November 9, 2016

I Owe It ALL to Him...

Photo Credit:
In my last post I wrote about having to have a scan rather early, however I did not post what the results were..

Let me just begin by saying, I truly owe it ALL to GOD, My Father, My Savior!! He is working in my favor on this journey, well I should not say working in my favor. He is answering prayers, and has again and again throughout this journey. If you have followed since the beginning then you know that I was told in the beginning that my treatment would be on going and I would not be cured, the cancer would be maintained. My best hope was, no evidence of disease. I myself, was very unsure about this, even as much as I have trusted in Him the cancer journey can sometimes be a bundle of nerves. I was particularly apprehensive about this scan because:

  1. It was scheduled earlier than normal. They are usually about 3-4 months apart.
  2. I have been having a lot of pain in the same general area for months and they didn't know where it was coming from.
  3. I was worried the cancer had grown and/or spread.
Well, we went in on the 19th of October for treatment and results....

Ya'll, I could not believe my ears when the doctor left the room!!! The liver tumor is now barely visible if even at all on the scan, they only had to remark on it because it was on the scan I had in August. So, that means all that can be seen on the scan cancer wise is the pelvic lymphnode and it remains stable at this time. He also said, "There was no new evidence of cancer growth." I cannot even begin to tell you how happy I was/am to hear these words, because they are words I wasn't sure I would hear. I am relieved and I am thankful that I serve a mighty God who seen fit for me to be blessed once again on this journey with good news. I am so thankful for that. I am thankful for my life, more now than I ever have been. It truly is a precious gift from Him and we need to thank Him for it everyday.

I am so glad that I can look forward to this holiday season without fear and gloom hanging over my head. I can celebrate my life during this season and I am beyond grateful for that.

I did ask one of my nurses if I would be considered to be in what is called partial remission and her thoughts were yes, but that I would still have to take my treatment on a regular schedule like I have been. I would not be able to have a break of months with no chemo. My chemo is a lot like Round Up. It keeps the cancer away just like Round Up keeps weeds away! 

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), partial remission is defined as a decrease in the size of a tumor, or in the extent of cancer in the body, in response to treatment. Also called a partial response.


Love & Hugs,

October 26, 2016

Short, but Sweet...

I know it has been quite sometime since I have written in here. For that I greatly apologize to those who read my blog faithfully, I appreciate you. I have just been really busy this last month with appointments, and just living life that I have not stopped long enough to sit down and let everyone in cyberspace know what has been going on.

Health: As you all know upon last scan the doctor said that we would not have to do any additional therapies to the liver tumor as it was too small. This was 2 months ago. I had to have another scan in mid October because he wanted to try and find out for sure where the pain I have been having was coming from, so we had our next CT a little early than normal.

I came in for the scan on the 17th, just after returning from a weekend away in the mountains with family to see the Biltmore. I really enjoyed our time there and everything we were able to see and do. As soon as I get the pictures on the tablet, I will make a picture post with a few of the pictures  I took on the trip. I took several and do not want to ruin it for those who have not been and may go one day.

So, the scan when fine. They were able to get the blood return from the port they needed.

Wednesday I go in for results and treatment (the 20th). The doctor apologizes for not calling me the night before w/the results as he typically does. I assured him it was fine. Now to the news. The liver tumor is unremarkable on the scan (which means it cannot be seen)... and the pelvic tumor is still the same. And we continued on with round 20.

It is hard to believe how far I have come in just a year. In just a few short weeks I will be having my cancerversary, but I will celebrate this day because I am still here.  When I was first diagnosed with the cancer none of us knew what to expect or where to turn. I just knew that to get through this I was going to have to do some heavy duty trusting in God Almighty, because he was the only way I was going to make it through this. And boy, did He have a plan for this year ya'll. I really and truly expected that even though I was going to grab this by the horns and do what I had to; that I would still look and be somewhat like your typical cancer patient.

Bald head
Loss of weight
Constantly sick
No appetite... etc..

While I did experience a little nausea it was very mild compared to others going through this.

