Wrapping up 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2015

On March 16, 2015, only three months into the year, I wanted the year to be over.

Here we are, NYE 2015 and I am not sure how to properly say goodbye to 2015.

2015 was a lot of things. It was hard. It was sad. It was difficult. It was challenging. It was happy. It was bittersweet. It was good. It was bad. 

If I had to pick one word to describe 2015 it would be defining. This was a defining year for me. Obviously my diagnosis and the way it has changed my life is pretty upsetting, but I would not call this the worst year of my life. I mean, I am still here, still standing (a bit more wobbly than before but standing), and I am looking into a year that only holds good things. 

I learned a lot of things this year. Some were things I could have done without, but they came with the territory so I learned them. I am not the same person I was when 2015 started. That fact is both good and bad, but also a little sad. 

I see pictures from last NYE and it is crazy to think about all I had coming. It almost scares me in a way that the same could be said for this coming year, but I refuse to go there. I truly believe 2016 will be good. Not every moment, but I believe there is good to be had. 

I am not sure why this year happened to me. I kind of want a chance to redo it! I honestly cannot believe all that I went through this year. If someone had told me last year at this time that I would spend the majority of the next year fighting cancer, I would have lost it. At the time, that was my worst nightmare. It isn't anymore. For someone who spent the majority of their life extremely healthy, I feel like I conquered this year quite well. It takes less to scare me now. 

2015 will forever be the year marked by cancer. I don't think there is any escaping that, but there were also good things buried throughout the year. I met some awesome new people who I hope will continue to be my friends. My friends and I were able to do several little trips we had always talked about. I lost some weight (hopefully all you reading this have a sense of humor). I got to be home for my brother's senior year which was unexpected, but ended up being a good thing. I still got to take a little road trip with my mom and see One Direction. I had a really awesome 20th birthday all the way back in January. I got to see my aunt and/or some cousins just about every month after I was diagnosed. I got to see and experience first hand how kind people can be.  I got to see Amy Schumer. Probably the year's biggest highlight was getting Stanley!!! It may sound weird or pathetic, but that little dog did so much for me mentally. It sounds so cheesy, but he really brought so much happiness and laughter to me and my family. I am so thankful for him!

I am sure that I could list more, but you get the point. I would not have gotten this far without my family and all of you. I do want to especially list my mom. She has not left my side (literally) these last 9 months. She spent every night in the hospital with me and never complained when I asked her to get me food. She has done so much for me. I truly would not have gotten through any of this without her. 

I have a lot of hope and peace for 2016. 16 has always been my favorite number. I am not gonna say my family deserves a break because I don't believe that is how it works, but if it is then DO YOU HEAR ME UNIVERSE? I am hopeful that next NYE I will be back to celebrating with my friends in a cute outfit with hair on my head. May 2016 be filled with hair, plenty of eating, and NO hospital visits! As the poster some of my favorite people gave me last Tuesday says: the best is yet to come. I truly believe that. For all of us. 

So peace out 2015. You certainly left your mark but it is time for you to go. Far away. *insert door slamming noise*. 

I wish all of you a very happy and safe NYE! May your 2016 be filled with much love, hope, and good health. 

Ho, Ho, Ho, I am DONE With Chemo

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Where to even start?

I have sat down multiple times to try to figure out what exactly I wanted to say. I am still not sure I am 100% there, but I figured I would give it a shot. 

Many of you are probably expecting to hear how I celebrated being done with chemo. Maybe I threw some big party or had a bunch of friends over. Maybe we had some fancy dinner.

The truth is?

I came home Tuesday and had a mental breakdown and then went to sleep. Not as exciting as you probably expected!

Backing up just a bit, Tuesday was a very, very exciting day. I am not disregarding that fact at all. I am SO INCREDIBLY happy to be done, I don't think I can emphasize that enough. We got to the clinic around 9 and the last push of chemo was done by 10 after 11. I got to ring the "all done" bell. Twice actually. Apparently, the nurses did not think I rang it with enough gusto the first time! 

The head nurse (I don't exactly know her title, but she does all the coordinating and planning aka the hard stuff) gave me the biggest hug and cried. We ADORE her and we definitely would not have made it through this experience without her. It was extremely touching to see all this people be so happy for me. Of course, I am not leaving you guys out either! All the messages I recieved made my day! I did a terribly crappy job of responding, but I read them all. It is so much more exciting to have good news when you have people to share it with! 

After we left the clinic, my mom and I did go to lunch and CVS. I bought a new mascara in preparation for my eyelashes to come back (!!!!!!!) since I haven't worn any in months. It is extremely exciting to think of stuff like that now!

Once we got home, I went a little crazy. I think it was a mixture of so many emotions and exhaustion. It felt like all the emotions of the last 9 months erupted. I haven't had a freak out like that in a long time. I finally just took some nausea stuff and fell asleep. 

This may be hard to understand unless you too have experienced it, but there are just so many emotions that come with treatment ending. Obviously I am more thankful than words can express, but it is also overwhelming. I did not want to enter the cancer world, but I did and now I am not sure where to go. For nine months I have had people telling me what to do and where to go, so to be able to look ahead and not have that is (good), but also scary. I am not going back to my "old" life. Sure, I will definitely get back many aspects of it, but it won't be the same. I was and will be determined to not let cancer define me, but I can't just totally forget it happened. I have to figure out a "new/old" normal. I know I will, it is just going to take some time. 

I don't think it has hit me yet that it is over. I am still dealing with residual side effects from the last few rounds. My hair is coming in, but it isn't obvious. I didn't leave the clinic on Tuesday and automatically resume my old life. I don't think it will hit me till like February that it is over. Just like we couldn't snap in to the cancer world, we can't just snap out of it either. My body doesn't know it is not about to be bombarded with more chemo, so I am still feeling it. It will be awhile before I feel "normal". So, I am closing the chapter on treatment, but not on cancer entirely. 

January will most likely be a month of recovering. I don't think I ever mentioned it, but I am not returning to school. Originally that was all I wanted, but I quickly realized that it wasn't super realistic. I will be taking another online course and may try to get to Columbia later in the spring to finish up some incompletes. Instead, I have plans to find a therapist to talk about everything with. I kind of bottled up all my emotions just to get through this process, but now they are spilling out and I am not above denying my need for help dealing with them. I also already have PT appointments 3 days a week starting in mid-January. While I have made HUGE strides with walking, I still have quite a bit of work to do. I am not sure what my schedule of doctors appointments will be now. I have scans the second week of January and then an appointment following, but I am not sure what happens after that. I have my regular weekly appointment tomorrow, so we may find out then. 

