Thursday, March 5, 2015

Facebook Posts: Treatment in Mexico

December 20th 2014

"There's no earthly sorrow that heaven can't heal." (The words I heard on K-Love Radio as I turned down the road towards the temple.) 

December 25th 2014

He lives...

December 30th 2014

Getting real here...

Many of you know of my health trials and triumphs that I documented on my blog/website. Many wonder why I took the blog down. To be honest, I have felt for several years that there was something big that I was dealing with that food, herbs, essential oils, enzymes, probiotics, chiropractic, physical therapy, acupuncture, colonics and many more alternative therapies was not resolving... completely. For the last year, I have seen various specialists, doctors, ER doctors, have had scans, blood tests, ultra-sounds, etc. with no answers. My health continued to decline until honestly when I went to ISRAEL I felt it was a way to be close to the savior before I actually met him in person. ***bear with me here*** I was getting weaker and weaker and less able to care for myself without any answers as to why this was happening. A couple months before a friend of mine passed away, and before I knew that her cancer had returned and metastasized, I had a very vivid dream that we were in Mexico together receiving treatment. Two days after the dream she emailed me (and others) and let us all know of the cancer metastasizing and about a fund raiser to help her get to Mexico for treatment. Unfortunately she was unable to make it before she passed away quickly. I was troubled by the dream particularly because I felt like I needed to be there with her, and then she had asked for an escort, and then to have her pass away made me fear for my own life also. Two other dreams have given me more insight and direction. Long story short, (ok here come the tears), my incredible family stepped in to help with child care and... I am in Mexico. The good news... we have answers now. Surgery is needed and the Dr said once we heal this 80% of the other issues should resolve quickly. The Dr said I have most likely been struggling with the hernia for over 10+ years. The inflammation (that is severe) and bleeding and infection usually leads to stomach cancer or intestinal cancers. They have taken a biopsy of the dark areas. The hernia is pushing all the bile into the stomach which explains why all I have been doing has been helping but not resolving it. I am scared but also relieved. Family wants me to go back to the USA for the operation but I trust this Dr completely. Tears. I have been searching for answers for so long and FINALLY...I feel hope. I almost gave up searching for answers, but my amazing family stepped in. Joey (not on FB), I love you so much. You and Tara, are angels. You were the one who said "Go! Now!" Thank you, Martha for being here in UT and not in MD to watch the big kids. 

A big thank you to everyone who has rallied around our family and a big thanks to my husband who has taken on the role of home-maker and bread-winner as we've been searching for answers as he cared for me more and more since the last time I taught in Canada (nearly a year ago). The Dr said with this issue no amount of the right food, herbs, supplements etc. would have cured it. It may have prevented the "c" word, (all I have been doing) but the surgery has been/will be needed to correct the source of the problem. The goal was always to "get to diamond" before I received treatment. (I have been asking to come here for over 4 years). We are almost 'there' but I couldn't wait any longer. Here's to an amazing God, amazing family, and to amazing friends. So many of you have overcome things much worse. There is a painting here of Christ's hands guiding the physician operating. I know that the best physicians and surgeons are the ones who (despite their own brilliance and education) trust and are humble enough to be guided by the Master Physician. Because of the peace I feel here, I know I am where I need to be...finally. 

December 31st 2014

As we left the clinic in Mexico, I happened to glance down to see what one of our new friends was reading. My heart smiled as I looked back at her happy, enthusiastic face. Shane had given a Modern Essentials book to someone and he and his wife were already sharing with others in the clinic. It is all about relationships, community and about a love and respect for God's medicine. Texas Mennonites. We have taped into a new wonderful world of people... Where...? In Mexico!

(Note: I did NOT want to leave Mexico, but because our Insurance would pay for the operation in the USA, we decided to return home. $3k trip was worth the trip... We had answers.)

Jan 3rd 2015

These pictures were so beautiful and incredibly motivating to look at...I had to share. Here's to recovering quickly so that I can do some hiking/ go snow shoeing and cross country skiing with the family before the snow melts. Thank you, to Tommy Barlow (from Utah's Wasatch Wranglers) for giving the ok to share these pictures he took. Amazing. Health IS the greatest wealth!

January 6th

"For those of you who know me well, you know that I am a fighter and absolutely do not ask for help... until I am... even then... I hate asking for help. Last night was frightening. I felt like I had lost the battle. I'm asking for your help. The GoFundMe account and my blog explains..."

