Thursday, December 3, 2015

Surgery: Success? or Failure?

Welcome to the latest edition of my life.

You know what? I feel sick lately. Not THAT kind of sick, come on... it makes me sick to see how we are treating each other. I mean wow. BYU plays Utah in a sport and all of the sudden everyone jumps at each others throats just because they have a preference for a different team? You disagree in the political world? Watch out for some not-so politically correct words to be thrown your way on Facebook by the kid you sat next to in 5th grade. It just makes me feel awful. Call me "cliche" or whatever, but you know what? The freaking beatles were right. ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE. I just really wish we could be nicer to each other. Sheesh. Life is already hard, why are we making it harder by being mean? Don't get me wrong.. I am not perfect. At all. But I am trying to change, I am trying to see the good in people. I WANT to give people the benefit of the doubt. I think that is a good place to start.

Sorry I had to get that little rant out of the way. On the bright side, surgery was very successful!! The operation (to remove the cancerous tumor) went just about as good as it could have gone. I had surgery Monday morning, and was sent home on Wednesday morning (due to good behavior;). I have been laying down, recovering ever since! I am not exaggerating. I literally lay around all day. I might have lost my mind by now, if my super awesome girlfriend Jessy didn't visit me. For some reason she doesn't mind sitting on the couch with me for hours on end. What a doll.

Yeah, I am dating someone now. Don't act so surprised! Give me a little more credit. Ha! I have known Jessy since 7th grade, and couldn't be happier that we are dating. I can't tell you how grateful I am for her! She has seen it all. A wide range of physical and emotional pain. She has been there for me way before we started dating. Few people know me quite like she does, and I don't know if anyone has seen me at my lowest points like she has. Anyway, I could write about her forever. I am just glad that 9 years ago I had the guts to talk to her on the stage at OJH. (Is this cheesy enough for you jessy?) :)

As of now I am "N.E.D" which stands for "no evidence of disease". I am not technically cancer free until there is no evidence for five years. But I will take it for now!! I am going to UVU next semester, and looking to live life as fully as I can. You don't have to be on your deathbed to take life by the horns. You really do have to live every day like you are dying.

I noticed something interesting!! Talking to people about cancer was weird, unless it was someone who also had cancer. You can totally relate to each other on such a higher level because they understand what you are going through. I was so grateful to have conversations with fellow cancer-warriors, it was just relieving! I longed for those rare talks because it didn't happen very often. Finally it hit me, God knows. *Here I am crying while I type this* but really. He knows. I was able to go to the Forgotten Carols last week (shoutout to the Russell family for taking me) and I had a very spiritual experience. If you have ever been, you know that at the end Michael McLean has everyone sing a song together, but he also asks people to think about specific things. He asked us to picture Jesus Christ. In that moment, I was just overcome. I had flashes of my worst days in the hospital. Writhing in pain at my house, screaming at the wall because I didn't think I could do another day (that was only after 4 chemo treatments). Then I saw all of those times, and Jesus was literally there. I saw Him next to my bed. Standing in my room. When I cried? He cried. When I couldn't move without throwing up, he was sitting next to me patting me on the back. God knows. He is the one person that can always relate to you.

We all have trials but it is my belief that we "can-cer vive" anything that life tries to throw at us. Just remember that life is whatever we make it. I choose to make it good, cancer (free) and all.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Run, Forrest, Run!!

Surgery got rescheduled.. again. Before you get too upset, it was our fault this time!! I know. I know. Who would have thought that we would ever try and push the surgery back? Well we did! It was for good reason though. I was nominated to be a "Thursday's Hero" for the BYU football program! (Google it if you are really interested to learn more). I was able to go to a practice, get a tour, and meet the coaches/players! It was SO DANG COOL. I even asked Tanner Mangum to throw me a deep pass... it only took two attempts to catch it :) So they are giving me tickets to go to the last home game! The only problem? The only home game is on the 21st. One day after my surgery date. Therefore we pushed the surgery back until the 23rd!!

I finished with radiation!! 28/28 treatments completed. Yay! 

Kevin Padilla is the man!! He is organizing a "Seanstrong" 5k run this Saturday (November 14th)!! It starts at 9am, and boy would I love to see all of you there. My mom has been working hard to put this together, and so has the amazing Sam Hadlock (the best graphic designer ever)!. They are all trying to make his event the best it can be! All of the money we earn will be donated to Synovial Cell Sarcoma (my rare type of cancer) research!! So please, come and party with us!! If you really don't like to run, we do need volunteers! Here is the website to sign up:

I have been pretty selfish lately. Even though treatments are over, I still feel awful a lot of the times. Its mainly fatigue/exhaustion. It sucks physically, but it gets to you mentally after living like that for 8 months or however long it has been. I started thinking things like "how come people don't understand what I am going through", etc. I couldn't explain how difficult it was to just make it through a day.. and I stopped trying because I realized how annoying the complaining was. BUT then one day it hit me pretty hard. How often does Jesus Christ want us to just understand what He went through, and take time to sympathize with him? Man I felt like an idiot after that. He went through so much more than me, and He deserves the attention/thoughts. 

Cancer sucks but I really do feel like I have aged 50+ years (physically and mentally). Lots of life experiences and thoughts packed into a few months. What a ride it has been.

We all have trials but it is my belief that we "can-cer vive" anything that life tries to throw at us. Just remember that life is whatever we make it. I choose to make it good, cancer and all.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

How would you like your meat cooked? RARE.

If you are wondering about the title of this post.. I chose that because this is entry is going to be very RAW. I don't want to be superficial, I want to be genuine. So lets see how this goes.

Actually I should probably start by saying that I didn't get surgery on September 21st! Surprise!! Yep. They postponed it again. I really should start expecting these things to happen now... The reason for pushing it back is because now I am going through radiation treatments. Wahoo (Insert extreme sarcasm here). I am about half way done with radiation, and surgery is now scheduled for late November. But hey, don't expect that to actually happen. 

Okay back to the point of this post.

Ever since I was diagnosed I chose to ignore what I was facing. It just made it easier. I tried not to think too much. By doing those things, I blocked out a lot of emotions. Yeah, I had an occasional bad day... but nothing too bad. I have recently learned how poisonous it can be to hold those kinds of feelings in. Let me fill you in.

