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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

never too many thank you's

"Uncharted Territory"
watercolor, ink and pencil

November 13, 2013.  A day I will never forget...and quite an unlucky one if you are superstitious or anything like that.  I don't know if I'll look at it as unlucky... and in some ways...I might even consider it a lucky day.  Time will tell for sure.  That was the day that I was told that I had Stage 4 tongue cancer.  I'm a non-smoker, rarely drink, and actually for the past few years...eat fairly healthy.  It was shocking to say the least.  The next week was spent getting PET and CT scan's to make sure that it hadn't spread to any other parts of my body.  I don't do well with doctors or hospitals.  I try to avoid them, if at possible.  Now...I was being completely thrown out of my comfort zone.

The PET scan was actually relaxing...at least for me.  I was able to keep on my clothes and especially my "Ass Kicking the Big C" boots.  


I laid on the table and closed my eyes.  I had to lay perfectly still for about 20-30 minutes while this machine swirled and twirled around me.  The room was flooded with sunlight which made it much easier.  I decided to start saying my thank you's.  I went through everything and everyone in the world that I was thankful for. 
 It made me happy. 

 It made me feel lucky.

  It was magical. 

 It made me brave.

A few days later, we met with the doctors to go over the test results. My anxiety levels were really high.  A young man, probably 40's came in by himself. He had lost his voice and was using some sort of device to talk. He was hard to understand. I could see the scars on his neck and face from a similar procedure to what I will have to go through. He was frail, probably from chemo. I watched him navigate the office staff and realized how lucky I was to have Danny doing that for me. I can't talk clearly, so I typed a message on my phone. It said, " I admire your strength and courage. I am just starting this journey...and am drawing strength from you. Thank you so much". I walked over to where he was sitting, and showed it to him. He read it for what seemed ages and then looked up at me with tear filled eyes. I told him thank you and hugged him. It was probably one of the most powerful moments I've ever experienced.

It made me brave.  

In the surgeon's office, the doctor explained that it doesn't appear that the cancer has spread any where else in my body.  There might be some lymph node involvement...but they can't tell for sure.  The best option that I have at this point is to have my entire tongue removed.  Yes, you read that right.  They don't replace your tongue but make a "flap" in it's place from your thigh or forearm.  I will have to eat soft and liquid foods the rest of my life, and learn how to swallow without my tongue.  There is also a possibility of losing my voice, if the voice box is found to be involved.  But, even if it's not...I will have a speech impediment because of the missing tongue.  But, because of the love I had experienced with the young man in the waiting room...I wasn't scared.

My surgery is set for Jan. 14th.  The waiting is very hard.  They are trying to get me in sooner, if they can.  I have good days and bad.  I get tired very easily.  I can't talk because of the pain and  I'm really hard to understand anyway.  I've been on a liquid diet for over 2 months.  It's hard to sleep more than 2 hours at a time a night.  But, although I haven't had any treatments yet.  I'm a survivor.  I'm here...and really happy about that.  I know I have a long road ahead of me...but I'm ready for the journey.

I give thanks for everything...even this disease in my body.  It makes you live in the moment and be so thankful for every little thing.  It makes you love like never before.

Thanks to everyone for all their well wishes.  I will updating the blog here mostly for my artwork and how it relates to my journey.  If you would like to get a more detailed account of my journey, please follow me on Facebook.  I try to put up daily updates there.

Thank you for reading.  Thank you for all your support over the years.  You make my world go round.  

I love you very much,
Wyanne


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45 comments:

Sharyn said...

Wyanne, I have tears from reading your post. You are such a beautiful soul and your message to the young man was gorgeous. You are a courageous, fighting spirit and I send you love, healing and some extra courage (not that I think you need extra courage)as you go on your brave journey.xoxo Sharyn

Shells said...

All the very best for your surgery and on the journey ahead. Love your brave girl boots! Positive thoughts, prayers, love and hugs, Michelle.

bluegiraffe (Sherry) said...