January 6th 

(When I created the GoFundMe Account)

Jan 6th 2015

Friends. Everything came together miraculously and I am once again headed to Mexico. My sister drove me to the airport, lots of flight miles were used and... I am flying FIRST CLASS for the first time in my life! (I will never again judge those people for "wasting money" for a more comfortable place to seat their tush). I am fighting for my life at this point. Dr's will be getting me when I land in El Paso, TX and they will transport me to the clinic. The paralysis is...what it is. It is getting harder and harder to fight it. Please pray that my airways will remain open and my eyesight will not be effected. Thank you so much to those who have donated. I will at least be able to start therapy for the paralysis. I love you!

Jan 6th 

I shared this with my family privately. Wanted to share with you also... "Tender moments... I was so embarrassed that the airline attendant had to transport me via wheelchair. I tried to hold back tears but they flowed freely and I wanted to cover my face so nobody could see me when we went through a really crowded area. Then the attendant said loudly "VIP comin' through! ... Paparazzi make way!" I couldn't help but laugh. When I needed help walking, a flight attendant asked what was wrong.. I told her and she said "can I pray for you". We clasped hands in the isle and she prayed. She said she'll take good care of me and make sure I make it to my next connection."

Jan 7th

Pieces of the puzzle are coming together. As I thought about what happened yesterday, (the 'enemy' had crushed my ability to talk in English) I thought of this episode of Princess Bride... If this were compared to my experience yesterday, the enemy's caption would be "why are you smiling?" Anigo Mentoya (representing me) would say "because there is something you do not know...I speak Spanish!" 

For some reason the 'English speaking side of my brain' was weak, but the part that speaks Spanish... MUY FUERTE!!! Love you all! Thank you for your prayers! Stay tuned for my next post...I have an idea I think might work. Xo


Note: As I was traveling to Mexico I would begin to feel the paralysis sneak up into the right side of my face and eye.  The right side of my nose felt numb to the touch and as the paralysis headed towards my eye, my vision became blurred.  I actually called the clinic in Mexico and let the person know (who was picking me up) that I may not be able to see them and to have them come looking for me at the baggage area.  I also messaged a friend in El Paso who was prepared to come get me if someone called her.  I had a note ready to give someone so they could read it, and call the number on my phone.  The essential oils were a God send.  I had used them to keep my airways open during the prior night when I felt like I was suffocating and while traveling, I put a couple drops of melissa essential oil (powerful anti-viral) and a couple drops of lavender (powerful anti-histamine) every 15-20 minutes under my tongue during my flight.  I apologized to the woman sitting next to me when I had a moment the paralysis let up and I could speak English.  I explained how the paralysis would return and I wouldn't be able to respond to her in English. She said the smell of the essential oils didn't bother her at all in fact they were "very relaxing" to her and she was grateful for them.

Before leaving for Mexico, when my ability to speak English would come and go, my sister drove me to the bank so I could sign my will (it looked like a preschooler's signature) and then she drove me to the airport.  I would call another sister who spoke Spanish to explain what was happening.  As you read the following Facebook posts, it may seem confusing to read English that I wrote and then to hear about my not being able to speak English.  This lasted for about 7 days.  I could type on my phone but I couldn't write.  I could pause and take as long as I needed to make a Facebook post, but when a person reads it, they would have no idea how long it took for me to make the post.  When the Dr's would come into my room they would begin speaking to me in English.  I would try to respond but couldn't. Sometimes I could say a word here and there. Tears would surface and there would be a long pause until I began thinking of a response in Spanish and then I could talk normally to the Dr's in Spanish as if there wasn't an issue at all. Day 7 was when I could finally talk in English normally again. It would take longer for me to be able to write.  There were moments at the start of my journey to Mexico where I would be able to speak in English as the 'wave of paralysis' (I called it) would come and go, but it became more common for my speech to be a word, pause, a word, pause and not complete sentences.  When the paralysis would let up I could call my husband to talk to him, and was able to explain to my bishop what was happening (through drawn out broken sentences) but it would be 7 days before I could talk normally again to where I felt confident enough to talk to the kids without scaring them with the broken speech.


