I don't really have a plan for this post, so it's basically going to be me rambling about random things I've been neglecting to blog about. Right now, I'm still extremely frustrated at having the same pains and nausea for days and days without change. I'm limited in some ways on medications because of my counts being so low, so even on the strongest meds the doctors can give, I have pain and bad nausea throughout the days and nights. Unfortunately, patience isn't my strongest virtue and it's beyond frustrating to wake up every day without improvement in the side effects I still have from my chemo that was a week or two ago now. Since the chemo was stronger, my body is taking longer to recover the good cells I need to start feeling better again. So that I'm not just focusing on the pain and making it worse, I am trying so hard to count the little blessings...recently, my doctors have been successful with a strong anti-nausea treatment that gives me hours at a time without my stomach churning, and it's helped me to be able to have an appetite and eat something; I have also been blessed with fantastic nurses who do everything they can to understand my pain and hold my forehead if Mom or Dad isn't there to.
When I really think about it though, I have LOTS of little blessings in the stories, cards, letters, messages, texts, and other encouragement people have given me. I want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to so many people:
-Everyone who has reached out to me recently by mail or unexpected gifts; they warm my heart, make me smile, and lift me up more than you know :)
-My Kappa Delta sisters, some of them freshmen I haven't even had the pleasure of meeting yet, sending package after package of halloween goodies, magazines and nail polish, a book full of cards I sobbed while reading, and even gorgeous hand-painted art to decorate my boring hospital room walls.
-To both of my Grandparents, Grandma and Grandpa Loebig and Wielgos, for the continual cards and packages to cheer me up,
-To my cousin Evamarie, not only my cousin but one of my best friends, for coming and having to watch me sleep numerous times but making sure I know that she's always by my side, doing whatever I need.
-To my family at school, my Oriflamme teammates (GO ORIFLAMME! GO WORLD!), the Relay for Life committee I was going to join this year who also reached out to me, and to all of the people, some I don't even know, who've sent messages of love and care and a desire to join me in my battle,
-To all of my family friends, especially the Lotz and Cemeno families, who are pouring themselves into multiple fundraising projects and support methods for my family,
-To the groups who have come together to show what multitude of supporters I have, the Ruedin's 4h group and their family, The Paul Mitchell School of Cosmetology that my cousin Rachel goes to, my Aunt Lori's CCD class, and all other groups who've reached out to me,
-To the wonderful nurses who take amazing care of me, and the staff here at Loyola who makes this floor feel like home
-To the other cancer fighters or survivors and their parents who have reached out in understanding of what my family and I are going through, like Andrew's Mom, the other kids on this floor, the staff at the Ronald McDonald house, and especially my Aunt Patty and Uncle Tim and Aunt Patty's parents (Grandparents-in-law? :)),
-To every friend and relative, near and far, who share their prayers, thoughts and love with me every day!!!
-To every stranger who also shares your prayers, thoughts, and love with me every day without even having met me in person...
No matter how horrible it is to go through cancer, somehow the good and love I see around me seems to almost balance out the bad, as crazy as that sounds. When I'm in pain or I'm brushing my teeth after an episode of nausea, sometimes I wonder how something can possibly hurt this bad. However, when I feel the incredibly overwhelming support of people literally all over the world, I wonder how someone can possibly feel this fortunate.
Because of your love, I'm still standing a strong, brave, tough cookie...and cancer STILL is not making me crumble.