Sunday, August 6, 2017

Band of Sisters

As I mentioned before I was a little uneasy being alone for the first time in Colorado and I had to sing a little hymn to quiet my nerves when the lights went out.  I said a little prayer and immediately felt a sense that I was not alone.  I felt or maybe the right word is remembered that I had guardian angels surrounding me. I could feel the peace they brought and I slept…In fact I slept better than I had slept in a very long time.   I was enjoying it so much that when my alarm went off I shut it off and went right on sleeping for about 45 minutes longer, because I could (ha ha).  I had made a list the night before of all the things I wanted to do while I had this time.  I felt Heavenly Father had given me some sacred time to grow and learn and I wanted to take full advantage of it.  I needed to refocus my goals and time.  So after my 45 minute nap (wink) I jumped up, took my herbs, put a load of laundry in, turned on a little motab (I love motab), juiced, made a green smoothie, changed, and headed down to read in the only sun of the day.  It was a little cloudy out so I’m sure I looked a little crazy sitting out by a closed pool but I got about 30 minutes before the clouds really came rolling in.  My work out was great and just as I was about to finish I received a text from the YW president in my ward inviting me to join, via face time, our presidency meeting.  It was so good to hear about all the girls and feel apart of the ward from far away.  I love the people in my ward and especially the Young Women.  I knew this experience was going to help me gain so much that would help me in my callings and every other aspect of my life. 

After the meeting I headed up to my apartment, drank another quart of juiced veggies, showered and got ready for the day, and began my studies.  I have been reading and studying about the healing power of the sun.   The sun has been used for years to heal the body.  “studies reveal that exposing patients to controlled amounts of sunlight dramatically lowered elevated blood pressure, decreased cholesterol in the bloodstream, lowered abnormally high blood sugar in diabetics, and increased the number of white blood cells which people need to help resist disease.  Sunlight therapy even increases cardiac output and oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. Patients suffering from gout, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, arteriosclerosis, anemia, cystitis, eczema, acne, psoriasis, herpes, lupus sciatica, kidney problems, asthma, and even burns, have all received great benefits from the sun.” (Heal Yourself with Sunlight, by Andreas Moritz p.7)  I also read how the places in the world where UV rays are greatest have the lowest amount of skin cancer and most skin cancers occurs in people who never see the sun and occurs in places on the body that don’t normally see the sun.  This book was fascinating it  talked about how harmful to the body normal sunscreen can be.  I am just barely getting into how it helps rid the body of cancer but I did learn that UV rays activate antibodies that attack tumors.  So I guess my 20 minutes of sunlight should not be lightly dismissed. 

One other thing I found myself thinking a lot about was how to get home.  I knew that 6 weeks was not enough to get my baby here or get rid of the cancer, and I really didn’t want to be away much longer.  So I was brainstorming every possible thing to help me get home and get healthy.  Some of those things included: how to make a mushroom tincture (I had  some mushroom herbs that had been used in many places of the world to help treat cancer and I needed them made into a tincture) but how,  I also wanted to get a bill on the floor during  government session in Utah,  I wanted to start contacting people in DC about what it would take to reschedule Cannabis. It is a schedule 1 drug, which means it is defined as having no medicinal value or benefit and no money can be granted to study any positive effects it could have…only negative ones.  I had no idea what any of this would in tale or even what it looked like and I’m afraid my week at Idaho Girls State was not sufficient in preparing me. I was planning on going to California at the end of 6 weeks and I needed a place to live and a medical card.  I was very stressed about food.  I knew when I came home I would be eating totally different and I wasn’t sure if I knew how to do it.  I needed to find good healthy recipes that met my eating standards.  I was feeling overwhelmed…I shared this with a few members of my family and they suggested we divide and conquer.  By 9:30 pm I had a great team of brilliant women on a conference call ready to help me.  This group included my mom, sisters, sister-in-laws and two close friends.  These ladies are some of the most talented and strongest women I have ever met and they all had different talents, which proved so helpful.  I shared with them my desires and wondered if any of them had connections or ideas that could help me.  That was all I had to say- in the next few minutes we a had a plan.  Natalie, Whitney, and Amy agreed to start writing a letter about a bill and research the path to getting a medicinal card. Lisa was going to start compiling healthy recipes, Niki was going to do some research on making a tincture and relay the info to me so I could make it (I had very spotty internet if I had any most of the time), and Crystal, Angie, and Amanda asked me if there was anything at home I was worried about…I was.  Bryant was in a challenging math class and often needed some extra help and his 12th birthday was coming up and I wanted to make it special even though I wouldn’t be there on the day.  Crystal agreed to call home and help Bryant with his math (Crystal graduated with a BA in Math Ed.), Angie was going to design Bryants Birthday invitations and Amanda was going to check at home with mom to see what her needs were.  I felt so loved and I knew that the part in my blessing given from Shaun had just come to pass as I felt love from family and friends.  I had a huge weight taken off my shoulders and I saw how “through small and simple things are great things brought to pass” Alma 37:6.  This was my Band of Sisters and I was so grateful for them.

