Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Adios Paisley!

Yesterday was such a glorious day! About 5 months ago my central line aka "Paisley the Port" was put into my chest, and yesterday she was removed! It was a quick procedure which is always nice. Just a cut here and there, a pop and a pull, some stitches and she was out of there. Dr. Nelson even removed the old scar and pulled the skin nice and tight so there was no big stretch mark from where she used to be. With Paisley now gone I'll be able to lift, run, play basketball full out, and not have to worry about bumping her or ripping out the line that went into my artery. I was able to keep Paisley after she was taken out, and to be honest I enjoy carrying her in my pocket much more than in my chest. Besides the occasionally burning sensation and just tightness I've been great. This procedure has definitely been the easiest thus far.

This was the last piece of the puzzle my friends! I go in for my first check up in a month to make sure everything is ok, which I'm sure it will be. I'm expecting my CT scans to come back normal without any growing tumors so I can return to school in September and play out this season of basketball. Thanks again everyone for the support. I'll keep you updated on my next few adventures and especially each and every doctors appointment that is to come. Some of the upcoming adventures include: the Zoo, Brad Paisley, babysitting Hillary's girls, weddings, playing basketball anywhere and with anyone I can, and then California. Love you all!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Oh Canada!

Well for the past week I have been enjoying my time in Canada! Daryl had a soccer tournament in Lethbridge so myself, Steph, Corbin, and Devin tagged along for the fun. The Gypsy of course was there for our adult supervision. Poor Steve had to stay home and babysit Porsche and Josie so he missed out. Since Steph is from Calgary, we thought it would be fun to go visit her family. Calgary is 2 hours away from Lethbridge so we got a rental car and headed up North to Calgary. The best part of this was that her family had no idea! Well everyone know except Steph's parents Rick and Suz and her sister Caitlin. To surprise them we met up with them at the mall and surprised Suz. Her face was priceless!! She was so confused. It was fun to spend time with the Vermunt family. We had a big BBQ with all the family, we went to Aunt Karyn's farm and rode horses and played with the new born kittens, Grandma Barb took us to Banff, we visited Steph's nieces Georgia and Brooklyn, and we had some of the most amazing Chinese food ever! We were also able to watch Daryl play. Her team went 2-2 and she played amazing! She's such a great little keeper. We made new friends with Jackie and Jen and spent some fun days with the Timpview Girls Soccer Team. Overall it was such a fun trip but I'm glad to be back in America. I definitely missed the Mexican food and of course my kitty Porsche. Thank you Vermunt family for letting Corbin and I invade your home and country! We love you all so so much!
So tomorrow is the big day. Its my first check up since I've finished chemo and I am finally getting my port out! As much as they don't want to take it out, I need this Port out of my body. I'm just about normal. Even my hair is coming back. Its getting long enough I can kind of comb it but not quite. Its coming in mostly blonde and brown which is new. As much as I miss my bald head I promised the Gypsy I wouldn't shave it anymore. The next few weeks are going to be a fun few weeks! This week is surgery, lots of mexican food, softball games, scary movies, and Brad Paisley concert. Next week is basketball camps, Levi's wedding, Sadie and Tim's wedding, babysitting Makaela, Thea, and Ella, as well as the 4th of July. Maybe some swimming? Then finally is the long awaited California Cancer Trip! 10 days in Southern California to celebrate being done with cancer. Sea World and Disney Land will be included as well as lots of swimming in the ocean, shopping, and watching my kid Daryl play soccer. Have a great week everyone! I'll let you know how surgery goes.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weekend Update

This past weekend has definitely been a fun one! I love not having to worry anymore about what I'm doing and just being able to do things and have fun. Since my port surgery has been put off 2 weeks I'm trying to have as much fun as I can until I have to go down for a few days. So in the mean time I have invested my time in being a little immature but for the most part its been a blast in a glass! The fun times started with a night of adventures with Ashley and Whitney. The night included Whitney's softball game, hiding Kirk's scooter, playing at the park, hiding in a tube, and playing with window crayons. Next was another adventuresome night with Ashley and Whitney. I thought I would leave Kim and Steph a present, so I purchased them some fish and left the fish in various places around their cars and mail box. They really enjoyed them. Lastly was my cousin Peter's wedding. Pete married Brittny on Friday and the festivities ended late Saturday night. It was a fun Tongan wedding with lots of family, good food, dancing, and lots of smiles. I stayed in Salt Lake after the wedding had ended and hung out with my Aunt Holly and Brook as well as my cousins Julie, Gloria, Mala, Mary, Olivia, Isaiah, Jackson, Ellie, and Micah. We got ice cream, played at a park and made friends, visited WalMart, and had some fun times in the car. It was a fun weekend.

