Tuesday, November 8, 2011

2012 will be a much better year!

And so the end of my IV chemo cycles is approaching, and I couldn't feel more happy and blessed that I've made it this far. Im in the hospital once again for the second half of my fifth cycle, and after this cycle is complete I will only have one left! Im sensing the year 2012 will be a much better year for me. Not that this past year wasn't full of positive learning experiences and beautiful God given memories, yet I'm looking forward to the part where I will have to spend less time in a hospital and more time rebuilding my life with the new I have gained through this endeavor. Im excited, dare I say go back to work full time! Yes, I know that must sound weird to most of you out there who are working full time jobs with long days wishing for the slim chance of an upcoming vacation or an opportunity to have at least one day off where you can do absolutely nothing...but let me tell you from experience, it can get boring. And though I have found numerous ways to keep myself occupied while I'm getting my treatments, I almost always wish I was working instead. But who knows, I might wish to be back in this place once I do start working more, we always seem to want what we don't have...
The holidays are coming up quickly, and Im excited to eat all the delicious food! This year is definitely going to be strange without my dad. I think all of my family, especially my mom, are nervous for what the days will feel like with him not present. My sisters and mom have requested we have a change from where we usually have thanksgiving at,( at my moms or sisters) to establish the change. They suggested we have it at Ivan's mom's. I'm up for the change in atmosphere, I'm just hoping we can all hold ourselves together. Just the other day after going to mass with the family we decided to go and eat at la perla tapateia. It's a Mexican food products store that also sells pre cooked dishes. This was one of my dads favorite places to get his menudo fix. As we sat there eating, my sister recalled my dads last meal there, which took place two days before he passed. "He happily had some mole and sat in this spot exactly" my sister recalled. At that moment I couldn't help but remember his laugh and memorable sayings about food. He absolutely loved food, just like me:) I miss him...sooo darn much. Things won't ever be the same without him, and that's difficult to accept at times.
I will most likely be getting out tomorrow! I can not wait! This whole being trapped in a hospital thing every other week is driving me crazy! Keep following and God bless!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Light among darkness

I had my fourth cycle of chemo September 12-15. It was a long working week for me! On the bright side getting infused with chemo everyday for 6 hours allowed me to catch up on my reading;) I've been determined to lay off the junkie t.v. The week went well, by the time Thursday came around I was so ecstatic, I was free! It felt like i was in elementary school again on the last day of school, only in this picture the nurses were the teachers. And they weren't saying see you next year rather "see you on your next cycle!" And like any normal elementary school kid who just started their summer, I wanted the festivities to begin! That Friday a couple of my girlfriends and I had a falafel night. My friend Antonia had made them for me before, and we both thought it would be fun to make a girls night out of it. The crunchy yet moist little things are quite the challenge to make, yet so worth the explosive taste party in your mouth.
Ivan had Monday off so we decided to go on a lunch date. We attempted to feast on as many possible food items with the least amount of money. Since ive been back in Modesto I've been noticing all these new places to dine I had never noticed before. I'm a huge yelper, who likes to research new places to eat and closely looks into the reviews. I guess I am a foodie, you can call it, but not an extreme foodie who has tasted every exotic edible thing in the world. I hope to reach that point one day. Any who, I told Ivan about my aid research about some cheap bites I read about yelp that I wanted to try. He was actually excited about the idea, which is a bit sup rising since he isn't always in the "mood" to try new foods. He is far from being a foodie like me, yet I have gotten him to expand his taste pallet just a tad since we have been together. I like to take credit for the new cuisine he has tried and enjoyed:) Our Monday lunch date concluded with us eating: 1 Vietnamese saigon sandwich, 5 baby egg rolls, 2 cheesecake cupcakes, and 1 piƱa colada snow cone all for 10 dollars. We felt quite accomplished by our savings, never the less more by how much we indulged in. I guess Modesto has some secret food gems after all...
Its been two weeks since, and I still have not published this post. I ended up getting a fever two days later that required me to go into the emergency room. I was feeling terribly achey and shivering with chills. I assumed it was another infection, and sure enough I was right:( I was started on antibiotics right away. My fevers continued through the weekend even with receiving the antibiotics. I was beginning to worry considering last time I as stuck in the hospital with ecoli, I was able to recover within 5 days. My counts ( white blood cell) were not rising very much or at all. After 5 days my oncologist called me and explained to me that the chemo I had the previous week was a really strong dosage that was going to result in a longer time for me to recuperate from. She stated that most patients take an average of 20 days for their bodies WBC to recuperate and for infections to diminish. I was completely saddened by this news considering I hate being hospitalized. The rest of my stay dragged on. I was given a total of 2 blood transfusions and 4 platelet transfusions during my stay. This time around I also developed several mouth sores that made it difficult for me to each much due to the pain. I was stuck eating applesauce, jellos, soups, and fruit cups for most of my stay until the sores healed.
Thankfully, my body kicked in and I was surprisingly released on Saturday after 10 days of being enclosed in despair. My friend Vhantelle and her husband came to visit me as a surprise from La, which was a wonderful surprise. Although I was instructed by my doctor not to go to any public areas and stay inside, I enjoyed catching up with my friends. I felt completely exhausted on Sunday. I didn't make it out of bed much, except to eat three meals. The rest of the week was spent rather the same. Sleeping, eating, sleeping. I couldn't bring myself to do much more. The only time I left the house was to attend to blood draw appointments I had all week. My counts were still under normal level, so any time I left our room I had to be wearing a mask for my protection. I hate being in isolation and not being able to enjoy the outside world. A few nights that week I found myself crying in sadness and anger, thinking how unfair it was that I had to be trapped inside for so long. Thoughts of how badly I wished I was living my old life before I was diagnosed came flushing through my mind. Wishing things were just different." I hate these treatments!" is all I kept feeling. Just as I try and make my life a little more normal by going back to work and making myself useful, it all gets yielded by this terrible illness. It's not fair, yet I can't do anything to change it but keep going.
By the end of the week my counts finally restored back to normal. And as I celebrated by going outside finally with no mask to a movie, I couldn't help but think I would soon be back in that sad trapped place again within the next few weeks for another dreadful treatment. As much as I'm happy I'm feeling stronger with my engery back I can't help but dread the feeling of it being taking away again, leaving me to the difficult battle of getting it back. Im two chemo cycles away from starting oral chemo(which I hope will be more mangle) yet the finish line seems just so far away still. I wish I could just close my eyes and open them back up to it being all over. But I can't. I have to move forward. I know there is still much to learn from all this. God continues to reveal new things to me even through all my pain, anger, sadness and darkness. For one, that he's been present in my darkest moments, and will always lead me out to the light. I know this because as I lied in my bed in sadness this past week not wanting to write/blog out of anger and sadness I'm writing now...out of the darkness and once again in
the light. I've been lead out once again, and Im sure God will continue leading me out through not only my next 2 cycles of chemo, but until I'm completely done fighting this illness. I just know it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Steady steady

I had chemo yesterday. The chemo I missed since I was unexpectedly hospitalized for the infection I got. I was scheduled to have chemo four days this week to start a new cycle, but it got pushed back two weeks. I'm relieved, yet part if me wanted to just get it over with. I'm itching for the end ofthe year to come, so I can just be done with all these intensive treatments. Last week I started a job as an after school program teacher. I was hired only a few days before I started and had an orientation the day before my first day. It's only three days a week for about an our and a half. It's the perfect amount for me right now, since treatments can sometimes hog up my schedule. So far the job is treating me well. I have 8th graders, which can be a pain at times, especially since it's at the end of the day. The last thing an 8th grader wants to do is go to an additional class at the end of the school day. It's going to be a challenge to find entertaining ways to teach these kids.
Other than the new job, life has been pretty steady. This past weekend my friend Sarah and I took a spontaneous trip to meet our friend Suzy in Pismo Beach. I say spontaneous because I can't really make plans ahead of time with this illness. Anything can happen, so I told the girls I wouldn't know if I could go until Friday after my appointment with my oncologist. Since everything looked good on Friday, I was given the ok! It was a rather short, yet worth wild trip. Sarah and I left Friday evening, drove four hours, ate dinner with Sue, got up had breakfast, took a stroll on the beach, had lunch, and headed back by 4. It went by incredibly fast, but it was worth the short trip to see Suzy. I miss my San Francisco roomies!
This Saturday we are having our first annual regalado family reunion! I am super excited to meet family I've never met, and see those that I have not seen a very long time. The rest of this week my sisters and I will be putting together last minute details for Saturday, so wish us luck!
I hope you all are doing well, keep following and God bless!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Here is link to story on Univision!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Stay away Ecoli!!

Finding ways to keep myself occupied has become easier. I've been trying to catch up with friends and family a lot which is incredibly nice:) my oldest niece started high school this past week...yikes, I can not believe it!! In only 4 years she will be going to college, geez I was just college! As everyone is beginning to start school and classes, I can't help but think of what I would be doing to prepare for the school year as a teacher. This time last year was madness, being it was my first year in my own classroom. I was living day by day, figuring out lessons by the skin of my teeth, but it was exciting and I'm missing that feeling this time of the year.
Ivan and I even managed to have a little movie date ourselves this past week which was much needed. he has been working several 12 hour graveyard shifts, which makes it difficult for us to spend time together. My mom has also been doing better thispast week as well. She gave us all a little scare due to her high blood pressure. My sister Hilda took her to the doctor to get medication to control her blood pressure. She has been going out for two walks a day, which is fantastic! It makes me happy to see her caring for herself and doing her best to continue living as best as she can without my dad. The other Sunday we took a family visit to my dad's grave. My sister Sovia bought us all lottery scratchers to scratch. My mom was the lucky one and won a ticket! We all thought it was a sign from my dad telling her she should go to the casino!! My dad loved going to the casino, although he always lost:(
I began to feel strangely tired by the end of the week. On Saturday I went to pleasonton with my friend Alyssa to pick up her wedding dress. When I came home I felt rather tired so I took a nap. I woke up with a fever of 102, and began to think something wasn't right. My sister in law Nayra took me into the ER. Since the chemo compromises my immune system, and sign of infection can be dangerous for me. I thought the fever rooted from being in the heat, but it didn't turn out as I thought. I ended up being admitted for not only observation, but for a platelet transfusion. I was quickly started on antibiotics to help my body fight whatever infection I had. Today is Wednesday, and I am still here hospitalized, hoping to get discharged today! I turns out I caught ecoli. Which isn't good, but also not an aggressive infection to kill. It most likely came from something I ate, which is definitely going to make me even more paranoid on what I'm eating. I'm just happy the infection wasn't from my port...I was dreading having to get it removed after the pain I endured to get it placed.
Although I wasn't too happy about an unexpected hospital stay, I'm happy I will be leaving today! This illness truly just knows how to interupt my life in every aspect....grrrrr:( praise God for no complications!
P.s. I had five minutes of fame yesterday! A Spanish television network named univision ran a story on me on t.v. Last night! Every year they have a blood drive, and since I've been a recipient of my fare share of blood transfusions, they asked if they could interview me. Quite exciting!
Keep following, God Bless!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My new found hobbies;)

