Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Family, Friends, and a Community

You guys! I've missed you! I am slowly trying my damnedest to get back into a schedule of blogging again! Things are going great for me right now and I hope that they are for you too! I have so much to share with you! If you follow me on facebook or instagram you know what's up with me and how I am doing. If you don't follow me, well, you should. Get on that right now! I'll wait.....
Okay, good! I'm glad you follow me now!  

Well in March I shared with you some sad news. (you can read about it here.) 9 months later and I am still alive! I've kicked cancer's ass! I am done with my treatments and I am starting to get my energy back! Before I go into details about all that, let's back up a bit. 

When I was first diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma my family decided to get a benefit together to help with medical expenses. I was very weary of this but I decided to let them have the reins and go for it! Whew what a show they did! I am honored to have all of these folks in my life. I am truly blessed that they all love me too! 

They started out selling t-shirts. The cutest t-shirts ever! My awesome neighbor created and designed them!  On the front it says "Hodgkin's Lymphoma Leave my friend alone." The back reads "Carolina Country Girl kick Hodgkin's Lymhpoma to the curb! You've got this!" 
They sold out of these shirts and had to order more! They sold them through word of mouth, social media, and events held in our city. I still get the feeling of joy in my heart every single time I see someone wearing this shirt. It warms my heart! 

 

They also sold purple bracelets that said "No One Fights Alone!" I love seeing these everywhere!

It took several months of planning but my friends and family put together a benefit for me. TONS of items were donated from around the community. The benefit was on July 19th. It was a rainy and dreary day but let me tell you, people came out and showed complete support! They sold super yummy BBQ plates, had a huge indoor yard sale, and an auction for many special items! It was a great big turn out! I attended the whole thing and socialized so much that I missed the auction! I enjoyed every minute of it! 









Many people came together and helped out in so many ways! I am thankful to work with some very awesome people who truly care! I got to shave the heads of co-workers that paid money in a pot to get to a certain dollar amount by 5pm. Well they all ended up shaving their heads for my cause! I am so blessed to have these people in my life. They always ask me how do I keep such a great spirit and positive attitude during such a hard time. My response is being blessed with special people in my life that keep me living for tomorrow!



This picture (above) and an artical was featured on the front page of the local newspaper!



My family in Kansas also raffled off one of their horses at a barrel race here in South Carolina! They even called her Annabelle! 

 


I can never thank these folks enough for all that they have done for me and my family! My cup runneth over! My heart is overflowing! I am forever indebted to all of them for all they've done!




Friday, October 10, 2014

Things I've learned that I do and don't like about my disease.


I DO like that I have made LOTS of new friends throughout this whole process.

I DON'T like how I get sick and how long I stay sick.

I DO like that even with such a thing as cancer and how brutal it can be to you and your family a community can come together and help someone in need out. 

 I DON'T like the fact that since I've been on chemotherapy my sense of smell is super duper sensitive! It has really made me think about where I can and can't go! ha!

I DO like that I get to eat Popsicles during one of my treatments. After eating them every time for 6 months I am over the whole Popsicle thing!

I DON'T like getting poked every single time. I am such a baby! I have come a long way from crying at the sight of the chemo nurses to sucking it up and gritting my teeth when they poke that big needle in my chest. 

I DO like getting emails from my blogger friends like you! You guys have been so sweet to me! I love y'all!

 



Thursday, July 31, 2014

I've Come A Long Way

 I have so much to share with you since I've been out kicking cancer's tail! You heard that right, I'm kicking cancer square in the ass!

 
If you are new around these parts and not sure what I am talking about click here and it will catch you up to speed.

Let's flashback to around Easter when my hair started falling out. The doctor and the nurses had told me that I would start to lose my hair around the 16th day. It was spot on because that day I could run my fingers through my beautiful hair and I would come out with handfuls of hair. That was on a Tuesday and Wednesday my best friend's sister in-law took some family photos before all my hair would be gone.

 

That Saturday afternoon, I got my best friend to shave my hair for me. She organized a little place in her garage and had her sister in-law take pictures again! It was a day to remember and forget all at the same time. The Hubs snuck a buzz cut on himself while I was inside getting my head washed. Actually my BFFs hubby helped him out. When I walked back into the garage I was greeted by my bald hubs with champagne flutes full of Mtn. Dew! Ha! I was so proud of myself for not crying. I was scared to death but at the same time, I have rocked this bald head ever since! I am not a vain person so going without my hair for a little while should be okay right? Heck, it cut out 30 mins of my time to get ready in the mornings. That's a big deal!
 



