August 30, 2016

Feelings (2/11/16) #5/ Off week (2/23/16)

Loneliness - I have been single now almost 3 years and been fine. However, I have noticed the further into treatment I get the more lonely I feel. I know I have a lot of people who love and care for me, but I long to love someone again. I know it will happen with time...

Anxiety/Sadness - I've had a problem with anxiety & sadness for  a couple weeks because I knew I had a scan coming up this week. I've woke up crying a few mornings and experienced thoughts of what if... not sure what to expect next...

Happiness/Reassurance - Knowing for sure things are going well and treatment IS working.

Round 5 went well, no side effects as experienced with 4. I have been going and doing a lot more the last couple weeks even though it has been cold and wet. I will be glad when Spring arrives and the sunshine is out more - though I will still have to cover up so my face doesn't turn pink!

Therapy is going well. Not sure if we are going to do a lot, but it is something and they do come to the house.

August 25, 2016

Round 16, Birchwood Girls, Church - Pictures Included!

Wednesday was fantastic for the most part. I had some pain, but I fought through it. I got up early enough to put make up on, which was fun, and made me feel good. I figured I may as well put my free samples to use instead of just letting them sit in my make up bag. The eyeliner I got in my Ipsy bag this month rocks! I always look forward to getting my make up bag each month, now to start making a point to get use out of it.

Jessica, (My Birchwood Girl) came to visit Mom and me at treatment this week. We went out for lunch after, and then had a short, nice visit at her house before having to head out for church. She has a beautiful home. It is very quiet and peaceful with a lot of natural light coming in. I love it and could spend hours sitting by the huge windows in the kitchen reading.

Mom mentioned something about wanting my tablet at treatment and I told her she could have it, and I would get an iPad since it would connect with my phone and also since Apple seems to connect to WiFi at treatment a lot better than my Surface. Needless to say, Jess remembered her son had an iPad he no longer used and he kindly gave it to me. I went shopping on Amazon today and bought a case with a keyboard for it. I am looking forward to learning how to use it - cause I've never had an iPad!

This handsome boy right here is Jess' baby named Barnabas. He is a beautiful Maine Coon cat. I am not generally a cat person, but this big guy kinda stole my heart. He is just a big ole baby! He has a very sweet and playful nature about him. So, now I am his "Aunt Crystal". :)

To go back to treatment, it went great today; the new port has made a huge difference. It doesn't feel weighted and heavy upon access like the other one. I really cannot even tell I have this one in. Just knowing that made the day a whole lot better!

However, I do have to change my medicine regiment which I was not happy about, but will do what I have to to remain pain-free at this point even if I don't like it.

Ya know, that's just life sometimes, we fight through pain to have a good day and suck it up, and do things we do not like to remain comfortable and/or pain free to keep our lives worth living!

I was also able to attend the first night of Kids Konnection - a program my church is doing in place of Awana this year. I have to say it is really neat. I enjoy watching the kids get exciting about singing and serving our Lord. I get to be with the toddlers. I must say, it is lots of fun. They are little busy bodies and they love to push my wheelchair around. I am blessed to be able to sit in this class even though we do not really teach them anything. I am teaching them how to accept someone who is "different" at a very young age. I love having this opportunity, and they are a joy to be around. I love the sound of their laughter as they run around giggling, and the warmth of their smile and hugs.

Hugs and Love,

P.S.: I just realized I never sign my posts.. shame!

Off Week 2: Indifferent (1/16/16) Chemo Week/Off Week #3 (1/28/16)

Today was a good day, pain free. But I also felt off or indifferent. It was a tough day mentally, but I was able to distract myself with coloring. It helps me a lot. I don't think about anything except the picture I am coloring.

Emily hung out with me today while Mom & Dad got out of the house for a while.

I do not really share with sis when I am feeling a little off. I would just rather write and get everything out that way. I am hoping next week is better mentally & emotionally. I would like to get through the lonely spell. It is lasting longer than I am use to!!

Today's verse is really appropriate/ I am really glad I am learning to trust Him through all things in my life!

This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. I John 5:14 NIV


This round of chemo went very well other than having trouble getting a blood return. I felt good afterward and was not grouchy. I was looking forward to a great week ahead. I came home and napped. When I woke up I had pain in my neck and shoulder. I thought I had just pulled a muscle. The pain started getting worse so by the advice of Cassie, i called the doctor. They told me to go in and have my port checked. Get to the ER at 11:30 PM Saturday night. Jade was there and stayed til I was diagnosed. (She's awesome)!!

Turns out I had 2 small blood clots, one in each lung. So I was admitted for 4 1/2 days. During this stay I had to have a procedure done to clean my port. It should have taken 10 minutes and took an hour due to complications.

For now, I am happy to say that my port is giving a blood return which keeps me from having to be stuck. I am praying it continues working. I was able to come home yesterday. But, I was very anxious and cried a lot.

Today has been a lot better. I was a little anxous this morning but it got better. I told mom I was going to check out Christian Mingle today. So we will see how that goes!

