Less Pain, More Worries

I will start by saying that I was discharged from my week long stay in the hospital on Friday afternoon. I did not have any fevers and my pain was put under control to the point where I did not have to ask for my injection of delotted. Surprisingly, I was not bored at all with my hospital stay, so it was one of my better times in the hospital where I did not freak out and cry that I wanted to go home.

The numbness on my left side/hip area is still there. What alarms me is that it is also more swollen in that spot and there is a noticeable size difference between the right and left side. It looks like I have more of a womanly curve to my left side (not quite a love handle, but there is more of an hourglass shape on my funky side) while my right side looks like my normal, non-hippy self. I will be getting a CT scan to check out what is going on, because I think it might be serious. One of my doctors did not seemed too alarmed by it and kind of brushed it off, I don’t think it is something that should be put off to the side. So I will get one scheduled sometime next week, along with an echocardiogram to make sure that my heart is still going okay. Knowing how strong and in shape my heart is, it can handle working harder than the average heart. My resting heart rate is incredibly fast, so I guess I am starting to get used to that. I have always had a faster heartbeat than the average person, and now it is just personified by the pressure put on my heart. Again, thank you sports for making my whole body able to withstand so much more!

I would also like to report that my breathing is just fine! It stays within the 98% level and is not anywhere near dangerous. So at this point, my lung isn’t as big of a worry as my heart is or the weird thing on my side. If I am not worrying about not getting enough oxygen, then you should not either! I am on a higher dose of methadone and am taking some norcos on top of that, but every medication that I am on, the dose can be raised higher in case I get in more pain.

I guess I need to answer the question that is on everyone’s mind: am I going to beat this cancer? I can honestly say that I don’t believe I will be able to. Will I be able to stretch things out and prolong my life as long as possible? Yes. But in all honesty, it would take more than a miracle for me to be able to see my 22nd birthday. So that is in another year. I have not been given any specific time details, but I guess I do know my body best and unless there is a breakthrough in Ewing’s Sarcoma research very soon, I do not know if I will be able to receive that help that is so needed. This is tough for me to write, so I am sure it is tough for others to read. But I strive to give as much information as I know, whether the news is good or bad. People need to be aware of what is going on, no matter how much it hurts. None of this means that I am giving up, but I am being realistic. I will never stop fighting, it will just be a matter of the cancer taking over my body or not.

I may have been given incredibly unfair cards in life, but these are the ones that I have been dealt and these are the ones that I need to make the most of. I guess some people take a whole lifetime to not even make a dent on society. I am utilizing all of my time to make a huge difference in people’s lives. Maybe I do not need that whole lifetime to impact people, I sure would like one, but sometimes the ones who are here the least amount of time leave the biggest impression. If I can somehow stay positive throughout facing my mortality at such a young age, then I believe others should stay positive too. We are all given difficult cards in life, in one way or another, but we must survive and adapt to them. Part of adapting is taking change in stride and keeping a smile on your face. Since my life will most likely be cut very short, there is no reason for me to waste my time feeling bad. I am going to focus on things that I can accomplish and knock things off of my bucket list, which has not been updated in quite a while. I just take whatever opportunities are given to me and have fun. I am going to be trying different food and restaurants to broaden my palette, I know a lot about food but I have yet to taste many of the dishes that I have grown to love.

Okay, now I will go on with what happened during the rest of my time in the hospital!

I think I was not feeling very good on Tuesday so I asked for no visitors, I just watched TV all during that day. On Wednesday, one of my new friends, Sarah, came to visit me. We both share the same cancer, except she had hers in the lower arm and is now in remission. It was really nice to talk to someone who has gone through the same treatment and had the same cancer. It is a very unusual cancer for someone to have, so I got to tell her how it was like for me getting my “new normal” back and how much better college is than high school. We shared our woes about our high schools deciding to start supporting breast cancer awareness around campus rather than supporting our cancer. That was probably one of the biggest shockers that happened to me in 2011. Everyone at my school knew that I had been diagnosed with a rare cancer, and suddenly they decided to put up pink ribbons on campus and participating in breast cancer awareness month. Not childhood cancer awareness month. Which happens to be in September. The color is gold. This is probably one of my biggest pet peeves which I would have loved to speak to whomever was in charge of the decorations at either of our high schools. It is supposed to be about supporting the students and alumni right? I also got to try some Thai food for the first time on Wednesday. I sent my dad across the street to this good Thai place and got some duck curry soup. It was sooooo good! The place is called Ruen Thai. I highly recommend it if you are ever in the Roseville area.

