Friday, February 1, 2013

5 years cancer free!!!!

As of January 31st I am officially in remission from Hodgkin's Lymphoma! What a difference 5 years makes! God is SO good!

I went from having just graduated college, working in marketing, newly married and building our 1st home to cancer in just 7 months. I've always told people God was into the details with me. By accident, I took too many credit hours in college and graduated a semester early so Daniel and I moved our wedding up from the summer to April. I got a job working at a marketing company that had a waiting period for health insurance of 6 months. I started feeling sick in May and would rally for a few days and then feel worse again. As frustrated as I was that it took doctors 3 months to figure out what was wrong with me, if they had been quick, my insurance wouldn't have kicked in yet.... and I would certainly be in a very different financial situation than I am now! I had full insurance for 11 days when I was given my diagnosis! The company I was hired by let me work from home when I didn't feel well or when my cell count was too low to be in public which was a huge blessing. Graduating early meant that I had a job, insurance and a husband during my cancer. God is SO good!

I called the oncologist this week and asked "What does this 5 year mark mean for me?" We've always just discussed the plan to remission. Well.... it's here so now what? Honestly, not much changes on the treatment/prevention front but mentally, it feels different. Each time I've gone for a scan, I've sat down and thought out a "what if" plan. What if it's back? What if I have to move to Duke? What would I do with the kids? It was always comforting to my Type A self to have a plan... thankfully one that I've never had to implement. I'm not saying I'll never think these thoughts again but the "what ifs" don't seem to bare as much weight anymore. It's liberating. God is SO good!

I finally sat down and watched this season of Parenthood. The one where Kristina has breast cancer. While our cancers were different, I related to each step of her journey from diagnosis, to waiting for treatment, to the 1st chemo, days of consuming massive amounts of sugar, days where you want to retreat, moments where people stare awkwardly at you, having fun with wigs, set backs and that last chemo treatment where you finally see the light at the end of the nauseating tunnel. I'm just SO thankful that my experience was while I was young, otherwise healthy and without children. That definitely would have been so much harder. I praise God for sparing my children from that and for giving me children despite my grim odds! God is SO good!

Like I said, God is SO into the details with me. My mom prayed the vainest prayer ever and asked God to not let me eye brows and eye lashes fall out so I didn't look so sick. Check the pictures... they thinned but I kept them! He saved some of my eggs so I could have these miracle babies. Oh how I love parading them into the oncology office dressed ridiculously cute with big ass bows on. Despite the trail of crushed goldfish we leave in the office, I think they brighten some of the patient's days. God is SO good!

Tomorrow I'm having a party... for me.... thrown by me where we will celebrate.... me. We'll also be celebrating God's goodness, grace and mercy but I' not sure if God likes to celebrate with wine and cake as much as I do.  I thought this was going to be a great idea and now I feel silly for doing it but is there really a better reason to throw a party, drink margaritas, eat cake and dance? I think not. To being 5 years cancer free!!!! CHEERS!

I thought I'd share personal photos of that time. I believe I've shared 1 or 2 before but not these. Excuse the pictures of pictures. These aren't on my computer anymore.

The day I had my hair cut off for locks of love
Goodbye pretty hair!
Receiving my 2nd chemo. Steroids for nausea packed on the pounds fast. I may be the only cancer patient to gain 15 pounds during chemo but at least I felt better than most! Sour patch kids give you a momentary break from your mouth tasting like metal.  The dose of chemo I took made me hot and sweaty one moment and freezing the next so in most pictures I wore a tank top, coat and a blanket to cover all temperature changes.
This is how I slept during chemo thanks to ambien. I STILL miss ambien sleep. BEST pharmaceutical drug ever created. You sleep for 8 hours and wake up ready to conquer the day. Tear.... until we meet again, ambien.

This was me at my sickest. You can tell I was a weird shade of green, puffy and my eyes were pretty lifeless. The woman on the right was my infusion nurse.
After my 1st clean scan! My mother actually had dairy queen make a cake that said "Taylor kicked cancer in the ass." Not a word I've ever heard her throw around! :) Also, what in the world am I wearing? Anyways, still looking green but certainly happy to have a clean scan... and eat ice cream cake.
Brittney Spears shaved her head, wore a shirt like this and beat a man's car with an umbrella while I was bald so I rocked this for Halloween. I can't tell how how many dumb people in the grocery store would ask me when they saw my bald head:  "You a big Brittney Spears fan?" Quite the opposite, thank you!


  1. This post makes me BEAM with pride!!! Our God is SO GOOD!!!!! :-)

  2. I'll raise a glass to this! I say go big, throw a big ol' party. Go get a new outfit, paint your nails and CELEBRATE. This IS a day to celebrate. So glad you're on the other side of this!!!! :)

  3. You're an inspiration. Here's to a rich and healthy life!