My Day of Pampering!

Today I was woken up, not by my mom, but by my butthead of a cat, Panda. He was in my room at about 9 in the morning and was jumping on my bed and playing with some cords that are hanging off of a metal drawer that my mom has set up for important documents in the corner of my room. He probably played in my room for thirty minutes before becoming bored and leaving. I then actually got up at around 10:30 and promptly sat on the couch due to my burning esophagus. I caught up on the latest episode of “Catfish”, and again, was not surprised when yet another person had been led on through the internet. Man, are they dense! 

DeAngela came over at around 11 and we kind of just sat around watching tv, including my favorite daytime tv shows, “The Chew” and of course, “The Jerry Springer Show”. Yeah, I am so not afraid to admit that I watch that show. It is full of trashy people and ratchets, and I must say that it makes me feel so much better about myself! I am embarrassed to say that I do compare myself to these people though. While sitting on the couch I got quite a few phone calls, so I was feeling pretty darn popular. I believe the first one was from my case manager, Shelly. We were talking about my issue with my esophagus. She immediately sent for a medication to be filled for me at my closest pharmacy to try to alleviate my pain. My mom then called and basically told me exactly what Shelly had literally said minutes before. Then I had a call from the owner of Mikuni’s. This surprised me, and we talked for a little bit and he said that he was forwarding my wish for sushi at my wedding to his marketing team, so I am hopeful that I will get top-notch sushi for my big day (okay, mine and Egor’s big day). I also got a call from my social worker, Troy, to kind of touch base with me for my hospice care. At 3:30, Dee left for what I thought was running errands. I would later find out that is was part of a sinister plan that was in the making (okay, not sinister, but I believe it brings in some suspense).

My mom came home at 4:10ish to take me to my spa day. When we got there, I was surprised to see quite a few familiar faces at the salon waiting for me with balloons, champagne, and tiaras. All in all, the people who were there were Kevin, DeAngela, Sydney, Eden, Rebecca, Ken, Susan, my mom, and then me! The salon name is EllaBlue, and I was astounded by the generosity of the owner, Julie. She offered any and every service for my mom and I, for free. I got a manicure and a pedicure, my eyebrows waxed for the first time (which did not hurt at all), my eyebrows tinted to be a little darker, had my makeup done (testing out for the wedding), and got a spray tan. We all had a fantastic time with food catered by the Habit burger and Noodles and Co. Yeah, I guess you could say I have been spoiled this week, but I guess it is my wedding week, so I am not expecting this treatment after, trust me on that! I was also given a fantastic gift from Eden and her family- toasting glasses! They are beautiful and are engraved with my and Egor’s name and our wedding date. Cute! It was a long day of pampering, we were there for pretty much 4 hours, so I am pooped! Oh, and did I mention that Jamie from EllaBlue has offered and arranged time for me on Friday to give me a facial and eyelash extensions? She is also doing my makeup for my wedding day, if you did not already pick up on that. What a great person (and her crew were pretty darn cool as well).

I got to have a little bit of a mom and I night tonight, as when we got home I pigged out on some leftover Panda Express and brownie pops, trying to gain just a little bit of weight back from what I lost from only being able to eat when my heartburn was not bad. (Oh, and my new medication works like a charm! Thank goodness, I finally have some relief!) We watched some tv and now she is in bed, and I am thinking that I should do the same!

Tomorrow is Fourth of July, and I am pretty excited for it! I will be spending it with my friends and family at my dad’s house. We have a pool there and are holding a party there, which we have been doing since I was little. It will be full of people who I have known for my whole life, and they will all be present at my wedding as well, so I will be seeing a lot of them! I am looking forward to tanning (with actual sun this time) and hitting the pool with my friends and family. 

So, until tomorrow, yours truly,

Lauren

P.S. My case manager let me know that I will be able to get future radiation treatments, so I guess there is a little hope left for me, you never know, I might get that miracle! If not, I plan on staying alive at least until I turn 21. Gotta hit that mark!

My Emotional Rollercoaster!

