My Day Full of Insecurities

As the wedding date has gotten closer and closer, I have been getting a little anxious about it. No, I am most certainly getting cold feet. I am so excited for the wedding that I am getting a little anxious about it. When I get anxious my insecurities end up getting the best of me. DeAngela, Eden, and Egor all got to see that today. What has been on my mind is “Am I good enough for him?” and “Is he excited to be marrying me?”
I think these are my old insecurities coming back to haunt me back from high school. I have kind of grown into my face since my high school years, but here are some things that I hated about myself back then: my lack of boobs, my flat butt, my very toned stomach, my all-over acne (this included my face, back, and chest), my larger nose, and most importantly that I had a very red tone to my face. I was embarrassed to try to flirt with guys because in the back of my mind I would be focusing on all of my flaws when I should have been thinking about all of the good things about myself such as my bright, blue eyes, infectious laugh, and my bright white smile.
It is kind of weird for me to think of myself being stuck-up on the comments said about me during the past, but it still hurts. I always will remember the words an ex told me, “You look like a pink monkey.” Yeah, I was totally embarrassed.
But what I should be thinking about all that I have to offer now: intelligence, my ability to handle sarcasm and give it right back, my ability to cook, that I get along with a lot of people, that I am a genuinely nice person, that I have not made any major life mistakes, my hair is finally growing back, my cute freckles, the fact that I finally got the boobs and butt that I had always wanted. In fact, I have a bigger rack than most of the swimmers (considering that swimmers are not supposed to have any drag in the front, aka swimmers boobs) but I have smaller hips than most do, I have little baby hips that I never noticed until Katie and Shaila noticed when we were trying on our fastskin suits. Then it finally made sense to them why I was able to fit into a size 26 suit rather than a 32.
I am lucky that my friends put up with my insecurities during this time- and most of the time I am a very confident person, I think it is just that the wedding is coming quickly and I always have to make sure everyone is happy, so on top of that list I have to make sure that my fiance is number one on that list. I want to make sure that he is fine (well more than fine, happy) to be marrying me and all that comes with me, although I am a low maintenance girl. I always feel like I am responsible for the feelings of others, and Egor is no different. I want to make sure that he is truly content with marrying me. He has, of course, reassured me that he is excited for the wedding and for marrying me. I also don’t think that the whole me being terminal has quite gotten to him because he does not really like it when I say things like “I will leave behind a legacy” and stuff about my timeline. I totally get it, I am probably still in denial of my imminent death, and so are a lot of people. And I think that is ok, because I feel that ignorance is sweet, sweet, bliss.
Ok, so more about my day! Well last night my brother, mom, and I got the pleasure to see Kyle, one of the nurses assistants and hang out with him for like an hour talking about creepy guys, code words, and other things all while watching The Bachelorette. Kyle is a nice and innocent guy who is fun to talk to because he and I share the same sort of humor.
So my radiation trip was very normal and non-stressful considering how bad the last day had been. The weather was humid but raining, however I am not a fan of rain but I loved the humidity because the temperature is perfect! When I got back from radiation I was pleased with meeting a new chemo buddy named Ashleigh. She had just graduated high school and has/had osteosarcoma, which is one hell of a scary disease. Anything with the base “osteo” is never a good diagnosis (as you can probably tell with my “luck” of Ewings sarcoma visiting me twice. Anyways, Ashleigh is a very nice girl who happened to look very good bald, so she was one of the lucky few who does not have a misshapen head. Plus her head was not full of tons of big moles, unlike myself when I was a little baldy. Then my buddy from kindergarten all the way through middle school (he moved to a rival school our sophomore year) Drake came by for a visit. It was so nice seeing him, and it felt like no time had passed between all of the years that we had not spoken. Eden later came to visit me and brought along the movie “Perks of Being a Wallflower”. And oh my goodness, that was such a good movie! I was impressed, and most of all it had a great ending, which is all that I can handle at this point without breaking down and sobbing other than horror films. But I truly recommend this movie to anyone, and I have no clue how I went so long without watching it!
After everyone left, my dad came with Squeeze In burgers for dinner, as I had never tried them before. I was not impressed because it had a lack of seasoning. But it was a nice and juicy burger so that pretty much made up for the taste (not that it was bad at all or anything!) So my dad and I watched one of my favorite fat people show, (other than The Biggest Loser) Extreme Makeover: Weightloss Edition. Now Chopped is on while I am writing this blog. I also accomplished to buy the bridesmaids their gifts: a necklace (which will remain undisclosed until the wedding) that will go perfectly with their dresses, so naturally I am proud of my online shopping skills. I also managed to get some gifts for my kitty Panda- a brush and two toys, and for my dogs Jocelin and Buffy, I got each of them a really cool chew toy that they hopefully won’t tear apart within minutes of me giving them to the dogs.
Also, I forgot to post this earlier, Eden approached me when everyone else was gone and asked me what was on my bucket list. So I had to scroll through my blog to find it, and Eden, bless her heart, said that whatever I was not going to be able to mark off of my list, that she would do it for me at one point. She truly is a great friend to have- we both support each other through our hard times.
I will leave on that good note and write again tomorrow!