Days are beginning to quickly trickle like a set of long organized dominoes that have been set off to fall. I feel as though I tapped my finger on the domino at th end as soon as I was released from my long hospital stay in baldwipark, and the days are just rapidly stacking upon one another. I just can't believe how fast 4 months have flown by, and how far I've traveled in this process to get treated. I know everyone always says, time/life goes by so fast, I can truly atest to that statement! My list of procedures I must get through continues to shrink, and that my friends makes me excited! I don't get the sense of missing my old life before I was stricken by this cancer anymore. I have made it my friend, as strange as that sounds, and have accepted it into my life. As evil as the life threatening illness is, it has taught me a great deal. Lessons about life, family, and people I wouldn't have learned from any other life encounter. It's part if my life now, it's me. I remember recalling moments in the hospital writing about the times I would feel glimses of "me" when I was not as sick, energetic, and felt...normal. I dont get those short glimses of feeling me anymore. I now feel me all the time, and only get short glimses when i remember that I'm fightig this cancer. It's incredible how much I've been blessed in being able to continue on with my life, perhaps not quite as it was prior to being diagnosed with leukemia, but just a little more interesting:)
Last week was remarkable at the art camp! I was given the opportunity to teach four classes all revolving around the theme of printmaking. It was just a fantastic feeling being up in front of a classroom teaching again! I was as if I had just placed down an important piece to the puzzle that had been missing for months. My puzzle, or should I say"life" just felt that much more closer to feeling complete. I feel so darn lucky to have found this wonderful gallery/art school that was willing to give me what I was missing. I felt so productive for these past two weeks...I was actually working!! A word I had not used in my verbal vocabulary in a long time. It felt so incredibly strange to be saying"well, I'm off to work!" haha seriously it was both weird, yet a good feeling at the same time. The only thing that was not pleasant these past two weeks was my tired feet. I didn't realize I was not used to standing so many hours anymore...ouch, that's all I have to say!
I've picked up a few new hobbies these past few weeks amongst my goal of keeping myself occupied. Cooking is one of them. I kid you not I have spent countless hours watching the food network and looking up recipes online trying to perfect new foods, which I can proudly say I have! Not all the new cuisines ive made have worked out, but a majority have! I've become a little obsessed...I've even fascinated about the idea of going to culinary school and opening up an international food truck here in Modesto. It's a crazy idea, but all the cooking challenges on these shows inspire me try all these new flavors that make the experIence rather enjoyable. Of course, I only get those feelings after I make a new dish that actually turned out well. Intermingled in between my science cooking lab in the kitchen, I've also started to bike. I have been stuck on the idea of getting a bike to help build my muscle back up, so I can eventually be able to run again. I went on a pre determined trip to wal-mart to get a bike with my lovely friend Mena. With help of my overly encouraging self, I managed to sway my darling friend to splurge on a bike as well. She had been wanting a bike as well, but I secretly also wanted a biking buddy;) It was rather easy to make an argument to purchase the bike with that thought in my mind. We both got beach cruisers, which highly resemble the bike of a seven year, in words of Ivan. He laughed at the sight of it commenting on the bright turquoise color and painted posies. I honeslty didn't care about his opinion. He had suggested I get a mountain bike, but I was convinced the bigger seat on the cruiser would be far more comfortable, which is! As Mena and I take our strolls on our vibrant childish cruisers, I can't help but think of the popular Now and Then movie. Boy do I need to find us some baskets and a radio!! Any who, I love my new bike, and am looking forward to many more rides with my biking buddy (Mena).
I started my new cycle of chemo yesterday. So far I have been feeling alright, I'm hoping things continue to run this way. Luckily, this cycle is outpatient, so I get to go home after I receive the treatment!! I'm not sure I could do another hospital stay after the past two without a break. I'm getting a second dose of the daneurubacin chemo, which is the very first treatment I received back in Baldwin park. It made me really sick the first time, so I hope it's a little better the second time around. My hair started to grow back which surprised me. I still do not have as much hair as Ivan though. Not sure if it will fall out again with this treatment, guess we will have to wait and see...sorry it took me so long to update you all! Keep following! God bless!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The secret gem of marriage...

My hospital stay came to an end, and I couldnt be any happier! The more times I have to be hospitalized, the more I'm thankful for the days I'm not there. Gosh, how great is it to not have to be in the same room all day!! Freedom never tasted as sweet as it does now! The day after I was released from my "second home" Ivan and I went to napa followed by lake Tahoe:) I couldn't be more excited to celebrate our one year anniversary!! The year had flown by, and I couldn't help but think of how much had changed within just a year. After only 9 months of marriage, Ivan and I were confronted with one of our biggest challenges yet. An unexpected life occurrence that has truly tested the strength of our commitment to one another. Going through this challenge with Ivan has shined a new light of what marriage means. Marriage is saying yes to everything! Even yes to illness. Ivan could have easily chosen to say no and walk away to what seemed like an impossible relationship to hold...but he didn't! He said yes! He said yes and accepted my illness, my 6 week hospital stay, yes to never leaving my side, yes to all the side affects that came from the illness, even my bald head. He has said yes to working more while I'm not being able to, yes to giving up our apartment, yes to living with less, yes to taking me to constant doctor appointments....he has said yes to absolutely everything!! And that I believe is what a marriage is. As amateur as I may sound, since ive only been married for a year; this is perhaps the most valuable gem I have discovered in having a successful marriage. I'm so incredibly thankful god has revealed this gem through Ivan to me after only a year! He must certainly be rooting for us;)
I started my new job yesterday and I absolutely love it!! Not only am I thankful to be getting out of the house, but I get to be around art and kids, my two favorites! It's so great to be in a classroom again. It makes me feel like I'm gaining a piece of what I lost. I will get to teach 2 lessons next week, which I can't wait for. I'm looking forward to the incredible feeling I get being in front of a classroom feeding new knowledge into my students, there is nothing that excites me more;)

Amen for our passions, and for having the ability to share them with others!

Friday, July 8, 2011

No more smelly sheets

The hospital sheets here have a distinct smell. By distinct, I don't mean in a good way. They smell like....a hospital. It's not a strong intolerable pungent smell, but odd and hospital like. It sort of resembles the smell of a convalescent home or a home that hasn't been lived in for months. Since I was to stay in this mobile bed for the week I wanted to make it as comfortable as possible so I asked Ivan to please bring me a pillow and blanket from home today. I feel so much more comfortable with a touch from home. Besides the smelly sheets, which are now in the past, my stay has been good. Of course I don't get any sleep during the night, but that's pretty common during all my hospital stays. The nurses have to monitor the ph level of my urine to make sure my organs are functioning appropriately which requires me to give them a pee sample every four hours. I was in the deepest sleep last night having an intense dream, which was sadly interrupted by a shake from my nurse. I was able to easily fall back asleep, but then shaken again for another pee test at 6. Of course breakfast arrives soon at 8, and the internal medicine doctors begin to drop by to check in with me and I'm tired as heck. They expect me to be lively and awake, which is the exact opposite of how I feel. One even commented, "aww are you being a sleepy head today?" rude! Yes I am being a sleepy head, so let my head sleep away! I hate these pee test!
This stay seems to be going by a lot slower than last time:( I hope it starts to speed up soon! Ivan and I's 1 year anniversary is on Sunday and we are hoping I can be out soon after so we can celebrate!
Just a few more days...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My short week of freedom

My week of freedom has soon come to an end. I go back for another week long stay at my second home tomorrow. The only thing I'm looking forward to about staying in a hospital all week is the nice AC. I will be escaping the desert like one hundred degree days of Motown this week!! Besides sweating my pits off all week during my week of liberty I discovered a new medium in art to work with! My friend Sarah invited me to an art store she had a gift card for, which turned into a new art addiction. There was a beautiful piece of art work hanging behind the woman who was helping us at the register. I asked the woman who the piece was by, and she proudly pointed out that she had done it. I was amazed by her talent and quickly asked her if she could reveal her secret of how she gave the piece it's vivid texture. She smiled as she lead the way to a corner of beautiful colored paper. The method seemed so simple yet so artistically genius. Sarah and I were in art heaven. We brainstormed pieces we could make by matching the colored paper together. We both left the store spending more than we wanted to, but completly inspired and motivated to make new art. That day I came home and quickly began mod podgeing (glue) the colored paper together. I was so into the piece I soon realized 4hours had passed and I had not eaten dinner. A lot more mod podgeing (this is what im calling it)occurred over the next few days. As soon as I introduced the strategy to my artistically inclined niece, she wanted to start her own project as well. Mod podge is taking over my life!
Besides mod podgeing, I had a weekend filled with lots of family time. It was my niece Joci's b-day on Saturday. My sister planned her a hawaian themed party with a trip to the bowling alley as well. I had a good time watching all the kids struggle to pick up bowling balls and try to skillfully drop the ball down the aisle. My poor niece Cristal who is only five, had the hardest time picking up the oversized ball. Ironic enough she managed to pick up the ball and wobble her way to the aisle to drop the ball just in time. Her turn seemed like it lasted a whole hour as we watched the ball with absolutely no velocity tippy toe it's way to the pins. By the end of the game lucky Cristal won with three strikes! I guess slow and steady does win the race. My mom seemed to grow a little sad at the bowling alley that night. She recalled our last years visit to the same alley for Joci's b-day, only that time my dad was around. She insisted it was nothing and that it would pass. We all let her be In the memory. I too have those snip memories of my dad,where I just want to be in the moment hoping I can catch a glimpse of his face and smile. These quick memory flashes are beautiful opportunities for us to relive times we had with my dad, even if it is just for a few minutes.
The next day Ivan and I went to church, then headed over to my cousin Gaby's for a pre fourth of July BBQ with all my cousins. I couldn't stand the heat outside. It was already 7, and it was still 90 degrees outside. I excused myself and politely took off my sweaty wig. Gosh it felt good! It sure is nice being bald In the summer;) I had to make sure to securley put my wig somewhere safe while I sported my nude head. My family seems to mistaken my wig for a real person if I leave it in open area. The other week I left it hanging on the bed post and there were 3 screams of " O, it's just patty's wig, I thought there was someone there!" I thought they would be used to the whole wig ordeal by now, but I guess not. The fourth of July festivities continued on to the next day as well. Ivan and I headed over to our friend Andy's house for another BBQ and fireworks. I had no complaints, I love BBQs! I wasn't able to go swimming just yet, but I'm counting down the days until I can freely jump into a cold pool to cool off! Probably by the time I get out of the hospital this week I will get the ok...hopefully.
I'm hoping this round of chemo goes well because I received a phone call from the art camp, and they want me to work the week of July 18, and teach the following week. I'm incredibly excited, so please pray that I recover well enough to do it.
Well Im off to spend time with my mama! love you all, God bless!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The long lost appetite and it's return