I won't lie I am exhausted trying to get back into normal life. My energy levels are still so low but I'm slowly starting to get them back. A nice relaxing vacation for a week I think will do the trick! A car ride with Michelle, Corbin, Daryl, and Devin is questionable but I know it will be such a fun trip! Can't wait for 6am tomorrow to get out of Provo and have one final foreign adventure before I'm back in bed for a week. Good bye America! And soon we will be saying good bye to Paisley the Port. Have a great week everyone!


I almost forgot! Happy Fathers Day to all those fathers out there especially mine Steve. Have a great Fathers Day and everyone make sure to do something nice for your fathers. I know I did! What Father wouldn't want a post of 2 white unicorns, a gift card to In-N-Out, and a Fathers Day card that is in Spanish? I know for a fact Steve wanted all 3 of those things! Happy Fathers day to Steve and all my Uncles, Cousins, and all those amazing men in my life who put up with me. Love you all!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Most Accident Prone Person Ever... Well Me

Summer is here finally!! And well, so far I've been enjoying my time being in Complete Response. Its been filled with basketball camps, playing basketball, and having fun with my friends. But with all the fun and good times, something has to happen to put a slight damper on things. During an exciting game of pick up with my team, I drove in and well, my teammate Dani didn't move like I expected her to. As a result I jammed my thumb on her rock hard abs and it swelled up huge! The good news, the shot went in! The bad news, I have to wear this very stylish brace for the next little while. I just can't seem to catch a break these days! But besides the thumb incident life has been great!
After some scheduling difficulties and miscommunication, I am getting Paisley the Port out on June 27. I was supposed to get her out this past Monday but I guess I can wait 2 weeks longer right? I'm getting pretty good at this patience thing at this point in my life.
The Gypsy and Corbin returned from their cruise on Sunday. Its so nice to have her home! Steve was so busy with work and myself working basketball camps that we ended up eating out for every meal. As fun as that is I'm so glad Chelle is back to cook when I can't. She even came bearing gifts for all of us.
The long 2 weeks of basketball camps are about to come to an end on Saturday. I'm looking forward to a nice break from coaching and going to watch my sister Daryl play in her first Timpview Varsity High School soccer tournament. My goal is to only get kick out of one game for my cheering but I can't make any promises! Hope everyone's enjoying this Utah weather and I'll update next week.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Done and Done! For Now...

PET scan results. On the left was me 4 months ago. On the right is now. All the flourescent stuff is cancer. Except for the brain and heart.

Well this week has been one of the longest weeks of my life! Aside from the week I was diagnosed 4 months ago. For those of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter I'm sure you have heard the good news, and for those of you who haven't heard, I have a Complete Response (CR) to my treatments. What exactly does this mean? Well I always thought the proper word for this was remission but I stand corrected! Dr. Glenn said that with this type of cancer it never leaves the body. This means that the proper term is Complete Response, not remission or cancer free. But for the time being my cancer cells aren't active which means I can start back to my normal life, but easing into things. But some questions that I had for the doctors that were answered...

  • Can I now play basketball? The answer is yes! I even played today for the first time with my team since January and it was AMAZING! I am beyond out of shape but it was so fun to feel part of the team again.
  • Am I cancer free then? No! The tumors are still there as are the cancer cells. They just aren't active right now.
  • Will this come back? Yes... This type of cancer is a fast aggressive type of cancer. It can come back at anytime but we will catch it early if it does :)
  • How often will I be checked? Every 3 months for the next 3 years I will go up to the Huntsman and get CT scans and blood work to make sure the cancer isn't coming back. After the first 3 years have gone by then I'll go every 6 months for the next many years.
Now What? Well first things first, I NEED to get back in shape for basketball! But to celebrate the fact that I'm on a nice break from cancer I am going to California to watch Daryl play soccer but not only will I be watching her play soccer I will also be going to Sea World, going swimming in the ocean for hours on end, and spending time with my family and hopefully my friend Kim! I'm excited for this summer to get back into the swing of normal life. This morning I did a sleepless EEG and I'll hopefully get the results of that test back by Monday. Anyways, Thanks everyone for the love, support, and the prayers. Its obviously working is all I have to say. Not only was yesterday a great day for me but it was also my dear friend and teammate Steph's Birthday! To celebrate we had an amazing BBQ, cake, ice cream, and had the whole crew over. Even the weather is starting to get a little better each day. I'll keep you all updated on everything that keeps going on. Also, my English class was so nice as to put an online auction on in my behalf. Tracy Jackson, who is not only my teacher but my favorite person to sit by at Daryl's soccer games, is such an amazing woman! With the help of her and the students of my class they were able to put this on. Take a look at the stuff they have there its pretty amazing: https://www.selectcharityauctions.com/catalog.aspx?auctionid=15

Thanks again for everything! This whole journey would have been impossible without all of you!