It’s an Unpredictable Life – A Journal Post

The past few weeks I have found myself on life’s roller coaster… Lots of ups and downs!

Soon after my last blog post I had a checkup with Dr. Wilson, my hematologist/oncologist. Following my most recent central line fiasco, Dr. Wilson briefly saw me while I was inpatient and waived my appointment that was scheduled for a few days later. Since we didn’t exchange our typical lengthy banter during that admission, I actually had a chance to miss him! He really is an awesome doctor and person. At my appointment, Mom and I rehashed the details of my visit to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Dr. Wilson seemed to be as happy as we are that I have found a helpful team of doctors in Cincy willing to work on my behalf.

Since the beginning of this year my blood counts have been even more persnickety than usual. My hemoglobin has taken quite a dip, making me feel extremely wiped out, and additionally exacerbating my pain. Dr. Wilson has been closely monitoring my counts, hoping they would rebound on their own, but it appears that I am in need of a blood transfusion. Hopefully this intervention will replenish my pep!

Miss Alice Eloise has hit a bit of a rough patch as well.

Double Doodle
Recently she mysteriously strained her back and was prescribed two weeks of bed rest and medication. This downtime seemed to do the trick, and she was feeling much better until she resumed her usual activity level. So on Sunday it was back to the vet we went. And if it wasn’t for my baby’s pain, it would have been an enjoyable experience; I love going to the animal hospital! It’s so delightful making all kinds of new animal friends! X-rays were taken, and fortunately there were no major problems apparent. Alice has very minor disc compression, presumably from muscle spasms. We are hoping that after another period of restricted activity and more medications, my little shadow will once again be her spunky and FRAP-tastic self!

But don’t you worry about us. Alice Eloise and I have not been throwing our own little pity party. With her as my service dog, and me as her service human, we make a pretty sensational team!

photo 5

And I am grateful to report that we have had a few special surprises to brighten our days. Recently Alice received a package in the mail from her native land Cedar Hill, the farm where she was born. Theresa, the Doodle breeder, was so thoughtful and sent Alice a rockstar-worthy Christmas collar! Not only is this festive collar adorned with candy canes, but it has blinking lights to boot! No doubt Alice will outshine the Christmas tree this year. And am I the only one who has realized that we are exactly six months away from Christmas today?! Anyone want to come bake some Christmas cookies with me?

To add to the fun, a few weeks back I received a message from a dog artist. (Yes, a dog artist! What a fascinating line of work!) Ginger, the aforementioned artist, has an online shop, full of precious doggie illustrations. She had been searching for a Doodle model and stumbled upon the pictures of Alice Eloise on The Daily Puppy. Naturally she was captivated by that irresistible puppy dog pout, and she knew that she had found just the right Doodle for the job. And the result? Just look at this adorable masterpiece!

photo 1-3
And the quote describes our relationship to a T. My very-soon-to-be service dog offers boundless love and support! I am so thankful to have her in my life.

Our family enjoyed a perfectly lovely Father’s Day. Krista and Tim kindly hosted a lovely celebratory lunch. And we were graced with the company of my Aunt Janet, my Uncle Richard, and my cousin Honeypie! (Technically her name is Laura. Incidentally, this spectacular cousin of mine not only has her own holiday, but an entire honorary holiweek celebrated every February! Yes indeed, Laura Admiration Week was founded in recognition of Honeypie’s outstanding generosity in caring for me when I had a weeklong epidural nearly ten years ago. What a superhero!)

photo-16

And why do I call her Honeypie, you ask? Well, she and I have always been fond of nicknames. (I’m not kidding, guys… If you would be so kind, could you please refer to me as Sabrina Giselle from this time forward?) So one day I was coloring a picture for Laura of Strawberry Shortcake and her beloved pony, Honeypie. And I had the sudden revelation that Honeypie would be a perfectly suited nickname for my beautiful, admirable cousin. I mean, check out this resemblance.

Honeypie-p001

They both have stunningly flowy, curly manes. So Honeypie was an obvious choice as a nickname! And I am sure that Laura is just overjoyed to have such a sophisticated moniker. I believe she is considering having new business cards made to reflect this.

