Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day 2 and I'm up early...

Thank you steroids for allowing me to go to sleep at 8:00pm, but then waking up at 5:00am. I've been up for about 52 minutes, but who's counting? Yesterday was much better than the last first day of the cycle. I was waiting for the ball to drop all day yesterday and waiting on the feeling for the bus to hit me, but it didn't happen. OH and yes, you do feel as if you got hit by a bus on top of being hungover. I guess it's funnier to say I was drunk and then hungover and then got hit by a bus, by accident. Actually not really, because I don't think it'd ever be fun to literally get hit by a bus. I'll stop now. I did decide there is no way better for me to end 2009 and begin 2010 without my famous letters, so here I go...

Dear 2009,

I started out the year with a bang...my 24th birthday was amazing, to say the least. It was filled with good friends (one who travelled from NY to spend it with me, thanks Er!) and well of course, good drinks. I ended the night by wishing on my birthday candles, for what I always wish for. And no I will not share the wish. BUT I can say this, I wish I had wished for good health. Moving on, the summer months passed by, which were also a blast...spending time at the pool with my friends and naturally, making my monthly trips out to the OC to see my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, Marshall. No, my sister did not have a baby, unless you count puppies as babies? Hmmm. It was not until August, dear 2009, that you decided to take me on a wild ride. I was diagnosed with cancer. Wah-wah-wahhhhh. My life was then filled with doctor appointments, scans, needles galore, and pretty much left me with the LAMEST social life ever, and even having to change my work schedule. Not to even mention, I had to cancel my travel plans to Chicago and miss my friend's wedding in September! I was also no longer spotted at Yardhouse on a Saturday night with a vodka tonic, 2 limes, in hand. But give or take any day of the week, you could find me getting a needle stuck somewhere at a doctor's office, or wait, or at home...because my poor dad had to stick me with about 40 needles to preserve my fertility and then had to give me weekly injections during chemotherapy to ensure my white cells are up! Thanks Dad, you needle rockstar. :) If you were looking for my Mom for the past few months, she was busy stirring up some delicious, organic recipes for me. You could also spot the three of us at Whole Foods, at least two times per week. NOVEMBER 11, 2009, you left me with a smile - why, you ask? BECAUSE I got a CLEAN PET SCAN!!! PEACE OUT cancer, but hello I have to finish chemotherapy still. Anyways, 2009 - you teased me because you started out being pretty amazing, but I can't really say you ended that way. But I will say this...thank you, because I think I learned a lot from what happened in your month of August and I don't think I'll ever forget the valuable lesson that came with it.


Dear 2010,

I know that we have to start January and February off by finishing my chemo treatments and that's not a fun way to start the new year, but I'll take it, as long as you PROMISE that the rest of the year will be better. Deal? Deal. And as far as my 25th birthday in March, we all know that I'll be wishing for good health 25 times. But I'll keep my 26th wish as the special wish I'll never tell. I am thankful that after February 2010, it means my hair growing back at full speed, no sleeping hair caps at night, going back to the OC monthly, making trips to Chicago and New York, renewing my gym membership and heading back to spin, never seeing the image of my dad holding a needle saying "readddy Laur?? Just a little pinch.", only visiting the oncologists office for my 3 month PET scan to hear, "Lauren, your cancer is still in remission.", going out again with my friends and showing them my sweet dance moves I've been working on during chemo, and possibly even dating again. And guess what I can say on my blind dates???? That's right...I've got eggs frozen. haha KIDDING! :) Okay, that's all...all I know is that 2010 better mean good health and maybe the year to CURE CANCER and free all these good people from having to deal with it!!!!

Love,
Lauren

(For the record, I am NOT going out tonight, I will miss Dick Clark ringing in the new year - mostly because Lauren goes to sleep at 8:00pm, but just know that I am going to wake up on January 1, 2010 being hungover anyways, like the rest of you - not because of a vodka tonic overload, but because of our good friend chemo partying it up in my body. This is definitely not to make you jealous.) haha....

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I hate you cancer mc-fancer

So because Santa brought me a blackberry for Christmas - I get to blog in real time and what this means is that I am getting chemotherapy right this minute. So I get to share my feelings as the drugs are flowing through my little body. Lucky you! :) The reason why I got so sick on the first day of my last chemotherapy session is because my doctor decreased the amount of one of my steroids. He did this because steroids can sometimes cause you to blow up like a blowfish. Especially in the face. But I told my dad that I'd rather be a blowfish than feel sick like last time. Needless to say, the dosage was increased back to normal. I also got a pill form of the anti-nausea drug I get through my IV on chemo days. It's the good stuff! So since I moved to a new chemo day - my doctor is at the other location. This means I can't get chemo in my dad's office and I am in the main chemo room now. I am in the corner, which gives me some privacy, but it is still interesting to be in here. I am watching the other cancer survivors - remember they are not patients, they are survivors. Anyways, the other women have their wigs or hats on and although they are older, I realize I'm not the only person in the world getting chemotherapy right now. Other people also are experiencing hair loss, nausea, and fatigue - just like me. Although, I have met so many people online - it is comforting to see people right next to me hooked up to a weird machine. My parents are with me right now too - as usual! :) Well, that's all I've got right now. Oh one last thing, I got a weird rash on the back of my leg - it's gone away a little, but it is pretty ugly. Roarrr! I'll update this week! Keep me in your prayers!

(Don't hold me against any misspelled words in this - blame the blackberry!)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas everyone! :) So, a little bit of change to my treatment plan that I wanted to share with everyone. It has been decided to change my treatments from Mondays to Wednesdays. This allows me to return back to work on a more regular basis than being absent for an entire week. With that said, I will not be getting treatment until December 30th versus my planned day of December 28th. I know, I know...my New Year's Eve will consist of going to sleep around 8:00p.m. but I cannot complain as I was fortunate to be able to enjoy both Thanksgiving and Christmas on a non-chemo week! Due to this change, my last chemo will be on February 24, 2010. And guess what? In less than 2 months, I will be DONE with chemo. How exciting is that?!?

I've been doing okay this week, I had a little bit of weird chest pain last night, but I think it was brought on by anxiety. Christmas gives me this weird anxiety because I get sad that you prepare for one day for so long and then it's all over in one day. I also get sad because people take their decorations down shortly after Christmas is over...and it's so pretty! I know, I'm so weird. I can't help it.

Anyways, Merry Christmas everyone! Love you all!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Session 7 / It's Friday

So, I chickened out and cancelled my appointment to have my head shaved. Go figure. I was talking with my hair stylist and some other friends and family and got a new perspective. I have decided that it's best to take advantage of wearing my cute hats for as long as I can. When it comes to a point that I can no longer wear the hats because my hair is just - well - too thin, then I will shave it off. I'm hoping to hang in there at least until the new year.

That is all for now. I survived another chemo week and now get to enjoy being normal for the next 10 days before I go in for another round of fun!

Hope everyone has a nice weekend. Happy Birthday to my sister, Caroline, on Monday. I really don't know what I would do without her. She is my other half and I love her so much! So, I hope that she has a wonderful birthday....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Session 7 / Day 4

I have not fulfilled my blogging duties that well this week. I feel as if I've been slacking, so I apologize! All is well though and I am feeling a lot better. I was explaining to my sister this morning that chemo has a mind of it's own. It can sneak up on you at any given point and just knock you down hard. So, even when you are feeling really well, it's hard to get excited because you don't know what is ahead of you. That's why it's so important to stay well nourished during chemotherapy to help alleviate the nasty side effects! I am actually having a good day though, about 75% back to normal. I'm still taking my anti-nausea pills, but I always do that for the first 4 days after, no matter how good I feel. Being nauseous SUCKS. It's like your body can't decide if it wants to vomit or not. Sorry, a bit graphic description..but that's how it feels. :)

Hair update: I'm in a debate on whether or not to just shave my head. I know, wow, totally caught everyone off guard probably. So, hair's the deal...haha was that not funny? Okay, anyways, back on track...I still have quite a bit of hair on my head, BUT I am more concerned with the regrowth situation when I am finished with chemo. If I don't shave my head, it may grow back in uneven and I may look kind of weird. Also, I don't know the texture the hair will grow back as. Some people have completely different textured hair after chemo. So, whether it be now or in 2 months when I'm done, I think it's in my best interest to shave it. Yes, of course I am freaking out, but if the worst thing in this cancer madness is hair loss - so be it. I am a little nervous my hair won't grow back for some strange reason, mostly because I am paranoid 24 hours a day about everything! I have an appointment tomorrow to have my head shaved, but we'll see if I actually go through with it. I'll keep everyone posted!!

Send me good thoughts. Also, the guy from Survivor, Ethan Zohn, I have mentioned him a few times in my previous posts. His cancer is in remission finally! He definitely has gone through intensive chemotherapy and radiation and will undergo a stem cell transplant, BUT it's wonderful news his cancer is in remission. Like me, he received a negative PET scan. (the term negative is used in a positive connotation when referring to PET scans, just FYI). YAY for Ethan! Check out People.com for his video that he posted.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Session 7 / Day 3

So, it's day 3, usually the day I hate most...BUT surprisingly day 1 is the winner for the worst day of this cycle so far. I actually am feeling better in comparison to how rough day 1 was. Ugh. I am still taking it easy and just watching movies...I haven't been in the mood to talk on the phone much this week. It seems as if that requires more energy than I am desiring to use right now. So, sorry friends if you have been attempting to contact me.

