“Who We Are” – Tyrone Wells

I’ve mentioned before that Tyrone Wells is my favorite singer/songwriter. I’ve been to tons of his live shows, his music always touches my heart and played a small part in helping me get out of a toxic relationship (read more here.) Today he released a new single called Who We Are and you should run, not walk to go listen to it.

I was alone in the hospital, just days after I was diagnosed last year, and Tyrone hosted a live performance on his instagram which was so perfectly timed with what was going on in my life. So I reached out to him on insta and thanked him. From there he would occasionally check in and see how I was doing and started following my cancer journey. (Side note: I know some people have a problem with the word “journey” when talking about their cancer experience but I think it’s pretty accurate and don’t hate it at all). Anywhooo back to my story- earlier this year Tyrone asked for my email to send an unreleased song and holy moly what a thoughtful gift. I immediately burst into tears because every bit of that song spoke to my soul. He said if I liked the song, it could be a sort of an anthem and he was 100% correct. I thanked him for thinking of me and said how it completely resonates with my life but it’ll touch so many people as well. He said I was the first person outside his work crew and family to hear it. Wow how special. This whole cancer thing really sucks but there have been some really beautiful moments to come out of it and this was one of them.

I told all my closest friends to listen to the song today and they all wrote me back saying they got chills.

The bridge goes “I will turn the pain into tears of gold, I’m not caving in, I’m not letting go. When I hear them say, that it can’t be done, I’m not laying down, I will overcome.”

You have to hear it because the whole song is powerful.

Last week, I was flying from Oahu to Maui which is a 40 min flight in a 12 passenger plane and I kid you not, I listened to this song on repeat the whole ride. It was really hard to keep the tears from falling down my face in that tiny airplane. I was also on Decadron which makes me super emo… I was so moved that he shared it with me and thought about me and my journey. I also thought about all I have been through this past year. The months in the hospital alone, the night in the ICU where I almost died, the pain, the nausea, the anxiety, the sleepless nights, learning how to walk again, the isolation, and everything in between. I still have bruises on my stomach from shots I got over six months ago. I see them every day and it’s a reminder of where I’ve been and how far I’ve come. I was also flying from a weekend with one of my college roomates on Oahu (which is such a special place to me- where I went to college and had the time of my life) to Maui for my nephews 10th birthday party with the rest of my family. I am beyond grateful I survived this past year and get to celebrate these unfortettable moments.

view from the puddle jumper

I didn’t share much of the absolute worst days with ya’ll because 1. I was so stinking sick and 2. I didn’t want to scare you with horrible details. But know that it sucked. You can’t control what happens to you but you can control how you react and I chose and am choosing to smile through the pain and always seek the good in every situation. Plus, this whole experience has made me stronger and I can only image who I will be after I’m done with all of this. Speaking of, even though it’s more than a year away, I am planning an epic end of treatment bash where maybe I can convince Tyrone Wells to perform this song… lol dream big, right?

K now go listen.

“I believe, yes I believe it. I can see, yes I can see it. Though I’m not there yet, I lift up my head. I believe, yes I believe it. I can see, yes I can see it. Every bruise and every scar makes us who we are.

A Picture-Perfect Pinch Me Picnic

As of Tuesday, I have been fighting cancer for ONE WHOLE YEAR.

I wanted to do something special as a thank you for the girls that have been my San Diego fam through this insane year.  They’re the ones that made signs and waved at me from a bridge outside my hospital room when they weren’t allowed in due to Covid, organized video messages when I was feeling down, brought me dinners, constantly checked in, and did more for my morale than they even know possible. I am forever grateful. So as a small token of my appreciation I hosted a sunset picnic at one of our local neighborhood viewpoints overlooking the ocean.

First of all, I love hosting and planning events, and this gave me something to dive my energy into besides work lately. There are tiny details, if you look closely, that I tried to put a lot of love into. I arranged the flowers myself (and then all my girls brought me bouquets of flowers themselves as a gift – they know me so well), stuck to a color scheme (pink is my current color obsession), designed “thank you” cards along with handwritten geode name tags for everyone’s table setting, bought an insane assortment of snacks for grazing boards (+ pizza duh), curated a playlist that included songs that reminded me of each of my guests from a specific memory with them, and had a cheeky “F Cancer” sign to remind us what we’ve been through. To top it all off Amelia made the most gorgeous candy platter of my dreams.

