Operation “Royal’s Reign” ~ One Year Update


Royal’s Empire State Mind

Photography: Royal Yates @ Royal Creative Studios © 2013
Video Creator: Willoweagle @ Living ~ Not Just Surviving ©2013

Yeah…so proud I’m leaking out of my eyes!! He’s made it safely to NYC and I am now just waiting for the text/call letting me know he’s at the apartment that just so happened to open up two weeks early. So no couch hopping for the next 15 days either!! I gotta get a kleenex…THIRD GENERATION SURVIVOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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This was my exact post last year on August 23, 2013. I’d just attended his University commencement less than two weeks before. He’d still managed keep up his studies, work a full time job, complete all his therapies post-stroke and still graduate within a just a mere semester later than planned. Then he was on to the next phase of what I secretly refer to as “Royal’s Reign”.

In ‘celebration’ of the pivotal one year landmark post stroke, a much anticipated, hard earned, very much deserved trip was taken. As a media student, there was a definitive destination for this adventure: NYC!!! Within that one week, he feel totally in love with it. On returning home, he worked like a madman to obtain his next plan of action. He was going to go back to the city he had so desperately fallen in love with, make his presence known, and, in time, reign over ‘his’ Empire.

You see, his entire outlook had changed. Not just on one, but on so many levels. Dreams, aspirations, achievements, and Life as a whole became opportunities to be grasped with both hands. There was no time for regrets. Regrets, for him, became defined as opportunities not taken.

It’s now nearly a year since he left middle America for the largest city in the US. In this year, his accomplishments have been many, and his star has risen rapidly. Not that it’s been without it’s difficulties and sacrifices, but it has been amazing!

As a mom, he makes me more proud than words can express, he gives me more reasons to gush and brag than should (and probably is) be tolerated, but most of all, he continues to awe and inspire me daily. Operation “Royal’s Reign”, although still in progress, has, to date, been a completely and utterly successful undertaking and I’m confident it will continue to be until it’s fully achieved!

 

Willoweagle

 

 

 

 ♦♥  Royal’s Related Links:  ♣♠

 

A Mother’s Story:
I reflect and share my son’s stroke experience from my point of view on the two year anniversary of the event.

Reflections ~ A Mother’s POV

A Dad’s Tribute Song To His Son
A Father puts pen to paper and composes this song in retrospect and reflection after his eldest son suffered a life threatening stroke.

Watch “I Am Here” written and performed by Bruce Yates ©2013

 

 

Royal Yates’ Profiles:

Royal Yates ~ IMDB Profile

Royal Yates ~ LinkedIn Profile

Royal Creative Studios ~ Royal Yates: Facebook

 

The Truth Is – Blood Clot Recovery Network


There is another side to DVT/PE recovery that remains extremely hidden. So much so that even Survivors themselves barely acknowledge it’s existence. It’s only in finding another Survivor that, with time, once total and complete trust has been mutually proven and gained, that one of them will, in tentatively quiet and wavering voice,  will broach the subject of that which cannot be named fearing that they’re the only one it’s happening to.

I brushed on this slightly last night when posting the latest findings regarding a statement from his wife that was released giving, to some degree, what precipitated events leading up to Robin Williams’ passing.
(See below)

Here, even while coping with what I refer to as the “yucks”, my friend, Sara (Blood Clot Recovery Network) wrote the following article in which she details just this specific topic. In her doing so, she’s explained the unexplainable in it’s simplest form that anyone can learn from and a starting point from where understanding begins..

Blood Clot Recovery Network ~ The Truth Is…..

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Living ~ Not Just Surviving: Facebook

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~Willoweagle ®

Two Down… One To Go!!!


As I lay here wide awake (I’ve now got my sleep schedule flipped, guess it’s bound to happen when you have no where to be) I couldn’t help but notice what date and time it is. Two down, one to go. At this time 11 months ago, I wasn’t asleep than either. Although, I WAS totally incoherent of my surroundings and the frenzied activities going on around me. I still don’t remember any of it. I’ve been told that I don’t want to, but there are several who will never forget.  I was a guest on not just one, but two med-evac helicopter flights which ended at Barnes-Jewish in St. Louis. For the third time in less then a year, I was again fighting for my life against my own body. Next month will be the last on of my one year clotting anniversaries, and yet it’s the most significant due to the fact there’s been no recurrences this time. A one year recovery mark is huge for any survivor. It’s as though you’ve held your breath just waiting.. hoping… praying… that when day 365 comes around you’ll be in the clear. Right now, it’s bittersweet… I’m happy to have made it clot free…. Yet, I also know that my recovery is still ongoing due to the circumstances those clots incited. I’ve made it quite the distance to get to this point, and even though I know there’s still so far to go, today I WILL NOT let that be my concern. Instead, I will just ~   BREATHE IN…. BREATHE OUT…. REPEAT and continue on with Living ~ Not Just Surviving!!!!

