Well it’s been almost three weeks since we said goodbye to Earl. I wanted to share my pictures and my experiences all in one place. Like a Journal.
from October 17
I’ve been holding my breath for a week and two days since Lauren discovered the mysterious mass in her brain that’s given her 60+ days of migraines. With everything else going on I have not been ready to accept the possibilities. My watch has reminded me to breath constantly.
Today she got answers that led to more questions, more unknowns and more possibilities. It could be brain cancer. It could be a tumor. It could be a cavernous malformation. But if it is, it’s not normal. Like all the docs keep saying, “it’s a weird one” The neurosurgeon could not give her a definite answer, and that’s the hardest part!
Either she waits to see if it grows, causes seizures and her headaches gets worse or she has brain surgery right away. She’s anxious. I’m anxious. So we anxiously will wait until she gets a second opinion on Tuesday at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Us Falter girls are strong like our momma. And we’ve got this….whatever this is.
from November 9th
I know you see me. I know you hear me, Lord. Your plans are for me. Goodness you have in store. This song is on repeat as we wait here at @huntsmancancerinstitute. Surgery started 3 minutes ago, and will last 5-6 hours. The doctor still isn’t sure what “earl” is…and we may not know for over a week.
I know this is God’s plan. We feel so much love, support and prayers from our family, friends and strangers. 🖤🖤 Thank you. I feel so incredibly blessed.”
from October 24
Last night I got to take my twin sister @xolaurenpace‘s family pictures. This is an annual tradition. But this year it was different as she’s preparing for brain surgery next month, and still aching to know what’s causing all this pain. I read the doctor’s report yesterday and it scared me to read what the doctors guess this is. I was not ready to talk about cancer, especially aggressive cancer as even a possibility. It’s all too much, too fast.
“But I can’t fix it so I will do what I can to make it okay. Documenting the journey. Raising funds to keep her babies home with their favorite sitter while she recovers. (Venmo “laurenfpace” if you want to contribute any). Prayers, lots of prayers. And being her #1 girl always and forever. This is hard.
from November 10th
Twin love is a special kind of love that can’t be described or compared.
When she hurts, I hurt. When she’s sad, I’m sad. When she’s angry, I’m angry. Even when we were as young as grade school if she got her feelings hurt, I’d cry for her. We feel deeply for each other, and always have hated to see the other in pain.
This has been a hard experience. I’m so grateful for our special bond especially over the last 24 hours. I got to be her first and only ICU roomie last night while she was woken up and checked on every 40 minutes.
They’re pushing her hard. Because the harder you push in the beginning, the better recovery is. Walking laps around the nurses station hours after brain surgery. Sitting up in a chair the next day. And even though it’s painful and exhausting, she’s doing it. And exceeding every goal.
Last night I prayed and prayed that I’d get enough sleep to have the energy to make it through another day. I prayed for emotional and physical strength. Today I woke up after an exhausting night in the ICU, and was able to be the best sister and best aunt as long as I was needed. Heck, we even squeezed in a few hours to take Maelie (Laurens daughter) to instacare and find out she has a broken arm.
God is good. So good 🖤
from November 11th
I have tears in my eyes looking at pictures of my brave sister from this morning.
While she is napping, we snuck away to a small church service on the sixth floor. I looked to the left and saw patients in hospital gowns. I looked to the right and saw visitors in sweats and jeans. I looked behind and saw uniforms – security guards, nurses, etc. and I looked up front and saw Lauren’s doctor.
Sometimes we forget about what church is really about. But today it was obvious. 🖤 Its not about what you look like, or whats going on in your life, or what your calling is. It’s about turning to Christ. Everyday. In good times or bad. After church we stayed in the multipurpose room with the incredible view of Salt Lake City. Emma played hymns on the piano. And mom and I wrote down every single miracle we could think of from these past 48 hours.
The biggest tender mercy of today was the talk was given by Lauren’s doctor. The first time her ever been asked to speak in the Sunday service. And it was just what our hearts needed. Thanks for your continued prayers and support. We feel your love. And we are counting each on of you as a miracle in our lives.
from November 13th
The words BENIGN have never sounded sweeter. 🙌🏻 We’re having a party over here tonight. About time we got some great news. God is good.
from November 14
You know when you’ve been camping for a few days and you come home and take the best shower of your life? We have to know what it’s like to be dirty to know the pure joy of being clean.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
There is opposition in all things. I believe we go through trials and hardships for MANY reasons and I don’t know all of those right now. But I do know we won’t know pure joy until we’ve felt devastation, fear and anger.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Thank you God for allowing me to feel these deep, dark emotions so that I can truly know joy, peace and happiness and I can deepen my empathy for others during challenging times.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I’m not through all my trials yet but I know that pure joy and peace are waiting for me at the end of this journey. And there are blessings, miracles and tender mercies lining my path.⠀
Recovery has been different than I imagined it would be. I thought she would be in a ton of pain. Headaches, migraines, etc. But the brain doesn’t have brain pain receptors. Brain surgery recovery is CRAZY. Her personality was pretty much gone for several days. No emotion. No ups. No downs. No crying. No joy. It was weird. After the swelling went down, bits of personality came back. But she stayed weak. Her energy is low. SO low. She walked to the toilet and would take a two hour nap. Lauren is on SO MANY meds – anti seizure, antibiotics, steroids, pain meds, etc. The nerve pain started about two weeks in. That pain was excruciating. She can’t lift her babies even if she had the energy to because they’re over ten pounds. And she is stuck in bed for several weeks. That is one of the hardest parts. She is so bored and so tired of being tired. Brain recovery is tough stuff.
photographer | educator + speaker | community builder
Kylee started Kylee Ann Photography 8 years ago, and has since grown from a one woman amateur show to a full associate team. We shoot 50-75 weddings a year, and thrive on kindness and service. After a year of teaching Intro to Photography at the local technical college, she discovered that helping other entrepreneurs create thriving businesses is what fires her up! She hosts semi-annual Kylee Ann Sleepovers all over the US, speak at conferences and teach online courses about running a small business and marketing.