Monthly Archives: August 2012

New Beginnings

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Well not much exciting has happened since my last post! However, I added a ton of new photos so I figured I better write a post and alert you all of that 🙂 My hair is growing quite a bit and you can see it from a few of the pictures I posted. I actually had to have my eyebrows waxed yesterday for the first time since before treatment because they were growing uncontrollably. Wish my eyelashes would grow as fast as my eyebrows! I also pumped my own gasoline for the first time since before treatments started (with latex gloves on of course to avoid germs)! I may have mentioned this before but I even started running a little bit here and there during my workouts each day.

This weekend, I am going with Will and his family to Tantara, Missouri to hang out by the lake and relax for the holiday weekend. It should be a good time! My family always went to Lake of the Ozarks every summer when I was growing up and this is only 20 miles from there. When we get back, my seven month vacation from real life will be over! I start my final clinical on Tuesday, September 4. I have been studying up each day to make sure I haven’t forgotten everything in the past 7 months. I pray that it goes smoothly, I have enough energy to make it through a work week, and that I don’t get sick being around sick people.

I had dinner with a sorority sister last night who was diagnosed with breast cancer about 6 months prior to my diagnosis. It was very good for the both of us to be able to compare stories and realize the similarities between the two treatments. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with her and plan to do that more often. Although I have had wonderful family and friends who have been great about being empathetic during my treatment, no one can truly sympathize with you until you have been through the same thing.

I finished my final Beth Moore bible study this week and it was on “self-control.” It was kind of ironic that I waited until this week to watch the video because I had finished the weekly study before my final chemo. However, I know now that I was supposed to wait until this week to watch it. You see, now that I have more energy, I have been trying very hard to get my body back in shape and toned up. I have probably been close to obsessing about it when it comes down to it. I don’t have an eating disorder by any means, I love food! I have just been making it a priority that I walk at least 3 miles a day, do crunches, squats, and push-ups. This hasn’t become a problem. However, Beth discussed in this last lesson that we as humans have a scale that runs from neglect to obsession when it comes to our bodies and very few people find a happy medium on that scale. She then made a statement that I loved: “The most transforming and freeing way we can approach the care of our physical bodies is making fitness one way we worship God.” That is so true. I am going to strive to always keep my body healthy for Him but not become obsessed over it.

I know I have said this so many times but God has been so very good to me! I cannot even imagine what He has in store for this next chapter of my life. It will probably be obvious to everyone around me for a little while that I have had cancer. However, I am going to look at that as an opportunity to share my story with others. Who knows who I may come in contact with that needs to know just how great our God is! Acts 17:27 says “He has done this, so that they would look for God, somehow reach for Him, and find Him. In fact, He is never far from any one of us.” I know that God will be with me every step of the way as I start this new beginning! Thanks once again for your continued prayers. Please keep praying for my upcoming CT scan on September 10.

Family Vacation

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Well we got back from our family vacation to Gulf Shores, Alabama last Thursday night and I just haven’t had time to write a post yet. However, I had a little bit of time this morning and decided to fill you in. Our vacation was awesome!! It was so nice to be on the beach again! We were there for four full days and we about did everything we could do while we were there. This includes eating fresh seafood for dinner and ice cream for dessert every night 🙂

On Sunday, we decided to take it easy and relax most of the day since dad had driven us through the night on Saturday night to get us there earlier and we were all pretty tired. We laid by the pool, went to the beach, and then got ready and had seafood for dinner of course. On Monday, we went to the beach again that morning and it was so relaxing and peaceful out there. There was hardly anyone there and we sat with our beach chairs close enough to the water that the tide would come up and hit our feet. It was amazing! 🙂 That afternoon, we rented jet skis and took them out in the cove behind our resort for about an hour! That was a lot of fun as well! I hadn’t been on one since I was a lot younger and it was fun to race my dad and hit the big waves! That evening, we had crab legs for dinner and then went to a place called “The Wharf.” Kelly Clarkson had just been there the previous weekend and they had lots of little boutiques and such there too! It was a neat place to look around.

On Tuesday, it was raining a little, so we decided to go shopping. There was an outlet mall about 15 minutes away from our resort and so we spent the majority of the day there. After shopping, we got ice cream and then went back to our condo to relax a little before dinner. That evening we had seafood for dinner again and then came back to our condo to play some dominoes! Wednesday was a very exciting day! We went parasailing at 400 feet in the air! It was one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. I’m pretty sure the “Brittany before cancer” would have been too scared to do this but the “Brittany after cancer” has a different view on life and I’m so glad I did it! That afternoon we laid by the pool and then took a walk around our resort. That evening we met my mother’s aunt and uncle, who live in Alabama, for dinner. I have only seen them one other time in my life and so it was so good to see them again. We had a nice dinner at Harbor Grill which is a pretty good-sized boat harbor as well!

Thursday, we packed up and headed out at 6 a.m. Since this very well may be our last family vacation with just our immediate family, I am so glad we did all that we did and had such a good time! It was a great vacation and I would recommend Gulf Shores to anyone. Since vacation, I have been running errands and trying to get organized before my last clinical starts in two weeks. Will and I hung out with some friends this weekend and I didn’t realize that I hadn’t seen them in over a year. It’s crazy because that is probably true of a lot of my friends since I have kind of lived in a bubble for the past 6-7 months. Anyways, it was good to catch up!

