eekk everyone has germs!

The last 20 days

The last 20 days of my life have been a series of emotions running throughout me.  I know I normally write about Katie and the struggles and triumphs of having a preemie with special needs but this one is just for me.

It all started the morning of September 11th 2017 when I had my very first mammogram 2 days prior to my 34th birthday and they found a lump in my left breast as you can imagine that’s very disconcerting when you are as young as I am and it started off a series of events that are still ongoing. They biopsied it on the 15th of September and came back as a benign tumor (which has a 1 in 10 chance for cancer) which my doctor failed to tell me for a month that it was benign he just kept saying most likely benign and I don’t know about you but if I were to tell you lets hang out there’s a 1 in 10 chance I won’t murder you, I imagine you’d be like that’s okay I’m going to stay home tonight.  So finally October 19th I’m told it’s definitely benign so I spent a month being stressed and worried for no reason.

Shortly after I schedule my consult with the plastic surgeon to perform the breast reduction I’ve been needing/wanting for some time hence the mammogram in the first place. We set up a date for it. January 5th 2018, I’m thrilled but scared to go through such a major procedure that will take weeks/months to heal completely from but I just know it will make my life better.

How the reduction was done. 

So the day comes and it’s the morning of the 5th and my mom is with me while my hubs watches Katie, it’s an overnight stay and I know I’m in good hands. I see the breast surgeon who is removing the tumor I mentioned above (the put a wire in it and I felt like one of those old movie sets with the bunny ears), the plastic surgeon who draws all over me and the anesthesiologist who happens to be our pediatrician’s brother in law (small world)!! They give me the medication and the last thing I remember is someone saying “breath in this oxygen”. I wake up hours later and in pain but it’s done. The GG’s are gone and I look down and feel like he took them all off. The hospital stay was mostly uneventful other than I watched 5 hours of Futurama and a terrible movie called “The Wolfman” which I do not recommend. I came home Saturday afternoon, uncomfortable but bearable and spend pretty much all the weekend sleeping.

I go for my first follow up visit on the following Wednesday (the 10th) and low and behold I’m one of that 20 percent that end up with skin issues at the T junction so to me this is the worst decision I’ve ever made in my life and I’m despondent and can’t stop crying because my breasts look like Frankentits in my eyes. They give me wound care instructions and send me on my way. Then the 18th comes around the follow up with the breast surgeon who took out the tumor and it turns out I have ADH or atypical ductal hyperlasia. Which basically means my cells in my breasts are growing strange and have a chance to turn pre-cancerous that could turn into cancer. Awesome!!! I’m so thrilled to have the big C hanging over my head again in less than 6 months!!

ADH (atypical ductual hyperplasia

So now I have to set up an oncology appointment to discuss options at 34 years old. 34 YEARS OLD. I went straight pass denial and right into anger. I don’t know why life seems to want to break me but it’s doing it’s damnedest to. The appointment was today and I’m glad the hubs came with me because I would have classified myself as a “hostile” patient.  Like I said lots of anger and currently as it stands I have a 1 in 3 chance of developing breast cancer if I do nothing but if I take this medication called Tamoxicen it halves my chances to 1 in 6. So obviously I’ve been taken for a ride lately but we will come up with a plan.

My personal plan is to do the genetic testing and find out if I have a genetic mutation that puts me at an even higher risk, if so then I will in the next 5 years or so be getting a double mastectomy and implants. My hubs calls it boobie shopping lmao. If I don’t I will be taking this medication and be monitored yearly so we can catch things as they show up, if they show up. I’m not sure what life is going to throw at me next but I know I can handle it. Good news I lost 26 pounds only 5.5 was from the actual breast tissue removal….come on you know you were curious.

I share all this for two reasons; One I need to tell someone before I just randomly scratch out some poor person’s eyes in the grocery store and Two please for the love of god if your insurance will cover it please get checked. Get your mammogram even if you are under 40, it might just save your life and give you time to make a plan in case you end up in my shoes.


Thank you anyone who reads these, I know I’m terrible about updating and I’m trying to work on that. I hope nothing but great things for you!!!



