Day at the beach by Noel.

Monday, August 23, 2010

All last week and this weekend seem to be a blur, but I will do my best to try and remember most of it. I have been spending mainly all of my time outside in the pool listening to music and relaxing. I could spend all day in or by the pool just relaxing because everything is so nice and peaceful outside. If I'm not outside I'm inside writing thank you cards or watching The Godfather with my dad. That movie and Fantastic Mr. Fox are officially my two favorite movies. Yesterday it was nice to get out of the house and go to my grandparents house and have a BBQ with the family. It's been over a month since I've been to their house due to me getting sick, but it was extremely nice and you couldn't have asked for greater weather. Great news from the doctor, the Monosomy seven testing came back and it was clear. So right now I don't have any Leukemia cells OR Monosomy seven genes in my body! It was a wonderful week, great news from the doctor, no trip to Santa Barbara on Friday, no chemo all week and I haven't felt this good in a while. This week is going to be the challenge. I go to Santa Barbara tomorrow and I have to go to the actual hospital to be in the ICU all day. I get a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) and new chemo injected into my spine, and I also start new medication which is chemo in pill form. Then to top everything off I get chemo at home through my port on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. It will be tough, but it's nothing I can't handle. I'm willing to take on this challenge. All it takes is positive attitudes and prayers, and you are set. I'm actually thankful I'm going through all of this stuff this week, because it means my body is responding to everything very well. I am what you call a Rapid Early Responder to the chemo. The name says it all. Some people ask me if I'm scared, but what is there to be scared of? Honestly I'm not afraid of anything as I go through this. I'm completely knocked out during all of my procedures and there is nothing to be scared of when I'm at home. If you put all of your trust in God's hands, then you never have to worry or be scared and everything turns out to be fun.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Playing Catch up

Trying to play catch up from the last time I blogged. Friday I went to Santa Barbara and had a typical marrow biopsy and I had chemo through a lumbar puncture (spinal tap), but no regular chemo through my port. Everything went as planned, but I had a very low hemoglobin. Normal level is from eleven to sixteen, and I was at six. Saturday was pretty tough, and my parents were going to take me to the hospital to get a blood transfusion due to my low hemoglobin. Although it turned out I was having withdraws from being taken off one of my medications and the chemo. So low hemoglobin, chemo and being taken off a medication led to a crummy day. Sunday was better though. Even though I only got an hour of sleep Saturday night, I was feeling much better and normal again. My family and I spent the whole day outside by and in the pool barbecuing and relaxing. Monday, I stayed outside all day. I swam with my little sister then took a nap by the pool then finished the day off by wading around in the pool. Tuesday I received news from Friday. My MRD test, which is the test to detect the number of leukemic cells in my marrow , came back negative! Also, my usual blood testing was done, and my platelet count was at 277 and my hemoglobin was at eight! My grandparents came over to visit and after my dad and I swam. He got me to really swim just like before, so I did about ten laps in my pool. I am feeling it in my legs today, but it was so worth it. Today was a great day, my boyfriend and two friends came over and hung out with me. Soon I am going to sit down and write thank you letters to everyone who has helped and supported my family and I through all of this, for example Stephanie Thorndyke made my family and I a bunch of delicious food today and so did Carol Testerman last week. Not to mention everyone involved in fundraising efforts and even reading my blogs. Your support and love helps me more than you know.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Well it feels like ages since I have blogged, but I have been extremely exhausted and have been almost incognito from everything. Usually a few days after chemo are the crummy days, and they were. Saturday my whole body was aching and I was in very much pain, so I took vicodin for the first time and man when that kicked in I took a four hour nap. Of course after I woke up feeling like a million bucks. I am feeling much better now, I have been starting to "exercise" slowly. It's no crazy workout, but a walk around my house then down and up my hill then a light swim in the pool is my new routine. It sounds pathetic, but is the most my body can handle right now. My mind says go run and play sports, but where my muscles were (and should be) won't allow a lot of activity. Lately the days have been kind of the same, but wonderful of course. Lots and lots of relaxing, eating, exercising, trying to spend as much time outside as possible and family visits. It's funny in my eyes thinking of the role change that happened since everything. When we found out the news and were on our way to the hospital for the first time, my mom looked at me and told me I have to stay strong through all of this. Now I have to stop her and look her in the eyes to tell her she has to stay strong through all of this. My parents love to remind me how proud they are of me and inspired by me too. But I always love to remind them that I am their daughter, and they raised and brought me up to be the person I am today.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A day in Santa Barabara

