Monday, November 26, 2012

He's going to Disneyland!!!! And other things.

On Wednesday my brother Josh got his mission call! I am so incredibly proud of him. It was such a blast to watch him open the call. I was so excited and antsy all day, and I'm sure he was 10x more so.

I know he was a little disappointed right when he opened the call, but I was so incredibly excited, and I know everyone else there was too. He is going to be an awesome missionary and do a great job in the Anaheim California mission.

Josh, I just want to let you know that I am incredibly glad to be your sister. I wish I could go back to when I was a bratty little child and I was so mean to you. It makes me feel really sad that I was a mean little kid. I love you and I think you are awesome. I hope you know that I really believe in you. You are a hard worker when you want to be, and even though you are a quiet and reserved person, you will be blessed to have the courage to approach people and share your testimony with them. I know that there will be many people who will be touched by the testimony that you have to share. You will be able to be influential to people in a way no one else has been able to. You will be able to change lives. Even if you don't baptize anyone, people will be changed for the better if you strive to always do your best and work hard.

At our Thanksgiving dinner my in-laws shared advice to my sister-in-law Ashlynn as she also prepares for a mission. I want to share that advice with you Josh.

  • Perfect obedience: if you strive to live the mission rules with a PERFECT obedience you will be blessed with the Spirit always. It is a rule that one companion is supposed to help the other back out of a parking stall by standing outside and backing them up. Even if it is pouring rain and there is not a single other car in the parking lot, obey the rule. An elderly lady saw this exact situation happen and because of the missionaries' obedience she was converted. People are always watching.
  • Love: love the people, love the culture (yes California has a different culture), love the food, love the work, love the Gospel. When you are filled with love for the people, you can better serve them.
  • Study: study like you have never studied before. Know the Gospel the best you can. Read the Book of Mormon. Make sure you get your own testimony before you go.
  • Work hard: work as hard as you possibly can. Every day will be the hardest day of your life, but it will also be your best. Don't give up or slack because it is too hard. Nothing is too hard when you have Heavenly Father on your side.
  • Listen: listen to the Spirit because He will guide you and help you find people. He will comfort you when you are frustrated. He will help you love your companion when you want to kill him.
He leaves February 27th. I'll miss the little guy!

Chemo today went well. My white blood cell count more than tripled this week!!! Thanks to an awesome teammate who helped me find ways to increase my count. I drank lots of carrot juice and took some super powerful probiotics. I think it definitely helped. So glad I could get treatment! I also got to see my friend Haley and talk to her for a while. It is just so much more fun to have a friend my own age to talk to, even though we have totally different cancers.

It is weird, I haven't started losing my head hair yet!! My eyebrows have started falling out again :( and so have my arm hairs, but the hair on my head seems to be nice and stuck! I am so happy. I really am sick of being all the way bald. Its nice to have a little fuzz. 

I didn't write a Thanksgiving post because I don't want to be all cliche and so many people were doing it that I figured people were bored of reading them. But I am SO incredibly grateful for so many things I could never ever name them all. Maybe that was another reason I didn't want to do a thankful would be way too long. I am grateful for life, to be alive. I am grateful that I have been able to be a blessing to others because of my cancer. I am grateful for a supportive husband that takes care of me and a mother-in-law that cooks dinner every night. I'm grateful for a mother that spends every Monday sitting in the chemotherapy room by my side and spends countless hours researching the newest and best treatment for me. I'm grateful that my brother has chosen to serve the Lord on a mission. I'm grateful for the days that I have energy to run. 

And the list goes on and on and on.

Sorry there were no pictures today. I did a horrible job this weekend taking pics.

Yesterday a lady in my ward said this comment and I really really loved it, so I will leave you with this thought:

"Often your worthiness is not measured by the blessings you receive, but by the trials you endure"
Hope and inspiration for those with cancer. Gain strength as you live life to the fullest -- one day at a time. #cancer #hope #survivorship #Livestrong

Monday, November 19, 2012

White Blood Cells, who needs 'em?