I have also taken my first foray into canning! “Green Acres” is one of my all-time favorite television shows, and I have fantasized about having a lifestyle (and Hungarian accent) similar to that of Lisa Douglas, the lovely city-girl uprooted and relocated to middle-of-nowhere Hooterville. And such a lifestyle necessitates jam! Strawberry jam seemed like an appropriate gateway into the wonderful world of canning. But just as I was reaching the zenith of my jam-making adventure, our electricity (or electricicle, as Lisa Douglas would say) conked out! So due to the abbreviated cooking time, I ended up with ten jars of strawberry ice cream topping. Oh well! Worse things can happen in life. And it just so happens that I make fantastic ice cream!

I’ve heard tell that Food Network has an opening for a new show. I feel that the entertainment industry is in need of a Hungarian jamstress, so I took the liberty of filming this pilot episode:

I wish I could end this journal entry on that upbeat note, but our family was given some concerning news last week. My Aunt Janet has had severe back pain for a while now, and after a battery of testing, she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer. So on July 15th Aunt Janet and Uncle Richard will be seeing doctors at Mayo Clinic in order to learn more about this condition. We are hoping that this has been caught at an early stage. Genetic testing is available at facilities such as Mayo that can aid in directing treatment for each individual patient, resulting in the best possible outcome. I know I can speak for my whole family in saying that we would greatly appreciate your prayers.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

Since the day I was born, Aunt Janet has been one of my best buds, a regular partner in my goofdom. She introduced me to the finer things in life, like “I Love Lucy”, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, and Ricky Martin music, was the world’s greatest guidance counselor when I was in high school, and is my go-to authority regarding all-things sewing. But best of all, she always makes a point of coming to visit me, letting me know that I am loved and never forgotten.

And I am certain that I am just one of many people that Aunt Janet has made feel so very special! Learning from her example, I realize that now is the time to give her plenty of extra hugs and “I love you’s”, which I fully intend to do… And surely there are a whole bunch of others lined up to do the same!

Allow me to step up to my soapbox for a minute. Within the past two months a couple of people very close to my heart have been diagnosed with a hematological cancer. As I just mentioned, my aunt was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. A friend of my family, Glenn, was diagnosed with leukemia. And I myself have Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH)… And if it weren’t for blood donors, I quite certainly wouldn’t be alive.

Every two seconds someone in the United States requires a blood transfusion. And just a single donation has the potential to save up to three lives! One of the top reasons cited regarding why a person doesn’t give blood is “I never thought about it.” Perhaps people don’t realize what a remarkable difference their donation would make. As a blood recipient, I have inexpressible gratitude for the kindhearted donors who have taken the incentive to offer this life-giving gift.

And in return for such a benevolent deed, one can look forward to a reward yummy cookie!… As well as the satisfaction of saving lives.

• For more information about donating blood, visit:
www.americasblood.org
-Or-
www.redcrossblood.org

Sarah Kathryn Frey

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15 Responses to It’s an Unpredictable Life – A Journal Post

  1. Cindi says:

    Lovely post and as always, so truly inspiring! I hope you and your Eloise, both feel better
    quite soon! The picture of Eloise and the quote are nothing short of amazing. I like the
    Bible verse that you included in your post. One of my favorites is “Be Still and Know That
    I Am God.” Psalms 46:10…May God continue to be by you and your lovely family’s side
    and I feel honored to be a part of your family and your inspiration!!!!!
    Cindi

    • Hi Cindi!

      Thank you so much… I had a much-needed transfusion so my hemoglobin counts are a lot better, and Alice Eloise is back on her feet and as spunky as ever! Psalm 46:10 has been a great source of comfort for me as well. There are many things we can fret over each day, but how much happier we are if we put our trust in the Lord! Thank you for being such a supportive part of my family! <3

  2. Kylie says:

    I love your jam video! Your laugh sounds so much like Krista’s!

    • Kylie, everyone always says we have the same voice! I never noticed we had the same laugh, but once you mentioned it I watched the video again… Sure enough, we laugh alike, too!

      PS I’m glad you are moving back to the Midwest! Kansas City is so close. Krista will appreciate having her good friend back in the area!

