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!

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.

Surgery and Chemo Aftermath- 3 weeks

Well, I guess that I should continue writing here on a more regular basis in order to keep my thoughts in line and let people know how I am doing, whether they are strangers or friends, I will keep this as real as I can- however I can tell you that while I am a very optimistic person, I do have some dark and cynical thoughts towards the whole subject of me getting cancer for a second time. I will be posting all of my thoughts here, the good and the bad. I only post optimistic and happy statuses on my Facebook account because I refuse to let people worry about me or think of me as just being the sick girl who complains constantly (which I really don’t by the way).

So to get this started, I had six incisions given to me in the surgery ward. Two were designated for my port. One was for the line of the port to connect it to a main vein to my heart and the other was a pocket for the actual port itself. Since this time I will not be hospitalized for my chemo they gave me a single port instead of a double one (which I had last time and it really stood out as something that was not normal, while my new port looks like maybe a big mosquito bite, so not bad at all). Two of my other cuts were for a microscope to look around for my tumors along my ribs and in the areas around the left lung- and then they stuck in a chest tube in the same area that they had biopsied in order to suck out the fluid surrounding my lungs, as my lung was collapsed and they were trying to make it easier to reflate. The last two incisions were made on my hip bones, where I had my bone marrow aspirations and also biopsies, where I am told that they took a tiny chip of the bone itself as well as the marrow. (which completely explains why that hurt the most out of all of my operations.

Now, after almost three weeks after the surgeries and my first round of chemo I am feeling incredibly good. Like so good, that I got impatient and went swimming while my scars were still healing, so it hurt a little bit but I pulled through and got my workouts in while I could.

On Thursday the 23rd I went to my swim team banquet and got to see all of my swim team friends and discovered just how good of a support system they are. They presented me with a quilt that was hand-made and had patches where each person on the team got to write and draw their own square with what they wanted to say to me. They were all so cute, some of them funny, and made me realize that the team loves me as much as I love them. Another great part of that night (aside from seeing everyone) is that I discovered that I had made an All American time- even though I was unable to swim at state. My conference time was good enough to stay in the top 16 times in the state, so I was elated at this unexpected event.

Then on Saturday the 25th I went clubbing in San Francisco with some of my buddies from swim team (who all happened to be All Americans too) and my best friend DeAngela and her wrestling teammate from Kentucky. Needless to say we had a fantastic time. I danced so much that my hair looked like I had gotten straight out of the pool. Crazy. What I did like about it was the amount of attention that I was receiving. I have never had so many guys after me as I did that night. It was flattering, and sometimes a little annoying at how persistent some guys can be when it comes to wanting to dance with you no matter what. But the attention made me feel pretty and wanted, which is more than I can say how I feel like I have been received as in college.

And now that I am on the subject of feeling wanted and whatnot, I feel pretty unwanted when it comes to dating. Now more than ever. I was talking to this guy from my team and thought that maybe I could like this guy, but he got what he wanted and hardly even talks to me anymore, which I think is super rude considering that we are still friends and above that teammates. But whatever, I am unsure of whether I liked him or not or was a fan of the attention, either way I still want an explanation of what happened, except I am a little too afraid to ask about that.

And another thought, it is kind of sad that I think about this, but I feel like people who I have talked to but never ended up getting in a relationship with for one reason or another, I feel like they are relieved that nothing ever blossomed between us. I mean, it is very hard to ask someone to be your boyfriend when you are going through chemo. Trust me, I’ve tried, and it did not work out too well, but that was my fault for putting too much pressure on the poor guy.

Now more than ever I figure that it will be harder for me to find a good guy because of my health problems. It will be more difficult to meet new people if I am not going to be in school for at least one semester and possibly a whole year. I am going to stay active through all of this and try to get out and meet as many new people as I can. I mean, I will be swimming every single day that I feel good once chemo is over for the week. I will be able to work out almost 2 weeks out of 3… So I guess that isn’t too bad at all. Just because I have cancer doesn’t mean that I have to look or act the part. I will not be a victim of this disease and will fight it and defeat it just as I have done two years ago.

Tomorrow marks my next round of chemo and Ill be very honest, I am scared, mad, anxious, anticipating on how I will be feeling after it. Luckily for anti nausea drugs I will hopefully not be puking my guts out. So far I have been lucky and have saved myself every time that I have almost thrown up. I want that to continue so that this chemo can be as comfortable as chemo can be for a 20 year old girl.