I will be thinking about you and praying for you. I wish you well.

Craetively yours Fi said...

You are so very, very brave Wyanne. I'm in love with your painting of your girl in a boat. May you feel a loving presence through every step of this journey. Thanks for sharing.Your challenge has made me appreciate my health and made me remember to appreciate every precious moment. Sending much love and prayersxX

Bettina Tawil said...

Wyanne,
you are so brave facing this with such a positive attitude! What a shock to read your post, and what you are going through.
Wishing you a successful surgery and a quick recovery and remission. You are a courageous fighter, you will overcome this!
My positive thoughts and prayers are with you every step of the way.
Much Love and warmest hugs,
Bettina

Mary C. Nasser said...

Thinking of you and praying for you, Wyanne. You are so very brave!
Thank you for sharing your journey and inspiring us.

Pam Tucker said...

Wyanne, you are in my thoughts and prayers daily. Big hug to you!

Selah Gay said...

Wyanne... the other day...I went back and watched the vids that first brought me to you... they were the old ones the ones where you talked about lifes experiences and how we can take charge over those experiences... YOU MADE ME BRAVE... the rest is history... of a girl who knows how to take charge over her experiences while here on earth... YOU are Loved...because YOU ARE LOVE <3 Selah (the name I have...because of YOU MADE ME BRAVE!)

Tammie Lee said...

dear beautiful brave Wyanne,

i also cried as i read your post. your courage and love are entirely inspiring and i bow to you. life is so full of surprises.

thank you for introducing me to watercolors in your class, I continue to play with them, enjoy them, explore them and love the experience. You are not only brave and loving, but a wonderful teacher!

sending you love and light, strength and courage, all ways.

Cat Athena Louise said...

Bless you my darling friend. Stay strong and focused. You got this. Much gratitude and thanks to the Universal Intelligence for bringing you across my path. Love you! C xx

Kelly Warren said...

Wy, that man in the waiting was sent by an angel to remind you that you aren't alone and you will come out of the otherside of this all the more stronger. Keeping you, Danny, Logan and Luke in my prayers. Love you.

Janet Ghio said...

I am so so sorry--but your attitude is so wonderful--you ARE Brave. Thinking of you.

Lisa is Raw on $10 a Day (or less!) said...

Wyanne, I've been reading about your journey on FB and am sincerely hoping for the very best for you. Sending much love and hugs, too ...

Melissa said...

Wyanne - I read this last night and was just gobsmacked. I didn't know what to say so I thought I would "sleep on it", as they say.

I am very sorry to hear what has happened to you. I will keep you in my prayers and send you lots of love and good thoughts for healing as I gaze at your painting on my wall.

BTW, keep wearing those kick-ass boots!

Jeanette House said...

Love you, girl! So proud of you. xox

kristen powers said...

Wyanne
Art and Facebook are the only ways that we 'know' each other and yet please know that this matters little, for my heart is with you as if you are family. We ARE part of a circle and I ( or any one among us) could easily be you. I hope that if I ever am faced with such a thing, I will have the grace and courage that you have shown. The words I have to say to you are too many but please know that you have taught me some lessons in life through sharing your journey and for this I am indebted. May the stars shine on you and all of the love and power of the Universe be on your side as you face every obstacle and challenge. I, as well as so many others, are holding you in our hearts. With so much love and gratitude, Kristen

Olivia said...

Thank you, Wyanne. I have trigeminal neuropathy and have many limitations and lifestyle modifications because of it--I have a tendency to feel sorry for myself and tired of having to explain to people why I can't talk. My attitude needed a serious adjustment and I found it here at the perfect time. I have followed you and your beautiful work for years. Thank you for inspiring and encouraging me with this post. I will pray for you daily and draw strength from you and this young man and others unnamed who deal with life challenges with grace, dignity, courage, and love. xoO

Anonymous said...