August 23, 2016

Off Week 2 Sister Time (1/14/16) ~ Off Week 2: Awesome News (1/15/16)

Another great day in the books ya'll! I enjoyed lunch at Stevi B's today with sis. Afterward, we shopped at Target. Then, we went to sis' and hung out for the evening. I really enjoyed spending time there. It had been quite a while.

Today's verse is very fitting! I did pray and have prayers answered today! GLORY! I am looking forward to the weekend even though I do not have plans.

I pray to You, God, because You will help me. Listen and answer my prayer! Ps. 17:6 CEV


Today turned out to be a really good day despite the gloomy weather. I helped Mom go through her crafting supplies and get all that organized. In the midst of that I received an unexpected phone call from my regular doctor. She asks how I am doing and I'm thinking she is just checking in to stay up-to-date; then she says, "Have you heard the news?" No... *wondering what it could be*... "Your new wheelchair has been APPROVED!! I couldn't contain my emotions. I began to cry with her on the phone!! I wasn't expecting my last appeal to go through. I was thinking we were still gonna have to keep fighting with insurance, but PRAISE THE LORD, they had a change of heart.

Expected arrival: February 2016

August 21, 2016

One Week Post - Op

Yesterday was one week since new port placement. The pain is a lot better. The tendonitis is also a lot better since getting steroids! I hope I do not have to deal with this again - it made me weak and has been quite painful.

Photo Courtesy of expedia

I received mail yesterday. A card from everyone at Ocoee Eye Center with tickets for my family and me to go to Biltmore Estates. I was soooooo happy - this is one of the items on my bucket list.

Photo Courtesy of Disney

I also had a coffee date with my sis Heather. We tried watching Zootopia but it started skipping really bad. So, we just visited and watched some Netflix.

I will be glad when my incisions heal up and I can be more mobile again. Not looking forward to having my port accessed next week, but maybe it will not be too complicated or painful.

August 16, 2016

Off Week #2 - Great Start (1/10/16) & Happy Days (1/12/16)

This week is off to a great start! Thank you Lord! Still no pain!! I was able to spend the biggest part of the day in my wheelchair which was a plus! Erin spent the afternoon here and then she and T came over with dinner and watched some of the Golden Globes!

I am just so very thankful for the friends I have, as well as my outlook on this journey!


The past two days have been very good days, with the exception of a couple low points.Yesterday I  spent the biggest part of the day in bed cause it was cold! Tammy came by for a visit, always nice to see her! After she left, I finally got out of bed, but then had to deal with tingling hands - gloves on in the house!

Then at bedtime, I got upset cause we were all just a little frustrated, but hugs and love you's made it all better.

Today, I was able to enjoy the afternoon out. Mom and I ran an errand, then met Emily & Kaylee for a late lunch at O' Charley's... it was good and we all enjoyed!

I spent 3 hours coloring this evening which I always find relaxing! Today's verse is a sweet reminder just to keep trusting in Him to carry me through this journey! That's you God! :)

"He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him." 1 Chronicles 5:29 NIV

August 14, 2016

New Port Placement

Well, I ended up making a trip to the emergency room Friday evening. Not the way I wanted to spend my Mom's birthday, but in this family we do what we have to no matter the day. I had trouble with my port again this week. It would not give a return and also hurt when being flushed. Dr. Tran and the nurses suggested I get it took out that day (8/12), but Dr. Lorenzo was busy. The pain did not get any better throughout the day and I knew I would not be able to tough it out and wait for my original appointment on the 22nd. So, we arrived at Erlanger at about 9 p.m. I had a 2 hour wait in the lobby.. and several more hours after getting in an ER room to get pain medicine. I was to the point I was about to get mad at someone. They kept wanted to go round and round about why  I was there and I explained and kept asking for pain meds. Finally, I was give some Dilaudid and they made the decision to admit me and change out the port on Saturday.

I get into a room at around 3 I guess. Get some decent sleep and stay on top of pain meds and Ativan and sleep through the day until time for surgery at 2:00p.m. I make positively sure that I will be sedated for the procedure(s). The surgeons are very nice. Dr. Lorenzo's partner was on call this weekend so he did everything. I really wanted Dr. Lorenzo to do it, but I was to a point I had to do something. I knew I was not going to make it to my appointment date.

Now to get use to all this again and hope this port works better than the other one. I am very hopeful that it will give good returns and not cause so much discomfort.

My only other issue is my right shoulder, even after having the port taken out my shoulder pain did not subside. We are thinking it is something more along the lines of Bursitis or something now and what sucks about that is I cannot take Iboprofren or Aleve. The only relief I seem to get is rubbing it, ice/heat. So, if you don't mind please pray that this subsides soon because it greatly interferes with daily life.

August 11, 2016

The Day Before - Ehh, Blah, Meh (1/4/16) ~ Round 2 - After (1/9/16)

I do not feel bad today, but I do not feel good either. The title sums up my mood. I am just blue. I know a lot of people love and care about me - I know; but there is still a space I long to fill. The space for love. It has been empty for over 2 1/2 years now... I wish today could be spent with someone cuddled up under my new electric blanket. Quiet and warm!

This time has been a little bit better. I am still very restless, but that should be passing in a day or so. It makes it tough to rest.

