eyes, the focus on him kept me alive I loved taking care of him he needed me and I needed him.  Within a year he was diagnosed with Autism, although we were incredibly sad, we also had no idea what autism was or how it would effect our family.  Eight years later, I constantly wish I could be in his head and understand what he is feeling or thinking.

When I picked him up from school, he got in the back seat put on his seat belt–I looked back at him to make sure he was safe, smiled put my finger to my chin and said “I love you Recker” he then put his finger to his chin and said what sounded to be “I love you.”  We drove in silence, well except me talking to him about his day and how school was–he stared into the open air with no response.  When we arrived at my home he immediately put his swim suit on and was ready to dive into the not so warm water.  I sat and watched him swim for over two hours with no verbal communication.  He was perfectly content and so happy.

I realized while watching him, it’s us that are sad for him-he will eventually if he hasn’t already understand that he is different, but we try to teach him he is not less than any other child or person-just different. That night I went to see the movie ‘I Can Only Imagine’ a true story I recommend everyone to see.  It was difficult to sit through, this boy was abused physically and verbally by his father and so many parts of it reminded me of my younger years.

Tonight as I ponder the words from that song, I tried to lose myself in the words of the beautiful words. I can only imagine what it will be like to be in Heaven once again with Recker, both of us with perfect bodies and minds, no more trauma or mis-understandings just pure love. I will finally be surrounded by the unconditional love of a God who has reached down and pulled me out of difficult times. I can only imagine when that day comes my heart will be entwined with perfect knowledge of exactly what God see’s in each one of us.. I will probably have a hard time speaking, but we will not be able to get Recker to stop talking, it’s interesting in our lives we take so much for granted. I cannot image living in a world where you want so badly to communicate with people, especially the people you love most-family. Imagine how hard it would be to understand every word other’s are saying but not being able to respond. What a joyous day it will be for me to see Recker embrace our Savior and hear Him tell Recker what a special boy he is.

On a few occasions I have had the opportunity during surgeries to visit Heaven and see a glimps of what I believe is the most beautiful, perfect place I have ever visited.  Because of those visits I have been granted,  I want to live my life in a way my family will be proud of, I want to help and serve other’s I will do anything it takes to live there for Eternity once my body is ready to part from this world. It is glorious and beautiful nothing hear on earth compares to Heaven–I will be with Recker, Ezra and Theo and hopefully my entire family for eternity–I love that thought.

Love Monya Bonbon



Emergency Surgery With Dr. Salvatore Lettieri

Emergency Surgery With Dr. Salvatore Lettieri

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions.  Once again I am stuck in either a hospital bed or now in my own bed. I ran into the same problem I had with the first surgery. Dr. Lettieri warned me this surgery would be tedious. Besides the complications of waking me up from the first surgery the right side of my face has swollen up and began to drain not long after I came home from the first visit to the hospital.

Dr. Lettieri was out of the country, I called his office and was able to see another surgeon at Mayo Clinic.  Unfortunately the inflammation needed to be drained.  A fistula had formed.  Dr. Lettieri explained to Eric after surgery he was afraid this may happen. While he was in surgery the paraded gland (saliva gland) was in the way of the nerve he needed to connect with. Dr. Lettieri could not get to the nerve he needed without disturbing the paraded gland.  In the long run this slight unfortunate problem was unavoidable.

When Dr. Lettieri arrived home I saw him right away, and he arranged surgery immediately.  I am now at home, recovering with a drain hanging from my head. I was able to see Dr. Lettieri in his office on Monday he took the head wrap off, left the drain in gave me an anti-biotic and now we wait.

How am I feeling? I am not on pain pills, you know how I hate those. With that being said, I also hate not sleeping.  It’s always a fight with me to take the medicine and sleep or live with the pain and use another source for sleeping.  I guess that was clear as mud…..ha ha.  My honest feeling is some pain, but grateful for a surgeon who knows what he is doing and is attentive to my health needs.  Once again I have been lead to a surgeon who I love.  In fact when his office called on Monday to get me in I advised Sharon his assistant “I will not be seeing any surgeon but Dr. Lettieri, I will wait if I have to.”  I didn’t she and he got me right in.  I want to hug him every time I see him, he is a breath of fresh air–but not necessarily a hugger.

So for now I lay in bed, work my Nerium business when I can, nurse my wounds and again thank the Lord for seeing me through a rough surgery.