I Feel Loved and Special

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Today started out a little rough with a battle with the EMTs (this was a different crew) to let DeAngela ride on the ambulance with me. None of the other crews had any problem with it whatsoever, so I was very confused by this. My nurse Katya believed that they just did not want to take her with us. She defended me by saying that DeAngela is my support system, and that my family cannot be there because they are working. I even added in that I am terminally ill to see if they would change their minds, but all I got was “I do not want to get fired,” which I thought was insensitive. The EMTs made several calls and finally decided to allow DeAngela to ride in the front of the ambulance on my way to radiation. 

At radiation I found out how much of my body is being radiated, and I was shown through dots marked on my skin to outline how far the radiation is going. Basically my whole left chest, about midway to my stomach, and then on the back of those markings too. So that is quite a bit of radiation some sensitive areas- some sensitive enough to get burnt already, after only seven rounds of radiation. I was surprised by this and asked if it was normal, but yes it is normal to get sunburnt from radiation (as I know first hand from my leg) but my left nipple? Yes, I will admit where I am sunburnt. As embarrassing as it is, it is the reality of some of the strange things that come with getting treated for cancer.

I also found out today from Rebecca, my ex-chemo buddy/ bridesmaid’s mother, that I will be having a videographer at my wedding. I am beyond stoked about that, so that this wedding can be shown to people and remembered forever and cherished by my family, as I did with my mom and dad’s wedding video.

Rebecca has so many connections that it never ceases to amaze me. She set me up with one of her friends (who is a hairdresser) who is going to be doing my hair and makeup for me the morning of the wedding. Rebecca also set me up with a salon called EllaBlue, and they offered to do any and all services that they provided for free! This amazed me, I am probably just going to go with a mani-pedi and get my eyebrows waxed (for the first time, and mind you, I have not plucked them while in the hospital so they are not up to par). Unless the salon owner insists that I get another treatment, that will be more than enough for me, it is so generous.

So I did have another major annoyance today. My afternoon nurse is extremely slow and hardly speaks English. It is frustrating trying to communicate my needs and medication. She is very nice but I am unsure of how educated she is in the field of nursing. I had incredibly bad heart burn and wanted to get some medication to help it feel better. She had suggested ambien, which just happens to be my sleeping medication, and I said, rather annoyed,” Uh, no that is for bedtime and it helps me sleep.” She also suggested miralax, which is a stool softener… Yeah not what I needed for my heart burn. Eventually my mom and I made her call the doctor and he prescribed me Tums, and I cannot stand Tums, I swear they make my stomach worse than anything else, it’s just the chalky taste of it and everything about it. Gross. Too bad my chemo buddy Andrew likes them, I have no clue how that is even possible, but whatever floats his boat I guess!

My mom arrived at around 6pm tonight with a gift of Taco Bell, just what I had ordered. I only ate one burrito due to my heartburn and refusal to take Tums, but I was happy nevertheless. She also surprised me with a gift from someone who I did not even know: a painting made by the famous David Garibaldi. Yeah, the guy who paints with music and was featured on America’s Got Talent. I also heard that he just got flown in a private jet to Jay-Z’s mansion in order to paint a picture for him. The picture I got is beautiful and has a message on the back for me that says, “Lauren: Live with passion and purpose. Hope stands for hold on. progress en route.” This was such an awesome gift that will be hanging on my wall as soon as possible. I cannot measure any gifts on a scale of what the best gifts are, because they all came from the hearts of ones who love me, and just having people think about me in such a positive way is fantastic enough for me. For people to go out of their way to make my life/wedding/day a little easier is such a blessing. I truly appreciate that in a way that no words (despite my pretty vast vocabulary, if you ask me) can ever explain. 

