Author Archives: brittanyswank

Until I see you again…


I learned a hard lesson this week. It doesn’t matter how prepared you think you are to lose a friend, you can never be 100% ready. Even when you have prayed that God would take them home so they no longer have to suffer, selfishly you don’t want to let them go.

I met Kristy my second day of chemotherapy. I will never forget that day. I walked into the chemo room, still unfamiliar with the process of how things go, and there she sat. She had the cutest scarf on her head and the prettiest smile. She immediately introduced herself and started asking questions about what brought me to the chemo room that day. In the 2-3 hours I spent there that day, I knew that we had a connection. Little did I know, that we would become great friends.

I had just had my hair cut that week into a short little bob. When I told her that I originally had long hair, she shared with me that she did too. We showed each other pictures and she explained to me the ins and outs of the chemotherapy process. She told me that once I started losing my hair, it was easiest to just shave it off. She told me where I could find the cutest scarves and wigs and she even showed me all the fun ways you can tie a scarf. She was a God-send.

After that first session, we began reserving seats for each other at every other chemo session. It made chemo soooo much easier to have her smiling face sitting next to me and to look forward to enjoyable conversation…even if I may not have remembered it later! 🙂 Her mom would bring snacks and I would bring magazines and stuff for us to do! Kristy was finished with chemo before I was, but had to do radiation every day so on my chemo days, she would still come up there and sit with me! Talk about selfless love! She also sent me text messages with scriptures in them almost every day of my chemo sessions.

We both finished our treatment at the beginning of July that year. But our friendship didn’t end there. She called me in August to tell me that her breast cancer had moved from her breasts to her lungs. I remember feeling so helpless. All I could think about was my last visit with Dr. Armor. He told me “Heaven forbid your cancer is to return, it is curable a second time around with the exact same treatment. Unlike breast cancer in which, once it moves, it is not curable.” Even though I knew the statistics were not good, I knew she was a fighter and would give it everything she had. And I also knew that our God could perform miracles, if only we believed.

Fight would be an understatement, when describing all that Kristy did to try to beat this awful disease. She immediately took charge of her own health. She went to MD Anderson and was involved in several trials there. From there she went to Colorado and met a new doctor whom she loved and was involved in several treatments there. She then even talked about going to Florida at one point. At the beginning of this year, she moved to Tulsa and was under the care of Cancer Treatment Centers of America. This girl gave it all she had. She was dedicated in trying to get better. She was the bravest person I know, going to several of her treatment sessions in other states by herself. But she knew she wasn’t alone, she had faith like none other. God was with her every step of the way.

During all of these treatments, Kristy continued to work. She lived in Oklahoma City and worked for the apartment complex in which I live. Her family lives in a suburb of Tulsa. While I would have needed someone to care for me during this time, Kristy decided to care for herself in attempts to protect her family from how bad her health was getting. Once she moved to Tulsa, she lived with her younger sister but would still come visit her friends in Oklahoma City when she felt up to it. She would come stay with me and we would go to dinner or order carry out. I loved our time together. Even though it seemed few and far between these last few months, it didn’t take long for us to catch up and know exactly what was going on in each other’s lives.

I would text her about once a week to check in on her. It was the week after the 4th of July when I texted her last. She told me that she had been in the hospital due to having fluid on her lungs and around her heart. I asked if I could come visit the following weekend and she said that would be fine, but she was probably going to get to go home. I texted her both days that weekend and didn’t get a response. However, I didn’t think much of it because if she isn’t feeling good, she doesn’t respond right away. That week I still hadn’t heard from her. I decided that I would call the hospital and ask for her room just to see if she was still there. Unfortunately, she was. Her sister answered and said that she would get my number out of her phone and text me to update me about what was going on.

It wasn’t good news. Kristy’s kidneys had started to fail due to all the chemo and radiation she had received and dialysis was not an option because unfortunately, her blood no longer was able to make platelets. 😦 They had decided to put her on hospice, as it was really their only option at this point. She told me that they had shared this information with Kristy but since then, her brain had swollen and she didn’t remember. She thought she was getting better and was going home soon.

This information hit me like a ton of bricks. I feel like I have a good, solid relationship with God but that night is not one that I am proud of. I was angry. I began asking Him, “Why did you even allow me to meet her, if you knew you were going to take her from me? Why did you heal me, but not her? Why would you allow her to die at such a young age when she still had so much left to do in this life? Why haven’t you answered my many prayers to heal her?” I was confused. I felt lost and alone. And my emotions could not have been more selfish. I wasn’t ready to lose her.