Surgery with Doctor Lettieri

Surgery with Doctor Lettieri

It’s been difficult to blog current events. I’ve signed a book deal, however I am going to keep up my blog.  Soon it will have the logo from my book. I will also have a FB page for caregivers, survivors, or for anyone wanting to know how to comfort a friend, family member or loved one during and after cancer has been diagnosed.

I entered the Mayo Clinic Hospital in the early morning of December 2nd, 2015.  The last surgery I had with Dr. Lettieri was successful.  He took a nerve from my leg masterfully entered behind my left
ear through the left side of my face under my lip.  We were told if the surgery was a success we would feel it grow one inch per month.  It has done just that and now it is time to finish the job.  This is a very tedious surgery, trying to find a nerve that is workable from the right side of my face will take a few hours.

When I woke up in recovery, it was a little touch and go scary for Eric–not really sure if I was having a stroke or reaction to medicine–either way I dry heaved for over 24 hours, did you know dry heaving hurts?

After neurology was quickly called to the rescue I had CT-PT-MRI and brains scans–no sign of stroke–however since I was still in much pain and dry heaving I was kept for longer than expected.
My surgeon Dr. Lettieri is in Italy……What the Heck? Doctors get vacations?

I needed to go to Mayo Clinic since the surgery sight is bleeding.  I was temporarily fixed up, but will not be seeing another Surgeon until Dr. Lettieri gets back. (Monday)  There was nothing wrong with the surgeon I was able to see, but my ultimate choice is Dr. Lettieri–FOREVER- I made the mistake of going to Cleveland Clinic on a suggestion –HUGE MISTAKE —  I will never do that again.

While working on the nerve in my face, Dr. Lettieri had no choice but to try and work around my paraded gland.  I am well aware of this gland and the damage that can happen if I don’t get it fixed but I am not seeing anyone else but Dr. Lettieri. The gland for those of you who don’t know is the gland where your saliva generates. This gland was compromised my face has backed up blood, either running down my throat or running out of my incision.  We cannot keep it controlled with our own packing.

I’m looking forward to seeing Dr, Lettieri next week.  with more updates to come.

His Grace / Dr. Lettieri

His Grace / Dr. Lettieri

So this will be a really raw post.  REAL life is happening over here in my head.  I keep thinking about the times I begged the Lord to take all my heartaches away, let me feel the sunshine all the time.  I felt I’d done my share of trying and hardship–I should have gotten an A+ on that report card.

Once I’d forgiven those in my life who had truly belittled and hurt me, then took the time to also forgive myself for my shortcomings I felt I had paid the price and I was done. I heard this quote the other day

“When you face adversity, you need to remind yourself that whatever is trying to defeat you could very well be what God will use to promote you.”

The quote struck me so deeply with the spirit, I had to rewind several times to make sure I heard it correctly.  The truth is, I am a strong person, I am sometimes brave but I am very much weak in so many ways.  The death of Sheldon really put so much in perspective for me.  Although he and I had talked about death and the possibilities of leaving so much behind, we also recognized the weakness of this world.  One time we talked about whether or not doctors are as smart as we all seem to think they are.  Never a day goes by that I don’t think about Sheldon, what is he doing? The peace he is feeling, no more pain, no more doctors no more shadows to hide under.  I want to find that place.  I find peace so many times in knowing all these sleepless nights and bittersweet feelings I have will all be taken away. I,  of course don’t want to have my children or grandchildren to feel the pain of having me gone, but knowing our lives are eternal gives me pleasure.  I know this life is such a twinkle in His eye, the life after this life is eternal, I will have plenty of memories to make with my grandchildren and I will not miss a thing.  Keeping my eye’s and thoughts on eternity are what give me sight when I think I can’t see past today.
With the Lord, I have no hiding places I can go and rest. He truly knows my heartache, when no one else seems to ‘get it’ He not only hears me but He knows how I feel–that pain is hard for me.  I know it must penetrate his heart knowing He cannot take it away until it is my ‘time’ to go. Problem is, there are times I want it to be my ‘time’ There are times I get such anxiety and feel a desperate need for Him to, like a candle light a fire under me, illuminate the once happy place I used to fill my days with.  I wish there was a physical person “my person” I could go to and say  nothing, just cry.
I was in between appointments at Mayo Clinic and Maricopa Hospital the other day.  I needed to get new pillow cases, mine are all blood stained and bleached beyond repair.  I went into a TJMaxx I had my head wrap on, an older woman approached me and asked if I had gotten lip injections.  I was not feeling well, but was still so taken back by her question I just stared at her for a few seconds before I replied “ummm…No” I wanted to be classy and walk off without saying what I wanted to, but she wouldn’t let it go, she had Margie with her (I’m assuming it was a friend) as I started to walk off she said “wait, you must of had a face lift?” I literally laughed as much as I could without it hurting, “Again, NO” she was relentless following me around the store, remember this was only a 2 day post 2nd surgery.  I let loose on a stranger…..”Listen if I had just had lip injections, or a face life, I would tell you to stay away from this plastic surgeon, seriously ladies look at my face, I can’t move my lips to talk, and I have lumps the size of marbles all over my cheeks, so with all due respect I’m going through a series of UNWANTED surgeries, I’m vulnerable and need you to back off” she looked at Margie and said “Well, she obviously doesn’t want to hear what I have to say about her face lift”