Colorado or Bust

September, 2014

As soon as I arrived home from Las Vegas, Mom was there waiting for us. Since I had decided on my trip that I would use cannabis, I made plans to move to Colorado for 6 weeks and juice cannabis leaf.
I decided to Juice the leaves initially because as I studied cannabis I learned about a Doctor from California named Dr. William Courtney who had studied cannabis in its raw form for years and found it to have huge dietary benefits/ preventative qualities, and some studies showed that juicing also had the ability to cause apoptosis (death) of some cancer cells. Studies showed Juicing the cannabis leaf help all 210 types of cells function more effectively, it's an anti-inflammatory, it's loaded with antioxidants, a complete protein, improves bone metabolism, boost neural function, and even has a perfect balance of Omega 3's and 6's. It is completely non-psychoactive, this is because it doesn't have the psychoactive form of THC in it. It only has the acid form which is THCA and studies show qualities that this in fact would help strengthen my immune system.  After all my studying I knew that this was what I needed/wanted to do.

Colorado was obviously my best option as far as legal states. Besides being close I could juice there legally immediately because it is a recreational state. The biggest reason however was that we had been connected to a grower who was able and willing to give us leaves to juice. They are typically thrown away because juicing is not something that very many people know about or do because it provides no high and has no immediate pain relief. The Juicing of cannabis leaves was a very new concept so finding a grower that was willing to take the necessary steps to legally give me leaves was such a blessing.

These Leaves would yield about 1.5 oz. of juice
I packed my bags and I was off. I decided to take Lincoln (my 3 year old) with me so I wouldn’t be lonely and things would be a little easier for mom and Shaun. Shaun drove us to Colorado and helped us get settled. He could only stay one night because he had a business trip in Texas the next day. We were so busy getting the apartment set up, shopping for food, meeting with the grower, and making sure I had everything that I didn't even have time to think about what was really happening. When tomorrow came and he flew away I had a flood of emotions: anger, loneliness, hope, gratitude, and LOTS of FEAR!! I just sat in the car with Lincoln and cried a good long cry.
All Packed Up

The apartment I was staying in belonged to a friend of Rachel’s. She was currently on her own journey with cannabis. She was going to be gone for 6 weeks and said as she left her apartment, she had the thought, “Is my house clean? I have a feeling someone is coming to heal here.” Later that day, Rachel called her about me and she immediataley offered her apartment. It was perfect.
My Colorado Apartment

The first Sunday was a terrible day. I woke up all alone and had to pack up my little boy and find where the church was. No one knew me; I wasn’t sure if I wanted tell anyone what I was doing in Colorado, not because it was wrong but because I didn't know if they would judge me and I didn't have the emotional strength to explain it to everyone. It felt odd knowing this would be my life for a while. Lincoln was so excited to meet friends but I didn’t want to meet anyone. Here I was, walking into church, pregnant, with a kid, and my wedding ring doesn’t fit...Awesome.

