Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Where do I go from here?

Now that my first PET/CT scan post radiation was good what's next?
I start physical therapy for my left wrist/hand tomorrow morning. When I had the surgery to have the tumor removed it was a complete reconstruction of my wrist.  Now that radiation is over Im able to go to therapy to gain full moment of my wrist and fingers. The physical therapy will also help to break up scar tissue that maybe forming due to the radiation especially since I was given the maximum amount.  I guess scar tissue likes to form on the tendons.  So tomorrow I'll know how many times a week and for how long I'll be doing the physical therapy.
As for future scans....
I am not scheduled to have my next scan for 6 months. Too much radiation to the body during the scans as well as the radioactive sugar can be harmful on the body it can even cause a cancer called lymphoma....No thank you! So since my last scan was good we're waiting 6 months and not the original plan of every 3 months like we had thought.
Medi-Port Scar
This is really frustrating for me. I have an inch long scar on my upper left chest where my mediport was placed. The scar now has a keloid over it which makes it look really gross and its painful and really itchy. I talked to my primary care doctor about it yesterday and he said to give it 6 more months to heal and if it still looks like that to come in and he'll give it cortisone shots and if that doesn't work he'll refer me to a plastic surgeon to get  it taken care of. Don't get me wrong Im so thankful I didn't have to have chemo after all, and Id take this scar for no reason over having chemo but it still is frustrating to have this scar especially with the keloid that will be so visible with tanks tops, bathing suits and even some regular shirts. I guess its part of my battle wounds! haha!

I think thats it for now but since a post with no pictures is super boring here is a picture of Nathan & I Saturday before the Ducks vs Kings at Staples Center (thats where the Kings play).  We wore our Ducks gear proud there and even beat them in Overtime :)

Friday, March 18, 2011


My sweet sweet hubby 
turns 28 today!!!!
Nathan is the most caring, compassionate and hardworking husband I know.  I hope he has a wonderful day because he most definitely deserves it.  He is my biggest supporter....I don't know where I'd be right now without him. God blessed me with an amazing man and Im so blessed to call him my husband. I love you so much baby! Have an amazing day!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

One Week Later....

and I still cant believe it. Im still in awe of the Lords grace and the perfect scan results. It feels so good to not worry every second about the results. Its nice to be able to sleep a little better at night :) Im so excited about the Lords plan for my life and for that of Nathan & I.  I am so blessed!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Cant Believe its Been 5 years....

It has been five years today since my Uncle Chris passed away in a car accident at the age of 47. Im happy to know he's with Jesus in heaven forever.
I think back to that morning five years ago....I was sitting in class and had a million missed calls from my Dad. I excused myself from class because I knew something was for sure wrong...I called him back and that's when I found out. I was over 1700 miles away  at school and all I wanted to do was be with my family. Luckily, Nathan & I were flying home that afternoon for spring break. But I remember the sadness I felt not only my own feelings but especially those of my Aunt Marla and the rest of my family. He passed away around the same time Nathan and I got married & I was so looking forward to the relationship they would have because they both loved to hunt and are such outdoorsman type guys! The one time they met that was all they talked about. We all couldnt wait until we moved back to California. When my Uncle Jonathan passed away a week and a half ago it brought me back to this day. There is so much sadness and heartache when you lose a family member who means so much to everyone.  But I know they are in a way better place than we are!  
My prayers and thoughts are with my Aunt and the rest of our family today!
I love you Uncle Chris!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Few More Beach Pictures

I am so very blessed...
There will be more to come from this cancer free girl soon :)...
but until then...
Here are more pictures from the beach....

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thanks be to God!

I'm cancer free!!! I can't even begin to express how happy I am! Thank you so much for all the prayers! The good Lord was listening to us! I'll post more soon! I'm on my blackberry, so its not the easiest to type! We're off to lunch with my Mom, brother and grandma!

The Words I Would Say....

