Sunday, November 22, 2015

Just Imagine

When I stop and listen to all of the questions and concerns asked about my cancer, I have to wonder how much everyone really knows about cancer. Obviously, there are millions of people directly in contact with cancer fighters across the world. My goal through this blog is to share some of my journey- my interaction with this nightmarish disease. 

Today I'd like to take your mind on a tour. I know that there are thousands of readers spread out across the planet- so a real-life tour is a bit far fetched! ;) On this tour, you will have to dig deep in your busy mind and just imagine. 

Imagine if you had cancer. Imagine if all normality in your life immediately ceased and a new lifestyle was forced upon you. Imagine if your life goals were paused and your dreams stripped away. Imagine the amount of grief that is quickly instilled on all those that know you- the pain of possibly of losing you. Imagine if everyone you love and care for tries helplessly to aid you on your new journey.

(Sleep- the one escape from the onslaught of nausea)

Imagine if you had to start treatment: unknowns from every angle. Imagine the fear of subjecting your body to hazardous drugs that are now your lifeline. Imagine traveling to the hospital, knowing that for days your body will continually be fighting not only cancer but also the life-saving drugs. Imagine laying in a hospital for an entire week with constant waves of sickness flooding your body. Imagine being so sick to the point that knocking yourself out is the best option. Imagine the heaviness of these treatments for months on end. 

Imagine yearning for normality: a simple breath of relief. Imagine the waves of sadness as you watch your fellow cancer fighters fall victim to their disease. Imagine the weight of death that is present in every day. Imagine being submerged in a world with the statistical odds always stacked against you. Imagine your future looking so bright, yet so clouded by uncertainty. 

(P4's Tree of hope for all the cancer fighting heros!)

Imagine life and family being all you fight for. Where every day is a battle against your body and mind. Imagine watching the world go on while you fight a battle so few can truly understand. 

Though many try, few can truly grasp the enormity of cancer. Those who fight this battle realize that the most precious thing in life is not made of a certain material, but rather is the time we are given.

It seems that the greatest gift one could truly give is acknowledging that you cannot truly grasp where a cancer-fighter is. Knowing that it's not about saying the perfect words, but rather investing the gift that God only gives- our time together.

Throughout this holiday season, I am looking forward to making that investment - our time together. Though the past is constructed of happy memories, I find it important that we create only happier memories now. In all honesty, none of us are guaranteed a tomorrow! The smartest investment we can make is in each other.

Try and give the gift of being together! That is one gift that you can't mess up. :) 

(Rolling with the family, getting out of the house is an incredible break from the monotony of treatment!)

Monday, November 16, 2015


I know I have posted before about thankfulness, however, there are a few reasons to write on this topic. First off, writing these blogs is just one way that I can cope with all the incredible emotions that cancer offers. That being said, why not reflect on the positives of my cancer? Also, seeing that Thanksgiving is next weekend, how could I not reflect on thankfulness?

First of all, I am thankful for my primary support group- my family. Through these past seven months of treatment, my family has carried me through both painful treatments and dark days. Without these anchors in my life, I know that I would be tossed, battered, and beaten without any sense of direction or hope. I would also like to express thanks to my incredible Aunt Jenny! Yet again she was able to help spread our story by lining up an interview with the Janesville Gazette. (click HERE for link) Through the past seven months, I have seen our family draw closer together while facing most people's greatest fear. 

(Jordyn and I "personalizing" her masks) 

Secondly, I am thankful for my second family. The nurses at American Family Children's Hospital have been nothing short of amazing. Every other week I get the privilege to pack my bags and move back to my second home. Though my body is subjected to chemotherapy, my spirits are always lifted by the time spent coloring masks, singing, or hanging out at the Nurse's Station! 

Finally, I am incredibly thankful for all of you! I know this may seem a bit "general", but your constant prayers, love, and support has continually upheld my family and I through this. Wether it be our neighbors love-infused meals or your daily prayers, I could not be more thankful for all that you have done! I am truly blessed to have such an amazing crew! :) 

(A perfect thought for this Thanksgiving Season)

In conclusion, this Thanksgiving I have learned that though life may be far from what I want- I can still thank God for all that He has given. Cancer has shed light on the fact that what means the most to me is not in material objects- but in my family and friends!