Today I was woken up at about 11:45 because my mom called my cell phone, so I woke up to it blaring “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore. I have to admit, it is not the worst way to wake up, it could have been an ugly alarm sound but at least it was good music to pump me up in the morning. DeAngela was already in the house and was on the couch and answered the phone for me, then handed it to me, only for my mom to apologize for waking me up and that if I were going out anywhere, some of my medications need to be refilled (a suggestion that I should get my  meds refilled). 

Again, I was stricken by my heartburn-like symptoms, so I was not able to start on the buckets, unlike Dee. I got a phone call from Kaiser, at a number that I was unfamiliar with, as I have gotten a lot of calls from Kaiser and I normally recognize where they are calling from by the number. Turns out it was from the hospice department. She was saying that we were having an appointment at my house, that day, at 1:30. Um, what? I had no clue about any of this, so I was in shock to say the least, but I just went with it. I called my dad to let him know, and he said he would be over by 1:30 for the appointment. My mom also came home in time for the hospice worker to come over for a consultation. Naturally, being on hospice is never a good sign. I already know what is going to happen to me, but I try to not think about it at all and just bury it in the back of my mind. Having the lady there explaining about what hospice offers made my imminent death right front and center. As much as I want to stay positive and hope that everything will be okay in the end, I do not want to get that false hope in something that I have been guaranteed will happen. The hospice lady said that the best case scenario would be that I get kicked out in three months because I will no longer be terminally ill. I was given at most three months to live, however I plan on living longer than that. That is how I will stay hopeful- by living longer than I was told I would. Not getting cured, because that is an incredibly long shot, but just living long enough to fully accept what will happen to me. As much as I say that I have accepted the fact that I am going to die at a young age, I really haven’t thought about it too much. And I often say that I am more worried about how my friends and family are going to cope without me and deal with my loss; however I am scared to die. Straight up, I do not want to die. I feel like I have so much more to offer the world than I have in the past 20 years. If I had another 20, I believe that I could really contribute a lot to society. I have always wanted to start a family, as I know for a fact that I would be a good mom (if you see the way I treat my cat Panda then you would understand as well) and would raise a great child. I will not be able to accomplish that, but I will be able to be a good wife for the time that I have left. A great one, in fact. I have seen what it takes to have a successful relationship, what not to do and what to do, first-hand so I have learned so much from what I have seen. Whether it is from my friends’ relationships, my mother’s, and my friends of family’s relationships, I always take notice of the little things that make a great and lasting relationship. As much as this marriage won’t be lasting a very long time, it is taking into account the “through sickness and in health”, “for better or for worst”, “until death do us part.” I guess that is all that I can truly ask for in a marriage. So I will have to thank Egor for marrying me- I cannot thank him enough for making me his bride. It takes a lot of courage to jump into a marriage, especially one where you have not dated each other. At least we are best friends and always will be, this will make us even better best friends.

Oh, I guess I got a little off track. The hospice appointment is not exactly what I thought it was going to be like. Mostly just saying what they offered, such as 24/7 nurses available, volunteers available, etc. And some paper signing, mostly confirming that we understand what was offered to us. I started crying, because talking about me dying is an incredibly sensitive subject, so my parents were hugging me and supporting me while I was wailing. I absolutely hate crying in front of anyone and try not to at any cost, but I just had to let it go. Even the hospice lady cried for a second- somehow I think that they do not have as many cases of young people going into hospice, so this really touched her. After learning how to use my oxygen machine, the lady left.

My dad and DeAngela stayed to watch some tv about extreme couponers, whom we all agree on are hoarders and greedy little pigs. They need to not have this huge stockpile of food and supplies that will expire by the time they use them. They need to donate a lot of their items, otherwise it is such a waste, no matter if they spent any money on the items or not. Then we ended up watching River Monsters, which is much more interesting. Man, there are some crazy scary fish out there!!! 

Eventually everyone left and I sat on the couch watching another program on animal planet while waiting for Chopped to come on. My dad came back to watch that show with me, as we share the love of that show. Tuesday nights are Chopped nights with my dad.