Thanksgiving was a very long day for me, but it was a great day. I woke up decently early because I knew I would have guests coming in at around 9-10. Tyler and Troy from wrestling and swim came by and brought me a peppermint mocha frap, which was perfect! We all talked and got to catch up about school and what we all have been up to since we graduated. Not long after the boys arrived, Andrew’s friend from prayer group, Michelle, came by again. She brought me an iced chai tea, which was put in my cooler until I was done with the frap. Yeah, I was quite spoiled that day! I felt so good that my friends would take the time out of their Thanksgivings to come and see me, and I am pretty darn out of the way when I am inpatient. My mom, Mark, and Carl came by at around lunchtime with the food they had prepared at home. I ate the stuffing but much preferred the green bean casserole- yum! A few hours later, Egor, his mom, and Job came by to see me. Boy, was I happy to see them! I had just seen Egor when I went down to San Diego to get my badass tattoo, but I had not seen his mom or Job in quite a while. Thankfully, Job is back from his training month or so and is back in the area, it was so weird not having him here all the time! Egor’s mom brought some awesome Russian potstickers, aka pelmini, and a few others. I ended up eating all of the pelmini and my leftover curry for a later Thanksgiving dinner. I get hungry at night, so having these at my fingertips was perfect! We all got to hang out and catch up, have a lot of small talk, and just enjoy each other’s company for a while. After they left, I got to relax a little, and I knew that I still had other visitors coming to see me. At about 6pm (I think, everything is pretty relative in the hospital) Claire and Adam Pinson from my year round team came by. To my surprise, they brought my first ever year round coach, Coach Junior, with them. I was floored! And just a few minutes before I was pondering if I should send a text asking for just a quick visit from the siblings, but once they all arrived, my exhaustion was gone and I was pumped. Junior is the coach who pushed me to my absolute limit because he knew how strong I was. I used that to fuel myself during chemo and the tough treatments, as well as the rehabbing back into sports. I always felt that if I could survive the 3 hour long, Saturday of Hell Week practice, along with the hardcore summer training, that I could get through anything. He is the reason why I never cheated myself by hugging the wall and coming up with excuses to not swim and to take breaks. The thing about me was, that even though I did not go to the morning practices, when I did go to the afternoon practices or the Saturday practices, I gave them my all. This is my strategy for fighting cancer- give it all my effort and just attack it. Did I have panic attacks and freakouts during the hard sets of swim? Yes. I got kicked out of practice because I freaked myself out during a killer treadmill workout. I cried, and the next day I came back and was able to accomplish an even harder treadmill workout. That goes to show just how mental the swimming game is, as well as this cancer game. When you give anything your all, you get a better result. So Claire, Adam, and Coach Junior stayed for probably two hours because I was enjoying their company so much. I haven’t seen them in such a long time, and it felt good to be reunited with the teammates who I had worked so hard with. They put me in such a great mood despite the fact that some other close friends were supposed to come up but I ended up not hearing from them. So I definitely went to bed happy, getting my blood transfusions so that I would be able to get out without a problem on Friday.

So on Friday afternoon I got home, watched TV for about an hour, then decided that I was absolutely exhausted from waking up early for a whole week. By early, I mean any time from 6-8. And I also stayed up probably til midnight every night due to my late chemo start. That was quite an annoyance. So it finally caught up with me. I went to bed at around 3pm I would say, and stayed in bed until 1:30am. I kind of had a freakout and was crying to my mom. The truth is that I am terrified with what my future has in store and it really got to me. At around 3pm we both went back to bed. On Saturday, I got a visit from Egor and Job. Egor offered for me to come over for their Thanksgiving (yes, on a Saturday) but I decided it would be best to just relax at home and kind of feel everything out. I did just go through some really harsh chemo, so I think my body needs a bit of a break. But we got to hang out and catch up some more before Egor had to leave back to San Diego. Job stayed for a while longer and we just watched tv and funny videos, the normal for us! And discussing why people are the way that they are, it is all interesting stuff!