We laughed, cried, hugged (for the first time in a YEAR), ate way too much, watched the sunset, and had the sweetest evening with the best friends a girl could hope for.  

*I wish I had taken more photos but honestly, we were enjoying each other’s company that we forgot to.

*Shout out to my BFF Amelia. She’s v preggo and I’m still pretty wobbly/fatigued, and we set up this whole thing just the two of us.  

How lucky am I that I get to call these girls my friends? Pinch me.

You bet your butt I’ll be throwing a blowout party when my treatment officially ends that EVERYONE will be invited to… but we still have over a year before that happens so stay tuned. 

alohaaa

Young Adult Cancer Awareness

This week is AYA (Adolescent & Young Adult) Cancer Awareness Week. Yes, I qualify as a young adult (I googled it).

I was just one of 89,500 AYAs (in the US) diagnosed with cancer last year.

AYAs are the most underserved cancer population by age. I sit in a chemo chair surrounded by patients 20-30 years older than me. And I’ve been involved with childhood cancer orgs/programs for my whole life – where there are tons of resources.

The goal of this week is to raise awareness about how hard it can be for young adults under 40 to deal with cancer while trying to keep up with their lives. The hope is to educate on the unique challenges AYAs face and show what their community can do to support them.

One of the cancer accounts I follow, Stupid Cancer, posted on their instagram a series of challenges AYAs deal with and each slide resonated with my experience.


Luckily in my case I was diagnosed in my thirties so I’ve finished school and started a career but I do not have a significant other. Dating during cancer treatment is hard enough but throw a worldwide pandemic into the mix and ya girl has never felt more single.

I don’t feel like myself, with all my ailments, but also I don’t look like myself. So it’s hard to imagine getting to know someone else when I feel so off. I know I’m still me but I want to be the best version of me when I’m possibly meeting my person. But also, I just want to have fun with my girls when this pandemic ends… so who cares anyway? lol


I’ve always been super independent. I haven’t lived with my parents since I was in high school so having them move to California to help take care of me was an adjustment.

I don’t really know how I would have survived this last year with out them upstairs to help. There were so many things that I normally would easily do for myself but all of the sudden couldn’t handle. I couldn’t do my own laundry, cook meals, grocery shop, drive to appointments, clean, walk up stairs, clip my finger nails, open bottles, pick up items, reach for things… the list goes on.

I mean not so long ago I was so weak that I couldn’t even button my jeans.


I was diagnosed at the beginning of the pandemic last year. Not being able to have visitors in the hospital with me for the months I was there alone was bad enough. But I also have to go to the clinic and all doctor’s appointments by myself and haven’t been able to go to friends houses or have visitors in my home. I’ve never spent so much time alone in my life.

Thank goodness for technology but I crave social interactions. I miss my friends.

I constantly talk with my friends about how it’s a silver lining that I did the rough part of my treatment during the pandemic so I didn’t miss out on too much. But I still have FOMO from the few little adventures that I am unable to do. Just a couple more weeks until I’m fully vaccinated!


Holy moly the scanxiety is real. I imagine this won’t ever get easier. I’ll live with this the rest of my life.

When I can’t sleep I google statistics about relapses and then my mind races and I just have to remind myself that I can’t even go there. I just have to manifest that I’ll only have to fight cancer this one time.

Sometimes I think about my brother who died from ALL but then I also think of my friend Natalie who had the same diagnosis when she was a kiddo and is doing great.

Deep breaths and happy thoughts…


This is one of the first things I thought of when I was diagnosed becuase many of my cancer survivor friends have had a difficult time with fertility along with the fact that I’m over 30 and do not have a husband or kids but do have a ticking biological clock.

I am currently in chemical menopause, in an attempt to save some of my eggs. Heyooo hot flashes. But I’m still in treatment until I’m 33 and there’s no guarantee I’m going to meet someone anytime soon. I’ll most likely freeze my eggs, if there are any left. TMI? I just know that I would very much like to be a mother.

I know it’ll all work out one way or another but this is a topic that’s often in the back of my mind.