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Serena Williams says blood clot “scary” – CBS News


Serena Williams says blood clot “scary” – CBS News

CBS/AP/ March 2, 2011, 3:56 PM Serena Williams says blood clot “scary”

The Quadriplegic Rockstar | Gerald Christian


While having another one of what has now become a not so unusual occurrence of a restless night, I was again watching recorded shows from my DVR playlist. One of these, The Talk, is one that I watch religiously. On this particular airing, the guest of the day was John Stamos. During his interview, he mentioned meeting Gerald Christian during a recent Beach Boys concert and what an inspiration he was to him. Needless to say, when it comes to Greek yogurt and an inspirational story, John can’t be wrong… Right? Here is Gerald’s post referring to rockstar moment. Rock on Gerald!!!

Gerald Christian: The Quadriplegic Rock Star

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Willoweagle

Butterflies, Faeries & Unicorns


 

You can either blame or credit my mother-in-law, Betty, for it. She could plant dirt and grow more dirt!! The Spring/Summer after she was diagnosed with cancer, shortly after completing a cycle of chemo/radiation, and so physically frail, she STILL would get out and garden a bit. After a couple of times having ‘caught’ her green thumbed, I decided that if I couldn’t stop her, might as well join, help when allowed, and be her extension when she was unable to do it herself. It was in doing this, that I learned to love dirt under my finger nails, the difference between perennials and annuals, nurseries in Spring and Fall, and more. She was the one who helped me plan out what i thought was a ‘small starter’ spot, (HA!!! What a joke!!!) which plants would be kind to a newbie, and a garden ‘theme’ (Butterflies were a shared favorite). She passed away the next July. Since then, some of the plants fell prey to my ignorance, but were changed out with new ones. Some are literally transplants from my Dad’s ‘yards’ as I may actually have at least one from each house they’ve lived in since then, some are from trips to Lowe’s for a few of my birthdays where the entire time I’m driving my stepmom nutty with all my inquiries and indecision, and last, but not least, those I was brave enough to start from seeds and they survived!! It’s been nearly 8 years since then. Each year I’m still amazed on seeing it come back, bigger and better than the year before. It’s definitely been an unexpected project that I totally love!! I like to think she would really like how it’s turned out…..so far..

 

For a retrospective look from the summer of 2011, click here to see an exported post from my first feeble attempt at blogging:

Angi’s Musing Mind: My Fairy-Tale Garden

 

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This is NOT ‘The End’


Sometimes, my mind gets caught up in my feelings and emotions, as it can with most, or so I believe. I can’t always express them directly as or maybe as clearly as I’d like. One of the ways I’ve been able to let out and let go of these things is through poetry. There are times when the words overtake my brain so quickly I can barely get them on paper before they disappear, and others where they flow soft and gentle like a light summer breeze…

I thought I’d start sharing some of them with you too.  This is the most recent one.

This Is NOT 'The End' A Willoweagle™ Original ©2014

This Is NOT ‘The End’
A Willoweagle™ Original
©2014

I try conversation.

You barely talk.

Why do you run?

While I barely walk.

Is it that I’m broken?

Is it something I did?

These thoughts I ponder

While you remain hid.

We’ve traveled too far

Too long this path as friends.

I’ve seen our whole story,

This is NOT ‘The End

Willoweagle

Willoweagle

 

 

 

©2014

 

Please leave me your comments below if you’d like to see more posts like this or anything else in general… Even just to chat it up if you’d like….

 

Thanks for following and/or dropping by…

 

Who’s Your Daddy?


As I look back on the last 18 months of my life, there is so much to review. I’ve survived not one, but two, life threatening events that have shown me how much I have to be grateful for in this life. Of those things, I’ve come to realize that most people today do not have the privilege of being in constant contact, yet alone are able to know, their biological fathers. To me this is a disheartening situation that I cannot either fathom nor comprehend. In my life, I have not only been blessed with having a biological father that has been there for me no matter the circumstances, but also “Bonus Dads” that too have nurtured and guided me through many the difficult and blessed times in my life.

There are those that would look down on my upbringing in that it was too conservative, unstable, and demanding. To this I say, in some degrees I tend to agree with you. I was raised in a Nazarene parsonage where the rules were more strict than those of the others in my circle of friends. I was not allowed to attend dances, I didn’t see my first movie until after I left home, on my first visit home after attending college I got my ears pierced for the first time after my Mom signed the waiver only to have her exit the Claire’s store to cry while I got them done, I had a strict curfew, and dating was definitely something that could only be done upon reaching the age of 16. I’ve often been questioned about the instability of my childhood in that it involved frequent moves due to my Dad’s profession as a minister. Though they were difficult to not only accept, but to also become accustomed to, they were also a common part of my life that I learned (though not always happily) to accept. As for demanding?? Yes, It was VERY demanding. We were what others looked up too, used as examples, and would criticize to no end. That was the most difficult of all to follow. In seeing what the ‘other’ parishioners’ children could do beyond what we could and constantly question “Why can they…?” when I couldn’t. We were to represent the standards that our denomination had set into place no matter what others may do even though their guidelines were the same.