Patti Digh is a FB friend and shared your story. Will be thinking of you. Take care.

Saranne Valentine said...

God Bless! ��❤

Anonymous said...

Talk rocket is an app you can download for free or near to free that will help you communicate with your phone after surgery and during recovery. I send you my very best healing thoughts and wishes.

Debbie said...

I've been praying for you since I first heard you were sick and will continue to do so. You are loved! xo

Amanda said...

Surrounding you with prayers of bravery and courage.

Helen said...

Such a beautiful post for a not so beautiful time in your life. I had tears in my eyes at the end of the post. I admire you so much and I hope the surgery goes well.

Thank you for being so inspiring - you may not even know just how much you are.

Big hugs to you and lots of love.

Helen xxx

Vivian Helena said...

Blessing and love, vivian

Beth P said...

Wyanne, I am one of your students and I just heard of your disease from Tam over at Lifebook 2013. There are no words that can comfort in times like these but I had to come over and wish you well nevertheless. You are a precious gift to this world and we all love you!!! You are an inspiration to us all. You are strong of heart and will be just fine no matter what the world throws at you!!! We are here for you my dear artist friend!!!
Hugs,
Beth P

Cindy T said...

Wyanne, I have loved your videos for some time now. You are a talented and loving artist with a beautiful spirit. I came to your site the other day just to see what was new, and like others,I was stunned to learn of your "Big C" diagnosis. Although we've never met, I wanted to reach out to you, as you reached out to the young man in the waiting room, and say "Thank You" for your kind and generous spirit. Sending peaceful and healing thoughts to you and your family as you continue on this unexpected, unwanted, and undeserved journey. I know you will handle it with courage and grace.

Birdie said...

I love those big brave girl boots. I wish they carry you through this time, into a happy, cancer free future. My thoughts are with you Wyanne.

Ariel said...

Prayers to you and your family.
Susan

Anonymous said...

Dearest Wyanne, I only just found this news today 12/16/2013 and was stunned to read it - I had no idea at all. Then I was uplifted to read it again. Bravery shines through. Love shines through. I am not on Facebook but will go there now with a huge hug and arms full of hope and good thoughts. You have sent so much love out to those of us fortunate to have anything made from your hands. I send you love and healing thoughts right back.
--Andrea

Liana said...

Dear Wyanne: I have much I want to say but I can't figure out how to say it all without writing an essay. Because you are that inspirational. Just in the few years I've been watching you and your art on the Internet and then the shorter time I had the privilege of having you as my teacher, you have been a wonderful influence. Not just in art, but the way you teach, the way you speak to us all. It breaks my heart to hear about what you are going through and the tough road ahead. I say to myself, this is so, so unfair, and yet, I don't see you making the same comment. Your strength of character shines through again. I wish you continued bravery and relief from the pain and recovery, recovery. Trust me when I say my thoughts are with you daily, and however these things travel, sending you love, and peaceful days. Liana

Robin Westphal said...

Sending prayers and strength.

Janet said...

I have just now read this and learnt of your situation. I have followed your work and taken your classes because i love the spirit, joy, creativity and beauty you create in your art. I hope your art brings you peace and joy in this difficult time and I send many positive wishes for minimal need for intervention and a speedy recovery from your surgery and a future free of the illness you are now experiencing. Kindest regards. I will go now and find you on facebook. Janet Trotta.

Peggy Beck said...

Dear Wyanne. I am in awe of you but want to tell you that I had a neck cancer back in 1986 that caused me surgery and the base of my tongue was removed but somehow, I had to learn how to eat all over again. I had 6 weeks of radiation following the surgery and it was the worst 6 weeks, but I am still here in 2014. There are residual effects. I had nothing but liquids for six months and I can give you some nice yummy drinks you can make in your blender when you are on the road to recovery.
I am going to pray for you to heal and I would like to send you a video from an Anita Moorijani. I will send you a link that can help you with the strength you will need. We think we don't have it but we have no choice but to find it and so we do. Hugs and wishing you nothing but great results.

