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heidiyogi heidiyogi

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Heidi Zoltak  Email: heidizoltak99@yahoo.com


Not gonna lie, life isn't cotton candy right now. Family, resting, snuggling and fighting this evil son of a bitch is mostly what life is comprised of these days. It's harder to get up and around, so we are savoring each moment. The way my family is handling this makes me so proud. They have so much grace and I'm watching in awe.

Nothing. πŸ’ƒ Yep, that's right, nothing eventful and we'll take it. Β When I was sent home on Hospice services, I think we expected kind of a roller coaster decline and it's been almost opposite.
Home has brought many joys to me that I hadn't anticipated so it has collectively helped my all around state of being. We are allowing ourselves all the expected emotions...We cry alot, we are scared, we've had many visitors, we are overwhelmed with wound dressing changes, meds and drain tubes and all things foreign to help my body get through each day. BUT we are also laughing and allowing the simplicity of good moments embrace us. Β The hardest part has been to begin to plan funeral arrangements. My Mom is helping us with that and it seems so wrong and morbid, but it has brought a closeness with her that I hadn't expected.
I'm awaiting a call from hospital to replace one of my drain tubes in my stomach that isn't working properly, besides that, we have nothing huge to report. My other tube in my kidney is working well.
The guy in this picture is much more than my husband. He is the guy who gets me out of bed every day and pushes me to smile and laugh through it all. He is the guy who pushes me to autofocus on the beauty in each day and he is the guy who is giving me space to take in all that life is trying to teach me as we journey through these rough waters. Β He is so patient with me and he is holding our crew together.
Some days we are still rendered speechless...at the support surrounding us and the raw beautiful deep connections we are watching unfold from new and old relationships. The gratitude we are feeling is something we can't quite describe and β€˜thank you’ seems so mundane compared to how we really feel. We have been so touched by all of you. Keep those prayers, thoughts, wishes, coming. I know they are working.
Love you. #thisishospice

Dear Human:
You've got it all wrong.

You didn't come here to master unconditional love. This is where you came from and where you'll return.

You came here to learn personal love.
Universal love.
Messy love.
Sweaty Love.
Crazy love.
Broken love.
Whole love.
Infused with divinity.
Lived through the grace of stumbling.
Demonstrated through the beauty of... messing up.

You didn't come here to be perfect, you already are.

You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous.

And rising again into remembering.

But unconditional love? Stop telling that story.

Love in truth doesn't need any adjectives.
It doesn't require modifiers.
It doesn't require the condition of perfection.

It only asks you to show up.
And do your best.
That you stay present and feel fully.
That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU.

Its enough.

It's Plenty. ~Courtney A. Walsh

This is Hospice. I was sent home on comfort measures a week and a half ago and things feel okay and I'm at peace. The treatments were literally killing me and any quality of life I had left. Death does not have to be ugly, it can actually be quite beautiful. We are having to make some tough decisions, but hidden in those decisions, we've encountered some pretty beautiful moments of sadness and raw emotions that may have never surfaced had we not chosen what we did. Here are a few pics from this past weekend...my first outing to my most favorite space in the world at our lake. I told my husband this was one place I wanted to see again no matter what and he made it happen. I'm seeing and feeling such love surrounding me and it feels so good to be wrapped up in it all. Thank you for continuing to cheer me on. This has been a battle of a lifetime and I'm very sure that my experience has also been enhanced because of every one of you. ❀

It's been quite the roller coaster ride the past month. After spending 21 of the past 30 days in the hospital, I finally got to come home today. Unfortunately, the rapid rate of spread of my cancer is bigger than me or any treatment and I am now on Hospice services. They will help with symptom control and pain management for me and will be a huge support for myself and family as I decline. We still have a glimmer of hope that there will be a miracle and I still naturally want to think of a brighter future ahead. But the odds right now seem to be stacked against us.

So, I am spending lots of time with my family. All the kids are home and being very supportive and loving on me. And we are just trying to take in each beautiful moment of being together. I want to personally thank each one of you for your support. One thing is evident...we are so loved!!!! Love to you all,

Update: I'm on day 5 here at U of M Hospital. My symptoms were no longer manageable at home so unfortunately I'll be here for awhile. We found out the Cancer has progressed with one of the tumors doubling in size (15cm) the past two weeks (also partially obstructing my kidney), and an infection in my belly making it impossible to continue with the immunotherapy right this minute. So the new plan...we are doing radiation to get these tumors to a manageable state and give my body a chance to reset. We are in disbelief how much has occurred this past month but we are on a continued mission to beat the shit out of this cancer that has invaded us so rampantly. We are still holding out hope that somewhere, somehow, I will be spared. I have too much living to do, dammit.
The outpouring of love and support has been so humbling and we want to thank each and every one of you. ❀

Today is 29 days into finding out about the Mucosal Melanoma cancer spread. I completed my second treatment yesterday and I'm visualizing this cancer being GONE. I've lost close to 30 pounds as we still struggle with nausea and pain, but it's in better control than two weeks ago. They placed a drain tube in my stomach so that the fluid build up and draining is more controlled.
We have palliative care nursing coming to the house so we have local in home support for pain management.