What I would not change are the blessings I’ve been given with each and every opportunity each new location brought. The experiences that I gained in learning about the diversities that exist in the many regions of our great country and the people that taught them to me. Of these people, I have come to know several as ‘Dad’  throughout my lifetime. Each has been there for me at different times of my life, each giving me the guidance and  direction needed at those particular times. There was Gary Williams, from my time spent in Iowa, who, with his wife, Carolyn, kept us under his wing and his roof on more occasions than I can count. Memories flood my mind of four kids, who became as close as any brothers or sisters could, spending countless evenings doing what kids do while expertly distracting me from the issues of home with my Mom’s numerous hospital stays. Which brings me to Mark Fletcher and his wife Carolyn. Though Mark is now gone, his legacy continues in that he too helped raise someone else’s daughter during a time that stability was key. Mark and my Dad were partners both in church and in work, but their biggest partnership was in jointly raising their children. During a time of complete confusion over my Mom’s health and continued frequent hospitalizations, their home was one where I was always welcomed as treated as one of the family. Last, but not least, I mention the Rev. Jerrold Lake. A man that has seen me at my worst, most disparaging moments, yet showed me through counseling, guidance, and love that this too was just a moment in time that I could overcome. Eventually, I did just that, but I don’t believe it would have been possible without his patience and unconditional love. To my great joy, two of my ‘Dads’ are now family in their own right as a son and daughter were united in marriage recently. Be still my heart as my family has come full circle!

Yet, through all the changes and opportunities that my life has brought me, there has been one person who has been by my side throughout them all. He was there to give me my name, to hold me when I was hurt, to punish and guide me in the wrong and right way, to uplift me when I could not do so myself, to comfort me during the loss of a parent, to cry with me when bringing a new life into this world, and to be my first date as a shy 13 year-old who was just beginning to learn about life . It’s been his encouragement, praise, and pride that I have strove for. It’s his name that I proudly carry and hope to have brought and continue to bring honor too. It is in his shadow that I confidently walk knowing I never have to fear the unknown as long as he is there beside me.

It has been the most difficult time of my life to date these past few months to say the least. Yet, during each and every one of these times, I have awoken to the strongest, most caring, faithful, generous, and loving man I’ll ever know standing next to my hospital bed. It’s been during those drug induced hazes, that on opening my eyes and seeing him there, that my heart has leapt like a child’s running to jump into her Daddy’s arms. It is then that I once again know without any shadow of a doubt, I am…and will always be…my Daddy’s daughter.

 

Daughters and Dads     wpid-paperartist_2013-08-17_06-34-10.jpeg

Kindness Or Disservice: Maybe It’s Both


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Unfortunately, or fortunately, I’ve come to know that I’m not the only one who does this. It’s a common thread that links the majority of us that were fortunate to survive our embolism experiences. It’s what we believe as being a kindness to those that surround us as a way of keeping their minds at more at ease knowing that they are already overwhelmed, confused, and concerned for our well being. Only to then have major melt downs that can range from anger to sadness and loss, and may even go as far as self loathing/pity due to no longer being what we were before and trying to process, comprehend, and embrace the concept that we will never be again.

This brings up the question of, that, in reality, are we really being kind and considerate, or are we doing them a disservice by not sharing what’s going on both mentally and physically after such life changing events?

What do you think? Kindness or disservice maybe both?

Please share your thoughts and/or experiences regarding this subject.

Lonely In A Crowd


Months ago my ‘first’ charitable 5k run/walk was a goal I set my mind to. Unfortunately, it will not be achieved. As of my last orthopedic appointment, I am no longer to do 5k runs or even walks. Even bicycling is months away. Due to the damage my knee has sustained as a result of the wreck, I am now limited to ADLs ONLY for the purpose of ‘saving’ not just one but both knees for as long as possible. The goal is that my knee will ‘last’ for 12 months before becoming completely immobile.

I have been very private in sharing this as it’s been very difficult to take in. Although I’m still trying to take it all in, I’ve taken to sharing this publicly in MY time. I am hoping that this will answer at least one or two of the questions that have come my way as of late that I have been reluctant, and, well honestly, not ready to answer.

For me, this was another blow to the several over the last 15 months. Another total life changing challenge, psyche change, self esteem/worth damager, along with a significant depression inducer.

I also want to thank everyone for their care, concern, worry, support, and, yes, maybe even the hugs given since learning this prognosis six weeks ago. It’s once again shown me that although I may FEEL lonely, I’m NOT alone. It is past time I said much, and now I am. THANK YOU!!

#fbf #flashbackfriday #0 #greatstrides #cysticfibrosis #greatstridesNEAR #friends #support #fundraiser #charity #run #walk #survivor #pulmonaryembolism #DVT #summer

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Six months pre-PE (pulmonary embolism)

First goal of 2012. I had already lost 30 lbs in my journey to become healthier and would lose another 20 in the months that followed. Although tired, I was both happy and proud at what i had accomplished. 6 months pre PE

2014 First 5k Goal:

http://www.nfmidwest.org/event/color-me-a-cure-presented-by-alexs-angels/