Once Weak Now Strong

As you can expect, after just having a baby and having heart surgery, I was extremely weak and tired. My body had just gone thru a LOT. A few days after I was released from the hospital, I received a phone call from Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation at Baylorworx in Waxahachie. They wanted me to set up an appointment for an evaluation for the Cardiac Rehab program. At that time, I really thought that I could get back to normal on my own. I was young and could do anything right? And, wasn’t rehab for older people?

I was So Wrong! What was I thinking?  Once I stopped taking pain pills, got out of bed and started moving around a little more, I realized that I had a LONG way to get back to feeling normal. I couldn’t walk but a few feet without becoming out of breath and feeling dizzy. My doctor had me on medication that kept my blood pressure low so that my heart would rest and not work too hard. As a result, the low blood pressure made me feel terrible.  I think the hardest thing after surgery was not being able to take care of my kids nor myself. I was slightly depressed and hopeless. Yes, I was VERY Thankful for the surgery being a success and my heart being fixed. But at the same time, I did not know how to get back to my normal life. So, I gave in and made that appoinment with Cardiac Rehab at Baylorworx.

Making that appointment was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It was at my first appointment that I learned why I needed Cardiac Rehab. The goal of Cardiac Rehab is to provide education and counseling services to help heart patients increase physical fitness, reduce cardiac symptoms, improve health, and reduce the risk of future heart problems. It is a prefessionally supervised program that helps heart patients recover from heart attacks and / or heart surgery. Cardiac Rehab was exactly what I needed! At Baylorworx, my wonderful, awesome team consisted of John Shelton – Physical Therapist and Gaybrielle Lee- Registered Nurse. I  also received help from other Trainers – Lucy and Bonnie, but my main team was John and Gaybrielle (pictured below).

I cannot say enough about them. They are wonderful! Three days a week I was at cardiac rehab. Every day,  Gaybrielle took my blood pressure, hooked me up to the Heart monitor, and watched over me while John got me moving. I started out only being able to walk on the treadmill at a slow 2-3 miles per hour pace for 10 min. to jogging on and off for 30 min at a 5.5 miles per hour pace. John even had me lifting weights and doing all types of endurance exercises. By the end of the program John and Bonnie had me exercising for 45-60 minutes long while keep my heart rate at a good healthy range – without medicine!

When I started the program, my only goal was to get my energy back and be able to do daily life activities at home and at work. However; by the end of the program, I had mastered my first goal and had made a new goal – to run a 5K!

Three to four weeks after completing cardiac rehab, I ran my first 5K – the 9/11 Fallen Heroes Run in Dallas. I ran the entire race and never once stopped to walk. What a feeling of accomplishment! Not only was I Proud of myself. But, I was so THANKFUL for God’s grace…… for him sending me angels – all my wonderful doctors at Baylor and everyone at Baylorworx – who saved my life and helped me become a much stronger person!

Emotional yet Wonderul Night

 As I was looking thru all of my pictures and keepsakes, I found this letter. When Daniel was done with his chemotherapy, we had a party to celebrate and thank everyone for helping us so much. I wrote the following letter thanking everyone at the party. Since I had just had a stroke, my speach was very slow and pronunctiation was off so I had Richard, my father in law, read the letter for me.

I would like to Thank everyone for coming tonight. Yes, we are here to celebrate the end of Daniel’s chemo, but we are also here to Thank each and every one of you for helping us get though   this past year. This year has been extremely tough for both of us. I have had   to put on a tough face this year in order to be strong for Daniel and to just get by. To some of you, this year of chemo might seem like it was fairly easy   for us, but, it has been nothing but challenging to us. It is such a relief   to know that it is finally over.

All of you have helped us out in   many ways. Both of our parents have been so helpful with taking care of   the kids and cooking us meals when needed or helping take care of regular   daily life routines. Our parents, Richard and Karen Rozier and Shirley and   William Trull are by far the best parents in the world!  

We are also thankful for several   family members who have helped bring food to the hospital for Daniel   and I, have visited with us, and have even offered a place for me to stay   instead of sleeping on those hospital pull out chairs. Many friends have also   visited us in the hospital or provided snack baskets so Daniel   wouldn’t have to eat the hospital food. Here is a short list of other   things friends and family have done: one friend has mowed our yard every week   of the summer, friends have sent positive emails every week and others   have sent emails of prayer, one friend gave me money to use on the kids   only –to take them to the movies and spend a special day with   them, and to my best friend who has been there for me from the very beginning   to the end.. She has listened to my fears over and over and has been there   for me when I couldn’t be strong anymore and needed a shoulder to cry on. She   is the true meaning of a FRIEND. I am so thankful.  The list can go on and on. We had so   many people do so many wonderful things for us during this time.   All of you have made a huge impact on our lives this year. I’m sorry if I   miss or leave anyone out.