I paid for my pillowcases sat in my car with my head on the steering wheel saying out loud “Why? Why do I get the coo coo’s?”  I can honestly say at this point in my life, I am not opposed to women or men getting elective surgery, I had a breast lift years ago after having babies.  However, at this point in my life I am DONE with surgeries that are not necessary. This last surgery #25 has weakened me, my immune system is the lowest it’s been.  I have a leakage coming from  the Perotid gland in my face (a salivary gland situated at the base of each ear.) If not attended to can cause major infection and all kinds of problems.  Doctor Lettieri injected my left cheek with 200 mg of medical grade botox to try and scar up the surrounding area and get that gland to stop leaking.  My take on BOTOX?  I’m not sure if this is the same type of Botox women and men get for cosmetic reasons, but there in no way in HELL I would ever do that for cosmetics–it seriously bruised and hurt very badly.  I think he said there were about 30-40 injections, my face looked like a roadmap from Phoenix to New York, with the permanent purple markings and the shots themselves. The bruising is just now turning that beautiful shade of yellow-green.  I can’t seem to get my energy back, I’m tired all the time.  Some of my medicines were changed I may need to reevaluate that decision made by my doctor.

I often hear people say “you are so strong” “I couldn’t do what you do” “You’re such an inspiration”  what is true is that I am evidence that His love is real, but those strengths I seem to show to others are  truly the answer to the quote above, the one that struck me so deeply.  He is using me, my adversities to promote we can survive hard times, we are in the grace of his hands.


Begging vs Believing

Begging vs Believing

When Haleigh was about 13 years old she asked Eric “Dad, when I get my driver’s license will you buy me a car?”  Eric said, “Yes we will have a car for you to drive”  I remember this because I told Eric, “I wish you wouldn’t have promised her a car, we are going to have to hear about it for 3 years now. What if your situation changes and you can’t keep your promise?”  Eric looked at me and said “I always keep my promises”  I was dreading having to listen to Haleigh constantly ask about that car.  To my surprise she never asked again, she talked about how happy she was about the prospect of her drivers license and the freedom she would have, but never asked about the car.

I have often thought about that.  Eric was so confident he would be able to provide a car for her to drive he felt comfortable making a promise.  She believed him, he had never lied to her before.  I think I know Eric well enough to know if Haleigh had continued to bug him about the car for the next 3 years he would have been hurt or annoyed.  The hurt may have come as a result of her not trusting in his word.  The annoying aspect of this equation is obvious.

So many times I have asked in Faith for the Lord to heal me.  He heard me the 1st time, he also knew the answer before I asked it.   The very 1st time he heard my prayer, the miracle was in motion.  He never said it would be easy or quick. Maybe what I thought was my question was actually me begging.  He probably thinks “Why is she asking me this again, I already answered her. Does she not believe me?”

Lazarus was dead for days when Jesus thanked Heavenly Father for bringing him to life before it actually happened.   My mind tells me somethings are impossible.  Maybe I need to have more faith and thank Heavenly Father for the answers before they come.  Having faith means I cannot see the answer,  but I believe He will provide the answer. Heavenly Father already knows and he has given his word.  He must feel bad when I beg and plead with him.