My brother also came to visit me in the hospital! I was so thankful to see him, because I missed him a lot, despite being easily overly annoyed by him. He was on a cruise to Alaska and Canada for a week, so he hasn’t been able to see the progress with the wedding planning or with my medical problems either. I was hoping he would come see me before I got released from the hospital. He brought back a few souvenirs for me. He brought a decent sized moose stuffed animal, and on its back tag happened to say “wish” on it somewhere, so I was touched, although I am sure that he did not notice it at all, but I still thought it was cute. He brought me a kind of gag gift of an eagle hat that flaps its wings when you pull on a string. Perfect for me because I am quite the goofy person and do weird things like that all the time. If you have seen my goofy and weird moments, consider yourself lucky! It is kind of a thing I do more around my good friends or if I am in a fantastic mood- like I am now! I will Snapchat funny pictures to my friends and fiance. My fiance and I kind of get into a war of who can make the ugliest faces or just weird facial expressions in general. This proves how comfortable I am with him, so I truly am marrying my best friend, whether it is in a traditional way or not.

So I am done for the night, but today was overall a pretty good day if you asked me! And I am getting closer and closer to being released from the hospital and being able to take an actual shower! Woohoo!

Lazy Yet Productive Day

I finally got to sleep in today! Thank goodness for not having radiation, I slept in until 10 and did not even manage to eat my breakfast. Luckily I had some leftovers from Olive Garden, which I sent my mom out to get me the night before, so I had some nice cheesy pasta to brighten up and start my day.

I had quite a few guests today, but for the first time I had some early guests. At near 11 Jeanne, Dianne, and Aly from the babysitting coop came by to offer their services and to say some words of support for me as well. I have known them for pretty much my entire life and they are a part of a pretty darn huge extended family.We all figured out that we are going to have a decoration and party favor making party a few days after I get home. Basically a lot of the babysitting coop will be over at my house (because we have enough room, although my cat will not be too pleased) to make a tons of crafts to make my wedding have a nice homemade touch, so it does not have the cookie cutter wedding effect. I am more than prepared to try extremely hard to make this wedding work and be perfect for me.

Egor’s (my fiance) mom Irina came by today to check up on me as well as help plan out the wedding with my mom, although Irina confessed that she has absolutely no experience in planning a wedding. Neither am I so that is not considered a bad thing whatsoever. I am actually enjoying planning this wedding. I know how to navigate the computer very well, and with the help of Pinterest it is becoming an easier and easier task. I can find literally anything I want to on the internet, but that does have its challenges because there are so many things to choose from that I get confused and have to choose between two awesome items or designs when I really want both. Yeah, that is a true First World Problem. But it has also made it possible for me to shop without leaving the hospital, because lets be honest, the wedding would not be as far without Pinterest and looking up ideas and dresses online.

At around 3:15, Eden and her mom Rebecca came by to spoil me with mashed potatoes and homemade friend chicken. Yum. As much as I was not hungry, I still wanted to eat more but would not risk having an upset stomach. Irina also brought some Russian food, made with lentils, turkey meat, zucchini, and other yummy items which we used as gravy for Eden’s mashed potatoes.

We all sat around and joked about funny stories for quite a while, then my mom and Irina started to find some poems and vows for the wedding. They were actually pretty darn successful if you were to ask me. I had totally forgotten about the vows and traditions for the ceremony and luckily my mom was on top of that!

Within thirty minutes of everyone arriving I had some surprise guests! Kevin (my bridesman and best friend since about 1st grade) and his brother Ryan (whom I have known since he was running around in diapers) decided to come visit me without telling me. This was a pleasant surprise as I have not seen them in quite a while, too bad I was extremely tired from all of the planning that I have been doing and from the radiation. At 5:30 I ordered to have Ativan from my nurse Robyn because I was getting tired and kind of nauseous, so this would allow me to fall asleep and take a nap. Right as I was getting the medicine, Irina, Eden, Rebecca, and my mom left to go back home. Kevin, Ryan, and my dad stayed behind while I napped because we are so comfortable around each other and do not feel the need to always entertain them. Eventually my dad kicked them out so I could continue to sleep without disturbance.