Peggy Beck said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvmABrII35c

Breanna Ross said...

Wow, Wyanne! I was sad and shocked while reading this, but I've been watching your art and personality and love for about a year now, and I just know you are going to be okay, because if anyone can do it, it's you! You are so amazing! There are lots of us out there who love you and are thinking of you!

Jenny said...

Sending you love, support & strength from Pa ... I've been a fan of you, our dear Wyanne ... your whimsical & eccentric amazing talent ... your inspiring videos of your craft and funky music :) - - you have sparked creativity in me when my mind was stark ... and you have taught me how to play & experience materials that I may not have ever tried before. So, I THANK YOU! You give so much to the world ... may the world lift you up, too. God bless you, Wyanne - with healing & strength that empowers you to full recovery. You will be in my prayers for some time. Hugs!

amy said...

i found your art videos on youtube this summer. it was such a hard time for me. your videos were my lifeline. wyanne, your's is a generous spirit. may you feel the love you have given so freely surround you, uplift you, strengthen you. a stranger loves you very much.

Donna said...

God bless you Wyanne! You are and will be in my prayers. Your positive attitude rocks. It makes me realize just how important it is to take advantage of the moment, and to be a blessing to others.

Take care and, like I said, I'll be praying.
D~~~~

Angela Kennedy said...

I found you through friend posts on Facebook and I think you are so brave. I will be praying for you and know you will conquer this! I love your art by the way :)

Kathleen Fitzhugh said...

I just today found your beautiful art. Wyanne, I"m praying for you and your recovery. I survived breast cancer and I pray for your healing.
Light and Love, Kathleen

crystal said...

Hi there Wyanne!
I have had you as a teacher on Lifebook in the past. I just found out and read your blog on your update. I personally have a nard time encouraging someone in a trial like yours because I grieve inside, so what I can share though is that if you have faith in the Lord Jesus who suffered so greatly for us so that we could have eternal life if we would believe inHim as Lord and Savior, we can have that life for eternity. I know you have suffered greatly, and to think your body has withstood this surgery, machines, and even for future treatments is just a miracle of miracles that you are standing doing all that you can do and all that have touched your body have had annointed hands. You are tobe truly encouraged and an example to all of us that don't know what can happen in our lives, and we are to live day by day. God bless you Wyanne for strength and also that your family and children can handle all of this with you.

claudia said...

I have been following you since 2008 and I just checked in today. I had not visited you blog since summer and I will pray for you that healing light surrounds always. You will recover and be stronger than ever!

suzie jay sroka said...

I am new to your blog. I found you on You tube looking at mixed media techniques. I really enjoyed all your videos and so searched for you on Etsy where I have a shop myself, and then wondered if you had a blog, which I have found (obviously!) Anyway, I too have been through a cancer journey and hopefully after ops and years of treatments (hopefully) have come out the other side, battered, bruised and changed but better in many ways for it. I so agree with and admire your attitude. I will look you up on FB now too. Much love to you . Suzie x

Mary Lachman said...

Wishing you a good recovery I send you armloads of warm thoughts and love.

Carol Porter said...

Whenever I'm feeling uninspired I look for you on Youtube or come to your blog to see what you've been working on. Today is one of those days and I was shocked by your story. I am so deeply sorry that you have to expierence this. And yes, during these times you realize you can't sweat the small stuff and start focusing on the tings that really matter to you (like you've been doing). I admire your bravery and your honesty and I thank you for it. Thank you for being an inspiration not just to me but to many others, through your art. Thank you for not being afraid to use color and convincing me to use more of it (well, I'm still working on that). Thank you for being a wonderful teacher and for selecting wonderful tracks for your videos (lol). Thanks for all you do! I wish you all the best and a speedy recovery. Be well.