Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Go Bald or Go Home

I've been laying awake since 5 a.m. unable to fall back asleep which is something very rare to me. If any of you know me, you that I can sleep through anything. When I was a kid at the racetrack I would take naps during any class you can name, including the jet cars. (Seriously, we have pictures!) Now I can't even sleep through my roommate's alarm clock through two closed doors and a hallway. (Stupid 6 a.m. football runs) I'm wondering if it's a side effect of the chemo or the cancer itself or just being overall more restless and on edge but over the past month or so I have been the lightest sleeper. It's actually pretty creepy, every time I fall asleep on the couch and Brian tries to take the remote from me, I wake up instantly. I'm pretty sure it scares him every single time but hey what can I say, don't change my shows! ;)

Anyways, as I mentioned in my last post my hair has started falling out. Not something every 20 year old girl normally deals with when they wake up and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bugged by it. I can't say that I'm sad because hello it's just hair but in my point in life right now, unfortunately looks are a big deal. Not many college boys are gonna see bald and think, "Wow she's good looking." (Or whatever it is that college boys say, let's keep it PG here!) But at the same time I'm almost excited that it's coming out because that means the drugs are working and that I'm one step closer to a normal healthy life again. I think to sum it all up in one word, I'm anxious. Anxious about going bald, anxious about putting school on hold, anxious about if I'm being a good enough coach for my team. It's just an overlying feeling that seems to come with every situation now and I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with that.

Coming into all of this I never would've expected the amount of support I have received. I realize I say this in every post but it truly is the most important part of my entire journey. It's so humbling to know that all of you guys have my back and that we're all in this together. I love you guys so much and I'll be forever indebted to every single one of you. So much love to all of you!!! Xoxox.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Welp.. This sucks

So as you all know, I had my second chemo treatment this week meaning we're officially finished with round one! There is good news and bad news that comes with that.. The good news is that we're already finished with one round of treatment, but the bad news is we actually have one more additional round of chemo. As we went in to check with Dr. Halawni before treatment on Thursday, he told us that we are actually doing four months of treatment rather three. Just a little setback I guess. I'm willing to go through whatever it's going to take to get me back to 100%!

As far as my symptoms have been this time around... not as fun as the first treatment. The nausea is REAL. I can't get out of bed without feeling lightheaded and queazy and needing to throw up. Unfortunately the medication I take to help control the nausea makes it so that I cannot throw up, or release pressure from the other end either. (Sorry if that's too much information!) Lucky for me though, I have new symptoms to worry about. Like swollen gums and mouth sores all down my throat, or a tender scalp and the loss of my cotton candy pink hair. Yep... My hair has officially started falling out. My dad and a bunch of his friends from work have decided to make a party about it so Tuesday the 28th at noon we will have a huge head shaving party! If you're a guy and willing to shave your head or if you just want to come party with us let me know and I will get you the address! It's gonna be fun and we'll have food ;)

As of right now I've just been snuggling my lovely couch pretty much 24/7 waking up for the occasional  snack. My tastebuds have changed for the worse so a lot of foods that I'm craving or would normally love taste horrible and metal-y. And because of all of my new awesome symptoms you could guess that I'm a little grumpy. Sorry Mom, Dad, Brian, Bobby and anyone else that I may have freaked out on.. 

Love you all! Xoxox

Monday, January 20, 2014

Diets or Donuts?

I think I got in a little over my head with my last post about dinner and laundry. My fridge is currently stocked with pre-made dinners whether it's homemade, store bought, or restaurant leftovers. I am definitely not complaining about it, I'm so excited every time I open my fridge and see so many delicious options but I think my scale is a little upset... as well as my esophagus aka heartburn. Before my diagnosis, I had spent the last 4-5 months sticking to a 90% clean diet and spending hours in the gym every week. The freshman fifteen is a real thing, especially when I was playing volleyball at Westminster. And let's just say our team loved food. Well I finally realized that I wanted to get healthy and stuck to a fairly strict (vegetarian) diet for a few months. And I love it honestly. It sounds cheesy but eating clean is really fun once you know what you're doing. I even made a bet with my roommate about who could get a six pack faster and I was definitely winning until cancer had to ruin our party!