Thank goodness I have great health insurance but I still have so many medical expenses that aren’t covered. I would much rather be spending that money on anything else. There are still a bunch of pending charges on my account that are like your insurance paid 90% of this bill but you owe $10,000 and I just have to wait and see if I’m actually charged that.

One day I was looking up on my account how much my first month in the hospital cost and it was $600,000.00. Let me say it again – six hundred thousand dollars. For one month! What do people who don’t have insurance do? That is not ok.


I read a comment on the instagram post that was from a young man saying he was diagnosed with ALL (which is my diagnosis) at 35 and was out of work for 3 years and I just thought how lucky am I that the longest I was out of work was for 6 weeks. I’m so grateful that I can work from home and feel well enough (most days) to do so. It’s actually given me something to do that makes me feel productive and helps pass the time. I can’t wait to actually get back to the office to be able to work in person. Again, I miss that human interaction. I’m sure a lot of people do.


I am not a part of any support group and haven’t participated in any cancer events, mostly due to the pandemic but also I’m just not aware of many for my age group/diagnosis. My clinic/cancer/hospital experience isn’t like a movie where I meet my soulmate or bff in the clinic… my empath soul just gets pretty sad waiting amongst the older patients, I wear my headphones so I don’t have to hear the old men snoring and try to make friends with the nurses because they’re the only ones around my age.

After the pandemic, my friend Lizzy and I plan to volunteer with a cancer organization. Everything’s on hold at the moment so we’ll have to do some research to find the right one when we’re able to. I’ll keep ya’ll posted.

For more info and/or resources on AYA Cancer Awareness visit the Stupid Cancer website.

Th-th-that’s all, folks.

A Bone Marrow Biopsy, Palm Springs & Pie

I woke up exhausted today. I haven’t been sleeping very well. A stranger on Instagram said she’s had the same problem and it might be because of the full moon last night. idk. I had a day jam packed with meetings for work and now I’m even more exhausted. Also, I have weird anxiety from social media crap that doesn’t even have to do with me or my life. Is that the full moon too? It’s also an empath problem. I’ve always had some sort of anxiety but since I was diagnosed with cancer during a pandemic I feel it differently. So fun, she said facetiously.

I had a bone marrow biopsy a couple weeks ago. I was super anxious about it because my last one was traumatic, but it went better than I expected. It was the same nurse practitioner that does my lumbar punctures so that helped because we’re homies. It was way quicker than my last one and only one part hurt really bad. I was sore for a long time afterwards though. It’s been a few weeks and it still feels a little tender. My results came back clear which means that the chemo is working and there’s no sign of cancer! Even though I’m on a break from chemo, I still had to get a blood transfusion when my counts were too low, and an infusion the infectious disease doctor said I needed to insure the cdiff doesn’t come back, since I’ve had it twice in the hospital now.

another day another blood transfusion

I feel so good these days. It’s insane how just a few weeks off of chemo can really make a difference in my body. I am walking like a pro. I don’t even use my walker or walking sticks anymore! I still waddle like a drunk toddler sometimes but hey, baby steps. Pun intended.

I’ve had a couple outings which have been delightful. My doctor said that since my counts are rising I’m less immunocompromised which means I can leave my bubble a bit. I still have to be extra cautious until I’m vaccinated, which will hopefully be soon.

My parents, Coco and I went to Palm Springs for the weekend a couple weeks ago to see my aunt and uncle and one of my best friends that was in town. It was so nice to leave my house, sit in the sun and socialize with one of my bffs. As my health is increasing I also need to boost my mental health and this weekend did just the trick. And last weekend I went up to see Amelia in her back yard. Again, just a couple hours in the sun with people I’ve missed so much means the world to me after the year I’ve had.