Jan 7th

I think I need to mention...I started putting $498 a month into our savings/investment account early on in our marriage and did so until we sold the company. The unseen circumstances... drained everything. The lawsuits and liabilities... Impossible to pay but fighting to build doTERRA has been an attempt to not let the 'bad guy win'. Miraculously we have built to a level in DoTERRA that is wonderful... Literally without purse or script. It was a beautiful/amazing (and still is) adventure. In 6-8 months we could most likely have saved the funds needed. Shane is busy doing Aromatouch Certification Classes to bring in more funds needed. (Please call him if you'd like to head up a training in your area). We have military insurance but where I need to be.. It won't cover it. I am fading... Everything I have... I am selling. My I am in and out of consciousness, I will write it as I am able to. To those friends who have donated already, and to those who are yet to donate, I want you to get a signed hard copy of the book I WILL write! Any donation helps! Suggestions for book titles... appreciated! 

For anyone else (not on my friends list) who donate, they will get something awesome from me as well. I am unable to thank everyone personally but want to. No matter how small of a donation... Thank you! It is like receiving a big hug and 'high-five you can beat this' when I receive it! Besitos. Les quiero!

Jan 7th

FOR SALE: 4-wheeler. Articat. Piano. Pier1 furniture. Simon Dewey large paintings. Fireproof safe. Please message Martha and she can coordinate price/seeing pics./sale/pickup.

Thank you, everyone, for your love, prayers, messages, comments and the support you have given my family. I have a hard time receiving... but, thank you!

ONE day and $2k has been raised. 

Paralysis is almost gone. Not walking unassisted yet but IV's are helping. Progress.

Note: After posting this, I received an anonymous $1000 donation and another $400 in donations from various friends and family taking the total to almost $3400. Miraculous. So grateful. <3

Jan 7th 

Picture. One of treatments available. HBO on charts for today also. Very confused for moment. Asked. Dr. Explained... Oxygen therapy to get stronger for surgery. Other IV therapy 3 hours scheduled. Hanging on. In good hands. Funds needed. I feel peace. God. Father. Friends. Thank you to all of my earth Angels. I love you!!! 

Jan 7th 

First grrrrr moment. Denied tabasco. Surprised. I wondered why I crave it SO much and have it every meal. I thought of the contains cayenne pepper and vinegar and salt (I can make my own). Cayenne pepper helps to stop bleeding. Makes sense as I think of bleeding stomach wall. I feel safe here but I don't like being alone as I am so weak. Want friends/family close. $15 more a can stay here. Great deal for room and meals, right? You can come and demand Tabasco for me! Haha Besitos. 

Jan 8th 

My Dr. is like an angel. I felt so much peace when he walked into the room. After the evaluation, I shared with him how much money had been raised by friends and family. He said "no rest your mind...God will provide... we take good care of you." As I walked to another area, the nurse assisting me said happily "you will have surgery tomorrow"... Puzzled, I told the nurse that I didn't have the $6K down payment yet. He said "no worries...Dr James is like that." Ozone therapy cancelled (for some reason it isn't good before surgery)... And I am being prepped today for surgery tomorrow. IV in. Hooray! Dr had told me "we fix this (making a circle around entire abdominal area) and then you strong to fight the rest." 

Jan 8th 

I have chosen to take the path "less trodden". I hope that once I recover, I will be able to say, "Two roads diverged, and I.... I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." The operation is scheduled for tomorrow (Friday) at 9:30am MST. Besitos y abrazos grandes para todos. Coming to Mexico for treatment is where my heart feels peace. 

Jan 8th 

Last details: I updated my profile with numbers to the clinic and the mailing address. A friend said she called the number, a person answered "in Spanish and so (she) hung up". Please no worries. Start Speaking English and you will be transferred to an English speaker. Ask for me and the call will be transferred to my room. I will most likely be in and out of consciousness the next few days so please no worries if I do not answer. The time here is same as MST. Donations: I posted a picture/flyer of the fund raiser. PLEASE share it, print it and put it up somewhere where it can be seen. The surgery is step 1. Finding the unknown that is causing high LDH levels step 2. Stopping paralysis step 3. Speaking English verbally when I need to step 4. I am so grateful I can still type in English. When you call me.. Just be prepared. I may begin speaking but when the paralysis hits, I will not be able to respond and talk well. It will be one word here and there. (The reason I do not call my kids - it scares them). I need to stay here for a couple of months to get treatments after recovering from surgery. I do not want to have to leave prematurely again. I want this monster...gone forever. Please feel free to write your own message on the flyer as well. I love you all. Please pray for all involved starting 9:30am MST tomorrow. I feel peace. No matter what happens, please know you are loved. Xoxoxoxoxo P.S Hug my babies for me any chance you get!!! Now... Bring it on, Monster. I have an army with me now!!!! Here is the link that goes on the flyer...