William Lynn 5.1.12-5.1.12/Pregnancy Loss

I’m Samantha and I am a survivor of a few pregnancy losses, this is just some of the story.
This month is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month as well as it’s also Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this is the first time both of these matter personally to me.
For those that already know I’m sorry for the rehash but I’m trying my best to be open and honest about something that is real and that happens more often than one would think. There are millions of women and families out there going through the trauma of a miscarriage, stillbirth, or losing their baby before they had a chance to cut their first tooth that are suffering because they feel alone. When in reality they are in an ocean of other women who also feel alone. It’s only when it happens to you personally do you realize how many people are in the same boat as you and it’s up to us to spread the word that yes this happens, yes this sucks but we will persevere and spread the word so more women and families realize we are here in the same boots and able to help them get through what I’d like to liken to hell because it is a form of hell.
Whether you lose a baby in utero at 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 14 weeks, 20 weeks, at birth or months after birth it is a form of hell because you have all these plans for these babies that will never come to fruition and it’s painful like someone is tearing out your soul. All those plans on what the baby’s room goes up in smoke, all the plans of going apple picking with them when they are older are gone. You end feeling at a lost of what to do and no one says the right things to you because there aren’t any right words for situations like ours. You do however learn who will stick by your side no matter what. It’s not uncommon in these situations for relationships to fall apart including marriages but the relationships and marriage that get through it make it through so much stronger.
Now me personally, I feel like I’ve had it pretty terrible when it comes to pregnancy and the loses that have happen.
In the last 6 years alone we were unlucky to lose the first one at 12 weeks and not find out until we went in for the ultrasound and the baby had no heartbeat, that was a terrible moment compounded by taking medication to make it come out. I ended giving birth in my bathroom and it was just horrifyingly horrible and still haunts me to this day, I’ll cringe if I think about it and I have nightmares about it 6 years later. But they said well this just happens and I was told to give my body time to get pregnant again. This was March of 2011. We tried and we tried and we tried to conceive and I would cry every time my period arrived because it felt like another failure.
Then FINALLY in December of 2011 we finally were pregnant again, the pregnancy ran smoothly even though I hate pregnancy but on the night of April 30th I knew something was wrong and contacted my doctor because I was having contractions and my back really hurt and she kind of just brushed me off so I tried to get some sleep but by 6am on May 1st 2012 the pain was so bad, I called the OB back and was told to go to the ER. I wake Mike up who barely had slept at all and we went off to the ER. They put us in an observation room and they do an ultrasound on the tummy turns out it’s a boy. Anyhow anyone that knows me knows I have always wanted a boy so that was exciting for all of a second before they told me his foot was hanging outside my cervix. I felt myself go numb because I knew in that moment it was over almost 20 weeks of carrying this child and I knew I was going to lose him. Poof went the ideas for his nursery (Mario Bros theme) poof went a life together, poof all the clothing I’ve already bought for this child who was not going to last the night. So I was admitted into the Maternity room and got to listen to doctor after doctor say oh it will be okay and maybe you won’t go into birth today and we can get him back inside and fix this. But I knew it was unfixable and only when the specialist came in did I get that confirmed by now it was the afternoon and he was the only one to tell me the truth which I appreciated. “You will have this baby in the next hour, he most likely won’t come out alive” Brutal it seems to some but he put my mind at ease. I’m a planner and false glimmers of hope do not sit well with me. During this time Mike was occasionally leaving the room to get some air and tell family what was going down. When the specialist left, I looked over at him and said very blankly well now we know and I could see him screaming on the inside so he excused himself and went out to our car and smoked a cigarettes and beat the roof of our car and then did the second round of calls to tell family what was happening with us.
In the afternoon of May 1st 2012 the labor began, Mike was back in the room with me and at first I didn’t want to see this poor baby that wasn’t going to come out breathing, but the birth was quick and I want to say his birth time was 3:31 but I’d have to check the certificate but most likely I won’t I avoid looking at that unless I absolutely have to. Surprisingly he came out not only alive but breathing as well but I knew with out current medical tech. there was nothing to do to save him and I didn’t want to hold him, hell I didn’t even want to be here anymore. After a half hour of the nurses holding him, I asked to hold him. He was so tiny only 9 ounces big and his skin had a reddish tone to it and his eyes were closed but the eyelids were semi-translucent so I could tell he had dark eyes. Possibly my eyes but I’ll never know because he never opened them. I held him until he took his last breath and the one thing that I think about now 5 years later is how painful each one of those breathes had to have been and almost wish he had come out not breathing. They took him out of my arms shortly after he passed and his skin started feeling slightly cold and put him in a basket and left us alone to grieve our tremendous loss. We decided to name him William Lynn because he lived long enough to get a birth certificate. William for his father but really for a deeper reason, the grievance counselor came in to speak with us and said “He had a strong will to live” So that’s where William really comes from, I never call him William, he’s always Will to me. Lynn was my grandpa’s middle name and it seemed fitting seeing we had lost him in January of 2012, that our son should carry my grandfather who has always been like an actual father to me in honor of both of their memories.
We finally got to go home at 10pm that night because I refused to stay overnight in the same room where our son was born, held and died in the course of only a few hours and we cried. We spent the weekend in Ann Arbor it was supposed to be our honeymoon but it was a disaster, the room was shit, their was gum on the wall, wifi sucked, the toilet overflowed and whenever you started up the Jacuzzi it sounded like you were starting up a lawn mower but I found it all hilarious because really we have already been through so much that the room sucking just made me giggle my butt off. Even the bed sucked lol except one section the middle of the bed so we would spend the day doing things as long as I could and come back and cuddle up together in the middle of the bed, the only comfortable part of the bed feeling like this can’t be real. This isn’t reality. Any moment we will wake up and this will have been a nightmare and I’d be still pregnant with our much wanted son. But life isn’t always kind and instead of it all being a dream it became a part of who we are. We had to have him cremated, his ashes sit in a chest I bought and stained myself along with his little hat, with his special bear and with his pictures which I may add to this post. I have a difficult time facing this and I don’t think there will be a time where it’s easier. But hanging off my necklace is a pendant that says “William” from my friend Carley that I wear every single day of my life and his tiny blue bear the hospital gave us I carry in my purse every day. I’m not religious but I throw away my disbelief long enough to believe my granny, grandpa, and Mike’s grandparents are watching over this much loved baby who I miss every day of my life and as I’ve said this before his death did serve a purpose because after so many loses I finally had a diagnosis that ensured Katie’s survival. So thank you Will for making sure your sister could stay inside long enough to have a fighting chance at life and thank you for being here with us even if it was such a short amount of time. I’m sorry you didn’t live, I’m sorry I’ll never see you grow up and I’m sorry I’ll never know what color your eyes would have been.
This will always hurt it will just hurt a little less every year. Every year on the anniversary of his birth and death I’m a wreck and I sob and that’s okay because it happened and it sucked. My whole point is that I guarantee their our parents right now suffering a loss that happened whether it was years ago or last week and they have a hole in their heart and I just want to say, I know where you are and I see you.

