It’s been a little bit and I feel that a life update is in order.

2022 started off strong. There was a lot of travel in the first six months. I was blessed to explore Otter Tail County, MN, Bismarck, ND, McHenry County, IL, Perham, MN, Marshalltown, IL, and more! I attended conferences in St. Cloud, MN and Reno, NV and met many amazing people along the way.

In July 2022 I started to feel nauseous all the time for no known reason. It would come in waves and I was prescribed Zofran 3 different times as doctors thought it would pass. Eventually, a doctor at a walk in clinic told me “I’m not sending you to the ER, but you need to see your primary doctor this week, something’s wrong with your liver.” This was the same week I was set to head to Bismarck, ND for a convention at which I would be sworn in as Governor of the Dakotas-Manitoba-Minnesota Optimist International District. I didn’t make it to Bismarck as I was so nauseous at this point but I was thankful to be sworn in over Zoom.

By mid August I had had an ultra sound of my upper abdomen and two MRIs. I was referred to a surgeon over 70 miles away as no surgeon in my local hospital would touch me after the results came in. The results showed eight masses on my liver. The largest mass was approximately the size of my liver. Surgery was then scheduled for September 20th.

September 20th came faster then I could have ever imagined. There were complications with surgery as well. What was supposed to be a 6″ incision on my abdomen became 12″. There were blood vessels attached to the biggest mass and when they went to remove it I lost a lot of blood. I ended up needing 4 units of blood during surgery and 2 more after surgery. I was only in the hospital for 4 days and then they sent me home.

Night two at home I went to the ER for pain. Night three the ambulance had to come get me because I couldn’t move and my incision was gushing clear liquid. I spent the night in the ER and 3 more days in the hospital. I had sepsis and pneumonia from surgery.

It was a long and painful recovery once I finally got home. I carried all the pain from the surgery in my back and nothing could relieve it. Pneumonia was also a struggle to deal with, especially with a 12″ incision across you abdomen. I watched the most beautiful fall with the most perfect weather from a chair in my living room. It made me so sad since fall is my favorite and I had so many plans for fall of 2022!

After all of this, it really just showed me how thankful I am for this life I get to live filled with travel. How much I love being able to share communities, fun, and great food with other people. I knew a life update was in order since there has been some absence. So if you read this far, thank you! I look forward to getting back to things now in 2023 and beyond!

And for those of you curious for a little more detail: The masses were all benign. They were caused by taking hormonal birth control for an extended period of time. Once getting off birth control I had a large variety of post birth control symptoms including hair loss. Oh, and I should also add, this is now the best I have ever felt in many years! There were so many things I just thought were normal for my body that were apparently due to the masses growing on my liver. Once they were out, all those things stopped, and I’ve been healthier ever since!

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