There’s a simple explanation for why it has taken me so long to get back on here and jet out another update: Cancer. People can tell you cancer is a bitch but until she runs her blackened claws through your hair and you feel the bitter coldness of her tongue mark you with a capital C as you tremble with fear and uncertainty you don’t quite understand the depths of her depravity… especially when she partners up with the other big C: Chemotherapy.

Back in February I was at Centra Care getting antibiotics for what I thought was pneumonia. If you had asked me if I had any trips planned for the summer I would’ve told you about Greg’s niece’s baptism in New Jersey, or my brother and sister-in-law’s first baby due in July in Utah, or the wedding in Vegas we were planning to attend, or the Jay-Z concert in August. I never imagined the only trips I would be taking would be to the cancer center for chemotherapy. It’s amazing how much life can change in such a short amount of time.


Less than three months ago… I thought waking up at 2:30 a.m. for work was painful, but that’s because I didn’t have the perspective of comparing it to the actual physical bone-searing pain I get after a round of chemo, no matter what time I wake up.

Less than three months ago… we rarely had visitors. Now our little three-bedroom home is packed on a regular basis with a cacophony of Filipino relatives. They’re all nurses with the best of intentions. My mom has moved in as well. Greg gets sleep whenever and wherever he can. The pets are loving all the attention! Speaking of pets:

Less than three months ago… my immune system was strong enough to handle the fecal duties of cleaning a litter box or picking up dog poop…

But not anymore! Animal poop is teeming with vile bacteria that could send me right back to the emergency room with a nasty infection, “You wouldn’t want that to happen to me, would you, Hun?”

(they’re getting along swimmingly, btw)

Less than three months ago… washing and styling my hair was considered quite the endeavor. Now it’s the easiest part of my morning!

I have enjoyed the wig shopping but find myself throwing on hats and beanies more often than not because it’s more comfortable.

This wig courtesy of Nicole Pesecky Luca. She always gets me.

Less than three months ago… I used razors. Now there’s nothing to shave. Anywhere. See? There’s a positive! (no, there’s not a photo)

Other changes? Some days my bones feel too brittle to open up a bottle of water. The only time we’ve gone out to eat has been at the hospital cafeteria (fortunately, my mom does to food what Mother Nature does to sunsets; makes every meal a unique explosion of awesomeness. It’s like we have our own personal Betty Crocker!).

The first two or three bites I take of any meal send these weird, painful cramps shooting through the salivary glands of my jaw. Just another odd side-effect, I’m told. If the jaw pain doesn’t discourage me from eating, the mouth sores usually do. Canker-like sores pop up on my tongue and all throughout the back of my throat. They only hang around for a week at the most but they’re proving to be a rather effective form of losing weight. If only that was my goal.

Oh, and I guess it isn’t just your hair you lose when going through chemo. My nail beds are starting to darken so I shouldn’t be too surprised if my nails start to come off.

So all of this I’ve been experiencing just in the past three months. It’s been moving so quickly! Every day the thing I pray for the most is the strength to stay positive and follow the #1 piece of advice I get from everyone: Take it one day at a time. It sounds so cliché but it’s so true! I barely recognize the life I lived less than three months ago, and it’s even harder for me to imagine what a “normal” life will be like when this is all over, so the best I can do is concentrate on today. And I’ve learned to treat every day like a learning experience instead of a hassle. It’s easier to keep your spirits up that way. You know what else keeps my spirits up? All of the comments on Facebook and Twitter, and the emails I receive every day that rally for me to stay strong, offer prayers, words of advice, or simply let me know they have been there, too. It has truly been overwhelming. Every positive word of encouragement warms my heart more than you know :).