Since then, I woke up and am currently watching The Next Food Network Star, as I cannot get enough of food shows! Robyn came into my room today wearing a blonde mustache, so my dad and I immediately starting cracking up. This is the sort of thing that I love about staying in this hospital- everyone is so comfortable with each other and know how to have fun. Robyn even gave me a handful of mustaches to wear with my friends, nothing could be more perfect for our personalities!

Well, now I am going to get off and eat a huge cupcake before I go to bed!

Today I Feel… Bridal

I was originally going to post this last night, and I had written what I believe to have been an amazing post- but the internet here in the hospital is kind of shoddy and did not save any drafts whatsoever and when I went to submit my post, it could not be posted because there was still no internet. I was very upset at the time and am still not too happy about having to remember what I had written yesterday and rewrite it again. So, here it goes!
With my last post being about surprises, it took me about 5 hours to write that one blog, and here is why: I started it at 11 at night after being put on all of my night pills and infusions which make me incredibly tired- but I felt compelled to write an incredibly long post because I had a lot to tell. Anyways, I kept on falling asleep and waking back up (all the lights were still on) whenever my night nurse would come in to check my vital signs or do whatever else it is they have to do at night. So I would wake up, write quite a few more lines down, and then fall back asleep. This continued until about 4 in the morning until I decided to finally buckle down and finish it once and for all. Then I finally got to go to sleep and hoped that I would get enough rest for my busy day to come.

When I woke up I was incredibly tired. I had to be up and ready by 11am in order to be picked up by the ambulance to travel 30 minutes to my radiation team. I woke up at about 9, which seems to be enough time to get ready and go, but I got very distracted when I had to check my Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and FML like I do every single morning as part of my routine. I also had to eat some breakfast, and I eat incredibly slow now in the hospital just to make sure that I do not get sick off of inhaling something in the wrong pipe. Then came time to take my shower. Now, this is no ordinary shower that most people have probably have had the privilege to experience it. I basically have to wash my hair in the sink and then use these warm, wet wipes to “wash” down my body. I have to say that nothing can beat a shower at home.

So when 11am came, I was greeted by my EMTs for the day and I was incredibly relieved that they were not the same EMTs that I had for the last two days. They had been really impersonal and preferred to  talk to each other rather than the women they had to transport (DeAngela has ridden with me to my radiation appointments every day without fail). The undesirable EMTs also decided that it would be fun to run over a center divide right before going to the radiation center to save time and hopefully get there on time, although I do not understand the logistics of it, and we were even early for the appointment so the whole ruse was for nothing. Also, they know that they are dealing with a terminally ill patient who has quite a bit of pain, enough so I have a pain pump. Not to mention that having radiation on my organs makes me more nauseous, so what they did was entirely insensitive. They even requested me for a second day and I had no clue that I would be stuck with them again, so needless to say I wasn’t pleased. But I was so relieved when I got my new EMTs (who had apparently taken me on last Friday or Monday). They were much nicer and we could talk a lot with them.

Radiation went smoothly as usual, and I absolutely adore my radiologists, although I think I already said that… I had to take some xrays too of where they were radiating and my radiologist Ben was able to roughly sketch where I was getting my radiation- seems to be mostly a lot of my left lung and heart.

When I came back to the hospital after radiation I was just plain pooped. I could not even take a nap because I had a lot of my best friends coming over to hang out and watch movies. The people who came to visit were: Susette (my best friend as well as one of my bridesmaids), Eden (my ex-chemo buddy and also a bridesmaid), DeAngela (my best friend as well as my maid of honor), Nicole (an ex-teammate from the Gators and whom I competed against in college swim), Morgan and Stephanie McKibben (members of the babysitting coop whom I have known for many years). Susette and DeAngela (as well as my dad) stayed and watched movies with me, which included the scary movie Mama. I am a scary movie junkie, so I have watched most of the classic scary movies that everyone has seen and I have seen more of the very crappy/ almost funny because they are so bad. So naturally I was excited when it came to watching Mama. At one point, DeAngela got so scared and startled that she jumped up and screamed really loudly and scared my nurse, Robyn, who was in my room at the time. Robyn also screamed and jumped, so I was surprised that she did not drop any of the items that she had been carrying. My dad, Susette, and I all laughed so hard that I think we were crying. It was just the funniest thing to me.