For some reason everything has caught up to me lately. I have lost interest in things that used to excite me. I am usually a very social person, but recently being around people has lost it's appeal. I cry a lot when I am alone. I don't mean just tears, but uncontrollable sobbing. Thinking about my future makes me sick. I don't want to deal with it anymore. I am at the point where I have had enough... I get so frustrated that I have to put up with all of this crap. I mean, how much can one person take?! It is so hard to look to the future with a positive attitude, when all I want to do is curl up in a ball and not have to deal with anything. 

Something else that is hard? Ever since starting this blog I have felt the need to be some type of hero. I feel like people view me as this "amazingly positive" person. "Oh Sean, you are such an inspiration" etc. I love that I have inspired people, I truly do. Please don't misunderstand that. BUT in the past I forced myself to fake some things.. because I never wanted to disappoint anyone. I wanted to be that hero! Whoever is reading this, I wanted to be your hero. I learned that you can't last very long on a lie that you tell yourself. WE can all be an inspiration, or whatever, but that doesn't mean we have to be perfect. What kind of bull is that? HA I am thinking about it now and laughing! We have to be realistic with our surroundings and FEEL emotions that are meant to be felt. Imperfections don't make us weak. They make us REAL. OH MY GOSH. I wish I knew this months and months ago. I just want to scream this all at the top of my lungs!!!! Just be yourself. Make the best with what you have. Don't block out important feelings. Understand that you aren't perfect, and that is something quite beautiful if you think about it. (I will think out loud about that... How amazing is the love we have for spouses, friends, family, etc? They are all imperfect, yet for some reason that makes us love and support them even more... It is flipping beautiful!! Think about it)

I am really loving this rant right now. Stay with me, it isn't over yet.

I am just going to throw this out there. I started seeing a therapist. Boy oh boy, I needed to. There are so many awful things that come with cancer. I got pretty addicted to my pain killers. (Side note, I had a terrible run in with constipation... I am no longer addicted to them! Yes it was that bad). Anyway, after that horrible experience I basically swore off those pills. Guess what? Withdrawals suck. I can't even describe it. MORAL of the story... that, along with other depressing feelings, led me to see a therapist. By the way, there is nothing wrong with seeing a therapist. Please get rid of that stigma. You don't have to be psychotic to seek that kind of help. I tell you all of this because I want you to realize the kind of effect that this experience with cancer has had on me. There was a time that I almost tried to convince myself how grateful I was to get cancer... Say what?! I was trying to be the golden boy.. look how amazing he is! He even loves the thing that is killing him! What a great guy. WRONG. I disgust myself sometimes. I hate cancer. I hate what it has done to my life. I hate how much it has changed me, physically AND emotionally AND mentally. Wow it sucks. Gotta be honest, and it feels good. Seriously, just be honest with yourself and everyone around you.

I walked into my appointment with my therapist and I was looking for answers! I wanted to be cured. I got advice, but it wasn't exactly what I was looking for.. He told me about how fighting depression is like swimming upstream (sounds daunting already, huh?). You have to do things that you don't want to do in order to overcome the feelings of depression. Well gee, thanks doc. That is literally the opposite of what I wanted to hear! Well, he is right. He was saying that if depression was a living thing it would eat/live on negative thoughts, dark rooms, lonely days, etc. I thought that was so interesting! Lately I have felt like compromising my standards, doing stupid things, etc... I could sense myself at a fork in the road of life. I could choose what path to take, and it was almost liberating. As tempting as some things sounded.. I realized that I just want to be true to myself. Yeah it sucks. Yeah sometimes I don't want to do the "right things", but I just have to do them. That is my golden advice for the week... do the things you know you should, even when you don't want to. 

I struggle. You struggle. Hey! We all struggle. Lets try a little harder to be more realistic with ourselves, and those we love. It sure does go a long way. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The WHY Factor

Well I suppose it is time for an update, eh? Pardon my Canadian. It is in my blood... to some degree. I think? Man now I need to double check on that. Anyway. As of August 7th, I am DONE with chemo. Can you talk about relief? SHEESH. I won't go into the dirty details, but I am so relieved that I won't have to experience the miserable hell that comes along with those treatments anymore. It feels good to be moving onto the next chapter of this adventure.

Speaking of which! I have my surgery date! I am scheduled for the 21st of September. Honestly? A little farther out than I was expecting.. but I can work with that!! My only task before surgery, is to get as healthy/physically fit as possible. Well that is what my parents heard the doctor say... I actually heard, "Eh just watch TV and Movies like you have been doing!". So that is basically 100% of my days now, and what can I say? Just trying to follow doctors orders ;)

I have had a lot of time to think lately... (you can blame it on the cabin fever). I couldn't figure out why it is easier to endure some things, but it can be near impossible to endure other things. It especially boggled my mind when the two "things" were very similar. What was it exactly that made such a huge difference? I finally realized it all depends on the WHY. The WHY factor is huge. If you want to get on a deeper level.. the WHY factor affects every aspect of your life. Have you ever asked yourself why you do the things that you do? Why do you wake up in the mornings? Why do you go to school? Think about it. Really figure out WHY you are doing these things. I did that for myself, and then I started to think about the things that I hardly ever want to do. I will give you an example to help illustrate what I am talking about:

Picture a young father with a few kids. He comes home from work, and he is exhausted. He looks over in the corner and notices the dirty dishes calling his name. He knows that they need to be done, so he does them. TIME-OUT. He was dreading those dishes right? Well what happens to our young father when he takes a minute to step back. He has time to realize that his kids (whom he absolutely loves) wouldn't be able to eat without their father taking care of that menial chore. Now he understands one reason WHY the dishes need to be done, and it changes his perspective on doing the dishes. 

Alright, it was a stretch... I will admit that. But do you see the point behind it? If you take time to realize WHY you might be going through a trial, or WHY you have to do chores that are seemingly a waste of time, then you can have a whole new perspective. A perspective that can lead to more happiness and a greater sense of purpose. Two things I believe we are all searching for. 

