Monday, January 28, 2013


On Wednesday after my appointments I came home to a surprise party dinner!! It was so awesome, I have such a thoughtful mother-in-law. She even got me balloons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why is that so exciting? I don't know, but I was really wanting balloons on my last day of chemo, so when I walked in to balloons on my last day of having cancer it was really exciting. And the best part is one of the balloons was Rapunzel! My favorite. I love Tangled almost as much as I love monkeys. And that is a lot.

Facebook was exploding with congratulations from people. It made me feel really awesome and excited. I'm not going to lie, my doctor's "NED" visit was a total let down. So I'm really glad I came home to a party and for the virtual party all my friends and family gave me via Facebook. I like social media for that reason. Thanks everybody for being so excited for me.

I haven't had a bloody nose in 9 days now! I am soooo glad. Definitely one of the more annoying side effects that I wouldn't have thought about. This is the beginning of the 4th week since my last chemo treatment. My hair keeps getting longer....but also more sparse. It is the weirdest thing. I know I've mentioned it before but it's still falling out! Ah well, I have quite the awesome spiky hair now.

My running also keeps getting better!! I'm down to 9 min/mile now (outside) instead of 13 min/mile. And I've been doing 3-3.5 miles everyday. I am sooooo glad I can finally run outside. I hope it doesn't get cold and icky again because running on the treadmill is bad for my brain. 

Saturday night Sterling and I went on a date. We got free fish tacos at Rubios (I love coupons) and went to the Dollar Tree in search of something fun to do. We ended up with some modeling clay! These are our lovely creations:

For some reason Sterling didn't really want me to get this though:
  I thought it was cool :)

Today I had a celebratory lunch with my aunts and older cousins and my mom at Macaroni Grill. Our waitress was so awesome. She saw we were celebrating something because I had a gift so she asked what we were celebrating and I told her we were celebrating that I don't have cancer anymore. So she let me choose ANY dessert on the menu: full size, for free and she sang opera for us. She was a dang good singer. Macaroni Gill rocks for giving me delicious chocolate cake (which made me feel sick but was totally worth it). Thank you miss waitress, I wish I knew your name because I'd call and tell your manager you should get a prize for being so nice.

Now that I don't have cancer I'm sure these posts will get quite boring to people, but since this has basically become my journal you can still expect updates.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dancing with NED

Well the doctors have said I am NED! Ned means No Evidence of Disease. Woooo! Seems so crazy after almost 7 months of having cancer to be rid of it. Now the plan is just continue on the Avastin every 3 weeks. It is a short (30 minute) IV infusions at the Huntsman. I will meet with my surgeon every 3 months for 2 years and then after that every 6 months for 3 more years and then hopefully only once a year forever. 

I woke up this morning to this beautiful sunrise. I guess the smog is good for something! I don't know why, but the sunrise was so pretty and it really made me feel like it was the beginning not only of a new day, but of a new part of my life :)

I found this quote the other day and it says what I feel about running so perfectly I had to share.
Truly, I love running. It's who I am. It's a part of me. Even if I can only run for 10 minutes, I feel whole and happy. And if everything else is falling to pieces, I go for a run, and I feel like things are going to be okay.
--Johanna Olson, Olympic Marathon Trials runner who died of brain cancer at the age of 33 
I seriously love running. Not being able to run and then being able to only do a pathetic jog intermixed with lots of walking has really been hard for me. I am starting to be able to run a little better; a little longer with less breaks and sometimes even a little faster. It has definitely been something I've had to adjust to and deal with. People think that now I'm done with chemo I am all better and normal. My life is still definitely not normal. It will never go back to how it was before. I probably won't feel really recovered until I can actually run again like I used to. And who knows if that will even happen! It is definitely an adjustment going back to "normalcy". But I am excited to be able to move on with my life a little. It was nice to have Monday free this week and not spend it at the Huntsman (even though I am here now on Wednesday).

Yesterday my friend Aimee came over with her super cute 6 month old! Aimee and I have known each other since FIRST grade. How cool is that? It was fun visiting with her and even fun playing with Eliza. She is the cutest tiniest little person. I hope that my babies are as cute and tiny as her. And she didn't even cry when I held her. Most babies really hate me. Seriously. It made me feel happy that she let me play with her.