Then Susette had to leave and a little while later DeAngela’s wrestling teammate from Kentucky (who just happens to live nearby here in Sac) came by and watched the rest of Mama with us and hung out a while after it had finished. Grant is funny and is not awkward around me or my dad- and my dad can be pretty intimidating with my dad’s different, but amazing sense of humor.

Speaking of my dad, he has been awesome through this whole process. He loves to hang out with me whether it is just walking around the park, swimming, or watching tv- which is normally what we do. We share the love of food and swimming and can be found constantly watching Food Network and the Discovery Channel. He always knows how to make me smile and how to encourage me through my hard times, but then he also knows how to bring me back down to earth and tells me things realistically. That is one thing I am very thankful about, he does not have to sugarcoat things so I know that whatever he is telling me is the truth. I love my dad.

Oh, and why was I feeling so bridal? I had on a white tank top with silver jewels on it that spelled out “Bride” given to me by my cousin. It is a pretty awesome shirt, and I felt very bridal wearing it.

So yesterday was a very good day, and I will probably post later tonight with more news.

Full of Surprises

My day was full of surprises- both the bad and the good surprises.

This morning, Summer Sanders blessed me with her appearance and gave me what my heart had desired: a breakfast sandwich with eggs, sausage, and cheese. You bet it was an amazing sandwich. She then said goodbye as she was going to take her daughter to horse back riding lessons- which is so cool and fun in my book!

After Summer left, I was barraged by basically my whole dad’s side of the family. Ok not barraged, and not everyone was there, but it was a surprisingly big group of people. My grandma Joyce, grandpa Gene, aunt Susan, cousin Anna, and cousin Kristen. They all wished to see how I was doing, since it is hard for them all to get out together considering the age of my grandparents. They are also coming from 1 1/2 hours away, and that can be tough on anyone’s body, nevertheless they are 86 years of age.

My family (plus DeAngela) talked for about half an hour before I had to be whisked away on a gurney to get me on an ambulance so I could get radiation. Seems like a lot of hassle just to go from on place to another? It totally is. However, since I am in the hospital’s care, I cannot simply drive myself to get radiation. I was so not impressed by the EMTs taking care of me. I had them two days in a row and I was dreading it. They were boring and hardly even talked to me or my best friend, as they would rather chat in their own company. The ambulance ride is about 40 minutes, and that is a boring amount of time when you do not have anything to do in the very bouncy ambulance, especially when the ambulance driver loves to ride over curbs to get to places earlier. Yeah, did not sit well with my stomach that gets upset over radiation to begin with.

Luckily, I love my radiologists and they always manage to make me feel light and happy with all of their jokey mannerisms. They do not have the fake happiness and friendliness about them, they are truly enjoyable to be around. I am willing to take the extra drive just to hang out with this group of people for the ten minutes it takes to get irradiated.

After I am back I was completely exhausted, I took 1 mg Ativan to ease my stomach and also make me feel sleepy so I could relax for a while. My family was still there when I came back, but I explained that I was just pooped and not feeling good,so they left about 10 minutes after I came back from radiation.

Oh, I forgot to mention that my aunt brought me a wedding ring that she had as a spare just laying around the house. Also, the ring is in my perfect size of 5.5, has a cute kind of big diamond on top, and it is gold- the same color that my fiance will be getting me. I also chose the band for Egor as well. If you asked me or my mom, it is perfect. I still remember the style of ring he liked from at least one year ago from a casual conversation we had.

I had some friends from high school come visit me as well. Tyler, Troy, Casey, and then Sean came. We got to reminisce about who we were in high school and also had to do our usual gossip where we touched on the subject of an old “best friend” of mine who did not exactly prove himself to be a friend at all when I was diagnosed the first time. Now that I have been given a death sentence, he wants to be a part of my support system and be a friend if mine. This offended me to no end, because there was no way in hell that I was going to let him back in my life after all of the things he put me through in high school when we were friends (which, when looking back, was not a smart move on my part to begin with) so there was no chance for him ever seeing me again, I refuse to deal with the amount of drama that just seems to follow him like a stench that just won’t go away,

Anyways, after my high school friends left, I was left talking to my aunt on my mother’s side of the family. I have been increasingly emotional, which I suppose is normal considering my condition. It is weird for me because I like to keep my feelings locked down, deep down in order to keep people from seeing me cry. In fact, my sob looks better than my regular cry.