I asked her sister if I could come visit the following weekend, and she said that was fine, but that she was declining rapidly and she may not make it until then. My mom and I went to see her the next day. When we walked in the room, I thought I was going to lose it. She almost seemed unrecognizable. However, it didn’t take long for us to jump into one of our familiar conversations. I sat next to her the whole time, holding her hand and just taking in every minute I had with her. We talked about all of the memories we had made together and just laughed. After about an hour, we decided to let her get some rest. I didn’t want to leave. I could have sat there next to her the whole night. I made plans to go back that weekend.

That Saturday, one of her sisters told me that she had been mostly sleeping the past couple days and I might not want to come that day. Sunday, the other sister texted me to tell me that she was no longer opening her eyes or communicating. 😦 She lived like this for a week before she lost her battle this past Sunday evening, July 27th. I believe that she fought it to the very end. She loved life and wasn’t going to give up easy, even though she knew where she was going when she died.

I had a patient share with me a couple weeks ago that her daughter had passed away in a car accident right after she graduated from high school, 17 years ago. She told me that she asked God “why” for so long. I said to her “well someday you can ask him face to face.” She shared with me something that I will never forget. She said “I think that when I get to heaven, I won’t care about the “why’s” anymore, I will just be so happy to see her.” Little did I know that I would need that advice in the weeks to come.

Kristy, I will never forget your beautiful smile, your outgoing personality, and your love of life and people. You were the most caring, selfless person I have ever met and I will strive each day to follow in your footsteps. You taught me so much in the two short years we knew each other. You weren’t scared of anything. I am blessed to have known you. Although I may not ever know why God took you so soon, I know that you are smiling down on all of us with your beautiful long blonde hair right now. I love you girlfriend and can’t wait until the day I see you again…

Birthday Week Scare


A couple of weeks ago, I turned 27! While I love celebrating my birthday, this year I was a little bit anxious about the week because I had a CT scan on Monday and a doctor’s appointment on Thursday. It had been 6 months since my last scan and although everything was clear then, I can’t help but worry every single time I have to do this again. I’m not sure if it’s all in my head or if other people would agree, but the whole day after my CT scan I just don’t feel well. Maybe it’s nerves or maybe it’s the 2 ginormous cups of barium you have to drink and the iodine that they inject into your body!

Anyways, my birthday was Tuesday and I wasn’t about to let it ruin my day. Neither were those who care about me! I honestly have the best coworkers I could ever ask for! My boss brought me Starbucks and brownies, another coworker brought bagels, and then we went to lunch together at one of my favorite places! Some of my patients brought me sweet gifts also! 🙂 Then after work, my parents and sister came to OKC to take me to dinner, shopping, and they even brought a cake! I am one lucky girl! Even though I feel like 27 sounds a lot older than 26, it’s starting out to be a great year already!

So my appointment to meet with Dr. Armor was scheduled for Thursday at 1pm. I had blocked my schedule at work from 12-3pm, thinking that I would be back as soon as my appointment was over to see my last two patients for the day. I had informed my coworkers that I would be back as well, unless for some reason an unforeseen circumstance arose. So I went to lunch with a couple coworkers and then headed off to my appointment, where I would meet my parents and sister. Yes, they still go with me to every appointment and for that I am so thankful, especially on this occasion. I had lab work done before they arrived and then we waited to see the doctor.

There is a strange feeling that you get while waiting to see your oncologist that I can’t explain. It’s a feeling that only other cancer survivors understand. It’s an anxious, fearful, hopeful but scared kinda feeling. While I trust 100% that God is going to take care of me whatever the outcome may be, I still can’t help but feel this way every single time. I could tell from the moment Dr. Armor entered the room that something was different this time. He usually walks in and the first thing he says is “everything looks good, CT scan is clear yet again!” But he didn’t this time. He asked me the normal “how have you been feeling” questions and did his usual physical exam before pulling up the radiology report and telling me “you have two swollen lymph nodes in your chest.” Something you never want to hear after having Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