I forgot to write that Saturday I went night skiing with Sterling and my sis-in-law Ashlynn and our two Australian friends Kaila and Sierra. It was fun and not too terribly cold and really nice to get out of the nasty smog. I snowboarded instead of skiied because I hardly ever board and thought it would be better for the icy night conditions. Unfortunately the very first run I felt right on my tailbone soooooooooo hard I couldn't even move for a second. It still hurts. A lot. Otherwise it was pretty fun :)
It amazes me how attractive we are.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Waiting Game

Friday I got my CT scan. At quarter to 5 I had to start drinking the delicious "berry smoothie" dye they provided me with. It has the consistency of glue and after the first swallow tastes like it too. It is awful! I had to drink 2 huge containers of it. Blgh.
After I was exploding with the lovely stuff the nurse finally came out to the waiting room to get me. I laid down on the slab and she connected the iodine dye to my port. The iodine dye is the stuff that makes you feel all hot and weird inside like you have lava coursing through your veins. The nurse left the room and went back to the controls to start the scan. She did the first half and then said "okay, here comes the iodine" and suddenly I felt a freezing cold wet feeling on my head the was quickly trickling down my neck and back. About a minute went by and the nurse comes out "Did you get all hot and tingly" "Um no, I think it leaked all over me!" And so it did. I sat up and had the dye all in my hair and down my back. Luckily it is a clear liquid, but unfortunately it is extremely sticky. We're talking like corn syrup sticky. The nurse felt really bad and gave me a washcloth to try and get it out of my hair and off my skin. I laid back down and she connected me again, this time making sure the tubes were all on securely and we tried it again. This time when she pressed the dye it worked. But since it was going through my port it felt incredibly weird. And it made me severely nauseous. I almost sat up and ran to the trash can to puke, but the feeling subsided in time. I liked the iodine through an IV better. Through my port it just made my core all hot and weird and was a really sickening feeling. 
In the waiting room trying to gag down my drink.
So that was my experience getting a CT scan this time. Now I have just been waiting. And waiting. And waiting. For Wednesday to come so I can meet with my doctors and hopefully hear good news!

I also got the necklace from my mom that she got me as my chemo grad present. It is super cute! You know all those pins you see on Pinterest "send your handwriting here and they will turn it into jewelry for you". Well the lady my mom ordered from, Lauren Nicole, did that exact thing!! Sooooo cool. She wrote "courage" on the front of a heart pendant and "love, mom" on the back in my mom's handwriting. There was also a monkey stamped pendant (I love monkeys) and a teal bead. Lauren wasn't sure which color teal my mom wanted so she included two different ones just in case. It was really sweet. If you ever want to give a personalized gift to somebody I would definitely recommend her jewelry. My mom said she is really great to work with. And her jewelry is really cute!

Well, can't wait till Wednesday! Check back for the results!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Of Work and Puppies and Things

Monday Sterling was finally offered a job! It was some of the best news I have ever heard. He started on Wednesday and so far has really enjoyed it. He is the Marketing Professional for The Ready Store. He gets to do all the PPC (pay per click), affiliate marketing, email, catalog, etc. etc. business words blah blah. But it's a real grown up job like with a salary. Cool huh!

To celebrate we went on a date on Tuesday, our last day together before work started. I saw a flyer for a "create your own superhero" activity at the Huntsman Center so I made Sterling agree to go. It was actually pretty fun. Mostly just the artist in residence guy gave a little power point about superheroes and told us to create our own and set us loose. So we each drew and colored our own superheroes. It was fun being with other cancer patients and drawing. I love to color. 

Here are our finished products (well Sterling's wasn't quite done at this point):
My superhero is this awesome chick named Woman of sTEAL. Teal because that is the ovarian cancer color and steel as in strong metal. I had to explain that to the artist in residence because he thought we were spelling "steel" wrong on accident :) She radiates strength. Her hair is made of steel. Her motto was supposed to be "Cancer killer, chemo conqueror" but I wrote it wrong on my paper. Her monkey sidekick is for comic relief, he can always make people laugh. Sterling's superhero doesn't have a name yet. But he is strong as steel and he can fly. He's still a work in progress :)

After our fun coloring activity that I can't believe Sterling agreed to go to, we went to dinner at Red Lobster. Thank you mom for the gift cards so we could have a nice date. 

Today I decided to go crazy with my hair. I'm getting tired of the comb-over [boy] missionary parted hair style so I tried out the crazy spiky look. It was pretty fun. Here is my awesome photo shoot with myself. I am such a nerd. I know. And I don't even think you can tell how awesome my hair is haha.

Aww cute Koda was such a poser by me! My eyebrows and eyelashes are basically gone but for some reason the hair on my head keeps slowly growing! I love it.