This past week of hospitalization started off rough. I checked into radiology to get my port put in. I was partially sedated for the procedure, although I still felt sharp pains here and there and the messy yellow goop they spread all over my chest to sanitize the area. The goop honestly takes a week to go away unless you want to sit there for hours scrubbing away until your skin is completely red. After the procedure I was transported to the room I would be staying in all week. The room was spaciously gorgeous, resembling a mini suite. It was a lot nicer then the dorm I stayed in for 6 weeks in Baldwin park. As soon as I settled in to my temporary room I started feeling throbbing pain coming from my chest. I couldnt seem to find any comfortable angle to sleep viketin became my best friend. The chemo was to be given to me over a 36 hour period. I started it late Tuesday, and it went all the way up until Thursday morning. I have had times where I've lost my appetite before, but it has never been as bad as it was this past week. Such a sad feeling for the food adic that I am. Nothing seemed appetizing but fruit. I was lucky if I got at least one entire meal during the day.janes ted to eat so bad, and nothing is worse than feeling the nauseating feeling when your not feeling a slight bit of hunger. This round of chemo also brought along 3 nicely packaged headaches each day. Thanks, but no thanks. If I wasn't sleeping, which I did a large portion of the day, I was making my best attempt to hold conversations with my visitors. Thank God for my family and friends who all kept me company during the week, I couldnt have made it through the week without any if them. I feel so awful to be a bore when visitors come by, but I'm sure I can make up some entertainment time later. My poor mommy, who stayed the night with me two nights, looked so bored. But being the amazing mom she is she stuck it through:) Both my nieces even took a stab at being a nurse for the night. They didn't do have bad, I was quite impressed. Although give them cable t.v. and an iPad and they will stay up all night being a nurse, and I mean all night!! My friends Andy, Alyssa, Mena, Sarah, and Angelica also came by during the week. Not to mention my three Ramirez cousins Gaby, Liz, and Carmen who spent most late nights with me.
Sunday came around, it was finally time for me to go home! And lucky for me, my appetite returned! The first thing I wanted to eat was a nice slice of pepperoni pizza...which turned into three!! Thank you God for returning me my lovely friend, and most of all, thank you for helping get through anoher one of these cycles! Love you all, keep following!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Death is not supposed to be a scary thing. Since I was diagnosed I never placed too much thought on the idea of death. The times that I thought about it, it didn't seem to scare me. Since my dad passed, I've been thinking about it more, but this time I do feel a sense of fear. I feel it's because i have felt how much it hurts when someone passes. I know we can all have our doubts at times, and I've been talking to God about this fear and nervous feeling ive been having about death often. I wonder if when death comes around and one goes to heaven, if they feel the ache of missing their loved ones. I think that's why Ive been feeling this way. I have felt the feeling of agony of losing one person, and dont want to feel the agony of missing every single loved one in my life. But I know God can help me with this one, just as much as he has helped me with every other dilemma in my life. I know that if death should ever come upon me, he will make me feel full, I just have to have faith, faith will conquer my doubts, faith conquers all.

A little better everyday...

I have been spending a lot of time with my mom this past week. I stay the night with her most nights when Ivan is working graveyard. I feel like we are all getting a little better everyday since my dad passed, but we all can't stop missing him. Yesterday was fathers day, and it was so hard not to have my pops to celebrate with. But I knew my dad never placed a big emphasis on the holiday, so I found it silly of me to feel sad.
This past Friday was the last day of the novena, a nine day prayer we started after my dads services. So much family has been over which has been nice but also not so good some days, especially for my mom. I found her in the garage the other day just sobbing and when i asked her if she just wanted to be alone she firmly nodded her head yes. As much as it hurts me to know i have to leave her alone some days, my sisters have all said she needs time alone to cope and accept the change. She's been finding her therapy through her yard work, which is good. The scary talk of her wanting to move from the home we all grew up in isn't something we all want to hear. We feel it's just part of her coping journey. I've talked to some people who have lost a close family member or friend, and ive heard their loved ones can cope in this way. As hard as it would be to have my mom leave the house we all have so many memories in, we all know we have to support her in her decision, whatever it ends up being.
I got to visit my students this past week which was amazing. I have missed them sooo much. They didn't know I was coming, so as soon as they saw me they went bazerk! They all commented I looked different, and asked me if I got highlights, I smirked and just said yes. They don't know my diagnoses, yet they are so observant to details. They we're prompt in filling me in with everything I've missed. Of course the biggest question they had for me, was when I would be coming back. It hurt me to have to say that I didnt know. All their hugs truly made my day, I hope to see them again soon!
I start my next chemo cycle tomorrow. I don't feel as sad this time, which is good. Im going to be getting admitted this time, which means I'll have to stay hospitalized for about 3-4 days. I will be getting my Pic line removed tomorrow as well, and getting a port put in. I'm excited for this since wrapping my arm everyday I shower is such a pain, not mention the uncontrollable itchiness from the sticky stuff that keeps it protected.
Today is my hubby's b-day!! We had a celebration for him with all our friends this past Saturday and are having a little dinner today for him just with the fam. Well I'm off to celebrate with the birthday boy! Keep following and God bless!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dedicating this blog to my pops!

It's been awhile I know, but this past week has been filled with heavy emotions. So heavy it's been hard for me to write it all out until now.last Thursday seemed rather dry. I had slept most of the day feeling more exhausted than usual, although everyday I feel tired and sleepy. Ivan decided to make us some steaks and potatoes. I had a craving for it, and like his usual self he wants to make his wifey happy...we were in the kitchen preparing our dinner when we received the call. My sister Hilda told Ivan that they had found my dad unconscious and the ambulance had taken him to the nearest hospital. My mind began to race and tears of fear ran down my face as I grabbed my purse while Ivan quickly grabbed the keys to our car. The ride to the hospital I was once at earlier that morning seemed longer than usual. We arrived to the ER where we were guided to the consult room. As soon as I saw the lettering on the door I began to sob. As the nurse opened the door I saw my sisters red eyes and brother's sorrowful look. I quickly asked in a panic voice" what's going on, where is he?" As the news of my dad no longer being with us hit my ears my knees hit the floor in complete anguish. As the rest of my sisters arrived we hugged each other in sobs. The worst was breaking the news to my mom. My heart shattered as I heard her shout" perdi mi compania" I've lost my company. Seeing my mom made me want to cradle her in my arms to sleep. I've never seen my mom cry this way. Arrangements for my dads services began right away. I couldnt bear going with my family to select the casket nor the burial location. I just couldn't handle it feeling real yet. Family and friends were swarming in and out of our house. Some days it was nice to have company but other days we all just wanted to be left alone. I coped by watching old home videos of my dad and remembering the amazing memories he had given all of us. My dad had suffered so much these past years with different illnesses. He had spent countless days in the hospital, but when it came for his time to part from us it happened in the comfort of his own home, in his favorite spot on the couch. My family and I found peace and prayed he hadn't suffered one bit on his way out. The viewing and funeral were unbearable. I had a difficult time stepping close to the casket. As soon as I walked in I saw my family crowded around it, and began to cry. It took my whole family to convince me to come see him. Inside me, I didn't want to accept it, but I knew I was going to have to. As soon as I saw him, I noticed the small smile on his face. He looked so comfortable at rest. The mass for my dad was beautiful. It brought me a sense of joy to know my dad was enjoying himself in heaven, and although we would miss his physical self, he would always be in our hearts...this brought me great comfort.
God is always trying to teach us something...I dont know why he sprung this on us so sudden, but I feel it has really united our family. I feel my dads presence constantly. I feel god is using my dads absence to bring us closer together. Im going to miss the heck out off him. Not a day will go by where I won't think of him. I'm always always going to remember his smile and laugh, always. I'm going to dedicate this blog to him because i feel ive gotten my strength to fight this sickness from watching my dad fight all his illnesses. He never gave up! And sickness after sickness he always bounced back to us. He was a true fighter, and i want to be just like him! Descansa en Paz mi lindo papa.

God bless, keep following

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I must find a way to get paid for this overtime!