Ya'll, I am blessed to stilll look like me and act like me. My hair may be buzzed but I am still Crystal.

Am I the same person I was a year ago? Not at all. I wouldn't expect to be. I have changed a lot. I am a lot more outspoken about what I think and how I feel. I am still learning to be mindful of others in my situation or similar. I live everyday to the fullest and the best of my ability and also try to remember to start my days in study with Jesus. <3

That's all for now folks! Gotta get some zzZZzzz's...

Love and Hugs

September 28, 2016

Round 18: Giggly Girls & SnapChat

Round 18 was lots of fun with my Nana B! We were giggly girls having fun on SnapChat.

 As you can see we had a lot of fun playing on Snap Chat. Afterward. we enjoyed our Wednesday lunch at Jersey Mike's! We truly make the best out of a day that could be filled with gloom. I go in with a smile, and she brings the laughter! I look forward to chemo days with Nana and Mom

Love and Hugs,

September 27, 2016

Off Week (7/9/16) ~ Round 13 (7/14/16) ~ Off Week Again (7/16/16)

Off Week

For an off week this one has been quite a challenge. But, I still manage to find good in each day.

I had a very good Fourth of July with Mike, Karen, and cuz Misty. She and I got to meet EmiSunshine! I was  really tired that night and snappy because I was hurting. Thankfully, that is all good now.

However, to backtrack... I learned I do not like to be away from Mom and Dad during chemo week. It's nothing against anyone else, I am just use to the way we do things and that is okay.

Now, why this week has been a challenge...

My hands have been numb and tingling since treatment. This is very frustrating. I can't stand to touch anything cold or wet. I have to put something over a cup and can't stand the feeling of a wash cloth which makes showering difficult. Writing, typing, everything I normally do is effected by this because I don't like the way things feel in my hands.

I have also been ill and irritable this week. This is expected with medications I am on, but I am going to work on it the best I can.

Round 13

So far this round has gone well. I am hoping not have any bad side effects after this round because I have plans Saturday. I watched the ESPYS last night. There was a gentleman on there who has leukemia an has lived 2 years long than expected. He renewed my hope and made me want to fight harder. I find it amazing how people we do not know can help us. I hope that someone out there is helped through my story. I know I have probably touched many and just don't know it.

I had a visit from Aunt Sharon and Uncle Andy today. We went to and visited Mamaw and Papaw. It was good to see them!

September 26, 2016

Everything Is Not Sunshine & Rainbows...

Winnie the Pooh by Jillybean345
Photo Credit: Jillybean345 @

My blog has become sort of a "Dear Diary" base and I do not like that. I know I use it to update everyone on how my cancer treatment is going and I am happy to do that for you. But, I need to change it up a bit I think, also. I need to be a bit more real with the world outside about what a day in my life is like. I need to share the ins and outs, the good and bad, I need to share it all. And you must know and understand that -everything is not sunshine and rainbows- ~sometimes is black clouds and rain.~

So, what is today? In my world it's sunshine and rainbows. I am content, my pain level is at a steady 1 (yay for this) I am sitting comfortably in my recliner with my favorite blanket, coloring books, a box of Crayons, and my tablet. This is typically how everyday is spent. Typically, especially during chemo week. It is getting that time of year where I need to stay inside and keep my immunity up as best I can for my off weeks. That means, staying inside in my recliner with a big t-shirt on and a diaper under my favorite blanket. [I told you I was going to be raw and open.]

A lot has changed over the last few months as far as the dynamics of my care, and though it has been an adjustment, I am okay with whatever helps and makes everyone of us comfortable as a whole.

How have the dynamics changed? The biggest change for me has been less physical activity. This is due in part to not being able to sit in my wheelchair for extended periods of time because of pain. This particular pain began after having a biopsy done on my lower left pelvis I believe. Since then, I have not been able to sit in my wheelchair for long periods of time unless I medicate before hand. If I do not do so then as soon as I sit down in the chair my pain level shoots up and it takes a while for it to come back down to a bearable level so I can sit in my chair. So, instead of sitting in my chair during the day; I opted for my Mom's recliner. This is the only other place I can sit comfortably besides my bed, and I don't need to stay there all day.

