Sunday, June 26, 2011

Back in Sebring

I drove straight to Sebring from Arkansas. I thought I'd fall asleep a few times, but I inhaled coffee and made it. I got to my mom's house just in time. Thomas an Stefan were getting ready to head to the airport in Orlando to pick up Alex (Josh's BFF from Indiana). I was so tired from driving all night, but I had to be with them. When I first saw them, I couldn't stop crying. Maybe it was because I was exhausted. Maybe it was knowing that Josh was really gone. That he wouldn't ever be back to hang out with his best buds and family. Maybe it was just everything hitting home.

On the way to Orlando, we stopped and got the boys some suits to wear for the funeral. I couldn't stop crying. I hate not being strong in front of them. We just held eachother. I needed that. I needed to be with them.

We picked up Alex, trying to keep the mood light. The last time the boys had picked up Alex at the airport, it was for Josh's wedding. How can we not think of these things? Having Alex in the car and back at the house with us helped so much. I guess it is just knowing that we all have eachother that helps.

We picked up pizza and went back home. Some more of the boy's friends came over. Alicia came as well...and made us all smile with her cute baby bump and sweetness. She is so strong and beautiful. I can't imagine what she is going through.

After pizza and time with family, I'm finally going to bed. It's been about 40+ hours since I've slept. I still don't want to think.

This all seems so unreal. I can't believe it is happening. I can't believe he is really gone.

I never would have thought my next visit to Sebring would turn out to be the hardest thing of my life.

Almost Home

I've been driving all night. I just got to FL. I still have about 5 more hours until I get to Sebring. I am so tired. The trip is turning out to be a little over 20 hrs.

I just want to be home already...with my family.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Be Strong

I’m packing now...

Well, throwing a whole bunch of clothes in some bags and putting it in my car. I can’t believe how just two months ago we were celebrating Josh and Alicia’s marriage...how just last month we were celebrating Stefan’s graduation...with everyone together...sharing stories on how crazy, funny, and strong Josh was.

And now I’m packing to go to his funeral.

God, it just isn’t right.

It's gonna hit home soon. It's gonna hurt even more. Mom treated Josh like another son. His pictures are up on the walls, just like the rest of her kids. As soon as I walk in the door, reality is going to rock me to the core.

I’ve been trying not to think. Trying not to cry. Trying just to move.

How did we go from choosing my brother’s clothes to be the best man at Josh’s wedding to finding a suit for him to wear to carry the casket?

God, where are you?

I don’t want to make the 18 hour trip driving alone.

But I have to.

God, help me be strong for them.

‎"Be strong. Take courage...because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He's right there with you. He won't let you down; he won't leave you.” ~ Deuteronomy 31:6

Going to FL

I’m leaving for Florida late tonight or early tomorrow morning. I just need to be there with my family and Alicia. I don’t want to be alone here, thinking all the time. I just want to be around the ones who I love and were close to Josh. Even if we don’t say a word to each other. I just need to be there.

The funeral is going to be in Sebring. Possibly Wednesday.

I need to get home to my brothers, sister, and Alicia.

I just need to be there.


Side note: I went back to the doctor yesterday for a follow up after all my treatment. Dr. Gorman said that he is extremely happy with my recovery and healing. I have had NO PAIN or side effects. My strength is returning and I am feeling healthier every day. Dr. Gorman said that my attitude, faith, and strength were 2/3’rd of what got me better. He said that he was amazed that I was able to run marathons and do other races on the treatment. That I am truly a success story on the treatment. I got put on a BC. He asked if I was dating anyone. I said no, of course. He told me I was too incredible for anyone, anyway. Dr. Gorman is like that, always finding the positive in things. We don’t know what the future holds. We don’t know if the disease will come back. We don’t know if other surgeries and treatment are in my future. But I do know that I am thankful to God for making me better and getting me through. I am thankful that I am able to keep training, racing, and living my life the way I want to.

And although I hate the circumstances, I am beyond thankful that I have the ability to drive down to FL, with a car load of baby essentials, to be there with my family and Alicia at a time like this.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Fallen Soldier’s Family Needs Help

On Monday, my little brothers lost their best friend in Afghanistan. Josh Jetton was killed while serving our country. He was an amazing and courageous man, whom my family loved dearly. Recently married, his wife is expecting twins in August. Alicia is going to need a lot of help. If you are able to give, an account has been set up for Alicia Jetton and the twins at Midflorida Credit Union in Sebring, Florida.