Your past doesn’t define your future

This is a saying I say a lot because I think it’s true, your past does not define your present or future. Yes you are who you are because of your past experiences but letting your past hold you down makes you miss out on the present and on the future. How can you move ahead if you are letting your past haunt you? I know plenty of adults that love to blame their childhood for the shitty things or decisions they make or do and to that I say bullshit. You always have a choice, always. You can choose to continue down the path you are currently taking or you can change directions.

I grew up with a not so awesome background and though I don’t like it and I don’t like what my family did or does, I didn’t let them define me. I looked at them and thought “I don’t want to be like them” so I didn’t. I made my own path and became my own person early on and I’m always slightly taken aback when someone says that this is amazing and so hard to do because to me it wasn’t. I didn’t want to be like them so I choose not to be, that’s it. I didn’t have to work at it, I just looked at the people around me and learned from their mistakes instead of making my own. By no means does that mean I think I’m perfect, I’m not, I’m wonderfully flawed like any other person. I’ve made my mistakes in life and I’ve paid for them in spades. I’ve fallen and picked myself back up again and luckily once I make a mistake I make damn sure I don’t make it again.

My life isn’t perfect and it sure isn’t easy and sometimes it’s down right just hard but it is what is it and I love who I’ve grown into. So, what I say to you whomever reads this, I know life sucks sometimes and maybe you are currently going through something difficult but you will make it through and you are wonderful. You don’t need to be perfect, it’s okay to be wonderfully flawed because that’s what makes you you. Only you defines you, not your past, not your significant others, your children, your family, only you and that’s a beautiful thing and if you currently don’t like who you are or what situation you are in, all it takes is one step in the right direction followed by more steps. I sincerely hope you all are doing well and just know even though we don’t know each other, I personally love you for who you are and who you will become.