Anyways, back to the conversation I was having with my aunt Cathy. Somehow we got on the subject of love. It was brought up that I have in fact never been in love, even though it was something I want so dearly. I want to be in love so badly. I have loved people before and do love people, but I need to add some romance to it. I love Egor, my fiance, but I am not in love with him. I desperately wish that I will fall in love with him and that he accepts that. I have not talked to him about it so I am a little scared. We have agreed to snuggling, the kiss during the wedding ceremony, and holding hands.I do want more than that but I have to respect his wishes, and he was the one who said yes to marrying me. Literally seconds after I found out that I had six months to live (at the time, since then i have been given less time to roam the earth, and yet here I am staying up super late to write this blog entry) so I was so overcome with emotions that DeAngela had to make some calls for me, including to my mother and father, grandparents on both sides of the family, and then of course, Egor was contacted. DeAngela had the pleasure of asking if Egor would marry me, given the circumstances that I would not live very much longer, so Egor, naturally, being the man that he is, said “of course.” Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is how we got engaged. Not the most exciting story to some, but for me, I was thinking that I was taking off the most important item from my bucket list- getting married. To me, it was also so brave of Egor to take on the role of being my husband- especially knowing that I would not be around for much longer. It is so much more than your average best friend kind of thing, it will be the best day of my life, hands down,

I would write more and could, but I keep falling asleep at the keyboard. So goodnight!

Planning for My Wedding

Being married is a very important part of my bucket list and it will be fulfilled on July 6th.

So far, I have said “Yes” to my dress, it is gorgeous but I will keep the details a surprise until I make my debut. I tried on a total of six dresses in the Physical Therapy room of the hospital because it was big enough for my large array of people who wanted to accompany me to pick out my dress. With me I had: my mom, a family friend Cheryl, the two workers from David’s Bridal, my future mother-in-law Irina, and none other than Olympic Gold Swimmer Summer Sanders. A few of my nurses wandered in when they had time, such as Robyn and Katya, and even my Dr. Sonali watched me find my dream dress. The room was full of excitement beaming from everyone. It is not every day that one tries on wedding dresses in a pediatric hospital. When I tried on my last dress (which I chose for last because I thought it would be my favorite) I just knew it was “the one”. Once you find that dress, you do not want to try on any other dresses because you already know that you have found the dress you have been waiting for. I was even able to try on the six dresses with no oxygen, which really tired me out, but I felt accomplished to become detached from tubes for a while.

For my wedding we also have the cake under way, which I designed to be beachy- that is all the details that I will give out. The flowers have also been picked out, but I have not seen them as I have not left the hospital since I arrived a week ago. I did give my mom an idea of what I want for the flowers, but It will be a surprise for even me. We have decided on the catering, which will be some really tasty Mexican food. We have also made some centerpieces which look fantastic to me, a lot of the decorations are going to be home made because in my opinion they end up looking better than store bought decorations, and are more unique as well as less expensive. Yay for a little hard work!

A few hours after I had chosen my dream dress, David’s Bridal staff came back with a seamstress (someone who does alterations) to make my dress fit me like I had imagined it to. Considering that I am much bigger on the top than on the bottom, it is because I have gigantic swimmer shoulders and a teeny tiny, almost non-existent womanly waist. They also made it so that the top was more of a sweetheart neckline and that I had more of what I called a “booty pop”. I also got to try some headbands because I am not going to be wearing a veil, that is just not my style. I will be trying on some more at my second fitting tomorrow. Everything is moving so fast, I am impressed. It shows that all these people truly care about me and want to get my dream wedding done with such a short time limit of three weeks. 

My friend Meagan came and visited me again, just as she had the night before and we really got to bond some more, and we decided that on Friday and Saturday we (along with Susette) will figure out what songs are going to be played on my wedding night, other than the piano that my talented cousin Kristen will be performing for my ceremony.

I also found out that my swim team is having a little get together honoring me on June 28th, which is the day after I get out of the hospital. I am staying in the hospital until Thursday the 27th, and the bonfire get together was scheduled around when I could get out of the hospital, so I am very thankful for all of the people who are supporting me and loving me, and also comforting me through this adventure.