Me pretending to get a six pack
As I wrote about in one of my earlier posts, my doctor was very specific about me not being on a diet. His exact words were, "if you want a chocolate shake, eat a chocolate shake." Well I don't know many people who have that much self control but I know that I don't. Not to mention one of the worst side effects of all of this is the fatigue. I need daily naps not daily workouts so it's safe to say that I've gained back a few of those pounds that I lost. (Crazy to thing I had that much weight to lose but I was down 21 pounds from what I weighed my freshman year of college!)

After this is all said and done and I start getting back into my normal life again I can promise you that I'm going to have a better six pack than Brian ;) Until then though, bring on the donuts and comfort food because when I'm sick to my stomach 50% of the day, you better believe that I'm going to eat however many donuts I need to make me feel better. My stepmom told me a story about the time she ate the worst donut ever.. Want to know how it tasted? Delicious. Moral of the story? There is no such thing as a bad donut.

That's all I have for now. I start my second round of chemo this week and hopefully it goes as good or better than the first round. Wish me luck!


P.S. I figured if my hair was gonna fall out then it might as well be pink..


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Chemo update

I'm sorry that I haven't updated you guys since I've been in for my first chemo treatment but I think it's assumed that I haven't felt up to it. The first couple of days after chemo were not that bad because I probably slept 80% of them, but since then... all I can say is nausea. Pretty much all day every day I feel sick to my stomach to the point where I want to throw up but the worst part is I can't actually throw up! I've been able to a few times in the middle of the night which was awesome but horrible cause there's not many things in the world worse than throwing up.... Well except for the nausea I've been having. So in this case I was stoked. Hopefully we will have better luck with more puking or less nausea.. at this point I'll settle for either one. 

I've been hearing a million of people asking what they can do for me and I am so thankful but unless you want to come do my laundry or cook me dinner than the crappy part is there really isn't anything else to do! I just have to feel really tired and sick for a couple of months. (Unless you really want to come do my laundry and cook me dinner cause I would LOVE it!)

I've decided to take the entire semester off of school.. I couldn't justify my dad spending $800 on one class that I'm not likely to put 100% effort into and quite frankly, I don't think I should have to justify it at all! So all I'm doing at the moment is coaching my little 13 year olds (volleyball, obviously) which are all so awesome by the way! I had the big cancer talk with them and they were so cute and told me I would look beautiful bald and that they were going to be on their best behavior for me from here on out. (Which I think they fibbed a little on that part😜) (PS yay I finally figured out how to put emoji's on this thing!! 🎉) Not to mention the very thoughtful gifts they got me. I also can't thank the administration at Aces enough.. Jana and Mike, you guys are seriously so awesome to work with! Thanks for being so extraordinary and understanding through all this. I am just so blessed

Well I think that's really all for now.. Xoxox!!

PS.. My blog has almost reached 10,000 views!! HOLY, what??!! Thanks for reading!!!!!!!! 😘

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Chemo Day 1

Yay we started chemo today! And yes that yay is only semi sarcastic.. Sure it's poison for my body and will make me sick as a dog and my hair fall out but it is also what's going to kill the cancer and eventually make me healthy again (at least that's the goal), so yay for that. I'm just excited to finally get started on treatment and to make some progress. 

So this morning I went in at 7 am to get my port placed, then directly to the clinic to get blood work done and then off to the infusion wing to get started on chemotherapy. The port that they had placed was under my skin right below my right collarbone, so of coarse they needed to do surgery for it. The best part though is that they didn't even knock me out! Yeah I was awake for the entire time and I'm not going to lie to you guys, it was awesome. They heavily drugged me..and I mean heavily. It was one of the weirdest things I have ever experienced but in a good way. Before they drugged me into a twilight state though, the doctor taps my shoulder. He says, "Okay Lexi, I have an extremely important question to ask you before we get started.. What music do you listen to on Pandora?" I think this is by far the coolest, (and cutest) doctor by far. So during my twilight zone surgery, i was graced with the sound of TIm McGraw and the occasional harmony of my cutie doctor. Yeah, it was pretty cool.

So after I finished up there I went and had my labs done and then we were off to the infusion wing. And no I wasn't nervous because of my amazing drugs from the morning, I was still on cloud nine. So they wheeled me around in my wheelchair showing me a tour of the place that I'm about to start spending a lot of my time at and then took me to my station. It was this little cubicle looking thing with a really comfy recliner, a couple chairs, a TV, and an amazing view of Salt Lake, The University campus and the BLIZZARD that we were gifted with today. 

