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Praying for more cowgirl boots and less cancer

I think it’s all kinda hitting me this morning. I’ve been so overwhelmed with all the the love and support of everyone that I haven’t given myself time to realize this is sooo bad! My mom, my dad, my brother Robert, 2 of my closest friends from Oklahoma Willie and Krystal are all here to see me right now because this may be “their last chance”. Crazy! It doesn’t feel that way to me. On one side… I understand that this is completely serious. My body is deteriorating and allowing this cancer to spread like wildfire so quickly. None of this slow growing stuff. It’s kicked into full gear! Now I need a big miracle. However, I still feel like there is one out there for me. I don’t think God has given up on me yet. It might not be the timing I’ve had planned. We might not have that big wedding everyone was looking for in 12 days, but God has his own timing and will. So what… This amazing wedding/hoe down (hahaha) can turn into a celebratory party later on down the the road. It’s been such a true blessing these past few days to see my friends and family coming together this past week for me… Making sure I got to marry my best friend and spend time with everyone I can. Makes a girl appreciate how truly loved she is. My new in-laws are absolutely the best a girl could ever dream of having. I am so truly grateful. I have my new sister, Janessa, it’s by marriage, but she’s a true friend by choice. I love her so much! Her long-term significant other Zach and her brother Joel have also been supportive throughout everything. Carolyn my gorgeous mother- in- law and biggest medical advocate has given ever ounce dedication and love into my recovery. I have never seen someone work so hard.. I am in truly the best hands. Her husband frank has also stood by her side and mine giving us complete support with any and all things. My new in-laws Rick and Aeh have also have been so encouraging and supportive of all my my treatment. They have completely embraced me in as part of their family …offering hugs, prayers, and laughter whenever needed. I am so honored!!

I can’t wait to start thank you notes to everyone who has helped get me through these past weeks ! It will be amazing for me sit down and handwrite you all an amazing story about a miracle and how each of you have been a huge part of it. I have such a long list! I am so truly blessed. I’m just still not ready to throw in the towel. I will keep fighting even if it is just fighting from bed for a little while.

Tuesday, I’m going to go in and get a special test done to see if I might be a candidate for a chemo drug more specific to my cancer. Also hoping the infection is down enough so I can restart the “Texas Cocktail” chemo therapy I had to stop when all this mess started. I need the chemo in my body to do some real damage but we gotta get it there first! So tomorrow is a big day.
I ask that anyone who prays do some overtime for me today. We have a big God who can work miracles and I believe he wants to use me to shine this light for him so we can see when this is all finished he will be the only one to be praised and receive all glory. I would love to give him all the glory! Use me God! I will show this world your healing miracles and speak of your word and share your spirit to all.
When I was young, I grew up ok the ‘Bible Belt’ very different from here. A lot has happened in my life and I have always been torn since my later teenage years on what religion and Christianity mean to me. Jared and I are working on this together now, but what I do know is I feel like our own walks will God as well as our marriage with God and my Husband should be biggest priority. We may all attend different kinds of churches (all worshiping the same God with different rules and regulations) but it’s our individual relationship with Him that are the most important. God wants all his children to love Him and I think he’s reaching out to Jared and I to find him in all this turmoil. We are reaching out to you, Lord, we are reaching out to you. I know that my family and friends are scared right now and so am I, but let God surround us with hope and comfort. Our hearts our open to you. God you are in control.