I think a lot of people expect that our lives are back to where we left them in March. That is not the case. Yet anyway. I am not saying we will never get there, but it is going to take time. We have to figure out how to navigate the post cancer world. Of course, my family and I would not have made it this far alone, so thank you (those words seem so small in the scheme of things) for walking along side us this long. I hope you will continue to do so! As for this blog, I have no plans of stopping writing. Clearly I already did a poor job of keeping it updated, but I have lots of thoughts and will need a place to write them. Maybe I will write more now that I will actually have some energy!

I feel like there is tons more to say, but I will save that for another day. Chemo is going out with a bang, so I have felt the last few days feeling kinda crappy. Please excuse any typos in this post....I have been taking Phenergen and am currently inbetween naps! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas! I had a nice one...just a relaxing day on the couch doing nothing. I hate when the holiday season is over! 

Thank you once again for everything. I am so thankful to be on the road to recovery, no matter how long that road is. I hope you will continue to keep everyone battling in your thoughts and prayers. So many are suffering. Cancer is a horrible, terrible disease. I don't know why I had to go through what I have (still cannot even believe it some days), but I want something good to come of it. I have big ideas, just have to figure out how to execute them! 

Sending you all so much love! 

First and last chemo!
Last time leaving the hospital!
First and last inpatient chemo!
Stanley and I on Christmas!

An Updated Thoughts and Feelings

Monday, December 21, 2015

As one can probably imagine, I have tons of emotions regarding the end of my treatment being so near (as in tomorrow). Unless you yourself have experienced this, I am not sure you will understand. I will do my best to share how I feel but, it is definitely complicated.

If you were to look in my brain right now, my thoughts probably look something like this:

**Hooray I finish chemo! I will be able to eat! And brush my teeth! And this will stop hurting! And I will be able to go shopping! I miss shopping. I really want to lighten up my winter wardrobe. I seriously need to clean out my closet before I buy ANYTHING else. Once chemo is done I will have the energy to do that! I really just can't wait to eat. I will never take eating for granted again. How the heck is Christmas in a few days? I am not ready! I didn't even make a list or do any shopping. Probably good because I also haven't made any money since the summer. I miss babysitting. I cannot wait till this is over so I can babysit again. Mouth sores suck my mouth literally is in so much pain. I just want to eat but SO MUCH PAIN. OMG chemo ENDS tomorrow. What am I gonna do. I hope I don't get nauseous. I hope I have the energy to make cupcakes for the clinic people tomorrow. I also hope my mom remembers I want a cookie cake. MY HAIR IS GONNA COME BACK! Gosh cancer sucks so much. Are people really considering voting for Donald Trump? I am so tired. I hope I can walk normally again soon. GOSH my mouth hurts SO BAD. --insert some thought about how attractive Harry Styles is-Stanley is actually the cutest dog ever. We still need a pic of him in front of the tree in his Santa Suit. *already freaking out about scans in January* It is all gonna be good. This is gonna be OVER.  I hope I can work everything out with my school. -CHEMO AND CHRISTMAS!**

Anyway, that is a pretty good summary of my mind at the moment. So many emotions. Obviously, I am SO INCREDBLY BEYOND EXCITED that I get to ring the bell tomorrow and I pray that is the last bit of chemo that EVER enters my body. Once those final side effects are gone I cannot wait to feel like my body is mine again. It feels like it has been forever since March 16, but also in a way it has gone by fast. I am so thankful that I get to be DONE. I just have to figure out where I fit in in the world now.

You see, I am going back to "normal", but it is not the normal I was used to. My mom and I were talking and she put it in a smart way. Before this cancer thing, my biggest thing was a math test. That math test is long over. The world has moved on since March 16, as it should have, I just don't know where I am going back to. I obviously am not going back to March 15. I know I will figure it out, but it is also a little scary. 

Obviously January is going to be a lot of recovery, follow up appts, etc. The world after treatment seems a bit scary! I have had people telling me what to do or where to show up for 9 months and now I will be back on my own. I know I can do it, but the idea is scary. Plus, I have a feeling for awhile every pain or weird thing will freak me out. I know that is normal, but now it is so easy to blame on chemo. My eyes are doing weird things-oh must just be chemo. My skin is really dry-must be chemo. I'm not hungry-must be chemo. What happens when it ISN'T chemo????  It is kinda crazy to think about. You get so immersed in this world (that I thought was scary to join), but now I am kinda scared to leave.

Everyone keeps asking me if I am doing anything to celebrate. At first, I wanted to have a big party, but I am not so sure now. I don't have any plans at all for tomorrow actually. I cannot guarantee how I am going to feel, so I didn't wanna plan anything anyway. Last time I got my outpatient drugs, I actually felt great, but that could change this time. I also feel like it is something that isn't gonna hit me right away. I feel like I am gonna wake up one day in January and then it will hit me. Maybe then I will throw a party or something. I told my mom as soon as my mouth doesn't hurt and I am not nauseous I would like to go out to eat. I also told her I wanted a cookie cake. This is something totally worth celebrating though, so I am sure I will figure something out. 

So this is kind of where my head is at lately. Such a mix of emotions! I am sure I will write more about this as the words come to me. 

I will say leaving the hospital was a lot harder than I thought! Obviously, I could not have been happier to get to leave there for the LAST time, but it was so hard to say bye to all the nurses. I had such awesome nurses and I really love them! I will miss them, but have promise to come visit with snacks! I just hope to never ever be a patient of theirs again (not because they aren't awesome, but you know what I mean). They were all so happy for me which was great to see. I have made some truly awesome friends and I look forward to spending time with them, just outside hospital walls! 

I am sitting at the clinic currently, just waiting to get my chemo. My mouth is literally full of sores, which isn't fun. I just want to eat!! I am praying they go away ASAP and that I never have to deal with them ever again! My mom and I went to see Amy Schumer in Charlotte on Saturday night. It was so fun and nice to be somewhere together that wasn't a hospital! She was hilarious...I could listen to her comedy set for hours! I really rallied though, despite my mouth hurting incredibly and my little hobble walk around the city. I am hoping this chemo doesn't knock me down too much, but have nothing on the calendar for the week! We usually go up north for Christmas, but obviously that isn't happening, so we don't have any plans! It is supposed to be 70, so I told my mom we are gonna turn close the blinds and turn on the heat and pretend it is actually cold! 

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL Christmas Holiday!! If you think about it, please keep everyone fighting cancer in your prayers this holiday. I am SO lucky to be celebrating, but so many others are not. So many are in such awful situations or just stuck in the hospital for Christmas. Cancer is so cruel. I will never understand it. Cancer won't take off just cus it is a holiday. Thank you so much! 

