Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday Update!

Good morning!!! This is me, still smiling big, and my little bear who's been by my side :)

I just logged on again to give you guys another little update and I saw how many people have seen my blog so far...all I can say is WOW!!! I absolutely cannot believe how many people have been reaching out to me since my diagnosis and how much support I've received during this crazy, challenging time. Once again, all I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you. All of the messages and such I read give me more strength than you guys could ever know. Thank you also to all who have been reaching out to my family recently. Although  I don't know a whole lot of what's happening at home as I am focusing on getting better here at Loyola, I know that there have been so many friends and family helping my family to have what they need so that they can all be here for me. So again, although I know I say this over and over...thank you!

Now for an update! Sunday night and Monday were just kinda crappy. I knew going through chemotherapy wasn't always going to be easy when I signed up for it, and I was right. Thankfully I had my Daddy and Mommy to get me through the tough stuff, holding my hand and letting me cry. I've learned a lot that being strong and tough during cancer treatments doesn't mean always having a smile on. It means learning how to cope with the pain, learning how to get through it without giving up. I'm learning that going through chemo is a roller coaster: sometimes I feel fine and I'm laughing and watching movies with my family, but sometimes I feel really, really sick and I need to cry or sleep or just hold my parents' hands through those times. No matter how sick I feel sometimes, I know that my tears are tears of bravery. I am courageous enough to go through some really painful, tough stuff so that I can beat the nasty cancer in my body. And trust me, no matter how much it might hurt...I will never, never give up. I know that after the painful symptoms have made their way through, eventually I'll get to the top of the hill on that roller coaster again. 

I also wanted to answer some questions that I'm guessing a lot of people are asking. I know it's sometimes awkward to ask certain questions, so I decided to just put them out there! 

1. Am I going to lose my hair? The answer is, unfortunately, yes. If you've known me for a long enough period of time, you know that in middle school and high school the WORST threat my brother could make at me was cutting off all my hair! Yes, I love my hair and I wish I didn't have to part from it for a short time. However, my friend Emily who also has cancer has assured me many times that "bald is beautiful" and she is absolute proof of that phrase! I need to fight this cancer with everything I have, and if it means I'll get better, I'm totally up to losing my hair for a little bit. There are SO many cute scarves and hats out there, and I'm especially excited to get to rep my cubbies more often!! :) I am willing to do anything to beat the cancer inside me, including lose my hair for a short amount of time. Bald is beautiful!!!

2. Since my blood cell counts are low, what kind of rules does the hospital want my family and friends to follow? Basically what that means is that as the chemo is killing off the bad cancer cells, it also kills some of the good cells that my body uses to fight infection. If I catch something like a cold, my body may not be strong enough to fight it. The doctors want to make sure that all my family and friends know that if they come to visit, they NEED to be 100% well! As much as I want to give everyone I know a huge hug right now, if you have a cold or virus or even just a runny nose, it's better to call or skype me for the time being. Also, the doctor has told me that I can't have fresh flowers in my room, so although all my many secret admirers see this as their chance to give me a dozen roses ;) any flowers I get will have to be at the nurses station for me to come out and see when I can. I guess flowers and fresh fruit can harbor bacteria and other microorganisms that could possibly make me sick, so they're a no no for now...even if it's a bouquet from my prince charming. ;) They said that stuffed animals are fine as long as they are brand new and haven't been exposed to anyone who's sick.

3. Can I come visit? I absolutely LOVE getting to see everyone that I miss so dearly! However, those "down" parts of the roller coaster can come unexpectedly, and it's hard to have enough energy to talk and hang out when I'm not feeling good. The best thing to do is text/call me or my parents when you're thinking of visiting, and if it's a good time, plan to call again a few hours before you leave. Hopefully it'll be an "up" day, but if it's not, we can plan a time that would work better!

I am feeling pretty good this morning, so I am thinking that today is hopefully going to be an "up" day, or at least an "up" morning! I'll continue to keep you all updated on how things are going and I love you all very very much!!!



  1. Sarah,

    I'm not sure if you are a Coldplay fan, but one of my favorite songs is the scientist. "nobody aid it was easy...no one ever said it would be this hard..." My dad loves that song too. Chemo is just as bad as everyone says it is, huh? Roller coaster couldn't be a more perfect description for this journey. All I can say is the "down times" are really down, but it makes the "up times" all the more beautiful. And really, BALD IS BEAUTIFUL. you are always going to be the strong, beautiful, faith filled Sarah that I know, and just keep reminding yourself, hair ALWAYS grows back. I know you want to see everybody and all your beautiful flowers, but trust me, focus on taking care of yourself. You'd be amazed how easily one little germ will get you sick! I'm so proud of how strong and positive you are being. You've already won your battle because your mental toughness can defeat any obstacle, even cancer. I love you, miss you, and am praying for you always.