Be strong in the LORD and,
Never give up hope.
You're gonna do great things,
I already know.
God's got His hand on you so, 
Don't live life in fear.
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here.
Take your time and pray,
These are the words I would say 
~Sidewalk Prophets

Nathan & I

We got to spend some time at the beach today. 
It was beautiful & peaceful.
I have some other really pretty pictures I'll post soon 
hopefully, God-Willing good news also!
Thanks for the prayers!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Speaking to my Heart

I think its amazing how God speaks to us in so many different ways.  I was going through our cards from people (Im crazy and keep every card someone gives us...birthday, anniversary etc...) to find the Christmas card my Uncle Jonathan sent this past Christmas because he wrote something really funny to us which was so typical of his personality...So Im going through the cards with so much on my mind and going crazy thinking about the results of my PET scan and the uncertainty it holds...and I come across a birthday card from my husband a few years back and this verse was inside.  It reminded me to not worry and give all my fears to the Lord because he is taking care of me. Thank you Lord for the love and grace you have for me!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rest in Peace Uncle Jonathan...

On Sunday we received a call nobody wants to get. My Uncle Jonathan had passed away.  Pure sadness filled our hearts. He was so young. So caring. Such an incredible fighter.  A great inspiration.  He fought kidney failure for 18 years. He had multiple kidney transplants and each one would only last for a year or so and then it was back to dialysis. Most people are lucky if they last 5 years on dialysis. It was a miracle and a total act of Gods grace that he lasted 18 years.  The Lord finally came calling for him Sunday as he walked to the mailbox to get his mail. His body had enough and now he is resting & healed in the Lords Kingdom :) We will miss him and I feel so very sorry for my Capa & Nana (his parents), his wife and his 2 sons. Please keep them in your prayers. This week has been pretty tough!
My Dad & his siblings...Jonathan is on the far right.
Rest in Peace....

Just Waiting for the Results....

I had the scan done yesterday and it wasn't too bad...just long. I was happy I didn't have to drink the radioactive stuff they just injected it through the IV. Then I had to wait an hour so it had time to circulate through my body. So I just sat back and relaxed and prayed the whole time.  Now I just wait until Thursday for the results and waiting is so hard! Pray, Pray, Pray!!!

This is what a PET Scan machine looks like.
Not so fun for someone who is super claustrophobic like me especially when they strapped
down my arms and cover me with a blanket. ahhhh!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011


Its 12:36am and of course Im still wide awake. I have to leave my house by 7 tomorrow for my scan. Im nervous. I hate it. Even though I have had this test done before I was still reading over my instructions. No food 6 hours before..no exercise 24 hours before...blah, blah, blah...and then it said please allow 2.5 hours for the test. Really? I knew it was long but I forgot it was that long. So that should be really fun tomorrow....I cant wait...hahaha! Im going by myself...There isn't any use of having someone come with me...They're not allowed in the back with me because of the radioactive stuff I have to drink so there is no point in making someone wait for that long with me.  Please pray for clean scan results but also peace, understanding, and comfort for me in whatever God has planned for my results even if its not the results I want.  Thank you so much.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My Dad...

...is the best Dad in the world. He's amazing and even though I'm 27, I'm still a total Daddy's Girl and wouldn't have it any other way! With all we've been through the past 9 months he's been so strong and such a support and go to person for both Nathan & I! Always there to listen if we need to talk or give support and comforting words when we just want to listen. I love how close him and Nathan are! They are so similar and spend most of their time together joking and laughing. It makes my heart happy to see their relationship. My dad would do anything for us.  We're really blessed to call him dad....

This story is silly and really not that big of a deal but this is just an example of how awesome he is:
Today I was at my parents (mom picked me up so I had no car) and I ripped one of my contacts. So I had to take them both out...I didn't have extra contacts on me and didn't have my glasses either. Within minutes I was feeling pretty nauseous because I'm super blind and everything was blurry. We live about 15 minutes from my parents house and after my dad drove 2 hours each way to San Diego for work and had an extremely long day he still took me home real quick to get new contacts without any hesitation. It saved my night. Then we got back and he helped B (my brother) load up his dirt bike, picked up J (other brother) dogs doo-doo and he BBQ dinner for the family. So Nathan got to my parents home from work with a delicious hot dinner waiting.