Thank you for all the continued thoughts and prayers! I hope you will keep them up...just cus chemo is over doesn't mean everything just ends. I will still have a lot to deal with emotionally, physically, and mentally. The hardest part will be over, but the road doesn't won't just end! 

Merry, Merry, Christmas to all of you! Sending you so much love! Next time I post I will be DONE with chemo! :)

Never posted about Thanksgiving! We had a FANTASTIC holiday! I as up more on Thanksgiving than I had been in like 9 months haha! But I felt so good and was so happy to have my family here. And look at Stanley and Otto in their matching sweaters :)
Stanley and I went Christmas tree shopping!
Just for comparison, my first High Dose Methotrexate on the left and my LAST on the right :) 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

While it may not go down in history as my favorite Thanksgiving ever, I am still choosing to find things to be thankful for. Obviously I cannot list it all, but I will hit some highlights. Before experiencing something like this, I am not sure I ever really understood how people can be thankful when times are hard, but now I do. I am NOT thankful for cancer. It is a horrible, crappy disease and one I wish I had 0 experience with. I am choosing to see all the good that has come with the bad (which it has...worth it or not). 

I am SO UTTERLY thankful to not be in the hospital this Thanksgiving. If my schedule was even one week off it would have run us close, so I am extremely thankful that was not the case. 

I am thankful for time with my family. We have had a rough few years, but anytime we are all together is always my favorite. I wish we could all live down the street from each other! We always eat and laugh a lot...which I think is the best medicine. I am thankful they are making the long treck down here (dogs included) so we can all be together. We have 0 plans other than to cook, eat, and lounge! I cannot wait!

I am thankful to live in an area that is playing a large role in the cancer world. I completely trust my doctors 100%. I have recieved excellent care, basically in my own backyard and I do not for a second take that for granted. I am so thankful we have not had to travel for treatment and when I get to come home, I get to go home to my home! 

I am thankful for my nurses. They work SO hard and I hope they know how appreciated they are. Some truly go above and beyond their call of duty. I am going to miss them! A good nurse and tech seriously make my days at the hospital so much better! I hope they know how thankful I am for them everyday.

I am thankful that my treatment ends and ends SOON! Some people have chemo for years and years. I am also extremely thankful for my outcome. They throw the word "cure" around easily in the cancer world, and while no one knows what the future holds, I should be fine after this. I just gotta get to December 22!

I am thankful for the ability to complete my classes online. While I complain and procrastinate, I know it will be worth it in the long run to have these classes completed. Modern technology gets a bad rap sometimes, but I am extremely thankful for the opportunities it has provided me!

I am thankful for my friendships. This is one area where I have struggled recently, but I am thankful that my friends are sticking by my side as we work to get back to normal. And I know we will get there!

I am thankful for ALL OF YOU! The support these last almost 9 months has been incredible. I love seeing/hearing about everyone recieving their t-shirts! All the sweet comments, notes, etc make my day. I don't know how I or my family would have gotten through this without you all. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

I am thankful for Stanley. It sounds cheesy, but I honestly cannot picture going through this without him. Besides being absolutely adorable, he has the best personality. He provides so many laughs and snuggles...I am so thankful we found him when we did! 

I am thankful for the progress I have made in my recovery from surgery. Although not as fast as I expected, progress is progress. As a matter of fact, the last two days I haven't used my crutches at all! Even to go into the cancer center! I am so thankful they were able to replace the bone instead of some other terrible alternative. I will get back to where I was! It still looks a little funny when I walk, but I am happy with the progress! I am still not 100% pain free all of the time, but it is nothing like it was. I am thankful I am young and otherwise healthy, so healing is going well. 

I am thankful for my brother. This whole experience has not come without sacrifice on his part as well. He and I have always had a pretty good relationship, and this has made us closer I think. He never complains about literally anything. I know sometimes I get a lot of the attention and need a lot, but you will never hear him complain. He is shaping up to be an amazing person, and while I am sorry he had to experience this, I hope he too has learned somethings that will help him in his future endeavors. A little braggy moment, despite everything he has managed to apply to like 5 schools and has amazing grades (he is much better at school than I ever was!). And he always offers to help me with my math anc computer science homework which I appreciate! 

I am thankful for my dad. He has handled all the stuff with school which I can only imagine is a mess. He is always down to bring me a meal while in the hospital (because that food...still vile). Sometimes we buttheads, but I know he will always be there and just wants me to get better. He may not be the best cook, but he is the best at throwing stuff from the freezer in the oven ":). He will always run to the store if I get an random craving (which happens a decent amount thank you chemo). I know he will be thrilled when all this is over for me.

I am thankful for my mom. She always goes above and beyond for me. No matter how tired she is too, she never complains about helping me with whatever I need or getting me food. She spends every night in the hospital with me. She never leaves my side (good and bad ;) ), but will always come when I need her. She has definietly seen me at my worst and I am so thankful to have her as my mom. 

I am thankful that so far, I feel pretty good. Of course, chemo side effects take a few days to hit full force, but I am hoping I can at least get through tomorrow okay! 

I am thankful for long grocery lists because it means we have the money to buy delicious food to eat. I am thankful to have a comfy bed and clean PJs to wear. I am thankful for my Bath and Body Works room plug in that makes my room smell good and festive. I am thankful for blankets and a roof over my head, especially as it gets colder. I am thankful it is almost officially Christmas season. I am thankful for for an excess of warm and cute clothes. I am thankful candles and cozy nights in. I am just thankful for all the little things that sometimes go unnoticed. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that maybe you will share something you are thankful for! I try to reflect on on at least one thing a day. We all have so much to be thankful for, despite what we may be going through. Whether it be family, friends, or even just having food to eat and water to bathe in. And hey you aren't in the hospital! That right there is something to be thankful for! May you all have a lovely holiday, no matter what you are doing to celebrate!

Second to last outpatient chemo...check!

Yall just wait for my post holiday pictures....we got Stanley and his dog cousin Otto matching Thanksgiving sweaters. Obviously I had to try Stanley's on him...I can't help it!

Have a wonderul holiday no matter what you are doing or who you are spending it with! I am off to wrap a few things up before my cousins get here this afternoon! All the love...xoxo

Save the Date

Saturday, November 21, 2015

I have always been a person who remembers dates. The dates I remember aren't even always significant ones. I can remember the date of concerts I've been to, first days of school, and other random events. Chances are if I ever once knew your birthday, I still remember it.