Jan 9th 

I love you 

(My Dr. typed this on Facebook per my request while I was being operated on) 

Jan 9th 

My husband posted this to my Facebook page.... 

To let everyone know Steffanie's surgery went well and she'll be back to the clinic a little later to start recovery. Very blessed to have talent surgeons and attentive doctors at her care. Thank you all so much for all your prayers and help along the way. Now beginnings the healing phase of her journey. 

Jan 9th 

When I went to the hospital where surgery would be, I felt tremendous fear. The hospital had very high walls and lots of barb wire on top like a very dangerous prison. Fear immediately attacked but I took a deep breath and remembered original peace. Several entry doors. Inside..spotless, very clean and organized medical rooms and equipment with Catholic Church type decor. Peace. Tremendous peace. Lots of laughter. Felt very loved. Before leaving the clinic to be driven to hospital by my cousin-look-a-like Dr., Dr's here took each other's hands and mine and formed a prayer circle with me. All bowed heads to pray... After nobody was praying I asked who needed to pray.. (Was it me?) They said "we pray together in silence." Tears fell. Gratitude. Surgery done. Dr said hernia was "very bad", he repeated "very, very bad"... "river of bile in stomach"... "You have this more than 10 years". He told me now (showing me my abdomen) you have "6 gunshot wounds." (He was joking with me - they were incisions from operation) They brought me back to clinic in ambulance. Love you all. Gracias a Dios... I survived. Next focus... Being able to talk English. Frustrating. So thankful I can write in English still. Xoxoxoxo 

Jan 10th 

Good news! I woke up being able to speak English again! Praising God and all of you for your prayers. Thank you! Thank you! The before pictures (prior to operation) and after pictures of my eyes show the amazing difference. Yesterday I could only open them half way. Today....I can open them all the way. Due to the hernia that the Dr said was "very, very bad", he said the infection in my intestines was the "worst he had seen". Good news... I may be heading home in a couple of weeks - depending on progress. So far so good. Now to follow Dr's orders to walk around (hunched over at first but slowly I will be able to walk up straight in a few days) Other good news? With my new diet he said to expect to lose at least 40 lbs. Happiness! I should be dancing again in 3-4 months! I am SO grateful I came here. 

Jan 11th 

Vulnerable...difficult for me. Post on Facebook? Crazy! Here is my attempt at being vulnerable... "Attack. Relief. Attack... Last night was frightening. I disappear (mentally- completely) as if into a black hole and then I return bewildered. Honestly. Scared. Deep Breath. What is this? Spiritual? Emotional? Physical? Tears. What am I not releasing? What am I not forgiving? Am I not choosing life? Please pray the light will push out the dark. There is no dark. It is merely the absence of light. If I fade completely... Know I have been promised to "Arise". I believe our thoughts create our reality. Please forgive me. Please know I love you. Everything boils down to cellular malfunction and I know thoughts can literally change our DNA. Scientifically proven. What are your favorite scriptures/mantras? I will ask staff to help me put phrases in my room. Xoxoxoxoxo" 

Jan 11th 

I am so grateful I have a team of Dr's using the best of allopathic and alternative to help me heal. Here, in Mexico, I feel like I am with family. The cleaning lady came into my room this morning. She put her hand on my head like a mother would to her child. She said "I love all the patients here, but you hold a special place in my heart....God will help you heal." 

Jan 11th 

Some of our Mennonite friends (we had met the first time we came to the clinic) came in to check on me. She told me how shocked she was to see me again - but unconscious on a stretcher. She said she asked the Dr what had happened (they didn't known I had returned to the clinic). The Dr. Told them about my surgery and then said it was the absolute worst hernia they have ever repaired (and this Dr. Has been practicing for 30 years). I knew the infection was "one of the worst he had ever seen" but had no idea about the hernia. I will talk to the Dr tomorrow and will see the video. So happy to have the surgery behind me. 