Not much else new today to report...I feel actually quite boring! :) Hey, boring is the new black. haha

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Session 7 / Day 1 & 2

So yesterday was not fun at all and completely caught me off guard. Right after chemo, I immediately wasn't feeling well, which is weird because they give me some pretty good anti-nausea drugs through my IV. The car ride home from chemo, I just was feeling really nauseated. I got home, forced myself to eat some lunch and then tried to take a bath. While I was sitting in the bathtub, I felt like I was going to physically get sick. I was so confused as to why I felt this way on the day of chemo. My dad called the doctor and explained how I was feeling and apparently he is going to change the dosage next time. I was able to take one of my other nausea pills yesterday and it helped, but I just tried to sleep it off as much as I possibly could. Today, I am feeling a tiny bit better, but just trying to take it really slow. I've got my sidekick sitting next to me all day, Lucie. She is my little beagle. :)

Anyways, other than chemo ruining my day yesterday in more ways than one, I'll share some information that the doctor gave me. I told him how I was suffering from severe paranoia about my lymph nodes always being swollen and he assured me that he couldn't feel anything swollen on any part of my body. He told me that he attended a conference last week and they had stated in early stages of Hodgkin's Disease, the probability of it reoccurring is very low. And he told me instead of making myself crazy everytime I think I have a swollen lymph node to just come in and see him. Oh and last week when I had to go in to have my blood drawn, the doctor had thought my bone marrow was starting to function again on its own and I probably wouldn't need the Neupogen anymore to boost up my white count. But yesterday, I had dropped back down pretty significantly, so he thinks my bone marrow is a bit tired. And instead of risking the chance of my white count dropping so low that I would have to reschedule chemo, I am just going to be proactive and get the 3 injections this week. I'm on a tight chemo schedule and must be done by February 22nd!!

Basically, I just need to get through the next 5 sessions and then give my best attempt to move on with my life, but not forgetting what this cancer experience has taught me.

Please pray that I get through this week...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's been a while...

I feel like I haven't blogged in weeks, even though it's only been about 9 days - if I am adding correctly. My brain seems to function a bit differently and I blame the chemo. I actually blame the chemo for everything. For example: "Lauren, do you want to go out tonight?" I reply, "No, I can't, I just got chemo." Another example, "Lauren, why don't you text or call me back?" I reply, "Oh, I went to sleep early because of the chemo, sorry." See, that's how it works - just blame the chemo! :) I've had a great week filled with working and spending time with my friends. I went ice skating on Friday night and had so much fun! I was also successful at finishing all of my Christmas shopping! Tomorrow is the start of cycle #4 and treatment #7. This means, I have 2 cycles left, which is a total of 5 more treatments. WOO-HOO! Go ahead, say it out loud...I just did.

I shall keep everyone posted this week on how I'm feeling. Send me strength and good thoughts. Also, please send all my friends going through this good thoughts too. I've met some wonderful people along this journey that deserve some prayers too. :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

And it's Friday...

Aren't Fridays supposed to be fun and exciting? Ya, not so much these days! Well, in a sense, they are fun and exciting because I'm alive and cancer free BUT Fridays make me miss my carefree and fun nights out and about with my friends! I don't know how much one can equate my couch and a movie with a fun night out. Currently, I am watching a Hallmark Christmas movie and what do you know, the girl on here is being diagnosed with cancer. Every show I turn on it seems as if someone is being diagnosed with cancer. Is cancer becoming more prevalent or was I just really good at never acknowledging it before? I really wish someone would just find a freaking cure for cancer already or shall I say the Government needs to release the cures they already have found? (I may have just started a debate right there, haha). Five days sitting on a couch allows your mind to think FAR too much!

I am still battling my cold, but am feeling pretty good. I'm bundled up with a blanket on my couch and have vicks vapor rub all over my chest, I'm like a giant grease machine! My weekend plans consist of getting myself on the treadmill and working out and also trying to get out of the house to do a little shopping. It's not only Christmas, but it's my sissy's 29th birthday this month!!

Trying to keep positive....keep the prayers coming. Have a lovely weekend everyone! :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Chemo 6 / Day 4

Dear Day #4,

It's been an interesting day. I woke up feeling as if I were in a desert and as if I hadn't had any water in days. I then began to realize I was so congested that I could hardly breathe. Oh, and to top it all off, my lips were awfully chapped. As I acknowledged all of these, I didn't want to get off of the couch to help myself. I decided to lay back down and fall asleep to hope when I woke up again, I'd be in Hawaii sipping on a mojito. Ya, not so successful - I woke up feeling the exact same. This stupid cold is seriously trying to ruin my life. I never thought in a million years that I'd say having a cold is worse than getting chemo, but it kind of is. Or maybe is it the chemo and cold combination? I don't know...but what I do know is that I want to breathe again through my little nostrils. I am feeling just super run down and blahhhhhhhhh today, but again, I don't think I can solely blame Mr. Chemo for doing this to me, he got assistance this week for trying to make my life miserable! Jerk. He's just super mad that his cancer cell friends died and he has nobody to play with -not my problem. :) I've got a busy TV night ahead of me filled with 2 hours of Private Practice...yesssss! Oh and Real Housewives of Orange County. I'm SO cool, I know. Have a good night everyone.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day Three-zie of Chemo #6

WHY is this cold still lingering? Oh my gosh, it seriously sucks. Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night...again. This time, tossing and turning because I was so freaking congested. Grrr. I have tissues up my nose and my mom does not like that at all....she is quite disturbed of the image actually. haha! The only positive thing about the cold is that you focus so much on the cold that you forget you had chemo. Hmmm, interesting.

Last night I did enjoy a nice walk - okay so maybe I shouldn't have gone outside, but I bundled up! I also had some hot chocolate, which made it feel like it was December for some reason.

I was also thinking when I was taking a bath last night (sidenote: I need a blackberry so I can blog while in the bathtub like Rev Run does) Anyways, I decided to share some of my tips to get through chemo week for anyone that is going through the same thing as me or is simply just curious how I try and still be fabulous while on chemo.

1. I eat five small meals per day, even if I am not hungry.
2. I make sure to incorporate some type of fruit (apples, oranges, whatever) into my diet daily.
3. I try to get plenty of rest - hence the indent in my parents' couch.
4. I drink as much alkaline water as I possibly can.
5. I try to drink a cup of ginger green or green tea daily.
6. I attempt to go on a walk daily - for at least 15 minutes. (on my off chemo weeks, I do at least 25 minutes of walking every single day)
7. I try to avoid eating foods that are high in artificial sugars...all the time.
8. I take anti-nausea pills twice per day even if I don't feel nauseated - I do this for the 4 days after chemo.
9. I do still have hair after 6 sessions of chemo, so I try to only wash it once per week and I do not blow dry it or use any harsh products on it. I also use a tea tree shampoo and conditioner that is gentle on my dead hair. It is dead by the way!
10. I take an apple cider vinegar bath for the first 4 days after chemo. It helps to detox!
11. I take shots of wheat grass on my off chemo weeks - I do about two per non-chemo week. It's gross, but you get used to it after a couple of times. Just think of it like a tequila shot or something.

That's all I've got right now, but I'll think of some more tips as time goes on. I am off to go deal with this awful cold!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sesh #6 / Day #2

So, a lovely day 2 of this lovely 6th session. This cold of mine is worse than the chemo, believe it or not! I think I went to sleep at 7:00pm last night and then woke up at 2:00am thinking it was the next day already. Nope. So, I proceeded to watch the creepy shows on late night television wondering if I was the only person up at that time...because you sure feel like you are. I think I went back to sleep at 4:00am and woke back up at 7:30am. My sleeping schedule was super crazy last night. I'll probably be taking a nap here shortly, if I can stop sneezing every five seconds!! Pertaining to chemo side effects, I'm actually not feeling too bad! I am just taking it easy and laying on the couch. I think I have made an indent of my body on the couch already. I need to try to take a walk today, but if I am still snuffalufagus in a few hours, it may not be a good idea. We'll see.... :)

Hair status: Still have hair!

That is all for now!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Chemo Session #6 / Day 1

It is day one of chemo session #6. It's official, I'm 50% done-zo! Just 6 more times of getting a needle poked through my chest! The doctor told me this morning that I am basically just a healthy person getting chemo now, so that was good to know!

I had a wonderful weekend filled with family and friends. I even managed to go out a bit, which was nice. BUT good times come with an expense...I got a cold. Yep, all the wheatgrass and protein shakes and all the other madness I eat, the cold managed to sneak it's way into my body. So now I get to deal with the chemo side effects and a cold this week. This could get interesting.

I am only getting two Neupogen injections this week because my white blood cells are starting to stabilize on their own. It's because I'm the "healthy girl on chemo." I mean, how many times a year do you get to meet a healthy girl on chemo? That's what I thought...I'm pretty darn special. :) I still wish I would've won the lottery though...that would have made me feel just as special.

Okay, that's all I've got today. I have to organize a 28 page paper now for school. The life of getting my Masters.

Send me strength and good thoughts. Oh and HAPPY 25th BIRTHDAY to my dear friend, Lauren. (I know, we've got good names!)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My lungs are still working good!