Remember, just because I am dying, doesn’t mean that I cannot live my life out to the fullest every day. I think of all the good things in life, I think of how much I love my parents, my teammates, my friends, my animals (mostly Panda), my grandparents, my other family, my teammates, my nurses and my doctors. I also think about how all of the people who I suggested above truly care about me and love me. It always fills my heart with joy when people say that they want to visit me in the hospital, especially since I am not offering out invitations to come out or asking anyone to come, it is more of just an open invitation that anyone at any time can come visit me from anywhere. I have gotten some beautiful flowers from my friend and ex-classmate Kristin Dong gave me the most beautiful flowers that I have ever seen from Vera Wang. (I did not even know that Vera Wang made flowers! Classy!) I also have various other flowers given from friends of family and the baby sitting coop from back in the day. I have been given a blanket from my future mother-in-law as well, and it is extremely soft. I received a cat hanging on a balloon stating “It’s a Boy!” because in the hospital they did not sell any balloons stating “Congrats on Getting Engaged!” which I thought it was so funny. The cat stuffed animal was chosen because it looks like my baby Panda, and I miss him so much. This was from the Melgoza family. I also have another stuffed animal from someone who’s name escapes me, but it is a cute chocolate lab.

Even though I am dying, I am not sitting in a cave being depressed. I am doing as many things as I can do from the hospital and being peppy and trying to talk to everyone and strike up nice conversations, because you never know if you might brighten up someone’s day. I live every day like it is my last, because last is right around the corner for me, but I stay positive, always. =]

Incredibly Bad News

Well, on Wednesday of June 12 I was feeling a lot of pain and pressure while breathing. I knew that I had to go to the hospital so I asked my best friend DeAngela instead of my parents to take me because I knew they would appreciate sleeping in their own beds for the night. Little did I know that I would be hearing my prognosis the next morning.

6 months. That’s all that I was given to live.I had originally thought that I would beat this disease just as I had done in the past, but fate had another thing coming for me. The chemo did not make my tumors react at all, in fact they had gotten to be bigger and the lining of my lungs were now not really full of fluid, it was more full of the tumor itself. So now draining my lungs is just not an option when it comes to relieving the pressure from my lungs and making it easier to breathe. I will be given 10 radiation treatments to help my breathing and prolong my life. Unfortunately, the treatment for me is just to keep myself more comfortable and live as long as it allows.

Subsequently, I was given a CT scan to further scope out what I am dealing with. Now I am all about going against the prognosis and staying strong- but what I found out next was heartbreaking, I was now given only three weeks to three months to live. This took a huge toll on me both physically and mentally. I had to really think about the bucket list plans that I made earlier. I can no longer fly anywhere and cannot go skydiving. So my thoughts went to getting married. I had the perfect groom in mind, which kind of makes me feel like a creeper, but he is one best for over four years. Egor is also pretty darn attractive if you were to ask just about anyone. And he is a guy who said he would go across the world for me, luckily he only has to go about 7 hours by car to get me.

On the other side of things, I am very unsure of how my family and friends are taking the news. I haven’t even told most of my friends that I only have 3 weeks to 3 months to live. So when I finally post this to my facebook account it will cause quite a stir. I want to be an example for them to live life to the fullest, and that I will block the shit out of them if they dare post a status stating how awful their life is or how their life sucks. I cannot stand the negativity about some people. You just need to think about the positives in life and live by them- no matter how long you have left to live.

Good Day Today

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This is what I have been doing for the last few days, I have been trying to get as much loose hair that has decided to fall out. Luckily now I lose about 5 hairs a day and not a fistful!

Oh the other side of things, my hair is thinner but I can deal with that, I am sure it will come back again and be thicker again. That would be nice! I can tie up my hair a little bit and I guess I need to purchase some hair ties in order to actually use them! That will be an accomplishment as I have not tied my hair up in two years because my hair was not long enough until recently.

I did watch Now You See Me… I will not give anything away, but man, it was such a good movie. It kept me guessing and kept me intrigued. I also laughed a lot during this because the stunts are so cool as well as having likable characters. It is for sure a feel good movie filled with action, magic, and mystery. This has twists that keep coming up until the end. I guess it doesn’t help that I have a thing for Dave Franco… but anyways, it is a must see!

