*Disclaimer: This was actually written on Friday.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
*Disclaimer: This was actually written on Friday.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
One thing I thought would be fun is to document the changes in my appearance. Since that last week in the hospital I have been taking selfies every now and again without wearing make-up so you can see what I really look like. Here are those gems:
|Nov. 13 2013 (Last week in|
|Nov. 19 2013|
|Dec. 11 2013|
|Dec. 16 2013|
|Dec. 26 2013|
|Dec. 29 2013|
|Dec. 31 2013|
|Jan. 7 2014|
|Jan. 16 2014|
|Jan. 28 2014|
|Feb. 10 2014|
I am loving the way I look. Especially when I look at the stark contrast between that last week in the hospital and now. It doesn't even bother me that the hair in the center of my head sticks straight up. I just love that I have enough hair for it to do that. Here is a better angle of my funky hair that doesn't stay flat and a picture of the first day in a year I woke up with bed head.
Now, this is going to seem callous, and it's possible that later I will want to get into all the touchy feely details of how my life drastically changed after finishing chemo, but for now I will give you the whirlwind summary. A week and a half after finishing chemo, I spent an amazing Thanksgiving weekend with my entire family. Five of them (my dad, my brother Daniel, his wife Sheree, my sister Amber, and her fiance Jonathan) left in my dad's plane to go home after Thanksgiving and the plane went missing. They were missing for over a month, and in that time we suffered immensely. We felt pretty sure they had passed away, but hoped and prayed with all our hearts they were still alive. A huge blessing was that Michael and I went to Brazil with his family for two weeks, which was a nice almost-escape from the anxiety. We came back to Provo and the next day flew to San Jose to be with family on what would have been Amber and Jonathan's wedding day (January 4). Thousands of people helped in the search for the plane and on January 10 they found it. Everyone had died on impact on December 1. Michael and I were supposed to move to Wisconsin on January 15, but a week before moving we decided to move to San Jose instead. So Michael turned down his incredible job offer and we packed up and moved job-less into my mom's house in San Jose. Best decision ever. Anyway, there was a beautiful memorial held for all five of our family members that passed away on February 1 and I gave my baby sister's eulogy. Michael and I are now both applying for jobs.
Wow, talk about a loaded paragraph. Anyway, I just wanted to blurt that out and let you know what's been going on these past few months. For today I only have one comment on all that happened. Cancer seems like old news. Once my family disappeared I was like, "Whaaaat? I thought my life was hard because I had cancer? What a joke." I get the feeling that's how life is. Each trial puts the previous trial into perspective. Enjoy life now, regardless of your circumstances. I thought my life was hard, but it turns out that having cancer is one of the best things that ever happened to me because of the closeness I had with my family during that time, both physically and emotionally. Literally, knowing what I know now, if someone approached me a year ago and said "You can have $1 million or cancer" I would take the cancer. Ahh, the curve balls life throws us.
|My family Thanksgiving weekend|
Sunday, November 10, 2013
As I was saying, though, there is other big news. We are moving... to... WISCONSIN! I never in a million years dreamed I would one day be living in Wisconsin, but we're doing it! Michael got an incredible job offer from an incredible company (what can I say? He's brilliant) and I'm really excited about it. He'll begin work at the beginning of February and it just feels like the perfect thing to do. After a crazy year, I just need to get out and start fresh somewhere as a non-cancerous woman.
|Cheese seems to be the only thing anyone|
(including myself) knows about Wisconsin.
But really, what else do you need to know
when deciding to uproot your life and move
|Too tired to turn and face the camera. Even|
though neither of us is looking, I kind of
love this picture.
|That one time Michael brought the Atari for me to play at|
|I don't remember this, but judging from the shirt it was|
|Because I know everyone loves PDA on|
the Internet. Just kidding, but it's my blog
so I do what I want. Boo ya.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Guys, guys! I am in the middle of my last round of chemo!! Yes, you heard me correctly... LAST! In fact, I am done with all the chemos that are really scary for me (doxorubicin, ifosfamide, etoposide, and cisplatin). Actually I don't think etoposide is really a big deal, but it's hard to tell because they always give it to me with ifosfamide, which is scary for my immune system.