Today, I am going to visit my neighbor’s daughter, Lindsey, and her little girl Natalie at their new home. I love spending time with them so I’m sure that whatever we do will be a good time! Then on Thursday, a couple of Will’s cousins, who are just a little bit younger than I am, are coming to visit. These are some things that I have wanted to do all summer and had to make sure they got planned before I move back to OKC. Speaking of moving, I do that this weekend! It’s kind of bittersweet because I am excited to move back to my apartment with Caitlin and get back in a normal routine but I’m also sad to leave my family and Will of course.

Thank you all again for your continued prayers. I ask that you please pray for my next CT scan which is on September 10. I have faith that it will be all clear just like the last one but I think I will forever be nervous for these things. God is good and I have been thanking Him over and over again for my energy! The last two days I have walked over 3 1/2 miles and even ran a little bit. Every step is improvement. Thanks again for your love and support. I hope to post pictures on here from our vacation before my move as well!

Busy and Loving It

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Our internet got fixed yesterday and I was so happy that this meant I could finally write another blog. I have been so busy since I last wrote a post but I’m loving every second of being able to go! Last weekend, we had a wonderful time with my Uncle Jerry and Aunt Deidra who came to visit. We went to the zoo on Friday morning and the weather was nice so we were able to see a lot of the animals before it got too hot. Then, on Saturday, we celebrated my sister’s 19th birthday by going to the pool in the afternoon and then to PF Changs that evening! To top it all off, we had ice cream cake when we got home! It was a great time!

On Sunday, my Aunt Robin, Uncle Scott, and Chandler stopped in to stay the night on their way to Houston for Chandler’s national track meet. It was nice to get to see them again so soon. Chandler is quite the track star and actually placed 7th in their 4×800 meter relay at nationals! Monday was a sad day. Caroline moved out of my parents house and into her sorority house to start recruitment and get ready for the school year to begin in a few short weeks. It has been rather quiet without her around and I’m not sure I like it! However, I can’t complain too much because I know it won’t be long until I am moving out again also since I start my clinicals around the beginning of September.

Last week, I hung out with Will’s daughter Ashlei quite a bit since she is here for two full weeks with us! I am so glad that I am feeling well enough to hang out with her and enjoy our time with her while she is here. We have been going swimming, watching Olympics, playing games, playing with her cousins, and watching movies! She is a lot of fun to be around and has been my little workout partner as well. (When I say “workout,” I mean walking, doing crunches, and toning my arms and legs a little at a time).

I went to see my oncologist last Wednesday for my follow-up appointment and it couldn’t have went better! I was a little discouraged when I got there and couldn’t get blood drawn before my appt because they were so busy. This meant that I had to wait and have it down afterwards and they would call me with the results. I was really anxious to see if my counts were coming up! It seemed like every question I asked the doctor, he would tell me that it depended on my blood counts. Well, the patience paid off because my blood counts are all coming back up nicely and I was able to do all of the things that I asked him about doing. These things included eating raw fruits and veggies, shaving my legs with a regular razor, and going underwater in the swimming pool! Although these things seem rather small, they were BIG to me after not being able to do them the last six months! I had salad for a couple straight meals and strawberries tasted so good to me! I still haven’t went underwater in the pool yet but I’m sure I will on vacation next week!

This past weekend, Will, Ashlei, and I were supposed to go see Will’s oldest brother and his family who live in Texas. However, on Thursday night before we were to leave on Friday, his sister-in-law called to tell me that his 2-year old nephew was sick. 😦 Although my blood counts are coming back up, I still have to be very careful around sick people since my immune system still isn’t quite normal. We decided it would be best to postpone our trip to another time. We are praying that little Kenny gets to feeling better soon!

Since we were already planning on going out of town this past weekend, we decided to still do that. We took off Friday afternoon and headed to my hometown of Trenton, Missouri to see my family and my Nanny!! It was a spur of the moment trip but it couldn’t have been more fun! We got in late Friday night so we didn’t do a lot that day. On Saturday, my cousin Ivy and I took Ashlei swimming, that evening we met more family at a local Amish restaurant for dinner, we took Ashlei to the local carnival to ride a few rides, and then went out to my aunt and uncles to play some dominoes! On Sunday, we were planning on leaving after church but we decided to stay just one more day! I’m so glad we did because that afternoon and evening my dad’s whole family got together and had a barbecue and played games outside! The weather was amazing and we enjoyed every bit of our time there!

Even though I still don’t have all my energy back yet, I am thanking God each and every day for the energy I do have to be able to go and do things! My family is going to Gulf Shores, AL this weekend for a few days and I couldn’t be more excited to go to the beach! I haven’t been to the beach in the last 3 years since I have been busy with school so I can hardly wait! I’m sure we will have a great time! Who knows, with the rate my hair is growing, maybe I won’t even have to wear a hat anymore on vacation 🙂

I continue to thank God daily for all He has done for me. I see Him working every day in the lives of others as well. As my favorite Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas said this past week, “To God be the glory, He deserves all the praise.” She is so right! God deserves all the praise for the good and bad things in our life. I give Him thanks for not only the good times He has given me but also for what He has put me through so that I may be a stronger person and more faithful follower. Thanks again for your continued prayers! I go back for my next CT scan on September 10. Please pray that the cancer is still gone!