Thursday, January 22, 2015

Things I Forgot

So first off, I made it to the appointment about my memory which coincidentally I don't know if I wrote about in the last post or not. But he further confirmed our suspicions about my impaired memory and will hopefully get me on the right track to getting healthy again. Apparently the worst thing I could be doing right now is online school. So in the fall I am going to try and get back into {real} school. FINALLY, (and I'm really looking forward to it).

So a couple things I forgot to say:


We went to NYC in November. Me, my twin Jordyn, Chad and Diane. It was the funnest thing ever, and I had so much energy the whole time. I'd say I had the most energy out of the whole group but Diane might have topped me. I spent some good time in Fabric stores, and really enjoyed Les Mis and Phantom of the Opera with Jordyn. It was fun walking around the city just me and her, it was like we were old or something wild.




I got a beautiful new sewing machine that's 100% my own and I feel very lucky. I love sewing by the way. My mom's been teaching me since I was really young and I am super glad that it's something I know how to do well now!

I started wearing contacts!!

My brother does a Christmas tree bonfire every year and they had over 200 trees this year and it was awesome! I wasn't even overly tired this year!



I spoke to a bunch of scouts the other day about the power of a positive attitude and their responses to some of my questions were hilarious. I don't remember most of them but my favorite part was how innocent they were.

Anyways, I'm suddenly drawing a blank on what I've done for the past few months, so either I've wasted a lot of time or have a little more work to do on getting that radiation impaired memory back.
{I can do hard things.}


 Enjoy this picture of me closing my eyes, almost:
haha.


rach.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2015

I apologize for not having written in such a long time. But--- I AM ALIVE! It's sort of incredible how big the miracle I was just delivered is. I always believed in miracles and hoped for miracles- especially for my healing- but I didn't know how much faith I lacked until I received my miracle. I am alive, and I feel horrible for saying it especially around others that I've met during this experience, but I found it necessary and healthy to be able to say those things without feeling a tremendous surge of guilt.

So right now my trial is figuring out how to live a normal life again. I was at primary children's 2 days ago and they are all still so blown away with how well I am doing. Nobody really understands what's going on. I think my doctor puts it best when she says "well... I do believe in miracles," I guess that would mean I'd be an idiot if I didn't.

The only thing that I am currently struggling with is some after affects of Radiation. I have a hard time with memorization and recalling things off the top of my head, (especially names, so please forgive me)! I am seeing a psychologist next Tuesday about trying to fix those areas of my brain with some long test, and it's honestly sort of terrifying. When he said there would be an IQ exam my heart kind of sunk. He then went on to ask me my ACT score- let's just say I am definitely not a test taker but reassured me that his score was even lower than mine, so I feel like this will be a good, non-condescending visit.

I say non-condescending because a few weeks ago I went to see a counselor at UVU to try and help get me back into an actual school setting, (right now I am doing online BYU classes and it's been horribly hard for me), I have a much better time with an actual teacher who is actually willing to help answer questions, (even though I do have a teacher currently who has been incredible). Back to the counselor thing- he was extremely condescending. "Well you let your application to the school expire so there's another road block you have" and "You're going to need to do the math accuplacer test, and not the english one, but honestly I'm putting a block on your account so you will need to take both because you've probably lost a lot of knowledge in the last 2 years that you've basically wasted."

Okay maybe that was a bit dramatic, but not much. He was awful and horrible and told me how many roadblocks I have in my way simply because I chose to wait. Well excuse me for surviving the worst kind of brain tumor you can be diagnosed with. But I'm not going to let it get in my way. I 'm going to try for fall. I am hoping to be able to have full learning abilities, because going from getting [almost] pure A's, to failing classes takes a blow on me mentally.

Whenever I get anxious, my lip goes numb. If you remember right, my lips were numb when the cancer was back and bad. I've realized in my life that God wants me to be at peace and he doesn't want us to get stressed out and anxious. So now I'm taking this as a little sign-- a "Rachel, quit being dumb" kind of a sing.

Honestly if I could erase one thing from this cancer journey and still have my miracle- I wouldn't. Everything not only played a key aspect in my healing but in my emotional, physical and spiritual growth. You go from being a State-athlete to three months later not being able to do a push up. So much was literally stripped from my body- but I have received so much in return.

So now with my life I am:
Trying to finish some online classes
Sewing a lot (Diane bought me a brand new sewing machine and it is beautiful)
Working-tons
Writing in journals
Crafting

and whatever else I feel like.

I am trying my hardest to find my way back into a normal 19 year old's life, and I'm not going to lie and say it's been easy. It's been a real challenge. But I am hoping to start writing more and keeping y'all updated with what's going on and how I am healing in this journey that I have taken on.



I can do hard things!

Rach!

In the following pictures- please examine the regular size of my face, lack of acne and oh, an engaged girl! MY TWIN IS ENGAGED, and I'm so excited for her and also a little bitter, but mostly excited!!!


 It feels weird to be in the hospital because I only have to get a checkup once every three months now!!! AHHHHH!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Movin from Memphis

Today I am particularly grateful, and that's because two years ago from today I moved home from Memphis. I am thankful that I have been home and around this long, it seems crazy that about 110 weeks ago, I thought I would only make it MAYBE 40 weeks. The time has gone by really fast and really slow, but what matters most is that the perpetual terrifying fear of dying- I no longer have. I also have been very blessed to have so many people- most of who I don't even know, pray for me.
I'm also really lucky because some of the best people I have ever talked to and am good friends with now, I have met through my blog. The expectation for this blog in the beginning was to keep all of my family and friends updated while I was going through treatment in Memphis, and I've been so blessed to have been prayed for in so many states, countries, and religions because of it.

Oh, and guess who got their port out! This girl! My doctors told me I don't need it anymore (when in April they told me I had to stop chemo but had to keep the port to be on hospice). It's crazy that I'm still alive because I had a nurse admit to me in June that in May she didn't think that I would make it a week from my April visit. So so so very blessed.

I've been thinking lately how fast time is going by. While I was in Memphis, time was still, and each minute felt like a 1/2 hour. I was miserable and depressed (dexamethasone, remember?) But I made it through! This year since August 9th, I hardly remember too much happening, I've been so busy, and time has gone by so fast, and I am so thankful for that because while I was in Memphis, I thought time would never be the same again.
I don't have too much else to say, besides thank you for the emails/comments that I still get frequently. I love to hear peoples story, where they're from and what led them to my blog, it fascinates me.

I can do hard things!

Rachel
ps
 LOOK HOW LONG MY HAIR IS!!!

Even my bald spot where the dr. shaved putting my shunt in is growing fast!
 Me getting my port out! I'm a great patient!