He even found time to ride his new toy...and of course I had to take pictures :)

I Love you Daddy!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

One Week

until I find out if the cancer is gone! My PET/CT scan is Monday and then I'll get the results at the doctors on Thursday. To be honest Im dreading both. The best thing I can compare it to is being somewhere on vacation and not wanting the days to go by because then its back to reality. Thats what it feels like. So as I type this Im excited I still have 3 whole days before I go in for my test. Its been so nice to have these past 2 months off from all things cancer related.  I've tried not to think about it often...and just enjoy my days. Its not anything I could change...it's just been a waiting game.  A verse that has really helped with this is:
Matthew 6:34
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
So Im just taking each day as it is and enjoying time with my hubby and family!

While at Target with Nathan I saw this and thought
How true is this...I love it!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Day I was Diagnosed with Cancer....

**This is long and I don't really expect anyone to read the whole post...I needed to put this in writing. I did this to add my journey journal**
** There is also a kind of graphic picture in this post...Just warning you :)

August 23 2010 will be a day I'll never forget......

I had surgery to take out what they thought was a cyst from my wrist on August 17.  Surgery for me went ok. I felt pretty good afterwards. But what I didn't know is what the doctor took out of my wrist was not normal...he told Nathan and my family while I was in recovery that it for sure wasn't a cyst but some sort of tumor. He showed them a picture of the tumor and one of them asked if it could be cancer. He said he didn't know. Nathan and my family kept all this from me because I just had my second surgery in a month and they didn't want to worry me.  Id already been going through enough with the ectopic pregnancy surgery I had just a month prior and the emotional sadness from the loss. So I didn't know anything. I knew they sent it off for pathology but I thought it was scar tissue from a previous cut.  This picture was taken the day I had my surgery. I look back at how naive I truly was to the situation.
Monday the 23rd of August came and it was time to go back to the doctors to have my stitches taken out. I remember laying in bed the night before and the thought crossed my mind..."what if it's cancer?"...I had known that they called it a tumor but that was it.  The thought scared me to the core so I quickly thought of something else.  The morning came Nathan helped me get ready and drove us since my whole arm was wrapped up.  We got into the room and Nathan immediately asked for the pathology results. The nurse unwrapped my arm and said she'd go check.  I sent my mom this picture of my wrist while we were waiting so she could see the damage. 
My doctor was Asian and did not speak the best English at all so he came and said to me "you're the famous one" I guess he had shown the tumor pictures to his colleagues and they all were so intrigued because they'd never seen anything like it.
He then left to call pathology because they still hadn't gotten the results back. He came back a few minutes later and I'll never forget the words that came next...he said "bad news...its cancer".  My body immediately got really hot...I felt like I was going to pass out. I looked back at Nathan and he was as white as a ghost. All I could say back to the doctor was "Ok". Nathan asked "what kind?" he said synovial sarcoma.  The doctor said he didn't know anything about it and gave us the number to an orthopedic oncologist at USC. I was numb...I couldn't talk, cry or  move.  All I wanted was to get out of that building so I could cry but I still had to get my 9 stitches taken out. The nurse came in to take them out...I think she was really nervous, she forgot to take out 3 of them (which we didn't realize until later) because she'd known what the doctor just told me. She said, "I'm sorry..I know that's not what you wanted to hear." I said "Ok" again. That's all I could muster up.  She finished taking them out...then she told me I'd have to get a cast put on because my wrist was completely restructured and I needed to protect my tendons.  So off we went to the cast room. It wasn't an easy walk...my legs felt so weak. I was still trying to hold it together.  I sat down the girl started to wrap my wrist.  Nathan called my Dad to see if he could meet us somewhere because we had to talk to him.  This was around noon and there was no way we could wait until my parents got off work. We didn't want to tell my mom anything because we didn't want her driving if she thought something was wrong.  