Monday, October 22, 2012

Family, Friends, and Fresh Autumn Air!

Hi my beautiful readers!

The past couple of days have been WONDERFUL. Why? Because for the first time in over a month, I finally feel at least a little normal again. It's an incredible feeling! After dealing with chemo itself and all the yucky side effects afterward, I am finally getting my strength and energy back. It's so amazing to be independent again! I do still get tired easily, so my energy isn't totally where it used to be. However, I can walk around the house without needing help, get things for myself, and even sit outside for a few minutes for fresh air. Don't worry, I'm careful not to get too much cold air into my lungs, and I bundle up tight! Although I have to be careful, even having 15 minutes of fresh air is pure BLISS! :) Here are a couple of pictures of my sister and me sitting on my back deck yesterday, enjoying the gorgeous fall leaves:

(In the hospital, my cousin Eva taught me how to tie my headscarf in an adorable "rosette" style...kind of like a side bun if I had hair. :) You can pretty much see it in the picture. Cute, right?)

(For some reason, I've really been into wearing bracelets recently! On the bottom is an orange leukemia ribbon one from my Aunt and Uncle, the next up is one I made for myself with beads printed with uplifting words, the next is a charm bracelet from a wonderful family friend, and on top is my wooden Saints bracelet. :))

I love my sister!!! :)

In addition to hanging out with family yesterday, I FINALLY got to see one of my very best friends, Megan Salkeld!! (Different Megan than the one who works in child life at the hospital...haha). Now, for those of you who don't know Megan, I HAVE to talk about her a little bit, which I know will embarrass her because she's too humble to ever want to be the center of attention! However, this girl has done more for me than I ever expected a friend to do, and since this blog is about the current happenings in my life, I want to share with everyone what a blessing this friend has been to me throughout this entire experience. At the beginning of my freshman year of college, Megan and I bonded by hanging out on a little area we called "the stairs" out in our hallway because we both had roommate problems. We're definitely very different, but I guess opposites attract because soon we found ourselves laughing out loud at the stupidest things, staying up way too late trying to study but not being able to stop cracking jokes and doing dumb stuff (there's really no other way to describe what we did...haha!). Then and even now, Megan is the person that can make me laugh harder than anyone else I know. We were roommates this year (and at least to me, we were absolute PERFECT roomies!) before I was diagnosed. Now, as I said in the first post I made on this blog, finding out I had cancer began when I came down with a horrible case of strep that led me to the throat got so swollen that I could barely swallow water, and I was in an extreme amount of pain. When she got home from work, I asked if she'd be willing to go with me to the ER so I didn't have to be alone. Without any hesitation she said "Of course, you really think I'd let you go by yourself??" and stayed with me late into the evening, even though she had a test the next day. That next day, I wasn't able to keep down my antibiotics and pain pills, and when I came out of the bathroom crying and explained, Megan immediately called our Public Safety officers for another ride to the ER and once again kept me company...this time until 4 a.m., with classes and work the next day. During my ER visits, Megan called and texted my parents all night to keep them updated, and, when I was in so much pain, somehow STILL made me laugh like nobody else could. The next day, as most of you know, I came home to my parents, still thinking that my illness was strep or mono or something similar. When I was diagnosed with cancer that Wednesday morning, I still remember calling her in the car on my way to the hospital to break the news to her. The first thing she said was, "I am totally willing to get on a train today and skip classes if you need me!" Obviously I could never have asked so much of her, and I had my parents now to take care of me. But the simple fact that she was willing to drop everything just to be there for was overwhelming. I have always felt like I have had trouble making close friends, but I thank God every day that I found a friend like Megan. I am almost crying thinking about how selfless she is and what amazing, incredible, unbelievable friendship she has shown me. She has always, ALWAYS been there for me no matter WHAT...even through cancer...and not only been there, but honestly shown me a kind of care and love that I can't even fully describe. I could literally go on and on about how amazing my friend Megan has been to me...but this blog post would be more of a novel to read than it already is!! :)

I hadn't seen Megan since I left school, so being reunited was AWESOME! What I loved most is that nothing at all had changed. We literally talked just like we always had, but it went on for hours as we updated each other on our lives. Although my life is dramatically different now, talking and laughing together again felt like nothing had changed, and was an amazing feeling.

So, sorry Megan if I totally just embarrassed you...but that's what sisters are supposed to do, right? ;)

Here's some fun pics we took with my webcam...crazy and doing dumb stuff as always! Haha!

She was SO excited that she got to wear a mask haha! 
Why? "Because I feel like I'm keeping you healthy!!" 
She didn't wanna take it off hahaha

 When I left the room, this is what I found...>

< Not even sure what this

Thank you to EVERYONE, all my family and friends, who have been supporting me with more love and care than I ever imagined!!! I am beyond blessed to have so many FANTASTIC people in my life, so thank you to absolutely everyone who has reached out to hold my hand in a variety of ways during this difficult time. I am feeling more loved than I think I ever's incredible! :)

Alright, I'll finally wrap up this extra-long post! :) Since I mostly blogged about yesterday, I'll have another post soon about my adventures today. It was one BUSY day and even after a nap today I'm tired...but it was GREAT! Can't wait to share more with you guys, but for now I'm going to rest a little!

Lots of love!!!



  1. I am SOOOO glad you have Megan!! I had Sarah, and when I called her she came down from
    WI to be with me. Tim and her got to bond over the whole thing. I hope and pray you and Megan stay friends for as long as Sarah and I have (we met in 1989)!! I can't wait for the update on today, it sounds like you had fun! And, because I am very protective of you, make sure you stay away from dirt and probably the plants - they can have spores, fungus, and mold. I can't tell you how happy I am that you are so happy right now. I am smiling for you to the point of crying. I love you!!!!! <3 <3 <3 Aunt Patty

  2. Great to hear from you again, Sarah! I'm so glad you've been feeling better over the past few days, and have been able to enjoy the amazing autumn weather (my favorite season!). Your headscarf is cute!

    Love & prayers,
    Rachel K. (SLU Campus Ministry)

  3. Hi One Tough Cookie (aka Sarah)!
    My husband, Bruce is your Grandpa Bud’s nephew and your mom and Bruce are cousins. Bruce’s mom, Laurine Schuler, told us about your diagnosis a few weeks ago. We are heartbroken that you have to deal with this. We know first-hand what your experience is like as our daughter Lucy was diagnosed with leukemia (ALL) in April 2010. She was two years old then. She is five now and has completed her chemo treatments in June. She is doing wonderful and is in complete remission. She is one tough cookie too… like you, one tough cookie with a remarkable attitude. Sarah, there is no doubt that your optimistic spirit is going to carry you right through the bumpy part of life’s journey and beyond. You are an amazing, inspiring young woman and certainly have a positive impact on everyone graced by your presence. Keep smiling! Thanks for posting and keeping us updated! We are praying for you!
    Bruce, Kelly, Ross (7 years), Lucy (5 years), Julia (2 years) and Regis (8months)