    Love from Cleveland and AOT in cancer sucks,
    Emily Evans

  2. Sarah,just want you to know I am praying for you. If there is anything that I can do to help you during this time, just let me know! Love, Ceil

  3. Sarah, I know your younger siblings, but I don't think we've ever met. I am Miss Sue at the Library. Your spirit shines and inspires through the words on your wonderfully informative blog. Thank you for sharing this unexpected and very challenging part of your life journey. I sing a prayer of healing every Shabbat in the synagogue called, "Mi Shebeirach." Here is a link to the music and the composer, Debbie Friedman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUp2MTfyfrI. I will sing it for you each week. May all of our lives be a blessing. I will carry you in my heart. Miss Sue

  4. Thinking about you every day, throughout the day. A bunch of homeschool families out in the Plainfield/Joliet/Minooka area are working on getting meals cooked for your family at home - so that your mom, dad and grandparents don't have to think about that. I wish they could bring you the food, but when you get home - we'll all cook your 'favorites' then. Great picture you posted - you look so amazingly positive - and I have to say - having a positive attitude is one of the best natural medicines that you can do for your body. Keep it up. Can't wait to see a post on Wednesday!
    Mrs. Lotz

  5. Cool picture, sweetie. Glad you are feeling better. I have showed my classes your blog (proud Daddy).

    See you tonight.


  6. praying for you everyday :) keep fighting

  7. We're all praying for you!! As soon as you are able I'm taking you out for Panera snd Pedis!! We love you.

  8. Hey Sarah!!
    You are so strong and I admire that so much! Remember when I had practically no hair last year because I shaved my head to raise money for cancer research? Anyways, I found it took me a few days to get used to (when I saw myself in the mirror), however, after a while it was amazing that I had to put in no energy into doing my hair :) Bed head and bad hair days are gonezo.

    As unfortunate it is that you have to deal with this detour just imagine how much you're learning about yourself and how you'll be able to use that to be an even better nurse than you might have been.

    Sure, I don't know "cancer," but I do know what it's like to have to take time off from college when you don't expect it. Call/text me whenever.

    I'm thinking about you everyday!

    -Rebecca R.

    Your bear is super cute by the way :)

  9. Hey Sarah!
    We don't really know each other personally, but we're both SLU nursing students so I creepily know you from class. haha. It was so shocking to see this so out of the blue. Just letting you know that all the SLU nurses here in Madrid will be praying for you!

  10. All of your little jokes in this blog make me laugh and have tears come to my eyes all at the same time. Your attitude and bravery are admirable and I feel like I'm truly blessed to know someone like you! Keep that fight going strong girly.

    I read your posts on the reg, so your massive amount of views may be caused by my constant looking for a new post...guilty. =)

    I'll be looking for some scarves/hats for your new wardrobe, but what about a crazy wig? You could totally pull one off!

    Missing you lots and love you! I'll be shooting a text your way very soon.


  11. Going through and reading your blogs is a major inspiration. The strength and courage you have is extraordinary. I only knew you a little bit through Lifetime but I was completely shocked when I found out the news, and after reading everything you have been posting really makes me believe you are one of the strongest people I have encountered. I am praying for you that all ends well. I know you will continue to be strong and fight through this. You are a true hero Sarah, do not ever give up and know that you have many of loved ones here cheering you on and praying for you each and every day.

    -Lauren Scherwin

  12. Hi Sarah!
    Thank you for keeping is up to date with this blog. Please know that John and I are praying for you daily. You are an inspiration to so many people and your faith in God is so evident. Keep fighting! God will use you to help others who are going through the same thing.

    Teresa Bratcher

  13. Hi Sarah!
    I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. We have no doubt that you will beat this and fight it with a vengeance. You are such a strong, courageous and positive young lady with so much to offer so many people. We have no doubt that you will not only recover from this but come back even stronger! Your honest and courageous words are not only inspiring, but proof of your incredible strength. The boys are constantly talking about you and remembering the fun they had the summer you babysat them. Certain games, foods and experiences trigger memories for them and they talk about how you were the best babysitter they ever had. We are sending positive thoughts and energy your way and are constantly thinking of you and your recovery!

    You and your family are in our prayers..

    Ted, Shelley, James and Michael Alexander