Let me clarify something though. I think everyone understands the concept of prayer, whether you are religious or not. I have said this before, but I try to never ask God the big "WHY" question. As in, "Why did this happen to me?!" It is always more productive to ask "WHAT" can I learn from this. The WHY factor is something that can help us though. I have pondered long and hard about why I need to go through this cancer trial right now... After thinking about it for long enough, some things hit me!! I honestly believe that part of the reason is for you. Yes you. Whoever might be reading this message. I am trying to turn this horrible diagnosis around and inspire people in their lives. I don't claim to be this great inspiration, but if a couple people can walk away inspired after reading this, or meeting me, I am doing something right! There you go. I found part of my WHY, and it has helped me endure the treatments. Life is always more difficult without a purpose. I am glad to have found a purpose for all of this pain and misery. 

This was way too long. Moral of the story? No matter what you do, there is a greater purpose to it than you might think. As long as you apply the "WHY" factor, you can learn what that purpose is. Once you understand that, and have a purpose, clear the way!! That is when magic will happen in your life. (excuse the cheesy last-liner)

We all have trials but it is my belief that we "can-cer vive" anything that life tries to throw at us. Just remember that life is whatever we make it. I choose to make it good, cancer and all.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Keep Calm and Fight On

Sometimes in life you find yourself not knowing what exactly to say... for me, it happens almost on a daily basis. I mean what exactly am I supposed to say when everyone and their dog (seriously a dog asked me this the other day) asks "How are you doing??". Haha oh boy, talk about a loaded question. I always take a minute to step back and evaluate where this person is coming from. Do they really want to know? Or are they just trying to be nice? For the most part I just mutter out a simple "I am hanging in there!", because that is the easiest way to answer the question. Occasionally I will actually tell people how things are going, but that usually freaks them out and then THEY are the ones who don't know what to say. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate people caring enough to ask how I am doing... But I care enough about them to not go into details about how things are really going.

Having cancer has yielded a number of awkward experiences for me. Most of the time I don't mind it, and find it entertaining, but recently even I felt a little uncomfortable. Someone I hadn't seen in a while came up to me at an event I was at, and they started rubbing my head. Which by the way, really doesn't bother me. I think most people look at my head thinking to themselves "I really want to put my hands all over that". Not saying I totally understand WHY, just saying it seems to happen a lot. Anyway. This person starts to rub my head and asks me, "Why did you do this?!" and, "It is a good look for you". Uhhh talk about awkward. I was in the middle of a conversation with a friend and we both just looked at each other. I responded with, "I dunno.. it kind of just happened". Hahaha! Whew good times. 

I don't understand a lot of things, and let me tell you one of the many things that falls into that category. Since I have been diagnosed with cancer I have had a lot of people tell me things like "If anyone can beat this, you can" and "Keep fighting!". Those things sound nice in theory, but what the heck do they actually mean? I thought to myself.. How do I "fight" this? I was clueless. It's not like I could put on boxing gloves and get in the ring with my tumor (although I am sure that would be a sight to see). No, it must mean something else. Then I got to thinking, what about those that have died from cancer? Did they "lose" their fight? Absolutely not. If this thing kills me, I will not be a known as a loser. SO that being said... what does it mean?! You beat cancer by the way you live your life. You have to refuse to let it define you. I may be down and out for a while, but I still live life to the fullest. In between treatments I have found myself wake boarding, tubing, flying to California, driving to Arizona, paddle boarding, working out, swimming, kayaking, running a mile (well close to a mile.. I almost made it without throwing up everywhere), etc. I may be exhausted, and miserable at times, but I won't let this stupid cancer win.

The hard times in our life do not define us. Just remember to take them head on. Continue to live your life the best you can. Fight through those times, even if it requires blood sweat and tears. Trust me, I know how hard it can be.. but those painful experiences have been some of the most fulfilling times of my whole life. You can take comfort in looking at the people around you, because we are all FIGHTING our own battles. 

We all have trials but it is my belief that we "can-cer vive" anything that life tries to throw at us. Just remember that life is whatever we make it. I choose to make it good, cancer and all. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Happiness is like a Butterfly...

Well I just had the most incredible week of my life! It all started with a trip to California. The Young family is like a second family to me, and I owe them a huge thank you for helping me have such a good vacation. I stayed with one of my best friends Austin while I was out there. It was Spencer, Austin, and I living the dream! Every day we would hit the beach, the pool, and pedro's tacos (or so it felt like). 

Then another mini-vacation happened. This was pretty spontaneous. My plane landed on Thursday at 9:30 pm, I was picked up and went home for a few minutes. I grabbed a few things that I needed (luckily I was already packed) and jumped in the car with Chris to drive through the night down to Arizona. Yup. 10 hours later, at 7:00am, we were in AZ! Can I just say that some of the nicest people live down there? I don't know WHY they live there, it would get too hot for my taste, but they do. The Davis', Baker's, Mitchell's, etc. Not to mention the unbelievable AZ girl squad. Meeting all of these incredible people really taught me a great lesson.. but I will get to that later. Anyway. AZ was a party! We stayed with the one and only Rachel Davis. She took great care of us. We went to the lake (not boating), ate tons of great food, played nertz, went swimming, etc. Couldn't have asked for a better weekend. Here is a picture of Rachel and I, and then one of the crew:

Believe it or not I did learn a few things amidst all of the fun and partying. I have been thinking a lot about happiness lately. What is it exactly? How do you get it? I came across a great quote, it is almost as great as it is cheesy:

"Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder" 

I know, I know... its cheesy. But think about it. How true is that? So I started thinking about how to turn my attention away from happiness... and it hit me. Focus on the people around you in your life. This past week I was incredibly happy!! For instance, there were some things that happened in Arizona that could have made me unhappy.. but I just wasn't. I was happy because I was living in the moment with the people around me. I totally believe that if you want to be happier, you need to take some time to enjoy the people in your life. Kick back and enjoy the scenery. Whatever that means for you!

It doesn't have to be a huge trip though! For example... I spent two hours watching youtube videos with my dad last night. That is all it takes! Anyway. People are awesome, and I am grateful to have spent the week learning more about what it takes to be truly happy.

OH! One last thing. I received a book as a gift called "Every Day I Fight" - Stuart Scott. So far this is one of my favorite quotes from the book: "The contradiction is as top of mind as the cancer itself" Cancer can kill you, but it can also make you the man you always wanted to be". 