It didn't take longer than the opening song to realized that church was exactly the boost I needed. Taking the sacrament, hearing people’s testimonies, and yes even meeting new people provided the strength to get through the week. Everyone was so kind and I never once felt judged. Going to church and being part of a ward family turned out to be one of the greatest blessings to both me and Lincoln throughout our stay.
A visit to the Denver Temple Grounds

Lincoln and I settled into a routine. Breakfast in the morning, cartoons on the iPad (if we could get service) while I juiced for 90 minutes and made green smoothies and all the drinks for the day. We’d get ready, eat lunch, I WOULD sit by the pool for my 20 minutes of sunlight While Lincoln waded around up to his knees in the closed kiddie pool and ran around chasing the squirrels. Then Linc would watch another video in the corner of the gym while I exercised. We’d come back home and I would do an enima (did I just say that) while he snacked and played with blocks or cars or colored in coloring books. After this we would usually run errands. We had to go to the store to get produce every other day for juicing and we would also have to pick up my leaves.
Green smoothies, Beets, Carrots, and Celery
Lincoln  playing with his toys

After only a couple weeks, Lincoln began wanting to go home. The schedule was boring him, he wanted to see his brothers and Dad, play with his toys and sleep in his own bed. It made me sad that he wanted to go home, but admittedly I often felt frustrated and guilty when he didn't want to do the things I needed to do. I felt bad he was having to live this crazy life with me. We met a cute couple at church who lived in our complex. They were so sweet and had a boy Lincoln’s age. Lincoln played there a few times and that was really fun for him. I hoped that would help break up the monotony enough to get him to stay but he still wanted to go home.

I half heartedly began searching for a plane ticket for Lincoln. I knew we needed to save money and I was nervous about sending him home because I wasn’t there and he was so little. What if he changed his mind once he got there? I was also worried about Mom doing everything plus taking care of an active 3 year old.  

After talking it over with Shaun, Mom and Heavenly Father...I had made my decision. I was going to put Lincoln on a plane back to Utah.  
I started looking more intently at flights. Lincoln would talk about going home everyday...he was so excited. Shaun was actually coming out on Friday the 26th but the flights were really pricey less than 2 weeks out. I was praying that something would open up. I had a friend that was flying from Denver to Utah in just a couple days and the flights with his airline were slightly cheaper but still $400. So I passed it up. Another good friend of mine, Lisa, had a brother who is pilot for Delta and his headquarters where in Denver but his family lives in Utah. He offered to give Linc a standby ticket and be his escort. It worked perfectly since he was flying standby also and Deltas rules required minors to be accompanied by an adult who worked for Delta. It seemed perfect and even better it was only $80..woot woot. We were so excited. I thought that was the spirit confirming our decision but maybe it was just the cheep bone in me rejoicing.

So the day came...September 24th, Linc was so excited. We packed up his bag and he kept saying how he felt bad I was going to be in Colorado all alone and that he was going to miss me but he really wanted to see his brothers and Dad. I assured him I would be fine and that we could FaceTime everyday. I won't lie I was dying a little at the thought of not having him with me but it was time for him to go home.

We were meeting Greg at the airport for the 2:50pm flight. Greg had told us that it was not a guarantee that we would get on, but I had full confidence that this was the right thing to do and besides Shaun and I had used buddy passes when we were dating many times and not once had either of us not made it on a flight. Surely we would get on today. Well we missed getting on the 2:50 flight barely and we were now waiting for the 5:45pm flight. Greg was so great...he could have gotten on 2 or 3 other flights home with other airlines, which is what his co-workers did, but he waited patiently with us. I heard him talking to his wife and come to find out his son was getting his Arrow of Light that night at 7pm...The 5:45 flight was going to be a stretch. Well we watched the flight and it looked really good. Lincoln had fallen asleep so I was just hanging out studying.  
Lincoln waiting patiently to Fly Hone to see his Brothers