I had an eventful day at the pulmonary doctor! The appointment was actually a success. I really liked the doctor and he said everything looked good! He even felt on my lymph nodes and said "I don't feel anything." So, that kind of was nice to hear from someone other than my oncologist and parents. I had to breathe into this thing and basically breathe everything out I possibly can with some tube in my mouth and my nose plugged. It's really hard actually!! But the doctor said that everything looked excellent! So, thank you lungs for continuing to work through the toxic chemotherapy drugs. I surely appreciate you. I am having my 6th date with chemo on Monday. I told chemo I wasn't interested anymore and to stop calling me, but he's so persistent and wants me to commit to dating him 7 more times. I agreed. But then I made him promise to never call me again...and he did. :)

Wishing you all a Happy (and healthy) Thanksgiving! I'm making an organic pumpkin pie if anyone wants a piece.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Day # I don't know anymore

I was just taking my daily bath and I started to think, I'm good at thinking these days. I started to think about all the people in this world that are "sick" which includes babies, toddlers, adults, the elderly, everyone. Pre-cancer life, I used to feel bad for these people and just say how sorry I was for them, which I genuinely felt, but then, I carried on with my healthy life. Now being one amongst the sick population, I stopped and realized I don't want people to feel bad for me nor do I want people to feel sorry for me. I want people to learn from my experience and truly be thankful for everything they have in their life. Yes, not all of us are granted with all the beauty or money in the world, but at the end of the day - do those things matter? Those that know me know I appreciate nice things such as fancy cars, houses, clothes, shoes, etc. but guess what, I can't do much with those fancy things when I don't have my health. So, moral of my rant is that don't feel sorry for those that don't have it all, according to your definition of having it all, and don't feel bad for them, learn from them and be thankful for your life and the blessings that you are given. And simply pray for the people that are experiencing hardships. That's all.

Aside from the above mentioned items, I am feeling pretty good today! Getting some energy back into me and feeling motivated to do stuff again. This weekend I am going to bake some stuff, well try to. I am trying to be the pastry chef for Thanksgiving this year. The reason being is I am trying to limit sugar content and do some organic things :) If anyone is looking for me this weekend, you'll probably find me in Whole Foods.

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend. I probably won't post anything unless something super fantastic comes up and I need to share it, which hey, there just might be something in store for me. :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Session 5 / Day 4

Feeling okay, yet again. I AM JUST SO OVER FEELING CHEMO-ISH! And I am "fortunate" to get another 7 more weeks of feeling like this, obviously not in a row, but 7 more chemo sessions = an additional 7 more weeks. Does that make sense? I just want to live two weeks without receiving injections in my stomach, a needle stuck in my port, and blood draws. It's funny because I think I am becoming immune to the way needles feel. Pretty gross, huh? This has been a bit of a frustrating week because I'm on the last part of my road to recovery and just getting rather excited to go back to normal. I want to work 8 hours a day, go to school two nights a week, and still force myself to go to the gym when I'm exhausted. Never thought I'd "miss" those feelings, but I do...SO MUCH. Alright, I'm leaving my pity party now and going to be thankful for the blessings I do have in my life, even with stupid chemo. One more thing, I miss wearing my hair in a weird, messy side ponytail. I do have a nickname of "side pony" given by my friend Tim. I think he started it...or was it Brian? Hmmm...I forgot, but probably not relevant to those that don't who I am talking about.

I guess I will continue to find some lifetime movies to watch...right now I'm watching old episodes of The O.C. - quite entertaining to say the least.

Also, please continue to pray for me. I read something scary on the internet (see, when you are bored and at home for 200 hours, you find stupid things on the internet) and anyways it gave me anxiety that my cancer will come back again. We don't want that, so don't stop the prayers.

With love...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Session 5 / Day 3

I'm tired. I am watching Edward Scissorhands and I forgot how much I love this movie. I might tie two pairs of scissors to my hands and work on my parents shrubbery on chemo weeks. haha, not really, but it sounds kind of fun.

I am going to rest now...not much in the mood to talk today! Stupid chemo.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Session 5 / Day 2

Day 2...Session 5...umm, I'm feeling alright. I kind of had a weird night though. I think it was just anxiety to be honest. And I don't think it helped I went to bed at 8:00p either...being as which I woke up at 4:00a. Ya, that is 8 hours of sleep, so realistically that's not too bad, just waking up at 4 in the morning is kind of odd. The shows on tv are just weird at that hour! Today, I just sat around, but did manage to shower! That's always a good thing! I also did purchase my wig, in the event my hair falls out. Her name is Tatum! Yay for Tatum! It makes me feel better just being prepared...I feel more at ease! And if I don't ever need to use her, I will donate her to someone special that is in need of it! :)

I had to get another injection to boost up my white blood cells. Oh how I love injections in my stomach, it truly brightens my day (wink, wink). Now, I am going to go on a mini walk with my mom and take a bath. Cancer has really made me love baths for some reason! haha!

My appetite is still pretty good. Managing to be somewhat hungry.

That is all for now! Send me strength!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chemo Session 5 / Day 1

I have completed session 5. Yay! And it was decided this morning that I am going to do all 12 sessions, so 7 more to go. The doctor was able to explain to us that the bulk of the cancer is gone, but now we need to focus on the itty bitty cells that may be cancerous. It's the itty bitty cells that might be looking for some fun and try to start a party in my body. Therefore, we are stopping their party and going to kill them with another 7 treatments. So, I will be done in February 2010. This kind of sucks because I can't return back to campus next semester for school, which will postpone my graduation date - well, maybe. It depends how much I can cram into this summer!! But to be honest, I just want to be better. I'm tired of being the sick girl. Although, I don't feel sick and don't appear to be sick BUT I am classified as the sick girl in many conversations I'm sure. WHATEVER! And I did make the decision to go buy my wig tomorrow. I am thinning out so much and I think I'd just feel better knowing I've got the wig, in the event my hair gets crazy and all falls out one day. For instance, I went to my friends wedding on Saturday (Congratulations Lauren & Chase) but I was freaking out that I was going to wash my hair and then be bald...and the wig place not being open. Ya, I would have had to go to the wedding as Uncle Fester and it's a bit too late to dress up for Halloween right now, haha!

Okay, that is all for day 1 blogging. I'll return tomorrow with day 2 status.

Thank you to my sister and brother-in-law for visiting me this weekend!! :) Oh and thank you Jen, Jer, & Will Patterson for the beautiful card you sent me! It lifted my spirits very much!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The results are in!

I know, I know - I kind of waited a little while to post the results, I'm sorry! I actually found out the day of my scan, but I didn't want to say anything until I saw it in writing from the radiologist. On Thursday, I got a verbal from the radiologist, but that still wasn't good enough. And then today, I got it in writing - so I can finally share. :) I will quote it verbatim from the radiologist's report...well not the whole thing because it's kind of long, but the important stuff. "Lymph node masses themselves have markedly decreased in size." "Previous nodular opacities in the superior segment left lower lobe have resolved completely." (Umm this is referring to my lymph node in my lung, I guess they have to use big people words when transcribing). And most important line is "blah blah blah indicating POSITIVE TREATMENT RESPONSE.

So, basically my cancer is gone. My lymph nodes have all decreased in size. My nodule in my left lung is gone. I am SO SO SO SO thankful for this blessing. I would never be able to describe how truly thankful I am, but I will say it a million times! This is truly incredible news. My poor dad has dealt with me calling him about 20 times in the past two days asking "are you sure it's gone" or "did they accidentally mix up my scans with someone elses" - haha, I think he wanted to turn his phone off by the 20th phone call. :)

Big question, so now that those cancer cells took a vacation (hopefully permanent one) from my body...now what? Well, I do have to finish chemotherapy. BOOOO. But, we have to make sure that cancer leaves me forever and ever. I told my parents tonight, once this port comes out of my chest, it's never getting put back in.

So, continue to pray for me that I get through these next chemonths (i combined the words chemo + months, no? Not a good one?) AND most importantly PRAY that cancer and Lauren are never used in the same sentence again, unless it's past tense.

And p.s., I totally believe in the power of prayer....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

PET scan tomorrow!

Yep, tomorrow is the big "tell all" day. I definitely have a lot of mixed emotions right now. At one point today I was even feeling mad. Oh, stupid cancer. I have to share this story though because I thought it was not only cute, but it actually made a lot of sense. I was on the phone with my dad this morning while I was driving to work - we typically have our morning chats during our commute. Anyways, I was telling him how scared I was for my scan tomorrow and this is what he said, in his New York accent (for those that know him, you will laugh at that part) "Think of it like this Laur, it's like you are taking a class at school and you have been working hard and doing everything right to get that good grade...and now you find out if that hard work has paid off and what grade you get." My response, "Dad, what if I get a C?" That was me being pessimistic, but realistically, C's are unacceptable. And I happen to be almost a 4.0 student in my graduate program (one of my teachers gave me an A- this semester, don't even get me started). So by using my Dad's analogy, I am really hoping for an "A" tomorrow. I am hoping that the nodule is gone. I am hoping the cancer is gone. I am just hoping for anything good. Should I say the word "hope" again? :) Sidenote: Even though this is my midway point scan and not the final scan - it is still very important.

That is all and of course I will update tomorrow after I am through. My appointment is tomorrow at 10:00am, pacific standard time. Please plan your prayers according to your time zone. :)

Lots of love to all my supporters following me on this!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Are we there yet?