Third or fourth time of chemo yesterday, all went well like usual and news will be coming back soon. My parents and baby sister drew blood, and all the nurses thought Emma was so brave so they gave her a new Barbie Doll! Was she ever so excited to not only be there and give blood, but to also receive a kind gift and love and adoration from everyone there. My parents got the gift of finding out that they possibly get to give more blood! Were they ecstatic or what. My grandparents came along with us too, and we all were rolling when my grandmother stuck a sticker on my grandpa's back. He walked around aimlessly for some odd time not knowing, until finally he came back in to the room bright red. A nice walk back to the hospital felt nice on my body as we went to eat lunch at the cafe. The weather in Santa Barbara was nice, and the walks were too. On our way home we stopped through Los Olivos and I fell in love. As soon as I can, I'm going back there to explore this cute town. So many thanks to the Perez family for making my family dinner last night. It was such a relief to come home later and have a huge delicious dinner cooked and ready to serve waiting for us. It made everything so much easier. Thank you very much.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Chemo in the morning in Santa Barbara, and my little sister and grandparents are coming along with my parents and me. No marrow biopsy's tomorrow, just chemo and my family is getting their blood drawn to be tested for the Monosomy seven gene and to see if their bone marrow matches mine. Emma is excited to join my journey tomorrow and has been kind enough to allow the doctors to draw her blood to try and help me. Now not too many six year old sister's would do that, and she fully understands the circumstances of everything that goes along with this. As I write, I am sitting by the pool eating ice cream listening to my favorite music relaxing with a nice breeze and the warm sun on my back being with family. Now that is one pretty darn good way to spend summer days, it is unbelievable how great the timing was of the purchase of our new home considering everything. God really gave my family and me so many blessings, it is remarkable and hard to comprehend.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Winning mentality

What a day. The previous days have been about the same, wonderful of course but laid back and fun. More relaxing by the and in the pool and being with my Papa. Today I had blood work done in the morning, my platelet count is above one hundred which is great. Although, along with that comes an extremely weak immune system. Well awesome news back from the doctors, I am at one percent now instead of twenty five percent with the blasts! I was hoping to be at five, but one is even better!!! Today was my cousin Hailey's eighteenth birthday (Happy Birthday Hailey) and I got to go over and spend dinner with her and the family which was awesome. Props to my Uncle Jeff for the delicious dinner, first time I'm excited to eat left-overs! Nice quality family time talking and joking about my big buddha pregnant looking belly and chipmunk cheeks. Physically and emotionally I have been doing exceptional, besides being "medically- induced-chubby". There is no need for sorrow or worry. I take everything day by day and honestly don't have any worries at all. One huge way everyone can do to help me is be happy and stay strong in prayers and attitude. I will be blunt, I'm tough... I don't like when people feel sorry for me or for others. As I said before, No pain no "game". People who know me on and off the field or court or track know that I am competitive and have a winning mentality. An old man told me one time "If your gonna go, go hard. If your gonna miss, miss hard." I'm now apart of the "C-club" with him and just as we battle in the batting cage, we battle through this too.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Yet another exceptional day, more beautiful weather and time with the family. Great sermon at church to start the day off and nice bowl of ice cream to end a beautiful summer evening. My pastor paid a visit to my family and me this afternoon and so did my grandparents and mom's side of the family. We all sat by the pool and talked and said a nice prayer to finish everything off. Plus a nice swim in the pool with my sister can always make a day shine brighter and it did(=