Monday, December 20, 2010

Thank You

I've taken 4 self injections of interferon so far and am still doing well.  I take them at night so that I can just sleep off the symptoms then wake up feeling good.  I still get tired and have to make sure I'm drinking enough water, but overall I'm doing great!
I'm BEYOND excited about going to school, praying that I'll be able to get right back into the swing of things! Cannot wait!! :)  I hope that my mind stays clear while taking the interferon.  I really need to watch the first month or so to make sure that my grades wont suffer from the low dose.

Well, my "unplanned semester" is now over!  Saying this doesn't seem real. Its almost a bitter sweet thing (much sweeter) but I knew this blog would have to end sometime and there's really not much I have to say on a daily or even weekly basis. Even though this is my final blog I'll be sure to keep in touch. If you have any more questions PLEASE write me an email (, facebook message, call, text, ect...I would love to hear from you!

Looking back to the first day of this rollercoaster I never thought this day would get here and now it's come faster than I expected.  I've grown so much during this semester at home and have learned how important family and friends, patience, and faith truly are.

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to lean on you. I have felt so much love from all of you and couldn't be more blessed. Thank you for the love and support given not only to me but to my family as well.  We have felt so comforted in your constant thoughts and prayers.

I love you more than you could ever know.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

More Energy!

Today I spent most of the day looking through old pictures for a slideshow I'm making and being outside in the snow.  I can definitely tell my energy level is going up.  I stayed outside and shoveled our driveway for over 45 minutes.  (Don't really know if I was supposed to having the lymph node surgery) I don't have any swelling yet, so I think I'll be fine. I do have to be more aware of it though.  Its hard to know what I can and can't do.  I also went to a jean party today and got a new pair of jeans! Because I lost so much weight with treatment I've dropped a pant size so now I have pants that fit. :)
I'm excited to see Zionsville friends tomorrow. It will be great to have people my age around!

Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers.  They are what have gotten me through this semester.
I love you!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Prayer Request

I found out today that a family friend's daughter was diagnosed with colon cancer.  She is 17, a junior in high school.  PLEASE pray for her and her family.  Pray for comfort and healing in this scary time.  Thank you.

Fear of needles is gone

Today I went to physical therapy then to the hospital for the second interferon injection.  My physical therapy is going well.  My range of motion gets better and better each time.  Hopefully I'll be pain free soon.  At the hospital I was able to inject myself for the first time.  I washed my hands, then rubbed the alcohol swab on my stomach, waited for my skin to dry, pinched my stomach, stuck myself, let go of the skin, and injected the interferon.  I'll be such a pro by the end of this.  One nice thing about these injections is my fear of needles has been eliminated. I can also can tell a difference in my energy level already.  Instead of going to bed around 9:30 or 10 and getting up between 8:30 and 9 (10-11 hours of sleep) I wasn't tired until 11 and was wide awake at 7:30 this morning (8 1/2 hours!)  That's more reasonable for a college student's schedule.

I'm still feeing good tonight, took some tylonol before the injections, but the true test comes once the tylonol wears off.

Thank you so much for your love and support!
Love always

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

No Hospital Today!

Its a Tuesday at 2:30 and I'm not at the hospital!!!!! :) Ahh! It feels so good to be out of there on a daily basis. The sun is shining and the snow looks beautiful! Its a good day.

Last night was fine.  I started feeling feverish and got a headache around 9:30 so I took some more tylonol then went to bed.  I woke up this morning feeling fine.  I still have a lingering headache, but its not bad enough to take anything for it.  If I keep hydrated the headache lessens.  I've been busy doing things for my sorority today.  So excited to live in the house next semester!

Happy Tuesday!
Love and Blessings

Monday, December 13, 2010

1st injection done!

I went to the doctor and had my first injection out of many today.  I was a bit nervous for it because the last shot I had in my stomach was a painful one.  This one didn't hurt a bit though! The nurse did it for me today and I watched so that she could explain what I would be doing.  I'll go back on Wednesday and hopefully be able to do it myself.  I'll probably have a headache and might get some fever and chills tonight because my body isn't used to getting the interferon through a shot yet.  Right now I feel ok though.  I'm excited to have more energy than I've had for a month! The dosage is reduced to 10 million units instead of 17 million and its only 3 times a week. :)

I'm feeling good. SO excited to get back to school next semester!  I can't believe its already so close!

Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers!
With love

Friday, December 10, 2010


I finished the infusions today!!  Couldn't be happier! Praise God! :) I am so looking forward to doing things other than sit in a chair with an iv from 2:30 - 5.

I go back on Monday to learn how to give the self injections but that shouldn't take too long.

I'm so thankful for the nurses at the hospital, they have been so great through all of this.
I want to thank everyone who took me to and from the hospital.  It helped tremendously! And thank you all for the thoughts and prayers as always.  I truly believe that the reason I handled this treatment so well was because all of you.

I love you so much!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Tomorrow will be my last day of infusions!  I'm SO EXCITED! I'll have to start figuring out what I'm going to do with all the extra time I have.  I'm feeling pretty good still.  Sleeping a lot as always, but doing great.  Next week I'm planning on starting my training for the summer.  Last summer I wanted to finish all 3 legs of a sprint triathlon but couldn't because of the cancer and surgeries I was having.  My goal is to finish one this coming summer.  I know its not going to be fast. I'm incredibly weak and out of shape from all of this. I just want to finish.  I'm planning on having enough energy to train even with the self injections. :) Hopefully that will be the case.

Thank you all SO much for the thoughts and prayers through all of this.  I've been blessed beyond belief and couldn't ask for better friends and family.
I love you!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Well, I've made the decision to continue with the low dose treatment. (self injections 3 times a week for a year)  While I made the decision I don't think it will feel official until I start them.  My blood pressure is still good and my liver enzymes are getting back to normal.  I've been feeling pretty good the past couple of evenings. Last night I had some body aches along with my headache, but its still not bad enough to take any extra medicine.
Today I had physical therapy as well. My arm is getting more and more flexible each day.  I can now raise my arm all the way up and am slowly getting to the point where I can move it in a circle.

Thank you for everything
I love you all!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Home stretch!

Each day I seem to feel better. Last night I didn't even take my second round of tylonol.  I had a slight headache, but nothing I couldn't handle on my own.  I'm still sleeping a lot, about 10 hours a night, but overall I'm feeling great.  Tonight I'm still feeling good.  My blood pressure was at 101/70 and they will get my liver tests read tomorrow.  I have a bit of a cough but don't feel any sicker than I do normally with this.  
I can't believe I only have 3 more days of the high dose! This has gone by much faster than expected. Even the nurses can't believe that I'm on my last week.  I am very ready to not base my schedule around my treatment anymore!

I'm making my final decision about the self injection, low dose, of interferon that the doctors want me to take 3 times a week for a year.  I am more worried about the cancer coming back than I am the side effects to the interferon while my mom is more worried about the side effects.  I'm needing extra prayers on this decision. I know whatever I decide God will be right there with me.

Thank you for the thoughts and prayers! I'm so blessed to have the friends and family I do.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Wonderful Weekend!

This weekend was wonderful! (Hence the title :)) My parents drove me to IU friday night because I wasn't feeling up to the drive right after treatment. I stopped by and visited some friends from my floor last year then I stayed the rest of the weekend at my sorority, AGD, for recruitment.  I am SO thankful I felt well enough to come help.  Loved seeing all my sisters!
I can tell a big difference in my energy level each day that I'm off the treatment.  I felt better on Sunday than I did Saturday because there was another day between me and the treatment.  I'm SO looking forward to getting off this high dose! ONE MORE WEEK!  :)

Lots of thanks for the thoughts and prayers!

Friday, December 3, 2010


Yesterday was good. I've been getting a bit more tired as the week goes on but overall I'm doing well.  My headaches come like clockwork and I just have to take a couple tylonol to get rid of them.  This weekend is recruitment (19 party) for the sororities and I'll be going down to IU to help with that. :) I can't wait to see everyone!  I'm hoping that I'll wake up Saturday and have a bit more energy than I do now.  We'll see.  I'll just be happy to be there.
Because I don't feel well enough to drive myself after treatment today my parents are driving me down.  SO thankful for them!

I hope all of your weeks have been great!  As always, thank you for the thoughts and prayers! One week to go!!!!!! (after today)

I'm still trying to decide whether or not do continue with self injections for the rest of the year.  Hopefully by next week I'll have made a decision.
Lots of love!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Today I went to the mall in the morning then took a nap before going to treatment.  I still have lots more energy than before.  Getting out of the house feels great!  My blood pressure was down again today so they aren't as worried about it but are still going to monitor it closely.  I'm feeling good, just a small headache. My interferon buddy (the lady who started it the same time as I did) is doing much better too.

Thank you for the love, thoughts, and prayers!

Half Doses = Amazing

I can already tell that I have so much more energy than I did last week and the week before.  My headaches are being controled just by a couple of tylonol instead of the high dose meds I was taking and I'm able to go out and do things before my interferon without feeling exhausted.  Very excited!

Yesterday when they took my blood pressure it was at 124/94 compared to monday (102/77).  The nurses are a bit concerned because it jumped that much in just one treatment.  They are going to keep a close eye on it the next couple of days to make sure it stays under control.

Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers!
And HAPPY SNOW! :)  I love waking up to snow on the ground, so beautiful!


ps I have a new favorite song.  I Will Follow - Chris Tomlin
SO uplifting :)

Monday, November 29, 2010


Mondays always seem a to come with headaches.  Probably because I've just been off the medicine for 2 days and my body's getting used to being back on it.  Earlier today was great and I visited with people at my church and went to the mall and physical therapy.  I can raise my arm almost all the way up into the air now!
I have a couple prayer requests...the lady who started interferon the same day as me is having to drive 3 hours each day to get her interferon and is extremely tired and also just found a bump on her arm that had to be removed and tested.  Please pray for her and another lady that started interferon today.

Thank you!
I love you all!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Feeling Good

Today I went to church then visited with people at home.  I am so thankful to everyone who has taken time out of their day to come visit! It makes my time at home so much more enjoyable.

I've been feeling really great compared to last week and am enjoying getting the 17 million units instead of the 34.  It will be interesting to see if there is a big change this week in how I feel because of the lower dose.  I'm still trying to decide if I'll be taking the lowest dose of self injections 3 times a week for 11 months after the infusions. These last 2 weeks will probably help me decide.  I think what we are most worried about is my energy level because that is one side effect that has stayed with me this whole time. Praying lots about it.

I'm half way done with these infusion and I'm SO grateful for the thoughts and prayers!
Much Love!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Half way there!

After having skipped the interferon on Wednesday and Thursday, I felt great on Thanksgiving and most of the day Friday! :) My Thanksgiving was wonderful.  My aunt and uncle from my mom's side came over for lunch and we visited and watched football games the rest of the day.  We are having Thanksgiving on my dad's side of the family tonight. :)

Friday I went in for treatment at noon.  They told us it would take a bit of extra time because they were going to do some blood tests to make sure my liver count had gone down and my blood pressure was back to normal.  We got the blood tests back within a half hour and they found that my liver count had gone down but is still higher than it should be.  The doctor decided to cut my dosage in half so now instead of 34 million units I'm getting 17 million units.  I'm also supposed to try and hold off the prescription medicine and tylonol because of my liver.  I did take a tylonol last night because I was getting a headache and was feeling achy all over.  It helped and I felt good the rest of the night.  I even felt well enough to go to a friends house and then have people over at my house.  It was great seeing everyone!  :) I'm hoping the lower dosage will mean less severe side effects!

This week was much easier than last week and I'm feeling extremely thankful for that.  My family and friends make up such a fantastic support system.  Thank you so much for the thoughts and prayers!  This semester I've had SO much to be thankful for. I can definitely see God working though this situation in my life and in other's.

With Love and Thanks

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Week 2

The start of this week has been SO SO much better than last week.  I still have some nausea, but nothing like I did over the weekend.  My headaches are about gone and I haven't had a fever.  The one symptom that has been with me the entire time is fatigue.  I am extremely tired all the time and take lots of naps.  I got my blood tests on Monday and they found that my white cell blood count looks great and they are happy with how my body is reacting to it.  Today, however, they found that my blood pressure was much higher than normal and that the reading on my liver had gone up slightly (not dangerously, just a bit of concern w/ the dosage).  They decided to just give me a liter of fluid and hold off on the treatment.  I will not be taking it tomorrow (THANKSGIVING! :)) either.

Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers!
I love you!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


That word probably is the one I would use to define this weekend.  The doctors keeps saying that I have to drink more water and let time pass but I've felt sick since Friday and haven't gotten better yet.  I'm planning on meeting with my oncologist tomorrow and hopefully lowering the daily dosages they are giving me.  A lot of people end up lowering them for various reasons.  He told me from the beginning that he does not accept nausea as one of the side effects, so something is going to have to change. (At least maybe I wont overeat on Thanksgiving! haha)

Other than that, my headaches are gone, no more fever or chills, I'm a little tired but I can handle that.  Just trying to keep drinking lots and lots of water.

Hopefully my nausea will go away soon and the second week will be easier than the first one.

I love you and thank you for all the prayers and support!

Friday, November 19, 2010

One week down...3 to go!

Today was one of the harder days.  I slept most of the day and when I wasn't sleeping my stomach was upset.  I made it to the treatment and then felt a bit better once they gave me extra fluid and some anti-nausea medicine.  Once I got home I started feeling worse and couldn't eat anything.  I took another anti-nausea pill to help with that and went to bed then woke up at about 8:30.  I've eaten a bite of peanut butter and jelly and some banana but still don't feel great.

Except for the night without medicine, this has been the lease enjoyable.  I'm SO glad that I get two days off!

Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Today has been really good.  The only side effect that I've felt is fatigue.  I napped all morning and after the  treatment today I ate dinner then just woke up from another nap.  I'm very thankful that the side effects are becoming less and less severe. I can handle being sleepy! Its just like the exhaustion from high school swimming season (only without the high school swimming).
My port is still pretty sore but the doctors said it would be a couple of weeks before it was back to normal.

I'm feeling very loved and enjoying all of the cards and messages.  Thank you SO much for all your love and support.

MUCH Better!

Last night was so different than the night before.  After the surgery to put my port in (which went very well) I was able to start taking my medicine again so within about and hour after I got out of surgery my headache and fever were gone. I went straight to treatment after getting out of surgery.  The port is WONDERFUL!! I don't have to be stuck 3-4 times a day! :)  They gave me a liter of water yesterday to make up for my dehydration before the surgery.  I also had my anti nausea medicine that they give every other day.  Because I was able to take all my medicine last night and this morning I've been feeling much better.  The only side effects I've had are small headache, light fever (no shakes!), and drowsiness.  I went to bed at 9:30 then woke up at 6:30 but have been taking naps since I got up.

Today I have physical therapy at 1:30 then I'll go straight to treatment so that I can get extra fluids before they put in my interferon.  If I feel like I did last night for the rest of the treatment I have nothing to complain about.  I'm doing SO SO SO much better! :)

Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thank Goodness for Medicine!

I pray that I will never have a night like last night again. (Sorry, not going to sugar coat this one) At about 10, when I was going to bed, I started getting the chills along with a throbbing headache that made me dizzy, and aches in my joints.  I was dressed in a t-shirt, sweatshirt, shorts, sweatpants, and thick fuzzy socks with 2 thick comforter blankets on my bed.  I still felt like I was outside in 20 degree weather with a t-shirt and shorts on.  I have never shook that much before.  With the throbbing pain in my head and joints plus the severe chills, I cried myself to sleep hoping that it would all just go away.  After about 45 minutes of the chills I finally started to slowly warm up.  I woke up around 11:45 and was not shaking anymore. The headache was still throbbing and joints aching when I woke up at 12:30, 1:50, and 3:30.  It finally slowed down to a dull ache by 5:30.  I had a fever when I woke up at 8:30 and it has continued through the morning.  My head still hurts but its not throbbing and I don't have the chills anymore.

I can't believe the difference between the first night with it and last night.  Its amazing how much the preventative medicine helps in keeping the side effects at a minimum.  I cannot wait until this surgery is over so that I can drink water, eat, and take that medicine!

I met a woman yesterday who started the interferon the same time that I did (on Monday).  She is wonderful.  She said that she's been praying for me at night when she is going through the side effects. We are kind of bonded in a way. I'll pray for her at night during the worst of the side effects and she prays for me.  Then we swap stories when we come in the next day.  I'm glad that God put her into my life.

One thing that I've learned through this is that even though I may have had a rough night, I'm not the only one.  I'm thankful for all the support I have and want to ask you to pray for others going through this as well.

With love and thanks

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 2

I felt pretty good this morning, had a bit of a headache but nothing like last night.  I was awake enough to visit people at my church then needed about an hour nap before going to the hospital.  I felt great at the hospital.  No headache, fatigue, or fever.  I even felt well enough after the interferon to go to the first high school swim meet! :)  I stayed for about and hour before I started getting a headache and feeling tired.  When I got back home my headache worsened and I started getting a fever.  I also have some indigestion.  The problem with all of this is that I can't take any medicine tonight or tomorrow to prevent this.  I'm getting surgery to have my port put in tomorrow so I can't take any medicine.  Its going to be an long night.

I am excited to get my port in though. They had to stick me 3 times today before finding a vein in my arm.  Now I won't have to deal with all of that.

Thank you for the support.  I hope you all are doing well!
Lots of love

Monday, November 15, 2010

One down...18 more to go!

Its been a little over 2 hours since I finished the interferon infusion.  They put LOTS of fluid in me to make sure the side effects were as little as possible.  At the very end of the treatment my face started feeling hot and I was a bit chilled.  I've had a slight fever since I got home, but my energy level has been pretty good until honestly about now. Its not as bad as I thought it would be.  I do have a headache, I don't know if its from the medicine or if it has anything to do with my headache earlier, and I'm getting really tired.
Sorry, don't feel much like writing more.
Thank you for the thoughts and prayers.

Getting Ready

I still haven't quite wrapped my mind around the fact that starting at 3:40 today I will be feeling the effects of this treatment. Its weird to know that although I feel just fine right now, tonight I will most likely have a fever AND I'm consciously putting medicine in my body that will cause it.  I've made sure I have tylonol for tonight and plenty of water to keep by my bedside. (Water is supposed to help flush the interferon out..lessen the side effects)  I'm not as nervous as you might think (praise God!), but I'm definitely feeling the stress on my body starting to set in.  I got a pretty bad headache while driving home from IU and haven't felt like eating much.  When leaving IU I was in desperate need for some comforting and I got just that. :) comforted by a song. "Our God is Healer, awesome in power....and if our God is with us then what can stand against"  I have a Healer who has the power to stand up against ANYTHING. What an encouraging and comforting thought!