I have been able to eat better this time around. Maybe tomorrow I will feel even more like myself.

I have made the best out of today I do believe! I was able to eat some cereal and enjoyed a game of Scattergories with Mom and Dad! :)

Scan #3 and a Wonderful Weekend

Last Wednesday I had my third CT Scan. I am glad to say it went well, aside from severe shoulder pain that nearly had me in tears.

[I've had shoulder pain for the last several weeks. It got so bad a few weekends ago that I ended up making a trip to the ER to get the pain under control because the medicine I have would not touch it. However, after the scan I prayed that the pain would begin to become tolerable and/or subside and I am glad to say that prayer has been answered].

The doctor kindly called me Thursday with a brief report. Everything is fantastic in regards to my cancer. The lymph node is still stable, and the liver tumor is now 1/2 cm!! Praise the Lord! I also asked that my shoulder be included in this scan, so that maybe we could figure out what was going on with it. It turns out, my jugular vein on the right side is narrowing and there appear to be clots in the catheter. This is why it has been so difficult to get a blood return. We did not get one today, so I had to be pricked in the finger and stuck in the arm.

The plan for the port issue is to remove and replace in on the 22nd. I am a little nervous about this of course, but I know the Lord will carry me through!

Also, last weekend I was suppose to go out of town with friends and see Beth Moore speak in Nashville. She runs Living Proof Ministries. I was really looking forward to this. I have done one of her Bible Studies and it was amazing.. well, what I got to participate in before I got sick! We were also going to explore some of Nashville - it's on my bucket list. I was unable to go because of the previously mentioned shoulder pain and severe constipation.

I was feeling very good Saturday. My shoulder was very tolerable and I had a happy colon. So, Mom and Dad surprised me with a day trip to NC. We went to the new casino, which I found to be a great stress reliever and just a great way to relax. Afterward, we went to Field of the Wood. It was a very calm and peaceful experience.

August 9, 2016

Friends - They're Important (1/2/16) ~ Preparation: Treatment Week 2 (1/3/16)

I have continued to make the absolute best days out of this off week! I've been out of the house a few times and was able to treat myself to a new gadget that will help pass the time on chemo days. I also found great joy in coloring again, it'd been a while.

Most of all, I have found the importance of having friends and why they're a vital part of our lives. They keep us happy, vibrant, abnd full of life. My friends and family have really made this week a blast!

This week has been full of:


As long as I have God, family, and my friends I know I will make it through this cause they are all a girl needs!!

God is good through all times in our lives! He loves us through our darkest and makes our bright days brighter!

I was able to attend church this morning for at least one more time before my immunity lowers too much. I am glad because it was a great way to prepare for the week ahead. Round 2 of treatment begins Tuesday at 8:30.

The sermon this morning was great preparation for being able to trust Him through tough times this week. It was a refreshing reminder that was much needed!

Tonight's verse is also:

All of the struggle will be for good! Romans 8:28

August 4, 2016

Chemo Round 1 - Unexpected Things (12/29/15) ~ Post Chemo - Better Days (12/30/15)

Unexpected things is right! Up until this point I had continued to feel normal. When chemo does hit you it's like you are in a body that is not even yours. You can't edo anything to make things normal. No matter what you try, you just don't feel well.

Also, in my experience it was right before Christmas. (12/22-12/24) So the holiday was a challenge all the way around. Mentally, emotionally, and physically. I enjoyed all the company I had, but it was exhausting at the same time. It was mentally and emotionally draining because my mind and thoughts were going in all different directions. But, I made the best of it as best I was able to and loved all the gifts I received!

Yesterdays attempt to journal still was not a good one to me. Thoughts were very jumbled still, but I did have a very good day. Very glad that I have been able to enjoy the visitors I've had for the las couple days. Those first few days are just rough, but now I know kind of what to expect and how to get through them. At least next round there is not a big holiday!

I have definitely found and appreciation for the good days no matter how much or little they involve!

August 2, 2016

The Beginning - Port Placement (12/17/15) ~ Not Me - Anxiety/Bad Nerves (12/1/15)

Today really marks the start of my battle against cancer. This afternoon I had the surgery to place my port for chemotherapy. The operation id not take long and I was very comfortable with my medical team.

I am definitely sore; hoping to have that gone by Monday! Having the port will take some getting use to, but I'll do it!

Today's verse is very fitting. (There are Bible verses at the end of each page in my journal). He will/does rescue us! I feel like He is already rescuing me. I know His hand is upon me through this entire journey. He has been preparing me for a while!

What makes everything so peaceful and reassuring is knowing that He loved me enough to prepare me for this journey and I am ready!


Over the last couple weeks I have noticed (as have others) that I have been a bit more on edge, and more outspoken than normal. I am sure it is a combination of meds and pain. Things that normally wouldn't bother me seem to drive me up the wall; which bothers me even more. I speak before thinking. . . . more than before. However, I can control my nerves, sometimes I have to remind myself it is not just me dealing with this, and that some of the things that bother me, I need to learn to overlook because it is not a big deal. (i.e. a rattling chip bag).