Jan 12th 

Birthday Request: I turn 40 on January 30th. My birthday wish... Please draw me (or have kids draw) a picture of ONE of GOD's HEALING GIFTS. Allopathic. Alternative. Oxygen. Sunlight. Words. Water. Music. Earth. Wind. Fire (refinement). Herbs, Essential Oils, Surgeons, ER staff, Pediatricians, Nurses, thoughts, choice, Midwives... Anything. I have something in the works... This morning I could not write my own name. As I am able to, I DANCE (granny shuffle supporting myself with the sink), I WRITE (when I can) and I SING...(as I have strength). I love hearing the Amish sing as they are all lined up in their recliners with their IV's in. (I wish I could take a picture). When I am stronger I will leave my room to join them. Please send the picture(s) in an envelope that does not bend the picture. Make sure you put the name of artist, their/your age and the date on the picture and... 
Background colors..optional.

My New Mailing Address: 
6248 Edgemere PMB #460 
El Paso, TX 79925

Thank you in advance for the wonderful birthday gift! xoxo

Jan 12th 

It's the simple things... 

"Papaya! My favorite!" (I say to the woman who brought it specially for me.) She replied, as she winked, "I remember... from the last time you were here." Then a grandfather who works here kept me company for awhile and then at the end of our conversation he asked my religion and then with much enthusiasm he said, "temple here...beautiful! You get strong, I take you!" Feeling very, very loved. 

Jan 12th 

OK. This may be long...but worth the read - promise. 
The Dr. Finally came in to talk to me. 


The Dr. started talking to me about how "everything happens for a reason"...

I start to get a little apprehensive as he asks about how I am doing emotionally etc.

The blow... The hiatal hernia was the "absolute worst" he had ever seen. 

He began describing how I looked when I came into the clinic (pale, swollen, not talking, unable to walk without assistance)...he said it hit me in the chest because you looked just like Claudette. 

He then started talking about how Claudette was different from me in that "you (he pointed to me) do not have cancer, but your hernia and infection is the worst I have seen. I don't understand it, but YOU "gracias a Dios" do NOT have cancer. 

Here is the amazing part... 

Before Claudette died, she was so impressed with Dr. James that she arranged to have Dr. James come to Utah to teach... 

My friend Melanie attended that class Claudette set up for Dr. James. It was Melanie who gave me the reference of Dr. James. 

Claudette received cancer treatment in the USA. She would come to and from Mexico here and there to receive additional treatment. Unfortunately she did not make it. 

Dr. James just left my room to get Claudette's picture. Tears. 

Sobbing now. 

I will be here a long time, but the good news...everything I was doing WAS helping. Dr. James does not understand how I can be the worst case he has ever seen and for me to not have cancer. 

I am praising God right now, my sweet angel in heaven, Claudette, and too many of you to start listing. 

My sister, cried a few months ago as everything (her plans) changed when she came out to UT from MD. That in itself is a miracle in and of itself. She was here when I needed her most. 

With permission I am sharing Claudette's pictures. Her husband Steve will be coming for a visit in two days. 

EVERYTHING happens for a reason. "Praise the Lord". 

Stay tuned for a happy ending. 

Thank you so much, dear friends. I. Love. You! 

- Steffi 

Jan 13th 

Tender mercies. Columbia if God went shopping with her. I had one I have many. I shuffled to breakfast this morning in boots (of course), hospital gown...covered by my raincoat. I feel so loved. The wife of Dr. James went shopping for me. No cost. Tears. 

Jan 13th 

I felt I needed to share. Our beliefs? Each one unique. When wheeled into hospital at such a weak point, man or a woman in labor...need for others so great, modesty and pride goes away. Here it is... when I first came here, while alone receiving a treatment, I softly heard Grandaddy's voice.... "Steffi.... trust Dr. James with your life." THAT is what gave me the strength to make it back here...despite everything. Xoxoxox 

Jan 13th 

Mennonites and Amish are here from various parts of USA. I asked them why... "You grow (and raise) your own produce, right?" "You should be healthy". One Amish man replied, "we are learning." He told of how his mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law all died of 'C' word. He told of people getting lazy, spraying crops with roundup, to "make things easier" (no weeds) and to "speed up drying"... GMO corn planted around edge of forest... around their 'normal' crops. I was told it "Kept deers away"... They (the deer) would avoid those crops to find other fields. He said "we gave cows an option... GMO corn or natural." The cows would not eat the GMO corn when given a choice. I have SO much to tell you. He and his wife took several years to change fields back to organic. He said "we are learning", but he said "even some Amish get lazy". Wow. Just wow. 