Jeanne came over to go over the vows and other things, as she is going to be the officiant for my wedding. While she is nervous, she is so excited to be representing something so important in my wedding. 

Well, I am pretty darn tired right now, so I will stop writing right now! Goodnight, and I cannot wait for my wedding in a few days! Woohoo!

Your Soon-to-be-Bride,

Lauren =]

Getting Ready for the Wedding- My Turn for Physical Work!

So yesterday I was not able to post because I was literally falling asleep at 9 while browsing on the internet. Clearly, the power of the radiation has made me a bit less of a night owl than I have been in the last month, which is a shame because I love writing my blogs at around 10 or 11 every night.

Yesterday I slept in until about 12, which is more than I have slept in for years, at least that I can think of, because I like waking up a bit earlier so as to not waste the day, even though most of the time I will spend the extra daytime to watch tv and surf the internet, but for some reason sleep seems like more of a waste of time- don’t ask, it is one of my weird quirks.

Anyways, I was lazy most of the day until about 2, when my mom came back from Shane Co. with the wedding band that I had chosen (as another company had messed up and shipped the wrong ring, which was gold rather than the white gold that I had ordered) and picked up the silverware and dinner plates for the wedding at probably four different Smart and Finals. You could say she probably took the whole stock of dining ware from each of the stores, which I find pretty darn funny. She also went to K-mart (I don’t remember why she did) and found a perfect pair of wedding shoes there for herself, which is amazing, because K-mart is not where you expect to find cute shoes.

When my mom got back from all of her errands, we went shopping for shoes for myself at DSW. I found the cutest sandals with lots of bling that are comfy enough to stand in all day. You could say that I fell in love with the shoes, and they will go fantastic with the dress- as my dress is the perfect length for sandals. 

After finding the perfect shoes, which took no time at all, we stopped by my favorite sushi restaurant to try to get them to cater for the wedding. Unfortunately, they open at 12 and I would need the sushi by 10. I was not pleased by this at all, because a lot of people are expecting sushi (including me) so I will have to ask a lot more sushi restaurants if they can cater at the early time, because it has been my dream to have sushi at my wedding, especially since it is a beach themed wedding. After the disappointing visit, my mom and I had a much more successful time at Michael’s, an arts and crafts store. I always love shopping at Michael’s because they have incredible finds that you would never expect to find. We found tons of great things to decorate the wedding favors and for the actual decorations for the  tables and other places. We found shells, cute and beachy stickers, sequins in many shapes and colors that go with the theme, and just other goodies that I will find good use for. After that, my mom and I headed towards the Hallmark store for toasting glasses but came up empty handed- the only things they had were literally hillbilly goblet-like champagne glasses, and those certainly were not going to work. Then we went next door to a Target to look for miscellaneous other goodies. We ended up getting a lot of soccer cones, which surprised me, because I had no idea what they could possibly be for. My mom later explained that it was for marking out certain parking spots for my grandparents, as my grandpa has a hard time getting around, so he will get a spot nice and close to the ceremony. We also bought some diet cat food for my kitty Panda, as he is no longer an outdoor cat. We bought some cute pinkish-coral buckets to hold the silverware that will be bundled in napkins to make setup for lunch at the wedding faster and easier. We also picked up some cold drinks at the register because the 100 plus degree weather was wearing us down was not too pleasant. As we were heading back to the car, I got a call from a number that I thought was my dad, reminding me to come over to call the bank so that my recent (and somewhat suspicious) purchases can be confirmed by me so that they do not freeze my account. However, when I answered “Hi Dad,” I was greeted with the voice of a woman. The woman’s name is Cricket, and I have known her for a very long time due to my swimming with her daughter since I was 12. I was shocked that she had called me and told me that her daughter, Courtney (whom I also swam with, but not as long) and some of her army friends (yes she is in the army as well) had raised some money to help me with the wedding. This really touched my heart, because I was not really close to Courtney, and her troop members cared enough about my situation that they would give their hard-earned money to someone that they did not know. Cricket told me that Courtney had read this blog and was moved by it, enough to raise money for me and my big day. After I got off of the phone with Cricket, my mom and I drove to my dad’s house- not only to clear up the suspicions of my spending, but also to let Cricket come by and give me the check. It was a brief visit at my dad’s house because I was utterly exhausted from just a few hours of shopping and I needed to lie down to recuperate my tired body. 