Also, I will probably write a whole post on it, but my mom and I are doing the Little Red Riding Hood bike ride again this year! Last year I did it a day and a half after I found out I had cancer and completed all 80 miles. We want to do 80 miles again. And this year is going to be really special because we want to ride as part of the Huntsman Hometown Heroes. It is a non-profit organization that does this ride and as a stipulation to ride on their team you have to commit to raise at least $750 for cancer research. All the money goes directly to the Hunstman Center for breast and ovarian cancer research. I really hope we can get it because it would mean a lot to me to 1. support cancer research and 2. do what I love with a group that supports me as a cancer survivor.
Me and mom at Little Red last year, right after I found out I had cancer
My mom and I have set up two fundraising links so if you want to donate to cancer research for us, please do it! Here are the links you can do it through. It is tax deductible since it is for a non-profit organization. They give you all the tax info you need when you donate.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Consumer Electronic Show

Last week I had the opportunity to go to the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas with my dad, brother and husband. It was pretty fun! The best part was getting to see the sun and having two days at 60 degrees instead of the 10 here in Utah.
I was really proud of myself this day, I ran 32 minutes straight with NO breaks!!! Of course it only happened one day, but I was excited.
We saw tons of way cool things and I can't remember half of them. I liked some of the cool touch screen stuff, the cool smart home features and some odd knick knack thingies. There was tons of waterproof stuff, a bajillion iPhone cases, and tons of sport action cameras (like Go Pro stuff). There was a cool nail machine that had hundreds of different designs and could even take a picture and print it right on your nail. Like if you wanted a picture of Zac Efron you could bring a picture and it would print him on your nails. Manicures just got more customizable and quicker!
The boys' favorite thing was playing games

There was this really cool bike guy that did sweet stunts. I forgot the name of the sport.

The best things were the amazing comfy bed and massage chair. Granted we got to those at the end of the second day when we were all soooooo exhausted, but that was the BEST massage chair I have EVER sat in. And the bed? If I had $8,000 I would definitely buy it.

This is my next car...

We also went downtown Las Vegas the last night we were there. We got tired at the show walking around and everything started looking same anyway. So we went to the new Fremont street that they've tried to make all nice. We walked by the Heart Attack Diner where you eat free if you weigh over 350 pounds! SICK. Me, my dad and my 6'0" tall brother barely made the cut!

We also got to go to the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop where they film Pawn Stars! When we first got there they were filming the show so the store was closed and that's when we went by the Heart Attack Diner. We came back to the pawn shop and were allowed in while they finished filming with the "specialist". It was way cool. You might even get to see our butts on a future Pawn Stars episode.

It was really fun to get away and celebrate being done with chemo. I have my CT scan on Friday (it got rescheduled). I hope warmer weather is headed here soon! I tried running outside on Saturday and it made me soooo sick because it was just way too cold, even though I dressed plenty warm. I have been running though! It has been fun. I really wish I had a gym pass cuz the Clegg's treadmill is old freakin' school. Like dinosaur age treadmill.

Oh and I really want to be on the cover of Runner's World someday. I have added it to my life-long goal list. I figure if I put my desire on my blog someone somewhere might have a connection to help me out :)

Monday, January 7, 2013


THE END OF CHEMO! And the beginning of the next chapter of life. I can't believe today is the last day of chemo, hopefully ever! I have made it through 18 treatments and 2 major surgeries. I've lost my hair, twice. And I've experienced life in a whole new way. I must say, there are a few things that I will not be missing. That includes: having no eyebrows, having no nose hairs, nose bleeds at least once a day, chronic sore throat, feeling out of shape all the time, short/no hair, constant worry about getting sick, and the Benadryl induced comas. I will however miss some things like: getting to spend every Monday with my mom all day including going out to lunch and gettin' our nails did, all the friends I've met at chemo, and having an excuse for why I can't get out of bed before 9am.
Me and my chemo boyfriend. I told him we're gonna have to split up for a while.
I've heard it takes about a month for the side effects of the chemo to truly wear off so I get at least 4 more weeks of sleeping in :) Ha jk, but seriously. I used to be a 7am kind of girl and now it feels like the middle of the night waking up any time before nine. I am looking forward to getting a little more energy. I mean I've had quite a bit for someone going through chemo, but running is killing me. I get slower and slower and I never feel like I'm getting more in shape. At least when a normal out of shape person starts working out they slowly get better and it slowly gets easier. For me I started exercising as soon as I could after surgery but it just got harder and harder. It has been really hard for me actually. Emotionally I mean.

Seeing this awesome therapy dog today was not hard though. He was so big and nice and soft and nice and I love him!!!!
My friend Michelle. She has been doing chemo for 2 years and doesn't know when/if she'll ever get to be done :( She is the cutest little lady.
Lately, I have heard a lot of people say "2012 was such a horrible year, I am so glad it's over" or "2012 really sucked, hope 2013 is better". I guess I could say that. But honestly, 2012 was not a horrible year. It didn't suck and I don't wish for it to be any different (well, I mean it'd be great to not have cancer, but I do so no sense in wishing it away now). I had a really great past year. Lots of good things happened. Lots of great things happened. I grew and learned so much and had a lot of opportunities to reach out to others and meet new people. Although I had a lot of hard things happen in 2012, overall it was good. I competed in my last season as a collegiate athlete. I graduated from college. I survived 2 awful surgeries and 17 weeks of chemotherapy (the 18th week being in 2013). I got to reconnect with a few friends and spend a lot of time with both friends and family. I got to read lots of books, take lots of naps, and get so many needles poked in me they don't phase me at all anymore.
The nurses all sang to me! And gave me a certificate and blanket. It was so awesome.