Palm Springs
Amelia’a backyard & chickens

Yesterday my mum wanted to check out Julian, a little town in the mountains known for their pie. We were not prepared for how freaking cold it was. Mum told us the temp before we left but didn’t take into account the wind factor. My dad was in shorts and slippers lol. So we drove all the way up there, got some pie and drove home. The pie was bomb though. We’ll go back when it’s warmer, and when I can drink wine again because there are a bunch of wineries on the way up.

so ono

Sorry this post was all over the place. I just wanted to send out a quick update since it had been a while. To summarize: Cancer’s gone. Still in treatment for a long time. But feeling good.

k bye

*please excuse any typos, I’m too tired to check Grammarly

World Cancer Day

Today is #worldcancerday. Even though my life has always been touched by cancer in some way – my brother died of cancer before I was born, growing up I volunteered at various cancer organizations, I traveled to DC to advocate for cancer research funding, I interned at the Ronald McDonald House in college, and I worked for a childhood cancer foundation for almost 5 years – I now have a completely different perspective of this dreadful disease.

This past year has been the hardest in my life. I’ve never felt so low, so sick, so helpless. I always knew the kiddos I worked with were strong but I understand on a whole new level now.

I guess this day is to help spread awareness but I’m pretty sure everyone’s very aware. I bet every person on earth has somebody in their life that has been affected by cancer. Which is why it’s important to do what we can to prevent, detect earlier and treat cancer successfully.

Some ways you can help is by making a donation to a reputable nonprofit, volunteering your time, donating blood, or sending your favorite bald mermaid funny memes to get through the tough times.

This year has been a rollercoaster ride (lots of ups and downs and vomiting) and I couldn’t have gotten through it without all your support, encouraging words, prayers and aloha. Thank you.

I’m Too Sexy For My Hair

I fell so hard in the clinic the other day. I was walking in and stumbled over my stupid numb toes. I cried out in pain and strangers came running. A little too cocky with my walking skills, I should have been using my walker instead of my walking poles. They put me in a wheelchair, took my vitals and did an incident report. I’m just relieved I didn’t hit my head. My doctor checked me out and everything seemed ok until I got home. Both knees, one ankle and the opposite foot started to hurt. I iced them all evening. I woke up in the middle of the night to use the restroom and I couldn’t put any weight on my foot. I sat and cried because I didn’t know what to do. I already have a hard enough time getting around. Luckily with the aid of some pain killers, towards the end of the day I started feeling better and was able to walk again.

you can see some bruises on my legs from my fall… but how cute is my sweet support doggo?

LOTS of chemo this week. On top of IVs, tummy shots and a lumbar puncture, I started a new chemo pill. The pharmacist said to not let anyone else touch the pills, keep them in the bottle (not in a pill box), and to wash my hands after I take them. If it’s that toxic to touch, imagine what it’s doing to my insides. Or don’t, chemo gives me enough anxiety as is – *insert emoji with huge “ahh” eyes.

I haven’t been nauseous yet, thankfully, but I woke up today with a headache and crazy body aches. The mouth sores are back. I’m also having difficulty with my vision. It’s hard to read this page even. I just feel unwell.

I’m on a break from my steroids thank goodness because the lack of sleep, puffiness and constant need to be eating were getting to me. One morning I was craving pizza for breakfast so I made (my mum made) a pizza bagel. Bagels make it breakfast-y. On a scale of 1-10, it was yum-tacular.

we should normalize pizza for breakfast

I look like cancer. A few years ago, when I worked for a kids cancer organization, I was with a group of kiddos at Alcatraz and requested for all of them to ride in the ADA cart to the top (it’s a long walk up a huge hill from the boat) and the attendant looked over at the group and said “all of them?” and I said “yes, we are a kids cancer organization” and he said “well they don’t all look sick” and I wanted to SMACK him. How do you know what “sick” looks like, bro? Don’t worry, I didn’t inflict violence and the kiddos got the ride to the top of “The Rock”. Well I look sick af. I glance in the mirror and I’m like woah. I’m super pale with weird bags under my eyes. My face is v round like a Cabbage Patch Kid. My hair is falling out like crazy. I think I look like Uncle Joey’s woodchuck puppet from Full House. The resemblance is uncanny, ay?