Throughout this ordeal, there are obvious dates that stick out. March 16-D-day aka the worst day ever. April 27 was my first chemo treatment. August 18 was my surgery.

December 22.

The day I am scheduled to FINISH chemo.

I hesitated in even sharing this until it gets closer in fear of jinxing it, but then I realized I don't think I truly believe in that sort of thing anymore (not that I really did before...but you know what I mean).

My doctor's head nurse (she does the managing aspect of treatment, etc) came to visit me in the hospital last Wednesday. It was a total surprise, especially because she had been out of town (she literally got off the plane and came to the hospital to see me...she is awesome). We were not expecting her to show up!

So she comes in and sits down. I was trying to figure out why she would be here, but didn't think too much of it. She then goes "we need to talk about something" and I started to get worried. Those aren't exactly words I like to hear! I got nervous and she continued by saying "we need to talk about how we are gonna finish!". I think I smiled almost immediately out of pure relief and hearing the words "finish".

She wanted to know if I wanted to have my outpatient chemo, as scheduled, this week since it is Thanksgiving. While I appreciated the option (and I did consider both sides), I want to stay on track! She said she had a feeling I was going to pick to continue, so she wanted to come see me and make sure I was feeling well enough to.

I love Thanksgiving probably more than the average person, but I want to get to the end of chemo even more! I had another ECHO Friday and the previous issue that gave us a scare back in October has resolved itself and my number went back up (all good! really good!), so thankfully chemo will continue on schedule. This will be the first time I will only get the one drug, so my time there will be shorter and hopefully I won't feel as crappy. I figure the worst case scenario is that I will have to lay on the couch while everyone else bustles around the kitchen :). Either way, all my family will be together and that sounds like the best medicine for everything!

I know everyone wants to know exactly how much I left. This regimen is extremely confusing, so I will do my best. I will get outpatient chemo this week (the 23 and 24). I then have next week (the week of the 30) off to recuperate. I will be inpatient the week of the 7 for however many days and then again the week of the 14 for however many days. After that, I am DONE being inpatient! I will then get outpatient chemo the 21 and 22 and be DONE! Of course we are hoping nothing comes in and throws this schedule off because it sounds pretty dang good! I need to just make sure to stay away from any sickness and stay healthy.

The light is truly at the end of the tunnel! I am not going to lie, sometimes I am not able to see it that way. I still have quite a few chemo transfusions in my future. I still have 6-12 days in the hospital (total over the next two rounds...hopefully it is 6!). I still have four days of several hours at the chemo clinic. Plus, all the lovely side effects are still in my future, which is the worst part. So while things are wrapping up, it isn't over until it is really over. I know what I have left is nothing compared to what I have already done.

Backing up to my nurse visiting in the hospital (I will call her S), it was such a positive meeting. I am so very aware (especially in the hospital) that not everyone gets to have conversations like I do. She was asking me how I am going to celebrate being DONE. She kept saying how she will miss us because my visits will start to become more spread out and how next year at this time I will be celebrating a year being done. I am so very grateful to be hearing these things and I don't take that for granted for a second.

My nurse last week was saying that some people get continuous Methotrexate as in a 24 hour drip. Who knows how long it takes to clear those levels, but I imagine it isn't quick. She also said another regime requires the patient to eat/hold ice in their mouth for TWO hours! The nurses have to wake them up so they can eat ice for two hours. Some people also get chemo injected into their spine, which I can't imagine is comfy. Really a few days in the hospital isn't the worst thing in the world. I could not imagine having to spend 30+ days here. Some people do months and months of chemo only to be expected to relapse in the future. I keep those people in my thoughts and prayers and I hope you will too. Cancer is a seriously crappy disease (as if that needs to be said).

I apologize for my lack of posting here. I have actually written three posts, just haven't felt "right" (whatever that means) about posting them. I like what they have to say, so hopefully I can figure out when it feels right to post them.

I had my my three month follow up with my surgeon this morning. We spent more time waiting then we did with him! He walked in the room, said I looked great, and told me he would see me in a year. Yes, I have graduated to only seeing him once a year! He was amazed that I am able to bend and stretch my leg as well as I am (basically like normal). He said sometimes it takes people years and years to get back to that point. It made me happy to hear that! It is crazy to think that his office is where this whole mess started and today we walked out of there only to have to come once a year. I am forever grateful for him and all he has done for me...he is a great surgeon, but I am happy to only have to see him once a year :). 

I obviously have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. I thought about trying to list it all (and I still may try), but that would be an extremely long list. Obviously good health is major, and I am thankful to be back in that (for the most part). If I have learned anything through this experience it is to not take your health for granted. My cousins are coming down (with their two dogs) and I am hoping chemo doesn't knock me down too much so I can still participate! I am just extremely excited for all of us to be together!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday. No matter what you are going through, there is always something to be grateful for. All the love to you all this week! I am thankful for all of you!

Finally caught a sweet moment between the two of them!

More Ramblings

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Happy November! I am not one that likes to rush time by (especially this time of year--it is my favorite!), but I can't help but get excited when the month changes. We are getting closer and closer to the end of all this! 

I start to crave writing after I don't for awhile, but there really isn't much to say (which is a good thing!).

Things have been a little more stressful than usual around here. Nothing earth shattering, but enough to make 2015 not one of my favorite years (probably quite the understatement). 

In the midst of all the stress (which is easy to get sucked into), there has been some good things. The good things always seem to appear when you need them most!

First off, the success of the t-shirt campaign warms my heart! I am so so so thankful to everyone who has bought one. They should be delievered around Thanksgiving. If you haven't gotten one yet, you have FIVE more days so don't wait! Here is the link: I am so excited for them to get delievered! I hope you will all feel the love and gratitude I (and my family) have for you when you wear them. 

Also on a sidenote, be sure you are following my Facebook page I created! Updates and such are being posted there. You don't have to be friends with me on FB to like the page! I really regret not doing this all the way back in March! 

Today I was graciously gifted one of those fancy KitchenAid mixers. I was so surprisd! Pre-cancer me used to bake pretty regularly. I still love to bake, I just haven't recently. I honestly cannot remember the last time I did!! This is a great thing to have because it will require a lot less energy on my part! The mixer will do all the hard stuff, which is great considering my energy level is pretty low these days. It has inspired me to get back to baking! Plus the timing is great with the holidays coming up! My cousins and I have already been texting about what all we can bake! 

