Everyone has had a time in their life when things just don’t go the way they had planned. We have all had days where we wish we could just go back to sleep, hopefully to wake up again and have everything go our way. Sometimes, the day from hell can turn into the week from hell, and in some cases, the month from hell.
Meet Sarah Elkins: one tough gal. Her life over the past two years has been a study in misadventure.
Sarah found herself pregnant. In August of 2010, her doctor sat her down and informed her that her baby girl kept having heart attacks in the womb–a condition so rare the medical world doesn’t even have a name for it.
The rest of her pregnancy was spent in a constant state of worry. When her daughter was born, the doctors found that the heart attacks had ceased but had turned some of the tissue on and around her heart into scar tissue. She would live, but she would have to see a cardiologist every six months to monitor tissue growth, an expensive venture for a family of five.
Life for the Elkins family settled down to a normal pace. Two months later, news came that rocked Sarah to the core. Her husband Sam was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
When I first received the news I was shocked. Tears started flowing instantly, but there was no time for grief. I was pressured to get everything ready for his emergency surgery that was scheduled three days later. They also were going to start his on chemo treatments a week after that. I didn’t have much time to soak in the news.
One of Sarah’s biggest worries..explaining the situation to the children.
We told the kids about his cancer when they arrived home from school that night. I told them what my grandfather had told my brother when he was succumbing to the disease. Cancer is like mold on cheese, it starts out small and spreads everywhere eventually taking over the cheese and leaving nothing. I explained to them that their father was going to have surgery to remove some of the cancer and that he would have to take special medicine at the hospital to get rid of the rest. They had a hard time coping with everything as any kids their age would in such a situation. Neither one of them really had a severe reaction when they found out. I don’t think they could comprehend what was going to happen. Each day we all watched his health decline as the chemo made him more sick and weak; eventually the kids curiosity of disease turned into fear for their daddy. We all struggled through those six months and we are still trying to recover from it all. Some days it seems so surreal. They say that God only puts on your plate what you can eat; apparently he thought we were starving to death.
During the time that Sam had to take off of work, he started having problems with his ankle. It turns out when Sam was born, his ankle did not form properly. Instead of having a normal, functioning joint, they found out Sam’s bones were not formed normally. Sam had to have yet another surgery to form an ankle out of his pre-existing bone. He also had to have surgery on his spine to replace three herniated disks, the result of not walking correctly for his entire life. Pain and arthritis were commonplace.
Six months of chemotherapy later, Sam went into remission, the absence of disease. One would think this would be a joyous occasion, but the joy turned out to be short lived. During the time of his treatments, not one, but both of their Grandmothers passed away.
Sam was close with his grandmother, but he took the news really well. Her health was bad and we all knew she would be going soon which made it easier for him to deal with. My grandmother and I hadn’t spoken in a few years. Our lack of a relationship made her death harder to cope with for me. Its hard to even write this knowing how many chances I had to see her and didn’t. Now I don’t have the chance. I loved her very much and still do, but if I had a second chance I would call her everyday.
Then, the final blow. A very close friend of the family died due to a ongoing heart condition.
How do you stay sane when you continuously get hit with horrible news?
We tried to stay as positive as possible and let everything run its course. Music was a big emotional outlet for us and the kids; we listened to a lot of Tech, Krizz and ¡MAYDAY!.
Sarah was introduced to Strange Music by a friend. After she heard Tech N9ne, she was hooked. Soon, her children were listening in as well, and Sarah is fine with it.
Music is an art form…I try not to censor what the kids listen to. I myself couldn’t live without it. “Absolute Power”, “The Beast”, “Dysfunctional”, “Show Me A God”, these are just a few songs that keep me going on a daily basis. I used to do work for the Strange Music Street Team and we just recently started up our own production company, ‘4 0 Six Entertainment’ so we can continue to support Strange Music any way we can. I have met a few of the label’s artists on several occasions, and I am always so stoked on how cool they are. They are real people. There is no “rockstar” attitudes. They talk to you like they have known you forever. I appreciate that.”
Sarah ended up going down to her local tattoo shop. After all she had been through, and for all that is to come, she wanted to get a tattoo to remind her of why it is important to keep going, even in the face of adversity.
It is the intro to the song “Absolute Power”, and it runs backwards on my back.
One day I was so intrigued to know what he was saying that I had my husband run it backwards for me so I could understand it. The beauty and simplicity of the poem inspired me to realize that every situation can be beautiful when looked at from a different perspective. That’s when I decided that it would make the best tattoo to represent me as I stand today. It’s a permanent reminder to myself that today is a new day and even if the day is bad I can just look at it backwards and it will be beautiful!
Sarah and her family have been through a lot these past months. When asked what she would say to others that are dealing with their own hardships, she leaves us with the following.
“If I had to give advice to someone in my shoes I would quote ¡MAYDAY:
‘Up and down it goes, ride these highs and lows. I ‘ve been up and down, down and up that’s just the way it goes.'”
– Written by Meagen Clark
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