Now onto today’s activities! I slept in until about 11:30 today, despite going to bed by 9:30. My heartburn-like symptoms continued again with the start of the morning. I was also pretty nauseous, so thanks radiation for all of these nasty side effects, however the benefits of breathing far outweigh the negative side effects of discomfort/pain. I took some of my meds to try to make the pain more bearable, and they did the trick for the most part. I still was uncomfortable so I stayed on the couch until about 2:30, when I took a shower to get ready for my future mother-in-law’s visit (she had tried to call me but I was asleep, so at about 12 she called my mom asking to visit and to help out with the decorations, which was fantastic in my book). At around 3 Irina came and brought over some decorations of her own and some beautiful big shells that can be placed throughout the wedding if it will look good. I showed Irina what the collages are going to look like- there is one of just me, one of just Egor, and one of us together (which is my personal favorite, it is so cute!). I then showed her the wedding band that I had chosen for Egor, and she happily approved of it. Irina then had a surprise for me- a necklace made of three rings of pearls. They are beautiful, and i know it will go perfectly with my dress. My mom was a little jealous because she wanted me to wear her pearl necklace, but in the end I will choose which one looks best on me on my wedding day. 

About twenty minutes later, DeAngela came to help out with decorating 21 buckets for the 21 tables. The buckets are going to hold the silverware, which will be wrapped in napkins, so naturally they have to be decorated and nice and beachy. I have always felt that homemade decorations look much better than store-bought ones, especially when it comes to weddings. It creates more of a personal connection to the wedding, and even though it makes for a whole lot more time and effort spent on them, they are always worth making. I must say, I am pleased with the work that Irina, my mom, Dee, and I accomplished today. Tomorrow, with the help of Eden, we will be able to finish the buckets. We spent about two hours today working on them and are only completely finished with some components of the buckets, but with our group of three we will be able to finish them in probably another two hours, not too bad in my book.

After my mom and Irina finished their part of the buckets, I decided it was time for Dee and I to stop with ours, especially because my back was starting to hurt and I was already getting tired (again, thank you radiation). I vacated to the couch to get some rest for my back, as well as some rest in general. At this point, my dad came over so we could watch some Food Network, a show that we share together. Irina left so that she could make dinner, although we offered for her to stay and eat some enchiladas that Carl (my mom’s boyfriend) brought over from a friend. So it was my dad, mom, Mark (my brother), Dee, and I eating enchiladas and watching Iron Chef America. At 8, when the show was over, I politely texted Dee and asked her if I could just have some family time, and she obliged. Then my dad, Mark, and I watched a new Discovery Channel show titled Naked and Afraid. It was really weird; people have to survive in their birthday suits for three weeks off of the land, whether it is Costa Rica or in Africa. It is a new concept of the people not wearing any clothes whatsoever, I would need a pair of shoes, underwear, and a sports bra at the least in order to try to participate in that show. Also, the people lose about 25 lbs each, which is more than I can afford to lose. I am watching my second episode of it right now, and I have to say each person on it could lose a little bit of weight (although in a healthy way) and look and feel much better. However, losing it in just three weeks, it was a little scary. Oh, and I am the only one watching this episode about two people surviving on the African Serengeti, and I have to say it is much easier to write when I am by myself, all of my ideas just flow when I am alone. So the first part of my writing started at 8 when I was not alone because I wanted to actually write a blog today instead of falling asleep and leaving people possibly worried that something has happened to me, other than just being incredibly tired.

Well, now I am going to go to end this blog, tomorrow will be filled with more decorating and possibly me buying more sequins and beads and whatnot for the wedding, as well as two glass containers to disperse tropical fruit juice for the wedding, just to feed to the beach theme.

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!