Jan 13th 

It was so wonderful to finally be able to talk to the kids. 7 day nightmare is behind us. Little Sarah asked me to show her my "room", "new clothes" (from Dr James's wife) and "the kitchen." This was the first day walking by myself and the first day I felt like I could talk clearly to the kids without scaring them with the broken speech. A big thank you, to so many who helped me through the worst - seen and unseen service. Thank you! I haven't had the brain power to select very close friends and family for updates and sent to all. I feel a bit embarrassed to say so much (now that I am stronger mentally), but there is a beauty in weakness also. Thank you, dear friends and family for pulling me through the most difficult and scary part of my life. I love you!!! 

Jan 14th 

It was so wonderful to finally be able to talk to the kids. 7 day nightmare is behind us. Little Sarah asked me to show her my "room", "new clothes" (from Dr James's wife) and "the kitchen." This was the first day walking by myself and the first day I felt like I could talk clearly to the kids without scaring them with the broken speech. A big thank you, to so many who helped me through the worst - seen and unseen service. Thank you! I haven't had the brain power to select very close friends and family for updates and sent to all. I feel a bit embarrassed to say so much (now that I am stronger mentally), but there is a beauty in weakness also. Thank you, dear friends and family for pulling me through the most difficult and scary part of my life. I love you!!! 

Jan 15th 

Yesterday evening was difficult. Pieces of puzzle coming together. Identified that "paralysis" I keep describing is intense "pressure - possibly swelling" to the throat and brain that is causing vision, speech, writing, breathing issues and that "paralysis" and "numbness" (I keep describing) may be caused by swelling. Extreme abdominal pain. "Chaga" - Dr's on staff last night mentioned testing me for it. As soon as wounds from operation are healed enough, mention of possible CT scan. Chaga... Can lay dormant for 10-30 years and I was in South America 18 years ago and did have 10" long swelling from a bite. If any of my friends in Chile could give insight, that would be appreciated. Thank you for your prayers. As symptoms come and as various organs, parts of body are affected... Team of experts are there and are supporting my body to fight this. Last night was hard...but..."Trust in the Lord with all thine heart... Doubt not fear not...a time to mourn... A time to comfort and to be comforted...but also... A time to DANCE." These and many other quotes given are beautiful reminder. Thank you. Here alone, I realize there is only so much friends and family can do to offer me strength to keep going - but SO appreciated. When at my worst last night I thought of miracles already seen and thought "God's ways are not our ways..." When eyes are looking at God, there is peace and new found strength to endure. Xoxo 

Jan 15th 

It is so nice to have a Dr with a strong voice that says (I am summing it up)... "Do not fear, or panic...I know EXACTLY what you need and know EXACTLY what to do...forward we go with original plan." Shaking (as if being asked to propel off a mountain for the first time *not understanding the physics of it all*, despite height and feeling unskilled...) step by step he tells me "You've got this!" Uncertainty in other young Dr's voice last night caused me to panic a bit... But the voice of the "Master Physician" (symbolic) this morning... brings me peace. 

Jan 15th 

One of my nurse's came into my room to hand me a pill. I asked if this was my "pastilla para la bruja" (pill for the witch). The nurse laughed really hard and said "if you have energy to be mad, it is a good are getting better." I had practically slammed my IV pole (baston) on the ground as I shuffled angrily back to the nurses station for the third time. Gratefully Dr. James was there to calm me (finally gave me the anti-coagulant push to the IV I knew I needed) as I told of my grievances with a particular nurse. (Not like me to speak up for myself like that!) Dr Jame's assistant will be taking me for a field trip this afternoon. Haha Progress!!!! (I think I am being put in time-out.) Aaaaarrggghhhh!!!! 

Jan 16th 

One of the therapies here makes me feel like Snow White (sleeping in her glass coffin) with a person staring at you. One nurse is great about leaving the room and coming back to check on me every 5-10 minutes. To keep the insanity at bay (while in there), I choreograph dances in my mind. Yesterday, after the nurse left the room, I decided to try stretching the arch of my foot on the bottom of the unit while lying there with my eyes closed. Then other ideas for stretching the foot and hips, came to mind, (in my tiny little 'size of a stretcher' space) and I found my mind racing back to a memory of a dance class in college. I remembered the unique clicking sound the teacher would make as she also snapped her fingers as she said "one and a two...etc." My feet followed the old pattern from so long ago... I was in a very happy place as I tried to listen for the door opening so I could stop 'rehearsal'. Then I hear "Steffi...are you ok?" I startle (hitting my hands and wrists on the glass when I jumped). "Ummm yeah" I said as I began to laugh. Friends, I am 'dancing' again...however feels amazing and I was actually crying in my little glass prison while I 'worked'. This movement is a very good sign. I think the worst is behind us. Xoxo 