We all have trials but it is my belief that we "can-cer vive" anything that life tries to throw at us. Just remember that life is whatever we make it. I choose to make it good, cancer and all.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Hard Times Come Again No More

Well I met with the doctor yesterday. I walked into his office hoping to be done with chemo, so that I could get surgery already. Again... it didn't work out how I wanted it to. I was told that the tumor was shrinking, but I would have to do four more rounds of chemo. My heart dropped. I guess I had a feeling it was coming, but I didn't want to believe it. 

I'm not gonna lie, this whole experience is hard. It is overwhelming in a lot of different ways. Aside from all of the physical problems, there are plenty of emotional problems as well. I have never been the kind of person to sit around for very long... and that is all I do these days. It is hard to see all of the wedding announcements, graduation pictures, people getting jobs, etc. Everyone seems to be moving on with their life... and here I am... trying to decide which movies to watch for the day. OH just a side note, I watched "The Fault In Our Stars". Wow what a terrible idea! I mean it was a great movie, just horrifically sad. I imagine anyone would find it sad, but given the "cancer" circumstances I am under.. I was an emotional mess. Anyway! That is just one of the struggles I am facing. I want to be doing something with my life.. and now everything just got postponed another 12-18 weeks. Ugh. 

I have an amazing family, and incredible friends. But sometimes it is difficult because I feel like nobody REALLY knows how I feel. In my world of constant support, oddly I feel alone. I think that comes with the territory, but it doesn't make it any less painful.  

Well this post feels depressing. That is just how I feel this week though. Even on a week like this I am reminded of a lesson I learned when I was learning how to drive. It was my first time driving on State Street and I was scared out of my mind. I had never turned on a "double left" before, and there I was. Waiting to turn. Worst part? I was at the front of the line! Great. Everyone expected me to know what I was doing. I realized that I had two options at that point.. drive forward and see what happens, or get out of the car and run. Either press on, or give up. I have come to that same fork in the road (no pun intended) many times in my life. Here I am again. On the days when I can't chew because of mouth sores, can't breathe because I walked up the stairs, cry for no reason, or just plain want to give up... I don't. Maybe that is because I don't really know what it would mean to give up.. but either way, I just keep moving forward. Yeah it sucks, but hey life sucks sometimes. Even when it seems unbearable, just keep pushing forward. Amidst the clouds, the sun will shine again.

(Photo taken on an adventure with one of my best friends, Christ Sheets)

We all have trials but it is my belief that we "can-cer vive" anything that life tries to throw at us. Just remember that life is whatever we make it. I choose to make it good, cancer and all.

P.S. I am really missing my AZ girl squad right about now.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Did You Lose a Bet?

Lets start out with a funny experience  from the past week. As many of you know, my father decided to shave his head to support me! I was totally surprised when I saw him. My dad came downstairs to show me his bald head while I was playing cards with my friends. Right after the shock of it all wore off, I looked at my mom and said, "Don't even think about it". Two bald heads are enough for the Lee household. 

Anyway about that funny experience. So my dad goes to work with a shaved noggin, and of course people notice something different. A co-worker approaches him with a smile and says, "Did you lose a bet or something?!". My dad just looks at him for a second and responds with, "No.. actually my son has cancer...". Hahahahaha. I thought that was so funny for some reason. Not that we get offended by stuff like that, but it is funny to see people in awkward situations. 

The second round of chemo is done. Hallelujah. If we are being honest, I really do not want to go back. I don't know how some people go in for treatments for a year. The nausea is just horrible. They told me it is a lot like morning sickness for pregnant women and now I will totally have sympathy for my wife. Sheesh. If she wants french fries at 2am? I am there. It is so annoying how much my appetite changes. I can't even describe it.

The next step in this crazy journey is getting a cat scan!! They will check on the size of the tumor and see if it is small enough to perform surgery. If it is shrinking, but not small enough yet then I will be doing more rounds of chemo... BOOOO. Hopefully it has shrunk enough to just get surgery. That is what I am planning on. 

Well I am trying to learn another life lesson. I know... so many lessons to learn. President Calderwood (my former Mission President) called me before my first round of chemo. He actually had cancer in his twenties also, just a side note. We were talking and I asked for some advice from him. I did not hear what I wanted to... He told me that I need to learn how to have sympathy for the people around me during chemo. I might feel like I am suffering way more than those around me, but he encouraged me to reach out and care for them anyways. Psh I did not want to hear or do that. Sometimes you just want to have a pity party, okay?! But of course.. he was right. There is something magical about serving the people around you even when you are suffering. I am not perfect at this by any means, but it is the right idea. Something to put into practice. Jesus Christ was actually really good at this, imagine that?! In Matthew 4:11 it talks about how He received comfort after being tempted by the devil, and fasting for forty days/nights. Well a modern day translation of that scripture from a living prophet teaches us that Jesus actually sent those angels to comfort John the Baptist while he was in prison! Jesus just went through A LOT. He was drained physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Yet he took the opportunity to comfort someone that he loved, in stead of Himself. What a great example.

We all have trials but it is my belief that we "can-cer vive" anything that life tries to throw at us. Just remember that life is whatever we make it. I choose to make it good, cancer and all.  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Your Personal Garden

Can I just say that I have had an incredible week? I have felt really really good. I spent the week with awesome people. I just feel so good right now. Sometimes I forget the fact that they dumped a ton of poison in my body two weeks ago. Then I look in a mirror and I remember. Haha! Oh yeah! I lost my hair. Totally bald. Remember how I was thinking I might not lose my hair at all? Totally wrong about that. I am still waiting to lose my eyebrows.. and when that happens I give everyone permission to stop being my friend. Haaa... really though. Nobody needs to see that.

So there are some really great people out there. Sometimes the news, or the world in general, focuses too much on the horrible people out there. Well news flash to them... there are some amazing people out there. Example A? Courtney Baker. With the help of her sister and brother-in-law in Arizona, they made some stylin' shirts. You thought the bracelets were cool? (Well they still are.. but the shirts rock too). If you are interested in ordering a T-Shirt here is the link:

Anyway! I just had to give a shout-out to Courtney and her family. They are TOO good. 