I knew not to panic until I knew where we were going from here but there were a million questions that immediately flooded my mind. However, there was a glitch in the whole question answering process. You see, he wasn’t able to answer my questions yet because he wanted to compare this CT scan to my previous CT scan 6 months ago. But the hard part was that the two scans were at different hospitals in different towns, an hour apart. So in order to do this, my parents had to drive to Stillwater that afternoon, pick up my old CT scan, and then bring it to Edmond the next morning for the radiologist to compare results. The plan was that if the CT scan from 6 months ago showed the same swollen lymph nodes, they would consider them stable as long as they were not growing and scan again 3 months from now. However, if they were new or had grown since my last CT scan, my doctor would want to perform surgery and do a biopsy on them. Needless to say, Thursday evening was a long night for my entire family. I made the choice to stay in Edmond so I could get some stuff done but that was hard to do when all I could think about was the unknown. I was scared. What if I had to go through all of this all over again? Why would it have come back when the odds for reoccurrence were so small? I did a lot of praying that night.

The next morning, my dad met me at the hospital where I work at 8am. He had my previous 2 CT scans in hand and we hand delivered them to the radiology department. Unfortunately, they were busy that morning and not able to read them right away which is understandable. However, it did prolong our anxiety just a little bit! My sweet father sat in my waiting room until 11:30 that morning while I treated patients so that he could be there when they called with the results.

Let me just say that God is good, yet again! The radiologist called right as we had left for lunch to tell me that the two swollen lymph nodes were present on my CT scan 6 months ago and that he didn’t think they were any reason for concern. He said that they had not grown at all, and if anything they might have shrunk a little since the last time. This was excellent news! We made many phone calls and heard lots of tears of joy that day! God had heard our prayers once again.

While it’s not fun AT ALL to receive news like this the week of your birthday, it puts things in perspective. I am reminded on a daily basis just how blessed I truly am! I am still loving my job and enjoying hanging out with my friends here in OKC! I started a women’s bible study this past semester that meets once a week and am blessed by those ladies as well! I have also had a roommate for the past 6 weeks! Will’s niece, who will be a sophomore at OU this fall, decided to take some summer classes and has been staying in my guest bedroom! It has been so nice to have some company! I will definitely miss her when she goes home for the rest of the summer next week!

Tomorrow is my mother’s birthday! I haven’t seen them in a week and can’t wait to celebrate with her this weekend! She is so special to me and I can’t imagine life without her! We have lots to be thankful for! Speaking of blessings, our family grew by two little feet last week! My cousin Courtney, who is 11 months older than me, gave birth to a precious little baby boy named Luke on June 16! My mother’s family is all girls so it will be fun to spoil a little boy! I get to meet him next weekend and I can hardly wait! Please continue to pray for my friend Kristi, whom I talked about in my previous blog post. She is still fighting, but not doing well. Thanks for your continued prayers and I will update again after my CT scan in 3 months, if not before! God bless you all!

New Year, New Me


It’s almost unfathomable that today marks two years since my diagnosis date! Some days I feel like it was just yesterday and then other days it’s hard to remember that I even went through such a thing. Today, I read through some of my old blogs to help me remember what it was like during that time in my life. It brought back such a strange emotion that I couldn’t read much of it. It’s crazy how God helps you to forget the bad and only remember the good.

I meant to write this post about a month ago but things have been so busy lately. I had my appointment with Dr. Armor on December 20th and although I had already gotten the results that my CT scan was clear, it was awesome to hear it from him also! I had been a little worried due to having a swollen lymph node in my neck during that time because I had been sick with a sinus infection. Dr. Armor said I had nothing to worry about, it was just my submandibular gland that I was feeling! 🙂 He also said that since I am two years out, I could start seeing him every 6 months instead of every 3 months. I wanted to ask him “Do people have a hard time letting you go?” While I am excited because this is a milestone, it still gives me a little bit of anxiety. I have to trust that he knows what he is doing. I couldn’t have received a better Christmas present. I am so blessed!

I started my job at Integris Health in Edmond almost 2 months ago now! I absolutely love it! I have wonderful co-workers and patients who make my job a lot of fun! The hospital where I work is only 3 years old but they are already getting ready to start building a new medical office building where we will move next year. It’s growing so fast! It’s right off of interstate 35, so if you are ever traveling south, feel free to stop by and see me! 🙂

I also moved to Edmond about 2 weeks ago and live in my very own 2 bedroom apartment on the third floor! 🙂 It’s so nice to have my own place and I love all the decorating. However, it is a little too quiet for my liking. I have plenty of friends down there so I am trying to stay busy! I am getting ready to start a women’s bible study with several of the girls that I know who live in OKC. We are going to do Beth Moore’s study on David. I’m really excited about it!