I know, kind of cheesy title of my post, but that's how I feel right about now. I just really want to be DONEEEEEE with this cancer crap. I think I am feeling a little annoyed because it's Friday night, I'm 24, and I am just dying to go to a bar and have a giant vodka tonic. Ya, I said it - I want one. But nooo, I am sitting at home, well, writing on my blog that I started because I have cancer. I am actually really not in a bad mood or anything right now, just really wishing I was out having a good time somewhere really fun with fun people. Okay, enough of my rant. I actually had a good day today (which probably isn't being carried out the best verbally). My energy level is at a good level and I wasn't feeling cancer-ish. Praying the trend continues until next treatment on November 16th. Oh and p.s. - I had two chocolate chip cookies over the past two days AND I almost drank a Diet Coke, but gained self control and skipped the Diet Coke.

White blood cell status: Good to go. I jumped back up pretty high so three shots of Neupogen this week was sufficient. I will have another blood test next week to check the little guys.

Hair status: We are still okay. I got this really cool little sleeping cap that covers my head, so I don't wake up in the middle of the night checking my pillow for hair strands. Can you say paranoid? Yep, that describes my relationship with my hair right about now. ALTHOUGH, I have met quite a number of people lately that are well into treatments that have not lost their hair, just thinned out like crazy. Thinning we can handle...

Have a lovely weekend everyone. Pray, pray, pray for my scan on Wednesday. I'll be updating next week about the results. Ahh, so nervous, but hopeful.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Session 4 / Day 4

I will keep this short, simple and sweet - I am doing okay (okay seems to be the trendy feeling this week if you haven't guessed that already). I have spent all day watching Lifetime movies, don't even judge me, because they are kind of addicting. I did just force myself to get up and go on a quick walk though, mostly because I was feeling too "bummy" just sitting on the couch all day and watching the sun start to fade away. I just got my third injection of Neupogen to boost up the white blood cells and then tomorrow morning my blood will be drawn to make sure the white count is up high enough to last me until next chemo session.

Oh and for the record, I went to sleep at 8pm last night. Look who's partying too hard these days!! Tonight...my aunt is coming over to stop by and say hello. Real Housewives of Orange County, Grey's Anatomy, and Private Practice is on tonight! MY, it's going to be a busy TV night, hoping I can manage to stay up past 8pm. :) Apparently, my 90th birthday came too soon!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Umm...how do I feel?

So, I am going to keep this post short since I wrote 6 pages of a post yesterday. I am feeling okay. You know I don't really love the Wednesdays after treatment. It's usually the annoying, kind of hate having cancer day. I have decided to just try and sleep most of it away and so far I've been successful. I am eating normally, not really having the appetite problem I had the last cycle. I did indeed wash my hair this morning, that is a task that I dread these days. I heard the hair can come out in the shower, like ALL of it, and whomever is reading this - wherever you are - you'll definitely hear me scream if that happens. Okay, that's an exaggeration...probably just my neighbors will hear. No biggie!

Okay, that's all...I am off to go try to beat Rip Van Winkle's sleeping record. For those that don't know who Rip Van Winkle is, he slept for like twenty something years. I highly suggest googling (is googling a word?) him.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Session 4 / Day 2

So, it's day 2 of session number 4! I am feeling pretty good, which scares me for more than one reason. When chemo isn't running you down, you start to ponder whether or not the drugs are working. But then when you feel like absolute crap, you wish you didn't feel that way. So, basically it's a no-win situation with these drugs! I really have to think I feel decent because of my good nutrition and working out. When I say working out, I mean 20-30 minute walks - let's not get crazy and say I am going to spin class for an hour! I don't think I could make an hour of that level of intensity, but I will be back one day soon. So, since I have SO much time on my hands to calculate this, I figured out if I end chemo on February 22, 2010, I only have approximately 16 more weeks of this madness! It feels so crazy that time is truly flying by and I have been going through such traumatic experiences since the beginning of August. I am thankful, more than you know, that time is moving ever so quickly.

Hair update: Still have it. It's definitely thinning and I tend to find stray hairs all over my shirt and on my pillow, but have to thank my parents for giving me such thick Italian hair! :)

What am I doing today? Well, I am just lying around and watching movies. I am seriously the worst movie watcher, there are so many movies I haven't seen! It's kind of embarrassing, but I guess I can be thankful I now have the opportunity to watch the movies that are like ten years old. Also, I am going to have to get the shot of Neupogen to boost up my white blood cell count.

I am praying extra hard that my scan comes out clean next week. Please, please, take the time and do the same for me. You can put my hair prayers aside for the next week and just pray this stupid cancer is GONE. I am ready to be cured and live my life to the FULLEST and most importantly, be happy and carefree. Oh, that sounds so amazing.

To end this post, I will say that I am so INCREDIBLY thankful to have met the people I have met also facing this Hodgkin's Lymphoma battle. I feel like I have lived my life thinking I was exempt from getting cancer or anything horrible, but I wasn't and nobody is (sad, but true). By being a member of the Hodgkin's Lymphoma group on Facebook, I have been so privileged to meet so many people, just like myself, that are going through this. Many of them also have blogs, which gave me inspiration to start mine. I really feel that I have met so many new friends through this. So, please take the time praying for these people too. Their feelings and stories are so similar to mine and it really hits home for me and as much as I want to beat cancer, I want them to beat it too. And I have absolute faith we will all overcome this battle.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Chemo Session 4 / Day 1

Hello all! I have completed chemo session #4. I cannot believe time has flew by so quickly and I am done with this session! That is very exciting. I am feeling okay today, so far so good. Not feeling as tired as I was the last session. Last time I was passed out sleeping because I was so tired right after chemo. My iron levels have come back up and I am not anemic, well that is - this week. :) I do have to get the three shots of Neupogen this week, but that's okay. The shots will begin tomorrow and go through Thursday of this week.

I spoke to my doctor prior to chemotherapy starting and we discussed kind of what the future holds for me, as in treatments, testing, etc. As you know, I will be getting scanned on November 11th. This scan will tell the doctor how effective treatment has been to date, but most importantly how much of the cancer is gone (hoping for everything to be gone). Another huge component that this scan will tell is if the nodule in my lung is gone. It is really important that this nodule is gone or we may have to consider getting the biopsy done. Because if the nodule isn't being phased by the chemo, well, that means there is a chance it could be something else. I really really don't want to get the biopsy done because it's an invasive procedure and it scares me so badly. I'd have to spend time in the hospital after the procedure. Gross!

On a positive note, the doctor did a thorough examination on me and felt all my lymph nodes underneath my arms, my neck, my throat, my stomach, back, etc. and felt nothing enlarged! And that is huge! It means those little suckers are being attacked by the chemo. :)

Well, that is all of the update I have now, but I will continue to write this week on my progress.

Please PRAY as much as you can about the good results my scan will bring next week.

Love & thanks for the support.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mid-week update!

Here is a little mid-week update! My roommate, Korie, said to me tonight, "Umm, I don't know how you are feeling because you haven't blogged and is that weird because I live with you and I should know how you feel?" I thought that was funny and decided to post something because of it! I have been feeling okay since Saturday, kind of just taking it easy. It's definitely been a lot harder and longer to get back to normal after this last session for some reason. Not really sure there is an explanation for that. I have a blood test tomorrow to make sure my levels are still okay and the results will give the doctor a good idea if the white blood cell count is high enough to have chemo on Monday, Nov. 2nd, which is ironically one of my best friend's Jackie's birthdays. So, not a fun or ideal way for me to celebrate it with a chemo cocktail, but I'll be thinking of you having fun Jac!

I made my appointment for my PET scan, where the inside of my body goes to a photo shoot. It's scheduled for November 11th at 10a.m. That means that everyone has to say tons of prayers for me that day and PRAY that the scan is clear or pretty darn close to clear! So this 4th session better knock all those mean cells out of my body and my good cells better get ready to take their picture on the 11th (a.k.a. the PET scan). Umm, let's face it - my good cells are far more photogenic than the bad ones.

I am going to enjoy the next few days before I go back into an icky week of chemoooo. I hope everyone is having a fun and healthy week and enjoys the Halloween weekend! Those who live in Nevada should be getting a longer weekend because it's Nevada Day on Friday. Don't hate if you don't live in Nevada and don't get to celebrate with us. :)

I'll be posting again next week!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A new day & feeling good!

Good Morning to all - it's a new day and I am feeling pretty good so far! Yesterday was a good day too overall. I took it easy yesterday because I was terrified of getting sick again like I did the Friday in my second chemo session. I did manage to go to the mall for a little bit with my mom and bought another new pair of boots. Yes, I'm kind of obsessed with buying boots right now. It makes me feel better! :) And then after the mall, I was feeling a bit tired so I went back to the house and just relaxed for the remaining of the day. My appetite was pretty good and my mom made a very good dinner consisting of broccoli, mashed potatoes, and chicken. I was feeling pretty hungry, but didn't want to overdo it, so stuck to a pretty small portion again. Apparently, the special chemo drugs suck some iron out of you - gosh, who do these drugs think they are? Anyways, moral of this story is that my iron levels are pretty low and I need to incorporate more iron into my diet, which red meat can give you. I tried giving up eating red meat after I was diagnosed because I convinced myself that certain types of food could be a reason people get cancer. (The million dollar question, why do people get cancer? Please text me the answer.) Anyways, I then discovered grass fed meat at Whole Foods, where the cows are not fed any grains and are hormone free. Since then, I have been eating only grass fed meat, when I do decide I want it. So, I highly recommend it if anyone wants to try something new. Sorry to my vegetarian friends who just read that, I know if you are anything like my friend ,Chelsea, she gags at the sound of hearing about meat.