I don't even feel like "thank you" are the right words, but they are all I know to say! Somehow when this is all over, I will find a way to properly thank everyone! In the meantime, please know that every message, gift, thought, prayer, etc is all so appreciated. It may be 8 months later, but my gratitude for all the support has been constant. I am extremely lucky to have such kind and generous people in my life. 

I am hoping the next few weeks go quick! I love this time of year and I cannot wait for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is my favorite! We have always celebrated with my cousins, but usually we go to them. This is the first year they are coming here! We haven't all been together in so long and I am SO excited. Even the dogs are coming so we will literally all be together. It cannot come soon enough!!

On a different note, I had a lot of people tell me to keep up with school as it will be a good distraction. Friends, school is still school and homework is still homework. It is hardly a distraction. It still stresses me out! My math class started a few weeks ago and guess what? I still hate math. I know I will be happy to have these classes out of the way in the future, but right now they are getting in the way of me watching Fixer Upper (which I have become completely obsessed with). I have more to say about school, but will save that for another post soon! 

I haven't been up to much! I had PT yesterday. I really cannot wait till I can go routinely. It is so hard to schedule now with chemo and everything. I am progressing despite not getting to go very often, which is good news. I still have quite a ways to go before I am back to normal, but everyone seems happy with my progress thus far. 

I am very thankful the nausea was extremely mild this last round! I had a few days of mouth pain, but nothing major ever developed. I have had a pretty decent appetite. I feel like I am eating so much, so I expect the scale to reflect that. I haven't gained anything, but stable is better than losing! I have been extra tired. They say chemo accumulates and I think I am really starting to feel that. Chemo fatigue is real! 

 I have a doctor's appointment Thursday then will be admitted for Methotrexate this coming Monday and the Monday after. I cleared pretty quick last time, so fingers crossed for a similar experience! One Direction's new CD comes out next Friday and I am really hoping I am home so I can go to the store and buy it! After these next two weeks, I will only have TWO inpatient chemos left! I will be so happy when they are done! 

I am hoping to get some errands done these next few days. I need to get some wintery hats and it has been too long since my last Target trip! I need to see all the fun holiday stuff that is out! 

I want to remind everyone who wants to visit, PLEASE make sure you are healthy and have not recently been sick or around sickness. My immune system is not what it used to be thanks to chemo and I really need to avoid sickness! I don't want any extra hospital stays or to get off schedule with chemo! We are in flu season and that is so the last thing  I need to catch! Even a simple cold could earn me a trip to the hospital, so please just remember this should we discuss a visit! I admit I have not really been up to visitors lately (see above about exhaustion). I go through spurts though, so please just make sure you talk to me or my mom first! 

Well, this was a long post about nothing, so I am going to sign off. Just trying to keep focusing on all the good and hoping everything else will work out! I hope everyone is having a good week and adjusting to the time change! I always feel like it should be Christmas as soon as the clocks change! I haven't listened to any holiday music yet, but I did just order a bunch of stuff from Bath and Body Works in my favorite scents (winter candy apple and vanilla bean noel), so music may be next :). 

As usual, here are some recent pictures!

That would be my leg in the middle there...glad the dogs were comfy ha!
This was his festive day shirt :)
Stanley was a dinosaur for Halloween! We ended up getting him some relaxer pills from the vet to prevent mass chaos with the doorbell ringing all night. I am not sure they even did any good! He is a crazy little dog and not much stops him! 

His cousins sent him a Jets shirt :)

Peace Out Cisplatin

Sunday, October 25, 2015


This past Wednesday was my last dose of Cisplatin. While all chemo drugs suck, this is one sucks slightly more, especially when combined with the other chemo drug I get at the same time. It is the first of several lasts I have coming up, and I cannot wait. Currently, I feel okay. I have been sleeping A LOT and I know the side effects probably won't kick in till later this week. I am just really hoping the mouth pain stays at a minimum since it finally just went away from the last time. 

Last weekend, my mom and I were able to escape down to the beach with some of our good friends, just us girls. It was a lovely weekend and much needed. The weather was GORGEOUS! You probably could have tanned (no worries I was fully covered from head to toe). I did not put on a bathing suit this whole year (kind of a waste since I am the smalllest I have been in years...mostly kidding). I am hopeful next year will include many beach trips where I can actually tan! It felt so good to get away. I ate (despite the mouth pain) and even made it out on the beach! We weren't sure how it was going to work at first, but I was able to hobble down on the beach with my crutches. It felt so good to sit and get a change of scenery. I honestly felt like a whole different person there. When I wasn't looking in the mirror, I almost forgot what is currently happening.

I have a had a few of these moments lately where I cannot believe what has happened and what is happening. I see all the reminders, but I still can't believe I got cancer and have gone through what I have. Part of me is glad it is easy to forget because it will make it easier for this to all be a distant memory one day. I think back to last year at this time and think of all that I had coming. It works on the flip side too, that who knows what next year at this time will look like, but I am choosing not to focus what little energy I have on that!

I think one of the (many) reasons cancer is so scary is because we all want to believe bad stuff won't happen to us. It is so easy to see those stories on the news about tragic kidnappings or unfortunate accidents and think that we have some control over those things happening. Guess what...there is no control when it comes to cancer. It can and does happen to anyone. I don't say this to scare anyone, but seriously if I can get it anyone can. Sure some lifestyle choices have an affect, but not all the time. I know it must have been scary for my friends to find out their 20 year old friend got cancer. Doesn't cancer only happen to old people? I know when I see people in the stores that they are thankful it isn't them or their kid. I get that for a lot of people this is their worst nightmare and I am a reminder of that. Be thankful it isn't you...but don't forget that it could be. 

I know I never researched much into it. I never thought it would happen to me! I was 20 and healthy. I ate my fruits and veggies and quinoa. Nothing is going to change if everyone who isn't personally affected by it turns a blind eye. Sure, that is easier, but it isn't right. I am sorry it took this for me to realize how much work needs to be done in the world of cancer. Yes, there are aspects of cancer that are sad and hard to deal with, but there is also so much hope. And we need that hope for things to change. I'm not saying live in fear, but instead be proactive now just incase God forbid you find yourself in a similar situation. Shoulda, coulda, wouldas, are nice, but why wait till it gets to that point?

Anyway, sorry for my little rant. In other news, I can now walk up and down the stairs! Slowly and holding on, but I no longer have to sit. It is still tiring (chemo fatigue is real y'all) but more efficient! I also have slowly been using the crutches and walker less and less. It is easier for me to hobble around my house without them! When I go out I still use the crutches and probably will need to for the foreseeable future, but I am quite happy with the progress.

