26 July, 2012

This has been a busy week for me.  I got my blood checked, a PET scan, and a CT scan on monday.  Yesterday, I met with my doctor for the results of the scans and... I'M CANCER FREE!!!!  Praise the Lord!! Technically, I'm "in complete remission," but I think it's much easier to just say I'm cancer free!  So that means I can stop taking all of my medications and can stop going to the doctor three times a week.  Instead, I'll go in for a check-up once every three months for two years, then every six months, and eventually just once a year!

While everything on my scans looked good in terms of the cancer, they found a small pulmonary embolism.  My doctor thinks what happened is that a small blood clot formed at the end of my port and then travelled into my lung.  This can sometimes be a big deal, but it's not in my case because it hasn't affected my breathing and I haven't had any of the symptoms.  However, in order to make sure the clot dissolves and that another one doesn't form, I have to get shots twice a day for ten days and take blood thinner pills for six weeks.  Then hopefully all of my medical issues will finally be behind me!

Anyways, even though I'm not one-hundred-percent healthy, I'm still cancer free! So I'm having a party as a way to celebrate and to thank you all for your support!  If you said even just one tiny little prayer for me, then you have been a great support and I want you at my party! Unfortunately, most of you live in other states and won't be able to make it, but please know that I am more than grateful for all of your support these past months! I am incredibly blessed to have such wonderful friends!! But if you live in or near San Diego, I hope you can make it (email me if you need directions)!
I am getting my port removed on Monday, so please pray that everything goes well! Also, please keep me in prayer as I deal with this pulmonary embolism.  Thanks again for all the support you have given me! I couldn't have made it through this without all of you!

"For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds," declares the Lord.
- Jeremiah 30:17

10 July, 2012

I had an amazing time in Oregon!   The highlight of my trip was witnessing my dear friend Brett get married to his sweet bride Laura.  The wedding was beautiful and anyone who attended would have no doubt of Brett and Laura's strong desire to dedicate their lives and their marriage to God.  Brett and Laura, I wish you infinite happiness in your life together!!
The beautiful bride and groom
Heidi, Me, Brett, Lanae, and Amy.
Brett was just a tiny bit excited...
The whole gang
Spending time in Oregon was so much fun and really allowed me to feel as if things were back to normal.  I drank coffee, read, relaxed, and spent time with good friends, just as I did when I used to live there and before I got sick.  I attended my very first rodeo in the small rural town of St. Paul, which has a population of 354. Needless to say, it was a very interesting experience and, since I didn't have boots, a flannel shirt, or overalls, I hardly fit in.  I had a lot of fun, but don't think I'll be visiting too many rodeos in the future.

I spent the 4th of July with my good friends Lanae, Julianne, and Amy, all of us decked out in red, white, and blue.  We started off the morning with coffee and a pancake breakfast in the park, then watched a pie eating contest, and of course, stopped for another coffee break.  Lanae and I then tried to make a red and blue cake, but it ended up being pink and green because we didn't have enough food coloring.  But cake is cake, no matter what it looks like, and ours was delicious!  We then ventured into downtown Portland to watch fireworks over the Willamette River.
Julianne & Lanae
I found myself with plenty of time to read during my trip.  I read a book called Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.  It's the story of a nine-year-old boy named Oskar whose father died in one of the world trade towers on 9/11.  It follows Oskar on his quest to find meaning and closure in his father's death.  The book displays a side of pain and suffering caused by violence and war that we don't often see, and gives hope that these wounds can be healed.  As a pacifist, I appreciate Foer's willingness to expose the horrors of war seen from all sides (he tells the story and heartache of a family in Dresden, Germany and of a woman in Hiroshima, Japan during WWII), and it makes me want to seek peace all the more.  In case you couldn't tell, I really enjoyed it and would highly recommend it.

I was in Oregon for about a week and had so much fun!  I am so thankful that I was able to spend time with a ton of different friends from college.  It was such a blessing as I haven't seen most of them in over a year.  My trip allowed me to realize that I really am done with treatment and, although I did feel sick a few times, I truly feel that I am beginning to wrap up my experience with cancer.  I am relieved and overjoyed to be able to say that! Praise the Lord!!  I do still have a PET scan in two weeks, so please keep me in your prayers!