About my white blood cells - well the shots that I received for 3 consecutive days boosted my cells up to something crazy like 20,000. I know, it is kind of excessive. But apparently that is the level I was supposed to get at the last round of injections. See, the chemotherapy is like Pac-Man. It destroys all rapidly dividing cells and can't distinguish between the good and the bad cells, so it likes to KILL all of them (hence, the cells that produce hair...grrr...stay away from those). I used to play Pac-Man as a kid, but never thought I'd use it in an analogy when I was describing my cancer experience in my 20's. Anyways, I need as many white blood cells as I can get to fight off infections (remember my immune system is not so hot right now). And, if chemo starts to get crazy and eats away too many white blood cells, I can't get chemo. I am getting a blood test on Thursday to check my levels because we don't want to delay chemo. No, no, no.

To end my posting for the day, I will answer what everyone really wants to know - what am I going to do today? Hmm, I suppose I need to change out of my pajamas and take a shower. That's a step in the right direction. I also need to go on a walk and get some oxygen into my cells. Tonight, it's one of my best friends birthday parties tonight - the big 25. (Happy Birthday Dana, I know you don't read my blog, but I am saying it anyways to you on here!) :) I want to try to stop by the party for a little bit. Hopefully, I have enough energy to do so.

Have a lovely day everyone! Next week I go back to work and get to be normal! :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Session 3 / Day 4

A new day it is...and feeling slightly better, but please emphasize on the term slightly. Still kind of feeling down, mostly because my energy levels SUCK right now. I just don't have much motivation to get up off the couch this week. Stupid chemo is trying to take the best of me, I just know it. I hate that I am kind of letting it win right now, but it doesn't know that I am going to be making a comeback really soon, because let's face it, there is only room for one winner, and that's me. My goal of the day is to take a shower, go on a walk, and not be Debbie Downer. I think I can accomplish it. I have to get one more shot today for my white blood cells, so I guess I have to include that into the agenda.

Side note, I just watched Marley & Me, I thought it was so cute! Of course, I teared up a bit, but it's definitely worth watching. My sister begs to differ though. :)

Hair update for the day: Still in tact. Approximately 15 strands fell out today, but no signs of baldness or chunks falling out. Yayyyyyyyyy!

If you are reading this, send me loads of energy and strength. Thank you much.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Session 3 / Day 3

If I could describe today in one word, it'd have to be - gross. I felt gross all day long. It took me forever to just get off the couch. I didn't feel like doing much at all and my appetite pretty much sucked today. Everything sounded, yep, you've guessed it - gross. I did manage to eat though, but mostly because I knew I had to. I decided to finally get up around 2:30p.m. or 3:00p.m. and take a shower and go on a walk with my parents. But I just didn't have that much energy today to do anything. I was also kind of moody for some reason. Sorry for those that have been texting or calling me, I haven't been in the chatting mood this week and I'd rather not be mean to people that don't deserve it!

Anyways, I guess today wasn't the best of days. I'm hoping tomorrow is better and brighter!

I need some extra special prayers tonight pleaseeeeee. :) Thank you, love you, goodnight.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Session 3 / Day 2

Dear Cancer,

I've decided that you are rather annoying. I'm not sure why you have decided to come into my body and create mean cells, but you did. You are kind of disrupting my normal life. I think you are getting mad because your other cells friends are dying and well, let's face it, majority of them are already dead. Which they should be dead because I am not only getting drugs put into my body to kill you, but I am nourishing you in a way that you don't really like. And don't bother trying to communicate with my healthy cells and attempting to manipulate them, because they aren't interested in playing with you or multiplying in a way they are not supposed to - they know better than that and they happen to like the good nutrients. Looks like you should just pack your bags and leave my body and don't bother coming back again in the future because you probably won't have any friends to play with and you simply don't fit in. And also, can you do me a favor and leave other people alone too? Their healthy cells don't care for you much either.

Sincerely,
Lauren

Monday, October 19, 2009

Chemo Session 3 / Day 1

I know I am posting a bit later than I typically do on chemo days, but I was so incredibly tired today! I did my routine thing this morning, which is me and my sister (sometimes brother-in-law) get up SUPER early and head over to my parents house for breakfast! I eat a little bit of flax oatmeal and some of an orange. It's been "my thing" since my first session, so it makes me feel a bit better that I stick to my routine. I started chemo today around 9:00a.m. and ended a little after 12:00p.m. I came home and just sat around. I managed to watch the movie, The Proposal, and it was pretty funny!

Okay, now to give everyone a medical update. After speaking with the doctor, my family and I decided that we are going to wait until I get a PET scan until after I complete my second session, which is a total of four treatments. So, that pushes the scan back to the week of November 9th. I apologize for those I text earlier and stated my scan was October 26th, we changed the date just as I was leaving. I also am going to try some new anti-nausea meds this week. We'll see how it goes! I start them tomorrow morning for a total of 3 days. Also, my white blood cells dropped a bit low again and I have to get the shots of Neuopogen again, sorry I may not have spelled that right and I'm too lazy to look it up right now. I know, very unlike me. But I am going to get 3 shots of Neupogen starting tomorrow and then get a blood test to see if I responded well. Then it will be re-evaluated to see if I need more.

I do have to go for a pulmonary function test to ensure my lungs are not getting all crazy from Bleomyicin (one of the drugs I get during chemo). That will probably be next week sometime. Don't worry I am not going to be going to the first pulmonary doctor I saw, I am being referred to a new one!

That's all for now. I am off to play Monopoly on the Wii and just relax. No walk tonight, it's too windy in the lovely Vegas area this evening. Twister is coming (maybe not so much?) Anyways, I'm sleepy and beginning to not be so sure of what I'm typing right now. Too much chemo cocktail (on the rocks) today.

Goodnight everyone....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Weekly update!

I know I haven't posted all week, but I decided to not bore anyone with actually what I do in a normal life (not involving chemo). No, I swear - my life is actually really exciting. I go to work, I watch TV shows, go grocery shopping, workout...jealous yet? :) Okay, all jokes aside, I am doing well! I have been LUCKY to live my normal life and do things such as grocery shop and I'm being very sincere when I say that. I have had a great week at work and have enjoyed seeing my co-workers, they always cheer me up. I have worked out pretty much everyday since Sunday and tonight I even ran on the treadmill for a short little spurt in my workout routine. It was definitely a bit harder, but I haven't ran in over one month, so it was a good little push for me.

This weekend I will be getting my massage that I was forced to reschedule due to not feeling well last Saturday. I am going to go to a haunted house tomorrow night and I'm so very excited for that. I love haunted houses and feel that it's a must to go to one during Halloween season. So, just so you are aware, when I'm 90 - I'll be going to one. I will also be making a homemade organic apple pie...yep, I'm a professional baker now - my dad and I make a great baking team! And I will end the lovely weekend with a visit from my beautiful sister...and we will be going on a hike on Sunday!

There's the weekly breakdown and I will update next week more frequently since it's time for chemo session number 3 on Monday, October 19th! Oh, in case you were wondering, I still have hair. The strand has now become plural - strands are coming out. I'm not shaving it until I begin to go bald in areas or begin to leave clumps of hair in places - that would just be embarrassing and have to admit, rather gross! :) But I'm staying positive and am going to stick to voting my hair will just thin during chemo.

And yes, how could I forget - chemo session number 3 is a big deal because I'm getting scanned after this session. The scan is going to tell how many sessions I need and how effective treatment has been to date. So yes, my vain side wants you to pray I don't lose my hair, BUT I do want you to pray MOST IMPORTANTLY that chemo is KILLING THE CANCER CELLS in my little body and will NEVER return. Thank you and goodnight - I send my love to everyone! <3

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Clearly bored :)

So, I've changed my blog appearance and am doing weird things to stay busy. It's kind of nice and refreshing to me to not do anything, because I usually accomplish a day's worth of activities by 10:00a.m. everyday. I cannot stand to sleep in and waste days away...large pet peeve of mine. Moral of the story is "being sick" gives me the opportunity to do things unlike myself. And hey, maybe that isn't a bad thing because I don't find myself as stressed out as I used to be.

I'm feeling SO MUCH BETTER! Oh my gosh, Friday and majority of the day yesterday was spent feeling super icky. Yes, I said the word icky. I am going to get myself out of the house today and do something fun and I am going to go on a walk...and cannot wait to get a little bit of exercise in me!

I decided to be silly and post this picture to make everyone laugh since my postings lately have been so Debbie Downer-ish. So, everyone knows I have a minor obsession with Britney Spears, don't judge, I bet you dance to her still too. Anyways, my friend Jen made this picture for me a long time ago with her fabulous photo shop skills...I think it's funny and would give everyone a much needed laugh, and I feel like laughing today.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Not so good...