The thing that sucks worse than getting chemo, is not getting chemo. I had the awesomest plans for today! But my body had different plans for me. My lab results came back and my absolute neutrophil count (has to do with your white blood cells and is a measure of your immune status) was too low to get treatment :( It really sucks when they tell you that. I was especially excited to have my best Christmas present be ending chemo, but now I guess it can be my New Year's present :) Almost just as good.
Last night I stayed up all night making a costume for my monkey :) Dov, one of the other cancer patients has been planning a Thanksgiving celebration for today. He asked a bunch of people to make gift bags to give to the other cancer patients and those recovering from surgery. I dressed up as an Indian and monkey got to be a Pilgrim :) I must say it was a pretty awesome costume. I was so excited to give my little gifts to people and make them so happy and hardly 5 minutes after I was in the infusion room the nurse brought my labs to me and said "Sorry, but your counts are too low today. You can't get treatment." I was super bummed. However, I still got to show off my awesome monkey and I passed on the gifts I brought to Dov so he could hand them out later. He said KSL was coming to film so maybe you should check it out on the news later!
To make up for not getting treatment I decided to go running instead!!!!!!!!!! Isn't that a great trade-off?! I was planning on my first day being tomorrow but since I got home so much earlier than I thought I was going to, I went for a run!!! Gosh it sucks getting back in shape, especially getting back in shape when you have poison coursing through your veins. But I did 30 minutes of running time with only 3 breaks! Plus Koda got to go on his first run ever and he was a champ! He is going to be an awesome running partner. He's been passed out since we got back haha. It was really really hard and I was really slow, but it was a beautiful day and so nice to be able to get back out. 
The whole running gang
Can't wait for Thanksgiving!!! I have so much to be thankful for.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Any Day on the Slopes is a Good Day

Yesterday was opening day at Snowbird Ski Resort. I coerced my dad into rescheduling all his work appointments for the day so he could go skiing with me. I really had to twist his arm, but I finally convinced him to take the day off. I had to beg and beg. This is how the conversation went "Dad, Thursday is opening day at Snowbird, do you" "Yeah we should go! Want to try your new skis?"
My dad is awesome. It was such a beautiful day on the mountain! We got up there at 8:30, just in time to pick up my season pass and get down to the lift when it opened at 9. The snow wasn't amazing, but it wasn't bad either! There were even a few small sections of powder-ish snow. I thought that I would be exhausted and have to take breaks every couple of minutes, but I was able to ski just like normal! It was so exciting! We skiied for a little over 3 hours and I only had to tell dad to let me rest one time.
I thought this week I would start losing my hair. Last time I started losing my hair about 16 days after my first treatment. That would have been on Tuesday/Wednesday, but my hair still feels soft and I still have to shave my pits! I hate the shaving part, but I am so happy my hair is still stuck on my head! I didn't realize how bald I had gotten, but I look much cuter with a little fuzz. Maybe I won't lose it this time! Okay, probably not but it never hurts to wish.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pedal On

Today I rode my bike for 35 whole minutes on Sterling's bike trainer (its cold outside....I'm not that adventurous yet). The first 3 minutes were awesome! I was like, "Dang, I am doing better than I thought!" And then.....boom, I felt like death. Can you believe that?! After only 3 minutes I felt like I was going to die! But with all exercise and for people of all fitness levels, all you have to do is push through it. It doesn't necessarily get much easier, but it doesn't get much harder either. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it ten minutes, but I took it in chunks and made it 35 :)
It felt so good to get my body going again! I am so antsy to go running (only 7 more days by the way). It seems so contradictory when I am feeling exhausted and tired that a little exercise can really make me feel so much better! I think that a little bit of exercise helps me have way more energy than I would have otherwise. I believe that is true for anyone. I can see why it is so incredibly hard for people to get up off the couch and start exercising. It is hard to get started and when you feel tired, the last thing you want to do is spend energy exercising. But in the long run, you feel SO much better! Even in the short run!