We are getting ready to do our annual “Run Lucky 5K” on March 16th which is the race that the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society puts on in OKC each year. We always put a team together and make shirts for the race! I think our theme this year is going to be “Overcome.” We usually have a one word theme with a verse to go with it. This year we are gonna use one of my favorite verses which is John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” This verse has proven true to me over and over again these past couple years. Although we always go through trials and tribulation, God always comes through! Feel free to join our team if you want- the more the merrier!

I feel like God has given me a new lease on life with so many new opportunities this year! I continue to pray for what he has in store for my future. I will try to post pictures and blog after we do the race in March. I want to thank you again for the prayers you have sent my way! I ask one specific prayer request tonight. Please be praying for my friend Kristy, whom I met during my chemo adventure. She continues to struggle with breast cancer which has metastasized to her lungs and brain. 😦 While it breaks my heart daily for her, I firmly believe in the power of prayer and know that God is still in the business of performing miracles. May His will be done in her life! I pray that 2014 will be a year of many highs for each of you.

All in God’s perfect timing


Needless to say, it’s been a looooooong time since I’ve written a blog! I haven’t forgotten about my faithful followers who may like to know what’s going on since my cancer journey. However, it’s kind of been another crazy year and I haven’t really wanted to write about the upsets this year has brought. Now that God has shown me His perfect plan, I thought I would fill you in on just how awesome He is!

I will try to briefly update you on what has been going on in my life this year. In January, I started working as a graduate physical therapist at Stillwater Medical Center. I thought I had it made. I moved back home with mom and dad to save a little money, thinking I would move out after I had enough saved. I took my national licensure exam at the end of January and didn’t pass. 😦 While I was very disappointed, I knew it wasn’t the end of the world. I started studying again in the evenings, when I got home from work and on weekends and decided to take the exam again at the end of April. Once again, I did not pass. 😦 It gets worse…when you are working under a temporary license, you can no longer work under that license if you fail the exam twice in a row. Therefore, I had to quit my job as a graduate physical therapist.

I remember thinking my whole world was crashing down at this point. I was given the opportunity to continue to work part-time at Stillwater Medical Center as a receptionist for an oncology office. I decided to do this as well as do some shadowing at a local outpatient clinic where I used to work to get a little more experience in that area. From May-October my weekly schedule looked like this: work 9-12, study 1-5. Yes, it got very monotonous and boring!! However, I knew I had to keep after it to attain my goal of becoming a physical therapist. I also decided to wait 6 months from my last test to give me a little more time to prepare this time.

I took the exam again on October 30 in Wichita, KS. Another thing I forgot to mention is that Oklahoma has a crazy rule where you can only take the exam 3 times before they don’t let you take it anymore. Therefore, I decided to go somewhere that doesn’t have a limit to how many times you can take it. My mom and I went up the night before and got a hotel room and I studied a little more that evening. Wouldn’t you know it, I started getting a cold that night before my exam? I took the exam the next day and came out of there feeling like there was no way on earth I passed it. I felt miserable from my head cold and the exam just seemed like the hardest one I had taken yet. Even after all that studying!

I knew that at this point all I could do was pray! I kept praying to God that if he would let me pass this exam, I would go anywhere He wanted me to go. To find out if you passed or not, you have to log into this website about a week after the exam. Well exactly a week after I was prepared to look that evening when I got home from work. I was sitting in my office that afternoon just about sick because I was prepared to see the word “failed” on my computer screen again. However, I got an email from the lady who registered me for the exam in Kansas before I even left work saying “Brittany, I sent your passing scores in the mail today.” I immediately emailed her back and said “passing scores? does this mean I passed??” She said yes, of course and I couldn’t help but start crying. I was so emotionally overwhelmed. How could God be sooooo good?!

I’ve heard a million times that God’s timing is perfect but let’s be honest, sometimes you just get frustrated waiting on Him. 🙂 I can honestly say that I will forever appreciate my physical therapy degree due to the wait. I’m not exactly sure why He didn’t let me pass the first time but I’ve been blessed by the process. About a month before my exam, I got a call from Integris Baptist Hospital in OKC. I had applied at an Integris in Edmond way back in December when I was applying for jobs the first time. They had my resume on file and wanted to interview me for a job. Well, with my test still being a month away, they decided to hire someone else. However, I got another call from them a couple of days before my test saying they had a position open in Edmond (the place I originally applied). They interviewed me the Tuesday following my test and hired me the day I found out I passed. Can we just say God is good?