Scar Revision Success!

Talk to the hand daddy!

Success! However it was one of the most frustrating, irritating and annoying days of this year so far. We got stuck in traffic on the way there, her surgery was scheduled for 11:30am yesterday we arrived and found a parking spot and got into the hospital 10 minutes late because of the huge traffic jam and we left an hour and half before the surgery!!! Waited in the waiting room forever, they finally come back and grab us three to go to pre-op at about 1:30pm and then I made mention that I think her trach site had closed, which then prompts them to have to change the surgery plan because they were expecting to close the hole. So an misunderstanding happens between me and the man getting his face shoved in in the photo above because now it’s more of a cosemetic surgery isn’t necessary but we come to an understanding and decide to have the scar revision go through so we won’t have to do it when she’s older and can remember the surgery.

So I spent about an hour not talking to my other half but we both ended up apologizing to each others because we are adults and both were in the wrong. Meanwhile Katie’s in the OR and rocking it out and 45 minutes after the start we go in for the consulatation with the doctor who by the way is just amazing. I hugged her…twice and I don’t hug anyone other than Katie! Anyhow like I said the hole was closed which meant we did not have to stay the night which I was super glad about and we have one follow up and then ENT will be releasing her from their care! I’ll address that in a moment. She wakes up from sedation super pissed off because she’s in a strange room with a stranger and she sees me and grabs for me. I pick her up and there is still some wet blood at the site and then I had blood on me but I didn’t care because she was in my arms and even though she was screaming her head off, she was okay and fine.

Get the IV out of her hand, get her dressed, pop her in the stroller and we are off for our long walk to P5 parking lol (there was like no parking at C.S. Mott’s). Get her in the car and off her and I go……right into another traffic jam. Now here’s the thing every few minutes Katie is crying and I can’t do shit about it because well I’m on the freeway and need to drive so what is normally a 40 minute drive was an hour and 40 minutes of her crying off and on and me telling her “Katie soon we will be home and these cars will get out of my way” which well they didn’t lol but we got home a little after 5pm and I put her in her high chair put on some “Sarah and Duck” and she was just as happy as a clam. Got to finally feed her for the first time that day and she just was so chill all night. She stayed up later than normal but once she fell asleep she was out for the night and I only had to give her Tyenol twice. Which while I write this the little miss is napping.

This morning I woke up to even louder babbling and I go into her room and she gives me this huge smile and we get our day started and she’s acting like nothing has happened. She hasn’t been messing with the site so far so thank god for that and she’s just so happy and it warms my heart.

On the follow up appointment I was talking about earlier I want to say something seperate for it. Since April 21st 2015 we have been dealing with her having a trach, being attached to a ventilator, having home nurses, no privacy, more than our fair share of doctors appointments, RSV shots, trach changes, suctioning, two emergency trach changes, one time having to use the ambubag to get the mucus plug out, the weaning off oxygen, weaning off the breathe rate, weaning off the pressure, weaned off the vent completely, her wearing a HME (humidity moisture exchange valve), capped off, decannulation, and finally the scar revision. The best part of the follow up appointment (July 20th) is this it will finally close the chapter on the whole trach saga. All the stress, all the worries, all the invasive tests and procedures and my god it’s been tiring but so damn worth every moment.

To anyone and everyone that ever reads this, thank you for taking the time out of your day to read about my little miss and if you are currently going through anything trach related or preemie related please don’t hestitate to send me a message or ask questions because I’d be more than happy to help anyone on this road. It’s rocky and unsteady but don’t worry everyone in the preemie community will catch you when you fall. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

A week away

A week from now assuming Katie is healthy and everything she will go in for her scar revision procedure or surgery if you so prefer to call it that. It’s only supposed to take an hour and they will close the trach site if it’s still open (I can’t tell the little miss won’t let me see!) and make the scar look prettier. I’m not sure what all is going to happen but the little I do know is it isn’t a serious procedure because they will only be keeping her for 23 hours overnight so we won’t be fully admitted into the hospital.