My love story

Jared and I started dating in April of 2012. We spent all summer together going to concerts, working on his car, and bonding over old tv shows like Knight Rider and the Wonder Years. He became my best friend really. By winter our casual relationship was much more serious. We were in love and in March of 2013 we took a big step and moved in together. Life was so good. Even though our apartment was small, it was our home and it felt perfect. Things didn’t stay perfect though, we had our fair share of issues like most couples do and in December of 2013, we separated. It was the longest 5 months of my life. Although I was so in love with this man, I was convinced there was nothing that could be done to get past our problems, but Jared never gave up on me. He continued to reach out, encouraging me to come home. When I called him on May 27 to tell him I might have cancer, I didn’t know what to expect. I had been stubborn and unforgiving for months and now all of sudden I’m being selfish and wanting my best friend to comfort me. I wouldn’t have blamed him for turning his back, but he didn’t. Instead, he stood by me and promised we could get through anything together. His faith in us throughout the entire separation astonished me. This man that I loved so much truly did love me unconditionally, I had just refused to see it. The very next day, we got the news. I had cancer. And not just any cancer, but a rare and aggressive form called small cell cervical cancer. The prognosis was poor. 25-30% survive 5 years and for those who survive there is a 70% recurrence rate. Most doctors hear this disease and say it’s not a matter of “if” this will kill you, but “when”. Although my cancer was considered to be caught early, it had still already spread to lymph nodes. We had high hopes though. We found a team of doctors who felt confident that we caught it soon enough; we just had to be aggressive with treatment. So we were. I started treatment almost immediately. First was chemo. Lots and lots of chemo. Then it was external radiation and chemo and then internal radiation and chemo, and then more external radiation and more chemo. It felt never ending, but finally on November 6 I finished! Many celebrate the end of their treatment with a party, but I couldn’t party. The treatment had been aggressive and it took a long time before I had a “good” day, but then the good days started coming. I was finally starting to feel better from all the hell we had been put through over the months. And when I say we, I mean we. It wasn’t just hard for me to be sick. It was hard for Jared to watch it. I can only imagine how powerless he felt wanting to help me and not being able to do a thing but wait it out. I almost think that his role was much harder. Selfishly, I’m glad I’m the one that is sick. He’s much stronger than I am.

Not every day during treatment was bad though. Jared made sure any days I felt good we were out making the most if it. One of the best days that summer was on June 28, just a month after my diagnosis. Jared took me up to Moosehead Lake. It was a gorgeous day. He sat me down on a rock wall in front of the sunset on the water and told me he loved me more than anything in this world and that he wanted me to know he was not going anywhere. He was in this for the long haul and he knew that he wanted us to spend the rest of our lives together. It wasn’t about the cancer though. It was more about the time we had lost. The cancer only opened our eyes to how short life can be and how we shouldn’t waste any moments. So we decided not to. He pulled out the most perfect and beautiful ring, asked me to marry him, and I said yes!

We decided to get married on August 22, 2015 with the hopes that I would be in remission by then and no longer sick from treatment. An August wedding would be the perfect time to have an outside wedding and it would give us plenty of time to plan once treatment was over.

Plans changed though. We never got the good news we were hoping for. What we thought were complications due to radiation damage turned out to be more cancer. It was devastating news. The original tumor is gone, but the cancer has spread to my liver and without more treatment it will continue to spread. We are told treatment will only prolong my life. There is no “cure”. We don’t accept this. We will fight together for our miracle. And in the mean time… We will get married. On February 27, 2015 I get to marry my very best friend and I couldn’t be happier!

Life’s complicated

Man it got hard.

I know it’s been awhile since I have posted anything. My apologies. I know many have asked to continue to be updated and it’s really the least I could do for all the support I have received through this but it got hard. I never wanted to post negative things and it all felt so negative for so long. I wish I here writing you all that I beat the odds and overcame, but sadly I still can’t say that yet.

I got really sick is what happened. Chemo kicked my butt. I was this perfectly healthy person and then all of a sudden I wasn’t. And I didn’t wanna write about my suffering.. I didn’t wanna write that I was tired… I didn’t wanna write how bad and hard going through treatment is. I’m not looking for pity. I wanted to be strong, but the truth is.. I was so very broken.

I told myself if the treatment didn’t work I was done trying because making myself sick to most likely never see results wasn’t worth it.
No worries, I got over that fast!

The fact is
I didn’t get lucky. I didn’t get the news we all wanted to hear. Instead, I got heart broken doctors, family and friends. Everybody was so positive, refusing to believe the very real reality that all that work I put in would be for nothing. We would get results and everything is going to be just fine is all I ever heard.

I was starting to feel better again… Getting ready to go back to work… And then all of a sudden I wasn’t better anymore. My scan was being pushed up… Something was terribly wrong.