While waiting I received a phone call from Bryant. He was struggling with a few decisions that needed to be made and me being gone required sacrifices of us all. It was an emotional moment for us both. I tried desperately to be strong for him, both of us trying to recognize the lessons Heavenly Father was trying to teach us, and me trying to not look a mess in front of Greg and everyone else at the airport. We talked it all over, made some phone calls and seemed to come to a conclusion that was mostly satisfying. Then I had the strongest impression to talk to Bryant about turning to the Savior for comfort and strength. I knew that this was not going to be the last time and probably not even close to the hardest thing he would deal with in the coming months and years. I would not always be able to make it better and sometimes it will seem no one can, but I knew the Savior could. I told him that I was getting the same crash course and when I turned the Savior I found my greatest peace. We talked about the steps we could both take when we are feeling lonely, lost, confused,etc... It was such a sweet conversation and tender mercy for us both, but the ache in this mothers bones to hold and be there for my son was real.

Meanwhile back at the airport the flight was fast approaching, we were still on the list and looking good. However about 10 min before we were to board 3 people who were on the 7pm flight showed up and asked if they could switch their tickets to the earlier flight...BAM just like that our flight was gone. I tried so hard to just smile and say it was fine as Greg prepared to board his flight. He had a seat in the cockpit on the jump seat. I went over to the ticket counter just to make sure there was nothing I could do, I even asked if I could just buy a ticket but the flight was completely full. When the ticket counter realized the situation they were so sympathetic and tried so hard to make it happen but it was no use. Greg flew away and unless there was another employee of Delta that was willing to escort Linc to Salt Lake there was no way for him to get on the next flight either. They told us to wait a bit while they worked to see what they could do. In the mean time I went over to Lincoln who had just woken up and his first words were, "Mommy is it time for me to get on my plane and fly home and see Daddy?" I told him that the plane was too full and so he was going to get to stay with me for awhile longer. He immediately started crying. Are you seeing this pathetic sight...? Highly emotional pregnant mom, 3 year old son sobbing and saying, "I want to go home" over and over, pregnant mom not making eye contact with anyone while trying to quickly gather her things, and quiet her son by offering anything that would make staying with me sound more fun.

The guy at the ticket counter grabbed us on our way out and told us that he had worked out a way for Lincoln to get a ticket on Shaun's flight home on Sunday for the cheapest ticket price of $200 along with refunding our standby seat. I was so excited and bought it immediately. As we walked off we heard them call for Lincoln Farr as a standby passenger for the 7pm flight. I asked practically out loud, "What am I possibly supposed to learn from this? I've been humbled to the ground what more do I need to do?" Leaving the airport my feelings were a good mix of exhaustion, frustration, anger, and a little gratitude for the ticket. Back at the apartment as I was fixing us some dinner and watching Lincoln play with his toys and I saw him smile, a peace came over me and I thought, I have no I idea why all of this happened today or why any of it has to happen at all but it did and Tenille you can "Be Still and Know that I am God." I realized he is in the details and I need to have faith and Be Still just as I had admonished Bryant to do this very day. As I went to bed I was so grateful to have that little man next to me to snuggle one last night and felt the comfort of the Savior coming and and giving me the strength to fight again tomorrow with greater Faith and Love.  

It was like Christmas Eve Anticipating Shaun's arrival. What a ray of sunshine he brought to both Lincoln and I. It was so great...and he did all my juicing, made my healthy meals, we went to the movies and out to dinner, we talked about all the things going on at home and prayed together about our future moves, we went to church and then just like that it was over. I was off to the airport to see them go. But his visit was so energizing and reminded me of all the things at home I was fighting for. So even though that first night alone in the dark of my apartment I had to sing a hymn to get to sleep I was ready to face tomorrow.