I am so excited to be a chemo grad. I know I may possibly have to experience it again in the future, but I hope it isn't for a long time. I definitely will miss my mommy-daughter dates, but maybe we can start a new more fun Monday tradition. As much fun as sitting in the hospital for hours was, I bet we can find a more exciting past time to enjoy together.

My mom got me this way cute necklace! The heart on mine says "courage" and the bead is teal, for ovarian cancer. Cute!! I have the greatest mom.

My journey isn't over. It has really hardly begun. I have so much ahead of me!

Joy in the journey. Joy in every moment. Find it.

Yes, I used to love Miley Cyrus before she went off the deep end.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


I was just watching Tangled and this scene seemed relevant to my life :)

"Well that's the good part I guess, you get to go find a new dream"

This is what someone looks like who is finishing chemo tomorrow. And don't worry, tomorrow's post will be much longer. I've got lots to say!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Every Moment

Last week I was kind of having a hard time. I was feeling grumpy and frustrated. Sunday I finally realized that I had forgotten all the advice and things that have kept me so upbeat and happy this whole time. The one thing that has helped me the most by far, is to live in the moment. The past is over and can't be changed, the future isn't here yet. All we have is right now. I had been really focusing on and thinking about my last ever treatment and it was starting to make me unhappy with the present. As soon as I was reminded of that, my day got better and I was much happier.
Who knows why I am standing so awkwardly
I have had a great week this week. Treatment on New Year's Eve went well and it was really short! We got there at 8 and I was done by 10:40. They are never that fast! It was nice. And now I have ONE TREATMENT LEFT!!!! Holy smokes it's so great! I am really looking forward to it :) But, I am enjoying the time I have before then too. Here is the plan for the future though. My last chemotherapy treatment is Monday the 7th. After that I will still be going to the Huntsman Center every 3 weeks on Monday for my maintenance drug, Avastin, starting on the 14th (so I won't have a Monday off between my last chemo treatment and the Avastin treatment). But luckily Avastin is only a 30 minute IV and I don't have to get any yucky pre-drugs like stupid Benadryl and Dexamethasone and I don't have to get blood labs every time. So I won't have to spend all day at the hospital anymore! On January 16th I have a PET scan and I meet with the doctors on the 23rd to discuss the results. Then I'm going to have a real true party.

New Year's Eve was really fun. I got to have my "Basically End of Chemo" party with my family and some friends. We played Bunko which is a fun dice game and had pizza. Then I got out my cake and everybody sang congratulations to me on my request. And I blew out candles so I could make a wish. Cesia made us all poppers filled with confetti and candy and cool things.
This is Kaila. She is from Australia! My mother-in-law met her at the store before Christmas and invited her and her sister over for dinner last Sunday because Ashlynn is going to Australia on her mission. Then I invited them over for New Year's. She's really cool.
My grandpa is the coolest.
My adorable cousins; showing off our rings we got in our poppers

I have to tell the cool story about my cake. A lady contacted me a few weeks ago and told me that she reads my blog and saw that I really wanted an Eleanor's gluten free cake to celebrate my chemo graduation. So she called Eleanor's and made arrangements with them to give me a cake. How amazing is that? People are so incredible. I have been so astonished and humbled at the love and support people have given to me. People who don't even know me, like this lady. Thank you thank you thank you! The cake was DELICIOUS! Seriously yummy. Even my gluten free haters liked it. And it really made me feel special to have a chemo grad cake :) I know its dumb but I wanted to make a big deal of me finishing chemo because it  is a big deal! After my treatment on Monday I will have had 18 weeks of chemo treatments. That is a lot! It is definitely something to celebrate. And when I am declared "No Evidence of Disease" (NED) I will have an even bigger party.

Yesterday I tried running again. This time on the dreadmill, I mean treadmill. It was fun and good to exercise. I really need to be more active, I feel much better when I am. I just am now so slow and so out of shape it is hard! But I now know how the rest of the world feels when they are trying to start running, so now I can have more understanding and compassion. One of my goals for this new year is to be able to run a sub-20 minute 5k again by the end of the year. Looking at my pace from yesterday that is going to be one tough goal to get haha.

Well, here's to a new year! A new beginning, a new chapter in my life.