Today, my grandpa came over and hung out, I just lazed around because I am still recovering from everything! I ate some good food and leftovers, and I am glad that I have some leftovers to eat for tomorrow, I am pretty much the leftover queen. I took a nap, then I woke up and watched some tv, and then started writing again. I am a little distracted as I am watching UFC fighting, it is one of my guilty pleasures. What is really ironic and cool about the one I am watching, is that there is this guy from Sacramento in the final, and he fights on the same team as this fighter from my high school class. Talk about a small world! So go Chris Holdsworth!

I will post updates about my condition as they go, but for now I am stable, worried, but stable.

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So these are some of the pictures that I took while in the hospital! Sometimes I forget certain details of what happens in the hospital, but at least pictures show what I was doing. As you can tell, my body was freakishly bloated on Thanksgiving thanks to the steroids and fluid combination. I am no longer bloated now, as you can tell by the last picture. That is just to show the difference in hip size! Weird, right?

55 thoughts on “Less Pain, More Worries

  1. I am so proud of you, KEEP FIGHTING!!!
    I wish I had that much courage.

    PS you are my favourite sign; Sagittarius.
    Love, your new reader from Singapore!

    • Hi there, a friend of mine saw your story tonight and told me about you. I’m a 5 yr. Ewing’s survivor. I was treated at Walnut Creek Kaiser. I had it in my left heel and went through 13 months of chemo and a few surgeries. You sound really strong. People used to say that to me all the time but honestly, you have no other good choices. Feel free to reach out to me. Rene

    • I read about your blog on one of Frank Somerville’s FB post. After reading what he had to say it peeked my interest to learn more about you. And from reading a few of your blog posts I have concluded you are very courageous. And your posts are well written concerns that graphically expresses your struggles, as they also inform your reader you are determine to make a difference. Wow!

  2. well good morning Lauren Dolly, we are back at school from the Thanksgiving break. I enjoyed myself and did some knitting and visiting, but i am happy to be back here today. that’s a long week to spend in town without any real plans, but i handled it. i am treated for chronic depression, and to people like me, routine is everything. i don’t know where people get all the money to do all that shopping because i don’t have it and i stress about that. but then i’m reminded that there are so many more important things than gift-giving about christmas. You are so beautiful and i think about you every day. your physical strength gets me to the gym every day — because the demons are way less likely to come into my mind when i have exercised. i know my body also. you are my hero. I wish we could have lunch or that i could be one of your peeps. i would also like to increase awareness about childhood cancers to our leadership at LC. Maybe next September we could represent childhood illnesses and increase awareness, Honestly i always kinda felt like breast cancer got all the buzz. I hope you are doing ok. You are surrounded by love. I believe in you. Love and prayers, Roberta Potter

  3. You are amazing young woman! Thank you for sharing your story! I was a lucky one and I pray you will be too! I was 19 when I fought Lymphoma. Strange to be so young and have to fight such a grown up battle. So glad you are fighting the fight! You will be in my prayers.

  4. Sending you many prayers! I live in Sacramento and would love to cook Puerto Rican food for you – if you’re open to it. Email me and I’ll be more than happy to bring you some food for you to taste.

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. No one should have to go through what you are going through.

  5. Lauren,

    I just ran across a write up on you on Facebook. I saw you went to high school in Elk Grove. I read that you are crossing things off your bucket list. Your attitude is awesome and inspiring.

    My spouse and I live and work in Sacramento. She is a professional Glass Blower and that is how we make our living. We also teach classes. If glass blowing has ever crossed your mind and happens to be on your bucket list, we would like to help you cross it off your list.

    Take a look at our website – http://www.GirlGlass.com. If you are interested email me, Kyrana, directly, GirlGlassStudio@gmail.com, and mention your blog.

    I wish you tons of laughter and joy.

    Kyrana

  6. I am a little nervous writing to you simply because I am a stranger. By chance I came upon your blog and started reading. Despite not knowing you personally you have touch my heart and I’m sure so many others. You are such an inspiration. You are beyond amazing.My warmest thoughts to you <3.