Same Same. *images are from google. please don’t sue me. the images of me are mine. obvi

As I was walking through the clinic the other day I took in all the people around me. I’m one of the younger patients there by far (sometimes I see other young adults but not often). But I just thought how sad it is that, because of covid, we can’t have any guests in the cancer center. If covid wasn’t happening these people would have their significant others, children or friends to help push them in a wheelchair, keep them company in the waiting room (where we spend a lot of time), and hold their hands during treatment. I’m ok going in on my own because I’m an I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T (do you know what that mean) woman but maybe I would feel differently if I had the option. Plus my mum has to spend a lot of time in the clinic’s parking lot.

how beautiful is this tree? mum really nailed it this year

In the wise words of Phoebe Buffay, 

“Happy Christmas Eve Eve”

*Pretend it’s yesterday – I meant to post then but I had a rough lp, almost fainted, went to bed as soon as I got home and didn’t get a chance to hit publish and don’t want to take out my “Friends” reference . mmk thanks.

WINTER SOLSTICE MOOD

We don’t really have seasons in Southern California but it gets dark awfully early these days. I’m excited for the Winter Solstice because that means the sun will start going down later from now on. It is a little chilly too (lol 60s) so I’m digging the cozy mood.

I wouldn’t mind some actual winter. This is the first Christmas I won’t be spending in Hawaii in a loooong time. Since I won’t have a tropical holiday I’m now craving snowy vibes. I thought maybe we could drive up to Big Bear or Idyllwild and rent a cabin but I googled it and apparently, there’s no snow yet. Plus I have to be in the clinic basically every day for the next two weeks getting chemo so I guess I’m staying put. Maybe later in the season, I’ll go seek a winter wonderland. Idk how my numb feet would handle snow anyway.

I whipped up this “winter” inspired mood board with the energy support of a white chocolate mocha – my current obsession (thanks steroids) since I’m still not sleeping much (again, thanks steroids). Speaking of, my Secret Santa at work sent me some white chocolate truffles and I have to pace myself. I’d like to eat them all in one sitting. One family tradition we’re missing this year is a large batch of pizzelles. My mum forgot the pizzelle maker in Hawaii (ugh). If anyone wants to send some my way I wouldn’t object. I’m usually not much of a sweets person but cancer has changed that. These days I’m a hangry sugar-craving monster.

Christmas looks a little different this year. I hope you get to spend it with loved ones (safely) and can still participate in some of your traditions. Mine are garlic shrimp for brunch, a day at the beach and a ride on the Sugar Cane Train. Guess we’ll have to raincheck on the latter two.

We plan to watch Elf on Christmas Eve. It’s our family’s favorite holiday movie. It won’t be the same without my nephew, who knows every word and is the funniest person I know. Maybe we’ll FaceTime that cotton-headed ninny-muggins so he can watch with us.

My world is v small at the moment and my creative outlets are limited due to mobility issues and crazy numb fingers so putting together this mood board was a mini pick-me-up on the (almost – I know it’s tomorrow but I’m impatient) shortest day of the year. Yay for getting a smidgen more daylight from here on out.

Happy Winter Solstice Ya’ll

*None of the photos in the mood board collage are mine. I found all of them on Pinterest.

Tell Your Homies You Love Them

My cancer treatment steroids give me crazy insomnia so I woke up at 3:30 this morning. Instead of the typical online shopping routine for the sake of my bank account, I channeled a wannabe VSCO girl and created this little collage.

If this year has taught me anything, it’s that life is too dang short.

This crap year feels like a blur. I’ve missed out on so much. With a worldwide pandemic happening, most of us feel that way, but with a suppressed immune system from chemotherapy, I’ve especially had to live in a bubble with little to no exposure to other people. Life is still happening around me. Several of my friends are getting engaged, having babies, and celebrating milestones and I could not be happier for them. I wish I could give hugs, jump for joy and just be around them.

My godfather passed away a couple of weeks ago, as if this year couldn’t get any worse. I know he knows how much I loved and admired the incredible man he was and how lucky I felt to be his goddaughter, but I wish I had told him more. I encourage you to share with your loved ones how you feel before you don’t have the chance to. Life can change in an instant.

I could not have gotten through this year without the support of dear friends from all over the world. Simple texts, funny TikToks, snail mail, sweet DMs, flower deliveries, FaceTimes and phone calls have kept me going.

I thank my lucky stars for all the memories and laughs I’ve shared with so many good friends over the years. I know that I’m going to beat this cancer and can’t even let myself think otherwise but I also know I’ve lived a full life thus far and am blessed to have had such beautiful experiences in just 32 short years. But don’t worry, I plan on filling my life with many many more.