 

On Tuesday I took Chemo treatment #9 out of 12 total. It made me sick for two days. I am so ready for this to be over! I am counting down the days that I don't have to go through this anymore! Thank you all for keeping my family and I in your prayers! It means so much to us!

There is still so much that I have to tell you about but I will save it for another post this week! So make sure you check back in!

 



Monday, April 21, 2014

Playing Catch Up


Dang! Ive left y'all hanging for WAY too long! I've been busy being sick and all that gravy stuff. So I left y'all with how much I hated getting that bone marrow test done, and I still hate it! lol All of my other tests went great. I do not have any cancer in my bones or in the marrow so that was great news! I also had surgery to have a port installed under the skin on my right side where they will have access to get blood or run all my chemo through instead of straight through my veins. 

This is what my port looks like.

My cancer is a stage 4. That pretty much means that I have it in more than one place. I have it from my neck down to right above my hips pretty much.  I get pains in my abdominal area and my right side the most. The pain was excruciating at one point, but I think that we have got that under control now. Thankfully!

On April 8 I had my first chemo treatment. (also this day was my 8th wedding anniversary) My grandmother went with me. She was a trooper! We were there for about 5 hours. I felt good while I was there and even afterwards. Once I got to my grandmother's house I was really tired. I took a good long nap until my mom came to take me to my house to rest more. 

The best nurses ever putting a needle in to start chemo in my port for the first time!


For the next few days I was feeling tired and weak. I didn't want to do much at all. That Friday I got really sick and didn't hardly move from the bed. The weekend came and I felt a little better. Saturday night I got a fever and had to call the nurse. I was put on an antibiotic and had to visit the office the next day. They gave me some meds and we all hoped I would be better. I was better but not completely. 

Wednesday night I got really sick. A fever of 104.2 is never good especially in a cancer patient. I also had some stomach pain that I barely could stand to have my pants touch much less anything else. I was to be seen the next day at the oncologists office. They took blood cultures to make sure I had no infections. They gave me several meds through my port and the doctor was trying to figure out what was going on. He wanted to make sure that I felt better before the weekend. I'm glad he said that because heck I did too! No one likes to be in pain. Between all the meds he gave me I started to feel a little better by the time I got home. I was to come back the next day to make sure what he gave me was working and to get the results of the blood cultures. I have no infections! YAY! I was also feeling better than I had felt in about a week! So what he did was working and we were all happy! 

I've gone the weekend feeling the best I've felt in a few days! I know it won't last but I'm enjoying it while I can! I have to keep a close eye on my fever when it goes up so we don't get more issues. Tomorrow I get my second treatment. I'm ready. Let's do this! 





Thursday, March 27, 2014

Here Comes The Tests

Words cannot express the love that I have felt from all of your thoughts and prayers! I have been so overwhelmed with all the comments from here and Facebook, but that is a super good thing! I promise!  
 
Last Friday I went to the oncologist for the first time and I woke up with loving support once again! My blogger best friend Jen and blog friends rallied together to show me that support! #TeamTCCG (you can use this on any social media!) Thanks Jen and friends! You guys are amazing!
 
annabelleedit
 
Friday at the oncologist he went over what the next steps were and what chemo would do to me. This week I have gone through a bone marrow test, a echocardiogram, pulmonary function test, PET scan, and a few others that I can't remember right off hand. All of these happened in a week! It went so fast! The next thing for me to get done is a port. Not sure what a port is? Read about it here. They  will do the surgery next week. Then I meet with the oncologist again to find out what stage my cancer is in and then the next step is how much chemotherapy that I will get. Oh Joy!

The first test was the bone marrow test. I can't explain how nervous I was. My anxiety really got the best of me that day. Luckily, I had my mom and some awesome nurses there to make me comfortable. I would never wish this procedure on my worst enemy! Take it as that. I showed my tail y'all! I cried, I screamed, and sweat so much that the paper on the table turned to mush! I did tell them if I EVER have to go through that again they have to put me completely under! Lidocaine just didn't cut it for me! With the worst over, the rest of the tests were a breeze. Now to get my port and get this show on the road!