I'm still very sure of my decision to go through with this even though the unknown is scary.  I have such an awesome group of people supporting me and I'm excited to tell everyone how WELL I'm doing once this starts. :)  I'm still planning on taking walks or running or swimming everyday.  I'm excited to get to know the nurses and the other people I'll be spending my hour with each day.

OH! and the thing I called a "push" what they will be putting in so they don't have to find a vein in my arm each day, is actually called a port.  Sorry for giving you the wrong information!

I love you all SO very much and cannot thank you enough for the thought and prayers!
God Bless!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Today was the final day of IU Dance Marathon. I was SO thankful that I was able participate as a dancer for some of the time.  It was the perfect time for me to hear all of the Riley stories because listening what these kids are going through made me realize how good I have it.  There was one specific boy who had to have chemo for 3 years starting when he was 3.  His mom told of how nervous she was to have him go through the side effects of the treatment and one of the nurses said, "You just have to have faith".  This stuck out to me because I know how nervous my family and I are about the side effects of the interferon and hearing, "You just have to have faith" was a great reminder. 

Friday I went to my physical therapist. The appointment went great and I already have more range of motion in my arm.  As of now I have no swelling in my arm! :)  I was taught plenty of different ways to prevent the swelling from ever coming. 

I'm feeling alright today.  I started taking the medicine that will prevent me from getting as high of fever and aches and pains but it made me dizzy and tired. I'm hoping that just because of my lack of sleep from IUDM the medicine effected me that way.  We'll see how I feel tomorrow.
Praying lots for this interferon tomorrow. I'm feeling at peace about it still. :)
I love you all!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oncology Appointment

This morning my mom and I met with my oncologist to talk about the interferon details.  It was really helpful and I definitely came out of there feeling much less nervous than I did coming in.  The one not so fun thing I found out was that I don't have very good veins in my right arm (the only one I can use because of having my lymph nodes taken out). This means that I will have a "push" surgically inserted in my skin near my collar bone.  A push is a little circular disk that is attached to a tube that will be inserted into a vein in my neck.  The push is what the nurses will use to put in the interferon and take blood when needed.  The good thing is I don't have to be stuck with a needle everyday. :)  My oncologist assured me that the worst symptoms should be a couple hours after the infusion and on through the night.  As long as I am drinking enough water and flush the stuff out, by morning most of the effects should be minimal (except for fatigue).  I saw the room that everyone sits in when getting infusions and I'll be with a lot of older people.  I'm hoping I can weasel some of them to tell me stories from when they grew up. I could listen to those stories for hours!  I will come out of this SO much wiser! haha
I've been walking everyday this week and today I walked/JOGGED!! about 2 miles.  I only jogged probably about a 10th of what I walked, but its a start!  I'm incredibly sore now, but I'm determined I'm going to stay active during this whole thing.  And I'm taking my vitamins and trying to eat somewhat healthy...although chocolate sneaks in to that healthy diet more than a few times a day.  The word "trying" is key. :)

I'm feeling happy today. I think the beautiful weather is helping my mood quite a bit.  I'm also VERY excited to get to IU on Saturday!  The IU Dance Marathon is going on from Friday until Sunday. I have to get lots of sleep so I can't participate in the whole thing but I'm excited to be there for part of it.

My physical therapy appointment is tomorrow. The therapist will teach me how to exercise my arm so that the range of motion comes back safely and without any swelling.  I'm hoping to be able to swim a bit soon so getting my arm above my head will be great!

Thank you again for all the thoughts and prayers!

And I want to say a special thank you to our veterans.  The men and women who have served our country, the ones who are serving now, and their families.  My prayers and thanks go out to all.  Thank you especially to my friend Matt Sanders, my cousin Josh Bleill, uncle Virg Bleill, and grandpa Leo Bewley. I love you SO much!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This morning I went to the doctor to get my blood tested for vitamin levels, cholesterol, iron level, ect.  This will help us to figure out the supplements I'll need to take to make sure that I stay as healthy as possible in the future.  Today I also walked a little further, about 2 1/2 miles so that I can get in the habit and try to stay active during the treatment.  It was BEAUTIFUL outside and it was just nice to do something rather than stay home.  :)  I'm trying my best to visit as many people as I can this week before I'm not feeling quite as well.  Today I was able to visit people at my church.
Tomorrow I go to my oncologist to talk about the interferon, what room I'll be in, what nurses will be taking care of me, ect...

I'm feeling pretty good right now.  Still at peace with my decision but am probably going to be at least a little nervous until I start it.  The unknown is the scary part.  I'm just not sure how bad (or good) I will feel.  Good good good!!! ...that's what I keep telling myself, haha.  I think once I've made it through the first day I will be less nervous about it and more just determined to get through it as best as I can. Praying for lots of comfort during these next four weeks.

Thank you all SO much for the thoughts and prayers!
Happy Wednesday! :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Another Decision Made

My family and I have decided for me to go through with the interferon treatment.  I made the appointment to start the treatment Monday November 15th.  I will have blood work done tomorrow, a pre-interferon Dr. appt on Thursday, my physical therapy appt Friday, and then start the treatment on Monday.  Busy busy busy... I am extremely relieved to have made a decision.  I also feel that I've made the right one.  A wonderful peace came over me once it was final.  I now know that I am doing everything possible to ensure the best outcome for my future. No matter what happens I can feel certain that there was nothing more I could have done.
The interferon will start at 3:40 on Monday.  The infusion will last for about an hour.  I will go to the hospital Monday through Friday at 3:40 for a month.  I get the weekends off. :) The usual symptoms are flu-like, such as fever, chills, aches and pains, and chronic fatigue.  How severe these symptoms will be depends on how my body reacts, each person is different, so only time will tell. I am really nervous to start, but I'm definitely more scared to not start.
The good thing about starting to soon is that I will be done with 3 weeks before going back to school.  That will give me time to recover before going back.  I CAN'T WAIT! :) :)
I'll keep you updated on all the appointments.

Love you all!
God is Good

Monday, November 8, 2010

Last Appointment w/ my Surgeon :)

Today I had my last follow up appt with my surgeon.  WOOHOO! :)  He said that everything is looking great!  My scar looks good and I have a little bit of swelling but its nothing that my body can't fix itself.  He tried to take stick a needle under my arm and drain any extra fluid but hardly anything came out.  Very relived that all has gone so well with the surgery.  I'm SO thankful for that group of doctors and nurses. They took such good care of me.  Its hard to believe but I think I'm going to miss seeing that staff.  Haha, even the front desk new my name and face. All I had to do was wave and they would tell the doctor I was there.  I never want to go back, but I feel very thankful to have been in such good hands.
Later today I went and had lunch with my dad and grandma and am now trying to decide if, where, and when to get the treatment.

Needing LOTS of prayers about this.
SO much love!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

This weekend has been great!  Thursday I got to go down to IU.  I had so much fun visiting with friends and going to formal. :)  On Saturday I came home with a friend and we were able to catch up and watch a movie.  Later my family played a friendly game of and I won! (of course) Sunday girls from my the small group I lead in Bloomington drove up to see me.  We played a great game of apples to apples and some ping pong. An excellent weekend!
 Overall I haven't had much of a problem with my arm.  Now that the tube is out I don't notice it as much.  I still cannot lift it higher than my shoulder but the constant pain is about gone.  I am feeling a little bit of swelling underneath my arm....  Tomorrow when I go to the appt with my surgeon he will probably drain it.  I also found out about the mole that was taken off on my neck. It was normal! :)  That was a very big relief!

We still haven't made the second appointment with my oncologist, but it will probably happen next week.

Thank you SO much for the prayers.
With love

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gaining Energy

After trying to get over the surgery and the cold I'm FINALLY feeling more myself again.  Living without the drain is AMAZING. :)  I still have to watch for any swelling (so far none) but am overall feeling very positive right now.  With gaining energy, I've also discovered how out of shape I am. Not out of shape in the sense that it is hard for me to swim a full practice, but out of shape in that I just walked in the mall for 45 minutes then came home and walked Beau around the block (a 15 min walk).  My legs are now killing me.....I'm going to try and do more activities from now on to build back up. Slowly but surely. Its just hard to figure out what I can and can't do still.  I made my first physical therapy appt for November 12th.  I'm looking forward to hearing how best to gain more movement in my arm and what changes I'll need to be making for the rest of my life to keep the swelling from ever starting.

Today I also visited some of the people who work at my church. It was great seeing everyone.  I did meet one person who I had never met before. When introduced to her, she responded with "THE Rachel Bewley!?" haha...She said she has been praying for me each week. Someone I have never met or even knew existed is talking to God about me each week.  It brings me to tears thinking about it.  It just doesn't seem possible.