This new job of mine had me pull in some mean over time yesterday. I was there for nearly 24 hrs! I arrived early Tuesday morning for my usual lumbard puncture Tuesday with the company of my mother in law. When I got to the radiology department the nurse let me know that the infusion center had called and I was to report there first because my platelet levels were too low. I headed up the elevator to my second home where I normally take my spot in chair #12. This time I was seated somewhere else. I had never received platelets before. The bags had a yellow mustard color look, weird! As I sat there receiving the funny yellow stuff I chatted away with a fellow cancer patient. He was young like me! I haven't seen many young people come in, so I was excited to finally converse with someone around my age. He was getting treated for a rare type of cancer that he had already once 10 years ago. I asked him how he handled receiving the news that it had come back, and he replied" well, it's something that is always ithe bac of your mind, the possibility, and you just have to learn to accept it and not let it stop living your life" I had never thought too much about the idea of cancer coming back into my life after fighting this battle. I guess it's something I'm going to have to learn to accept. That there is no cure, and it could come back, and I have to be ready to keep fighting. It just seems so hard to have to fight this awful battle again after thinking for several years you have been free from the poisonous thing. We talked about all the restrictions our doctors tell us to have, for instance his doctor told him not go out much like me, yet we still do. I don't blame him though, because living with this sickness only makes me want to live more and make everyday as if it were my last. So yes, I know Im supposed to try and stay inside to protect myself, but no I am not. I will gladly wear a mask and get funny looks to make that trip to the movies or mall.
The platelet transfusion ended and it was off to radiology. By this time it was already 3, and I still had not eaten anything:( I had a different doctor do the procedure this time, he was much quicker! They let me pick the tunes on the iPod I wanted to listen to. The procedure took a total of 10minutes. Its getting to be a routine for me, but im thankful i only have 2 more of these to get through! Afterwards I was. Taken to ER to receive a blood transfusion since my levels had dropped below normal. My sister in law brought me something to eat since I was finally able to eat, but I wasn't able to eat much since I had waited for so long. My blood took forever to get there. It finally arrived around 12. I received 2 units of blood, which left my face with so much color! By 3 am I was discharged with my poor sister in law who stayed up with me the whole time.
So if I was getting paid for this at 14 an hour, 8 hours regular pay and 10 hours overtime I would have made 272 dollars!! I personally feel that was one of the most difficult shifts thus far and feel I deserve a 2 dollar raise if I'm going to be pulling these close to all nighters again!
Today was a good day after getting some much needed rest after the never ending day. I went in for an interview to teach art at a one weeK camp this summer. The interview went great! They want me to come in and shadow the art techer teach some lessons before I start. I was also asked to join their team in the fall called mobile muse, which is an art education program that travels to different Modesto city schools to teach art. It's nothing full time which is exactly what I need! The teachers were completely understanding of my situation, and said I could even pick the days I would want to teach! I'm really excited about this opportunity. I feel it's just what I need to keep my passions of teaching and art alive while undergoing all this treatment. Nothing is going to stop me!
Keep following, god bless!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

This is the new normal

I got a call Friday morning from one of the nurses telling me my labs showed my white blood count was very low at 1.8 and I would need to come in for extra blood tests Saturday and Monday. Just like that my weekend plans changed and had to revolve around my white blood cell count. I was prepped for admitting on Saturday after getting my blood drawn just in case the results revealed me needing a blood transfusion. I lingered around all day Saturday waiting for the call, but never received one assuming it meant I didn't need any blood. It was like waiting around for your work to call you about going in for a shift. So I ended up having the day off;) White blood cell count below a 4 means me having to wear a mask out in the world. I don't mind getting crazy stares from people at stores so much as the same hot breath I have to breath for a long period of time. I understand why everyone hated to wear the masks in the hospital now!! Itmurky turn to smell my stinky breath over and over sue!;) But the mask must be worn, and I just have to get used to it. It's just another thing to get used to. Two weeks ago I was at the relay for life and saw an old friend, Michelle. Her mom had recently fought breast cancer. We talked about the difficulties she had and how it was for her and her family. It was nice to hear someone else's story. Michelle told me something one of the speakers said in her speech that really stuck with me. The cancer survivor said she made her life with cancer the new normal...this is my new normal. Wearing a mask out in the world is normal, taking 10+ plus a day is normal, being bald is normal, visiting the hospital 3-5 times a week is normal. This is my life now, this is my normal. I've accepted this new normal of mine. And although it's only temporary, or maybe not, im so happy with life right now! I have such an amazing family and friends around me that have allowed this new"normal" to feel normal. There are still new life changes I must adjust to, but with just a little more time my new life will feel completely normal.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

This is my new employment:)

The long week of my first entire week of treatment came to an end. By the end of the week I became familiar with all the nurses names like I did when I was in Baldwin Park, and things started to turn up. My sister Hilda, Mena, Mother in law, and Ivan kept me company during the week which helped me get through the difficult week back. Friday evening felt like such a relief to get out of that chemo chair #12. :) My niece's 8th grade graduation dance was that evening. I jetted out of my treatment with my sister to help her begin getting ready. She looked absolutely beautiful. As we droped her off at the gymnasium it made me remember my 8th grade dance, what doesn't seem that long ago. My niece had convinced me to buy her a Justin Bieber heart necklace for the occasion. Although I wasn't fascinated by the necklace's appearance, I knew it made her happy. She too would probably have those regretful thoughts years later about what she decided to wear like I's part of the growing up process I thought. The rest of the weekend was busy with other graduation celebrations. My Suzy Q came up from LA for our friend Sarah's graduation from SF State. Saturday we parted early to the city. It was the first time I left outside Modesto since I've been back, it was quite exciting. Ivan prepped Suzy with nurse tasks of course before we left. I have an enormous pill box I have to carry around with me. It's very colorful like the rainbow, it's the latest accessory I'm telling you! As Suzy and I entered the city we both became nostalgic. We talked about all the fun memories of living in the city together. It has been already an entire year since we moved out, and Sarah being the last to leave, made it hard. Sarah being in SF made it feel like our little group of loca locals(the nickname we gave ourselves)was still living. Her leaving San Francisco made us feel as if the chapter in life was really ending:( The ceremony was long...and I wasn't able to sit through the whole thing sadly. I recuperated myself with a power nap to join Sarah and her family afterward for dinner. It was so great to be with those girls!
Sunday followed with another graduation celebration! Ivan and I made it out for a BBQ for our friend Chandler's graduation from Fresno State. Of course all these celebrations lead to several power naps in between. I wish sleeping could be an Olympic sport. Us cancer patients would be fantastic at the sport! We could be judged on different factors such as: Appearance while sleeping, form, length, noise, o my it would be awesome!! The grand prize could be a therapeutic king size bed...Lets organize it people, I'm in!:)
Tuesday soon came, and that meant Lumbar puncture numero dos...This last lumbar puncture left me in ache for several days afterwards, so I wasn't looking forward to going in. Not only is it not a pleasant procedure, but I couldn't eat prior to the procedure. I was ok with not eating for a while, but not 6 hours! The radiology department became backed up in the morning, so there I laid for my turn on an empty stomach for three hours. I had to bite my tongue several times in complete grumpiness. I know it's not the staffs fault, but when a cancer patient actually feels their stomach growl and can't eat...oooo that does not make a very happy person! The time came for the needle, and I prepared with what helps me get through many of these procedures, thinking about Europe. I was given a relaxer which helped me hum my time away on the bed as the doctor inserted the long needle into my back. I daydreamed of eating crepes, gelato, and pizza with Ivan.(which led to Ivan and I going to eat at Olive Garden afterwards:)) It was quite a delightful picture which kept me distracted from the scary thing going on on my back. 3 more of these suckers to go I thought! I have this checklist in mind, similar to the one I created when I was getting my first phase of treatment. This is how it reads thus far: 3 lumbar punctures, 5 more week long chemo cycles,more shots,1,000+ pills to makes the task more feasible to get through.
I'm clocking in a lot of hours into this treatment, I wish I could get paid for it as if it were a regular job:) Last week I clocked in a total of 41 hours! This week I've "worked" 12 so far, it's tough work too! Leaves me more exhausted than teaching my 6th graders ever did. Too bad I couldn't be put on a timecard:( My job description would read: Fight Cancer! Pay:$14 hr (I feel this is reasonable:)) Description: Sleep often, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, fatigue, sores, headaches, loss in appetite( and other possible duties that could arise depending on individual basis, please be aware!)Be cautioned, YOU WILL SMELL LIKE TOXIC!!
Today I will be hanging out with my sister (Hilda) to make plans for an uncoming Blood drive she's helping me organize. I hope to you see you all there, June 12th from 11-4 St.Stanislaus gymnasium! Come help save a life and show your support!:)

Love you all, God Bless!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chemo chair# 12, my second home

I want to stay positive. I am positive damn it! but after having a 2 week break from horrific chemicals entering my body, its hard to be positive. I cried all day today (monday) I could have probably made a nice cool pool out of all my tears. I wish i could that way i could have something to swim in after this is all over. it would even be salty to resemble the ocean.
I was completely dreading the sick feeling i would get at this upcoming chemo cycle. Flashbacks of my worse days at the hospital came to mind. I mean how could i not cry? i knew the break would only be temporary, but after having 2 wonderful weeks of freedom with friends and family and not having to think about cancer, shit its hard not to cry. Staying positive is hard when i have all these negative thoughts bouncing around: you still almost have 2 years of this, the worst is to come, no one understands this pain...
Monday I go and get my picc line dressing changed and I'm handed a schedule of my upcoming treatments "whoa, whoa" I say. " I thought i was supposed to be here at 12:30 for treatment not 8:30?" "well," the nurse replied " your doctor decided to fill in some more chemo this week" can they just do that? I walked in with one appointment and walked out booked for the rest of the week, there go my plans! My planner now revolves around my chemo treatments people, so if you would like to hang out please direct your calls to my nurse so she/ he can pencil you in. I come home frustrated as heck and start to fill my imaginary ocean like pool to its edge.
I had a talk with my sister (hilda) and listened to her as i heaved in tears. She told me that my aunt in Mexico, who is also getting chemo has days similar to the ones im having. My cousin Liz had told her that my aunt would dread the day before starting chemo again after being off for three days, and how she would tell my cousin " can i just skip this treatment?" My cousin Liz would have to cheer her up and tell her she just had to get throught it and go, even thought she admits she could just tell her mom " yea mom, just stay home." By friday after the treatment was over my aunt would thank my cousin for pushing her to go and get through the treatment. I've been on a hiatus, i need a push to help get to the finish line. My sister, Mena, and my sister in law gave me the push i needed to get to bed and wake up this morning ready to keep fighting and stare this stupid chemo/ cancer in the eye and say "you will not defeat me!" These girls filled me with the cofidence i needed, thank you so much!
(Tuesday)I checked in this morning bright and early to what i now call my second home. I took my place in chemo chair #12 and thought of Europe " i must keep fighting to see europe!" I said to myself. not only did this thought get me through my treatment but as i had these toxins pushed into me I chatted away with another cancer patient right next to me. We shared about our horrid side affects and the ways our lives have changed. It was so nice to feel and know im not the only one. Its so nice to talk to someone who understands my pain and why its sometimes its so hard to be positive. We both laughed about the ridiculous procedures we had been through and were going to go through. I told her i just found out i would be having to inject myself 7 days straight after every one of these treatments. She told me about the time she got thresh in her mouth and couldnt eat for 7 days. I mean seriously, how can you stay 100% positive when you have to go throught all this? But i just have to fight through the negativity, soak up the support from friends and family, and just keep going! im going to look into finding a support group. It would be nice to vent to fellow cancer patients more often. I love you so much family and friends, bit it can be hard hearing " its going to be ok you just have to get through it," from someone who doesnt know my pain. No one needs to feel sorry for my pain, I just need a fellow cancer patient who knows my pain to vent to! :-) Im off for more chemo, ill be here all week so keep following, im pretty sure ill have plenty to talk about. GOD BLESS!!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