Jan 16th 

Oh my word... I woke up smelling...corn. Yesterday I was standing in the doorway (with my IV pole) as I listened to the Amish sing their beautiful German hymns (all lined up in recliners - covered with blankets). The IV 'inn' was full for the moment and so instead of going to my room, I stood in the doorway, curiously observing the singing I could not understand. One dear friend had told me about this one particular treatment days prior. Coming from the hallway she tapped me on the back to look at her. Laughing out loud, and with her thick German accent, she pointed to my IV drip and said "you have corn" (the powerful drip that makes you smell like it). I felt like a girl who had started laughing inappropriately at church and so I quickly backed away from the singing and went into the hallway. My friend laughed hysterically. I said "really?" She said "yes, you (will) smell like this for a week!" Oh my.... I am hiding in my room right now and may be for the rest of the week. Thankfully, Shane expedited a diffuser to me a couple days ago. Oi!

Jan 16th

The stitches are now out! 15 lbs, gone! As the Dr. (who removed my stitches) was leaving the room, I asked if he was the one who also performed my surgery. He smiled lovingly yet humbly and said "yes." Tears surfaced as I tried to say thank you. I was able to sign 'thank you' and then said in Spanish..."thank you...night to day difference". "You're very welcome," he replied. I cannot adequately describe how much gratitude I feel for this amazing Dr. (who I was warned looks 20 years younger than he really is - but the best.) I had been broken. Something wasn't working right...for SO. MANY. YEARS. Finally the gears are not grinding together and things are running smoothly. So grateful for the love of life and dance, family and friends that pushed me ONE. LAST. TIME to find the answer. Never ever give up!!!! Xoxo

Jan 17th

I started to share this to few but decided to share with everyone. Yesterday was difficult. Due to overexertion the day prior, I had to have my meals brought to me again. At 3pm, Dr James' secretary called inviting me to supper later "someplace outside the clinic". I doubted I could do it, but she promised to help if needed. We made it to the place. A 1/2 cup of soup took an hour to eat as we talked and laughed and comes a Mariachi Band. Connie tells them what songs to play. I was amazed. Their voices were so strong and powerful, so loud, so happy and their dance moves were so funny! I could literally feel their voices forcing my heart to smile, letting the healing tears fall. Driving home, Connie said, "I think one of 'your churches' is close - let's go see it." When we arrive, I look up to see... the TEMPLE. We are invited in to the temple lobby by the gate attendant. (Both Connie and I). The guard asks for the temple president. Dressed all in white the President came to greet us... I told him how I came to Mexico with just what I had on and did not have a dress. He smiled and said lovingly "the Lord looks on the heart." He then said looking deeply into my eyes.... "you have a broken heart." He paused for a moment and then said gently, "God loves the broken hearted...It doesn't matter to Him what you wear. Please come and we will provide what you need." As we looked back at each other, both Connie and I's eyes filled with tears. We both felt SO loved. Connie offered to drive me to the temple, and also offered to take me to church as well - after the Temple President told her where it was located. I am continually amazed by Gods outpouring of love and his amazing earth angels who work with him. I pray the same (outpouring of love) for my children, my family and my friends. Xoxo

Jan 17th

I am laughing SO hard at this!!! Tears. This was me as my body was swelling so much (additional 30 lbs gained over three months before coming to Mexico for treatment). I weighed a lot more than after any of my pregnancies but was REFUSING to buy a larger size as I tried so hard to exercise and eat right. Haha wait for the ending... Tears. Thanks for sharing.

Jan 17th

As I sit up here, I can see how every house and business shows the past abuse. Fear built high walls with barbwire....everywhere. Nobody can see their neighbors. Children were unable to freely play. It was a time when everyone stayed inside - as much as possible. I thought of the people that are inside those homes (who I have met). They are incredibly beautiful people. I am SO grateful, despite the high walls and scary appearance,... I chose IN. My knees trembled when I crossed the border -expecting the worst. Thankfully all fears were conquered and I will never ever be the same. Blessed. Xo

Jan 18th

There is an area here where families gather to play cards, sew, kids draw etc. It is a room that is always packed with various 'families'. It gets a tad lonely when everyone is speaking "Po-Dutch", "High-German" or "Low-German" (the population majority that happens to be here right now). People come from all over the world to be here. There is a sweet little 2 year old here who has the cutest smile when I walk by and he looks up at me. He doesn't understand when I say "hello", but I hope he reads the love I try to send his way when our eyes meet. I definitely miss those sweet faces who are back at home right now, and so I decided to put a reminder of their lovely/handsome faces in my room. I didn't do them justice, and two dogs, and two cats are pictured symbolically because... ummm pics didn't turn out so well. Amo a mi familia. (I love my family). I couldn't fit everyone else in, but you are also mentioned symbolically. 