The day has finally come... tomorrow I go back into the hospital for another round of chemo. Bleh. I have been DREADING this day for more than one reason. The main reason is obvious.. because it sucks. I did learn a cool lesson yesterday while I was at church though! I don't mean to be irreverent when I say this, but I started to understand a little bit of how Jesus Christ felt when he walked into the Garden of Gethsemane. I feel like He was dreading that event. Probably quite a bit. Obviously the suffering that happens in my personal Garden of Gethsemane doesn't even come close to what He went through, but I do feel closer to Him because of this experience. But that is my point exactly. We all have our own personal "garden experiences". At some point or another, we will have to walk through something that can help us understand what our Savior went through. I don't know if you will have one, or twenty, "garden experiences" in your life... but just remember that we are given these experiences to gain a a better understanding of what happened in the real garden. Oh!! Another cool thing. Sometimes we put our trials up against each other.. like someone is having a harder time than another? Well we can compare cancer to a bad habit and think one is worse than another, but guess what happens when we compare it to the Atonement? None of us even come close. We are all on the same level of suffering when it is compared to what Jesus went through. That being said, try not to bring pride into it! Who cares who is "suffering" more? We are all suffering. Focus your energy on helping each other, not comparing. 

Man you can learn a lot when you listen to the Spirit! Those are just a few thoughts that I have been having lately. Life is good. Great actually! I can't say thank you enough for all of those prayers being offered on my behalf. You will never know how much of a difference they make!

We all have trials but it is my belief that we "can-cer vive" anything that life tries to throw at us. Just remember that life is whatever we make it. I choose to make it good, cancer and all.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Man Behind the Mask

First things first. I have mixed feelings right now! I will explain it to you. I have been overwhelmed by how many people actually like my blog. Like.. who would have thought? Certainly not all of the English teachers throughout the years. Surprisingly, everyone says they love it. Which is awesome... but also kind of horrible. Only because now I am under a lot of pressure. When I started writing this thing, I really didn't expect THAT many people to read it. To be honest I became a blogger for selfish reasons. I was sick and tired of giving everyone the update after a doctors appointment via text message/phone call. Thus the blog was born. It started out care-free, and now its full of pressure. Thanks to you.

No I really do appreciate the support, but if you are feeling like a critic from here on out.. take it easy on me??

Want to know something awkward? I was on Facebook the other day and I noticed a post from someone (which was the second of its kind). People have actually shaved their heads for me already!! Man I was taken aback by that. I really did feel supported... but then it hit me: What if I don't end up losing my hair?! Some people don't... and that would just be really awkward. I am kind of crossing my fingers to lose the hair now! Except, lets all send some good vibes my way to make sure I don't lose my eyebrows? That just might be a little too much for all of us to look at.

There was one great benefit to post-chemo treatment that you probably weren't aware of! I realized it when Tuesday rolled around, and I didn't feel like shooting myself in the face for the first time. I looked in the mirror and saw how much of a wreck I was. I hadn't washed my hair in days, or shaved in a week (not that there was much facial hair to show for it). But then it dawned on me... WHO CARES? So I did absolutely nothing about it, and guess what? Nobody said a dang thing. HA! #cancerperks

On to the medical update. Monday I went into the hospital for hydration and a blood test. My white blood cell count was at 11. A little high, but nothing to worry about. I went in again on Wednesday for the same thing, and we found out that my white blood cell count dropped to .8. Yay, for no immune system. I am at a very high risk for infection now and I have to be very careful. I can't be around anyone that is remotely sick, or any children. This new development also requires me to wear a lovely mask a lot of the time. I hope you can sense the sarcasm of the lovely part. Because I hate the mask. At least you can't tell if I am frowning or smiling? 

Overall I feel great! Physically I would say I am close to 100%. Maybe a little nausea here and there, but it could be a lot worse. I had to learn a hard lesson this week. It had to do with timing. You see, my plans? and my timing? They never seem to be the same as God's. Which is good, because it always ends up the way it should.. but isn't it so frustrating in the moment? Goodness sometimes I hate it. I was really struggling on Monday. I wanted the pain to go away. I wanted to feel normal again. I never wanted to go back for another treatment. I was pretty miserable for the rest of the day, even though I wanted it to go away immediately. Tuesday was a little better, and it only got better from then on out. But why not Monday? Why couldn't it go away in that horrific moment? Why is it that we aren't delivered when times are toughest? To tell you the truth.... I don't know. I do know one thing though, and that is.. you just have to trust God (Just a side note, if someone had given me this speech on Monday I would have been really ticked off and probably wouldn't have listened... so if you are in that phase right now, just keep this thought in the back of your head). Of course that is easier said than done, but if you can manage to do it... you will always end up with exactly what you need.

We all have trials but it is my belief that we "can-cer vive" anything that life tries to throw at us. Just remember that life is whatever we make it. I choose to make it good, cancer and all.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The First Test

Well I bet you want to know all about my first week of chemotherapy.. But guess what? You are asking the wrong person for the details. I am basically just as lost as you are! The past 4-5 days have been quite the blur.. I will do my best to recount the experience.

First of all, I am still on drugs. So I apologize if you can't understand the majority of this blog entry. 

Anyway! I had surgery on Monday!! It was actually a "port-a-cath" that was put in, not a picc line. I was a little impatient waiting for the surgery because I had a date that night, that I didn't want to miss. It all worked out just fine, luckily. Phew! I just happened to underestimate the intense amount of pain that I would be in during the date with Courtney. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that you should get some rest following surgery... or maybe it does? Oh well, I didn't put two and two together on that one. I was really glad I went on the date though. It was a great "last hoo-rah" before my mysterious battle with chemo began. 

Tuesday rolled around! It was similar to Christmas morning, but kind of the opposite. Lots of excitement and nerves... just for the wrong reasons. Hopefully that doesn't ruin Christmas for anyone!  We grabbed everything we thought we would need, and off we went to the hospital! We checked in, I changed into my fancy little gown, and I layed in bed at 9am. Things didn't really get rolling for a while. They had to analyze my urine. You know how hard it is to pee on demand? Well its even harder to do it two times in a row. They messed up with my first sample, and came back ten minutes later needing another sample.. I mean come on, give a guy a break?! 