Best friends make good times better and hard times easier.

So friends (you know who you are), aloha nui loa. You are everything to me. Life is about connection and relationships and somehow I hit the jackpot with all of you.

ILYSM

Things I’m Looking Forward to Doing Post COVID and Cancer

2020 has been such a strange year for everyone but I think my year has been a tiny bit crazier since I was diagnosed with leukemia. There are so many things that I miss since I’ve had to live in a bubble but instead of focusing on the negative, I’ve decided to make a list of things that I’m looking forward to doing once again.

1. Jumping in the ocean. I asked my doctor the other day if they’ll be taking out my PICC line when I move to the maintenance phase of my treatment and he said yes! Boom Shakalaka – that means I can jump in the ocean soon! And he’s like well you know the ocean is very cold right now. I was like I know but I’m just planning for the future and possibly a trip to Hawaii when it’s safe to travel again. But I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without swimming in the ocean and this mermaid is craving a magical dip.

my happy place

2. Eating poke. Beacause of my treatment, I’m not allowed to eat raw fish and it’s torture. Every time my mum asks what I want to eat my answer is “poke” and then she says “you can’t have poke” and I say “but that’s what I want”. Anyway, I’ve tried imitation crab “poke bowls” to try and satisfy the hankering but it’s not the same! I want spicy ahi from Tamura’s.

this photo makes my mouth water

3. Dancing. I miss dancing Tahitian and hula so much. I can barely walk up stairs, my muscles are all shot and I have bad neuropathy so I couldn’t even fathom trying to dance right now but I will get stronger and will shake my booty again.

I’ve been following this TikTok famous woman on social who was diagnosed with leukemia a month before me. She’s an incredible mother of 5 young kiddos and has had such a rough cancer journey as well. She’s a dance teacher and has been dancing through her treatments and I’m so inspired by her positivity. But sometimes it makes me sad that I can’t dance like she can. My body just isn’t strong enough at the moment. I have to remind myself of that quote “comparison is the theif of joy” and just believe my body will heal miraculously and I will dance again.

miss my ori sisters too

4. Traveling. This is an obvious one. I’m used to traveling allllllll the time that it’s been so bizarre to just sit at home for months on end day dreaming about different cultures, food, architecture and people. My Pinterest is full of adventures to be had. I’m thinking Paris, Greece, and Prague, or maybe Thailand and Kuala Lumpur or New Zealand. The list goes on and on honestly… I am open to recommendations.

Dublin with my momma a couple years ago

5. Hiking. Like I said above, I can’t even climb stairs without it feeling like Mt. Everest so I can’t wait for my body to be strong enough to just even stroll through nature. I miss trees, fresh air, playing word games with friends on the way up and the views at the top. I also love that I feel closer to God when I hike.

trees make me feel small

6. Going to a Broadway show. When I was 10 years old my mum took me to New York for the first time and we saw Annie Get Your Gun with the incredible Bernadette Peters as Annie Oakley and I FELL IN LOVE with Broadway. My eyes were glued to the stage and I sat in pure wonderment for two hours. It encouraged me to pursue acting and shortly after that trip, I auditioned for a local summer program where we performed Into the Woods. I was cast as just a woodnymph (aka chorus background nobody) but it kicked off a passion for performing and I participated in many musicals for years to come. For my 12th birthday, my parents surprised me with FRONT ROW tickets to see Annie Get Your Gun at the Paramount in Seattle. We were so close the actors were spitting on us and I brought my best friend who’s a redhead and the main actress pointed to her as they took their bows and said there’s the next Annie and winked at us. It was so special.

My mum and I have been watching a lot of cheesy movies on Netflix lately but they’re set in NYC and it makes me want to visit so bad. As soon as I kick this cancer’s butt and covid gets under control, we are booking flights to the Big Apple and are going to as many shows as possible. Starting with Mean Girls.

Lady Liberty in all her glory

7. Visiting museums. I enjoy museums, fun installations, and art pop-ups. I like learning new things and all but one of my favorite things to do in an art museum is rename the pieces. You know like a super old Renaissance painting that should be named “Cardi B’s WAP” or something stupid to spice it up. LOL. I’ve considered curating my own pop-up museum but that sounds like a lot of work. It’s still on my bucket list for when I have more energy and/or win the lottery.

