Thursday, June 27, 2013


I just wanted to give a quick update on here because I know a lot of people are hearing things and wondering how I'm doing, but I really haven't been up to talking much about it. Number one reason being I have horrible sores lining my throat so it is often literally painful to talk! So here is my tale of my most horrific cancer experience yet:

It all started probably around Saturday (the 22nd) when I jinxed myself by saying, "Wow, if this is as bad as it gets, this is my best chemo yet!" Ha ha. Monday night I started to feel really bad. I threw up many times during the night and knew I had a fever because I was FREEZING. By Tuesday morning I was in bad shape. Michael had already gone to work and it took all my energy to get from my room to the living room where the thermometer and my cell phone were. I took my temperature and it was over 104 degrees! My body ached, I dared not leave my throw-up bowl, I was freezing, I had a high fever, a sore throat, and I was out of it. I called the cancer center and they told me to get my booty over to the ER. Luckily, the first person I called (Allie, who is awesome) answered her phone and acted like there was nothing she would love more than to drive me to the ER.

After many hours and many tests they found that my counts were horrible (my white blood cell count was .2 and I had 0 neutrophils). So pretty much any kind of bacteria or virus could have made me sick. They sent me up to the ICU and I was there for 2.5 days. They found out that the cause of my sickness was one puny little bacteria which would not have done anything to a healthy person, but could have seriously have taken my life if I'd tried to just tough it out a bit longer. (I'm being a little melodramatic here, because with a fever that high there's no way I would have just stayed home. Just let me be melodramatic so we can all appreciate my presence in this world that much more.)

Anyway, I have been given so many medications, it's crazy. But I have now graduated from the ICU to the normal hospital. I still don't feel great, but I feel awesome compared to the last few days. We are waiting for me to go 24 hours without a fever and for my counts to come up so I at least have some sort of immune system before I go home. Alright, I actually have some funny stories and thoughts about the whole experience, but I will save them because I am exhausted. I just felt the need to post this and let everyone know what's happening. I have felt the love and the prayers.

Monday, June 3, 2013

New Drugs

I finished my first round of the new drugs! I had to stay in the hospital for 5 days while they infused me with the new chemo drugs (Ifosfamide and Etoposide). I was really nauseous, sleepy, and fatigued for 3.5 days after I left the hospital, BUT less nauseous than with doxorubicin and cisplatin.
I have no recollection of this picture being taken. Ha ha.
Also, it's the only picture of me from this round of chemo.
I also had the grand experience of getting sick (like, some kind of infection) for my first time since my diagnosis. As you guys probably know, chemotherapy compromises your immune system so it's really easy to get sick. Another result of chemotherapy is that your body can't really fight off infection. So when I got the chills and took my temperature I was pretty freaked out. If I get a fever of over 100.4 degrees, I'm supposed to immediately call the cancer center, so I did, thinking they would for sure admit me to the hospital. The on-call oncologist told me to just monitor my fever over the next 24 hours and call if nothing changed. What? I mean, having never had a fever before as a cancer patient, I may have been a little melodramatic about the whole situation, but within the next few hours I got bad headaches, a sore throat, and my fever got up to over 102 degrees. So I continued to harass the on-call doctor a few more times that night and the next morning. He prescribed me an antibiotic and told me I would be just fine. And I was. Turns out he actually knew what he was talking about. The bummer was that I had just started to recover from the chemo when I got the fever, so my "feel good" time was reduced by a few days, but fortunately I'm feeling great right now. 

So great, in fact, that I was able to go to the Taylor Swift concert last night with Michael, my sister, and our friend, Melanie. Oh boy, I'd forgotten how loud concerts are! Every time Taylor Swift made her "Blue Steel" face, I knew to plug my ears because that crowd of 14,000 women got LOUD. It was a lot of fun, though. I've always liked Taylor Swift and as an added bonus Ed Sheeran performed and he was also incredible. 

It's a little dark, but hopefully you can still
see us standing in front of T Swift's huge face!
Michael's "I'm too cool to be here" face. He used to love
Taylor Swift. When I ask him what happened, his response
is "I became a man." Ha ha.
Little sissy.
Okay and now since I am super behind on posting pictures, you get a random spattering of pictures from the last few months.
My best friend from high school, Monique, flew all the
way to Utah to visit. Sadly, this unflattering picture of me
is the only one we took of us while she was here. 
Something too many people take for granted is being physically able to leave the house and go on dates with their spouse. I think dating is crucial to having a happy marriage and although poor Mikey has a wife that only has one functional leg, is usually sick, and often gets tired after standing for 60 seconds, we do try to have fun at home still.  For example, Michael and I made a fort over our bed. We used one of my crutches to hold up one side though, so I just couldn't leave the house for a few days while we left the fort up. Ha ha. We definitely have our priorities straight. Also, check out that hair! This was before I started chemo again and it actually got about an inch long. I miss it.

This is what happens when you try to include two people
and a bed fort in a selfie. 
You eventually have to give up on including the fort and
 just take a picture of yourselves.
I also just realized that I did not post any pictures on here of my leg post surgery. I have some truly disgusting pictures of my leg from when the incision was open and not healing, but just in case some of you have eaten recently, I will not post those on here! You may still want to use caution before looking at these next pictures though. 
This picture shows how atrophied my left leg became after
not using for about a month. It's a little thicker now that
I'm putting some weight on it, but still pretty skinny.

My leg stitched up after my second surgery to
close the incision. Believe it or not this is
BEAUTIFUL compared to my leg before.