  7. Girl you are amazing! I am inspired by your spirit. I used to live in Sacramento and work in Roseville, so I know the area a bit. I highly recommend the Andy Nguyen restaurant in Sacramento. It is vegetarian Vietnamese and if you like Thai food you’ll love it. They have really good faux duck. Thai used to be my favorite food until I tried Vietnamese. Also, make a trip while you’re there to the area of town where all the Asian grocery stores are (sorry i don’t remember the street) and get a dessert that looks like a drink with candied beans, coconut milk and crushed ice-it. is. Heaven! You can find it in most Asian markets and some call it the 3 colored drink. I’ve struggled with health issues as well and even had a kidney removed due to a large tumor that had grown inside of it and maintaining a positive attitude like you have was the best thing for it. I wish the very best for you. Take care. -A

  8. Hi Lauren. I too live Elk Grove and have been in the fight for my life for over a year with leukemia, and brain tumors. My prognosis is three more months. i am only 39 and choose to live everyday as if it were my last. I too look to trying new foods (went to Ella’s in sac last weekend) and widening my palate. People stared bc I’m bald, but I loved every moment. Take each day as if it were ur last, never skip dessert, plan a dream trip, and take a lot of pictures. Stay strong. Check out my fb page named team Monica. I will be following ur blog.

  9. Hi Lauren, I am a former DVC swimmer 94 – 96. Yes, I am old. :). I just read your story and am inspired by your words and your outlook on life. Your approach and your attitude is incredible. I plan on following your blog and offering words of encouragement. Keep on doing what you are doing. You are amazing. From one swimmer (well, former) to another. 🙂

  10. You are such an inspiration to me! Try to stay positive because it will surely make a difference! Miracles happen every day!

  11. Lauren, you are a beautiful, strong, and wonderful human being. My step mother battled cancer for the past 2 years and i had never known how hard it can be for both the diagnosed and the family. I just wanted to say that from one human to another i am so proud of you and although the outlook is not good, i still hope for some form of miracle. I don’t know what i would do in your situation but thanks to your strength and willingness to share your amazing story, i have a better appreciation for my life and outlook on my condition, ankylosing spondylitis (dont know who named it but its real), and for that i must thank you.

    I will continue to monitor your blog and hope to get to know you better. I also was wondering what ( i only ask because it helped my step mother) your opinion is on medical cannabis? I know it can help when dealing with the chemo therapy and other side effects. There is also research showing it has a lot of potential for combating cancer cells and maybe with the right research and application it could potentially one day act as a form of cure, who knows. I mean no disrespect just curious if you ever looked into it.

    NO matter what, you will be in my thoughts and i wish you all the luck in the world.

    Stay strong,

    Your newest fan Jeff

    P.S. Idk what type of music you like but i feel everyone has an appreciation for the piano, maybe this short piece can help you relax: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NZdggNUvq0

    • I believe that medical cannabis has so much potential! There obviously needs to be more research done on it, but I do know for a fact that it does great things for the side effects of chemo. It relieves stress, helps with nausea, helps with appetite, and can help with pain. I am all for it! It does so much good that I have hopes that more research will be done and that the stereotypes of it being a “drug” will be conquered. It actually has positive side effects and healing properties as opposed to alcohol, so I really wish the research would be done on it and be accurately shown.

  12. Bald is the new beautiful!!! And from your words (not knowing you personally) I feel confident you are absolutely beautiful
    Inside and out!!! And also a serious inspiration!!! Would love to get to chat with you sometime! Take careens rock the world!

  13. Not sure if my other comment went through. Anyways, I have a similar story to yours…but I love the message you’re sending out. Sending positive vibes and hope we can get in touch! Take care!

  14. You are in my prayers. 🙂 It takes a lot of courage to share with the world what you are going through. Thank you for sharing your strength.

  15. Thank you for sharing your story. Your honesty and strength are truly inspiring, and I admire your determination to remain positive. Your attitude in general is just so uplifting. I came across your blog in my Facebook feed, and I am actually working on a project for a master’s in counseling program, and would be very interested in learning more about your experiences, if you would be willing to share them. The point of the project, in part, is for me to better understand the types of services that would help people fighting cancer. Please feel free to email me if you would be interested in lending your insight!

  16. I read your story on FB and want you to stay encouraged and thank yiou for BOLDly sharing your story. I will be praying for you and asking my church and other prayer groups to speak your name out.