I switched out my drawers a few weeks ago so my fall stuff is accessible. Next time I have a burst of energy I seriously need to go through my closet! Anyway, not the point. I put away all my shorts and all I could think of is what life will hopefully look like when I take them out again next spring. I will remember the night I put them away while still limping around bald. It was a bit of a challenge getting stuff from the hall closet to my room and vice versa, but I was resourceful and did it alll without help!

In other exciting news, my mom and I bought tickets to see Amy Schumer in December. I am so excited and it will hopefully be a happy end-of-chemo gift to me! December sounds so far away, but hopefully it will go by fast. It is gonna (hopefully) be a big month!

Other than that, I am pretty much just resting and snuggling with Stanley. He has more than fulfilled his purpose of a cuddly dog! I am more tired than usual this round, but it is better than being nauseous. I have the rest of this week of and all of next week. I believe I will go to the hospital on the 10th (since I am on a Tuesday/Wednesday schedule now). That will repeat the following week and after that I will only have two more inpatient stays (one round but two consective weeks).

I cannot believe Halloween is this weekend! I haven't been home for Halloween in two years since I have been at school. I love handing out candy so hopefully I can make it downstairs to do that. We don't have any plans. We will dress Stanley up and take pictures and probably eat more candy then we give away! I am mostly counting down till Thanksgiving. That is my absoulte favorite holiday and I cannot wait to celebrate with my cousins. 

I think that is it from around here. I go to the doctor tomorrow for labs and just to check in. Other than that, not much to report (thankfully...I hope it stays that way). I wanted to write, but this post seems to be all over the place!! 

One last thing, my t-shirt campaign closes Sunday so if you want a shirt, don't forget!! The response has been amazing. I cannot thank you all enough for the sweet messages and for buying one! I have bracelets but we have yet to figure out the best way to distrubute them unless we see you in person! If anyone has any suggestions...I'm open! The link for t-shirts is:

Also, I created a Facebook page (which is what I should have done originally). I'll be posting on there instead of my personal FB from now on, so like it if you want to keep up!! 

I will leave you with some pictures! No quote this time...couldn't find one that struck me! There's a first time for everything! I will have to do some research or read a book!

Just moments after my LAST EVER cisplatin infusion finished! I requested to be in a private room (sounds way more VIP than it is!) instead of the recliners this last round. I wish I had been doing that from the start! I get to lay in an actual bed and they have TVs in there. Never mind the fact that I am not stuck out in the main area with all the old people (no offense). I am there so long two days in a row, it was nice to have a bit of privacy! 

Yes out shirts match. Yes I know I may have gone too far BUT LOOK HOW CUTE?! He looks like a lifeguard at th beach in this shirt :).

It doesn't get better than the beach with great weather, snacks, and company! It was actully fairly crowded for October on the beach, this picture is misleading!

He is such a baby! And good news...he gained back his bed privledges! He has been able to sleep with me (since he seems to have stopped peeing on the bed)and it is absolute heaven!

It Is Always Something!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

It has been quite a day over here!

If we have learned anything through this experience it is that things are 100% out of our control and that I personally do a good job of keeping things interesting! 

I had my routine three month ECHO today. I didn't stress and wasn't concerned at all. We sat waiting for longer than the actual ECHO takes, which is always annoying. Anyway, we get through the ECHO and the tech (I think the guy who does it is like a tech? I don't know his qualifications exactly, but he isn't a doctor) mentions that some measurement has dropped and it could indicate a potential problem. He says they may call and want me to meet with a cardiologist who may stick me on some type of medicine to prevent it from getting worse. All in all, no one seemed super concerned, so we left and went to Costco .

We finally make it in the doors of Costco (thank you wheelchair for making everything take 10x longer) and I get a call scheduling an appointment with a cardiologist. The scheduler who called me (who really should have kept her mouth shut now that I am looking back on it) says they need to delay chemo until I meet with the doctor. I, of course, get super upset that things are gonna be pushed back for who knows how long. In my head, I was preparing to hear that I would have to delay chemo a month. We make an appointment for Monday and try to move on with our shopping (also what is with Costco not having the sample stands??? There were only two today!). 

Luckily, I already had an appointment with Dr. B for this afternoon. We figured we would get some info from him and since he is the chemo guy, he would know what to do. Dr. B walks in the room and I think my mom and I were both a little on edge!! It was all good news though. I think the issue is called ejection fraction, which has nothing to do with my heart's function or structure (good news!). Anyway, my number dropped and is now 50% which is exactly borderline. Any lower and they stop the chemo drug (adromycin--I am sure that is  not spelled correctly) and any higher is totally normal. This stumped everyone! My doctor (who I trust 110%) ultimately decided to lower my dose of the drug for my rounds of chemo Monday and Tuesday. While not ideal, it is not a huge deal and is definitely better than not getting the drug at all! I will have another ECHO in 3 or so weeks just to moniter. I still probably will meet with the cardiologist at some point or he/she may just call in a medicine for me to take to prevent it from getting lower!! We really don't want that because as much as the drug sucks, it works! I only get it two more times after this week so it should all be good!

It is not a serious problem, as far as heart issues go. It looks like my nonexistent marathon career might be over (darn!), but I should still be good to walk around the mall :). The medicine (should I get on some) should be helpful and the problem has been known to reverse itself once treatment stops. So, while not ideal, it could have been a lot worse and we will just watch it!! 

In other news, I am STILL dealing with mouth sores. The actual sores are gone, but the soreness is real. It feels like super raw (I hate that word), kind of like how it would feel if braces tore up the inside of your mouth. It makes eating/drinking/brushing my teeth a challenge. I am seriously hoping it clears up before this next round of chemo causes them again! They are literally the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life. I actually wake up in the middle of the night in pain. I've tried all the mouthwashes and taking an Oxy before bed and NOTHING does anything. I would do anything for them to go away! 

Yesterday was probably one of the most miserable days I have had to date. Without going into much detail, I literally spent all day yesterday on the floor of the bathroom. No joke, I literally had a pillow and blanket and fell asleep several times throughout the day. It was not fun at all and I am super happy to be done with October 13, 2015! 

So, I will still get my outpatient chemos Monday and Tuesday. On the bright side, it is my last time getting both adramycin and cisplatin!! After this week, I will just get adramycin. This is good news because while both drugs suck, cisplatin causes a lot more of the bad side effects. Plus it is the one that drips for four hours, so my next times at the chemo clinic should be much shorter! 