I got my blood drawn today and my counts are good! Blood is a little low, but it should be able to come back up by itself so that I do not have to get a blood transfusion. I no longer have to get my nightly shots so I won’t have to deal with them until after my next week of chemo… so two weeks! 

Man… I want to ask people (guys) if they would find that me having cancer would be a dealbreaker. I want truthful answers that might hurt, but it’s something that I really want to know. Guess I will ask some of my good friends who will be honest with me. And then I will of course have to post the results! 

Sinking Into the Summer Boredom

First off, I did not end up going to the drive-in theaters on Friday. The guys who we were supposed to go with had to cancel due to family plans. However, we have rescheduled for this Friday. Also, tomorrow I am going to go to the movies with a friend from high school to watch Now You See Me. Sounds interesting enough!

Honestly, I am so tired of being home all day. I need to find another hobby and fast! Swimming an hour a day will not cut how bored I get. I mean, I have been playing Pokemon and have logged in about 53 hours in two weeks… Which I have to say is quite an accomplishment if you ask me. I really wish that I would not have to be in the hospital for one week out of every three weeks because I would have been able to have my job coaching, which I was offered by my college coach during Spring Break practice. Next year though for sure!

I have a great announcement! I guess there are some benefits to having cancer (for a second time at that) which I say with a big grain of salt. I would give anything to not have cancer, but since I have it I might as well go as much as I can with it. This includes scholarships and my trip to the Olympic Trials for swim last June. This time I am not eligible for a wish because I was already granted one the first time I was diagnosed. This time around, both my mom and my dad’s work have really helped me out. Two years ago, my dad’s work gave me an iPad2, which I did not want at the time but it has been a total life saver when I spent hours in the hospital a day (I was literally in the hospital more than I was at home). My grandma decided that she was going to send my family and I to Hawaii or Florida to celebrate my remission when it happens, as she did last year. I decided upon Florida because I have found my dream school in that state. Not only that, I love the tropics and on my bucket list is to enjoy a drink on the beach during Christmas. So, my family will be spending a week in Florida for Christmas- much better than the cold weather here in California! My dad’s work gave him an undisclosed amount of money to support our trip and my mom’s bosses are giving her their hotel credit that they have acquired by boarding their employees.

On the menu for tomorrow: waking up after hopefully finding a party tonight (which probably is not going to happen), getting my blood drawn, going to lunch, going to the movies, then swimming! The temperature will be down about twenty degrees, so much more manageable! For now, waiting til my best friend gets off work in about half an hour and seeing if we are going out, and if not, going to sleep with my kitty Panda! So goodnight!

Back in the Pool

Trying to stay in shape! Glad to be back in the pool, was in for about an hour.

I promised that I would get back in the pool and I delivered! I have been in for the past two days and I have been able to work out for about an hour. Now it hasn’t all been swimming, considering that I have only one working lung. My best friend and I push each other to keep working out harder so that we are both able to be our best that we can be. I can honestly say that I am incredibly sore, and man I am really able to create a great workout.

I figure that staying in the pool as long as possible and working out as much as I can will be incredibly beneficial for me. Getting the vitamin D while I can, keeping in shape, and keeping my tan will all make me feel like myself which should cause a decrease in my stress. Hopefully this will help me keep my hair!

I figure that keeping in shape should also help my body deal with the harsh chemicals of chemo. I can use all of the help that I can get!

I get my blood drawn two times a week just to make sure that my blood counts are good and that I do not need a blood transfusion, platelet transfusion, or stay away from crowds because my white blood cells are too low. Already, my veins are shot. They still haven’t recovered from my first diagnosis two years ago. Basically, the veins on the other sided of my elbow are extremely tiny and are not happy at all. Even with a whole year to recover, my veins are still just as bad as they were at the end of my treatment in 2012. This is unfortunate because I am sure soon enough the  phlebotomists will have to use the veins in my hands. Luckily, I have been given numbing cream- and that stuff really works! I cannot even feel when they poke me with a needle if I have the cream on, so it truly is a life saver. 

I am going to be going to the drive-in movies tomorrow and I cannot wait! I love getting out as much as I can while I feel as good as I can, I guess having one whole week where I spend a majority of my time in the hospital really makes me want to escape!