  17. Lauren,

    Let me first say that I can commiserate, albeit from a different vantage point. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, and was told that due to metastasis, I had about a 15% chance of surviving. After suffering through treatment, with some of the greatest friends and family I could ask for by my side, I was finally given good news: It appeared as though I was winning my fight. Sure enough, after almost two years of fighting, I was given a more or less clean bill of health, and after physical and occupational therapy, was cleared to go back to working as a cop. Fast forward to this past September, and I come to find out that, for the second time in my life, I was diagnosed with cancer. This time, it was a “relatively easy to beat” testicular cancer. My department told me I could take the medical leave as long as I needed to, but I chose to stick it out at work as long as I was physically able to. Three months of treatment later, I’m still at work almost every shift, when I feel up to it. I’m still chasing bad guys. I’m still fighting, both on the street and against my cancer.

    A friend of mine from my military days once told me that the only difference between a victim and a survivor is attitude. Refuse to quit. Refuse to admit defeat. Be cocky. Be confident. Don’t let the thought of dying slip into your head, because that’s opening the door for cancer to win. Don’t think you’re anything but the toughest fighter the world has ever seen. Don’t think you’ll do anything but win. To borrow from Yoda (My inner nerd is showing. ‘Scuse me.), “Do or do not. There is no try.” Win at all costs. Anything less than victory is never an option.

    I’m pulling for you, and I’ll add you to my prayers. All I ask of you is that you make a promise to yourself to keep kicking ass, and keep a smile on your face. If you ever need someone to vent and complain to, who has been there themselves, let me know. I’ve never met a stranger in my life, and it’s a big deal for me to be able to help others. You’ve got people pulling for you.

    Keep your chin up, kiddo.

    H. Scott

  18. Lauren,

    Let me first say that I can commiserate, albeit from a different vantage point. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, and was told that due to metastasis, I had about a 15% chance of surviving. After suffering through treatment, with some of the greatest friends and family I could ask for by my side, I was finally given good news: It appeared as though I was winning my fight. Sure enough, after almost two years of fighting, I was given a more or less clean bill of health, and after physical and occupational therapy, was cleared to go back to working as a cop. Fast forward to this past September, and I come to find out that, for the second time in my life, I was diagnosed with cancer. This time, it was a “relatively easy to beat” testicular cancer. My department told me I could take the medical leave as long as I needed to, but I chose to stick it out at work as long as I was physically able to. Three months of treatment later, I’m still at work almost every shift, when I feel up to it. I’m still chasing bad guys. I’m still fighting, both on the street and against my cancer.

    A friend of mine from my military days once told me that the only difference between a victim and a survivor is attitude. Refuse to quit. Refuse to admit defeat. Be cocky. Be confident. Don’t let the thought of dying slip into your head, because that’s opening the door for cancer to win. Don’t think you’re anything but the toughest fighter the world has ever seen. Don’t think you’ll do anything but win. To borrow from Yoda (My inner nerd is showing. ‘Scuse me.), “Do or do not. There is no try.” Win at all costs. Anything less than victory is never an option.

    I’m pulling for you, and I’ll add you to my prayers. All I ask of you is that you make a promise to yourself to keep kicking ass, and keep a smile on your face. If you ever need someone to vent and complain to, who has been there themselves, let me know. I’ve never met a stranger in my life, and it’s a big deal for me to be able to help others. You’ve got people pulling for you.

    Keep your chin up, kiddo.

    H. Scott

  19. Hey Lauren, I haven’t read your whole story yet, but I will. My husband has been battling Ewing’s sarcoma for 12 years now. He receives treatment at MD Anderson in Houston TX. Have you heard of it? We live in ohio and travel there, so needless to say we have faith in the facility. His doctor is Dr. Joseph Ludwig. Please let me know if you want anymore information.

  20. Hey, Lauren is it? I just found your blog through a friend on facebook. I’ve always been into swimming, if the temperature is right I’d spend the whole day in the water. Heck, even sleep there if I could work it out. Sometimes I have dreams that I can breathe under water, but I always wake up before I can explore around. I like this post and am glad you had a good thanksgiving, am looking forward to reading more about you. 🙂

    clocktower

  21. You are amazing. Despite everything that cancer has thrown at you- you are full of hope!! I find your story inspiring. I am the event chair for my local Relay For Life here in South San Jose and I would like to personally invite you to our event on May 17th. We honor cancer survivors at our opening ceremonies and are doing a butterfly release! Did you know that if you tell your secret hopes and wishes to a butterfly, they will carry your those straight to heaven? Since they can’t talk, your hopes and dreams are safe. 🙂 I will light a luminaria bag in your honor and I am going to share your story with my committee. Please know that we will be thinking of you and following your progress. We Relay so that cancer becomes nothing more than a zodiac sign. Keep fighting!