Yesterday, I woke up feeling like it was going to be a good day and I was on the road back to feeling normal for a week or so, until my next session. I carried on with my day by running errands and just living a normal life. I even bought some gluten-free cookies at Whole Foods to treat myself, since I don't really eat "sweets" anymore. I even decided to eat one because, hey, I was feeling good. It wasn't until about 6:30p.m. that I started feeling a bit queasy. I decided to make some soup and drink ginger ale. While I was eating the soup, I noticed that I was just not feeling well and couldn't finish my meal. I decided to get some fresh air and put a cool cloth on the back of my neck. Nothing seemed to be working. I don't know if you remember or not, but in a previous posting, I compared the days after chemo to be like a bad hangover. Well, when I am sincerely hungover (from a fun night out, not chemo drugs), I like to lay in the shower because I am convinced it makes me feel better. So, since I partied too hard on the chemo drugs, I decided to use the lay in the shower trick. It turns out that it did actually help me, but I just couldn't seem to feel better. I eventually fell asleep around midnight or so, but it was not a fun evening at all. I had a massage scheduled for 9a.m. this morning, but decided to re-schedule my appointment for next weekend. I think I need to take it easy today and just rest. I was so anxious to returning back to my normal life, I got a little too carried away and overdid it yesterday. So now today is going to consist of working on a final exam for school and watching movies in bed. I may try to get out for a little walk or so to get some fresh air. That's all for now...enjoy the weekend and send strength my way.

Oh, and I'm shedding a little bit more. I just found a strand of hair on my laptop. Gross. BUT, I did just find a pair of red boots at Aldo (online) - I am so excited because I've been trying to find a cute pair of red boots for so long! I just bought them! So whatever hair, fall out if you want, but I'm going to wear my cute red boots anyways!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Session 2 / Day 4

Surprisingly today was not as good as I anticipated it to be - "feel good" wise. I kind of just was in a funk today and felt "blah" all day long. I did manage to get myself out of the house and run a few errands. I somehow ended up at Verizon and tried to persuade them to let me upgrade my phone 3 months early, but I was unsuccessful. I am not even sure why I went in there, I just was driving by and the next thing I knew I was inside the store. I guess mentally I thought a new cell phone would make me feel better. On another note, I still have managed to keep a good appetite and am keeping a good weight. I have lost about 5-7 pounds since this whole cancer madness started, but I wanted to lose the weight anyways to be honest! Although, getting cancer was not my ideal weight loss plan. I have been eating so much better and pretty much stopped drinking coffee and stopped eating sugar (sorry sour patch kids, I still love and miss you). "Can I please have a tall vanilla latte?" has now turned into "Can I please have a grande green tea?"

Anyways, tomorrow is a new day and hopefully it's a bright one, and, um, with hair. As always, count your blessings and say a prayer for Lauren's recovery.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Session 2 / Day 3

Good ol' Day 3 after chemo...if you remember my last session, you know that day 3 is the most annoying. Surprisingly this time, I had more of an annoying night than today so far. I fell asleep last night while watching Melrose Place and woke up to a super icky nauseated feeling. I had to take another pill around midnight to make sure I didn't wake up to a toilet bowl in the middle of the night. This morning I woke up and went for my shot. So far no side effects from the shot they are giving me. Supposedly, it can make your bones hurt. I haven't experienced anything yet and hopefully will not. I am still a bit red in the face and chest from the steroids they gave me Monday, but I'm going to stick with my story that I am sun burnt from my trip to Cabo.

Other than that, no new side effects. Hair still in tact. I did a hair test this morning, as part of my usual routine.

As always, keep the prayers coming. I WILL get through this, I'm just not willing to let cancer take the best of me. Sorry cancer.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Session 2 / Day 2

It is Day #2 and I am feeling pretty good. I did get the usual redness in my chest that I had on Day #2 last session, but it's okay, it looks like I was in Cabo or something and got a sweet little tan! I didn't sleep that well last night, but I think it's because my dog likes to open doors and try to get in the bed with me in the middle of the night. Since I am not allowed to really pet the dogs and I have to keep my distance, no sleepovers right now with them. She is too cute though, she doesn't want to leave my side when I am at my parents house. That actually goes for all three dogs, they love to be around me, I think they know what is going on. I keep telling them I am going to be okay though. I did go in for my shot this morning, it went okay. Kind of gross because I had to get it in my stomach. Blah. Apparently, it's supposed to make my muscles ache a bit and give me flu-like symptoms. We'll see. Hopefully, nothing will happen as far as side effects. Maybe because I am a rock star and recover so quickly? :) Ya, I like to think that especially on chemo weeks. The agenda today is to relax and finish season 2 of Gossip Girl, do some homework, and scrapbook! I organized all my pictures yesterday and that was quite the project. I already went on a little 15 minute walk this morning too...my mom and I may go again this afternoon as well just so I can get out of the house for a little bit.

Happy Tuesday everyone. Send me lots of strength and optimism...and pray these cancer cells are DYING!!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Chemo Session 2 Completed (Day 1)





I have completed my second chemotherapy session, which now means that I have completed my first cycle. Each cycle consists of two sessions. My doctor stated that he is leaning more towards not putting me through radiation therapy, as he is going to try to make this healing process as less toxic as possible. So, that's good. I really don't want radiation because I read that it could potentially put you at risk for other bad things later on in life. And God knows I don't want anymore hardships on my health after I overcome this battle. My first PET scan is going to be the week of October 26, 2009. They will evaluate how well I am responding to chemotherapy and then make modifications to my treatment plan. I may need all 6 sessions, which will put me out until February 2010 or I could just do 4 sessions, which means I'll be done in late December. Either way, it's frustrating, so I don't know if I mind that I would need all 6 sessions. Like I have mentioned before in previous posts, I just want to be cured. That's all that's important to me!!!! I am feeling pretty good after treatment today, back to my fist sized meals, five times per day. I am going to go on a walk in a little while also. I have taken on scrap booking as a hobby to get my mind off things! But I also am tackling some homework too...obtaining my Master's Degree is not being put on the back burner too much. Hopefully this week goes by quickly without too much agony and pain. Oh, I forgot to mention - I have to get that shot of Neupogen. And I'm sorry, make that plural...shots. Apparently, I'll need it for a few days. My first one is tomorrow morning. Blah. Okay, well please continue to keep your strong faith and pray for me. Here's a few pictures from this morning's session. Thanks to my family for all attending and staying by my side. It means a lot to me. One more thing, I made a pumpkin pie with my dad on Saturday and it came out soo- good! It fulfilled my craving!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Nothing really new...

Today my sister said to me "You haven't really blogged lately, so I'm not sure how you are feeling" - see, my sister and I kind of have this strategy. She usually checks my blog at the beginning of each day (prior to calling me) to get an idea of how I'm feeling. It works out well because then she knows how to talk to me and not ask a bunch of questions. Moral of the story is, I decided to blog today after she said that to me! I am doing great though. I had such a fun night "out" with my friends last night. We went to dinner and it was absolutely beautiful outside...I know...hard to believe Vegas brings good weather! But we ate dinner outside and just had a nice night. Then today my sister and brother-in-law arrived and we've been at my parents house for the majority of the day. I am going to be making a pumpkin pie tonight! For those that know me well know that I'm not much of a cook or a baker, so give me some credit for trying! I have been craving pumpkin pie so bad...I think it's because it's October and I am feeling holiday-ish. :) I have a lot to look forward to this month, three of my best friends are traveling from California and Texas this month and I'll get to see them, it's two of my bestie's birthdays, AND I am most likely getting scanned at the end of the month to see the status of my cancer.

Chemo is on Monday - I'll update as the week progresses. I am taking on scrap booking this week as a hobby so I am excited!

Enjoy the weekend and will update everyone next week. Please keep me in your prayers this week that I stay strong and healthy. Love everyone!!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Update...

I have been fortunate to be pretty much back to 1oo% my normal self. I am feeling relatively good and was able to return back to work this week! I sure did miss my co-workers and it's been nice to stay busy during the day. I am eating normally and am still keeping active, as that is extremely important. I had a blood test yesterday and the results came back good! My white blood cells have dramatically decreased in count and that's good because it means the chemo is destroying all those nasty cells that want to create cancerous cells. My white blood cells will continue to decrease as chemo progresses, which again is good, but can also put my immune system at risk. I need to be extremely careful when my immune system is low to avoid any infections, which means I may need to avoid crowded places or not be around anyone who is sick. My doctor is predicting I will need a shot of Neupogen after my next treatment, which will stimulate cell growth. Naturally this means more needles, but whatever - I can handle it. I have been feeling very optimistic this week since I'm feeling better :) That's all for now - hope everyone enjoys their week! I'm looking forward to seeing my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew (dog) on Saturday morning!!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

And the hair is...

My friend Jackie (she is a hair stylist) cutting it off...
The end result! My hair and I thank you Jac!

So, here is the end result. Jackie cut quite a bit off...you should have seen the hair on the floor. Hopefully, chemo won't take the best out of this and this will be my new hairstyle for a while!

A new day...

Yep, today is a new day and one day closer to the end of this journey. I am feeling pretty good today, I would say about 85% back to normal. I have been battling with the nausea the past two days because I am trying to avoid taking a pill to prevent it if I don't have to. So, the goal today is to get through the day without the pill. So far, so good. Again, it's all a mental thing. The minute I start to think about getting sick - guess who feels sick?

I've been telling my friends that ask how I am feeling (p.s. you can ask me how I am feeling now) that chemotherapy feels like a horrible hangover that greasy food from Burger King can't heal.

I found myself on google this morning looking for tips to prevent hair loss. Scalp cooling came up, but that's about it. A lot of websites did recommend cutting your hair short, not only because it's less traumatic, but because it's easier on the hair follicles.

So far the only side effect that has hit me is the nausea. Many people say they suffer from insomnia, but I haven't. I get at least 8-9 hours every night.

