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Friday, April 12, 2013


It's been a long time since I've posted and for the last while I just haven't really wanted to let people know where I'm at or how I really feel.  When people see me up and about they think oh look she looks so great she's walking so well I can hardly tell she's missing her leg.  And I guess that's okay and I am grateful to be able to walk and get around but to tell you the truth as easy as it looks or as normal as I seem to everyone I still have more down days than good days.

I'm really not trying to complain because my cancer hasn't reappeared or spread as of now and I can walk and be a mother and a wife everything in life that is most important to me.  But I am still having constant chronic pain.  And because of that  coupled with my amputated leg things seem so much harder than they use to be.  I now feel so deeply for those people that are always unwell.  That have aching backs, degenerative and autoimmune diseases those that battle with depression and all various debilitating circumstances.

It is so easy to get down and watch everyone around living there life so easily able to care for there children and there home.  To run here and there and to enjoy various activities.  I think about how everyones life moves on and how the simplest of things have become a challenge for me.  I hate to feel this way and it's not that I would want anyone else to have these challenges.  It is just that I am so aware now of all the things I used to do without so much as having to think what I was doing.

So as of now I am better than I was 6 months ago and I hope to continue to get better but somedays are hard and some times when I look down and see that I have no leg I hurt inside and know that my life  won't ever be the same.  I realize that I will constantly be challenged but I'm doing my best and I know that that is enough.

So to everyone that wonders how I'm doing.  I'm OKAY.  I'm happy to be a mom and hope to one day be pain free.  So for now I'll keep trying because I know that is better than giving in to hopeless thoughts.  I have been blessed with a family and knowledge of an eternal happiness where I will be whole again and where I will be free of the difficulties that are a part of this earth so for that I am grateful.

And these are what keep me going and I hope they always know how much I love them even when I have bad days and can't do everything they would like me to do!  They are perfect to me!

 Life wouldn't be the same without this 2 year old
 My beautiful girl who never slows down.
 This boy is constantly aware of how I feel and always willing to help me!!
 My little miracle baby!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mommy (Missing a leg) and her 2 year old!

Miles is 2.  This is my third child and I've parented 2 year olds twice before but this is different.  He is one strong, funny, crazy, energetic, sometimes grouchy boy.

Keeping up to a two year old is hard work and now that I'm slowed down with my prosthetic and phantom pain Miles is hard work X 100.  I'll give you an example of today.  Wakes up goes to the kitchen won't eat breakfast just wants apple juice and cookies; after 2 glasses I tell him he has to have water and he then throws his sippy cup across the kitchen. While I nurse the baby he helps himself to 5 packs of fruits snacks while on his sixth I finish nursing and take it away and tell him no more.  He hits me and throws himself to the ground with his blanket and cries.  While I'm in the bathroom he gets in the fridge and tries to drink the half full coke and spills it all over the floor.  I take it away and he hits me and walks through the spilled pop.  Then I wash his sticky body while he kicks and screams.  He gets into the toilet and fills his cup and starts drinking it when I find him.  Later I find him in the fridge again with his tractors lined up inside and he's drinking yogurt from the large container.  He gets his dads deodorant and takes and bite and then decides he doesn't like that and comes and cuddles with me smelling like a man.  While I'm rocking the baby to sleep this afternoon and the older 2 kids are playing Ty asks where Miles is.  After a search of the house comes up empty he is found outside halfway around the block in boots and his diaper.  I also found an overly ripe banana squished into the carpet where he'd been playing with his tractors.  I'll stop here.

Now he' sleeping but that was no easy feat as he climbed out of his crib 10 times before giving up and drifting to sleep.  I take that back I just went to turn off the alarm that is going off in his room and I couldn't open the door so I pushed really hard only to find out Miles had fallen asleep in front of the door.   Oh how I love this 2 year old!!

So this boy is pushing me to my limits but I'm glad he is.  My missing leg is only slowing me down not stopping me from mothering.  Since losing my leg Miles gets lots more horseback rides from me!!

Miles @ 2 years old

loves tractors, trucks, trailers
love horses
eats snacks, snacks and more snacks (not so much meals)
candy is  his favorite food group
loves to wear boots and Lucy's high heels and ballet flats
gets into everything (ex. cupboards, pantry, fridge, bathroom)
attached to his giraffe blanket and striped bunny
defends his sister
loves to bath and pour water all over the floor
words:  mama, dada, gramma, grampa, bye bye, ball
sleeps in his crib, but climbs out when he doesn't want to be there
reads books to himself
takes his diaper off all the time, but hates the potty
Love his mommy
loves his baby bother (give him lots of kisses)
love to go to grandmas house
loves to be outside
loves cuddles

I'm getting better and I owe some of that to my 2 year old!  He forces me to take care of him and for that I am grateful!!!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Phantom Pain

Since May 22, 2012 I have had pain.  At first it was surgical pain.  As soon as I was out of surgery and in the recovery room I was having pain in my foot that had been amputated.  I continued to have pain throughout my hospital stay but was had access to an epidural, pain pump, and various narcotic injections.  I left the hospital on oral narcotics (pills) but over the next couple of weeks 3-4 I was in so much uncontrolled pain I didn't want to live like that.  The pain was only in my missing foot.  I had Phantom pain.