  22. Hi, I just found out about your blog and the fight you are fighting. My name is Silke I am originally from Germany (that’s why the strange name 🙂 ) and I am currently living in California with my husband. I admire the way you are handling your situation. Cancer is a scary thing, my father in law fought cancer for ten years and I learned a few things from the way he handled life and cancer. I think the scariest part is if cancer takes over your life and/or if you let cancer take over your life. I always believe in creating memories instead of material things. Material things do not add value to your life, but spending time with friends and family, traveling and doing things which create memories are so much more important. Surround yourself with people who love you and support you and stay positive. Each day is a new day and embrace each day with new wonder. I sent you all my positive energy and wish you strength and love to fight this!!! Silke

  23. Hi, i just found a random post on my facebook about you. The first few lines said something about being a swimmer at DVC. My best friend was also a swimmer at DVC some years ago, so I kept reading. What a crazy story. I empathize much, have supported the leukemia and lymphoma society, have watched others go through chemo, have watched wins and mostly losses. And every time, I wonder, why people elect the treatments that they do. I do not judge, what the heck do I know?! LOL! But I do know about the curative properties of cannabinoids. And tons and tons of people who have shrunk tumors, have shrunk masses, have completely cured their cancers, their seizures, their diabetes, their this and that and the list goes on and on. If you honestly did not think that the chemo would be your solution, would you try something else? I mean, you could do it in conjunction with your standard treatment if you really wanted to. I don’t promote any organization or anything, just read about a girl who really oughta be given some more hope, when its out there. Good luck. Bless you for your honesty and courage. 🙂

  24. Wow— what an amazingly strong person you are!!! I wish you only the best in everything you are going through. I am also an athlete and can not imagine being in this position when you know you are so strong an healthy and this hits you!!! I was blessed with a company that has an amazing product that is helping people with soooooo many things and it made me think of you asking your doctor to check into fucoidan treatments. Fucoidan is the extract from brown seaweed and is also a known tumor reducer and could maybe help you fight what you are going through. I have left my website and my email if you want to chat— I have sent up a huge prayer for you and pray that one day maybe you will be that coach in the edge of the pool pushing others to be as strong as you were!!!! Go get this cancer and beat it!!!! Good luck and hugs!!!

  25. Hi Lauren. In a couple of months I will have survived seven years fighting another rare cancer and a bone marrow transplant. I may not currently have the quality of life I once had, but I still truly enjoy waking every day and being with my family. I still have cancer, but for some reason my body is able to keep going. I cannot say how you will do but if you face what life you do have left with joy and courage, you and everyone around you will be able to make the most of a difficult situation. Merry Christmas young lady! Miracles do happen.

  26. I wish the world were filled with people like you. Not people with rare cancers, but people with the even rarer strength and grace to address reality. I know you want to make the most of uncertain time, and I wish and hope the best for you, but you’re already doing something remarkable by being honest in all directions. It’s really beautiful.

  27. I just want to say go for it.. live your life and enjoy! My husband died of Ewings… You are in my thoughts and prayers! I will be reading your blog and praying for you!!! Courageous girl.

  28. Dear Lauren,
    I admire your courage and resolve to enjoy each day that you have been given. None of us really know if we have tomorrow. But given your circumstances, I want you to know there is great hope. A hope that will not fade away with the temporary, but can bring you eternally into the arms of your Maker. Please consider the greatness of Jesus Christ this Christmas season. He really came to earth, really died on the cross and really rose up from the grave. Because His resurrection is true, His words are also true. John 11:25 from the Bible says, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” I am not encouraging you to join a religion but inviting you into the most wonderful relationship possible. He loves you and died for all of your sins so that you can know Him and live in the fullness of His joy for all eternity. I hope that this Christmas will shine bright with the light of Christ. You will be in my prayers!

