Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Celebrating Life!!

So today was my T+100 day, and thanks to my awesome family, I've had an absolutely incredible day!!

It started out like any other day, except  I was so excited I got up at 4:30 am and had to force myself to sleep another hour.  But it was during lunchtime that my family turned a special day into an extraordinarily special day!

I'm so blessed to have such a caring and thoughtful family.  I'm so happy to have had such a wonderful opportunity to share what a loving family I have. Thanks so much guys~ you're the best!
The Delivery Crew

Another member...
Thanks Mom and Dad!!! 
Surprise visitors!
with balloons...
and chocolate cake...
and a tiara...
I wore this tiara through my BMT! 
and good friends to share it with!
Aaron, Connor, Brian and Brian, Brad, Tyler, me , and Janna.
~missing are Ari, Rachel and Kenzie, and Katy who took the picture :)
Thank you guys for celebrating with me!!
Thank you for being so supportive  and accommodating and kind to me!!

T + 100 Days!

So today is my T +100 day milestone!! 100 days from the day I got my cells back! This is kinda the first and last of the BMT milestones.  It's amazing to think that I'm there.  It seems just  a few weeks ago that I was so sick and in the hospital.  But it has been a while since I've been out, 69 days to be exact.

I'm so grateful to be with my family and having a wonderful summer. I've thoroughly enjoyed our family vacation, going to a friend's wedding, making many new friends, and so much more!

So here's what is going on medically at 100 days.  I had several scans that needed to be done, and I'm in the process of getting to those:

  • Echocardiogram -ECG: tests the heart function, especially since some of my chemo meds are known to greatly affect heart function. Thankfully I haven't yet seen any heart damage!
  • Pulmonary Function Test -PFT: tests lung function.  My earlier PFT showed slight damage that the doctors attributed to radiation.  But my last PFT showed more damage, so I will be seeing the pulmonologist soon.  
  • Infectious Disease -ID: I'm seeing them today to determine the plan of action! 
  • CT and PET- I will have these scans on July 5th; please pray for good results.  
  • Restrictions: I'll be able to eat fresh stuff again! I can go out a bit more, but with my lungs I still have to be careful of catching colds.  

Ruth, Rachel and I dressed up for the wedding!

Sharing bubble tea with new friends Kenzie and Rachel!
I'm really blessed to have made a  lot of new friends this summer!!

McDonald's with Ruth, Stacey, Rachel, Audrey and Abbey!
In hindsight, if only I had switched spots with Abbey we would have looked like a triple stack oreo! 

Rachel and I with Dr. Doug Osheroff, who we met on vacation.  
Daniel and I on vacation
With my wonderful parents
I"m so grateful that God has given me more time on this earth.  I want to make sure I use this second extension on life to honor and serve Him.
This song beautifully captures what I want God to always be to me...
You Are My All in All
You are my strength when I am weak
You are the treasure that I seek
You are my all in all
I'm seeking You like a precious jewel
Lord, to give up I'd be a fool
You are my all in all

Taking my cross my sin my shame
Rising again I praise Your name
You are my all in all
When I fall down You pick me up
When I run dry You fill my cup
You are my all in all

You are my strength when I am weak
You are the treasure that I seek
You are my all in all
When I fall down You pick me up
When I run dry You fill my cup
You are my all in all

Jesus, Lamb of God
Holy is Your name
Jesus, Lamb of God
Holy is Your name

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day Dad!

Dear Dad,

My first cancer brought us closer than I think we've ever been.  You took every Monday off work, to take me to the hospital.  We had the long drive to the hospital and back to be together, and all day at the hospital to get to know each other better.  That cancer helped me better understand your love for me.  You bought me so many thing, and said yes to almost anything I asked, because you knew how badly I was hurting, and tried to soothe my pain.
I remember the first time that I realized how much you wished you could make all my hurt go away...I wanted so badly to go to the concert that my friend had invited me too.  It was the first free Friday night we had had in weeks.  I knew you had had a busy week at work, and could really use a proper dinner and a quiet night at home.  But you sacrificed all that so that we could go to the concert.  I had to eat my evening meds when we finally got home after midnight.  That's when I realized just how much you loved me- when you choked back tears as you told me how badly you wished you could take the pain and pills away from me, when you said you hoped the concert gave me a few happy minutes, a reprieve from the daily battle I was facing.

I remember the day they confirmed the cancer had returned.  You cried in the car, and prayed for me.  You often stayed at the hospital during my BMT.  I know the bed was really just an uncomfortable couch, the constant movement and lights in the hall didn't let you sleep well, and the food usually wasn't the best, but I never once heard you complain.  You bought me necklaces or earrings nearly weekly.  You mailed me those cute little stickers, and bought me stationery.  Remember when you hunted for butterscotch candies? Or when you walked across the street to buy me a bagel for breakfast, because I wouldn't eat hospital food? Or when you found lactose free milk and yogurt for me? I could whisper "Dad" in the middle of the night, and I always knew that you would be right by my side.

Thankfully I'm returning to normal life again; we're establishing our morning routine again.  I love it when we share breakfast together.  Thanks for always making sure I have all my stuff and back out of the driveway without denting both our cars, again.
They say hindsight is 20/20.  I know I've gotten mad at you, talked back, griped, and often not behaved as I should. I'm sorry.  Hindsight has shown me that everything you've done, you've done because you loved me, and you tried to give me the best that you could.  Thank you for the opportunites you've given, the doors you've opened, and your support and guidance to see me through.
You've helped me gain a closer relationship to God through a closer relationship to you.  You've been willing to take my pain and suffering on yourself, just like Jesus took our sins on Himself.  You've always been there for me when I needed you, and I trust God will let you be there for me for many more years.
I'm going to close now; I can't ever write everything you've taught me through your actions or words, or all the instances that I've felt your love to me, because it would fill pages.  Thank you for being my dad.  I love you.
Happy Father's Day!