In Stanley news, the poor thing sprained his ankle!! The other night my dad was taking him out for his nightly walk and all of a sudden he made the most pitiful noise I have ever heard. He started limping around so he went to the vet the next morning and it turns out it was a sprain! He gets some anti-inflammatory medicine once a day to help with pain. It hasn't stopped him at all! He still runs around and is jumping on and off everything! We should probably stop him, but it is next to impossible catch him! In the mean time Stanley and I are both hobbling around the house :). The vet also told us we need to watch his weight...he was 9lbs when we got him and now is around 12! Whoops!

My bracelets came in while I was at the hospital! They look so good so as soon as we figure out the best way to distrubute them, I will post! Also you can still order a t-shirt through this link! It closes November 1 so don't wait :) 

I have a fun weekend planned and then it is back to chemo on Monday and Tuesday. I am excited my aunt is coming into town next week! We always laugh and eat a lot so while I may not be eating much, I do plan on laughing!! 

I hope everyone has a good weekend...and even if it isn't the best, at least you (probably...I would hope) don't have mouth sores!! Eat some chips for me! Or oranges...which are my new craving which just seems cruel at this point!

Thank you for all the continued love and support! Quite a "journey" this cancer thing is!

Stanley and I spent some time outside the other day. He loves the sun! I sent this to my aunt and she asked where his large, fashionable sunglasses were! 

Just because he is so cute!

and a sneak peak of the bracelets (better pic and info to come!)

The 4 "S"s (Smells, Support, Surprises, Sores)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

I don't really have a direction for this post, just sitting in the hospital bored (and avoiding schoolwork!), so I figured I would just write and see where it goes.

Nothing too exciting has been happening, which is really a good thing. I was in the hospital last Thursday-Sunday (I really think they messed up and could have let me go Saturday but oh well!!). I am hoping things go as smooth and quick this time! After this stay, I only have 4 more stays (2 more total rounds) which doesn't seem too bad. I have one of my favorite nurses this today, which helps tremendously. I love the majority of my nurses and will miss them when I no longer have to come. I also gained a pound over the last week so that was good news too! It may seem like nothing, but I was happy to see the scale go up, not down (things sure have changed!)I

On that note, I have spent A LOT of time thinking about the future. While I know I definitely have time, I am beginning to try to piece together what life will look like after this ends. I don't want to get too ahead of myself, so I am sure I will be writing more on this later. Everytime I see my doctor he goes "you're almost done!" or something along those lines. While super encouraging (I know not everyone gets to hear that) and true, December (praying things stay on schedule), seems far away to me when I think about what happens between now and then. I am on week 16 of 26 so time is moving...even if it isn't always as fast as I would like. 

This is going to sound total weird if you don't also do it, but does anyone else associate smells with things? I have always done this. Certain smells bring me straight back to a person or place or event. Growing up, my friends' houses always had their own "smell". Doing this is both good and bad. It is good when I am reminded of happy times or people I miss, but bad when it comes to this whole "journey". The smell of the chemo infusion room literally makes me nauseous. I pray I can forget the smell of the hospital. There is a certain plug in/air freshener that was in the bathroom at home that I will never, ever be able to use again. I have a particular "hospital deoderant" because the smel reminds me of the hospital too much to use anywhere else. For this reason, I haven't worn any of my good perfumes since treatment started. I LOVE perfume and have quite a collection, so this has been hard. Luckily, I don't go very many places, which helps ha! Anyway, this whole paragraph came about because I wore a nightgown the other night that I realized probably hadn't been washed since I last washed it in my apartment at school. I use Unstoppable scent beads (totally awesome invention if you like good smelling laundry!) and I am 99% these smelled of the ones I used at school. It really made me sad. Who would have thought the last time I put that nightgown away that I would be where I am now. I realize this will happen with lots of things I go to put on now. It caught me off guard and was not something I had considered. Sometimes it really is the little things!

On a happier note, I was surprised twice in the last week! Usually I am the person who plans the surprises, so it is nice to be on the other side! I also am very nosy so the few times people have tried to surprise me, I kind of knew! The first surprise was last Saturday when I finally got to meet a friend I had been e-mailing with who was diagnosed with breast cancer a month before I was diagnosed. While we are in totally different walks of life and had different diagnoses, she has been a great source of support for me as someone who "gets" it. She was up in Greenville this weekend visiting her mom (who my mom worked with last year) so they both came to the hospital to visit. It was SUCH a treat to be able to meet in person and talk! I can't wait till we get together again, hopefully somewhere other than the hospital! The second surprise happened yesterday. I knew 2 of my best friends were coming over, but what I didn't know was that one of them brought one of my closest friends at school back to Greenville with her!  I am sure most of you have seen the devastation in Columbia due to flooding. Thankfully my apartment is okay, but there were all kinds of water shortages and advisories, so everyone came home!  Anyway, it was such a great surprise to get to see my friends (especially the one I hadn't seen since last spring!). I never realize how much I miss hanging out with them until we get together! 

On a less happy note (this post is like a rollar coaster!), I have been suffering from mouth sores yet again, thank you methotrexate. It started as the usual soreness, but turned into actual sores we notices this morning. It is TERRIBLE! Seriously awful. I slept with a cold wash cloth on my lower lip last night. I debated including a picture to emphasize how GOD AWFUL these things are, but decided some of you may be reading this around dinner time. You're welcome. I have some things to help, but nothing lasts more than like 10 minutes. I am hoping they go away and do not come back after this next round. I want to eat and drink like a (semi) normal person!! I would rather be nauseous because at least there are meds and you can knock yourself out. This pain is constant and it hurts. It is the only time I have ever cried from being in pain and actually feel like I am suffering. Nothing good to say about this aspect at all.

Back on a lighter note, thank you SO SO SO MUCH for all the support with the t-shirts. Like I said before, I hate asking people for things, especially when I cannot do much in return. They will be for sale till November 1, so if you haven't grabbed yours yet you can click this link and do so (if you pressure :) ). Here is the link: For details, check out my last post! I am thinking it would be really cool to pick a day for everyone to wear them and post them using my hashtag (I really promise I am not a self-absorbed person). We will see what happens!! I cannot do much right now, but I promise one day to figure out how to thank everyone. I feel like thank you has lost its meaning, but please know how sincere it is. 

I think that covers everything floating through my head. It took me hours to write this post, so chemo is in and I should try to do some schoolwork. I am really tired though, so a nap may win out! 

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend...and I hope I am out of here ASAP!


Saturday, October 3, 2015

I wrote this post over and over in my head last night when I couldn't fall asleep!

I have never been one that is good at asking for help or depending on people. One of the things I have learned over the last almost seven months is that people want to help, they just don't know how.