Love and Blessings,

Monday, November 1, 2010

Drainless :)

This morning my drain was taken out!! :)  It feels SO good to not have to worry about it being caught on something or leaking or lifting my arm too high. I can even wear shirts without pockets and buttons to hold my drain and I can drive again.  Yay!  
Once it was taken out my nurse explained that it was like a stab wound and would probably leak and bleed for a couple days still, but will eventually stop and heal.  One thing I do have to watch for, now that the fluid doesn't have anywhere to go, is lymphedema or swelling.  I mostly have to watch for swelling under my arm. I have an appointment with my surgeon next Monday to check and see if there is any more fluid build up. If there is he will just poke a few holes and let it drain.  (Hopefully not)  Either way I don't care right now, I'm just very very thankful that I don't have to deal with that thing anymore.  I'm also going to start physical therapy within the next week or so to get the range of motion in my arm back to normal.

Today I also went to my dermatologist to make sure no other abnormal moles come up.  I'll have appointments every 3 months for the next couple of years because if anything else were to come up it would usually be within the next couple of years.  He did find one mole on the back of my neck that didn't look normal.  He also said it didn't look worrisome but would take it off and test it to be safe.  I will find out the results for that by next Monday.  Even though that wasn't great news, I couldn't help being happy when I left because I'm DRAINLESS! :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Countdown to NO Drain!!

So...11 hours until I get this drain out of my side!  WOOHOO!!! :)  I'm down to 20 cc/day which is way below what I had to be to get it out.   We made this doctors appt at the perfect time.  It will be such a relief to have it out and hopefully I will be able to start some of the more "challenging" exercises (such as lifting my arm STRAIGHT up into the air...its harder than you think).

This weekend has been a lot of fun.  I had a few visitors that were able to distract me from the decisions I'll have to make soon...and I'm almost over my cold. :)  My family also carved pumpkins today and I had SO much fun seeing all the kids dressed up for Halloween.

I'm feeling pretty good and have a lot more energy since my cold has gone away. I'm still nervous about the decision.  I feel that I've basically made up my mind to do the treatment, but not everyone in the family is so sure.  There are so many side effects and the long term effects aren't known yet.  My only reasoning is I feel like I have to do SOMETHING.  I cannot just let myself sit and wait and the interferon is the only option I have right now. I know the treatment will be rough but I feel like its worth it if it gives me a better chance of either postponing a reaccurance or stopping one completely.  We may still get another opinion to see if there are any other treatment options if the doctor can get me in within the next week, maybe two.  If not I need to start the interferon soon so that when the month of high dose is over I can go back to school.   One good thing we found out about interferon is that if for some reason I react horribly with it I can stop whenever needed.  That's comforting to know.

(Although I feel I have made my mind up there is still a chance of a change in plans so don't think of this as the final answer. I still don't know yet)

I love you all and thank you so much for the thoughts and prayers.
Get excited for no more drain! :)

Friday, October 29, 2010


Today I went to the oncologist.  Found out a couple of not so good things, but overall this doctor is definitely the best I've been to so far.  He is very honest about things he knows and doesn't and is leaving the decision for further treatment all up to me.  Telling me the pros and cons, stories of success and failure.  I'm very thankful for that.  I did find out that the cure rate is a bit lower than I originally thought, so there is a higher chance that I will end up doing the interferon treatment.  We have been given maybe one other option, but it doesn't sound very realistic. We are thinking about getting another opinion, but the decision has to be made very quickly to make sure that I can get back to school by next semester.  As many of you know I am not a very good decision prayers for that would help a lot. :)

I'm feeling nervous.  While everything came out clear in the lymph node dissection, I've had to come to the realization that it is still not over.  This is a struggle that I'm having to deal with mentally more than anything.  I have to be cautious from now on, but I'm not going to let this define my life.  Giving my worries to God for peace is one of the things I've been learning through out this whole process and don't plan on forgetting it now.

On a lighter note, I'm getting my drain out on MONDAY!! :)  SO excited! haha, the fluid has stayed at 30cc in 24 hours for the past 2 days.  Keep up the good work lymph nodes!  I'm slowly getting of the pain meds too.  Now only taking one advil every 5ish hours.  Still working on the flexibility in my arm and also having a bit more feeling in my arm.  The armpit has nothing, but from my elbow to my shoulder there is some feeling now.

I love you all! Thank you for all the love, prayers, and support!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Today was just as lazy as yesterday. I'm determined to get rid of this cold!  Its interesting that my left lymph nodes in my neck are swollen and my right ones aren't.  They are working extra hard now that my left nodes under my arm are gone.

The scar under my arm is doing better every day, but last night and this morning both my mom and I have pulled on my drain by accident.  Its hurting a lot worse right now but its still in and functioning.  The fluid is still just as slow as it was yesterday!  Just a couple more days and I will have this thing out of me!! :)

I go to the oncologist tomorrow at 1:30.  I don't really know what to expect but I'm not too worried.  My parents and I are writing down questions to ask him.  What's the prognosis without treatment? What's the prognosis with treatment?  What treatments are out there?  What trial treatments are there? What are the side effects? How long would I have to take them? What to look for in the future so that I could catch any other cancer early?  AHHH...ok.  I am a bit nervous.  Too many questions and too many scenarios.  I've been enjoying the little time I've had to not worry about all of this and just recover.

Still saying lots of prayers for peace and guidance in making my decision.
Thank you all for your love and support!  You have no idea how much its helped.
Love you!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Today has been a very lazy day.  I'm still feeling sick and tired. I'm at the runny nose part of the cold....SO many tissues! haha.

My arm is doing well; still seeing little improvements.  Last night I was able to sleep on my right side!  I would much rather do that than be on my back so I slept a whole lot better.  My drain seems to be slowing down today!! This morning it was at 15 and right now its probably between 5 and 10!  That would be a miracle if all of the sudden it dropped to 30 in 24 hours!  If it keeps up like this for a couple more days then I am sure I'll get the drain out by Monday. Hooray! :)

One blessing about being sick right now is that I'm not as antsy to get out of the house and do things. (I couldn't anyway because I still can't drive) I'm just really tired and would rather stay home and sleep. Yay for naps!

I hope everyone is having a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sick and Better

Last night I got a headache and today I woke up with a stuffy nose, headache, and sore throat...not too excited about it.  I don't feel horrible other than that, mostly tired, so I'm hoping with lots of vitamins and LOTS of sleep, I will get over this fast.

BETTER NEWS! I just realized today how much better my arm is doing.  I have a much greater range of motion than I did before and with much less shooting pains.  It feels more really tight than anything now. (doing the things I'm allowed to do with my drain in)  Hardly any shooting pains when I shrug my shoulders, pinch my shoulder blades together, and raise my arms shoulder height.  WOOHOO! :)

My drain is still filling as fast as ever, but hopefully it will slow down by my appointment next Monday so I can get it removed.

Still needing lots of prayers for guidance in my decision on what, if any, treatment I need still need to do.
With Love

Monday, October 25, 2010


The past few days have been great!  I went to IU Saturday night and stayed until Sunday. It was SO great seeing everyone and being back.  THANK YOU to my friends who brought me there and took me back home. I still can't drive yet, so I felt very thankful to be able to go.  A lot of my energy is coming back, thank goodness!  I am still in pain, but dealing with it much better.  Today I'm visiting friends at Purdue!  My parents are a bit worried about me trying to do too many things, but I'm feeling pretty good still.

My drain is still in and will be for another week or so.  I keep hoping the fluid will slow down, but so far it hasn't enough.

Feeling very blessed with all the friends I have supporting me.  I love you all!
Have a wonderful week!
And its my brother's birthday today, so if you see him don't forget to say happy birthday! :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm feeling much better today.  Yesterday I was able to go to target w/ my dad and then we went out to dinner.  Today I was able to go to Lafayette with my mom to visit my cousin.  I'm getting out a lot more now and for a lot longer.  My arm is not swelling anymore when its resting at my side which is a huge blessing.  I found out that with my drain in my doctor was wrong and I'm not actually supposed to be lifting my arm as high with my drain in.  I am hurting much less now that I've stopped.

I was going to IU today but couldn't, I hope I can get there soon!!

Thank you all again for your thoughts and prayers.
I love you all SO much!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Today I opened the windows and enjoyed the beautiful weather!  I've been reading a lot and I even made it out with my mom to the store, bank, and post office.  I'm also knitting a scarf.  Probably about a third of the way there, its taking a lot longer than I thought it would.

I'm still trying really hard to inch my way up the wall, getting my arm to reach higher and higher.  It hurts SO bad when I do, kind of frustrating.  Hopefully I will see some improvement soon.  The feeling in my arm is still slowly coming back but I get shooting pain down my arm and through my chest when I make certain movements.  I probably feel it more because I'm trying to move it a bit more each day.  

I'm very excited for the next days because my dad will be home tomorrow and friday while my mom and Sam will be home Friday-Tuesday for their fall breaks.  It will be nice to have people home throughout the day.  :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Step by step

Today was a good day.  Pretty boring, but I'm starting to feel more independent.  I was able to take Beau for a short walk today, when over the weekend I couldn't make it 10 yards down the street w/o being in so much pain I had to stop. I put on a shirt with sleeves today for the first time since the surgery, a loose one, but it still has sleeves!  I also have just enough flexibility to successfully change my drain all by myself. :)  Its the little things that make a HUGE difference.  One thing I'm still really struggling with is getting my arm up in the air.  It is so painful to try and even get to 90 degrees. This is going to be a slow and steady step by step process.  I am going to try physical therapy soon to help speed up the recovery time and do it safely, so I don't mess up the stitching or the drain.  The feeling in parts of my arm are starting to come back.  Especially around my elbow (thank goodness!) the only problem now is that the nerves are VERY sensitive and just the slightest touch hurts. I don't mind it too much because I'm so thankful I have feeling there again.