Josh and Alicia Jetton 

Thank you to every one for all their love, prayers, and support.

Alicia hanging out with us last month while I was
home for Stef’s graduation. She’s all belly and nothing else.

My sis and Alicia having some fun
with their belly bumps. Alicia is a month
farther along...and with twins...but they both
look the same size! Toni must be having a big boy!

WE LOVE AND MISS YOU, JOSH!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I hurt for them...

I talked to my brothers today. Words can’t even describe the pain they are going through right now. I want to tell them it will be ok, but I know that I can’t. 

I know they will always miss their best friend. All I can do is be there for them. 


Stef and Tom - my amazing ‘lil brothers

Josh and Tom - these two were a trip together!

Everyone needs a little cosmo...

Josh and Stef!




I don’t know when I’m leaving for FL to be with them. I don’t know anything really right now.


Losing Josh

I just found out that a close friend of our family died in Afghanistan. Josh was like a little brother to me. He had lived with my family in FL for the past few years. He had become a part of the Schaller clan--fitting right in with my crazy brothers. He got married recently and his wife is expecting twins soon.  Josh had one more month left. One more month ’til he could come home to see his babies and wife and the family. He isn’t coming home now. God. I’m absolutely in shock. I can’t believe this happened.

I don’t understand, God.

Please keep his family and mine in your prayers. I don’t know what else to say. I’m without words.


Pfc. Joshua Jetton <3




Sunday, June 19, 2011

I’m officially a young woman again...

Holy Hell.

This post is going to be super short.

I’m running a relay portion of a triathlon this morning. And all I can say is THANK GOD that all I have to do is run 4 miles....

because I got my period.

AFTER about 9 freakin’ months...

AFTER surgery and lupron hell....

JUST LIKE THAT....

No pain.

It snuck up on me this morning...

as I’m running out the door...at 6 AM...to go run 4 miles in a relay triathlon....

Thank God.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The anticipation of a great weekend..........aaaaack!!!

Looking back, I can’t believe that I spent nearly 8 months in agony. It all seems like a bad nightmare now that I’m coming out of it. From endo pain to surgery to Lupron, life was VERY dark for what felt like forever.

I’m feeling more like myself every day. No more crazy crying. No more bone pain. No more nights spent in bed unable to sleep because of the nausea, hot flashes, and tremors. No more days staring out my window wishing that I could get up and move without hurting. 

I’ve come a long way since last September. Life is finally coming around again. I’m back to feeling healthy and strong. I’m back to lovin’ this amazing life that God has blessed me with. I believe that season of my life was necessary for some purpose, although it is unknown to me. Maybe it was to draw me closer to the Lord. Maybe it was to slow me down. Maybe it was to reach out to others. Maybe I will never know. 

One thing I do know -- God has it all figured out already. He has ME figured out. Nothing that I do surprises him. I could never earn his love...nor could I lose it. He is my constant help, my lifeline, and all that I could ever need. 

I learned, when the storms of this life overtook me, that my only calm is the Lord.


"God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. 
   We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, 
      courageous in seastorm and earthquake, 
   Before the rush and roar of oceans, 
      the tremors that shift mountains.
   Jacob-wrestling God fights for us...”
Psalm 46 (the Message)

I’m still trying to figure out my place. I’m still wondering what God has in store for me, as I always will. I don’t know one bit of what the future holds. Everything is completely wide open. 

Ahhhhh, the anticipation of my morning run is getting to me already! Time to hit the asphalt with the love of my life -- my pearl running shoes!

Ready. Set. Go! 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Want some inspiration???

Kevin and I started training together in July of 2010. After working his butt off for months, He’s now 70 lbs lighter and an incredible athlete. He just completed his 3’rd marathon yesterday! I am so proud of him!

June 2010

June 6’th, 2011


"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” ~Philippians 4:13

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Get up! Get up!!!


"It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up”.
~Vince Lombardi



I woke up this morning feeling so much better! I skipped church and slept in (probably not the best idea since I was supposed to sing today, but...ya know). I went for my 2 hour easy run at a slow & steady pace, finishing over 10 miles. I had a ton of fun with it.

Now I’m heading to hang out with some friends at some electronics expo. Uhhhh, yeah. Electronics are not  my idea of fun, but at least I’ll be with people I enjoy (it’s all about who you are with, right?).

At 4, I have a 2.5 hour bike ride, followed by a 35 min run. I’ve been looking forward to it alllll week! I’m so glad I’m able to get back into the swing of things again!