I didn’t even have to apply for jobs this time around. God was faithful in providing exactly where He wanted me. I will be starting a job as a physical therapist at Integris Health in Edmond, OK in a few weeks. I will be working outpatient and inpatient. I am so very excited about this opportunity. Edmond is about 45 minutes from Stillwater and only 15 minutes from OKC. I will drive from Stillwater until after Christmas and then probably make the move to Edmond. While it still seems a little scary to move by myself, I have to trust that God is going to be with me every step of the way. I was on my way home from visiting a friend during her chemo session yesterday and heard the song “Not for a Moment” by Meredith Andrews. It’s one of my favorite songs but my favorite part of it states “When I thought you were a thousand miles away, not for a moment did you forsake me.” It’s so true. At times we often think that God has forgotten about us, but really He is there providing for us blessing after blessing. I stand amazed. Thank you once again for the many prayers. He heard every one of them.

One of the verses I really relied on during this past year was Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” We have to trust in hard times that He knows exactly what He is doing. I have a CT scan on December 2 and I would greatly appreciate your prayers. I will give an update after that. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas


I know it has been forever since I have posted a blog but I have been so busy and for that I am thankful. I will try to fill you in on what has been going on in my life since I last wrote. I finished my very LAST clinical rotation the week of Thanksgiving and although I was sad that it was over, it was such a relief to be finished. It is kind of weird to think that the next time I work with patients, I will no longer be a student!

For Thanksgiving, my Nanny and oldest cousin and her family came down to celebrate with us! We had such a wonderful time with them and Thanksgiving was very special this year because I have a lot to be thankful for. 🙂 Will’s oldest brother and his family also came for Thanksgiving from Texas and I think this was the first time I had seen them in a year. We had a good time with them and also had our Christmas with them on Thanksgiving night which was a lot of fun! After Thanksgiving, Nanny stayed with us for a week.

A lot happened during the week after Thanksgiving! I not only had to complete my final presentation at school and present it to the faculty, but I also had a couple of interviews scheduled for that week! After my first interview, I was offered a job at Stillwater Medical Center and accepted the position the very next day! It all happened so quickly and I thank God for that! It’s amazing how His timing is so perfect. The week before, I wasn’t even sure that there would be a position available at Stillwater Medical Center. I am so very excited about this job and I will start working on January 1st! I will be working primarily in their rehab department but occasionally in acute care as well. Also, one of my favorite parts about working at SMC is that my mother works there too! Lunch dates everyday…it can’t get much better than that! 🙂

That Sunday, Nanny and I made the 6 hour drive back to Trenton. I was able to stay with her for a few days and got to see a lot of very special people while I was there also. I spent some time with my dad’s side of the family which is always fun and relaxing! I had dinner and went to a high school basketball game with my mom’s sister and cousin which was also a good time! Also, while I was there, I got to see a few of my friends from high school and those visits were wonderful! It’s not that often that I get to actually spend some time with them, hearing about their lives. Lastly, I was able to visit a friend of my late grandmother’s who is so very special to me. Although she recently moved to the nursing home, she is still sharp as a tack! I enjoyed every second we had together, hearing stories about her life and sharing my story with her as well. I always love my time in Trenton, especially getting to see my Nanny, it just is never long enough!

Since I returned from Trenton, I have basically been studying for at least 3 hours a day, every day for my national board exam which I take on January 29. Studying is not very much fun and is actually very exhausting! I have had to apologize to several people because it kind of puts me in a grumpy mood! I will be very thankful when it is all over!! I recently had a CT scan and doctor’s appointment to find out that everything still looks really good! The CT scan showed a 4mm spot on one of my lungs that the doctor said was probably from me having a cold that week. He was not worried about it at all and said he would see me in 3 months for a follow-up appt with no CT scan. I will have another CT scan in 6 months. Praise the Lord!! God is so so very good!