It just keeps getting better!:)

I haven't been able to sleep in much. As a teacher I dream about Saturdays, and how amazing it feels to not have to set an alarm and how I could sleep well into the afternoon if I wanted to. I don't have that desire to sleep in anymore, it's strange. I wake up early having an urge to get started and fit in as much as I can. Ivan doesn't really like this new habit I have developed. You see he works graveyard shifts often. I wake up after he has only been sleeping two hours and want to celebrate with him about the new day! He doesn't like this much:) Wednesday morning, after Ivan slept his usual 5 hours of sleep we took our dog Bruce for a walk around the neighborhood. This is the first time I've said "our dog," so I am admitting I'm starting to really like Bruce. You see, I am not much of a pet lover...but Ivan loves this dog so much it's hard for me not to. After our walk I went out to lunch with my friend Alyssa. She had never been to Deva's downtown so we decided to go there. Deva's is a little sandwich shop/coffee shop in downtown Modesto. They have the most amazing sandwiches. The second thing I love about this place is the incredible art work they always have hanging on their walls. I have always been curious what it took to get art work up. I felt rather brave that day. After Alyssa and I ordered I asked the owner about the process in getting ones art work up. She asked if it was for me. I shyly responded "yea." The owner's response filled my heart with complete excitement. She said they were in the midst of looking for a new artist to follow the one that was up rather soon, and asked me to leave my contact information so she could forward it to her art coordinator. In the meantime, I must produce more art!! I'm looking at about needing at least 30 pieces. So, I have been on an art binge since then. Every morning I get up and paint for a good amount of time, it's awesome! An now one can complain about me devoting all this time painting, because like I mentioned before It's my new temporary employment:)
Later on Wednesday I hung out with my sister Hilda and nieces. We picked them up from school, and while I was there I caught up with some old teachers and staff I once had. It's crazy to think how long ago it was. I pondered the feeling I would get having students visit me ten years from now...I don't know how I would like that yet? I mean, I would love to hear that my students are doing well, but seeing them all grown up...gosh that would make me feel so old and just weird. I better think about that the next time I visit an old teacher...
We spent the afternoon watching movies and chomping on Lime Hot Cheetos (Cynthia's Favorite). After a few hours I headed over to pick up Ivan. We had dinner plans with Teresa and Steven. They cooked us scrumptious spaghetti, as we watched American Idol. It was great to enjoy a great meal with great friends!
Thursday was Ivan's day off. We proclaimed it our date day! I love our date days! We went out for lunch at this sandwich place in downtown Modesto called Picasso's, but were not very pleased with it. The sun dried tomato pesto sauce flavor was very overwhelming, and took away from all the other flavors. We left a little disappointed:( Our next stop was somewhere I had been craving to go while I was hospitalized. The movies!! I finally got to dip my hands into some buttery popcorn and munch away on that kernel:) Ivan and I watched the movie Thor, which I wasn't too excited about seeing, but after 5 minutes I was hooked!
When we returned home I had a visit from an old friend, Megan Cockrum! I had not seen her since high school. She gave me some more art supplies to add to my now ridiculous collection which I gladly accepted. We talked and laughed about old times and what we had been up to these past years. I was excited to hear she was interested in becoming a teacher:)
Today has been a pretty relaxing day. I got to paint, of course and have just been trying to take care of a few errands. Ivan and I are going to Andy's house for dinner when he gets off of work. We are having a double date with Andy and Alyssa since it's been so long, I can't wait!
I'm starting chemo again on I'm just trying to fit in as many "activities" in as possible just in case I turn into a zombie again. Hope you all are doing well and enjoying the beautiful weather. Get outside people, go soak in that beautiful sun!:)

God Bless! Keep following!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


finally posted please scroll down to april and we will see pictures of suzie and jens photo shoot.

Good, Great, Amazing days!!

Isa's first communion was so beautiful! She looked so great in her neat white dress with her hair nicely pinned up in curls and pearl headband. After mass we all headed over to Ivan's aunt's apartment for lunch (Tia Tere). We had delicious carnitas, macaroni salad, and salad. It was so nice beeing with family. Ivan's aunts all couldn't believe how real my hair looked! I told them how awesome it has been not having to take the time to straighten my hair. The wig is honesly better looking than my old real hair. Everytime I straightened my old hair it would quickly frizz up. My wig is never frizzy!! I love it!
We left after a few hours back to Modesto. I rested some time once we got home. Later that evening we took Ivan's mom out to dinner fo mother's day. We ate delicious seafood at Red Lobster, yummy! My sister-in-law Annabell was working and served our table. Poor Annabell she looked so unhappy. She's been serving for almost ten years. I pray she find something she's incredibly happy with:)
Monday was full of fun! These past few days I have had more energy! Ivan and I went out to lunch with Annabell then went to Micheals and purchased paints! They were 50% off at 29 cents each. I stalked up! Gina sent me a book called "I'd rather do chemo than clean the garage!" The author of the book is hilarious! Not only is she hilarious, but she is also an artist! During her treatments she was used her art to calm her and distract her. I was so inspired by her that it gave me the idea to do the same! I've decided that my employment will be to sell my art just like her, which explains my reasoning in purchasing 30 bottles of paint:) ART FOR SALE everyone:) I feel God's giving me the opportunity to be the hungry artist I've secretly always wanted to be! our Micheals excursion, we headed to my doctor's appointment. I had my dressing changed and line flushed on my picc line. Mena and I had a Pho date after my apoointment. She claimed to owe me from a previous lunch date we had. It was quite ironic, because once it came to paying we realized the place was CASH ONLY, and we had absolutely NO CASH on us! We tried calling Ivan and Nayra (my sister-in-law) to come to our rescue, yet neither of the two were answering their phones! We both laughed thinking we were going to have no choice but to do the dishes! After about 40 minutes we finally got a hold of Ivan, who came to our dish washing rescue:) I ended my day with an enjoyable painting session with Mena! It was so relaxing.
Tuesday was also full of activities! I took a walk in the morning with Hilda(my mother in law). I walked 3/4 of a mile...still have 12 miles to go:) Tuesday was also Mexican Mother's Day! My sisters Rosie and Hilda, Dad,Maria(Rosie's roommate)and I took my mom out for a Mother's day lunch! We indulged in the wonderful soup, salad, annd breadsticks special at the Olive Garden of course:) Afterwards we did some shopping! I found some adorable wedge shoes which I can actually walk in! I havn't attempted or think I can wear heels yet, but these wedges were so walkable in I just had to get them! The day went by so quickly! It was soon six o'clock and I was beat! I couldn't seem to feel hungry for dinner. I wasn't sure if it was because I was still full from the OG or just one of those lame sideaffects. It wasn't untill about almost ten o'clock that I had Ivan take me to a taco truck. I ate about half a burrito, got grossed out, and just wanted to go to bed. I woke up this morning feeling so much better thankfully:) Today will also be a busy busy day. Gotta fit in as much as I can before the chemo begins.... :) I'll fill you all in on the details later!
Thank you all for your constant prayers! Love you all, keep on following!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It all just seems sooo unreal...

The wig shopping was successful! Mena and Sarah helped me pick out my new do. I now sport medium length brown hair with carmel highlights! Yes you heard right, I have highlights! I have not dyed my hair in years, so everyone is still getting used to it.
I met with my new oncologist Thursday. She seems great! She went over the next part of my treatment with Ivan and I. She's going to give me a week off before I start up again. I'm so happy about that. The next part of my treatment is called consolidation. I will be going in once a week for twelve weeks to receive treatment. Most times it will be out patient which means I get to go home, yet other times I will have to stay depending on my reaction to the chemo. The entire treatment is going to last about 2 years. My doctor told me that I would have to put my life on hold for the time being. I'm not worried though. God has a plan for me, and if it's to take time off of teaching I'm pretty sure he will find some other way for me to continue doing what I love:) I trust in his plan. I'm thinking he just wants to give Patty a break...let me do things I never had time to do before. I'm thinking painting, volunteer, school, exercise...
Friday came around. Ivan and I had a mini date out. We ran some errands, went to the mall, and stopped by his boss's house to say hi. I was pooped afterward so we went back to his mom's so I could rest up before the welcome home party. The time for the party came, I was so excited to see all of our friends and family. My parents BBQ ed carne asada, burgers and hot dogs. So many of our friends and family came out, it was sooo great!! I started feeling really tired around nine thirty and headed inside. Ivan felt it was best to go home since I managed to pass out in complete exhaustion on my mom's couch:) It was a great night. I felt so blessed to be home, it was just so unreal. It doesn't feel real at times. It feels like I'm dreaming, and I find telling myself often, "patty this isn't a dream, you are living!" I'm just so happy!
Saturday was an early day. My niece Joci picked Ivan and I to be her Godparents for her first communion. We parted for Sacramento around 8:30. The first communion was absolutely beautiful. It was the first time I had been inside a church since I was released:) Seeing my niece receive the beautiful sacrament brought me such great joy! After the celebration we went out for lunch. My entire family and I pigged out on pizza and pasta! Today has been amazing! Tomorrow will be another long day, I'm trying to do as much as I can before I start treatment again. We will be going to another first communion out in the bay area for Ivan's cousin. I'm excited to see all of his side of of the family (my family too:)). Tomorrow is also Mother's day! We are planning a dinner outing for my mom as well as Ivan's mom, can't wait!
Thank you all for your constant prayers!! I love you all a ton!
Keep following! ;)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 32/33-I'm Home!