For those people that have not had an amputation phantom pain can never  be adequately described.  For my it was a burning, stabbing, electric shock and cramping pains.  My toes would feel cramped and crossed over one another and I couldn't move them.  As the pain continued I did not sleep I went weeks with no more than an hour of sleep a time.  I was nauseous and throwing up daily.  I wanted the pain to stop I wanted to be like I was before.  I finally went to the hospital where I started getting injections every 4 hours.  They helped, it didn't get rid of the pain but dulled it down where I was able to manage.

I has now been over 7 months since my amputation and I am still in constant pain, now chronic pain.  I hate it to put it simply.  It encompasses my whole life along with the narcotics I am still reliant on.  I am continuing to look into other alternatives to help with the phantom pain.  I know if I can feel better that my life can get back to "normal".

I know am able to understand the many people that have chronic pain.  I understand how depressing, tiring and debilitating it is.  So if I don't seem like myself it's because I'm not.  I truly hope to get better and in my heart I feel like I will but I know it isn't now so in the mean time I hope to just keep going taking my days an hour at a time.

And on Friday I got my 3 rd new leg!  I think I'll like it better!!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

My Real Feelings

I haven't really wanted to post about my emotions, thoughts and just overall how I've felt since my amputation because I didn't want people to think I was complaining or struggling.  I didn't want to disappoint anyone that thought I was amazing or inspiring or the other things people were kind enough to say.  But I feel like maybe writing about how I feel will let other people know it's okay not to be okay all the time.

Since my amputation there have been a few things that I really struggle with.  One being how hard I feel things are for me now.  I'll give some examples.  I can't wake up in the night and just walk to the bathroom or get a drink or jump out of bed when the kids cry in the night.  I can't simply pick up my laundry baskets and carry them to and from the washer/dryer (this is getting somewhat easier).  Standing in the kitchen to prepare and cook a meal is much harder than it used to be.  I don't just write a grocery list and hop in the car with my kids and run to Costco, Walmart, Safeway etc. and do all my errands.  I can only do about one store when I do go but lots of times I rely on someone else to pick things up for me.  I can't keep up to my children like before.  They can run away from me whenever we go somewhere if their little hearts choose.  My two year old can run out into the street and I just can't run after him.  I can't take my kids swimming right now or jump on the trampoline.  I can't just quickly tidy up my house if someone is going to stop by (everything takes me much longer to accomplish).  I can't run up or down stairs, I usually do stairs my stepping with one foot and then the other onto the same stair.  I can't ride a bike yet or go water skiing.  And I'm sure if I keep thinking the list would go on.  Now this is a lot of CANT'S but I don't want people to pity me or feel bad for me.  I just wanted to say it.

When I think about how I feel sometimes I wish I didn't think the way I do but I'm human and I sometimes can't help it.  I watch all the other young moms around me and wish I could physically do the things they are doing with their children.  I see them doing the things I used to do that I didn't have to think about.  Like running Ty to and from hockey, taking them up to the school for different programs.  Taking them swimming and skating to the dentist or doctor.  I feel sad and overwhelmed a lot.  I also feel so tired and guilty that I'm not being the mom my kids need me to be.  But I don't just have negative feelings I also feel so grateful for all the service that is given to me.

I do have a lot of things that I can do and get to do and things that I appreciate more than I used to and I notice little things that are more special to me now.  Like....  Every time I kiss my two year old's cheeks I kiss a little harder and love the feel of his squishy cheek.  I love to brush Lucy's hair out of her face and touch her tiny nose.  I love to let my 7 year old sit on my lap and rub his back.  I hold my baby ALL the time I guess because I don't spend much time cleaning, picking up, organizing or going anywhere, so I just sit and hold him while I rest.  I love to watch there little faces turn into smiles.

Now there you go.  This is me and this is what dealing with my missing leg is like.

And this is what makes me happy!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

MY Miracle Baby

Lane Benjamin
 Born August 31, 2012

I was 8 weeks pregnant when I found out I was expecting my 4th baby.  I couldn't seem to wrap my head around it.  I had a baby, Miles, he was just one and Lucy was 2 I couldn't be pregnant again!  But I was.  I had a tumor in my foot, cancer.  I was going to go through the most difficult journey but I wasn't  going to do it alone, I was going to be taking my unborn baby with me.