I’m definitely nervous because well they are going to be putting her under even if it’s for a short time and the fact that the last week she’s been having allergy issues so I’m hoping those clear up like now so it doesn’t get delayed. C.S. Mott is super cautious about this kind of stuff with reason. I’m just super glad that she’s getting better. While I am still suffering from this bad ass sinus infection and luckily I’m not contagious.

On another note I play “Sid the Science Kid” for Katie when she’s getting a g-tube feed and every time they sing at the beginning she’ll look over at me like “hey you going to sing mommy or what?” I may have accidentally trained her with all the singing I do with her. Also I’m super excited because one of her former “podmates” at the NICU joined the naked neck club yesterday, so no more trach for her! So all in all very good things are happening even if I’m coughing up a damn lung!

I’m watching you monkey mirror! 

A open letter to Katie



Today marks the 2nd anniversary of you coming home from your 225 day stay in NICU and I wanted to take a moment today to write a letter to you that I hope I expand on every year until you’re old enough to give them all to you.

I hope I have been a good mom to you and if I have messed up hopefully it was nothing major and just small things like making you mad because I wouldn’t let you go to a party or something like that. I really hope I do right by you and the reason I’m writing this letter is to tell you how much I love you and how proud I am of you. By now you’ve probably heard many stories about your NICU stay and the struggles during your baby/toddler years and maybe you have some memories of outpatient therapists or specialists or maybe you don’t. Right now I’m not sure where the road is leading us but I do know I am so proud of everything you do.

I’ve loved you and been proud of you since the day you were born and I know I definitely loved you from the moment I knew of your existence. I’m sure we won’t always see eye to eye but please know that every moment of your life I have cherished. You have always been wanted and always been loved. I will always be proud of you and love you no matter what. You have been through so much at such a young age and in such a short time and I can’t imagine loving anyone as much as I love you. Every new thing you do thrills me even if it’s something as simple as a smile or one step forward or one word spoken. We are incredibly lucky to have such an amazing daughter and I don’t know right now who you are going to turn out to be or where your road in life will take you but I do know no matter what, I will always love you for who you are. Your dad jokes he will disown you if you go to OSU but don’t worry he’s just joking because you’re amazing and you have both of us wrapped around your finger.

I’m really hoping that we don’t end up with a pony in the backyard and I hope we give you the space and room you need to grow and thrive and find yourself. I really hope I’m not too overprotective and let you be you and not wrap you up in bubble wrap to keep you safe and I really hope you are proud of me too. Because you are literally the best thing I have ever done in my entire life and I really really hope I haven’t let you down. I love you so much Katie and I’m sure I don’t show it enough but I hope I tell you how much I love you and how proud I am of who you have grown into. Katie, you have made my life such a joy and I hope I do the same for you in return.

I hope to keep this up writing you letters every year on this day and you already know about the many holiday cards I’ve written in by now and of course the hand written journals that talk about your childhood. You have your blanket over your head right now so I need to go take that off your head. I love you Katie and always will.




The show must go on……again

Katie loves her green ball!

Today was our first appointment with Katie’s new PMR doctor (Physical Medicine doctor) and it was definitely an interesting appointment for a few reasons. First off apparently my daughter has a bias against white haired men with a white beard so I’m not really sure how much she’s going to love meeting Santa for the first time this year. I imagine lots of screaming, because that’s what she did the entire appointment. She’d stop for a moment look to see if he was still there and start screaming again. So I may be slightly deaf today in my left ear but whatever. Wooo parenthood!

So the meat and potatoes of the appointment is this, he has no idea why Katie is so behind developmentally, meaning physical wise. She doesn’t crawl, she doesn’t walk however she scoots in circles when she wants to. Personally I feel it’s because she’s only really been able to do PT for the last almost 6 months but I’m not a doctor and that’s why we take her to a specialist. Anyhow he said she’s a mixed toned patient and that he wants to order x-rays of her spine and hips to rule out scoliosis which actually does run on my side of the family. He wants her to have a MRI done after her 3rd birthday, which I’ve agreed to. Lastly he starts talking about her face, how her ears are shaped, that she has a weak chin whereas I have a strong chin and finally her eye shape and set and says he would like her to have genetic testing done. Part of me is like “FUCK, I have to tell my crazy husband this” another part is like “wait she has my eye shape and set, do I have something genetically wrong with me?” a part of me is completely calm and the last part of me is internally screaming. We talked calmly about it and he mentioned how pleased he was with the progress she’s making in therapies and that he’ll see us back in September so obviously it’s not an emergency situation. I get the scripts and leave.