  3. Sue Deist says:

    Great posting! I am available anytime to make Christmas cookies—I even have a cookie cutter in the shape of a wiener dog :) Best to you and Alice. Love Ya, Sue

    • Sue, I imagine that is the most adorable cookie cutter ever! We have such lovely weather this week, I hope Alice Eloise and I see you out and about! Sending love and hugs and Doodle smooches!

  4. Yvonne Rieger says:

    Good Morning Sweet Sarah!

    As always, sure enjoyed your blog and all the information, plus a little humor! Your Mom is the perfect side-kick, isn’t she!! You may not know this but she speaks many languages affluently and now she can add Hungarian to the list! And poor Alice and her back troubles – Dave says he knows the feeling as he has a compressed disc also. But she’s still the cutest Doodle ever :)

    I’m so sorry to hear of your beloved Aunt Janet’s health issues. I’ve added her to my prayer list and I know God will bless her and keep her as she travels this journey. She will not be alone! Thank you for getting the word out of the importance of being a blood donor – my dear nephew has had many in the past couple months – and you are so right….this saves lives!!

    Have a blessed day my sweet girl. I’m sure there’s something fun planned at the Frey house! Please know that I think of you often and pray that God blesses you with strength and courage to continue your God-given talent as a service human. You continue to be an inspiration to me and many others! I love you and will see you soon!

    Hugs
    Dave and Yvonne

    • Yvonne, I do believe I have heard that Mom can speak fluent Swedish on occasion… =]

      Alice Eloise is back to being Little Miss Sugar and Spice, and her back pain seems to be behind her! But we aren’t overdoing her hoop jumping, just in case!

      Thank you for your prayers for Aunt Janet. I don’t think she could have found a better specialist than her new doctor at Mayo! A kind doctor makes all the difference when you are trying to make important treatment decisions.

      I am very happy that Glenn is home once again! I hope his infection is taken care of very soon. He is so tough! I admire his strength.

      I am so thankful to have you as my wonderful friend! I love you!

  5. Jo Graeff says:

    Sarah,

    I really enjoyed your cooking show! Tell your mom she did great too. So sorry about Alice. I am glad she is on the mend. So sorry to hear about your Aunt Janet. I will definitely keep her in my prayers.

    I just have to tell you what a special young lady you are. You always make me smile and definitely downplay anything negative and are always so positive. Looking forward to your next blog!!!

    • Hi Jo!

      Oh, the jam making was such fun! I think that came through loud and clear over the video!

      Alice Eloise is feeling much better! She’s back in “training mode” so we can take our service dog test soon! But not to worry, we have a lot of play time, too!

      And thank you for praying for Aunt Janet. Her visit to Mayo went wonderfully, and she has a very kind and intelligent specialist on her team!

      Thank you so much for your loyal support. Knowing I have such special friends and family who care about me give me strength to keep such a positive outlook!

  6. Amy Blood says:

    Hi darling! I cannot wait to see you. :) Loved the whole post. Sorry Miss Alice was sick…you two are adorable. Love that picture of you!!! that is so funny that she got discovered. Your life never ceases to include odd surprises. ;) Your Father’s Day sounds lovely, and I love the picture of you, Laura, and Krista! Finally, I would totally vote to have you on Food Network.

    I LOVE YOU!!! Let me know when I should come see you! We have no plans.

    <3

    • Thanks for coming to visit! You always make me smile! If I may be permitted to brag for a moment, I think Alice Eloise might be the most beautiful supermodel ever! Move over, Twiggy! I love you!

      • Amy Blood says:

        Thank you for having me! It makes me happy how we can still talk for hours without running out of stories. :) And I agree! Alice is much more photogenic than Twiggy. Good luck on your service dog test this weekend, and have fun cramming!!! ;)

  7. Mitzi Alemond says:

    You totally have my undivided attention when you write. Again, so inspiring. I’m so saddened to hear Janet is facing this, and pray to our good Lord they can make her healthy. Thank you for your always positive and upbeat stories. Your fog is a star!

    • Mitzi, you are too kind! I, too, hate that Aunt Janet has to go through this. But I am thankful to say that she has found an amazing doctor at Mayo. God always knows what He is doing!

      My mama enjoyed spending time with her good friends today!

      And Alice Eloise really is a darling little thing! I don’t know what I would do without her! I just love her so much.