  29. Sweet Lauren, I’m not sure if you like Greek food but if you can make it out to Yannis Taverna in Danville we would love to treat you to a wonderful meal. Simply because you said mentioned trying new foods and new restaurants.
    If you can’t make I would be more than happy to deliver dinner to you. Just keep on fighting and we will keep praying!
    Voula

  30. Theres a small, very shot book, called “The Tongue” by Charles Capps. Read it all in one day. It will help…What do you have to lose?

  31. Hi Lauren. I’m a Ewing’s sarcoma survivor…twice. I was first diagnosed when I was 18. It was in my right femur. Just after I turned 19 I had surgery to replace the bone with a prosthetic. After a year of too many chemo treatments, radiation to my lungs (the tumor moved fast), and the surgery, I was well on my way to getting my life back. Except it’s never that simple after going through something like that. But I managed. I went back to college, got my degree, had a baby (something that I was very lucky to have happen), and began living again. When my son was 17 months old (I was only 23), the cancer came back. This time though it would take a little more from me than before. This time around was supposed to be easier on me and my body. However, it never turns out the way you want it to. I ended up with an infection in leg at the surgery site..MRSA. I was allergic to the antibiotics and my body was too compromised to fight. I eventually lost part of my leg. I had a rotationplasty (look it up, it’s pretty cool). Again, I made it through treatments, but not without almost losing my life a few times. I spent over a month in ICU, most of which I don’t even remember. The infection went septic after the amputation and I was rushed back into surgery. In the end, I still won. I’m still here four and half years later.

    For a childhood cancer that “supposedly” affects predominantly males ages 4-12, I’ve seen too many females in their late teens to early twenties diagnosed. Not that it matters, it sucks either way. There’s really no other way to put it. It’s infuriatingly unfair to anyone it affects. Here’s the thing though, you keep doing what you’re doing. You keep fighting, especially when you feel like giving up. That’s when you have to fight harder. You can beat this. Good luck to you!

  32. Lauren, I don’t know you but someone I know attached a link to facebook and I was compeled to read your story. What an amazing, brave insightful person you are. Just know that you are touching people you don’t know, your story and courage have had a profound impact on me. Sending love and prayers

  33. I just came to your blog through the “magic” of Facebook. (seven degrees of separation and all that…)

    Wow. What a remarkable young lady you must be, to have such a formidable warrior spirit. The strength required to maintain your positive attitude in such dire circumstances is commendable and admirable. It says much about the benefit of sports, but speaks even more of your own indomitable spirit.

    Just this morning, I was talking with my daughters about maintaining perspective. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the typical griping we all are prone to. It’s an all-too-common habit to complain about how hard school/work is, how mean some kids are, or , and then allow these mini-dramas to negatively distort your perception and drag your attitude down.

    I’m continually looking for role models for them to look up to, in an attempt to displace the superficial ones too often provided by pop culture. Some are historical figures like Susan B. Anthony, Amelia Earhart, and Anne Frank. Others are scientists like Marie Curie and Mae Jemison. Finally, there are the athletes such as Billie Jean King, Althea Gibson, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

    Now they have one more; you.

    We’ll be reading your blog together. Our family are sending you and your family our positive thoughts/prayers/energy/good juju. Keep up the good fight!

  34. Lauren, I just wanted to provide a little hope– I did not read your whole story yet and I know everyone’s case is different, however, my little girl had Ewings 3 times, they told her she couldn’t beat it and she is now 4 years No Evidence of Disease!!!
    She was able to have an aggressive surgery and we went to the best docs in the world (I believe) but through prayer and persistence you never know!!! God has a plan for you, dear lady, and that I know for sure. Please feel free to email me at kking@binghamton.edu or check out her caringbridge site: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/maceyking if only to know that their are survivors of Ewings relapse out there!!!
    We will add you to our prayer list for 100 percent recovery!
    God Bless, Kim King

  35. Lauren, You made a difference in my life today. Because of you, I will not give up. I would try to catch a bullitt between my teeth if that would help you. And remember; miracles are only those things that happen to us which we did not expect to happen.

  36. Hi Lauren, you don’t know me. I found your story on Facebook. Oh I know what doctors have said to you and I can feel your fear. Time to let all that go, Sweetie. Time to expect a miracle. Focus only on Health & Vitality. Verbally shout: “Thank you God, I love that every day in every way I am getting better and better!” Expect to get well. Oh yes! I am sending you some powerful prayers! Get ready, here they come!!! ❤

    I would highly recommend purchasing this book: "E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality" by Pam Grout. You can get it on Kindle for $3.