Anyway, my last "scary" chemo consisted of doxorubicin and ifosfamide. That one is a double whammy because the dox makes me sick. So sick, in fact, that I truly feel ill even thinking about it. And like I said, the ifosfamide is horrible for my immune system, not to mention my bladder. You may recall that ifosfamide (better known as ifex) really did a number to my bladder, so the fact that I had to get it again was scary. Dr. Litton got me all freaked out about how if the bleeding in my bladder didn't stop, I would have to get my bladder removed. Um, what? Granted, he said it was like a 1% chance, but still! Can you imagine a more horrifying thought to a 23 year old girl? You probably can. Regardless, we felt it was important for me to do this round inpatient so we could protect my bladder as I was receiving the chemo. I will, again, spare you the details, but it was a long 8 days in the hospital.
Me on day seven: Man, I need to get out of here! I am getting some serious hay fever.
Mom: Um, you mean cabin fever?
Ah, yes. The hospital was not giving me bad allergies, but rather making me go crazy from being couped up indoors. Anyway, I am still feeling crazy fatigued blah blah blah. I feel like me blogging about feeling sick and tired is getting repetitive. More exciting is the fact that Michael has been applying to jobs, and two of the companies paid for both of us to fly out, eat, and stay in a hotel so Michael could interview with them. Yay! So we got two all expenses paid vacations to Texas and Wisconsin! It was so fun, and although we're still deciding on what to do, both were excellent experiences in their own ways. I don't have any pictures in Texas, but there are a few from Wisconsin. Maybe I'll show you those in my next post since I don't have my camera with me.
Also, I know there's like this unspoken/spoken rule about never posting selfies because they are lame, but I think if you have a day where you feel good about the way you look, and publicly documenting that day makes you feel better, you should do it. Having said that, 90% of the time, I actually look like this:
Friday, October 4, 2013
...is awesome. I'm not being sarcastic, I just love it (at least this week. Who knows about next week).
I was supposed to be in the hospital this week for high-dose methotrexate, but when I checked in to the hospital, they did a blood test and my platelets were too low so they sent me home. I was originally super bummed about having to put off chemo for a week, but I realize now how much my body needed this break. I've been able to sleep in late, get stuff done at home, use the bathroom an almost normal amount, enjoy food again, and hang out with the coolest husband ever.
-Eating the majority of a cookie sheet full of homemade nachos with Michael
-Watching an entire season of Parks and Rec in like... 4 days
-Going to the temple with Alicia for her birthday
-Welcoming Brian (my brother-in-law) home from his mission in Russian and the Baltic States
-Getting the stove cleaner than I've seen it in years
-Talking to my aunt Melissa on the phone
-Having energy and motivation to do things! Having cancer makes you feel like the laziest bum ever so it was nice for the fog to clear and for me to feel almost normal again.
Friday, September 20, 2013
Oh, what a pleasant last week it's been. Ha ha. I tend to share really personal things on here, but the nature of my latest chemo adventure just does not allow for full disclosure. I will try to tactfully explain what's going on without going overboard on the TMI.
So what is my latest body part affected by the chemo? My. . . bladder! Trust me, this is a part of your body you want to function properly. My latest chemo was five days in a row of both ifosfamide and etoposide. Ifosfamide is known for irritating the bladder, so, like always, they gave me a drug called mesna to help protect the bladder. Clearly it did not work this time around.
I was in a lot of pain Saturday through Wednesday, having these horrible bladder spasms. When I would have one I imagine it was like a contraction. I couldn't talk through it, sometimes tears, usually squeezing anything close to me tightly until it was over. Saturday night I went to the ER where they guessed I had a UTI. They gave me some morphine while there, sent me home with some medications, and said it would clear up soon.
The ER communicated with the cancer center about what had happened and as soon as the cancer center was open again on Monday, they called me. They are much more familiar with my chemo regimen and side effects and things. They told me they didn't think it was a UTI and recommended I go to the hospital immediately. So I packed a small bag and headed to the hospital. I expected to leave within a day or two, but boy was I off. It is now Friday and I am still here.
This is where I will majorly gloss over the details. It turns out my bladder is just really irritated. They have tried a ton of things to get me better. Luckily, I'm not really having the bladder spasms anymore, I'm just painfully using the restroom every fifteen minutes to one hour, which is annoying, but a serious improvement.
Why am I still at the hospital? Mostly because my counts are just so low. Despite getting three units of blood and two units of platelets, things continue to drop, specifically my platelets. Platelets are what help you to stop bleeding if you get a cut or something. They are nervous to send me home because if my platelets continue to go down, my bladder will continue to be irritated and bleed even more. Yeah, not a pretty picture.
So I'm just chillin here at the hospital, using the bathroom way too much, and waiting for my counts to come back up.
Question: How many times did Crystal use the bathroom from 10:15am to 10:15pm (a twelve hour period)?