Jan 20th

Update: Today my veins are strong enough, (and I have recovered enough from my operation) to start more aggressive treatment. Progress has been slow, but I try only to focus on having improvement even if 'lifting my own cup to my room' was the workout for the day. Any chance I get I am trying to build more strength. Tightening muscles while in therapy, holding arms in ballet's '2nd position' while I wait patiently for a Dr to return, stretching as I am able, going to the roof to soak in positive thoughts and sunlight. I will be here at least another 30 days, and most likely 21 more days after that to do a final aggressive treatment. I may weigh 115 lbs. when I return, but I will return ready to dance and sing. Literally. As the weakness progressed, I became less and less able to even sing. However, bit by bit there is progress and I praise God for the lessons I am learning and the peace His spirit brings. I will be working on my book. The title will be "ARISE". 

I love each of you. Thank you for your love, support and prayers. I am eternally grateful. ️Xoxo

Jan 20th

Yesterday was difficult. Today, I felt as if my heart was going to burst when all the packages came. I felt SO LOVED. Thank you, Ashley, Kathy, Stella, Georgia, Maggie, and Shane. Tears. So. So. Grateful. 

Jan 20th

First picture ever taken via my nose. 

Here we go! My Dr. said the reason he chose not to do the additional tests, was to save me $1000.00's of dollars. He said the testing is very expensive and doesn't always find the exact microbe causing the problem, however we can see how it is affecting me. We know the symptoms resemble that of Lymes disease or chaga, or some other pathogen that affects the brain. I cringed when I read about that woman from "Desperate Housewives" who can no longer write due to Lymes disease. (I am so grateful that I am able to write and speak in English again.) Whatever it is, we started the more aggressive treatment today. Yup... That is my blood being cleaned and recycled. *cringe* I didn't realize what a baby I am when it comes to getting IV's. My coping strategy... Turn my head and "find a happy place" to transport my mind. Good things are happening. 

Jan 21st

My sweet angel/cleaning lady came to my rescue. I prayed for help and she came immediately to check on me. After bringing me lunch, she returned with this flower. She said "look at what I found. Each flower (5) represents your beautiful children, and the buds represent you, your husband and your sweet angel (baby) in heaven." When leaving she said "Te quiero mucho mi hija". (I love you, so much, my daughter). "You will win". The 'lows' are frightening. I want someone here with me. Grateful for my family of earth angels here in Mexico. 

Jan 23rd

I met Claudette's husband, Steve, this morning. It was surreal. After telling him my story and he and Claudette's part in the happy ending, he was very teary eyed. "Wow", he said. "Now I know why I felt so strongly I needed to come now. I had originally planned on coming to Juarez in March." After telling me more about Claudette, I realize there is more God wants me to learn from her story. Chills. God is amazing. 

Jan 27th

I'm headed home. I will be back in several weeks but for now I am looking forward to reading stories and singing songs, in person, hugs and kisses, bone broth soups done right, fermented foods and beverages to get that good bacteria thriving again, the happy faces of our fur babies, the beautiful faces of our wonderful friends, family and neighbors, and I am looking forward to feeling the strength I feel when wrapped in the arms of those who love me. Weak, but getting stronger... many more wrinkles, but I hope Great Lakes Gelatin and better hydration can help me with that. 

Melissa oil and lavender got me to Mexico safely, Frankincense and Lavender EO's are helping me have the faith to return. A big thanks to all of you who have been cheering for me. Homeward bound! 

Feb 24th

It is inspiring to watch the gymnasts on the balance beam - to watch what they can do. I rarely see the elite gymnasts fall, but one fell about 20 minutes ago. The fall was awkward, and looked incredibly painful. I sit here reflecting on how the gymnast got up again. The elite (in all areas of life) are those who who get back up as they shake off pride, shake off the fear, shake off the pain... And they get back on "the mat"... again and again.

No comments: