Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Anyways it has taken a month for me to process. It has taken me a month to regain my emotional strength after her terrifying arrival into this world. Since I process life best with music, I found this song. It is seriously how I feel about Eleanor's birth:

When it's over
When it's all done
We say
Overwhelmed by love
And all is well
We say 
When we feel a peace
We can't understand
We say

Miss Eleanor

Eleanor Blakelynn Ledford was born Sept 29th at 9:39 pm. She was born happy and healthy weighing 6.6 lbs and was 19.5 inches long. She has reddish/blondish hair in a grandpa hair style(no hair up on top)- yes my child is practically bald!- and has dark dark dark blue eyes. She is beautiful.

Now birth story time:

On Tuesday 27th I was admitted for tachycardia (high heart rate). My heart rate was 120-150 resting in bed doing absolutely nothing. That is sometimes higher than little missy's. They ran all of the lovely cardiac tests to see what my heart was doing-EKG, deep vein thrombosis, and an echo. All came back normal. So the cardiology team chalked it up to being pregnant. So Wednesday night I was induced. We had twelve very long hours of cervidil to try and see if we could get things going naturally. Nope nada not going to happen according to my body. So twelve longs hours of fairly decent 4-5 minute apart contractions for literally nothing. The next morning we started the pitocin at 6 am. Really not as bad as people had all said! By noon my nurse thought that the baby was coming she thought I was seriously 7-8 cm dilated. I was starting to be in serious serious pain with contractions every 2 minutes -up until now I was pain med free- not anymore I got IV pain meds while waiting on anesthesia for my epidural. Then about an hour later the anesthesiologist showed up. As my nurse helped me to sit up for my epidural my water broke. Like waterfall off the side of the bed broke. So as I got my epidural my water was breaking. So I don't remember much of getting my epidural basically a pain free trauma free experience. Once that was all done and the nurse checked me again... she realized I was only at a 5 not a 7-8. This baby was not coming now and we had to wait some more.

This is where the story starts to get scary. Once a normal person hits that 5cm mark they normally speed up and don't take very long to go all the way, not me. By 5pm I had gotten to a six. I was on the max dosage of pitocin I could be on. Well not long after that Eleanor had a decel (her heart rate dropped into the 70's- normally a fetus' heart rate is between 120-160). The nurse came in and told me if this happened again then I would have an Emergency c-section. SCARY! That was just the start. I cried. I didn't want a c-section. I didn't want another awake surgery. My last one -when I got my skin cancer removed was very traumatic for me. I could feel my skin being cut and blood running down my face. I could smell my own skin burning during the cauterization, and then there was the pulling and stinging while I got stitched up. Yep no fun- don't want to have awake surgery again. Nope I'm good I will pass. So I was praying Eleanor didn't have another decel and that I would dilate so that we would be all good. Well story continues at nurse change (7ish) I was checked again this time I was around a 7 but the nurse said she wanted another opinion. OK fine whatever. She went and got another nurse. She said yeah probably about a 7 but again didn't like something -they weren't telling me what- and wanted the doctor to check herself. So this was alarming. What weren't they telling me?!? The doctor came in and checked herself. This is when she told me that my pelvis hadn't opened, dilated, whatever you want to call it. She said that instead of being a circle I was more of a triangle. This is when I started to cry like big time cry. Not only was I starving, sleep deprived, and had a long painful stressful day now I am being told that there is a major complication. This complication killed my cousin and put my aunt's life in serious danger. She said I could wait until I was fully dilated and try to deliver naturally probably resulting in an Emergency C, or we could just do it now. On top of that she looked at me and said that is probably at least an 8lb baby! I thought there was no reason to put the two of us in any more danger than was necessary, and I knew that the C-Section was imminent. I knew it was going to happen so it might as well be now. Once I made that choice things moved pretty quickly. They changed my epidural to a spinal- went from feeling like I had be to the dentist, could move put super tired and tingly to not able to move and no sensation whatsoever. Within 30 minutes we were in the OR.

The OR was an interesting place. It was small there was only the Doctor, a surgical tech, 2 nurses, and my anesthesiologist. I was terrified. I felt exposed. I was anxious. Both Eleanor and I's heart rate was in the 150's (normal for her super high for me). I asked for anxiety medication but they said that if I wanted to remember my daughter's birth that I couldn't have any. They tied my hand down so I couldn't really move- couldn't break the sterile field. I had an oxygen mask on, and I cried. I was so terrified. This isn't how it was supposed to be. Finally they let Blake come in. He held my hand and I just cried. They started cutting -all I felt was pressure. As they were cutting they said "ooo look we have a bleeder!" I was just laying there thinking hello?! I can hear you! Then the doctor asked for a stool so she could get high enough to get the baby out. She climbed up and hit the lamp with her head -yep my dr almost took herself out in the middle of my C! Then they said ok lots of pressure. Seconds later there was a very wet little cry. Eleanor was here! First thing out of the dr's mouth was "oh be careful it is doubly wrapped"- meaning her umbilical cord. Ok more tears, this is what killed my brother! So now not only what killed my cousin but also what took my brother. Then the next thing the dr said was "Wow! Look at that chin!" I could hear her getting suctioned and crying. Blake got to see her immediately. *So jealous* One of the nurses cleaned her up and swaddled her. Then walked over to me so I could see her. I got to see her for maybe 30 seconds. All I wanted to do was touch her and hold her but I couldn't because I was tied down to the table. Again more tears. I just want to hold my baby. I just wanted to touch her soft skin. I wanted to kiss her but I had an oxygen mask on. This was so hard, so incredibly frustrating. Then they took her to my room to weigh her and whatever else they did. Blake went with. Once again, I was alone in this scary operating room by myself. They put me all back together and stitched me all up and finally about 30 minutes later I was able to finally hold my baby girl. When I finally was told how much she weighed -only 6.6 the dr said she didn't believe it and to weigh her again! Haha nope I was huge but she wasn't an 8lb baby!!!

That night my parents got to meet her. They were both so excited. She is the first grandchild. I did pretty well that night, not too much pain, but I was given 24 hour pain meds through my spinal catheter. I slept they took Eleanor to the make shift nursery. ( hospital was under renovations) So in the labor and delivery ward it was the nurses station. Around 4 in the morning we were moved into the Women's wing. This is where I spent the next 3 days.

Eleanor did really well. She was only 4 days early so totally and completely full term. She had some issues with eating the first day and had to get amniotic fluid suctioned out of her tummy. It is hard to hear your child crying down the hall way and not being able to do anything about it.  For the first couple of days Eleanor screeched rather than cried. Blake and I called her our screechy owl.

As for me pain so much pain. I had just had major abdominal surgery. It was hard to walk, stand up straight, or do anything that required abdominal muscles. My mom spent the night we me so Blake could go to work. She helped me sit up, stand up, do normalish person things, as well as take care of the baby. Basically I couldn't be left alone. Since there really was no nursery (in the women's wing it was the storage room/ makeshift nursery) Eleanor roomed in.

Blake's parents came up that weekend as well as my Turpin grandparents. Everyone was so excited to meet her! It is the Ledfords second granddaughter, also their baby had a baby! For the Turpins it is their first great-grandchild. My grandma spent a good day with me just helping me take care of Eleanor and spending time with me.

On Sunday we were released. I thought it was cool that this was her due date! How many babies come home on their due date?!? This is when I realized how hard and frustrating  my recovery was going to be. I still had a hard time being mobile. I was still on major narcotics for pain. I couldn't sit up on my own let alone get out of bed to help my screaming child in the middle of the night. It was so incredibly hard.

This is now the emotional part of c-sections people don't really talk about.
I wasn't planning on a c-section and maybe that was part of it, but I felt like I was an awful mother. Not only had I not been able to be there for her first hour after birth, I couldn't help her. I could not get up and get her out of her bed. I could not feed her without help. I could not bend over to change her diapers. It hurt to hold her. I could not carry her in her car seat for the first week and a half.  I felt like a horrible mother. I also felt like a horrible wife. I couldn't do anything. So not only did Blake have to help take care of the baby he also had to do everything around the house.

So I apologized a lot. I cried a lot. Finally around week three I started to finally overall on a regular basis feel better. I was finally able to care for my child.

In the end I have a healthy baby. I'm alive she's alive and that is all we ask for right? A hundred years ago and we both would have died, that is rather scary if you ask me.

So she is my miracle baby. I had cancer while pregnant with her. I also had a very complicated crazy terrifying birth, but she is here happy and healthy! Love you little miss Eleanor <3

Thursday, December 10, 2015

That moment when...

That moment when the unthinkable happens. That moment when you world totally changes. That moment when your world falls apart. That moment when your future becomes a complete unknown. That moment when all your beautiful plans fall apart. That moment when your life becomes a nightmare.

That moment when 23 days before your wedding, the day before Thanksgiving, you get diagnosed with cancer. That word is terrifying. Cancer is cancer no matter how small. No matter where it is located it is still cancer. It has become known as the "C Word".

I got a phone call while at the grocery store with my sister and Blake buying things for Thanksgiving dinner. I ignored the call because the store was to loud to hear anything the person on the other end had to say. So I called back once we got into the car. I remember exactly what was said. It was very basic. Your biopsy came back, you have skin cancer. You are going to need surgery to hopefully remove the rest. I thanked the nurse, yes the nurse not the doctor, and hung up the phone. Blake sitting next to me in the car heard what the nurse had said. We finished up our errands and returned home. I was in shock at this point. The harmless thing on my face, that I originally thought was just acne, now had complete control over my life. As we brought groceries in I pulled my mom aside to tell her what I myself had just found out. I was worried about medical insurance since I was getting married in 23 days. This was the first time I broke down. My voice cracked as I told her... I have cancer. Then the tears came. Cancer is still cancer no matter how small. The largest organ I have has cancer. She handled it the best she could. Figured out medical insurance. Then the questions started rolling in.

What kind of cancer? What subtype? How long have you had the innocent looking spot on your face? What treatment are we looking at? Could this have spread?

Thanksgiving day was harder than it should have been. We you have a brand new cancer diagnosis all that is going through your brain is, am I going to see another one of these? Will I have another Thanksgiving? It is hard, it is not pretty. That night Blake and I both had a good cry. Cancer not only affects me but it also affects my soon to be brand new husband. How was this going to affect us? Should we continue with school? Should we take the semester off?

I had heard of the stories before of newlywed couples getting diagnosed with cancer and the fight after. I always thought how hard that would be. How hard the first year of marriage is alone, without cancer. And now this is the reality

As time passes you go through the different stages of grief. My main ones were shock, denial, anger, depression, and then acceptance. It took me about a week to process everything. It took me about a week to feel happy again. I finally looked at Blake one day and said, "Blake... I have cancer." His reply was simple yet so sweet, "Yes sweetheart you do and we will get through this together."

Then came the wait. I had to get into a doctor to figure out how we are going to treat this, and what exactly we are looking at. We live in the middle of nowhere Virginia, literally, THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE! So it took three weeks to get into the doctor. So tomorrow I go and see Dermatology/Oncology as well as Imaging.

 And that is where I stand. Still not knowing exactly what I am looking at. Still not knowing what kind of treatment I am looking at besides surgery in which I will lose a good portion of my left cheek. Still not knowing. That moment when you don't know where your life is going. Why it couldn't happen last year or not at all. Why you now get to start married life with a whole new game. The cancer game. The game of fighting for your life.

So point being- life is short. Make the most of it because one day you will get a phone call that changes everything. Cancer is scary.

For curious minds what I do know is I have  Basal Cell Carcinoma (easiest skin cancer to treat) with both micronodular and trabecular patterns (these are the most aggressive subtypes unfortunately). The cancer is not by any means superficial my whole biopsy was cancerous. Normally this cancer is not seen in patients under 40. So why I have it at the lovely age of 20 no one knows...?

So there is the update in the BeccaBlake life. A whole new adventure for the two of us I was hoping to never have to walk down.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

91 Days

Well life is offically crazy.

I get  married December 18th. Crazy. 91 days until I am no longer a Turpin kind of crazy. To add to that crazy I am in 18 credits, first semseter senior of my music major.

I won't lie it is the weridest thing to sign a lease for next semester with your future husband. Yes we have a itty bitty tiny shoe box to live in! It is so small we can't even fit a couch in there. It is a one bedroom apartment, but the living area is just really, Really, REALLY small. But, it allows a pet so Jacquet can come live us. That is the big important part.

Some days I will just stare... I am going to marry that man. That man will be my husband. That man will be the father of my children. It is a good thought but such a strange one. This is the person I have been waiting for, for almost 20 years. The person you talk about. The person you dream about. And now he has a face, he has a name.

Wedding is mostly planned minus the reception, that is a work in progress. Going to school in one state and planning a wedding in another is not easy I won't lie. We had to make a trip to Louisville last weeked to work on wedding things. Out here we have to make trips to Roanoke for wedding planning. Things are just crazy. I wish sometimes that planning a wedding wasn't so time consuming and stressful.

But overall very excited 91 days guys. 91 days!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Things Fall Apart So Better Things Can Fall Into Place

It is always cool to me to look back and see things fall into place. When I left Idaho I was not in a good place. Things had fallen apart both socially and physically. I went to Houston thinking I was going to go back, but that obviously didn't happen. I was sad. I was lonely, and I was so confused it wasn't even funny.

A year later, now look at where I am. I am doing so much better with my arm. Very minimal pain, only when there are storms or I am sitting down a lot. I found a very cute guy that I get to marry (yes I said marry), and I am so happy. How did all of this happen? I left Idaho. I took a leap of faith. I decided to be around people from my religion and go to SVU.  Now I will admit I don't particularly like SVU. I gave up a really good education and music program. The doctor that operated on me is one of the leading surgeons in Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Blake I would have only met at SVU and in particularly because I was having surgery. But look where I am now. I am so happy.

Sometimes things have to fall apart so better things can fall into place. I am so grateful.

Prays and fasting have gotten me here on both accounts. We prayed and fasted that we would know what was wrong with my neck and that I would meet my husband. I can truly say that things happen on the Lord's time. I am so excited for where my future is going.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


So May 4, 2015 I got diagnosed with neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome by Dr. Cherry one of the country's leading surgeons for this syndrome. Finally! I had been dealing this this since halfway through my last year of high school. It had been about 2 years, that is a long time to be in chronic pain. Since I had already been through physical therapy with no improvement and the muscle relaxers that I was on weren't doing much, I opted for surgery. With NTOS there is no test that proves you have it. They basically just rule everything else out. So during preop I was told you will know as soon as you wake up whether it worked or not. Basically meaning you will either wake up feeling your fingers or you won't. My surgery was a first rib resection and an anterior and middle scalenectomy.

I packed up and left school a week early. So this meant I got all the stress of moving finals around. Now for how Christian of a school SVU is and for how little money they have to deal with lawsuits they were horrible. They didn't want to move my finals, they didn't want to do anything. I finally got them to agree on medical incompletes which didn't make me happy at all. All I was missing from each class is my final. I worked hard in these classes I should for the first time in my college career get straight a's.... But now I have to take my finals in August so we will see what actually happens.... So no not impressed with SVU at all right now. My mom drove out from Kentucky to meet me at UVA.

Surgery was scheduled for the second wave of the day which was nice because we didn't have to be there until 9 AM. This whole night before and morning of I became a nervous wreck. I have only been admitted to the hospital once and that was when I was a year old so I don't remember a thing. Once we were back in pre anesthesia everything moved pretty fast. They asked me to change, placed my IV, met all the doctors, residents, nurses, med students etc. then all of the sudden it was time to go! My mom and I forgot to ask for my rib back. Oh well.... We have been told Dr. Cherry would have given it to me too! :( 

Then I got wheeled into the OR all I remember was it looked weird and really crowded with machines and lights. I moved off of my warm hospital bed onto the OR table. This is when my nurse asked me if I was going to go to the mountains or the beach. I think I answered...? And I think I said beach...? Maybe I honestly don't know if I answered her or not. 

When I woke up I remember being confused. It felt like I had taken a nap. But I had no idea where I was, who any one was.... And oh wait major pain in my chest. Within a minute of me waking up I remember opening my eyes again to three people standing around me trying to get me to breathe. Major pain in my upper left chest and rib cage. I think this was mainly due to my rib being cut out and scrapped off my sternum. I was in and out of consciousness in the PACU. I was there longer then they expected and all I really remember was my nurse wiping tears off of my face. I do remember looking at hear and smiling and telling her I could feel my fingers! Pain level 10. My nurse did tell me Dr. Cherry also debulked as well- took extra muscle and fiberous bands out.

I finally got moved to my room now my mom could finally see me. I got wheeled away at 10:45 and she finally got to see me around 4:45. All the bumps in the hallway and elevator where like steak knifes plunging into my upper left chest area, rib cage, collar bone, and all areas in between, needless to say more tears. My mom told me that Dr. Cherry did say I had a muscle literally wrapped around my nerve so if anything that in and within itself was causing pain. I thought this was funny because we were so hoping that it would be a mess in there and that I would have muscle wrapped around my nerve. Weird to wish that I know but we wanted something to be wrong! 

I got moved to the fourth floor cardio thoracic floor. This is where my memories really start for the surgery. They set up a morphine drip pump and kept pushing the pain meds. Eventually they were able to break the pain cycle and get it under control. The first night I mainly slept. I had a hard time moving. I didn't really feel like I had control of my neck or shoulder that night. Then next day I woke up and my neck did a little better still didn't do a ton. I hurt, I hurt to move. So it was a lazy day waiting for my eight minutes to elapse on my morphine pump - longest eight minutes of my life. My doctor came in and had me move my arm. My arm itself where all the pain was is now pain free! However where they operated now hurts and is tingly. I did sit up in a chair for about 30 minutes this day.

Day three was the day I was suppose to go home but then at 6 am I woke up sick. Like super sick. Don't know why but I remember trying all I could to not throw up. After this surgery it hurts to cough, to sneeze, to laugh, and I didn't want to know what it felt like to throw up. I had a really bad head ache and was super dizzy this day. Don't know why in particularly but I was. I got a sponge bath and got all the orange off my body from surgery. I remember just feeling like I was spinning which made me neaousous. This is also the day that I got switched onto pills and only had an antibiotic in my IV. 

The next morning they let us go first thing. Thankfully I was feeling a ton better than the day before. They took out my IV I took a shower with assistance from my mom. I still didn't have a lot of energy or lung capacity so it was an interesting day. When we were released we started our 8 hour car ride home. Most of the bumps in the road hurt. I didn't have a lot of energy to walk from the car to the rest stop, and I had to go to the bathroom every 1 or so hours, thank you hospital IV fluids... Interesting trip the second picture describes it pretty well.

Everything else that happened that I don't remember a timeline for. My NP came in and told us that me and about 15 other people after my same surgery end up getting him paged to the PACU because they don't want to breathe. So he asked what they could do differently. We also had a family friend that moved to Charlottesville they same time we left Houston so she brought me balloons and caught up with my mom- I slept through most of it...

Once home, I was still in major pain. My parents but my mattress on the floor to their bedroom so I didn't have to walk that much. Honestly didn't do much the rest of the first week. I had a good day, then a pain day and then would repeat. Finally on Thursday, a week after surgery I started to feel better. My incision looked pretty nasty and I am sure everywhere I got dragged I got stared at.

This past week I finally can actually remember what day it is! I have been doing a lot better little to no medication this week which meant I could drive if I hadn't taken any that day. I am in probably about the same amount of pain now as I was before surgery except that I am sleeping through the night. It had to get worse before it got better. But everything is doing so much better.  My incision is looking really good I am hoping for minimal scaring especially because it is on my chest and not covered by shirts. 

Pictures of my incision it slowly gets better and better. The drain was removed I think on day 2 or 3 (can't remember in particularly which day it is all a blur) the incision has internal stitches and then skin glue on top. The skin glue is what makes it look so nasty. 

So I am left with my battle wounds about twenty bruises and a 5 inch scar right above my collar bone. No violin or viola yet I am hoping in a couple of weeks though! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Diagnosis... Maybe???

So basically a year has lapsed. I have been to 7 different doctors in 3 different states. Needless to say my arm is still in pain and goes numb, and I still cannot play the viola and can barely play violin. So what is wrong...?!?

Originally I was told migraines. I was told that I had a strange symptom of migraines but that I was having migraines nonetheless. Ok I thought as I took my medicine for migraines. Well guess what arm pain still prevailed.

Next I was told migraines and something messed up in my neck. We did an EMG and a nerve conduction study- not pleasant by the way. Nothing really came back besides c7 was a little off but within parameters.  We took an MRI and it came back basically clean. My neck is straighter than most, and showed some signs of whiplash, but nothing that would cause arm pain like mine. Ok so what is wrong with my neck... no clue!

Next doctor said that I had sprained my neck one to many times probably from over playing viola, and that my muscles were in spasm thus causing my pain. He prescribed PT but couldn't really tell me what was going on either.

I did a month of physical therapy on my cervical spine. My physical therapist and I both frustrated by the lack of any improvement eventually gave up. He agreed something was wrong, but could not pin point the problem either.