I’ve been getting all my initial pre-operative work done this week.  Did I mention, I’m having surgery on February 6th with Dr. Lettieri? This will be my 23rd surgery in less than 5 years.  A huge part of me wants to completely check out.  I’m so done with hospitals, surgery and doctors. The other side say’s “It’s not your time yet, I can do all things through Christ”

Trying to find a vein today the RN asked me “do they usually have a hard time finding your veins?” I smiled and politely replied “Yes, they usually do” She was frustrated, after the 6th poke she said “I’m going to try one more time if I can’t get a draw back I will go get someone to help me”  She finally had to take the blood out of the upper part of my arm just below my elbow.  Painful?  Yes it was, but I was calm.  I asked her just before she rolled me into the CT scan if she would shut my right eyelid.  She did, what a job, was my thought.  When the contrast entered my body a sudden warmth penetrated every cell in my body.  It’s a strange sensation, my fingers tingled, I felt like I needed to pee and my ears were burning.  This was all done at the Maricopa County Hospital.  My  surgeon is employed by Mayo Clinic in Rochester, but does trauma surgery at both Mayo Clinic and Maricopa.  More about him later, I am blessed once again with an incredible surgeon.

I left Maricopa Hospital and went to the Mayo Clinic Hospital to get the rest of my pre-operative work done.  Time to collapse some more veins.  I was dreading going into the blood lab, knowing they would have a hard time finding a vein.  Another 7 or 8 pokes, she finally got a smaller needle, which was what I had asked her to do in the beginning….. no one believes me.  She finally found a working vein on the side of my left hand close to my wrist…painful?  Umm…. yes but grateful she found one.  She had tears in her eyes.  I told her it was ok, she said it looked like I had been poked earlier.  I told her I had she said she couldn’t believe how calm I was.  I left there sat in my car with my head on the steering wheel and cried just a little.

I just need to believe the Lord is on my side, He knows what is best for me.  Put it in his hands and let it go.  Today, I will thank him for the healing that’s coming my way.

Brain Scan-Mayo Clinic

Brain Scan-Mayo Clinic

I arrived at Mayo Clinic early this morning, and can I just say that the people who drive to work between 7-8 am everyday……I am so sorry.  It was stop and go the entire way to Mayo Blvd.  I will be getting  brain scans every 3 months FOREVER.  All that really is, is an MRI, 45 minutes of pounding, and hammering on my brain–I survived, not my favorite thing to do, but necessary for Dr. Barr’s to see what is going on between my ear and my brain…..not much.

Let me explain this doozie.  When I arrived at the hospital they took me in to prep me for the scan.  Included in the visit is an IV.  I warned the nurse not to use anything less than a 22 needle, and to not use my left arm, wrist, or hand.  She smiled and assure me she knew what she was doing. I then announced “Please listen to me, I know……….” then she plunged the size 20 needle into my left hand, immediately I concluded “you just blew out my vein” The nurse then said “How did you know what size needle to use?”  “This is not my first rodeo, after 5 years of being poked and prodded I’ve learned the left side has no veins left,  if you had let me finish before you  stuck me I would of let you know, 

My experiences have taught me” She then advised me “Since you’ve had a port on your right side, you shouldn’t use the right side, I’m sure your oncologist has told you not to use the right side for at least 10 years, since your lymph nodes were removed?” “Um, no he has never told me anything like that” “Who is your oncologist?” I looked up just in time to see a familiar face, and she recognized my face also.  Beaming, I said “Lindsay right?” she reached in to hug me, “Yes, how did you remember my name?” “I’m not sure, I just did, but I’m not sure why, or who you are” a few small laughs.  She then affirmed  “I was your nurse on the 5th floor, when you had your nerve go dead, how are you doing?” “I am fantastic, except for this blown out vein …… just here for a brain scan” “Oh dear, I’m sorry about the vein, let’s see if I can get a smaller needle and use the other hand” The previous nurse disappeared and Lindsay finished up.  What a great surprise, I love when I get the pleasure of running into the great staff who have served me over the years.

One of the reasons I love Mayo Clinic so much they always have my results the same day.  I ate lunch, then met with Dr. Barr’s.  He is so great, always has a big smile and a sweet compassionate heart.  The results of the brain scan looked good, the cholesteatoma has no regrowth, there was a little liquid build up, but nothing for me to worry about.  Dr. Barr’s took time to talk to me about the facial paralysis, he wanted to know how I am dealing with it.  It’s hard to say I’m OK with it, I’m not.  Of course I wish things were different, I explained I am trying to deal with ‘being OK’ if the nerve does not fuse back together.  I added, I’m not used to people looking at me then quickly looking away, I have gotten to the point that I look away now, so they will not have to be uncomfortable.  He then looked at me with his big smile and acknowledged what I was feeling was normal, but that he loves who I am, my personality and my heart.  I have to admit, it was a good boost for me, I needed to hear exactly what he had to say.

I will be going to Cleveland Clinic next week for some more surgery on my eye, I think when I get home I will be finishing all the rest of my surgeries up at Mayo Clinic.