At this time, I would like to   acknowledge a few special people. I would like to first thank my job and   my bosses at ECI which is Rebecca Armbrust and Veshia Bowen. (Please   stand)  They have worked with me thru all of this and have   made it possible for me to not only work but to still be able to   concentrate on my husband and his treatments. It has been so great to not   have any pressure from my job. Thank you very much!  You both   deserve a round of applause.

I also would like to   acknowledge the Irving Fire Dept!! Stand up guys…… I am so extremely   proud to be apart of the Irving Fire Dept. Family. You guys   are sooooo awesome! The firemen of the Irving Fire Dept. have been   working for 6 months in Daniel’s place at work. He has not missed a day at   work nor has he missed a paycheck. When we found out that Daniel needed   6 months of chemo, Daniel was not going to go thru with it because he   thought he might lose his job or we would go   bankrupt. Daniel instantly received so many   phone calls from the guys at the fire dept.  telling him not   to worry about money or his job. They said that they would take care of him   no matter what. You guys made his decision to have chemo so much easier   for him.  Yall also made me   not have to beg my husband to do the chemo. Not only did yall work for   him for 6 months, but yall also stopped by the hospital, called, visited at   home, and even took him out to eat a time or two. I don’t know of many jobs   like this. Yall are like our second family. You all are so wonderful and   I cannot thank you enough!  (Applause)

I also must acknowledge Dan’s   doctor — Dr. Nadler.. (stand up). I must be honest and say that before I met   Dr. Nadler I had my mind made up and we were going to go to MD Anderson to   get nothing but the best treatment for my husband. Then, I met Dr. Nadler and   I learned that he is the best chemo doctor I know and that my husband was   completely safe in his hands. Dr. Nadler was the best treatment for my   husband. Whatever he said, we trusted and have had complete faith in him. I   thank Dr. Nadler for taking such good care of my husband and putting my   nerves at ease..

Last but not least, I thank my   husband for agreeing to go thru 6 months of chemo. It has been extremely hard   to watch him be poisoned every 3 weeks and then to see him feel horrible day   after day.  I thank my husband for being such a great patient   and being so strong. There is no one else that holds a candle to you. You are   the bravest and strongest man I know and I look forward to growing   old with you! This is only the beginning of our life together. You   have to put up with me for at least another 50 more years. I love You!

 This Celebration party was a very emotional night. Dan and I are so grateful for God’s grace and the outpouring support we received from family, friends, and co-workers. We are very, very blessed to have so many people love us and be a part of our life!

My brother and sister-in-law live in colorado. They were not planning on coming to the party since they were so far away. However, when my mom called my brother Friday afternoon, the night before the party, and told him I was in the hospital because I had a stroke. He and Katy jumped on a flight that night and was at my bedside saturday morning in the hospital. Thankfully, I was released Saturday afternoon and with their help and my parent’s help, we all made it to the party. They are awesome!

I know I mentioned this in my letter above, but I must mention it again. My parents and Daniel’s parents are absolutely wonderful. They are always, always there for us and willing to help out however we need them to. We are very lucky to have parents like them. They are very appreciated and loved very much.

God will Test Your Faith

As Dan and I are walking into church this morning, we run into Pastor Bruce. We shake hands and express greetings to one another. He then says to us ” Today’s sermon is going to speak right to both of you.”

The message from today’s sermon at Waxahachie Bible Church was very awesome! Just because you believe in God does not mean that you are going to have an easy life. God is going to test you. You might lose a job, have problems with your marriage, problems with your health, etc. These problems, these tests, are challenging your faith. God does not test you because He hates you. He tests you because He LOVES you and wants to bring you closer to Him. He wants to strengthen your soul, your faith in Him.

Pastor Bruce was right. I felt like he was talking straight to Dan and I. Having Cancer and Heart issues were definitely tests to our faith. Daniel already had a very strong Faith in God and would always tell me that everything was going to be ok and that it was out of our hands. I on the other hand, had a strong faith in God, but I still couldn’t understand the part about not being able to control what happens. When I became pregnant with Caleb and couldn’t have surgery, I was so crushed and SCARED. How was I going to survive 9 months of pregnancy, plus giving birth with such a large hole in my heart. I tried to control the situation and tried as hard as I could to persuade the doctors to do the heart surgery while pregnant.

I turned to Daniel, my family, friends, to Terry at Waxahachie Bible Church for answers. Then, one day, it finally dawned on me that I was going to be ok. I knew that this was a test of my faith and I gave up all my worries and put my life in His hands. Oh, how powerful our test was to us! I know that God LOVES Dand and I. I know that He will take care of us. He has a plan for us that we have no power over. We just have to BELIEVE!

