Posted on June 21, 2016
Posted on June 21, 2016"Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle."
As I woke up today, feeling a bit more settled than the past few days, I laid there and smiled. I didn't know why. Not because there wasn't anything to smile over, but because there was so much to smile about.
Over the last few months, I've managed to, manage, post-chemo days like a champ. I have certain pills, for certain times, that do certain things. In a rush to be done with this past treatment, I seemed to forget this little regime I had going. This made for a few horrible recovery days. Mediocre highs, and extremely daunting lows can best describe it. Which is what makes saying this next part an even greater feeling.
I am DONE WITH CHEMO!
Thursday June 16th was officially my last round of chemotherapy. A lot of emotions flutter through my body when I say that, mostly due to the physical, emotional, and even mental battle chemo takes you through.
Was I smiling because I was finally feeling decent from chemo? Was it that I woke up realizing I finished my last round? Was I happy because I'm surrounded by a community of support who relentlessly never let me quit? YES! I don't need to pin point it at all. A collection of (tiny) victories have all contributed to making my morning a grateful, and special one! The point is I'm smiling, and that's a wonderful thing for anyone who has ever been in the dark, or witnessed a loved one there.
So for now, I continue my fight against cancer, but with one huge obstacle behind me, and a lot of belief and strength within me.
More specific updates hopefully to come soon. I have scans in the next two weeks; obviously praying they are clean! Thanks again to all who have helped me over this hurdle. Your thoughts, prayers, words, calls, cards, and monetary gifts have all helped tremendously. Your support has been vital to my life.
Posted on April 14, 2016
Posted on April 14, 2016"Every next level of your life will demand a different you."
And I don't expect this level to demand the same me every time. Going through life, I've always loved a challenge. I'm not sure if my competitive mentality stemmed from having an older sister who was always so competitive, athletic, and loved sports, or if it's just a side effect from being so stubborn that I feel like I can never lose. Either way, it's been a great preparation for life.
This doesn't change just because I have cancer. I'm still me, and my mentality is still the same. This level demands a me I've never seen before, but it's nothing to be afraid of, rather a challenge to commit to showing myself and the world the kind of grit I have. New challenge; Beat Cancer! In rugby, people like to talk about "winning the recovery" and that's my approach for treatment.
Since March 4th, I've had two cycles of my current treatment plan (R-CHOP). As I sit here with my mom, waiting to hear my name called, I'm trying to mentally focus on the strengths I need to pull from to get through my third cycle of chemotherapy. It's been a roller coaster ride these past few weeks but I have a world of support on this crazy ride with me.
What I love about life right now, is the out pouring of love and support I'm getting. I want you all to know that your support messages really do help me get through the days. While this next level of life is demanding a different me, let's not forget about the side of you it's showing. What truly amazing character each of you have for coming together when things seem to be falling apart for me. I couldn't be more thankful and this quote couldn't be more fitting for me, and maybe you! Think about it; A different you for each journey of life, what would that look like?
Posted on February 18, 2016
Posted on February 18, 2016Hello All!
And thanks for checking in. Most of you don't know what's been happening, but that's mainly because things have been so all over the place. I haven't updated in a while, but with everything going on, I hope that changes; I hope I can keep everyone in the loop.
During the holidays, I was doing great. I had already finished my iv treatments so I was only taking oral medications, tumors were shrinking, and I felt as if I were becoming more me again. Life didn't feel so hard.
As of January, that changed. I noticed the tumor growth around my eye growing a bit, but tried not to worry much. I knew I would be starting up treatment soon, just as maintenance though. Come the second week of January, the tumor near my eye seemed to have accelerated. The growth was more tender, in more places near my eye and had gotten bigger than it had original ever been. Rightfully so, I began freaking out.
Over about a 2 1/2 week period I was in seeing my oncologist, and out getting a slew of different scans. Within that time my eye had gotten to the point where I could barely open it. Mornings were the worst, but I was managing as best I knew how. Taking steamy showers seemed to help with the extra swelling and pressure, but it wasn't enough.
Initially, I figured I'd need more treatment than I previously had, so I braced myself for added radiation. That was until my oncologist looked at my scans and decided that wouldn't be enough. My SUVs (the rate of uptake of the dye from my pet/ct scan) were higher in the old tumor spots, and unfortunately, he found new tumors on the back wall of my maxillary sinus, which had the highest SUV number. He believed that my once slow growing cancer has now progressed to a more aggressive form, Diffuse Large B-Cell. One thing was certain, I was getting a more aggressive treatment plan.
With the chemo I will be getting, there are chances of infertility. For anyone who knows me well enough, having a family is something I hold near to my heart. For me, the decision was simple; I wouldn't be leaving it to chance. Fertility preservation is already in the works.
As for confirming the state of my cancer, a biopsy will need to be done. Since the maxillary sinus tumors (behind the cheek) have the highest SUV, my oncologist decided that was the best route to take. I've already consulted with the ENT doctor who will be performing the surgery today, February 18th at 5pm.
I waited longer to really update everyone on the details because most of February was appointments that changed constantly, and decisions that were made last minute. It wasn't to shut anyone out, I promise. Things have moved pretty quickly in hopes that I can start chemo sooner. My plan is to update on here to try to keep everyone on the same page.
Thank you for being extremely understanding and remaining a source of solid support. I cannot begin to explain what this world wind of emotions has been like, but I do believe it would be a lot worse without you guys. The comments, txts, and calls are quite reassuring. Thanks for keeping me positive and helping me fight. Thank You All. The fight continues so keep the good vibes coming!
February 18th- Surgery with ENT
February 22nd- Fertility harvest (egg retrieval)
February 24th- Chemo starts