A new struggle

Friday, November 21, 2014

Lately things have been really good. I honestly don't believe it's a just a depression upswing, I think I'm actually doing better. Work is great, my marriage is really improving, new and healthy friendships are blossoming and overall I just feel happy. It's a big change and I feel like myself again after so, so many years with a cloud over my head.
Unfortunately, last weekend a new bomb was dropped, one I knew was coming but still wasn't ready for.
Back in June of 2012, I wrote this post when we found out my uncle had cancer. We didn't know how long he had and my uncle didn't want to find out. The doctors were never able to find the origin of his cancer so treating it was difficult. Radiation, chemo, etc. droned on, with the cancer coming back each time, usually bigger and stronger.
About a month ago we were at my grandma's for her 97th birthday party (she's a tough/awesome old lady). My uncle was there for about 30 minutes and visibly exhausted and in pain the either time. He walked in, sat down, moved to another chair to eat and then left. It was hard seeing him that way.
On Saturday he went to the hospital for chest, abdominal and hip pain (his hip has been the biggest problem area since the beginning and he has a lot of trouble moving, walking, sitting, really anything, because of it). The doctors found a number of tumors on his spinal cord putting pressure on a lot of different areas. They're radiating to attempt to shrink the masses hoping to alleviate some of the pain, but not cure anything.
Our family combination Thanksgiving/Christmas (we call it Christ-giving. Sound nice, doesn't it?) was planned for this Saturday. Even though no one will say it, we combined them because we don't know how much longer he'll have. My uncle and his wife planned a big, fancy, catered party sort of as a last hurrah, I think. But because of his week-long radiation treatments, it's been cancelled.
I'm not sure what it was about that cancellation for me, but all of the sudden his death became a reality. He's been sick and suffering for a long time, and there have been a few close calls where my mom told us to "prepare," but it's not any easier.
What complicates it all is Kelsey's death. To recap, my best friend died in 2008 of Addison's Disease, a one-in-a-million autoimmune disorder no one knew she had. It was heartbreaking, life altering and sudden. I didn't see her death coming, but with my uncle's I do.
Dealing with death this way is hard. I don't know how to handle the fact that it's coming, inevitably. "Giving it to God" is a lot easier said than done, especially when It consumes every other thought in my head.
I'm not writing this for pity for myself, but maybe some advice and prayer. Prayers for my uncle's pain, prayers for my family and myself. I'm not sure what will happen, or if it will happen anytime soon, all I know is we need a miracle.

Our Love Story pt. 3

Monday, November 17, 2014

Our high school is kind of unique in the fact that prom is held at the school. The junior class spends their freshmen and sophomore years running concession stands at football and basketball games to raise money. We then vote on a theme. That particular year it was hollywood blockbusters. 
Everyone who wants to help (which everyone does because you get out of school all day the Friday before) picks a committee and decorates from the front doors to the cafeteria/stage area. It's a serious undertaking and everyone takes in super seriously. But every year everything turns out great. 
Prom from that year. Me and my sister on the left, my date on the right
So he spent the weeks leading up to prom trying to talk me out of going. But the guy I was going with was a friend, it wasn't a "date" at all. We were just going together. I think he was just uncomfortable with me going with another guy, being that he didn't know my date.
The day before prom we were working out butts off. I was the head of the front hall committee, which is actually a lot of pressure because it's the first thing everyone sees when they walk in. There was a lot of parents helping that evening, including my mom. Somehow I managed to sneak out and swung a ride on the bike. He brought me a sweatshirt and I wore it back into the school after, not even thinking that my mom would question it. I made something up and she accepted it, but I knew I didn't wanna keep things a secret for much longer.
The night of prom, I left my phone in the car. After prom, we were heading to a friends house for an all-nighter with a bunch of people. We watched movies, ate junk food our moms made us and probably didn't fall asleep until dawn.
What I didn't realize is that night Cameron was waiting in the parking lot to see me when I left the dance. 

It's been a while//15 things

Friday, November 14, 2014

So last you heard I was heading into surgery. Despite it having been three weeks since I posted, I am alive and well and the surgery was fine, but things have been busy since then.
Ten minutes post-wisdom teeth removal. Because I promised.
Since I've been gone for a while, I figured I'd post 20 things that have been going on lately/you should know about. Enjoy!

1. I dislike politics. It makes my being a journalist difficult during oh, say, election season. Thank goodness they're over for a few months.

2. My daily routine is so boring. Wake up, get ready for work, work, come home, shower, make dinner, read/watch tv/read blog, sleep.

3. My two dogs, Trigger (4) and Bo (6 months) are my life. I call them my fur babies. Trigger is a lab/beagle mix who basically looks like a lab but is beagle-sized. Bo is a full-blooded silver lab.

4. We bought our home in July and are in the process of revamping the inside. Not big renovations, just paint and flooring, mostly.