Eventually a nurse came in to draw some of my precious blood. She made the mistake of trying to draw it from my arm... OH NO! That was not gonna happen. Why in the world did I get this port surgically placed, if they weren't even gonna use it?! I made sure to point that out to her. I thought I had won that battle, until a man came in with a different kind of needle to "access" my port. You just can't ever win when it comes to nurses and needles.

Later that night the chemo drugs were finally prepped. A few friends were about to see something for a first (and hopefully a last) time. A friend getting chemotherapy before their eyes!! I was intrigued by the whole situation, because it was all new to me. I was quickly brought down to the reality of things as the nurse approached me in a hazmat suit (ok, maybe a slight exaggeration). Wait a minute... shouldn't I have been wearing one of those protective suits..? One last thing that I remember. The jolly old nurse Gene, told me that I needed to flush my urine twice because it was considered "toxic waste". As I drifted to sleep that night, I remember thinking I may wake up as some sort of superhero (due to the radioactive waste talk)... But alas the mask wearing days haven't come (yet).

Well pretty much every other day in the hospital is a giant blur! I don't remember a whole lot of anything else. A few faces here, and a few jokes there. But for the most part I spent my time in the hospital staring at the back of my eyelids. I do appreciate everyone that came to see me (even if I was unconscious at the time). The thoughts, prayers, and visits have made a world of difference.

Coming home wasn't all that I had expected. I can't remember a whole lot of my time since I have been home, but I know I have been surrounded by great people. Most of the time I can be found sleeping around the house. That is my favorite way to pass time lately. It also helps with the "skin crawling" syndrome I seem to have developed. I can't sit still for very long. Its hard to focus on one thing. It is like being hungry, but nothing sounding good. I just can't make up my mind... and when I do, it isn't up to par. Oh well. That is just something I will have to deal with I guess.

Today was a good day though. As a backstory, I served in the NYNYS Mission under President and Sister Calderwood. The whole mission was fasting for my family and I today. This really touched my heart. I have had countless others tell me that they were fasting for us at different times, and I really can't even begin to say thank you enough. We ended this Sunday with a little Sacrament meeting in my living room (courtesy of my bishop). Spiritual thoughts were shared, and happiness was felt. It was a good ending to a tumultuous beginning.

One thought stands out to me as I close this weeks blog entry. I hope that none of us will ever ask the question "Why do bad things happen to good people?". I have thought long and hard about this question. It helps to remember that the greatest person to ever live, Jesus Christ, had the worst possible thing happen to Him. I believe that Jesus kept His scars, on His otherwise perfected body, as proof that just because bad things happen to good people, it doesn't mean that God doesn't love them. In fact I would imagine Christ grew closer to His Father in those fatal moments of His life, than any other. When we face those dark moments in our life, we can decide which way we turn to. The choice is really all in our power.

We all have trials but it is my belief that we "can-cer vive" anything that life tries to throw at us. Just remember that life is whatever we make it. I choose to make it good, cancer and all.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Moment We Have All Been Waiting For...

Finally... some answers!!I have been dying to figure all of the details out... (I really should stop using these dying puns). It has been a frustrating two weeks, but they called us with the final results!!

This soccer ball tumor of death inside of me is called "Synovial Sarcoma". They thought it was "Ewings/PNET Sarcoma" for a while, but they were wrong! Good thing they do tests and stuff. Haha! This means I will be starting my chemotherapy on Tuesday! Ready or not, here I come. I will have chemo four days a week. Four hours a day. Sheesh! Luckily, that week from hell will only be every three weeks. 

OH but get this. I will be getting a "picc line" (I had no idea what that was before either so don't feel bad about taking a second to google it)!! In stead of hooking me up through the veins in my arm every time I go in for chemo, they will surgically put this thing in my chest that will stay in there throughout my chemo experience. That way they can basically plug me in without too much hassle! I have no idea what its gonna look like, but I am crossing my fingers hoping it will end up looking like Iron Man... ;)

Want to know something awkward? When I meet new people I don't know what to tell them. It begins with casual conversation of course and they ALWAYS ask about school and work. When they hear that I don't have plans for either in the near future they totally think I am a bum. Which would be fine, but they keep asking me "But why?!". I never know if its appropriate to drop the cancer bomb on them. For instance, I was with my friend at her families Easter dinner. I did happen to be on pain killers (which is apparently quite entertaining), and people started talking to me. They asked me what I was doing with my life and I immediately shouted to everyone, "I have cancer!". Oh boy.

I don't mind talking about it! In fact I love talking about it. It is almost therapeutic for me. Sometimes it can be awkward for other people. When I finally drop the 'c' word, it is funny to see their reactions. I can't really blame them because there isn't a whole lot to say? Mainly they are in shock.. then disbelief.. then really apologetic. They keep saying sorry, and I am like.. don't worry I highly doubt this is your fault. And if it is... I wouldn't tell my mom. She might kill you. 

Let me tell you about this problem I have lately. It isn't healthy. I will hear people complain about their trials, and I immediately compare them to my trials. In my head I would think, "Are you kidding me? That is nothing! I have cancer!!". Yeah I know I am a horrible person, and shouldn't do it. But hey it came naturally! I was thinking about that a lot. I realized how prideful it was for me to think that way. Then something hit me... I really don't have it THAT bad! There is someone out there that could hear my problem and think the same thing that I was thinking!!!! And guess what? I know for a fact that nobody can top the trials that Jesus Christ went through. So even though we may be tempted to mope around because we have it so much worse than everyone else... we actually don't. If you take a second to look at your life, you will realize that things are awesome!! 

Don't get me wrong, I believe in being sad for a night every once in a while. Put on some depressing music, eat some ice cream, watch fault in our starts, etc. Be sad for a night. I think it is healthy!! But 95% of the time? Buck up. Life is incredible. :)

We all have trials but it is my belief that we "can-cer vive" anything that life tries to throw at us. Just remember that life is whatever we make it. I choose to make it good, cancer and all.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Wait.. We All Have Cancer?!