I am pretty weak, unable to walk unassisted and am almost 100% dependent on my husband and Chase to help with everything. This has been the hardest for us as a family. We are done trying to make sense out of this and we've switched gears to looking this monster in the face. Most days I spend in bed resting, taking meds, sleeping, trying to eat and just trying to keep focused on my new purpose....to fight.
Chris, the kids and I are so very thankful for every prayer, comment, wish, etc. Thank you for the meals, the cards, gifts. Thank you to our Mom's who have dropped their lives to help. To my boss and staff, who have been so supportive. We will continue to draw strength from all of you.
To all of you, please do one thing for me right this minute. Look around, count your blessings, be thankful for your health, freedom and ability to enjoy your summer. It can be snagged in an instant, and I just want you all to give yourself that gift.
Love to you.❀

These past two weeks have been unreal. We went from jetskiing, bonfiring, laughing, planning out our summer to hospitalizations, tumor fevers, biopsies, drain tubes, etc. This cancer is a beast and I had zero indication of tumors a month and a half ago and now I have 3 (2 in my abdomen and 1 in my liver) with the biggest tumor being 6cm. Scary stuff and it seems like some days this is a movie or story with some shock value, when in reality, this is now our life.
I had my first treatment yesterday. One down, 51 to go. Mucosal Melanoma doesn't respond generally to your standard chemo drugs, so we are doing immunotherapy, which is an infusion administered much like chemo. The combo they have me on is called Ipi/Nivo and I will be getting treatments every two weeks. Ipi and Nivo are two immune checkpoint inhibitors that β€œrelease the brakes” on the immune system, allowing it to mount a stronger and more effective attack against cancer. So pretty much they are putting my immune system on crack to fight this bastard.
The tumors and the fluid in my belly make me appear like I'm about 7 months pregnant. No clothes fit, I wear an abdominal binder to hold the belly for me so I can get around easier. I always wanted to know what it felt like to be Humpty Dumpty. Now I know. πŸ˜‚ Trying to find comfort amiss the fevers, inability to eat, and the belly pain has been our biggest obstacle. It's a new normal, and we are quite good at adapting, we just need a bit more time, I suppose.
By making this all public, we were hoping to rally the troops and gain support and we are just in awe and so very grateful by the love we've received. Β But there's a downside to going public. There seems to be a huge responsibility to answer thousands of questions, texts, comments that we just cannot keep up with. Our energy, right now, HAS to be directed towards fighting. Please do not take personally if we don't return your calls, texts, etc. Every minute I have right now is being used to get through to the next. I've had very few good days and I've been hospitalized many of the days since the dreaded day of July 1st when we received the news... (continued in comments)

Our July 4th weekend wasn't one of celebration. I ended up in the hospital with horrendous abdominal pain which revealed some really hard news for us. We are going to have a fight on our hands, the biggest fight yet. This cancer, Mucosal Melanoma, has spread into my stomach and liver and has knocked us down a couple of notches and we are just moving through the motions, overwhelmed, scared...everything expected. I've had many friends and family lost for words, they call just to cry with me and I want to share something. It's okay to not know what to say, sometimes silence is the only noise we need. We are speechless too. Love doesn't mean an organized lecture or speech or prayer. Love sometimes is just a presence. We feel the presence, THANK YOU❀❀❀❀❀ Keep it coming!

Cancer has stolen every last ounce of humility I have left. This disease has certainly flipped the script on me and I would have never anticipated lying here recovering again and encountering all this univited pain. I'm alive and I won't take that for granted, and I'm also surrounded by endless love and support. I'm going to share this and the reason I'm sharing this is some aren't quite as lucky. I'm not sure how people stay so strong through it all but I'm betting if you know someone fighting cancer, chances are they need you to remind them they aren't alone in their war. Don't wait...go do something...pick up the phone, throw a card in the mail, just go do something. No one deserves to do this alone.

Surgery went great and I'm feeling amazingly well! I'm thankful my body is getting really good at bouncing back post surgery. Feeling like a boss.✊🏻✊🏻✊🏻Next up, we wait on pathology results and hoping for clear margins, then scans again next month.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Thank you for all the massive love and support, it sure takes a village to stay strong in this. ❀❀ ------------
Cancer, you have no chance! πŸ˜ πŸ–•

Wander into the wilderness and you might just find yourself. πŸ˜ŽπŸŒΏπŸŒŠβ˜€β˜πŸπŸ˜ŽπŸŒΏπŸŒŠβ˜€β˜πŸ Sporting my newest @nectar garb.😎 Swipe left....even Guinness 🐢 loves them πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. These sunnies are made for the free thinkers and the risk takers AND each purchase helps repopulate the bees through www.thebeecause.org 🐝🐝 seems like a no brainer. 🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝 Use my discount ZOLT15 and save the bees!
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