Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cathy Walters Foundation

Every summer, my dad's company, Ernst & Young, has a Cathy Walters Foundation golf fundraiser.  Dad has attended this event for several summers.  I would like to share a little bit about this foundation, and their cancer scholarships.

"In the late 1990s, Cathy Walters worked in the National office of Ernst & Young in Cleveland, Ohio. She helped develop audit software. To the outside observer, Cathy didn't seem all that special; she did her job, shared some laughs with coworkers and each night went home to her family. But everyone has a story, and Cathy’s was quite special.
A single mom, she was fearless about trying new adventures and instilling a passion for living in her daughter. She sought only to see the positives in life and she met every challenge with enthusiasm.  Already twice a cancer survivor at age 34, in 2001 Cathy faced yet another recurrence with her unique sense of realism and humor.  In August, she lost the long and difficult battle, but she did it on her terms. She focused her final days on the people she loved and continued to spread joy to everyone she touched – from the doctors and nurses at the Cleveland Clinic to her co-workers at Ernst & Young to the kid who delivered a single rose to her every day. She lived every minute looking to inspire someone.
And this is what we celebrate everyday at the Cathy Walters Foundation. Cathy’s legacy is that when life throws a punch, the best move is to take it by the hand and start dancing."

After Cathy lost her battle, her daughter was adopted by another Ernst & Young employee.  The Foundation was established to help Cathy's daughter with her academic expenses.  After she graduated, the Cathy Walters Foundation established scholarships to help college students whose lives were touched by cancer, either their own, or a close family member.  

I have been blessed to be a 2-time recipient of this scholarship.  It has been a blessing in managing my college expenses, and not having to worry about college expenses.  
If you work for, or affiliated with Ernst & Young, please consider going to the golf invitational.  If your life has been touched by cancer, regardless of ties to EY, apply for the scholarship.  

Thank you Cathy Walters Foundation! 

Birthday Blessings

This post has being sitting in drafts for a long time...

I celebrated my 19th birthday on August 12th, followed by my port- removal surgery on the 13th, followed by my ICU admit on the 14th! Thank you to all that made my birthday such a special day!
With Melinda and Danielle, who started my day with beautiful balloons and cupcakes!! Thank you!!

Finishing the day with Miss Kathleen who brought more cupcakes! 

Joseph is so proud that he is now officially taller than me...

My siblings went all out and bought a bunch of party gear...

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Hello All!! It's been a while since we updated, and a lot has happened since!!

So here's a quick update beginning from my admissions to the PICU.  I was coughing and couldn't breathe, which led to chest x-ray and eventually admitted to the PICU. While there were many theories as to why I was having trouble breathing, the final consensus led to chemo induced pneumonitis.  Certain chemo meds, which I was on for my BMT, can lead to pneumonia like symptoms.
I am on a treatment regime which consists of taking Bactrim (a pneumonia preventing antibiotic) every 6 hours for three weeks.  I'm also on steroids, and just finished a broad spectrum antibiotic.
Moving forward healthwise...I am seeing a pulmonologist this Tuesday.  I will also be following up with my oncology team on the 9th.  I still have greatly reduced lung function and support, and get tired rather quickly.

Thank you all so much for your prayers, notes, and acts of kindness.  It was nothing short of a miracle from God that I was able to leave the ICU when I did, and return home that quickly.

I ask for your continued prayers as I started college this past week.  It is a bit of a challenge to juggle the work with my health and doctor appointments across town, but I know that this is where God wants me. I have been incredibly blessed with understand professors who are being helpful to accomodate my needs. These verses from Isaiah 40 reflect what I've felt these past two weeks:

Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?  He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Here is a song that was an incredible blessing to me in the ICU, as it accurately summed up what I often felt.


We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It's not our home

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops

What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

Here are some pictures from the past few weeks!
ICU rooms aren't designed for mobile patients...hence the closeted toilet which swivels out! 

Attached to an IV pole...again

When did they take that?!

What can I say?

So the band around my chest was connected to a machine which vigorously shook me for 20 minutes every four hours.  The idea behind it was to loosen any particles in my lungs.  Everyone thought it was hilarious.

The mask shown in the previous picture is what I was constantly on.  It's called a CPAP.  It forces air into your lungs, which can be really uncomfortable and pushes down on your face.  The padding shown in this picture was to relive some of the pressure of the mask.  

Finally well enough to walk again! Going around the unit with Child Life Lisa! 

This is in the oncology ward, the day I was released.  It is customary to sign your handprint when you are done with your treatments and leave oncology.  However, when I ended my treatments, I was released from Seidman Cancer Center, due to the water trouble issues.  As a result, I never got to sign my handprint then, but I did now.  Hopefully I will never again have to be admitted to that ward.  Mine is the purple hand on the right!