A baby is a miracle.  They are heaven sent and beautiful they bring insurmountable joy, but pregnancy I would say for most is, well hard.  You are constantly gaining weight, sometimes your sick, like vomitting, nauseous, headache, backache, can't sleep, always peeing, uncomfortable sick.  But pregnancy is beautiful too;!

Well my pregnancy was kind of horrendous in all honesty. But I had such a strong desire and fight to take care of this little baby inside me.  Having 2 surgery's while pregnant with Lane, one of which was my amputation was like something I can't even begin to explain.  I was fighting cancer fighting to keep my baby healthy and loosing my leg.  I was a wreck.  But I did it and I had a love so strong for this baby boy that it hurt.

August 31, 2012
Induction day.  This little baby boy hadn't been growing very well and was under a lot of stress so Dr. Browne and I decided we were ready to meet him.  I got to the hospital early that morning.  I was so nervous.  I had been through so much pain and stress I felt I couldn't do any more.  I was scared for the labor and nervous about this baby's health.

The induction went smoothly and quickly.  I was surrounded by Dallas, my mom, my sister Kaylee, and a wonderful nurse and Dr. Browne.  I was calm and Lane came into this world beautifully.  I watched as I delivered this tiny boy and as he came I was overcome with relief as I saw his tiny face and body and felt his warmth against my skin.  I was his mom and we had got through so much together and I just loved him.  He was perfect.

And Kaylee captured it:
Lane Benjamin Smith
5 lbs 15oz

Monday, November 19, 2012

My "NEW" Leg

On July 13, 2012  I went in to see my prosthetist and got my first prosthetic leg.  I went with my mom.  I was really pregnant and didn't know what to expect.  I sat in the room and waited and then he brought it in.  It looked so unreal.  It was plastic and metal with my shoe on the foot.  I couldn't imagine putting my leg in it and being able to stand much less walk.  I had to wear a liner under it which was like a thick silicone sock that went up past my knee.  I stood up and tried to get my leg in the socket.  It was so hard it took a long time to get it in and it hurt.  Finally I was in the leg and just was standing up.  It felt really weird.  I was standing but couldn't feel any weight on my foot.  I then took some steps with the parallel bars.   It was akward at first and felt so stiff.  I just kept walking and when I left I was able to walk with my crutches a bit.

I didn't wear the leg too much just here and there trying to get used to it.  It was so heavy.   When my kids and my nieces and nephew got home they all wanted to see me use the leg and they all wanted to "try" it on.  It was and still is a novelty to them.

 Miles wasn't too sure about my new leg

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Going Home

Dallas took me in the wheelchair down to the truck.  I waited in the wheelchair while he went to get the truck.  I sat there thinking how differnent everything was now.  Just 8 days ago I had two legs and had walked into the hospital now I was leaving unable to walk the thought was overwhelming.  It was difficult to get into the truck Dallas had to help me.  Needing so much help made me feel so vulnerable.  I couldn't do simple things on my own.

I got home after a long drive with lots pain.  I took some pills for pain and then laid on the couch.  I was so tired I hadn't slept and hadn't been eating since being in the hospital.  Soon after I got home my mom brought the kids home and Kaylee came with her kids.  It was so good to see all the kids together just being themselves.  They all wanted to see my new leg except for my oldest son, Ty.  He said he didn't want to see.  It made me sad that he was uncomfortable with my leg but Dallas said he'd get used to it.

Being at home was hard.  There wasn't a nurse to bring me something extra when the pain was intolerable.  I couldn't just hop in the bath tub or have a shower.  I had to be careful when I was using my crutches so I didn't fall and open my incision.  I couldn't pick Miles up when he was crying unless he came to me and sat on my lap.  I just was overwhelmed with how hard everything was now.

I tried to get out of the house a bit but had to go in a wheelchair.  Getting used to this change was so hard.  Somedays I could hardly stand it.  I would see friends with their children just going about doing everything I had done before.  Fixing meals for them, carrying them, helping them with the bathroom, going swimming, putting them in and out of carseats.  Just simple things that I couldn't do and I would get upset and emotional.

I was in constant unbearable pain at home.  I laid rubbing my leg using heating pads anything but nothing relieved the pain.  The pain was not in my actual leg but in my missing foot.  I was having phantom pain. I went into the hospital emergency once or twice for pain and a couple weeks after leaving the hospital I couldn't stand the pain any longer. I was always hurting couldn't sleep or eat and was nauseous and throwing up.  I went back into the hospital for a few days and I started on different narcotics that numbed the pain somewhat.

I was having such a hard time and felt like I just wasn't getting better.  I hated having constant debilitating pain and wanted to just feel back to "normal".  Which still hasn't happened.  I moved forward as best I could but was needing lots of help.  Thank heavens I had my mom.  She took care of my kids, fed us, cleaned up did the laundry.  We wouldn't have been able to get through it without all the help.