My appointment with a new oncologist is set for October 29, he should be able to tell me my options for treatments and what he recommends in my case.  Honestly I'm not to excited about that part.  Every doctor I've talked to has different opinions and they all contradict each other.  Hopefully we will get some sort of straight answer that will help my family and I make a more educated decision.

I'm feeling good. I'm happy I'm improving, but starting to get a bit restless.  Its been hard for me to get to sleep the past few nights and I think its because there's really not much I can do actively at home.  Maybe I'll try riding the stationary bicycle.  I can't wait until I can drive again.  Hopefully not too much longer!!

Thank you again for all the thoughts and prayers!!
I appreciate them SO much and I am feeling each one.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Post Surgery Appt

Its been 1 week since my surgery.  This morning I went to see my surgeon to make sure that everything was looking ok and to find out when I'm getting my drain removed.  He said that everything looked great and I was healing up wonderfully.  Hopefully some of the feeling will come back in my arm but he can't promise how much.  I was also told that I needed to be able to lift my arm all the way up into the air by the next time I see him.  (Right now its just at a 90 degree angle.  SO STIFF!) I'll do exercises everyday so hopefully I'll get there soon.
We made my appointment to get the drain taken out 2 weeks from today but depending on how much fluid is coming out per day will determine if I can get it out sooner or if it will have to be later.
Prayers that its sooner! haha

It is starting to look like I may still need the interferon treatment, but until I talk with my oncologist I won't know for sure.  Its going to be a very hard decision so prayers that I make the correct one would be SO appreciated too.

I'm feeling better each day and can't wait to fully recover.  Patience and lots of baby steps.

Thank you so much for all the love I am feeling!
I hope you all know how loved you are too.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Vicodin and Visitors and Car Rides

This weekend I've been so blessed with visitors taking time out of their day to just come over and spend from a few minutes to a few hours with me.  Each one of those mean SO much to me. I know that vicodine doesn't make me the most interesting of all the people you could visit, but I truly appreciate it.  

Another thing I did this weekend was go to St. Vincent to an informational meeting about how to avoid lymphedema (swelling of the arm after a lymphnode dissection).  The meeting was very educational.  I learned that I have to stay at a healthy weight, wear a fitted sleeve on airplaines, and not get my blood pressure taken in that arm.   I also learned that any cut or scrape on my left arm can very quickly become infected because the lack of lymphnodes.  The meeting was great.  Getting to the meeting/coming home was a different story.  The vicodine makes car rides VERY unpleasant.  For future reference, if you sometimes feel car sick do not ride in a car and take vicodine at the same time.  I decided to deal with a little more pain today so that I didn't have that problem.

Overall I am feeling better each day. Hopefully this coming week I will be sleeping less and doing much more.  

Thank you so much for the thoughts and prayers! 

I hope that you all have a wonderful week!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Amazing News! :)

I got the results back from this past surgery! I had 22 lymph nodes removed from under my left arm.  Out of those 22 lymph nodes not one of them tested positive for cancer!  I am all clean!!! :)  The only positive lymph node was the one out of 3 that they found in the first surgery.  What a relief!

The next step now is to talk to the oncologist and see what, if any, treatments would help to make sure the cancer never comes back.

Thank you so much for all the thoughts and prayers.  God is a Healer.

I love you all!  Its all praises for me today :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Today (gross I know) I washed my hair for the first time since Monday!! Ahhhhh  It feels SO wonderful and clean!!! :)  With this drain in it is not easy to shower or wash your hair so I when a dear friend came over to visit, I roped her into helping me wash my hair in the kitchen sink.  WHAT A FRIEND! She also brought her guitar here and we sang worship songs together.  It brought me to tears singing together praising Him.  I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend the afternoon.
I'm getting better at stripping the tube and measuring the fluids. It has now changed from a reddish color to more yellow, which is a good sign...not as much bleeding.  This is the first day I've spent without my parents home.  It is very humbling realizing how much I have to rely on people right now to do the smallest things, like lift something or even open my medicine bottle.   So far today I've only taken one vicodin at a time instead of two.  That is helping me stay a bit more awake and alert.  The pain is still there, but its getting more bearable.

I want to thank everyone for all the letters, messages, visits, meals, prayers, thoughts, ect.   anything and everything you have done for my family.  We feel SO blessed.

Sending love and thanks

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I've been home for one full day now and am trying my best to get enough rest.  The pain medicine is helping with that, I've been taking about 2-3 hour naps throughout the day.  The drain under my arm is a bit annoying but my mom has been wonderful in helping me with it.  She even sewed a pocket into an old shirt to make sure it wouldn't pull too much and come out.
I've been getting to spend some amazing time with family and I'm so thankful for that.
Hopefully in the next few days I'll be able to slow down on the pain meds and be a bit more alert during the day.

We are hoping to get the results from the surgery back early next week.  After that we will know a bit more about what, if any, treatment I will be using.

Thank you again for all the prayers and support.  Much love!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Its Over!

I can't believe my surgery is over! It has taken so long to get to this point and it is a huge relief not to have that hanging over me.
 I went in for surgery at about 3:30 and woke up around 5- 5:30 I would say.  I had the best nurses in the world!  And couldn't have been more thankful for that.  Once I woke up, I was pretty awake.  I was in some pain but tried to ignore it and focus on drinking and eating...since I hadn't had anything since midnight the night before. I only got down a fourth of a graham cracker and 2 bites of soup before I started feeling nauseous, so I was given a large dose of pain meds and some anti nausea medicine which knocked me out for a good 2-3 hours.  I woke up feeling much better and at just a tad more.  Then i was able to work up enough energy to walk around the hallway once. I also figured out that I have some numbness (that was a possibility) in my left arm from my elbow to my shoulder. A VERY weird feeling and we are still not sure if it will come back or not...only time will tell. After that I basically slept the rest of the night, just being woken up a couple times by the nurses to empty the lymph fluids from my tube.

This morning the doctor came in at around 8:30 and gave me a run through on how to work the tube and the incision under my arm.  I took some more pain meds that put me to sleep for a few more hours, then around 11-11:30 got to go home.  It feels great to be home I'm getting up more a little at a time and eating a bit more too.  My parents are my angels.  They have been so great changing the fluid and getting me food or water or anything I would possibly need.

I am SO thankful for all the texts, messages, calls, visits...ect.  The love I'm feeling from everyone is overwhelming.  Thank you for everything.

God is good.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Surgery Date!

Today I have the complete lymph node dissection of my left underarm.  I'm a bit nervous and very hungry! haha, I think the hardest part is not eating. ;)  I stay in the hospital for 23 hours after the surgery, so I'll spend one night in the hospital.  Goodbye lymphnodes!

Prayer requests: MY dog got very very sick last night and my parents were up all night with him.  We took him to the vet early this morning and still haven't heard what is wrong.  Pray that my parents will have peace.  With worries for my surgery plus their lack of sleep and worries for my dog they are overwhelmed.
Doctors - that they are rested and ready with calm and steady hands
Me - nerves and a quick recovery

Prayers are what I need more than anything right now.  I will let you know as soon as I find out anything else that can be done to help.  Thank you so much for being so willing.
I love you!

So we don't look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen.  For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.  2 Corinthians 4:18

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Getting Ready

Last night and today were probably the first times that I've finally accepted...for sure...that this surgery is actually going to take place.  I am nervous at times, but when I remember that God is in control instead of me, I am able to stop worrying so much and just look forward to getting this over with and done.

I went to IU this weekend for a bit before the surgery.  I loved seeing friends! but...I think the longer I am at home and the more time I spend building a life for myself here the harder it gets to go.  It almost feels as if I don't quite fit into either situation, but i'm starting to fit better at home.  For now at least.  I can't wait to get back next semester when I am able to relate a little bit better with taking classes, living in the house, ect...

Overall I'm feeling pretty good.  SUPER SUPER SUPER ready to get this over with!

Prayers for peace would be greatly appreciated for both myself and my family.
Thank You SO much for everything you all have done for me.  I am so thankful for the love and support. ....I feel like I say that a lot, so sorry.  I don't really know what else to say because I really mean it.  I hope it comes off as strong as I want it to.
I love you all!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Importance of Friends

I had a great day spent working and cooking for and hanging out with friends from AGD. :)  I feel so thankful for the friends I have and can't wait to go to IU tomorrow and get my fix of friends before my surgery.  It is wonderful to have friends I can turn to when I'm hurting and distract me from all of the crazy things going on.

Just one weekend between me and surgery.  I honestly can't believe it is actually going to happen.  Its taken SO long for the doctors to come to a conclusion.  But I am lucky, there are still lots of people out there waiting for answers and I'm so thankful I have one.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Today I got to sub again in the life skills room!  I love it SO much and am learning a lot too!  When I got home I was also surprised with a present...a live strong t-shirt and a signed Newsweek Magazine with an article on living with cancer by Lance Armstrong himself.  WOW!!  I am so thankful for the support from everyone!

I am feeling pretty good, loving the regular schedule of a job.  Still a bit nervous, but realizing that this isn't in my control, its in His.  That takes a lot of courage to let go sometimes, but it gives an amazing amount of comfort and peace.