My nurse came in and explained to my parents and I the drugs she's using, and how she'll use them. She first gave me an IV drip of some anti-nasuea medicine and the proceeded to pump me full of the ABVD that I talked about earlier. The whole time that I was in my cubicle receiving the drugs was only about four hours which was pretty good compared to the six hours we were anticipating. 

Overall it was a pretty good experience for my first chemo session! I'm feeling a little sick and groggy after it but overall not too bad. Let's hope everything continues to go as smoothly as it has been! Thank you guys for the continued overwhelming amount of support! I know that I say this every time, but I truly am so blessed to have all of you in my life! And for those of you that I don't know personally, I appreciate you taking the time to read my story! I love you all xoxox


I'm pretty late on posting this but I know a few of you wanted to see my new haircut and the wigs that I tried on so here I am! Once I found out that it was for sure cancer and that I was going to lose my hair, I did the cliché thing and chopped all of my hair off.


As you can see it was a well needed haircut! After going blonde my hair was fried but now it's a lot more thick and healthy..not like that will matter in two weeks though.

As soon as my wonderful step-mom cut off all of my hair, we went wig shopping and I found the most amazing wig..!
 Okay just kidding I look like a grandma haha! Not like that's a bad thing if you're a grandma reading this, my grandma's are smoking hot but that's just not really my style ;) However I did try on a couple of wigs that were really cute! Feel free to give me your opinions on which ones you think look best too, I'm still deciding which I should get. The cool thing with this shop we went to is that every wig is customizable with length, color, and style too so let me know what you guys think! 

I only tried on blonde and one red because I'll be honest, this whole cancer thing is exhausting..literally. As you can tell from a fake smile or two, I was due for a nice nap. Hopefully I'll be able to go back and try on some browns before my hair falls out. 

Well that's all for this post! Love you guys xoxox 

Friday, January 3, 2014

The results are in...!

We finally got all the test results back and went to the doctor yesterday to hear an exact diagnosis. Drum role please.... Stage 2b Hodgkin's Lymphoma! That means that it's still in the early stages (awesome), and it hasn't spread below my diaphragm or into my bone marrow (really awesome). 

So now what? Well I will go in on Thursday morning to get my port put in, which is basically a little device that they'll put under my skin that makes it easy to administer the chemo, draw blood, all the fun stuff. It's like a little hub they make for easier access to my bloodstream. Then as soon as they've inserted that, I'll head downstairs to start my first chemo treatment! 

The chemotherapy that I'll have is called ABVD, which is made up of four different drugs that I'll receive each time I go in. (The A which stands for Adriamycin is the one that makes me lose my hair.. not cool) This first time I'll have to receive the chemo for about six hours, but all the other times should only last about two hours. When chemo is administered it's given in rounds and each round consists of 2 treatments about 14 days apart. I will have three rounds of chemo (3 months) and then we'll go back in and repeat all the tests that I had last week to determine if the cancer is gone or if I'll need three more months of treatment. Hopefully it will be gone by then and we won't need to do anymore chemo or start any radiation therapy.

Today we went to the fertility clinic to talk about the affects of chemo on fertility and if it's worth it to freeze my eggs for the future for when I do decide to have kids. The chances of the chemo causing infertility in my case is only about 9% and in order to freeze my eggs we would have to put off any cancer treatment for a few weeks, not to mention spend about $10,000. I know that one day I will have kids but I also know that everything happens for a reason.. not to mention fashion school in LA is not cheap.. So with all that in mind, I think I'll take my 9% odds and put that potential money towards FIDM. Which was the coolest school I have ever been to hands down! I am so in love, and I can't wait to apply once all of this is finally over! 

I love you all like crazy and am so blessed to have the support from everyone that I do. Let's get this treatment on the road and start kicking cancer to the curb so we can all go to San Antonio State! (That's not what I meant to type obviously but Friday Night Lights is playing in the background and you know how when you're listening to something and typing at the same time and you end up typing what you hear and not what you were thinking? Haha yes that's what happened there and it actually fit in the sentence so I left it hahah) Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose! Xoxox