And then one morning I go in for the results of the all so important “scan” and the song changes. I started hearing doctors tell me about hospice…. Wait what?!?! Excuse me? I’m 28. Excuse me. Where’s my miracle? That’s what I came here to hear about. What happened to that?!??

I gotta say… I went from no fight left-to fight mode real quick. Funny how that switch can flip in the drop of a single tear. Sitting there with Jared, watching his face lose all color with the realization of what was happening was like a punch in the face. He has been so strong throughout all this and done everything he can to protect me from negativity, but in that moment I could read the pain, sadness, and fear all over his face. He has been by my side everyday since this battle started and he knew how I felt about going through treatment again. I realized in that moment, I still wasn’t ready to give up. I can never give up. I don’t care how hard and painful it will be to win… And the reality is… The odds are… I probably won’t. Nothing is more painful and hard than watching the people you love so dearly break apart at the thought of losing you. I will not cause that pain. I will not allow the people i love to believe they are not worth fighting for, so I am here to make it clear I will do whatever it takes to fight against leaving this world so soon, because it is too soon. As long as my heart is still beating … I will continue to fight.

I am so truly blessed. I have such great friends and family. They are worth every ounce of fight I’ve got and every ounce of fight is what I’m gonna give. I’m sorry to anyone I ever made believe different. It got hard, and it’s probably gonna get harder, but at least this way… I can live knowing I gave everything I had to spend as much time as I can with you all. And any extra seconds are extra seconds well worth it. Xoxoxo

Still alive

It’s been a rough week after my third round of chemo, but I’m still here and I’m getting back to being positive again. The hardest thing to do is see a light at the end of the tunnel when I feel that bad, but I am beginning to remember the worse I feel, the better my odds. Really glad that I am finally feeling better though!

Man I’m awesome!

I’ve got lots of updates to give since I haven’t been up to writing much lately thanks to my friend chemo, but the best update is I my original tumor has shrunk 70%! This means the cancer is responding well to the chemo I am getting. We already had an idea it was since I lost my hair so early and it pretty much wiped out all my white blood cells, but it was so awesome to hear it and see the smile on my docs face. Ahhhhhhh I’m so happy! I’m still far from remission, but at least I know i am headed in the right direction. One step at a time…. I can do this!

Ok. Now I can bore you all with other not so exciting updates. I have fired my Scarborough oncologist so no more chemo there. I will now be going to Bridgeton to be treated by a very amazing staff who have a vested interest in my care [Jared’s mom 🙂 and her crew ]. However, I will be doing radiation in Scarborough which will be starting in about 2 weeks. Originally, they were going to do surgery instead of radiation because they feared it would be too hard on my body, but they have since decided that it’s my best option, so hears to hoping for minimal consequences….

I will now be doing radiation 5 days a week possibly twice daily and chemo once a week for 5 weeks and then I’ll go back to my chemo 3x a week every 3 weeks routine to finish out the 6 rounds. It’s all a big mess, but there is a plan and I feel good about it.

O and guess what?! I may be getting published! I mean I have to live through this whole thing, which is obviously going to happen, but because what I have is so rare…when the outcome is good.. My doc will be writing it all up in a medical journal 🙂 super cool… Right?!

Yay! Did I mention I am soooo happy today!! Lol cuz I am really super happy today!

2 down; 4 to go

Finished my second round chemo on Friday. Wow this stuff is rough. I understand now what people really mean by fighting and battling cancer. This is freaking intense. I always thought of myself as strong, but I was sorely mistaken. I never knew what strong was.

It looks like the next round we will be adding radiation to the mix. I’m just so thankful right now that I am getting a few weeks break in between. I don’t know how people do this?!

Twilight

I’m getting my port today. Blood counts finally made their way back up. I’m glad to be getting this today but not so excited about the procedure itself. Originally I was supposed to be knocked out for the whole thing and wake up in recovery at Maine med. this last week I was informed of Maine meds increase in infections and requested my port be placed at mercy instead. Turns out mercy doesn’t put you out completely. It’s more like a twilight they put you under. You’re still awake but you’re pretty loopy and don’t remember too much. Ahhhhh… I don’t want to remember anything! Can someone please just come knock me out and let me know when it’s all done!?!?! Please and thank you lol