I couldn't seem to fall asleep the night before we received the biopsy results. I told Ivan I felt like an overly excited child who was planning on going to Disneyland the next day. I tried my best not to think about the exciting/sad news though and managed to get some sleep at least. I woke up as usual though in the middle of the night for my nightly bathroom usage and struggled my way to fall back asleep. I started thinking about the possibilities of the day, which made it even harder for me to get some decent shut eye.
Morning arrived...finally! My friend Alexis was there bright and early! She brought me this beautiful scarf wrap from Afghanistan. It was so beautiful with it's gleaming of gold. The Morning dragged. Alexis, myself and Ivan attempted to keep ourselves entertained with music and the internet, yet our anticipation was storming over us. Of course the one day we really want to hear the news my oncologist is running late. We hear her distinct light knock on the door. I hear her call out the new name she's given me in her high pitched voice "Patrice!" I propped myself up, my heart was racing in a frantic craze. As I heard the words come out of her mouth ("Well, the biopsy results show no regrowth of abnormal cells, today's a big day for you! Your nurse is working on your departure paper work right now,") my heart jumped for joy. Ivan high fived me and said "Yes! Were going home!" I frantically called and texted everyone in complete excitement not knowing what to do with myself. I felt incredible. Thank God for Alexis! Her and Ivan quickly began the packing process. Over the course of almost 6 weeks we had accumulated a the amount of stuff a college freshman would have in a year, I'm not even exaggerating. The both of them kindly made their numerous trips to the car as I signed the departure paperwork and got the dressing on my picc line changed and went over some questions with the nurse. It felt so unreal. I was about to depart the temporary home I had made. I hugged tightly all the wonderful nurse friends I had made and assured them I would visit but not under these circumstances.
As I walked out in regular clothes, which felt kinda strange the sun beamed in my eyes. I couldn't stop smiling as the warm heat hit my skin. The three of us headed to eat some delicious Thai food after. I enjoyed the feeling of being in a restaurant again, ordering my own food from a menu and the atmosphere. After indulging we headed to our hotel. Our friends Suzy and Alex were incredibly generous and booked Ivan and I a night at a near by hotel so we could rest on a real bed together before we made the drive back home. The ride in the car made me utterly nauseous and gave me a minor headache. It felt so strange to be in a vehicle after so long. At the hotel, we hit the happy hour of course. I felt sort of strange walking to bar with a scarf wrapped around my bald head and my picc line clearly visible on my arm. Ivan assured me not to worry, and said well at least let's clip your hospital bracelet off. I laughed and agreed. I had a delicious mimosa. I rested up before heading out for dinner. we had made dinner plans with all of my LA friends before I was to leave. If you can guess the place we were to have dinner I will applaud you. Of course, Versailles, my favorite Cuban food place! The food was amazing as always. The strong garlic lime taste of the chicken is a flavor that is far too strong, even chemo couldn't stop it! Suzy, Alex, Jen, Alexis, Lizette, Oscar, and even Teresa and Steve with little Audrey Claire came out! They were in town and made it out to meet up with us. It was so nice to celebrate and eat with good friends.
On our way back to the hotel Lizette and I had a rather deep and reflective conversation about our health. Lizette had recently experienced some struggles in her health that also made her realize the power of God. She said something to me that I will never forget. She said many times we tend to ask ourselves "Why me?" and feel pitty for ourselves or angry with God for having us suffer. When we should be telling ourselves "Why not?" If we never suffer, then we will never appreciate or value what we have. We talked about how we both had never suffered in this way. I myself feel so grateful. I've had an amazing life thus far. I have a great family, I've been blessed in being able to work hard and accomplish my goals, I don't feel I've ever suffered. I feel blessed to have felt pain and suffering. I feel I can relate to what Christ felt when he died for us. Perhaps just a grain of sand compared to what he did for us, but it makes me feel happy to know I have experienced that suffering. We are called to suffer. Lizette is also a teacher. She talked to me about her experiences of having to let her classroom go for the year and how sad it made her feel that she couldn't do what she loved. I talked to her about feeling the same way. I don't know what's going to happen yet. I want to return to my students and job, I just don't know if I can yet. Thank you Lizette for that beautiful conversation!
Ivan and I arrived at the hotel and got the best rest of our life! I felt like a marshmallow, and Ivan finally next to me was the cherry on top. Of course we naturally woke up at 4am out of habit. It was just too funny, I thought I was the only one awake and I look over at Ivan and see his eyes wide open. We managed to fall back asleep and wake up at 8:30 and feel completely well rested. It felt amazing to finally not be woken up at odd hours, or have to be connected to a machine and tug myself to the bathroom.
The drive back to Modesto was a bit challenging. I felt kind of nauseous at times so I would lean myself back and shut my eyes. I have never been so happy to be in Modesto!! Knowing I was to see all my family and friends made me so happy! We arrived to Modesto around 4pm. Our friend Andy was having a BBQ at his house for his birthday so we headed over there. It was so nice to see our friends and enjoy some home cooked burgers. I was able to hang in for about and hour an half then felt tired so we headed back to Ivan's mom's house to rest. It's weird not having the normal energy I am used to having, but I know I have to take it easy and not exert myself. I'm so happy to be home! Today I am going to lunch with my parents, Ivan and his mom then heading out to pick out a wig with my friends Mena and Sarah! I'm excited! I get to pick whatever hair I want;0
Thank you for all your prayers for fantastic biopsy results! God is truly listening and present! Love you all, keep following!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 30/31-Ready to go home!

Ivan and I have reached the point where we are deliriously happy. Nothing makes sense after being cooped up in this hospital room for so long. We are so ready to be out of here it's not even funny! Yesterdays day went by sooooo slow. I kid you not every minute seemed like an hour...and every hour resembled an entire day. Ive spent these two days battling with this soreness by taking walks, standing, and stretching often. My body is stubborn though! Gosh it's just so lazy! All it wants to do is lie and sleep. :(
I've been daydreaming a lot too about the first thing I want to do once they let me go. Wow, that sounds weird. Just the thought of getting into our car gives me chills of excitement. I definitely want to head to the beach before we leave! Perhaps go get a pedicure:) I'm excited to just step into a store. Ivan and I are planning on having dinner with our LA friends before we part, I'm excited for that!
We will be meeting with my new oncologist in Modesto on Thursday to discuss the next part of my treatment. I'm hoping she will give me a small break before starting again:) At least a week... The plan is to stay at Ivan's mom's house until we figure out the treatment schedule. Although the future is unclear right now for me I feel content. I trust what God has planned for me. I must be patient and open for what's to come. I sure miss my students! They sent me a large "mural" banner to hang in my room. It made me smile and think about each and every one of them. My fellow teacher Tracey, who sent the package said they insisted it be a mural looking banner since they know I'm an artist. It was just so thoughtful of them:)
God willingingy tomorrow will be the end of this first battle! I feel accomplished to have made it this far, but I couldn't have done it without the support of you all! I just can't thank you all enough! You are all so important in helping me kick this thing in the butt! I will update you all on the biopsy results ASAP! In the meantime please keep praying!! Love you all, God bless!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day 29-Is it possible for me to sleep standing up?

I have a new it possible that I got run over by a large diesel, managed to stay alive, lied there for awhile unconscious, and now suffer from the pain all over my body? I feel bruised, everywhere, yet I'm not freaking purple! What the heck is going on here people, I should be looking like Barney the way I feel! I sleep on my back and it hurts. I sleep on my stomach and it hurts. On my side...guess? Tylenol are you kidding me! Can you do your job! Like seriously, you went to college and received a degree in alleviation, so go on and perform your duties pronto! I felt like a crazy sleepwalker all night. Getting up every hour to stretch and wander back and forth a few steps...I probably resembled a crazy nut in a mental institution...heck I am a crazy nut because I want to invent some kind of device where I can sleep standing up. Better yet, I've got it! Tape me to the wall! Its absolutely genious and affordable! Alright no one take my idea, I've officially pattened it! I will call this new invention of mine "sleep standing." So creative! And the slogan of course...."who says you have to lie?"
If people walk by and ask " why is she sleeping standing up?" Please, kindly place this sign next to me "can you not see I'm sleeping!"

And another thing. The question "how are you?" is now somewhat offensive to me...I mean seriously do you even need to ask? But if you are really interested i would be more than happy to print out that long long receipt for you to tell you...and at the end it will read"how do you think?"

Gosh this cancer thing is really turning me into a.....( you fill in the blank);)

Friday, April 29, 2011


Thank you Jen and Suzie for your wonderful work.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 28- I've never been a quitter...

I've never been a quitter. Sometimes I feel I was born with some kind of strange bionic battery that makes me keep going and going. I live for staying busy for doing something. I feel part of my crazy ambition came from my parents. Ive seen them struggle so much to give me wonderful opportunities they never had. I just don't know any different, Ive always been this way. I'm patty on the go! And if you know me well, you know why I say that!;) But it's just who I am, who I've always been! Today was difficult. I had a moment where I finally understood what it felt like to want to quit. I've never even knew that word existed in my vocabulary. Me a quitter? I've never quit anything in my life. The biopsy today was by far the toughest one yet. Although this was the third time around my doctor was unable to attain a good sample from the first (it was dry) so she had to go in with the drill once more right next to the previous location. The biopsies before were mostly awkward, but this one was just more painful and sore. After the procedure was over I lied on my back and started to cry. I was completely sore and exhausted. I felt the feeling...I understood finally why it's so easy to quit. I'm exhausted!! It's been 35 days here, I'm exhausted! My body is being pushed in a way I've never experienced before. It's like I'm on the edge of this beautiful cliff gripping so tightly with the little strength I have, yet it's so easy to just let go. I don't want to let go, "heck no" I won't let go, but I finally get why it's so easy to. My friend Suzy did some breathing exercises with me and reminded me of this special hiking place we discovered in SF one day. She told me to imagine the feeling of being there, relaxing, and assured me I was almost done with this part. She then proceeded to make me laugh with some inappropriate comment I won't disclose which made me feel a whole lot better;) "Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else in the world would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength." My friend Sarah placed that quote on my wall when I first was admitted into the hospital. It didn't make as much sense to me as it does now. I've never been a quitter, and I don't plan on becoming one! You all are sooooo important in this battle! I will show true strength you best believe it!