HECK YES!!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Man, I feel like a [sick] woman!


My boobs hurt. They’re swollen and back up to a DD. I’ve been nauseated, vomiting, and sick to my stomach all day. I’m tired, exhausted, and fatigued. My body hurts. 

This beautiful amazing Saturday has been spent mostly in bed. I got up early to help with clearing the trails for the XTERRA race next weekend. I was pretty excited because the plan was for me to run close to 2 hours afterwards. But I didn’t make it more than 3 hours. 

I felt just awful. I made it back to my car, blasted the AC, tried to keep fluids down, and curled up in a ball, just waiting for the sickness to pass. I was probably waiting close to 45 minutes before I attempted to make the 1 hr drive back home. I felt like I was going to fall asleep on the trip, except for the 2 times I stopped to throw up. 

UGH.

It took every ounce of energy to get home and crawl into bed, throwing up the gatorade I had inhaled on the drive. My tummy hurts. My body aches. And I’m craving...wait for it...wait for it....a burger. 

Do what??!!? I haven’t had beef in a very long time. I don’t really eat red meat...ever. Yet here I am, sick to my stomach and thinking about a big fat burger. I have a 102.6 fever. My body is hurting...and I’m thinking about a burger. 

Unreal. 

My hormones have officially gone off the deep end. 

But you know what. 

I’m okay with that. 

I spent my day in bed, watching movies, and hugging my pillows...knowing that this will pass. Whatever “this” is...hormones going crazy or maybe something viral. 

Probably both. 





Friday, June 3, 2011

Life is...delicious.

“The truth is that life is delicious, horrible, charming, sweet, bitter and that is everything”. 
~Anatole France

I’ve been in kind of a funk the last month or so. A horrible rut actually. Part of it was hormones, I imagine. But most of it was my own attitude. I allowed people and circumstances to shape how I felt, reacted, and viewed myself. It was nothing but a funk...and a learning experience. 

I forgot how amazing Fridays are. I forgot how incredible the summer days can be. I forgot how to smile and enjoy being alone. I forgot how good it feels to lay out by the pool, feeling the cool breeze mix in with the warm sunshine. I forgot life

Some days I get so incredibly lonely on my own. I miss family, friends, and having someone special in my life. Some days I get mean, sad, bitter, and selfish. 

I forgot how to love and live, without putting up a wall. 

I forgot the simple things of life too. 

I forgot how amazing it is to sleep in. I forgot how fun it could be to go hiking on the trails by myself. I forgot how good ice cream tasted on lazy days. I somehow fell into the rut of believing that going full speed all the time was the only way. I believed the stupid lie that I couldn’t be happy alone. I somehow missed the preciousness of....life

That’s the thing with pain and sickness. It’s so easy to get sucked into my own self pity. Waking up in the middle of the night in agony brings the attention on my own problems. Going through a season where I was struck down by disease and medical treatment, I allowed my joy of life to leave. 

I’m not going to deny the pain of what I went through and the hell of the Lupron side effects, but I will admit that I was guilty of letting it defeat me for a while...until I realized that I needed to get back up and smile again. I LOVE TO SMILE. Somehow it always makes everything better...even the pain. 

Do you know how blessed I am to just be? Do you know that my job is training a family that I love? Do you know that I have an amazing family that has been through the most trying of experiences and still manage to stick together? Do you know that I have a God who loves me the same no matter what I do?

Ahhh, I have an incredible life! 

I want to live each day, tasting the fullness of this life--the bitterness and sweetness. I want to get out of my comfort zone some more and dance...just because I can. I want to break down the walls that I built around me. I want to get back up stronger, happier, and full of joy. 

I want to stop apologizing for being me. 

For so long my self-image depended on my physical strength and fitness. After it was taken away from me (for the months I was down and out), I was forced to far deeper dimensions. Now I realize all the apologies I made for how sick, weak, emotional, and in pain that I was...amount to nothing. 

Because that is life. That is me. 

Through the sickness, I found how to appreciate my health. 

Through my weakness, I found incredible strength. 

Through the tears, I discovered joy. 

As I write this on my MacBook, I’m laying out in a bikini by the pool, soaking up the sun...and eating watermelon. It’s days like this where I realize how blessed I am. But I would never have known if I hadn’t been through the days (and nights) where I was stuck in bed because of the pain. 

Through the pain, I found out just how delicious life is.