Boy do I have some funny stories to tell you. Is it messed up that I am writing a blog about cancer and people walk away laughing? Oh well! That is just the way I roll. 

If you know me at all then you know how late I stay up. I don't really know why, but I have hated going to sleep recently? It is the weirdest thing. I just feel like there are better things that I could be doing! So that leads me to staying up way later than I should. One night I found myself trying to make a 3-D representation of my tumor with paper and tape... I got about half way done when I realized that I had a problem and promptly went to bed. Haha! I usually listen to music because that seems to help, but I got pretty frustrated with spotify. They really seem to have a playlist for EVERYTHING... except "I just found out I have cancer". If anyone comes across that playlist, let me know.

I don't know about you.. but I have been doing great. Wow. There are so many amazing people out there. Countless people have done some really nice things for me. All from bringing me dinner, to singing me songs in my front yard. If you ever feel down about the wicked people out there.. come talk to me. I know some pretty awesome people that will restore your hope in humanity. That was a cool lesson I learned. It isn't always the big things that make a difference. The little things really help too! One of my friends (Connor White) came and sat with me for an hour and we literally did nothing. But it was just what I needed!! Just some food for thought, little things make a difference for people.

Enough rambling. Here is the update on my situation. I met with a new doctor!!! Fun fact about this new guy, he likes to eat mustard packets. Anyway, we found out that they still don't know what kind of cancerous tumor it is? They are pretty sure that it is a PNET (still not exactly sure what that means). Once they hear back from the pathologist in Georgia and know for sure what it is, I will start treatments. I will probably start chemo next week sometime! He started talking to me about the side effects of chemo, and it is going to suck. Haha! There really is no way around that. The way he described it was comical though. He started off with "Yeah you won't have hair for sure", and then talked about nausea and fatigue, etc. I was like, "I knew all of this from google, come on doc! Tell me something I don't know". Well be careful what you wish for there Sean. The next thing he mentioned made my jaw drop. He said, "by the way... you might be sterile after this, and you won't be able to have kids". WHAT?! Google did not mention that. 

Then he told me that I will need to go to a sperm bank this next week just in case. Just when I thought having cancer was the absolute worst... he had to throw in the sperm bank thing. Oh it was really funny though! My friend Amanda was with my parents and I again, and my mom asked the question of the century after he told me to go to the sperm bank. She says, "So how do they go about getting that out?". Shoot me now. I guess you could say it was pretty awkward. I won't tell you how he responded to that question, but we all had a good laugh about it afterwards. 

The plan for now is to start chemo for 12 weeks, then do the surgery and recover for 6 weeks, which will be followed with 16 more weeks of chemo. Before this whole cancer thing I was stressing because I didn't know what to do with my life, but now at least I know what I am doing with my life? Hahaha!

OH. I had been trying to get in touch with one of my really good friends. I hadn't been able to tell him the news, and he never gets on Facebook. So one night he finally answered his phone! I broke the news to him... and he told me that he had cancer too. What are the odds of that?! He said he was even starting chemo at the same time. I was freaking out! Then he said that his grandpa just died of cancer.. and he was kind of laughing. He was either pulling my leg, or just really twisted. Then I realized what was going on... I called him on April Fools Day. Ahhhhh... I tried to convince him for ten minutes, but he wasn't buying it. I finished the conversation with "You are gonna feel really stupid tomorrow".. but lets be real... that was my fault. 

Colton Broadbent and family made some sweet bracelets!! They say "SeanStrong" on them.

I am passing them out to everyone who wants to help support the cause! When you get one, I want you to think about something. I have realized that we all have our own "cancer". Everyone has trials and struggles right? Well figure out what your cancer is. It could be low self esteem, or maybe it is a bad habit? Just something that you want to change about yourself. Pick something? Good. Well I am going to start chemotherapy soon to fight this cancer... and I want you to do the same thing. You will be starting your own chemo with me!! Whatever "medicine" you need to fight your specific cancer, use that method to KILL your cancer. Because we are gonna overcome this together. So now every time you look at that red bracelet on your wrist, remember that we are killing our own (different) cancers together. 

We all have trials but it is my belief that we "can-cer vive" anything that life tries to throw at us. Just remember that life is whatever we make it. I choose to make it good, cancer and all. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Game Changer!!

Yes I know. I understand that in the "blogging world" you just don't post two days in a row. I can use the excuse that I am a beginner at all of this? Or if I really wanted to I could just blame it on having cancer? It doesn't make any sense, but I learned that you can pretty much blame anything on cancer. 

The real reason for this second post so soon is to update everyone on what has changed. In the "cancer industry" you have to be really flexible! I am learning that lesson quick. Just when you think you know what to expect... you don't. That being said, I have some news.. I will not be getting surgery on April 6th! My Doctor called me this morning to let me know.

Man he used a lot of medical terms. I just kept saying "yeah" like I knew what he was talking about. Basically it was a different kind of Sarcoma tumor than he thought? It is a PNEP Sarcoma. He said that this (really rare) type of sarcoma responds very well to... chemo. Ouch. That escalated quickly! I mean that really got out of hand fast. The several month long treatment is supposed to reduce the size of that soccer ball I have inside of me. Which will make the surgery a lot less complicated. That is good! But the whole chemo thing isn't the best. 

There is the update. Now that I have your attention I can also say THANK YOU. I spent a lot of yesterday with teary eyes. I could not believe the love and support that everyone was sending my way. Texts, posts, prayers, thoughts, etc. It just means so much to me. I am so grateful for you all. Ethan Prete brought a scripture to my attention at the beginning of all this that really sums up how I feel: 

"Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands" (D&C 121:9)

Thank you again. You will never know how much all of it means to me.

Well! Chemotherapy here we come! Yay! I figure if I make it sound like a party, maybe it will be a little better? I think I am going to wear party hats during the treatment or something. Maybe get some confetti? Oh guess what? I was actually excited to have this surgery on Monday. For a really dumb reason... Hahaha! The day before surgery you have to be on a strict liquid diet, and drink lots of ex-lax stuff. You know what Sunday is? Easter!!! I was excited to be able to say "I have had diarrheas all easters". If you don't get that... go watch Nacho Libre. :)

To wrap it up... I am scared. I am worried because I don't really know what to expect. I have cried several times today for different reasons. I just got done crying in my kitchen with a great family friend who came to show her love. Wow.  The really awesome thing about this is that I have a lot of peace. I have had some good long talks with God about all of this, and He has helped me out a lot. Man He really does love His children! God and I are gonna make a bomb-awesome team throughout all of this. I don't think trials and hard times mean that He isn't there, but I think we have adversity so we can see how much He wants to be in our life. 