    Listen to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIwcmBqhGbU

    From one human to another, I LOVE you! xoxo

  37. Thank you Lord God for giving Lauren a strong and powerful immune system! ❤ Thank you Lord, for giving Lauren health & vitality. Thank you so very much God for giving Lauren love and support. Love is everything! Thank you Lord for bringing another beautiful healthy day to Lauren. Thank you God for opening up her eyes & ears, to see, hear and feel the goodness you have for her! Thank you God! Thank you God! Thank you God! ❤

  38. Lauren,

    I just found your blog this morning on a friend of mine’s facebook post and spent literally all day reading back through your posts. Inspirational! Your writing is a gift, and you’ve matured beautifully through the months. I sure appreciate your messages. Stay strong, and keep on keeping on:-).

    Bryan

  39. A close friend sent your link. I am having my own cancer ride – with a similar outlook to yours. I am 43, though. I went from running my 8th marathon at 40, to thinking I had a heel spur at 41 (it was already-spread lung cancer), to being diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer at 42. I went through chemo and two rounds of radiation. My left heel was so eaten with cancer I could barely walk.

    After 6 months of chemo and radiation, the doctor put me on Tarceva. It’s a miracle drug. The main tumour shrunk and shrunk. I felt better. I started walking and cycling again.

    Two months ago, after almost being fooled I was beating this, I found it spread to my brain.

    But I am living life and not looking back – which is why my friend thought of me when he read your story.

    I have some close pals that keep me positive – plus my girlfriend and my kids.
    I invite you to check out epiccoffeetime.com to see what we are doing as part of my “therapy.” I was told that you are “perfect for our gang.”

    Hope to hear more from you.

    davidwayneblack@yahoo.com

  40. Hello Dear Lauren–I only saw your blog because of a dear friend I have/had from high school 25+ years ago posted it on Facebook (he is as sweet and dear as they come). I only read your last blog and I will add my opinion, that you’re right, you may not see your 22nd birthday, that is unfortunately the stark reality of the situation. You, may in turn, live to be 100. Who knows? None of us make it out of here alive, right? None. Of. Us.

    This is what I have learned in my 43 years of living. Do what feels good and gives you energy NOW. If it’s chemo–do it, if it’s not doing chemo then do that, whatever else, do that. If your life on this earth ends too soon, it’s just an ending here, but a new beginning elsewhere. Know that for certain, it is a new and glorious beginning elsewhere!

    While you are still here, you and your friends and family, are invited to stay at my home. I mean this from the bottom of my heart and you are truly welcome. Relationships, love and memories are the only thing we can take with us. I, personally, would choose San Diego at this time of year over Salt Lake City, but some people seem to like this place in the winter. Those damn Winter Olympic people thought so. Housing, food at my house and transportation are free. Spending money is up to your family and friends. I have a big house in a nice area about 45 minutes from ski resorts and about 25 minutes to downtown. Message me if you’re interested. Best wishes and love to you and your family and friends.

  41. Just read your blog and I think you have inspired many with your attitude toward life. There’s not much I can say but I would recommend that you take up traditional Chinese herbal medicine to supplement while you are doing chemo or post chemo. It gives a great energy boost and helps the body withstand damaging chemo treatments. You can probably look it up and look into it to see if it is of any help to you.

  42. You are an inspiration. I can’t imagine what you are going through. Sharing what is going on with you helps others who are struggling in their own way. My husband was killed in an auto accident and I plan to write about my experiences and the hurt and pain one deals with when losing your husband and best friend. Unfortunately I have to wait unit the trial for the man accused of killing my husband is completed. This is one of the goals that keeps me moving forward. You are so brave! My heart goes out to you as you battle your cancer. You have opened people’s eyes and have shown people that heroes come in all forms. You are my hero!

  43. I saw a post on FB which brought me to your site which reminded me of my injury and how I had too stay positive by reading your article I can see you Are a very strong person and I am rooting for you. Stay strong and keep the faith I believe in you and thank you for reminding me its something not many people can understand unless they Are in your shoes too go thru the highs and lows of ones self keep up the good work

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