I pray every single day, multiple times per day, that this chemotherapy is working and that I can tolerate the side effects. I do believe that God will only hand me as much as he knows that I am capable of handling.

Well, that's all for now. I'm looking forward to getting my haircut today! :)

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chemo Session #1 / Day #4

Lucky for me, today is a MUCH better day than yesterday. I had suspected Day #3 to be the worst and it sure lived up to that role. I woke up this morning and didn't necessarily feel fantastic, but I do feel better and brighter! I still am obsessed that my hair is falling out every minute, I do self tests in the morning and basically pull on my hair. A couple strands here and there lead me to believe it's happening. But again, is that my mind playing tricks on me? Probably. To alleviate the hair drama, I have decided that I am going to get a haircut this weekend and cut it above my shoulders. For those that know me well do know that I have pretty much always loved short hair. Ironically, prior to diagnosis, I was trying to grow my hair out to see what it would look like. I have pretty thick hair and it grows really fast so I wasn't having any trouble accomplishing that goal. Either way, I am going to have it cut and go from there. A short head of hair will be far less traumatic to lose, if lost. I have gone on a 20 minute walk this morning with my mom and am now relaxing watching...yep, you guessed it - Gossip Girl...Season 2 now! Thank you God for getting me through these past three days and thank you all for the encouragement and strength you have sent me, don't stop - this was just our first hurdle.

**I posted some pictures that were taken during my first treatment under Chemo Sesh 1 Completed. I made everyone pose with me, but somehow my sister escaped the photo shoot. Oh and don't worry I already submitted them to America's Next Top Model. :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chemo Session #1 / Day #3

So it's day three after my first chemotherapy session. Kind of feeling "blah" and feeling a bit down. I feel in shock for some reason - not sure why today, but it's happening. I just cannot believe I am going through this and feel like asking "why me?" It's not even the sickness from the chemotherapy that gets you down, it's the mental part that wants to mess with you. The sickness, well, so far, has been tolerable BUT your mind likes to play with you and likes you to believe you are not doing well. So that is what I am struggling with today. I am going to get out of the house for a little with my mom. We have been going on walks every night, even if it's just for ten minutes (which is all I could do last night). All in all, I am hanging in there, just a bit of a struggle. Sorry if I am not returning phone calls or texts right now, just not feeling in the mood to talk much today. Guess it's just "one of those days"

Yep, this is a depressing blog day. Sorry.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chemo Session #1 / Day #2

Okay, so it is day #2. I am feeling "just okay" - not great, but not too bad. I am convinced I am already losing hair though, but I may just be feeling like I am. Having a really difficult time distinguishing between what is real and what my mind is trying to do to me. I am just taking it easy today and watching Gossip Girl. Yes, I'm addicted, thanks to my sister. I am going to need season 2 by tomorrow. I have, so far, contained the nausea through pills and drinking a ton of ginger ale and ginger tea. So far, my appetite is moderate. I am eating small portions and aiming for 5 times per day. As long as I can keep well nourished through those meals, I should be okay. It is really important I continue to do so. I did notice my chest turned a bit red this morning, but apparently that is from some of the steroids you are given in the pre-meds of chemo. Lucky me. I am fortunate to be with my parents and as expected, they are doing a wonderful job at ensuring I am well nourished and comfortable. My sister left this morning, but she will be returning for my next treatment, with my brother-in-law. Please continue to pray that this chemotherapy is working and getting the bad cells out of my body while trying to preserve some good ones. We don't want to kill all the good ones too. All anyone can do for me is pray. I am greatly appreciated for those that take the time to do that. And while you are at it, pray for others, besides myself, that are experiencing this and those that have overcome it. That's greatly important. Thanks everyone...with love.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chemo Sesh #1 is COMPLETE

Me and my mom! (above)
My aunt and I (above)
Dad and I (above)

I have completed my first chemotherapy session, it's official. It started at 8a.m. and ended around 11a.m. My mom, dad, sister, and aunt were there. My sister and I watched one episode of Gossip Girl. (Since I will be home all week with not much of an agenda, getting into the show Gossip Girl has now become the agenda). I did make everyone take pictures with me today, but I will post those as soon as I can, so you all can have a visual. I am feeling okay, but the next two weeks are a trial run because I will need to see how I feel each day, as it may fluctuate. Okay, that's all for now...I just wanted to let everyone know I was okay and survived the first day of chemo.

Dear stupid cancer,

I hope you are dying as I type this note to you.

With Love,
Lauren

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Last night before the big week ahead!




Wanted to share a few pictures of the last night before my fun week starts! My friends Jen, Dana, and well Korie lives with me were over. We thought it'd be funny to put on the scarves I purchased (in the event I lose my hair). Korie (second from left) decided to put some gangster flavor into my scarf. So unless I plan to model Tupac or Biggy, I won't be gangster-fying mine. I don't even know if those were good gangster examples, whatever, hope my point is made clear! My sister is the fabulous photographer! :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Anxiously awaiting...

I am currently in Newport Beach, I arrived yesterday afternoon. My roommate, Korie, drove me out here. We decided to come out to spend two days here and also take my sister back to Las Vegas with us. If you haven't guessed it already, I am starting chemo next week. I know, I know - I wasn't going to say it, but I was reading over some of my previous blogs and think I may have indicated some clues that it was happening this week. I am getting pretty nervous, mostly because I am afraid of not knowing how my body will react. I am so nervous that the side effects are going to be horrible or the cancer cells won't be phased by the chemo at all due to my body rejecting the drugs. Yes, that's rare, but then again, is getting cancer rare at my age? Some may beg to differ with me on that, as there are THOUSANDS of people worldwide faced with cancer, but I guess I still just can't believe I am now a statistic. I'd rather be a statistic of something else, but guess we can't win it all. I am still feeling pretty good after my procedure on Thursday. I am not in excruciating pain or anything and was able to go on a decent walk around Corona Del Mar yesterday with Korie, which was relaxing. Last night we had a bonfire at the beach, which was also relaxing. We are going to head home this afternoon so I can get myself organized and prepared for next week. Please continue to pray for me and pray that chemo works for me and kills the bad cells and strays away from the good ones (i.e. my hair) Yes, I'm prepared to lose my hair, but when it comes down to looking at myself bald, well...that may be difficult. I think I'll just hang a picture of Brit Spears in my bathroom when she shaved her head - not sure that many will agree that the picture of her should inspire me. :) Happy weekend everyone, enjoy...but don't forget to pray.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

All is well!

Another thing I can put behind me...I completed the whole fertility process! The procedure was not as bad as I anticipated it to be, mostly because I get so nervous for the IV's. But to be honest, the IV wasn't even that bad. I was only in the room for about 15 minutes and then went to the recovery room for about an hour. My blood pressure was a bit low so they pumped me with all this liquid before I left. I am feeling a bit of discomfort, but nothing super painful. I hope I never have to use the eggs and will be able to conceive a child on my own, but now I have a backup plan if for some reason I can't. I am glad I decided to do that....good choice Lauren :) So, thanks for all who supported that decision! I do have a chemo start date, but am not saying it until I am sitting in that chair with an IV in my port waiting for the meds to start flowing through. Because we all know when I say a start date, it doesn't happen! BUT I do have one!

As always, I hope that everyone has an enjoyable weekend! Happy Birthday to my lovely friend Erica and best wishes to my friends getting married, Stephanie & Derek! I wish I could take part in the celebration, but I'll be thinking of you guys on your special day!!!!

Another round of anesthesia...

Today is the big day for the egg retrieval! My appointment is at 11:45a, but we have to get there by 11:15a. I am kind of used to the drill for surgeries now - no eating or drinking after midnight, etc. etc. Naturally, I am so dehydrated right now and want a giant beer (just kidding). I really want a giant glass of water! BUT noooo...can't have anything. When I got my lymph node removed, my surgery wasn't until 5:00p, that was so intense not eating or drinking all day. They also weigh you before a surgery and I think I was like 5 pounds less that day. Anyways, I will post later today and let everyone know how the surgery went. Supposedly I'll have some abdominal pain, but we'll see. I don't know if the doctor remembers that he is dealing with the Incredible Hulk? :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Better day!

Today is much better than last night. I found out this morning that my baby little eggs are ready to go! My procedure is on Thursday and I can't wait to be done with this hurdle. I am a little sad though because this means tomorrow will be my last day at work until I return on September 28th and I truly love being at work. My co-workers provide such a comforting and loving environment for me and I can honestly say I like being there. I've decided to not get sad about not being at work, I am going to think of chemo weeks as my mini vacation. Where should I say I am going on my mini vacation - Fiji, Bora Bora? Come on, think of something fun for me. Besides my good news, I still can't get Ethan's situation out of my mind, I am feeling a little better. One of my co-workers told me either last week or two weeks ago that I had too much of a "bleeding heart" for people and it wasn't good for me because it obviously makes me upset frequently. And I thought about what she said and I kind of do and it's probably not always healthy. Whether it be that homeless person on the street or that elderly person sitting at a restaurant by themselves, my heart literally aches because I hate to think people are alone. What I have come to realize is that you can feel alone even if you are surrounded by 30 family and friends telling you they love you. So those people that appear to be alone could be the happiest they have ever been. Moral of the story is that I feel upset and saddened over tragic cancer stories because I picture that being me and I literally put myself in their shoes. But at the same time, I don't understand their situation to the fullest and should not be so quick to judge others or feel sorry for someone, when maybe they are happy. And Ethan may be in a horrible situation, but could be feeling so good. So, when my co-worker told me that I had too much of a bleeding heart, she didn't intend for me to start being cold to people or to not care, but she simply taught me that it may not be necessary. And I think I realized that today.