I can’t believe that Christmas has come and gone already! We were supposed to go to Trenton to celebrate Christmas with our family last weekend but they got some bad weather so we had to postpone that trip. Will and I attended a Christmas Eve service at my parent’s church with them on Christmas Eve and then spent most of Christmas Day with them as well which was so much fun! I know I have said this a million times already, but I am so super blessed beyond belief! My parents are amazing and always make Christmas so special for us. Will’s sister’s family was sick yesterday so we had to postpone our Christmas celebration with them until this evening. I’m sure that will be lots of fun as well! 🙂

Every year at Christmas time, I always pray that God let us forever be reminded of the “reason for the season.” A few days ago, I started thinking about John 3:16-17 which states “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” Although this is not  a verse that we are typically reminded of at Christmas, as I thought of it, I realized it was perfect. God sent His son to be born a baby for US! So that He could save US!! How awesome is that?! I know that He has done so much for me and that gift is enough for me now and forever! What has He done for you that you will forever be grateful for?!

I thank you once again for your continued prayers! I ask that you continue to pray for me as I begin working soon. I still do not have all of my energy back and I ask that you pray for my endurance! Also, I ask that you pray that I will pass my boards and no longer have to stress about that anymore! Now on to bigger things…I ask that you pray for a few unnamed friends of mine. Since being on a journey such as this, I have encountered several friends along the way with similar struggles. Unfortunately, they are still fighting their battle. While I have faith that God has big plans for them, I ask that you join me in praying for them as they fight their battles. We know that God’s timing is perfect, sometimes it’s just hard to be patient!

Merry Christmas to you all and Happy New Year as well!


Psalm 118


As I was sitting waiting to be called back for my port removal last Friday, Will’s mom noticed that on the ceiling of Mercy Hospital it says Psalm 118:1 which states “Give thanks to the Lord because He is good, because His mercy endures forever.” I could not have picked out a better verse for the moment. God has been sooooo very good to me and He has shown me His mercy on numerous accounts during this past year and for that I will forever be grateful. I would encourage you to check out the rest of Psalm 118. Its awesome! 🙂

So as I already stated and many of you already knew, I got my port out last Friday. It was such an exciting day because to me this symbolizes the end of cancer and treatments! I assumed that the procedure would go similar to when I got the port inserted. They would take me in, start an IV, prep me for surgery, and then take me back for a 20-30 minute procedure. Well that is pretty much how it went. However, this time I did not fall asleep at all with the conscious sedation medication they gave me and afterwards I even had an allergic reaction to it. My whole body broke out in a rash and they had to keep me for a little while longer to make sure it went away. Once they gave me benadryl, I was good to go. I don’t remember anything after that besides getting home and going to bed for awhile. Now it just feels like I have been punched in the chest and I have to take a tylenol each day to ease the pain. Other than that, I have no complaints! It is out! Hallelujah!

Although I just had my port out last Friday, last weekend was a busy one. I went to the pumpkin patch Saturday morning with Will’s family which was a lot of fun! We found a lot of really neat pumpkins and Will’s porch looks very “fall-ish” now! 🙂 Saturday night, Will and I went to the OSU football game (thanks to my parents for the tickets)! Even though we lost, it was a really good game and we had a really good time. Sunday morning, I came back down to the city to work but the day went very smoothly.

My clinical rotation is still going well. I can’t lift over 20 pounds this week due to just having surgery last week which is kinda hard but other then that, things are going great! I can’t believe that I have been there almost 5 weeks already. That means I’m almost halfway finished. Which in turn, means that I am going to have to find a job soon. That is a little bit scary!

I’m starting to get very excited about this coming weekend! Will and I are taking his parents back to my hometown in Missouri to see my family! They have already met most of my family but they have never been to my hometown so it will be fun to show them around. I’m also looking forward to hearing my dad preach this Sunday at my family’s church. It has been so long since I have gotten to hear him preach and he always does such a wonderful job!

Thanks again for all your prayers. I feel so very blessed that I have such wonderful people in my life. I have told several people that I would never wish cancer upon anyone but at the same time, I am so thankful that I have been through it and become a better person because of it. Having cancer taught me so much and I will never take for granted the little things in life ever again. I thank God each morning for a new day that He has given me. Please pray for me as I get ready to look for a job that His plan will be revealed to me.

The Best Results


So I never realized just how anxious I was going to be for a follow-up CT scan until the actual day it was happening. I had told my parents that there was no reason for them to go since I work down in OKC and would be driving down there for work that Monday morning anyways. Plus, wouldn’t know the results that day. However, I have not been to any kind of doctor’s appointment by myself since all of this began back in January. I went to the appointment that morning and had to be there an hour early so I could drink this huge jug of “lemonade flavored substance” that was obviously medicated. Well that is when my nerves set in. I had an hour of alone time to just think of all the possible “what-if’s. The test itself lasted about 15 minutes and was no big deal but made me feel really lousy for the rest of the day. I learned that I should not go to any type of doctor’s appointment alone again, results or no results.