Live Strong everyone! :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Graduating On Time

The last two days I've had time to visit with people at IU and go to my advising appointments.  I learned that I should be able to (with a little bit of summer school), be able to keep my 2 majors and still graduate on time.  That is a huge relief!  :)

Surgery is still on for Monday at 3.  I can't wait to get this over with! Feeling a bit nervous, but very thankful for the love I've gotten from all of you.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Best Day Ever!

Today was my first day substitute teaching! :)  I helped at the life skills room and enjoyed it SO much!  The kids were wonderful as were the teachers helping me.  It felt amazing that I was doing something useful and productive for once.  I can't wait sub more this week! Then hopefully after surgery and treatments I will be able to continue.  I am also going to IU just tonight and tomorrow. I can't wait to see my bible study girls! I am also visiting with my advisors to figure out next semester and the rest of the time I'm at IU.
Peace and Love!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Today was filled with working at church with a high school youth group, then taking many of them to the renaissance fair to some food and fun.  I got to eat dinner tonight with some of my small group girls from senior year and watch the colts game (SO close!).  It was great seeing everyone.

I don't know why, but I'm feeling more and more nervous for this surgery.  I thought it would be easier the second surgery knowing already some of what will happen, but the date is kind of looming right now.  Not a fun feeling.

I pray everyone has a great start to their week!
Lots of Love

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Today was a pretty lazy day.  I did SO much enjoy reading the book my cousin wrote, One Step at a Time.  It was phenomenal.  The weather was cold and rainy so sitting inside and reading was the perfect thing to do. It is still hard for me to enjoy slowing down completely. I cannot wait for next week when I get to substitute teach!  A schedule, even for just a week, will be wonderful.
I also babysat tonight for a family that I've known for years now.  The dad went through almost exactly the same thing I am going through now, so it is always very nice and reassuring talking to him.  It helps me to prepare for what is ahead.  I think it is so crazy the people God puts in your life when you need it most.

I'm feeling nervous for the surgery, but trying to just be excited about the things happening this week like substitute teaching and visiting IU.  :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Slow Me Down

I am listening to a song with the lyrics "Oh won't You take my hand and lead me, slow me down...I need You to slow me down."  I have realized today how busy I let my life get throughout high school and college.  I LOVE being busy and I feel somewhat "useless" if I'm not doing something.  But sitting with the windows open, feeling the breeze, looking at the blue sky and listening to music WITHOUT a list of things that must be done is as soon as possible is so freeing.  I feel like the better part of this time at home, when I've had the free time to slow down and stop worrying about busy schedules I have just started worrying about how to fill the free time.  I do not plan on becoming a lazy bum and completely stop the things I am doing, but hopefully I won't take the free time I have been given for granted and sit back and enjoy it.  The circumstance isn't the greatest, but might as well make the best of it.

I found out the surgery date today.  Monday October 11th at 3pm.  I'm nervous, but definitely more than ready to get this process started.

If you find any free time at all, slow down and ENJOY IT.
So much love!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Results

I had a WONDERFUL day.  I was able to go and visit with family that live out of town. They are so great! We made some very special cookies. :) I also got to visit with people in town and eat the last piece of my birthday pie!
Later today I also found out the results of the genetic test. Not the news I hoped for but its news, I learned that I will need to have surgery (the complete lymph node dissection under the left arm). I will know the exact date tomorrow, but it will be sometime late next week or early the following week.

I have lots of mixed emotions about the whole thing.  I started off "knowing" that this is what needed to be done, then maybe not, then yes, then no, now yes, for sure.  Recently I have had a lot of time thinking I wouldn't need it so I planned other things to keep myself busy. It's extremely hard to have those plans taken away again but not impossible.  One great thing is that I can tell I am growing through all this.  I am not nearly as upset about this as I was the last change of plans even though it was for the "better plan".  I'm hopeful for the future and am so thankful that we finally have an answer.

I'm going to take this one step at a time. And pray.  As this all is happening my favorite verse has come to be Philipians  4: 6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
I tend to be a worrier and this verse is a daily reminder that worrying will do nothing but prayer gives me peace, peace "which exceeds anything we can understand"! What a huge gift.

I love you all! Peace and Blessings!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Learning Patience

We were originally told the genetic tests were happening yesterday, but it turns out they will not be completed until tomorrow.  So sorry about the delay. Haha, SO many lessons in patience are being learned through this whole process.  I'm feeling a bit annoyed about the wait, but I guess I'm getting used to it because its not as nearly as frustrating.  We are getting a lot of feedback from the Northwestern doctor, so that also helps with the waiting process.

Today consisted of going to substitute teacher training, reading Harry Potter, babysitting, and watching modern family and the middle with my family.  Overall a very good day.  :)

I hope to know have the pathology report of the genetic test soon!
Thank you all for your love and patience!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Birthday/Genetic Testing

I have had a WONDERFUL birthday!! I feel so blessed and thankful to have such great friends and family.  :)  Some highlights were my birthday breakfast bagel (which I so terribly missed last year) a fantastic dvd of home video clips and homemade birthday apple pie.

And...getting down to business.  The genetic testing was done today at Northwestern.  I should know (hopefully by tomorrow) what the pathology report says.  The prayers I need now are for correct results.  No matter what the results are I desperately want them to be the correct ones.  I am praying that all of this uncertainty will, for the most part, be eliminated.

I love you all and hope that you are having a wonderful week!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Staying Busy

Yesterday I was able to go to IU to see a friend on her birthday and then got to hang out with lots of girls from my house.  :)
Today I went to my interview for substitute teaching and was accepted.  I won't start that for probably another week, but I am excited to have a job lined up so that I can stay somewhat busy the rest of the semester.

We still haven't heard anything else, but are expecting to hear the results from the genetics testing on either Wednesday or Thursday.

I will let you know as soon as I find out the results!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

SO Close!

We have word that the slides have made it to their final destination...Northwestern!  YAY!  The tests are only done on Tuesday and Thursday, so it will definitely be after Tuesday before I know anything else.  We are SO close to having the results! I can't believe its been almost 2 weeks since I found out that I would have to postpone the surgery.

It is BEAUTIFUL outside today! Finally its cooling off and feels more like fall.  I had a few visitors yesterday which was so much fun and a couple more people are coming today.  I'm getting more creative when it comes to finding things to do so being at home is not as hard as it was earlier this month.

At this point I'm just hoping that the doctors will be able to give us somewhat of a clear cut answer and that my family and I will be able to make a decision that we all agree on about what to do next.

Thank you for all of your love and support!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Right now I am still feeling surprisingly content with what is going on.  I am looking back trying to figure out what I did today, and it really wasn't much. I am beginning a new...project maybe?...I don't know if that's what I should call it, but so far its fun.  Even though I spent most of my day at the house, I'm not feeling as angry or frustrated as I was last week.  Huge blessing!
This week has gone by much faster than the last one. Thank goodness! That's probably because I'm getting a bit anxious for the results to come out because I honestly don't know what to expect.  Its a bit nerve racking, but I am so ready to hear the results and come to (hopefully) a conclusion on what is going to happen because of them.

Its almost the weekend!! I get excited for the weekends now because my family is home all day instead of just the evenings.  Its so nice to have a house full of people.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


It finally rained today! :) An excellent thunderstorm. I was able to enjoy it standing outside on my deck and letting the rain fall on my face.

There is nothing new today in the way of updates but today I had a wonderful time visiting people in town and then going to high school youth group at my church.  We talked about choosing to love others and I am focusing on praying for and loving my doctors even when I am frustrated with them.

Thank you for all the amazing notes and cards!  I am so so blessed.
So much love!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A tiny bit of news!

Nothing terribly exciting, but we did get a call today that the slides made it to...1st stop...Chicago! yay! They said they should be sending them to their final destination, Northwestern, tomorrow. :) Hopefully the test can be completed and the results given to us by either Friday of this week or sometime early next week.  (Lets just stay next week so we can be super excited if it comes early.)

I had lots of fun surprising people today at IU.  :) I'm still feeling great and I have a few more ideas on what I will be doing in the next couple of weeks while waiting for the results and my final decision.

I hope everyone is doing well and if you need anything that I can help with let me know! I have quite a bit of free time. :)

Monday, September 20, 2010


Yesterday was a good day, an excellent day.  I was able to work with the high school students at church in the morning then go shopping with my mom.  I also babysat my cousins last night.  SO much fun! I don't get to see them nearly enough and wouldn't have been able to spend that time with them if I was at school. 

There is still no knew updates but hopefully by the end of the week this week or the beginning of next week. 
I'm also feeling very thankful for all the notes and messages of encouragement.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Looking forward to a great day today! :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I had a MUCH better day today.  I got to watch my brother run varsity at a cross country meet, saw a friend from IU and showed her around town, and ate dinner outside with the family then read books.  It was very relaxing and I'm starting to realized how thankful I am to have my family.  I was so content sitting on the gazebo listening to music while eating dinner with the family and I really didn't want to spend my evening any other way.

Still no new updates to give you, but hopefully within the next week or two!
I'm doing my best to be thankful for the wonderful things I've been given rather than looking at the things I wish were different but can't change.  A very important lesson to learn!

New Day!