I've said this before, but I'll say it again and again. I want everyone to know who takes the time to read my blog that I am so appreciative you take the time out of your day to do so. And for those of you who send me e-mails, text messages, phone calls, cards, etc. - thank you. I know that sometimes people may look at me and feel "poor Lauren" but those people have no idea how much love and support I am receiving through this and how "not alone" I am. So don't feel sorry for me, feel happy that this has happened to me and I am going to get through this alive and be a better person in the end. To end on this note, Ethan had mentioned in one of his videos that God may have given him this stupid disease to inspire people after he was cured and I am going to agree with him that it may very well be my job as well - to inspire others.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kind of sad...

So I typically only like to hear positive stories about cancer and to hear about people in remission. I do not like to hear people dying or that the cancer came back to play again. First, I see that Patrick Swayze lost his battle to pancreatic cancer at a young age of 57 and then I just go to People.com to find out the cancer came back for my Survivor friend, Ethan Zohn. Ugh, I literally feel sick to my stomach. Remember, Ethan has the same disease I do, but a different type of Hodgkin's. Mine is Nodular Sclerosis whereas Ethan's is a rare form called C20. I am extremely sad right now to know that his cancer came back just shortly after he finished his chemotherapy sessions. It literally makes me sick because he was someone that I really admired in this whole process and still do. I was just praying that he was going to be okay, as it not only gave me hope, but made me feel good someone else went into remission. Now Ethan has to undergo a stem cell transplant which will be a process that will take him through January 2010 (is what he stated). He will have to spend months in the hospital too in order to get this transplant. He WILL survive the transplant and his odds are still on his side, but it's just a lot to go through again after he is coming out of chemotherapy. Obviously this makes me scared out of my mind that something like this will happen to me. Can't say much tonight except my thoughts and prayers are solely with Ethan and his family, as well as Patrick Swayze and his family.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My port picture...


Okay, so to clarify, here is what my lovely scars look like. The one on the top is where they removed my lymph node (remember I said I looked like Frankenstein?) Anyways, that is healing beautifully - he cut very straight! The one lower than that is my port scar. See, there are no tubes hanging out or anything, just a little raised bump. That one is healing, but it's a little more new than my first one so it has a little bit longer to go before it starts looking pretty again. I am a little red because they itch so bad! I obviously can't itch them hard, but I do kind of - oops. I just made my roommate take my picture and I had to find a tube top to wear so I looked appropriate in the picture. I picked up the shirt I wore the night I found the lymph node and she started crying. She is very emotional this weekend, she may have stolen some of my estrogen from me (just kidding she really didn't, I just like to tease her).

Another fun week ahead!

Hello, Hello....hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! I sure did. I got to see a lot of good friends this weekend and got to spend time with my co-workers. Thank you especially to my friend, Tay, who came from Texas to see me! It was definitely a nice weekend. Now I am sitting in a coffee shop with my roomie doing some homework. It is such a cute place and I ironically am enjoying doing homework! I just put together a PowerPoint presentation for one of my online courses, hopefully it turned out okay! I do have another proposed start date for chemo, but am not going to write it because like I said, I jinx myself every time! I had a doctor appointment yesterday with my fertility doctor and they think I should be ready by Wednesday to have the eggs removed. Shoot, should I have not said that date either? Oh well. I am so ready to have these eggs removed, I am not only Fertile Myrtle, but I feel pregnant. I don't really know what pregnant feels like, but I think this is it. I am like Octo-Mom, haha! So please pray tonight is the last night for my injections and I am ready to go by Wednesday! Last night I made my roomie watch my dad while he gave them to me...my hands get so sweaty, literally like dripping. I hate needles so much. Go figure :) That is all that's going on with me right now. I am still feeling great - taking daily vitamins, eating healthy and drinking my alkaline water and Kombucha! Okay fine, so I had a chocolate chip cookie yesterday and maybe a sip of Diet Coke, don't judge me. Also, I decided I am going to dance everyday I have chemo, probably to Brit Spears. Chemo Dance Days...anyone can join, just make sure you are ready to dance. Will update you all with anything I have, as always! Love and hugs to all...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The good with the bad...

So I had a super frustrating morning...I found out that my eggs have not fully matured yet and won't be ready to be removed until sometime early next week. Guess what this means...yep, chemo is delayed AGAIN. Naturally (and possibly due to my hormones raging) I cried....twice. I am just anxious to start treatment because the sooner I start the sooner I will be done. And I decided I won't be saying a start date for chemo because I think I jinx myself when I do. So one day you will visit my blog and find out I started! Good plan, huh? I thought so. You probably notice I posted a bunch of pictures onto my blog. I decided to spice up the page a little bit and make it a bit more entertaining. I visited other blogs, as I have been so fortunate to meet a lot of young people with the same disease I have...anyways, their blogs are so amazing and colorful and contain all these pictures. I'm like wow, my blog sucks. So I spiced it up and am very pleased with the outcome. I'll continue to do so as I find some fun pictures. This weekend I have a friend coming in from Texas so I am excited to see her and will also be seeing some friends tomorrow night. I get really excited to see people, but then sometimes get sad at some point in the evening because I watch everyone live their carefree life and I'm like "wow, that isn't going to be for a while." Moral of the story is I get really sad (oh gosh, the hormones will make that worse, I just realized that) and I go home. But I am going to try not to be Debbie Downer tomorrow. Over the past few days, I have heard some traumatic stories regarding other peoples lives, some of which do not even have cancer - just have had something traumatizing happen to them. Anyways, I have to say this again.....if you are healthy, you have it all. If I can live by anything, it will be that one statement. Health really is everything and nobody should take it for granted. Take the time each day and recognize that. I hate to be the "preacher" but it's so true. If everyone in this world had cancer or something life changing happen to them, we'd for sure live in a different world. Two months ago I was cussing everyone and their mother out for cutting me off on the freeway - chances are that you won't catch me wasting two seconds of my time being angry about that. Okay, that's all for now. Please keep the prayers coming in!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

One more thing...

This is what happens when I hibernate, I talk way too much.

I wanted to say one more thing, I do promise to start posting some pictures once I start chemo! I am going to have one of my family members take a picture of me during every treatment and I suppose I'll post them so you guys can all see what it looks like (the port, the special meds, etc. etc.). I can't promise that I will look super hot, but I can promise I'll be wearing cute sweats and when it gets cold, I might even bring out some cute red boots to wear to treatment.

Okay, I promise...that's all for now!

Sad the weekend is over!

The weekend went by too quickly! It's weird though, I used to look forward to the weekends because it was my time to run fun errands, hang out at my parents house, and see my friends! But now, the weekends are just more days of the week. Granted I still hang out at my parents house and do get to see some of my friends...but obviously it's just not the same. My errands consist of finding more healthy and organic foods to eat at Whole Foods and finding hypo-allergenic products for my skin and hair! Whole Foods is so amazing though, they seriously have the best stuff ever. I did actually go to the mall today and haven't been there in a while. But I kept thinking in the back of my head, why would I buy cute clothes right now, all I want is pajamas?! My parents yell at me when I make comments like that because they tell me I am not spending the next 6 months in my pajamas. Okay, and nobody get upset...but I did buy some scarves online for my hair, in the event that I lose it. BUT they are so cute that I may even wear them with my real hair! After all, it wasn't so negative that I made the purchase. Also, I can't remember if I blogged about this in the past, but there is this guy named Ethan Zohn, he won Survivor one season. I'm not a Survivor fan so I don't know which season, but if you know my brother-in-law, ask him...he'll know :) Anyways, he was actually diagnosed with Hodgkin's sometime around April 2009 and People.com followed him during the process and they did video blogs. The videos are incredible because he actually has gone through a lot of the same stuff as I already have (such as scans and he has a port). It even shows him receiving chemo one time. I have suggested a few of my friends to check it out, but not sure if they have yet. You can go to YouTube or people.com - just type in his name. I really think it would give people a better perspective and visual as to what I am going through. And he is incredibly optimistic, oh and kind of hot! :) He is actually done with treatment for the time being, he is waiting on scans to come back. Gosh, do I sound like such a stalker! I'm not, I swear, he is just interesting and helpful to me and not so bad to look at. haha! Back to the moral of the story, he had a link on his website to this Australian Lymphoma Network and I checked it out and am so thankful I did! I met three young girls via e-mail, like myself, that had Hodgkin's! Two of which are in remission and one is finishing her treatment. They have provided me with such good information and they are so nice! Talking to them definitely lifted my spirits this weekend! These girls from Australia went through the exact same things so it's inspirational to see how they dealt with it and how I can apply it to my personal life. Yes, of course I have a wonderful support system, but nobody has gone through what I am going through. And it becomes really hard when you talk to others because all you want to say is "you have no idea." But that's not very nice of me, so I try to refrain from saying that. I'm not asking for an Emmy because I have cancer or asking for special treatment, I am just asking people to be considerate of my feelings. Okay this blog was kind of long. If I did win an Emmy, my acceptance speech would just be outrageously long. I will end my speech for tonight by starting a countdown to the days I start chemo...7 days!! Who wants to party? Shots of immunity booster on me! Love & goodnight.