I get my sweet little girl into her car seat, I start driving and the freaked out part of me comes to a head. I have a disturbing ability to push that shit down and stay calm with the doctor. The entire time I’m thinking oh my god what if it’s genetic, is this my fault? Because as parents we sure do love to blame ourselves for anything and everything. Wooo parenthood. I’m thinking shit I have to call my husband and he’s going to flip his lid and go into a mental spiral where Katie will never be normal, living with us her entire life and our retirement savings will go to her care after we are dead. (He tends to freak the fuck out and jumps ahead to basically a dystopian future, it’s super annoying). So instead I turn on Queen’s “The show must go on” play it 3 times cry a little while I’m driving on the freeway. I dry my tears and pull myself together, take a deep breath and realize I am being silly.

When she gets the testing done only two things could possibly happen it shows up with something so now we have a diagnosis that hopefully we can work with or it comes up clean and rules out a whole slew of genetic issues which would be a good thing. Either way it’s a good thing, either we will know what’s up or we will know for sure that she doesn’t have a whole bunch of genetic stuff.

At this point, I just want answers and if there is something wrong, so what, we will deal just as we have been for the last two and a half years. Will it be harder? sure but isn’t that what life is all about a whole lot of sadness and hardship for a moment of happiness. Katie’s happy no matter what’s going on, whether its genetic or she’s building up strength physically, Katie is happy. She’s healthy, she’s thriving and she’s beautiful just the way she is.

So I’ll leave you with this on this cloudy, gloomy Friday, as Queen’s lyrics go “I’ll face it with a grin, I’m never giving in, the show must go on!”


I hope you all have a lovely Memorial Day weekend, I imagine I’ll probably post something about Memorial Day after I’ve gotten some sleep.

How Katie really feels about naptime

Don’t let this picture fool you, she fights sleep like she’s Muhammad Ali! 

I thought I was only going to write one post today but surprise bam a second one. So most parents know the frustration of getting your little human to go down for a nap or go to bed at night. I have to commend each and everyone of you because holy shit do they ever fight naps like they are a boxer in a heavy weight championship bout. Don’t they know one day they will regret all the naps they are currently fighting. One day they are going to get older, I’m assuming teen years and want to nap but they can’t because homework or whatever. Then they become adults and have to work and have responsibilities and will have little to no time for naps (Unless your my husband that dude could sleep during a rock concert). I think it finally hits you when you have children how much you regret all those naps you didn’t take and then the cycle repeats because I’m pretty sure our parents were strongly considering giving us Benadryl or whatever they had in the 80’s to make us fall asleep and now I totally understand why on the side of the Benadryl bottle is says “Do not use to make child sleepy”.


I don’t by the way use Benadryl to make her sleepy but oh my god I totally get it now.

“You have to F-ing poop” TMI warning

Obviously from the title you know where this is going lol also that it is probably TMI!

So when you’re little one goes through an intestinal surgery whether it’s one or multiple ones you’ll come across a few bumps in the road especially when you add a G-tube into the mix. Depending on the child you’ll have to deal with either diarrhea or constipation. Well poor little Katie suffers for the later from time to time.

Normally she’s pretty regular but when she’s not it quickly becomes a nightmare because well what doesn’t come out that end comes up in another way….vomit! So the two days I’ve been giving her prune juice, nothing so today I upped the stakes and gave her pear juice so hopefully that does the trick. I’m kind of hoping it happens within the next hour because her dad will be home and we have a deal, he must change one diaper a day and I find it hilarious when the one diaper a day is the number 2 one. He gets so dramatic, I should video it one day and post it up because it’s honestly the funniest best thing ever and like the evil EVIL woman that I am I so enjoy his mental anguish when he is changing her diaper.

So moral of the story is I don’t need the book “Go the Fuck to sleep”, I need a book called “You need to fucking poop”. Happy weekend ❤

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