I have good and bad days with all of this. Wouldn't anyone? I've been so busy that I don't think that it really has sunk in completely. Once the dust settles from this tornado I have a feeling it's going to hit me hard. Just keep on prayin y'all! I need all I can get! It feel so weird asking for prayers at all. Just because I am not one to ask. But this is one of those kinds of situations you do whatever it takes to make it better.
 




Thursday, March 13, 2014

The C word

Yesterday my life changed forever. I got news that I wasn't completely ready for.
 
Let me back up just a little bit back in July I noticed a knot on the left side of my neck. It wasn't painful and didn't really bother me other than the thought that it was there. I didn't have insurance to just run off to the doctor to find out what it was. I was working for a company as a contractor and insurance just didn't matter. So end of August came around and I got a new job with insurance. I didn't think much about the knot at this point, I was just living and not worrying.
 
Well I joined our city gym and started to work out with my best friend. I felt good doing Pilates and going to other classes. One of the classes didn't turn out so well for me. I lost my breath and luckily there was an EMT taking the class and she checked me out to make sure that I was okay. I was, but just out of breath.
 
After that incident I didn't work out much again and my best friend helped me decide that I really need to get checked out by a doctor. So I scheduled an appointment to see my doctor. I went in and told him all that had happened and even told him about my knot. As soon as he touched it he said he would refer me to and ENT. I thought okay, no biggie. Thyroid or something minor.
 
About a week later I went to the ENT. She was awesome! She explained to me and the hubs everything that she was going to do. She ran a camera down from my nose all the way to my vocal cords to see if there was anything she could see that would cause me to lose my breath or a blockage. She didn't see anything. She felt around on my neck and feeling the knot too. She wanted me to have a CT scan and have dye injected to see what was going on. On Feb. 14th, I went in and got the CT scan done. Man, that was wild! That dye, weird! It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy but not in a good way. She said that in a week we would come back to review the scan.
 
The hubs and I went back and she showed us the scanned images. There were several lymph nodes in and around my neck. She was concerned and wanted to do a surgical biopsy and remove some to send off to find out exactly what it is. She scheduled the surgery for March 5th. I was scared to death. I had never had any kind of surgery except to have my wisdom teeth removed.
 
On March 5th we show up at the hospital at 7am. The hubs, my mom, his mom and I go up the elevator and they told my family that I have to back alone first to get set up and they would page them to come back to my little room. Right then my heart dropped to my stomach. I didn't want to be left alone at all! I went back and was ordered to undress and put on a purple paper gown. It was hot as hell! I was sweating like crazy! The nurse took a tube that blew air and attached it to my gown! Ahh! Much better! She then tried to start an iv. UGH! I have rolling veins so it is always a challenge when they start an iv on me. She couldn't find a good vein to start in. You know when you look at your wrist and you see that bone sticking out? She tried to run an iv there! I was upset because it hurt and I asked her to take it out. She said that she would get the anesthesiologist to start the iv. I thanked her.
 
Then she finally paged my family to come in. I was ready to get that mess over with. The anesthesiologist came in and talked to me and started my iv with no problem at all! Thank goodness! I was given some meds to ease my mind and after that I was wheeled off and I don't remember much after that. I woke up in recovery thirsty as all get out. The nurse there gave me some ice chips and took off. I can remember thinking "come back I want more!" She came back but took me back to my little room where my family was waiting for me. My Nana had shown up and I was happy to hear her voice. I was happy to hear every one's voice but she stood out for some reason. I was stiff and had to pee so bad. They let me get up and walk to the bathroom! I had the iv and a line that my mom was trying to help carry and I took it from her and rushed to the bathroom. I had to go that bad. ha!
 
Once they knew I could get around they let me get my clothes on and go home around 2pm. The ride home was rough. I felt every bump and it made me hurt a little. I tried to sleep the rest of the day but I never did. I didn't sleep well at night after that. I'm a side sleeper and I had to be on my back. The hubs said that I was a big baby that night trying to get in bed. He literally had to cradle me and lean me back into my pillow. For 4 days I was waited on hand and foot by the hubs. He is the best and most amazing husband ever! I couldn't ask for more!
 
Monday I returned to work and waited until Wednesday to get the results from the biopsy. Going into that ENT office and waiting was nerve wrecking! The hubs and my mom came with me for support. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  It's cancer. Great. Not what I wanted to hear. No one does. I've cried, and cried, and cried. I will get through this. I have to suck it up and deal with it. God is right here with me guiding the way. It's just so hard to accept the fact that I have cancer. The C word. I have many cheerleaders already and I'm thankful. I love my support group. Without them I would still be in pity party mode. Well, I still get that way, but who doesn't. We can't wallow in it. We have to fight it and be strong.
 