The Waxahahcie Bible Church has been wonderful to us. During Dan’s cancer, the birth of Caleb, and my recovery after surgery, they were there for us. Whether it was to listen to our fears, pray for us, or even bring food to the home to help feed us. They were always there.

Once things had quieted down and both Dan and I were in good health, we had Pastor Bruce renew our wedding vows. Dan and I had a strong marriage to begin with – before we both got sick. However, God’s test not only brought us closer to Him but it brought us closer to each other. After going thru what we went to, I know that Dan and I can get through anything together.

www.waxahachiebible.org

Big Shout Out to Irving Fire Dept.

Every fireman and his family knows that the Fire Dept is like a second family. It is the fireman’s second home. The other firemen he works with day after day are his brothers. And, I have learned that these brothers will do just about anything to help another fireman out.

While Daniel and I were in Houston at MD Anderson, we found out that doctors were recommending chemotherapy in order to keep the cancer from coming back. As reality was sinking in, the only thing Daniel could think about was how was he going to keep working while getting chemo and how was he going to keep taking care of his family.

I could tell that Daniel was starting to talk himself out of getting chemo.  So, I started thinking about how I was going to talk him into taking it.  I was not going to chance anything. I was not going to lose my husband to cancer.

By the end of our trip to MD, the firemen started calling, checking in, praying for him, and seeing what they could do. One after one kept calling, telling Daniel that he needed to do the chemo and to not worry about work. They were all going to take care of him.

Daniel had to be off of work for 6 months of chemotherapy. He could not go to work at all. The Irving Fire Dept. worked for Daniel every 3rd day for 6 months so that we would still have money to live on.  So, he could take care of his family while sick. So, he would still have a job!

These men are awesome! Daniel and I cannot express how truly thankful we are for these men. They are amazing. They are family!

This June, IFD is supportin a local run called the Hero Rush. Check it out : www.herorush.com

Our Story

I met the love of my life in 2002 and we got married in April 2004. We both wanted a big family and decided to start building one ASAP. Jeb was born in 2005 and Hannah in 2006. Married life with our two precious children was perfect…… until 2009 when Daniel was diagnosed with bone cancer.

Daniel had just had surgery to remove a spot on his ribs that doctors had thought was benign. And, then the doctor said that terrible, horrible word – CANCER. After a visit to MD Anderson and a meeting with Daniel’s awesome Chemo doctor – DR. Nadler, we began 6 LONG, HARD months of chemotherapy.

Daniel was such a trooper. He was such a good patient. I remember posting on facebook about his positive attitude and how he thought he was superman. He made it seem like he was handling chemo like a pro. However, he never once told me about all  the times he spent with his head in the toilet or how terrible he was feeling. He didn’t want me to worry about him. He always said “Im fine” with a smile.

After the 6th month of chemotherapy, Daniel’s treatment was finally over.  Since Daniel was feeling better and things had settled down, I decided to go to Hot Springs for a girls weekend trip. I wanted to relax and get pampered and rejuvinate myself. Little did I know what was about to happen…….. While at the spa, I had a stroke and was rushed to the ER. Daniel came to get me and took me home to Baylor in Dallas where they diagnosed the stroke and ran several tests.

Baylor did not find a reason for the stroke until I was admitted again for having a TIA. It was then that they found the PFO or hole in my heart. I was just about to have surgery to close the hole when I found out that I was pregnant with my beautiful son – Caleb. I found out at pre-op the night before surgery. Thank God for pre-op! Surgery was put on hold, Caleb was born, and two months later the hole in my heart was closed by the absolute best thoracic surgeon ever – Dr. Hebeler.

Yes, cancer and heart surgery, were extremely hard to go thru and deal with, but we are blessed and thankful for God giving both of us a second chance at life. So….. I am running this marathon to save lives!  But, I am also running it to celebrate my husband and mine’s lives!

Kelly Rozier – My Journey!

The Legacy Run in WaxahachieI am a wife and mother of 3 young kids – 7 yr old boy, 5 yr old girl, and 1 yr old boy. As a Registered Dietitian, I am into eating healthy and staying fit thru cardio / strength training. And I have a love for running. I am currently training for my first half marathon at the end of February and will begin training for my first marathon after that. I have decided to join the American Cancer Society (DetermiNation) and run the San Antonio Rock n Roll Race in November 11,2012. I am running to raise money to continue to save lives and to run to celebrate my husband’s second chance at life. He was diagnosed with bone cancer 3 years ago and after surgery and chemo has been cancer free!

Completing a Marathon will be a huge accomplishment for me. I will be blogging about my training and progress as time goes by. Please feel free to donate to the american cancer society at www.determination.acsevents.org You can click on the link “donate” and follow directions. Thank you for your support in helping me to save more lives!