Love Yo all, keep praying for good biopsy results!!

Day 27-Short and sweet

Everyday is a constant battle with my body. Its so easy to just lie down all day. My body feels sore, exhausted and fraile. My counts have been lowering because of the chemo I have been receiving everyday, which is why I'm probably feeling weaker these days. I didn't meet my walking goal today:( I have to remember to do what I can, not exert myself. The other night on a walk with Ivan I lost my breath on lap 20 of the day, I had to turn around and go back to my room to rest and drink water. It's frustrating feeling this way! I want to manage walking for more than 20 minutes, it's hard to accept that I can't just yet. Its hard knowing I can't stand for long without feeling my legs start to shake. I'm in constant competion with this body of mine...and I'm trying to win every time, yet I just can't sometimes. Still, I must be thankful im able to walk more than I was 3 weeks ago. I could barley walk once around this floor without feeling lightheaded. I'm going to be ok..."I'm going to get there eventually I just have to be patient" I keep telling myself.
Biopsy is today! I'm going to eat a really good breakfast to prepare to go under the drill once again! Please say lots of prayers for good results so we can be sent home finally next week! I also have my last booty shot today, thank God! My butt needs a rest;)
I also ask that you all pray for Ivan and I's future plan arrangements. We are going to be transferring to Modesto Kaiser to continue my treatment since we have most of our family there who can help. We have lots to pan out and ask for prayers for it all to work out;)
Love you all, I'll update you on how day 28 was later and how the biopsy went. God bless, keep following!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 26-What a day!

What a day!! I was woken up to surprise beautiful family! My mom, dad, sister Hilda, and nieces! Gosh, I hadn't seen my dad or nieces in almost 6 weeks!! Seeing them bought me sooooo much joy! ;) My crazy family left at the crack of dawn to be here early, just to spend the day with me! My mom even brought us some delicious posole and enchiladas which we all devoured in my little room. It was just so nice to spend time with them. I took my nieces out for one of my walks. I had to give them their P.E. workout since they skipped school;) I told them about the "gallery of booties" Ivan and I have been caching lately on our walks. I kid you not I've seen 3 of my neighbors butts, they must feel pretty comfortable. It was pretty hilarious, because soon after I told them about this, they too caught a glimpse!! Lol hope it doesn't scar them!
The most amazing part about today was that they cut me loose to go outside for the first time in almost 5 weeks!! As the sliding doors opened I was blinded by real sunlight. The cool breeze on my eyes and forehead felt so sweet! I couldn't help but place my arms up and scream "I'm outside! It's been 5 weeks, I'm outside!" I hope I didn't freak anyone out too was just such a glorious feeling! I'm assuming it's how someone feels after being locked up in jail for a long period of time... I'm hoping my doctor will let me out again soon!
The day just continued to get better! Chanti and Gracie arrived to visit as well. With them they brought Hawaii! It was the sweetest thing ever! They brought leis, grass skirts, and Hawaiian punch! We had a luau celebration! The room sure reached it's full capacity:)
After my family, chanti, and Gracie left Suzy and Jen arrived to start the photoshoot! I managed to rest up a little and kill the nausea I was feeling. I was just too excited and wasn't going to let anything stop the show! Suzy applied makeup on me and glamoured me up! I had not put on makeup the entire time I've been here, I forgot what I looked like with it on. It was such an empowering feeling having them snap away at my new look! It made me feel beautiful. My day ended at midnight in complete exhaustion. Thankfully I got the best sleep since I've been here...6hrs straight without being woken up! That's a record!
Such an amazing day! These visits are making the time here go by so much faster...keep following God Bless!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 25-I'm bald, and still me! :)

I knew the time would soon SVU (law in order) look was beginning to seem rather creepy. Besides the creepy comb over look I guess you could call it, the constant hair on my shirt, back and pillow was driving me nuts! I decided to empower myself to begin to embrace the bald head I was about to encounter by googling images of bald woman. Natalie Portman was the first I thought of, followed by Demi Moore. I stared at several images thinking, " wow, how is it that these woman are still so beautiful without any hair!" I remembered watching an episode of Americas Next Top model several years ago where they had to do a photo shoot bald. It gave me an idea! I thought to myself " this is a once in a lifetime experience, I must have my own photoshoot! :)" Considering I have two amazing photojournalist friends (suzy and Jen) who live in the area, I just knew they would be perfect! The girls set up shop, as Ivan did the honors of slowly using the electric shaver to shave the last short strands of hair I still had on my head. Of course we had some fun along the way. Ivan attempted to make as many other creepy looks as possible. I even sported a west side tail for a minute!! Suzy and Jen snapped away as Ivan concentrated on giving me my new look. The most awkward part was when Ivan applied the cold shaving cream on my head...brrrrrr. As he held the razor and slowly pulled back I felt tingles rush all the way back to my spine.
The process took longer than we thought, Ivan wanted to make sure he didn't miss any spots;) The time came to look at myself in the mirror. As I stared at myself I didn't feel any different. It was weird. I still felt me. The bald head didn't bother me, I even complimented the shape of my head I never knew I had.:) "This isn't so bad I thought, I can get used it," I said out loud. Then came the rush of cold air, ok so maybe that would take some time getting used to! ;)
I slept so much more comfortable last night. I woke up this morning to no hair on my shirt, pillow, or back. I feel free, I'm still me;)

Tonight my photographers will be having part 2 of the photoshoot. I will be sure to post a pic! Watch out Natalie Portman! ;)

God bless you all, keep on following!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 24-Happppppyyyyy Easter(the lord has risen!) I'll be in my plastic egg in a food coma...

What a great Easter!! I spent the day hanging out with my beautiful family! Ivan, my sister-n-laws(Annabell and Nayra), Isaiah, Hilda, and even had a very special friend of mine visit, Alexis!! Alexis just got back from Afghanistan 2 weeks ago, and is currently living back in San Diego. It was so nice spending the afternoon with her catching up on old times:) thank you for stopping by girl!! My wonderful sister-n- laws are just sooooo good to me. They went on a mission to get some Cuban food for lunch, which we all happily indulged in! I can't thank those two enough for driving all the way to timbuc two to get it! Lol After the enormous craving I had for it yesterday, it was just soooo heavenly;)
The second best part about today was all the home cooking! Ivan's mom truly spoiled us! She made us her specialty homemade quesidillas for breakfast and cooked us an amazing carne asada, macaroni salad, and rice for dinner:) Ivan and I both ate our food in complete excitement, not to mention our tummys were awfully happy with real food! It will definitely hold us over for another week! After our delightful Easter dinner, I lied in a wonderful food coma so happy and content :) thank you God for letting me enjoy some normal flavors today, you are the best!
Well friends, I hope you all had a wonderful Easter as well! I have 5 more shots through Friday and 1 biopsy on Thursday left! I'm counting down! Please keep praying for good results so we can go home sooooon:) I'm beat from today! Wishing you all a good night!

Love you all!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 23-Everything tastes like crap:)

It happened:( Grossed out by quiche served to me for breafast, followed by a tuna sandwich that was given to me by mistake, followed by the bland turkey sandwich I ordered, and ending with red enchiladas I dislike that brought everything down hill!! Nothing sounds appetizing...and what I think I'm putting in my mouth bursts with flavors I've never even tasted before. Turkey tasted like moldy fish, sour cream like rancid mayo, and avocado like...some kind of bland mushy paste. The only thing that I ate today that tasted as normal as it could were some yummy Neiman Marcus cookies my sister-n-law brought for me today. I probably ate a total of 5 all day today...thank God for those! I'm looking forward to tomorrow though! Ivan's mom is going to be cooking for us at his uncle's house!! This means a home cooked meal!! " Hey taste buds, you better not pull this **** on me tomorrow!"
I spent my day hanging out with Hilda (my mother-n- law). I tired her out on my walks, chatted with her lots, read, and caught up on some much needed sleep during the afternoon. My night did not end so well though:( Do you know how incredibly frustrating it is to want to eat something but can't seem to have an appetite for it? I'm telling you food has so much more value to me now! I had not eaten much the whole day but later that night had an itch to eat some Cuban food. I thought about the flavors and it was the only thing that sounded somewhat appetizing. Unfortunately Ivan couldn't make it to the place in time( he had taken his nephew to Disneyland for the day). By the time he got here it was 11pm. I was in tears! Over stupid food!!! I had prepared my mind for that meal, and just couldn't get myself to want anything me stubborn or blame it on my stupid taste buds...or both;) Ivan suggested other foods, but my options were mostly junky fast food my stomach/body are hating me for. So I sat up from my stubborn taste bud misery, yelled at myself to snap out of it, and prepared my mind for the eating competition. And do you know what came to me?... A plain chicken sandwich with BBQ sauce from Jack in the Box. Ivan being the man he is quickly ran out to get it. There I sat in the dark eating that chicken sandwich. Finally.... something pleasant I enjoyed eating:) Thank you God!! And thank you to my hubby, who had to put up with my crabbiness!

This journey of mine has really revealed something new to me. Sides of people I have never seen in my life are showing. Amazing people who I've never even met have reached out to us. Bless their hearts and families! People who I hadn't spoken to in such a long time have shared all these beautiful thoughts and words of encouragement with me, that have motivated me to keep fighting everyday.I've received messages and phone calls from people in my life who were possibly not that close to show their support. My family and friends have all bent over backwards enduring long 5 hr drives and time off work to visit, help alleviate Ivan and keep me company throughout the day. I've received all these wonderful, inspiring and uplifting gifts from so many of you that have really just brightened up my days. Cookies, hand crocheted hats, books, paper flowers, paintings, cards, pictures, scrapbooks, all of which I cherish soooo dearly! I have seen sooooo much good in people!! A simple word, phone call, visit, gesture, action, and smile have had so much more value to me since I've been here. The smallest little things people do have been helping me get through everyday! It makes me think about how tiny simplicity can go such a long way to really help someone. In the end that's what were here on this earth for. Were not going to be remembered by our money, our careers, the things we owned, but by the relationships we had with people, what we did for others, the sweet simple things...what really matters.