"Those who trust in the Lord are steady as Mount Zion, unmoved by circumstance." Psalm 125:1 ...Woke up to this verse this morning :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ups and Downs

Still no new updates.  My mom was told by one of the doctors to stop calling as much so we have no confirmation that the slides have been sent out, but supposedly they were supposed to be off to Northwestern by today.

Today was rough.  Lots of ups and downs. It was one of the first days I've cried in a while, but I also got to see and talk to a bunch of people I've missed very much which was GREAT!  Its hard staying home with no schedule and I can't really come up with a schedule until I get the results back and decide what we are going to do.  I'm starting to feel like I sit around waiting for a phone call or text or a reason to get up and check my email or facebook.  Someway to feel connected and not as alone. I know that everyone has their own lives with school and work and I feel like I can't always interrupt those things. I need something to do too.  I'm hoping this next week goes by a little bit quicker than this week so I can find out the results and get the rest of my semester in order.

I hope that didn't sound like I'm not thankful for the time I get with everyone and the phone calls and texts. I am SO thankful for them and I don't know what I would do without them.  I just don't want my life to run around everyone else's schedule. I want my own schedule. I hope that makes sense and doesn't sound too selfish.

Thank you again for all your love and support!
Lots of love,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Spontaneous Visit

Today I got to go down to IU for a bit.  I had SO much fun and it was such a relief to have something planned for the day.
There is not a bit of new information right now. I really really wish there was.
I'm doing well today and it wasn't as hard for me to come and go to IU today as it has been the other times.  I think this is because I have dates planned that I'm coming back and I have accepted that I am not taking classes this semester.  Now its just time to figure out what I will be doing for the next couple months.
I feel so thankful and blessed to have all of you in my life.  Have a WONDERFUL Friday!....(my Thursday is about over) one plus is I get to go to bed nice and early! :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Crochet Day!

The big news today is that I learned how to crochet!  Haha, I'm not very good yet, but I made about a 2 by 5 inch rectangle. :) Maybe tomorrow I will start on something a bit more useful. I also got to go to a church partnering with ours and try to figure out how we can help them with their children's ministry.  Other than that, today was a pretty boring day.  I've realized that I am going to go crazy unless I have some sort of schedule that makes me get out of the house.  I'm hoping to get a job substitute teaching middle school or elementary school kids.  That should give me a little more to do.

The only other news I have concerning the slides is that it won't be until late next week or the following week that we will have results.  We are DESPERATELY hoping that they will have them sent out to Northwestern by Friday or Monday.

I hope everyone had a great day today! and if not there is always tomorrow :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More waiting

Nothing new yet.  My family and I are trying to keep in touch with the doctors to make sure that everything is happening as fast as it can.  I feel like I've been forced to learn the art of patience throughout this experience. (Still not great at it, but hopefully getting better) Nothing has happened as we planned it and not much has happened on time.
I'm hoping to keep busy this week, as I didn't plan anything because I thought I would be having the surgery.  I did get to go to my dad's school and work with the kindergartners today.  VERY fun! :)
I thank you all SO much for the thoughts and prayers, whether or not you knew that I didn't have the surgery.  I apologize that we found out so late and I couldn't let everyone know.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Curveball!!! IMPORTANT: Please Read

I have not been at home the past 5 days, so I guess this has all been going on. My parents, wanting to let me enjoy my time away, decided to keep this to themselves.  I don't really know how to write all this, I don't even know what to think. Its all very confusing.  Anyway...Long story short, the past 5 days the second opinion doctor has said that I don't need the surgery.  Today my surgeon just got the pathology report (in the mail instead of fax) from the second opinion doctor telling him to "postpone the surgery".  Because he sent this my surgeon cannot legally do the surgery. I WILL NOT BE HAVING THE SURGERY.  IT IS POSTPONED.  The second opinion doctor also told us that he was sending the slides to Northwestern to do the genetic testing a week ago when we went to Chicago.  He failed to send those slides so we still do not have the report from that.  He claims to be sending them tomorrow. We'll see.... We spoke to the pathologist at Northwestern and he said that once he gets the slides he will know more, but he said that if the test comes out negative I will probably not have the full surgery, but another biopsy type surgery to test the other lymphodes around it before we do a full lymphnode dissection. If it comes out positive I will still get the surgery, just later.  I'm not going to tell you a date that all of this will be figured out because so far the doctors have been extremely unreliable and I feel like the date will be wrong anyway.  Just a reminder if anyone asks, I am NOT having the surgery on Tuesday September 14th.
I am feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and annoyed with the doctors lack of communication and their lack of ability to follow through with anything they have told us.  If I need the surgery, I want it as soon as possible. If I don't need it I want to know now so that I can figure out what the rest of this semester is going to look like.
I guess it is a good thing we are going through all of this if I don't need the surgery or don't need as big of a surgery.  Its just all a bit ridiculous that this keeps happening.

I'll let you know as soon as we hear something new.  I'm sorry for all of this confusion.
Please keep my whole family in your prayers. This has been the hardest emotional rollercoaster we've ever gone through.
I love you and thank you all for everything.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


So far IU has been treating me very well.  I LOVE seeing everyone and I'm so glad that I was able to come one more time before I get my surgery.  The closer it gets for the weekend to end the more frustrating it is that I have to leave.  I'm doing well though and am feeling so much support from everyone.  I am still nervous for the surgery but right now, visiting everyone is distracting me from it. :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Butler Visit!

Today was pretty eventless except for the evening when I got to go to Butler and visit a friend.  It was wonderful and the weather was perfect! :)  I also got to visit the swim team which was a lot of fun and I'm hoping that when I get better I'll be able to go to their meets!
I'm doing well.  Starting to trust a bit more on the surgery thing.  Its happening early in the morning, so at least I wont be as hungry and thirsty as I was for the last surgery. I did realize, however, that I wont be able to drive until the drain under my arm comes for 3-4 weeks I would be happy to have visitors/drivers! (to those of you who were wondering how they could help. ;) )
I'm excited/nervous to go to iu tomorrow.  I'm SO SO SO excited to see everyone, but I'm really hoping that it won't be as hard to leave this time. knowing very well that it probably will be.  I'm still feeling very thankful for all the love and support I'm getting from everyone and don't know how to express it well enough.
Lots and lots of love!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Purdue Fun! and a bit of nerves

Yesterday and today I was at Purdue visiting friends.  I'm had a WONDERFUL time! My final conclusion is that IU is sooo much better!!! (except for the food courts).  ;)

There are no new updates except the confirmation that I won't be getting a third opinion.  My oncologist feels that even though they are not 100% sure that it isn't melanoma, they are not 100% sure that its not, so it would be better for me to error on the safe side and get the surgery.  This makes sense to me and I'm still relieved that I have a solid plan.  The surgery is scheduled for the 14th of September which is next Tuesday.  Yesterday I got very nervous lying in bed, realizing that I would have the surgery in a week.  Before now it always seemed like a long way away, but now its coming up really fast.  I guess that's good so I can just get this over with.

I love you all SO much and can't wait to have this done and over with. Thank you everyone for all the thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Well I was wrong about having no updates for a couple more days.  My mom called the doctor who gave us the second opinion (in Chicago) to make sure that the slides were getting sent to get the genetic testing that he had suggested.  He then told us that the slides were shipped in the wrong packaging and were busted. he is going to try and put the pieces together to see if there is some way to look at them correctly, but he believes that there is no way we are going to be able to get the genetic testing because of the condition the slides are in.
I'm feeling again very frustrated.  I feel like when I finally get a handle on how things are going there is always yet another obstacle in the way.  Those slides are very important in letting doctors know how to treat this.
Another update is that we called my oncologist about the genetic testing and he said that whether or not the test comes out positive or negative for melanoma, there (to him) is not enough evidence or reliability to say that its not cancer.  He suggests that I would get the surgery no matter what the genetic results were.
That is not really what I wanted to hear because I had started getting a glimpse of hope that I would not have the surgery however I feel MUCH better knowing that I have a plan for the future. It is comforting knowing what will happen next week even if its not what I had hoped for.  (If we could just keep it that way, it would be great.)
Ohhhh what a rollercoaster....

Off to Purdue today to see some friends!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Uneventful Day

No new updates today.  I feel like it will probably be that way for a few more days at least.  We are still trying to decide the best place to get a third opinion and are really hoping to get it this week because my surgery is scheduled for the 14th.
As I'm still waiting and still unsure of how this is all going to turn out, I've been encouraged with the verse in Ephesians, "I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future he has promised..." Ephesians 1:18  As always it is not the easiest thing to see the unplanned future as wonderful, but it is so great to know that it will be.

Today I swept and dusted the house then cleaned my bathroom and room. (too much information probably), then I worked at the pool. Last day of the summer!  Other than that, I've just hung out at home with the family.  Uneventful day, but that's ok!  yay rhyming.

Thanks again to all who have written me, messaged me, texts, phone calls, they mean the world to me!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


No new updates yet.  We are looking to get a third opinion this week, possibly at IU, so that we have hopefully two opinions that match up.  I'm still not enjoying the waiting for results, but I guess patience is a good thing to exercise every once in a while. ;)
This weekend has been great.  Luckily I've gotten to work some and friends came home for Labor Day weekend and did a good job entertaining me. :)  I've started trying to learn how to cook things other than pasta and chocolate chip cookies and my grandma gave me lots of recipes. That should keep me somewhat occupied as well.
I'm looking forward to visiting at Purdue, Butler and IU this week!