While I was already very anxious and nervous for the rest of the day and the following day, I then read a blog that I read quite often and learned of a girl who lives only 30 minutes from me who had passed away that day. She had been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2007, had chemotherapy treatment, was cured, and the disease came back on a later PET scan. I am not sure of the events that followed but sadly, she lost her battle this year. This not only made me very sad for her and her family, but also made me even more anxious about my results. Please keep her family in your prayers. This young girl was only 22 years old with so much life ahead of her! 😦

Now, I will tell you about my CT scan results. Last Wednesday, Dr. Armor said the words that I hope to hear many more times in my future. He said “your CT scan was clear!!” I can’t tell you how much relief I felt when I heard those words. It was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. He did however explain that after having Hodgkins Lymphoma, I will always have lymph nodes that are enlarged in some areas of my body. He informed me that they would keep close watch on those so they would know if anything abnormal were to occur. I also learned that I can get my port out on September 28! Although I am not thrilled about having another surgery, I can’t wait to finally get this thing out of me!! Please pray that the surgery will go smoothly and my scar will be minimal.

God has been oh so good! I am still loving my rotation at OU Medical Center and continue to get compliments frequently about how cute my “short hair cut” is! I love that they have no idea what the first six months of this year entailed for me. 🙂 I have really been enjoying catching up with old friends who also live in OKC. It is so good to be able to live life and not have to worry about being around other people. I am still careful and cautious if people are sick because my white blood cell count still isn’t back to normal but I don’t refrain from doing most things.

I am getting excited about going to some OSU football games soon and hopefully some OKC Thunder games this fall as well! 🙂 Also, Will and I are taking his parents back to my hometown at the beginning of October and I am really looking forward to that. My parents are going as well and my dad is preaching that Sunday which is very exciting! I can’t believe that my final rotation is already 1/4 of the way over and I’m almost ready to get a “big girl job!” I also learned this week that I will be able to take my national board exam in January which is such a blessing! Please pray that I will know where I am supposed to get a job and witness to those that don’t know about our wonderful Savior!

Thanks so much for your continued prayers, love, and support! I couldn’t have done it without you all! It’s so exciting to me that the end of this chapter in my life is finally in sight! Psalm 40:11 states “You oh Lord will not withhold your compassion from me; your loving kindness and your truth will continually preserve me.” He is so great, all you have to do is trust in Him!

The Real World


So I have now been back in “the real world” for almost a week now and it feels great! I love having a purpose every day and being able to interact with new people. I am currently working at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City on their trauma floor, so as you would probably assume, I have and will see a little bit of everything. It’s so interesting and luckily I have remembered how to do what I do and why I chose this field in the first place. I have also met some other really sweet students that make my days even better 🙂 My instructor is awesome too so that makes it all pretty great.

Although I am not so excited about being away from my family and Will all week, I have really enjoyed spending time with my roommate and getting to hear about her exciting days in her surgery rotation as well. I have been trying to take advantage of my time away and use it to study! My boards are going to be here before I know it and now that I am back in the “real world,” they will be here even sooner. It’s amazing how much faster time goes by when you have something to do all day! 🙂

This past weekend was really fun! I mentioned previously that Will, Ashlei, and I went to Missouri with Will’s family to spend some time at the lake. Although the weather was not ideal, we still were able to do quite a bit. We went shopping, went out on the pontoon to watch the kids tube, laid by the pool, played miniature golf, watched fireworks, and had a lot of really good meals! I was reminded of how much I love Osage Beach and hope that we are able to go back there more often in the future.

This was the first week I have gone without wearing a hat or anything else on my head. I think I was more nervous about that than my first day back at clinicals. I literally prayed my entire way to the city from Stillwater on Tuesday morning. Once again, God is so awesome. As soon as I walked in, I got two compliments from two different women about how cute my haircut was! Little did they know that I didn’t cut my hair this short 🙂 I just smiled and thanked them. God used them that day to calm my nerves. Thanks again for all your prayers. I will keep you updated on how my doctor’s appointment goes next week. Hopefully it’s all good news from here on out! I will keep trusting Him and His plan no matter what! 🙂




New Beginnings


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


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!