Not sure I quite understand contemporary art but I try

8. Social gatherings. I miss my friends. I want to throw a dinner party. I want to have a glass of wine in a bar. I want to eat chips and salsa at a Mexican restaurant. I want to go to a baseball game. I want to attend a picnic at the beach. I want to dress up and dance the night away at 80s night at the Belly Up. I want to hug my bff.

< 3

I have high hopes for 2021 and just pray that we can all get back to a “normal life” soon. Ok your turn – what are y’all looking forward to doing most?

Shoots den.

Thanksgiving, Birthday & a Trip to the ER

I’ve started my last cycle of chemo! So far it’s going ok. No nausea, thank goodness. But I’m on a steroid that makes me VERY hungry and feel strange. It’s hard to focus and I feel really lousy and irritable. But I’ll take that over vomiting I guess. Also, my chipmunk face is back.

My girlfriends drove down from LA to visit and celebrate the beginning of the end of chemo
celebratory pumpkin pie

Right now I’m getting chemo once a week and then the weeks of Christmas and New Years I have chemo 4 times a week (party). While I was getting my first infusion of the new chemo I decided to google it. Bad idea. I discovered that it’s typically referred to as “The Red Devil” because it’s red in color and is the most toxic chemo drug. Lovely. I’m also still getting the chemo that makes my fingers and toes numb and now they’re number than ever. I tripped over my feet this morning because the neuropathy is so bad it’s hard to walk.

I spent two days in the ER this weekend. I woke up Friday morning with gnarly chest pains. I got ahold of the doctor on call and they told me to go to the ER because of my previous blood clot. I spent the day getting tests and waiting around for answers and finally at 6pm the cardiology team told me they wanted to admit me to the hospital because there was fluid around my heart and wanted to make sure it wasn’t getting worse. So I waited to be admitted. and waited. and waited. I finally just went to sleep around midnight since they never moved me. They did an echocardiogram the next day and I just waited around for hours. I was going bonkers. The first day I kept asking for water and snacks and the nurses would say they would ask someone and then never return. I was starving (see above about steroids). They finally brought me food at like 7pm and it was cold string beans and chicken (I dont eat chicken). Day two they at least started bringing me food and water. But it was again food that I don’t eat. So I was living off saltine crackers. I also didn’t have my phone charger with me (rookie mistake) so all I could do to keep myself occupied was watch Say Yes to the Dress and Property Brothers. It’s also scary to be in an ER in the middle of COVID, especially where you have to share a bathroom with the other patients. Towards the end of the second day I asked the nurse if I was just allowed to leave and she said no. I googled it and I guess if you leave the hospital without being discharged your insurance won’t cover it. I was considering making a run for it. Picture me with my walker running out of the ER in the green gown with my booty hanging out. She messaged the BMT team that I wanted to leave and my oncologist (luckily) was rounding that day so he came by. He said that he hadn’t heard from the cardiology team (of course) but the scan looked ok to him so I could go home. Hallelujah! The silver lining in this crappy ER experience is that we found out that the blood clot in my lungs is gone. My doctor said as a birthday gift I could stop my daily belly lovenox shots. What a relief! My parents picked me up and I went straight to get a burrito.

bored af in the ER – discovered instagram selfie filters

I had my first outing of the year. We drove out to Palm Springs for Thanksgiving. We stayed at my aunt and uncles house. There were just a few of us but we all wore masks around each other and social distanced and ate outside. I stayed in the casita away from everyone anyway. But it was so pleasant to lay in the sun by the pool. It was nice to just be somewhere that wasnt my home or the clinic. I wore my wig and put on a dress!

yay for being out of bed!

Sunday was my birthday. It was lovely to hear from so many friends. I truly have the best people in my life. I can’t wait to see you all again. I just relaxed at home and had Thai food for dinner. As much as it sucks that I’m turning a year older when I feel like I was ripped off this year I also can’t help but be thankful I lived to see another year. But we could all decide together to subtract a year from our age because 2020 shouldn’t count. Who’s with me?

I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have a few more weeks of chemo and hopefully these COVID vaccines will start happening and we can get back to “normal” life soon-ish.

Tootles