The bathroom has also become kind of nonexistent in my life these days; also due to the pain I mentioned above. It is very uncomfortable to sit on the toilet for any length of time to go. If I am having a good day and able to be up in my wheelchair for the biggest part of the day, I do try my best to use the potty; but more often than not, that just doesn't happen these days. How did we remedy this? You guessed it! Adult pull-ups & diapers. This is the part that took me some getting use to. I found it embarrassing for a while. Who wants to be in such a position at 32 if it can be helped? No one. But, that is the reality of life, sometimes these things cannot be helped and you just have to go with the flow and do what makes things easier and gives you, the patient, the most comfort. Right now, that is what gives me the most comfort because I am not in pain while trying to go, and I shouldn't have to be.

However, it can make for some long tiresome nights for both mom and I. I usually have to wake her up at least 2 times a night depending on how things have gone that day with my stomach. It tends to like to work at night, no matter what we do. But, I know she wouldn't trade this chapter in our lives, nor would I. We needed something to draw us close together, to help us find our comfortzone with each other.. Cancer brought us together, and I will be forever grateful.

 I know some people cannot handle this type of thing and that is fine, but I do pray there is someone out there who can so I can have the love and companionship I deserve to have, just like everyone else.

Bed Time has changed too. Things have to be done a certain way or I am restless and do not sleep well. Truth be told, Mom has be a little spoiled and I am fine with that. She fixes my pillows a certain way each night depending on how I choose to sleep. Generally, I sleep on my left side with one pillow behind my back and the other tucked under my head where I can snuggle the corner along with holding my Pup. [ 32 and sleep with a BaB stuffed animal, win!] She still tucks the cover in around me too... and off to sleep I go and usually sleep all night.

So there you have it neatly laid out... my daily life and what it is like. Even some of what it consists of... and now you know that every day is not sunshine and rainbows. Some days are pain filled and not pleasant for anyone. Others, much like today.. are calm and relaxing...

September 22, 2016

Chemo #10 and 11 (6/16/16)

Chemo #10 and 11

 Round 10 was a bit rough. As I expected it to be. I had some tummy troubles and was completely exhausted from treatment. I slept the entire weekend away. It took a couple days after for me to start feeling good. Then the following Wednesday I ended up vomiting shortly after taking my AM meds. So I took it easy and laid around the majority of the day. Thankfully, by evening I was well again.

Thursday was an exciting day, it was my very first day of work at The Dog House. I really enjoyed it and had a lot fun. Definitely looking forward to next Thursday. The dogs are good anxiety therapy. I ma hoping to pick up one more day on my off weeks. I cannot go in during chemo week because my immunity could be low and I have the 5-FU pump on; which would get in the way a lot.

Round 11 has not been bad at all. (Thank you Jesus). Dr. Tran is still very pleased with how I am doing. Especially how well I am able to keep pain controlled with a few pain meds and heat. Mainly heat!! No tummy trouble so far. The steroids make me hungry though! So, I am off to get some food in my belly!

September 20, 2016

Where Do We Go From Here? (5/22/16) ~ Emotions and Feelings (5/27/16)

Where Do We Go From Here?

 I am hoping to have a better understanding of this very question. It is a difficult question to have in your mind.  I see Dr. Tran Wednesday afternoon and am eager to speak to him about treatment options.

I will not give up this fight. I have too many people fighting for me that are doing so because they love and care about me! I realize I cannot write worth a flip at night. But one day, all this mumbo jumbo will make some kind of sense!

OK! Let's try last nights entry again with clearer thoughts and better handwriting!

Where do we go from here?

Since finding out surgery was not the best option for me, this question has been on my mind. I know we will continue chemo. What kind? Are there any clinical trials i can do. All of these questions will be answered when I see Dr. Tran Wednesday afternoon. My hope is he will have good things to say in light of not having surgery. I also hope that after talking with him the acceptance will come easier. For now, I am just ready to start treatment again.