5. My biggest pet peeve is wet socks and pant legs. 

6. Recently I decided to be happy. If you know anything about me, you know I've struggled with depression for a long time. I've tried battling it a number of ways, but making a concentrated effort to be happy is my latest tactic.

7. I am an on-air news reporter for three radio stations in my hometown. I love my job and it makes going to work very enjoyable!

8. Cameron and I got married on Feb. 15 and have sincerely enjoyed our first nine months of marriage.

9. I am the oldest of four kids. I am 22, my sister Merredeth is 21, my brother Cole is 20 and Olivia is 17. Four kids under five!

My family! Merredeth, Cole, my mom, Cam, me, my dad and Olivia
10. Feed me anything Italian and I'll love you forever. My love for pasta runs deep.

11. Cameron and I dated for almost five years before we got married. At about year three we decided we were ready for marriage, but wanted to wait until I graduated.

12. I've been working really hard on cooking more lately. I cooked every now and then while living at home with my family, but wasn't something I did on a regular basis. Same with Cameron. Now we realize either we cook, spend money on takeout or don't eat at all. Vicious cycle, really.

13. Reading is my favorite past-time. I don't have many other hobbies. I read in bed, in the car, while traveling, on the beach, anywhere and everywhere.

One of my favorite honeymoon stops, Mahogany Bay.

14. I don't drink coffee. I'm probably one of the few journalists in the world that can say that. In fact, I don't drink much caffeine at all. I prefer clear pop (like Sprite), but I would take a Gatorade, V8 or Arizona fruit punch over any kind of pop any day.

15. Fifteen is my lucky number, hence me ending with 15. Remember in school when they would number you in class? I was always 15. The day we just so happened to want to get married? 15th. That particular number has followed me around my entire life, so I've embraced it as my own.

Surgery Day (boooo)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Today is the day. I will have my first surgery in my 22 years. Long story short, I have really terrible TMJ, and none of the typical treatments seem to help at all. It makes talking for a living so fun (sarcasm).
So, as a semi-last ditch effort, my wisdom teeth are being removed to see if they're impacting the nerves at all. There may also be a little bit of nerving rearranging should this be the case.
As far as I know it's going to be a pretty routine removal, save the fact that they're still super impacted in my jaw. The wisdom teeth themselves aren't causing me any pain because they're coming in ironically. My dentist think they're causing me pain because they haven't. Strange.
Anyway, this post it scheduled for 9:30, which is the exact time I should be getting a nice, big whiff of laughing gas. If you could pray for me for a simple, routine surgery and a quick recovery I'd most definitely appreciate it! Hopefully I'll have some attractive chipmunk cheek pictures to share after :)

Eight Things in Eight Months

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Eight months ago today, after 776 days of engagement and almost five years of dating, Cameron and I said "I do." It was the best day and there's really no other way to word it.
So eight months later, what have I/we learned? I thought it'd be fun to get Cam involved since he's never been part of a blog post directly before, so here's four from me and four from him.

Genna's four:
1. Compromise is an understatement. Whether it's what to have to dinner, what movie to rent or a big financial decision, it's all about compromise. It's really hard adjusting to thinking of someone other than yourself and I'm not sure if I'll ever be that good at it.
2. Money complicates everything. If there was one thing we've argued about in our short marriage, it's been money. It's indirectly tied to everything we have and do, so it's bound to cause some concern. During our pre-marital counseling we talked about this and thankfully we've gotten a little better about budgeting and planning.
3. Old habits die hard. Cameron is really bad at putting clothes in the laundry basket. I mean, really bad. This is sort of not a complaint, just an observation. His clothes are everywhere. The bathroom, the hallway, the living room, even on the floor right next to the laundry basket. It's infuriating to me, but I know it's not the end of the world.
4. Love is still number 1. I hope I get to say this 80 years from now. Despite the hard times, the love still outweighs everything else. I come home to my husband every night, I fall asleep with him every night, and I still love the heck out of him. And I will never get sick of being loved right back.

Cameron's four:
1. Women speak a totally different language. They interpret words completely differently than men. Men think "the" women think "thee." It just makes everything harder, and the only way to overcome it is to learn your partner.
2. Don't marry a person that's like you. Marry a person that's your opposite to have good balance in your relationship. One person thinks black, the other person thinks white. Wants, needs, anything. The other person can always see past it to the end result, which is very helpful
3. Ask your partner, "is the money worth it?" Household items, wants, needs, etc. No matter what it is, is it worth it? Do you want it or do you need it? Again the other person can always see the result.
4. It's always better to talk than let things stay bottled up. If you don't, things will eventually get to their boiling point. A lot of fights can be deterred if you talk about things as you go.

*Bonus advice from both of us: marry someone you can stand to live and put up with on a daily basis :)