I will meet a cancer doctor in the next two weeks to get the process started to find out what stage it is in and what to course of action will be. I will keep y'all posted as much as I can! Peace, love, and chicken grease y'all! 
 
 
 
 
 



Monday, March 03, 2014

Weekend Recap

Our weekend was pretty awesome. We drove up to NC to visit my favorite cousin Amy! :)
She's the one that let us stay at her house during Christmas two years ago in Kansas! Like I said, she's awesome. So we left after we got Zane from school Friday and got there that night. We stayed up talking and hanging out. The boys fell asleep in the recliner.
 

 
 
The next morning the hubs had to go find some parts for a car and we stayed in our pj's until about 10am or so. I was just relaxed because we didn't have a set in stone plan. We just went with the flow. We got showers and hopped in the truck and rode to town. Checked out a few cute stores and had lunch. We then started towards the OBX but changed our minds because we were tired of driving so much. Ha! We rode around singing and laughing. Lots of fun! It was a great weekend and we didn't want to leave. We enjoyed our stay and will be back soon! We love our Amy!
 
 
 
 
On our way home we stopped at South of the Border. I've always heard about it and seen the signs but I've never been. It was neat. Statues every where of Pedro and all kinds of animals. Even a Jackalope! It's a little touristy town with novelties and such. I've heard the restaurant Sombrero's is good but we didn't eat there. We plan to go back and explore more when we have more time!
 

 
 What did you do this weekend?
 
 
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I've got one more awesome thing to share with you before you go! I received an 8x10 canvas print from EASY CANVAS PRINTS! I picked a beach picture from this past summer. I think it turned out so great! I cannot wait to hang it on my gallery wall! Go ahead and get over to www.easycanvasprints.com and check out all their awesome products! The prices are great too! 
 
 
 
 
 
I'm also including a link to up to 50% off promo code offers that you gals can bag up an awesome deal too! Stop what you are doing now and check it out!
 



Friday, February 28, 2014

The Blogmopolitan Quiz

 
Happy Friday y'all! I've seen this before on many blogs and on Two Thirds Hazel. I thought it was cute and so I wanted to participate this time! As soon as I saw it up this morning, I knew I was doing it today!
 
 I also skipped one question! On purpose I might add! "If no one would find out, I would..." I honestly can't think of anything. Maybe fly to Vegas, spend a shit load of money and come back? I just don't know! Great question though!
 
  Have a great weekend!



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

This Year So Far Hasn't Been What I Expected.

 In all honesty this year so far has been a rough for me personally. I've had some gallbladder issues, some back, and neck issues too.  I'm not one to complain. I am a little whiney, but that's different to me. lol I'm taking it one day at a time. I know others have it harder than I do. So enough of this pitiful crap, let's catch up shall we?
 
 
Well, it has snowed twice here since I have talked to y'all! TWICE! It was a lot of fun! We went sledding. We pulled the sled with the teryx and really had fun! We also drove around our community even where cars had not been in two days! It was a winter wonderland around here for a few days.
 
 
 
(yes, that would be Willow photobombing! aka pooping!)
 
 
 
 
 
In the South we don't get much snow so when we get it we enjoy it as much as possible. It was nice but I am glad to see it go. Bring on Spring baby! The flip flop weather and beach time is what I am ready for! We don't have a big vacation planned this year, so we will be hanging out at the beach as much as we can this summer. I'm ready to just relax and let go of all this stress!
 
Valentine's day came and went. We didn't really celebrate big this year. We just exchanged I love you's and did dinner together. 5 days later was the Hubs birthday. He has been working nights and we really didn't get to celebrate. Zane and I did bake him a red velvet cake, per the hubs request. :)
 
 We took a drive one day the hubs was off a came across my favorite waterfall! Bald River Falls! The hubs and I have lots of memories in this area of NC/TN. We shared that with Zane for the first time. He wasn't too enthused. Oh well.
 
 
 
That about wraps it up. I've been super lazy and have no motivation right now. I will get back on track once I get back to feeling myself again. It's a work in progress. That's life y'all! Until next time, keep on keepin on! 



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