Day 22-I have the right to be angry too!

I felt angry last night. For the first time. I felt angry at the fact I couldn't enjoy one of my favorite meals because my taste buds were off, and feel nauseaded at the thought of it now. I felt anger because people say they will call and never do. I felt anger because people say they will drop by and never do. I felt angry that I cant cook my own food or eat home cooked meals. I feel angry that my butt and lower back are constantly sore. That this kinck in my neck just won't go away. I feel angry at the fact that I havent gotten a full nights rest without being woken up at least once. I feel angry that I wake up one to two times during the night in my pool of sweat. And even when I turn my pill over, it's still wet. I feel angry that my hair is poking my neck and is always all over my shirt. Gosh I even feel angry because I can't sleep right now. I feel angry that I'm connected to a machine that beeps obnoxiously every hour. I feel angry that I can't sleep next to Ivan in our own comfy bed. I feel angry about the fact I don't know what is to come....I can't have a plan, and that's hard for someone like me. As I look back at what I just wrote, I realized I started off by saying I felt anger to I feel. I feel better now getting it off my chest! I feel angry! As much as Ive made the positive out of these things, I have the right to be angry too!
Grrrrrrrr.....I breath, I feel so much better now maybe I can finally rest.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 21-My monthly acomplishmnets

Tomorrow marks 4 weeks since I was first admitted. Four weeks....gosh, 1 month! One month is a long time! I don't think we ever really take the time to ask ourselves very often"what have I accomplished this month?" We need to do this more often!! We need to take the time to congratulate ourselves for even the smallest accomplishments we have made, take the time to feel proud and confident! I may have not been able to leave this hospital, but I'm going to recognize the small accomplishments I've made while I've been here:
1. Hold conversations with nurses/doctors about the color of my pee, how many times I've peed, amount of times I've pooped, and even describe my poop all without laughing...
2. Use one arm to change
3. Use my left hand to eat and wash my hair, I think I may no longer be right handed;)
4. Managed to make all of my vomitting in a bucket, or an easy clean up location! Score!
5. Eat meals without even feeling a bit of hunger, without grossing myself out!
6. Managed to take Biology 101 over! Thanks to some student nurses who nicely drew out pictures and diagrams for me, I understand the biology of this illness! Don't know if I can teach any of you though, sorry, science is still not my expertise....
7. I have become an expert at swallowing multiple and large pills at one time!
8. And finally, a shot in my butt is nothing but a finger poke now!

That felt great, now you!!
Keep following:)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Nayra!!

To my awesome sister-n-law!! You are such a blessing in my life! Thank you for all your amazing support during this time in my life! I'm so thankful to have you as family!! Your spirit is so uplifting!!! I hope you had a wonderful birthday today, one you truly deserve!! I'm looking forward to celebrating with you once I get home! Thanks for being you!!

Happy birthday!!

Day 20- Can't wait to get a breath of fresh air!

I want to smell fresh air
I want to ride in a car
I want to go to the movies and eat buttery popcorn
I want to go on a beautiful hike, soak in a wondrous view
I want to go to the ocean, have a picnic, watch the moon
I want to see my nieces, squeeze them tight and never let them go
I want to have a BBQ, and have the smokey goodness hit my face
I want to go to a baseball game, sink my teeth into something great
I want to just sit, just sit, at home on our couch
I want to go to the mall, try on clothes I'll never be able to buy
I want to smell fresh air

But all these things must wait awhile more....I just can't wait!! ;)

Another awesome day....I can't complain!! 15 laps around the floor! I kinda want to get a pedometer to measure how much walking I'm doing.... boy does it feel good! My day today was full of sister time! I didn't realize there were so many things she didn't know about me, like the fact that I had my belly button pierced when I was 18....oops I must have forgot to tell her about that one! Spending quality time with her has been such a blessing. We never really get to just talk, her and's been so nice:)
Today was not a very good day for my stomach....I felt like a bottomless pit. I couldn't tell my stomach was full and wanted to eat everything in sight...I'm thinking chemo might have the opposite side effects on me sometimes...but I'm not complaining! I'm sooooo grateful I'm still able to eat, because it would be making it that much more difficult for me to recuperate, so thank God for that!!
I was visited today by Ivan and I's padrinos (tio Jaime and Tia mari). It was so nice to see them! Mari gave me a little crystal angel that read "heavens angels are watching over you." I hung the angel on my best friend (my IV machine) I'm hoping the angels start coming on my walks with me;) I'm also hoping they can lend me their wings sometimes so I won't get so exhausted!
With that said, I'm also hoping they lend me their wings to fly outta here soon...I'm getting so anxious, the countdown has begun! I'm going to bed early tonight so tomorrow will come faster, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day;)

Night every one! Pray for my flight out of here soon! Love you all, God bless!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 19-Im training for a marathon!

13 laps today!! Yes! Every day little by little I'm regaining my body strength. The hardest part to accept is squating and not having enough strength to pull myself up, but everyday I attempt a few times to use my "chicken legs" to pick myself up. I'm confident I'll get there eventually. My goal is to complete half a marathon in October at the Nike Woman's Marathon! So Ive started my training...
I've been getting lots of new scarfs, bandanas, and hats to wear on my head lately. Ive been trying them all out, sporting a new one every time I go out for my walks. One of my nurse friends was in complete laughter today. As I walked by her she commented "are you putting on some kind of fashion show, every time I see you, you have a different color headpiece?" I just laughed back and assured her I had way more to come;)
Today started off a little All because of cheese. Who ever thought cheese could cause such a rupture between Ivan and I. This morning I requested an omlette for breakfast from down in the cafeteria. I thought I mentioned I wanted cheese on it, but I guess he forgot. As I cut into the omlette I noticed there was no cheesiness?? I was sad, and said to Ivan "did you forgett to add cheese?" Ivans face drooped, I could tell he was upset because the parfait he had in his hand was soon on my eating table. I didn't mean to get so picky, but what's an omlette with no cheese?? Ivan suggested we switch breakfasts, but I assured him I would continue eating the I just envisioned the cheese in my head (I'm getting pretty good at manipulating my mind to create flavors in my mouth) and made the flavor in my mouth. I apologized after to Ivan, but I honestly assured him I would have given him a hard time about the missing cheese even if I wasn't here! We both laughed as he called me a little brat...but were all brats at one time I'm sure of that! Still I have to remember to be patient, and as much as Ivan is taking care of me, I must also take care of my hubby! Love you Bon Bon, sorry for my brattiness!
The rest of my day was great! I got some rest, read, watched Greys with my sister, and perused some magazines. I also received my third Asparagines shot today. 3 down 11 more to go! My booty is going to be sooo sore after I leave this place. But a shot in the booty everyday is now nothing compared to all the other pain I've endured. I'm pretty sure my pain tolerance will be much much higher after this! I have a checklist of procedures I must still get through: 1 vancristine chemo through IV, 11 booty Asparagines shots, 1 bone marrow biopsy....slowly crossing them off!
I was visited tonight by my friends Jen and Suzy! So great to see them! I took them on a late night stroll through my neighborhood. It truly feels like a neighborhood when I can name half the nurses and staff on the floor, tell you an interesting fact about them, and what their families are like;) I'm truly going to miss all the wonderful new friends I've made here when I leave!
Well I'm off to hang with my sister Sally!! It's so great to have sister time, I'm so happy she's here! :)
Love you all, God bless!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 18-Could it be a Miracle?!

Could it be a miracle?! Great, great, great news everyone!!! The biopsy results showed that my bone marrow is completely free of leukemia cells!!!!! Like completely free, zip, zero, NADA!! (when the biopsy was first done my bone marrow was 90% leukemia) As my oncologist gave us this news she grabbed my hands in complete excitement and enthusiasm. Ivan, my sister Sovia, and I all gave each other high fives and gleed in ultimate happiness!! It's just soooo unbelievable!! But it's all to you out there who are praying, sending me your thoughts, positive energy, and support!! The battle is not complete though....even though I feel I can breath and see that finish line ahead of me!! I will continue the rest of the protocol treatment through day 28. I will have another biopsy done on day 28 which will hopefully show reproduction of good normal bone marrow and no sign of leukemia cell please keep praying and keep sending me all your great energy because you are all helping me continue kicking this thing in the butt!!!
With that awesome news said, today was another great day! I wake up in excitement to live another day, to get going and moving! Today I managed to take 4 walks accumulating 12 times around the floor, the most yet!! A man that's always in the lobby has started to call me" the marathon runner!" haha it's quite hilarious! He's always commenting something new about me being out on the floor, sometimes creepy, but funny! Even my sister Sovia broke out a sweat walking with me today! Lol But I must rebuild my strength little by little. My calves are completely drooping! They remind me of my childhood bus driver Tiny, and the way her arms used to flap when she would wave us down for standing up in the back of the bus :)
I even showered today people! It's no longer every 3 days anymore, it's every other!!! Seriously,these once minor things I could do so easily, are major accomplishments for me!;) I probably shampood and conditioned my hair for the last time today until it grows back too!!! I will definitely be saving some money on hair products for awhile, yes! After I got out of the shower I had a huge knot in my hair. I decided there was no point in brushing it out, so my sis gave me a new hair cut!! I now sport a temporary I guess you could call.. bob cut;) it's quite funny looking I might say, I'll try and post a pic for your entertainment!
Tonight should be a good night. Going to hang out with my sister Sovia and Ivan, make some more crafts and do some reading. I just feel so happy, alive, and so thankful you all out there are cheering for me! God is truly listening to you all, and I can't even express how incredibly thankful I am!! :)
Go out and celebrate for me today! Celebrate the power of people coming together for a cause! It's sooooo powerful!! Cheers;)
Love you all!!