Tomorrow is opening day at Snowbird. Guess where I'm gonna be? Bundled up on the slopes :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Date Night

I've felt so much better this week than I did last week. I wasn't sick at all and just a little tired. Last night I even got to go on a hot date with my super awesome hubby :)

We ventured out in the snow and went to Macaroni Grill. Thanks to a gift card and a coupon we only had to cover the tip! Then we headed over to the Provo Beach Resort to go bowling. But the glitter of those arcade games caught our eye.....we decided it'd be more fun to try our hand at Deal or No Deal and Fruit Ninja. So we loaded up our cards (they do a card system now instead of having tokens) and got to work.
Sterling started it out with Deal or No Deal and he did pretty good! Then I decided to try Wheel of Fortune. I rocked it! I won 145 tickets!!! Wooohoo I felt so cool because I am horrible at video games and stuff usually.

Sterling and I played 2 games of Connect Four. Sadly I lost both :( Pathetic, I know. I played some Fruit Ninja and Sterling went hunting. I tried my feet at Dance Dance Revolution, did you know I have NEVER played it? Crazy huh. I did it on easy on rocked it so I thought I'd try it on normal. Yikes. I got rocked and I was completely exhausted. It was like doing an intense aerobic workout for me. Afterward I sat at the table to catch my breath.

Then the way coolest game came! Think of Get Smart when they have to get through the laser hallway....that's what we got to do! Each of us got to see our ninja skills at weaving in and out of lasers without touching them. I am dominated obviously. Haha jk, Sterling did awesome but I did it a little faster so I got more points.

So, it was a pretty awesome date. We got lots of prizes with the tickests we won and then we ended the night with an ice cream sundae. It is fun to have a normal evening out every once in a while doing something that doesn't revolve around cancer. I can even almost forget about it...almost.
All our winnings

After treatment Monday I'll be a third of the way done! And here's a cute picture of my puppy.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

HA! I showed chemo who's boss. ME. I am boss of chemo. Friday I finally started feeling back to myself and I ate lots. I ate at In-n-Out twice! How's that for protein? The rest of the weekend was awesome, I've felt so good (comparatively). Just in time to get chemo again tomorrow. Hopefully it will go better this week since I am a little tiny bit more healed.
And our puppy is making leaps and bounds! He slept almost the whole night last night and today he walked to the door when he needed to go potty. So proud of the little stinker.
People always say time flies or where has the time gone? You wouldn't think those statements would apply to me at this time in my life, but when Heavenly Father assures us that our trials will be "but a small moment" He really means it. It seems like just yesterday that I was diagnosed. And although there have been times that have gone very slowly, in the long run they are but a small moment of my life. It has been just over 5 months that I have been a cancer fighter. When you think that I have been alive for 270 months and my treatments will end about 7 months after diagnosis, that's barely 2.5% of my life! I hope that in my future trials I can remember that they WILL be short in the eternal perspective. Concentrating on each day individually has really helped me. Instead of focusing on the future and how long it may seem, how far away the end may look right now, I focus only on today. Today I am feeling good. Today I have enough energy to play with my puppy. Today I looked cute. Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow has yet to be, but today I am alive and happy and very blessed.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Man, chemo this week sure has thrown me for a loop. I am so exhausted I can hardly even write this blog! Going up and down stairs is like running a 10k. I was pretty nauseous on Tuesday and a little on Wednesday. I have had basically no appetite at all and I have to force myself to eat at least a little something every day. Hopefully this isn't how chemo is going to be for the next 2 1/2 months! I'm sure my body is just exhausted from trying to heal from surgery and then getting blasted with poison. I think next week will go better.

Our puppy is pretty fun, but I feel so bad because I haven't had the energy to do anything with him :( My poor family and Sterling that has to take care of him.....I guess I shoulda waited until I knew I was going to feel good enough to be a caregiver....people tried to tell me, but of course I wouldn't listen :)
Taking a bath
Well, that's all, just a short quick update today!