Love Love Love and Thanks to everyone for your support on this rollercoaster.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


These next few days/ weeks will be a lot of waiting for the results but I've finally started letting go of the plans I had for myself and trusting that whatever happens will be better. (Doesn't mean I've let go all the way or feel it all the time, but I'm getting there) Yesterday I enjoyed the BEAUTIFUL weather with my grandma then watched a magnificent sunset on Eagle Creek Reservoir. I realized I wouldn't have gotten do to either of these things had I stayed at IU. I'm slowly beginning to see the possibilities I have being home rather than feeling disappointed about it.  I'm hoping the results come in quickly, but until then I plan on making the best of being home and am very excited to visit friends from Purdue, Butler and IU.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Today I got up very early to drive to a doctor in northern Chicago for a second opinion.  When my oncologist set this up, he said most likely the opinion would be the same and it would just be a nice confirmation for my parents that what we are doing (the surgery and treatment) is the right thing to do.  I was speechless and confused when he had a slightly different outlook on my situation.
This doctor told me that he still wasn't sure it was, in fact, melanoma....I had been told a week ago by another doctor that if I was his daughter I would have been in for surgery yesterday.... WHAT?!  Anyway, he said that there was a new test that has just come out and has been proven very reliable.  He wants to take the lymph node and skin samples and test a certain gene structure in them.  He said that in 90% of melanoma a certain gene structure is present.  If the genes structure is there, I will still have the surgery and in HIS mind be diagnosed with melanoma.  If it turns out that the gene structure is not there, then he is willing to say that I do not have melanoma and will not need the surgery.  Here's the kicker.  It takes around 2 weeks to get this test done, which is past the date I have to drop all my classes and keep my scholarship.
Feeling:  Frustrated.  Which is very sad I know, considering I just found out there is a small chance that I don't have skin cancer.  Who wouldn't want that?!  I just feel like a puppet with these doctors.  I don't really know who to trust or what to believe anymore.  More than anything I'm tired of waiting for results. I don't want to get my hopes up again for something that may not be true.  It is also frustrating if it isn't melanoma that I would have to go through any of the tears, phone calls, blood tests, dropping the semester, worrying, worrying all of you.  It just doesn't seem fair.   I wish I was feeling a little more thankful than I am right now.  I know it may be good news, I'm just again feeling very out of control.

I love you all and I'm sorry that this isn't the happiest of my writings.
Love your friend,

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


The spot on my tibia is just a benign bony structure and NOTHING to worry about. :) Its been a while since I've gotten all good news, so I'm feeling very happy.  Thanks again for all the thoughts and prayers!
Much love,

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Update: This morning I had my x-ray on my left tibia to make sure the spot is nothing to worry about. I still haven't found out the results but should get them by tomorrow.  
After that my dad took me out to a delicious lunch, then the procrastination started.  I have a lot of paperwork to fill out for various hospitals and insurance companies, and emails and letters to write.  Its funny that even when I have so much to do and SO much time to do it, things still don't get done and I always seem to have something better to do...facebook creeping and tv seemed to be those better things today.  I did get to visit some people today at work and church which was awesome. 
Once I did decide to start on my list of things I've gotten most everything done.  (I have a good start) :)  
Feeling: I'm feeling very thankful today.  Its easier for me being home than at school where I'm immersed in the things I want to be doing but can't. I am also very thankful for all of the messages, phone calls, and letters I have been getting from people.  They are SO uplifting and I honestly feel incredibly lucky right now.  God has blessed me tremendously with friends and family like you.  
Loving this verse, "They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust in the Lord to care for them." Psalm 112:7 

Monday, August 30, 2010

MRI and PET results/ "See you later" IU

I got the results back today from the MRI and the PET scan.  They did find a "hot spot" on my left lower leg that I will need to get an x-ray on tomorrow.  I have talked to a few people and they all seem positive and say that most hot spots are not anything to worry about so I'm hoping that is the case for me.  I should have the results for that tomorrow.

Yesterday and today I visited people at IU.  It was WONDERFUL to see everyone, but saying goodbye, or "see you later" was one of the hardest things to do.  I guess I'm just sad that I won't be able to experience the same college semester that everyone else will experience.  In all honesty right now I don't think the hardest part of this is the cancer, I don't feel sick and I'm healing up well from the first surgery.  The hardest part now is having to watch other people going to school when I have to be home.

I am so thankful for everyone who has surrounded me with love and support.  I couldn't do this without you.
If you have any suggestions for what I should do at home I would love to hear them! :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Visiting Friends

Today I got to visit lots of friends at IU.  :) Still feeling SO loved and thankful for my friends.  The only problem with seeing everyone at IU is that I am getting more and more sad about leaving.  The longer I'm here the less I want to go.

No new updates today and enjoying the break in doctors appointments.

I'm Radioactive!

This morning I went to get a brain MRI and a full body PET scan.  I was a little nervous because I sometimes get claustrophobic.  Getting these results would let me know whether or not any cancer had spread to any other part of my body.  It is a little scary knowing that there is a possibility that it could, but I was encouraged by my oncologist saying that he "didn't want to get my hopes up, but would be very surprised to see any cancer in these two tests".  Keeping my fingers crossed.  The brain MRI was not as bad as I thought :) I got to wear earphones and goggles that let me watch tv!  It was pretty great and the half hour flew by, though the machine was still VERY noisy.  Before the PET scan was the exciting time where I became radioactive... The lady giving me the injection made sure to tell me that I must be at least two arms length distance away from kids younger than 16 when I left.  I thought that was pretty entertaining. 

After the tests, I came home, went to church and was offered an opportunity to work with the youth group (so excited!), then came back to IU for the weekend.  I'm staying at AGD and am loving it.  Its almost making it harder knowing that I won't be able to stay all semester, but at least I'm getting a chance to see all the girls.  Everyone makes me smile and laugh.  I love it. 

Lastly, I found out from my dad today that there was a prayer line sent from people at his work to people all the way across the country....I was speechless and got tears in my eyes. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

August 26 - Oncology Appointment/ IU loving

This morning I had an appointment with my oncologist.  He is much less intimidating than my surgeon, so its easier to ask him questions.  Thank goodness!  He suggested for my family's sake that it would be important to get a second opinion of another surgeon and pathologist.  We were informed that it was most likely going to be the same prognosis, but we are getting it more so there is no more doubt about the surgery and treatment. We decided to give make the surgery for the 14th of September so that we can get the second opinion before the surgery.  The oncologist also explained that even if the rest of the lymph nodes they take out during the surgery come out negative, I will still need to get the interferon treatment.  (Good thing I already decided no school this semester) The interferon treatment, if I am correct, will be administered through an IV every day for about an hour for 30 days then self injections three times a week for a year.  The symptoms of this are flu like symptoms such as fever, chills, aches, and fatigue.  After the month treatment I will be monitored about every 3 months to check for cancer then get an MRI and PET scan every 6 months to check for more cancer.  After 2 years there is a much higher percentage about 80-90% chance that I will not have any recurring cancer. WOOHOO! :)

After that appointment I got to go to IU to see my AGD sisters and friends from my dorm last year, TB4! The weather in Bloomington was perfect.   I cannot even begin to explain how much love I feel from everyone at IU.  The hugs, smiles, and jokes are EXACTLY what I need.  Thank you all.

August 25 - Unexpected

August 25th I had another appointment with my surgeon for a follow up on the first surgeries and to answer some lingering questions.  At this appointment my family and I were faced with an unexpected reality: that there was no question this was melanoma and had spread to my lymph node.  The surgeon made it very clear that I needed surgery sooner than later.  He seemed to think that I would be able to get the surgery and get back to school, uncomfortable for a while, but I could do it.  After he left the nurse had a very conflicting view that I would need a much longer recovery time and possibly more treatment called interferon after the surgery that would limit me further.  

The problem with all of this school wise was that I have a scholarship that can only be used if I am enrolled as a full time student. I also have to keep a high GPA to get into graduate school for Speech Pathology.  If I had to get the interferon treatment the symptoms and time commitment would not permit me to be taking a full load of classes and do well in them. If I dropped classes later than September 3 I would loose the scholarship for that semester. 

This was probably the worst day out of them all.  At this point I was SO determined I would be at school I couldn't get my head around the possibility of not.  I had a plan; to take 6 classes, some of which I was afraid I couldn't get into next semester, to study hard and complain about it, to train for a sprint triathlon, to lead a small group of middle school girls, to live with my AGD sisters, to watch the leaves change colors on campus, to go on dates at 4th street restaurants, to order Pizza X breadsticks, to be a college student.  I planned all of these things and in one moment they were swept away out from under me.  I like to be in control, I always have, so taking this step of letting go would take a lot of convincing.  
Because the risk of loosing scholarships and feeling miserable at school, I spoke with my parents, doctor, youth leaders, a best friend, and God. I made the decision to let go of my "what ifs", my "planned semester", and trust that maybe school wasn't the plan for me for this semester. 

There were many tears shed that car ride home but once I made that final decision, things started coming together.  There was relief and hope that I could have an opportunity to do things wouldn't be possible if I was in school.  The cancer was still a constant cloud hanging over me, but I could have the peace that I would have a stress free recovery and time to rest if I was going to end up needing the interferon treatment.

Inhale....One decision made....Exhale