The next semester of school I decided to just take a break. I continued in my music major courses, but did not take any instrumental playing classes. It was nice but not at all the same as being a normal functioning music major. I have worked for the past five years to be where I am today. I had to work to get into a music school. I had to work to be good at viola, and then abruptly one February morning in 2014 that was all taken away. It was a hard concept to grasp. With no doctor being able to figure out what was wrong I started to feel that this was just going to be life. Life with one functioning arm and one that functions when it so feel the desire to. One that feels like someone is trying to pull my nerves out slowly through my fingers. This is a pain that is so hard to describe, but close to nothing will stop it. This semester of school went pretty well pain wise. I joined my university's cheerleading squad. I had my good days and my bad days. But overall the good days outnumbered the bad days, as long as I didn't try to play my instrument.

Over Christmas break I thought maybe possibly my whatever is wrong with me is getting better and wanted to exercise, something I really haven't been able to do in the past year. So I lifted weights with my sister. This was a really bad choice on my part, and I spent the whole rest of the night and following day wishing I was dead. This day was a reality check for me. Needless to say lots of tears streamed down my face this day. I was still very, very BROKEN. This was so frustrating. I am a music major, but also a person. I need to be able to cook, to shower, to drive with two hands and sleep through the night without waking up in massive amounts of pain. Exercising and playing viola/violin are nice too but not as important. As Christmas break continued I realized I couldn't pick up my brother, couldn't practice, couldn't do a lot of "normal" things.

Then my current semester of school started. I realized with this new pain that I had brought upon myself once again and that wasn't disappearing anytime soon, that I needed to see more doctors! Yay me... (no!)

My primary doctor listened to me, and looked at the report from Houston. She didn't really know what to do other than refer me out to a spine specialist and prescribe muscle relaxants for the muscle spasms and pain.

The spine specialist/surgeon didn't really give me the time of day. He didn't even look at my MRI just the MRI report sent over by my primary doctor. His statement, there is nothing wrong with your neck! Awesome sauce so why the heck do I want to amputate one of my arms then?!? His feedback a very high likelihood of a pinched nerve under your clavicle. Driving home I thought this guy was out of his mind. No joke! But when I got home I went to my magical friend called google. This brought up Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, basically pinched nerves under your clavicle.

The symptoms:

pain in the neck and shoulder, numbness and tingling of the fingers, and a weak grip. 

So I started thinking, hey guys this sounds a lot like what I have been dealing with....

The condition is common among athletes who participate in sports that require repetitive motions of the arm and shoulder 

How about violin/viola. It is very repetitive and a strange position. 
And then I found this:

A report stating that "musculoskeletal disorders are common in musicians and are characterized by pain and musculoligamentous strain, muscle weakness and loss of motor control in the affected segments.The musculoskeletal problems observed most often in musicians are: overuse (50%), nerve compression or thoracic outlet syndrome (20%), focal dystonia (10%)."

Violinist and violist get this! The normal one we hear of is carpal tunnel syndrome. But thoracic outlet syndrome affects us too! 
Image result for thoracic outlet syndrome

How do they treat it? 

TOS decompression surgery that involves removing certain muscles in your neck, removing your first rib, or a combined operation to remove both muscles and rib.

Image result for thoracic outlet syndrome

So I went back to my primary care doctor to find out what to do next. Once again she referred me out, but his time to a thoracic surgeon. He specializes in thoracic outlet syndrome. There is a one month delay. So for now I wait, but for the first time in a year, we think we know what is wrong. For the first time in a year there is hope that I will one day play the viola again! For the first time in a year I have hope that this is a curable injury. 

This had affected my life so much! I had changed my major from music education to just music. I didn't think I would be of much use to a middle school orchestra, if I couldn't demonstrate myself what technique I wanted them to do. I now have hope. I have made decisions career and major wise since this moment that have brought me peace throughout this whole storm, so will I change back? I don't think so, but I will have my music degree if I do ever want to alternatively certify to teach. As for now I am finishing up my music degree, only two more semesters(!) and then off to nursing school. 

Hope is an amazing thing though. I look at my viola case and think to myself one day, maybe even next semester, I can be a violist again. I can feel like a music major again who practices to my hearts desire. There is finally a light at the end of this very dark tunnel.