Well she called my dad because she hadn't heard back from me. I was supposed to call her after my appointment.  He told her that he was meeting us and she told him she's be coming too. I think they both knew. Anyway back to the getting my cast put on. It was beige and I asked the girl if I could get any other color because I had to have this cast for 2 weeks and beige would get dirty so fast. She said "That's all we have...having a beige cast isn't that bad, things could be worse".  I know she didn't know that I was just told I have cancer 5 minutes ago but it felt like a punch in the stomach when she said that. All I said back was "Yeah, I know". (Nathan bought me red medical sports tape that night and wrapped it for me...such a sweetie) 
Finally we were able to leave but first we had to stop by the front desk to schedule a follow up appointment. Seriously I just wanted out of there. As soon as we got out of the building my eyes started to water and by the time we got to the car I was bawling. It felt very surreal. Like a horrible, horrible dream. We told my parents to meet us at a fast food parking lot and during the drive there God spoke to my heart and made his plan so clear to me. Our angel baby saved my life. He/She's time here on earth was so short and I'd been asking the Lord "why" and there was my answer right in front of me now. It was very comforting. He is so faithful! We pulled up to the parking lot and my parents were already there. They had worried looks on their faces. Once we parked they came over to my side of the car and asked "What's wrong? What is it?" All I could do was cry. I couldn't bring myself to say those words. My mom asked again "Ness, what is it?".  I said "Its cancer" and then we all started to cry.  We were devastated. Nathan was being so strong trying to figure out insurance issues and scheduling my appointment at USC and we were crying. Not saying a word...just hugging and crying.  I eventually told them that our baby saved my life. I know it. At this point I didn't know if the cancer had metastasized or not but I did know that God was working in my life through the recent troubles and his plan was becoming so clear.  While still in the parking lot I asked my mom to call our church to have our Pastor come pray with us. I needed the guidance,words and prayers of our Pastor. 
We finally left the parking lot and went to my Nana & Capas house. Capa was at work but Nana was there and the minute we walked through the door she knew something was terribly wrong. We told her and she was so sad and had such a hard time with it. It was so so so hard to see the pain and worry my diagnosis was causing on my loved ones because of this ugly disease called cancer and I knew it wasn't going to be or get any easier because we hadn't even told my brothers yet. We left Nana's and headed to my parents house. We told my brother, B, to meet at my parents and since he works with my Capa (Grandpa) they both came. When they got there we just hugged and cried. My other brother, J, was at school and when he got home I met him outside to tell him. We sat outside and talked and cried. I told them all not to worry that I was going to beat this and fight like they've never seen me fight before. I know that strength came from the Lord because I myself was terrified.  Pastor Mike (same one who married us) came over and prayed with us. He brought a prayer quilt and healing oil to bless me. I felt comforted.
After he left my mom got on the computer to send out a prayer request to everyone she knew. We had kept my ectopic pregnancy surgery secret between our immediate family members.  It was personal. But this wasn't going to be a secret we needed all the prayers we could get. This was going to be a battle and we needed prayer warriors.  My Aunt, Uncle & Cousin came over to just be there for us. We all went to dinner. We needed out of the house. I hadn't eaten anything all day and I still couldn't eat. I felt so nauseous. We spent the night at my parents but I don't think we slept a wink. So many thoughts were running through my head. Has it spread? How long have I had this? Will it kill me? Will I have chemo, radiation? etc.... 
That was one of the roughest days of my life. It was a truly trying day but with the support of Nathan, my family and most of all the Lord I got through that day and the 190 days since I was diagnosed with cancer. God is faithful and I know he's taking care of me. 

Jeremiah 29:11 - 
'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, ' plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' 

**If you've made it all the way to the end thank you so much for caring enough about my story to read this long post :)**