We are very lucky to have the health insurance we do, but cancer is expensive. The treatments, the surgeries, the medicines. We get a different bill in the mail everyday. I don't say this to pity you into buying a shirt (unless it works ;)), rather just to be honest.

Anyway, while avoiding my schoolwork here at the hospital, I came across this website that allows you to design a shirt and takes care of the all business for you. I designed a short sleeve t-shirt and a long sleeve t-shirt to provide some options. I personally LOVE long sleeve t-shirts and I feel like I never have the opportunity to buy them! Plus they will be good since cold weather should be coming...hopefully. The shirts will be for sale till November 1, then will ship out after that date. 

I don't people to feel obligated to purchase one, but I hope that if you do you will wear it in good health :). I got the front of the shirt from a play on the lyrics to Drag Me Down by One Direction (I know this will come as a surpise to many of you since I have never mentioned them before ;) ). Anyway, I feel like it is an inspiring message, even if you haven't experienced cancer yourself. Don't let anything drag you down. Life is full of good things that it is a waste of time to spend too much time on the bad stuff. 

The back #StrongandSassie is a good alliteration and my nickname! It started off within my family, but now many friends call me Sassie as well. The back also includes a ribbon, obviously for cancer. I used gray because I figured it was a good gender neutral color and the yellow is the color for Osteosarcoma. 

I also designed a silicone bracelet that I should get in a few weeks. It has the same two sayings, the band is pink, and the writing is yellow. As soon as they arrive, I will post those details! 

I sincerely thank everyone for all the love and support. Those things come in all forms, whether or not you buy a shirt, and I am truly blessed to be surrounded by so much of both. I promise once I am better, I will figure out a way to pay all this forward!

Here is a link to the shirts: Here are the pictures of the shirts front and back. There are a wide range of sizes available. 

Kindness and Target

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I woke up excited this morning because I was finally going to get out of the house. I had an appointment with my doctor, PT, and then my mom and I were going to run some errands. 

My excitement quickly disappeared once I went to get dressed. I was going to wear real clothes (aka not Nike shorts and a t-shirt) since I was going to be in public. Unfortunately the cool weather we were having while I was stuck in bed decided to leave and the high was 84. As if I am not over my summer wardrobe simply because it is almost OCTOBER, I have reached the point that none of my shorts fit.

 I hobbled over to my closet and picked out an outfit I thought was cute and made me feel good. I put my shorts on first and got so discouraged. They are huge. Before I go further, I know weight can be a sensitive topic so please don't read into this post that much. I like to share things honestly, so this is just something I am sharing as it is part of this "journey". I have lost A LOT of weight. I am talking like 30 pounds. I was weighed at the doctor today and it was the lowest it has been. I need to put at least 10 pounds on. It was definitely not all bad, but I really really really don't want to lose anymore. I really do my best to eat, but it is so hard when you are nauseous or your mouth hurts or your tastebuds are gone. Plus it doesn't help that sweet stuff is totally unappealing and my teeth are super sensitive so ice cream is not fun to eat. I know I need to eat just to get calories, but it is so hard.

Anyway, back to this morning. I was extremely discouraged by my jean shorts sliding on without even having to button them. Then I looked in the mirror and I am just so unhappy with the way I look. I do not look like myself at all. I look super skinny and my hair is a mess. It is completely gone on the left side and back, but I still have some on the top and right side. This is the point many people would probably shave it, but I still don't feel like that is something I want to do. It is just not me. I don't recognize myself and I certainly don't feel pretty. 

I know it looks worse to me than to other people. I just hate that the people I meet and will meet in the future won't get to see what I think I look like. I don't think I look like this, which is why when I do look in the mirror, it scares me. I promise I am not asking for compliments, I just need to share how I feel.

I ended up putting on a dress and a scarf, a decently cute outfit. I did get a lot of compliments at the doctor's office, which made me feel a little better. I had a good appointment too. Both my doctor and nurse keep telling me how close I am to finishing, and while I know that, it feels good to hear it coming from them.

After the doctor, my mom and I went to lunch. We ended up one of those awkward things where we had too much time to go straight PT, but also not enough time to actually do anything (especially considering how long it takes me simply to get to and from the car!). We ended up being early to PT (a first!), and he worked me really hard today. My knee is in a lot of pain! It is all good pain, but not really that fun. He said my range of motion is pretty perfect and I am able to bend my leg like normal again (to the same degree). I can also stand on my bad leg if I lean on something! That was a new development. I still have a ways to go before I am walking independently again, but progress is being made!

Even though it had already been a busy day, my mom and I made our way to Kohls and Target. I had to check out Lauren Conrad's Runway collection and I had a coupon, so of course nothing was in my size. I am about to go online because I have a 10 rewards coupon that expires tonight and that would be basically throwing money away, so we can't let that happen! 

Next we went to my home away from home, Target. I was in my wheelchair because it had already been a long day and that is simply a lot of walking. We took our time browsing. While we were looking at pjs, this lady walks by us then backs up. She said "excuse me, I just wanted to tell you that no matter what you are going through you are still beautiful" and then she emphasized it a few more times. I was so stunned, so all I could say is thank you (and I totally teared up).

Here this lady was just minding her own business in Target. She had no idea that this morning, I was struggling with this very thing (which I notice many days, but this day was especially bad). It made me think a lot about how come everyone doesn't do this everyday?? How much better would the world be if we could all be kind? Who doesn't need to hear something like that everyday? To know this lady took time from her own day to make mine makes me wanna cry all over. I wish I had seen her again. I would have bought her groceries or a candy bar or something. She has made my day.

Not to mention, this lady was not your typical looking Target shopper. She was someone I am sure has been judged before because of the way she looked or dressed. That makes me so sad. I am not going to say I don't judge anymore (because everyone does), but I do catch myself now. You never know what someone is going through. I have never been stopped in a store like this before and I would never have expected this lady to stop. You really cannot judge a book by its cover. 

This totally proves Target is indeed the best store ever. Good things happen there! I think I need to definitely go there as much as possible :). We also got Stanley a new cape and a dinosaur costume (thank you dollar section). I haven't gotten pictures yet, but I promise to share when I do!

I plan to pay her kindness forward (and all the kindness I have been shown). The world is a dark and scary place, we should all spend more time being nice. 

While I still am struggling with my looks, it really made my day to hear from a stranger. I just cannot wait to get the "me" I know back. And in the meantime, the temperature drops tomorrow so leggings it will be (I am assuming those still fit!). 

It started out as a rough day, but is ending on a high note. I am glad, since I will be stuck in the hospital a lot in the coming days. Hoping they are as short a stay as possible!