We all have trials but it is my belief that we "can-cer vive" anything that life tries to throw at us. Just remember that life is whatever we make it. I choose to make it good, cancer and all. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Monster Inside Me

Well I don't know how else to put this... I have cancer. Surprised? Join the club. It has been a crazy journey getting to this point, and I figured I might as well write all about it! Beware.. this first entry is going to be a little long. There is a lot to catch you up on!! Grab some popcorn? 

Lets starts in the beginning (well as far as I know, this was the beginning..). I think I was in 9th grade, and I started to notice some pain in my left side. Of course I complained about it. I am a complainer. I was convinced I had kidney stones and that I needed to see the doctor. So my dad and I went to get it checked out! The doctor asked me some questions, and came to this conclusion... "Sean, you must be chewing too much gum" he continued with, "The extra air flow is causing irritation down there". I am sure he used more medical terminology, but I can't remember it. Anyway, my dad and I looked at each other thinking something along the lines of "Uhh.. is he serious?". So that was that. I walked out of the office with a resolve to chew less gum. How could I be such a gum chewing fool in the first place?

Well guess what? I chewed less gum, and the pain was still there. I mean it wasn't anything severe! It would be painful for a week or so and then go away for a couple months. I scoffed at the gum idea, and went back to chewing it whenever I wanted to. It was quite liberating. I mean who would have thought the gum hypothesis was false? ;) The pain has come and gone for years. I am 20 years old now, and far removed from 9th grade. I have had to just deal with this pain for a while.

Fast forward to my life in New York City! I served a two year mission for my church in that beautiful city. I remember this past December having a horrible experience. I was spending the day in Jamaica, Queens (where stories are born). I had SEVERE pain in my left side. This time I was positive I had kidney stones. I could hardly move. Coughing hurt, and don't even get me started about trying to run after a bus. It was painful. I talked to a nurse about my condition... luckily he didn't mention anything about gum (we couldn't chew it as a missionaries anyways). He said that I probably pulled a muscle and to call him back if the pain didn't go away. I gave it a few days, and guess what? The pain subsided. I was with other missionaries when I tried to prove to them I had a lump just underneath my left ribcage. They didn't buy it... So I shut up about it. 

I finished my two year mission in February! Yay! I made it. I was spending time with my favorite people, and I was trying to get back into the swing of things. Then one day I started pooping blood. Maybe I should have put a disclaimer before that? Oh well. Haha! I was a little worried. That isn't exactly normal. I made an appointment to see the doctor! I hadn't had a great history with these so called medical professionals, but I figured we would give it another shot. He gave me some great insights.. "I don't really know whats wrong". I chuckled. What else should I expect? LUCKILY I got a TB test that day. Which required me to go back to that doctor a few days later. 

Before I went back to get my test read, I noticed something. I had lost a significant amount of weight in the past two weeks. It was something like 14-15 pounds. I was pretty proud of myself. I was getting in the shower one day when I noticed an abnormal lump below my left ribcage! I mean I had been working out, but I didn't think that could have been a muscle... So I was a little freaked out. I showed my doctor again that same day. You will never guess what he said... "I don't really know what that is? Maybe a lipoma?" (Which by the way I had just learned about lipomas from my lovely friend Amanda). Anyway! He did the right thing. Referred me to get a CT Scan. Well isn't this getting exciting?

I show up to get my CT scan. They had some good news! "Sean, you get to drink a smoothie this morning". Well I got a little giddy. I love smoothies. I was hoping for a strawberry/banana. It turns out they have a sick sense of humor at the hospital.. at 8 in the morning. It was really just this stuff that made my insides light up on the CT scan. I was fooled! I was thinking that at least I didn't have to get injected with anything. At least until I walked into the room an hour later (after the "smoothie" had been downed). Apparently they saw it fit to give me a double dose! My insides looked like Christmas. Just a side note.. The injection was really weird. It literally felt like icy hot was pouring into my veins... at least I had a hot body for once?

I went home and started to play the waiting game. I wasn't expecting to hear anything very soon, but to my surprise I received a phone call the same day! The medical industry scored a point for that one. My doctor dropped the "c" word on me. He said he didn't know for sure, but I needed to see an oncologist (I guess that is the fancy name for cancer doctor). The appointment was scheduled, and the reality started to trickle in. 

There was only one problem! My appointment wasn't for another two weeks. Ouch. I could be dead by then! (too soon for those kind of jokes?) Whatever. But luckily the doctor called and said I needed to see him sooner than that. I was to go in on Friday! Two days, in stead of two weeks. 

Well my parents and my friend Amanda loaded up in the car on Friday morning! We didn't know what to expect, but we were anxious to find out. I met with the doctor. Great guy. We are closer than you think.. let me explain. He asked me to strip down (after the others left the room). He wanted to do a check up, and he started to feel around. Okay this time I am going to put a disclaimer. Don't read this paragraph if you can't handle it... But now I have your attention, so who is gonna skip over it? He tells me to pull down my pants, and does some more investigating. I am just laughing  because I don't know what else to do? Then he brings up the whole rectal bleeding experience and says he is going to have to check that out.. I won't go into detail, but lets just say I was in a fetal position and I was violated. I will never be the same. 

I got dressed and moved into the next room! Then he confirmed what we were all thinking. I have a HUGE cancerous tumor inside of me. Like really big. The size of a soccer ball. It has been growing for a few years, and it is called a sarcoma? It is a really rare form of cancer. He didn't know if the cancer had spread anywhere else, but we scheduled a surgery immediately. He said it would be pretty complicated because it is displacing/affecting so many other organs. My kidney looked like a little shrimp. I will probably lose my kidney, my spleen, and he will have to shave down two ribs and my pancreas! Oh and the tumor broke through the muscle wall, so he will have to reconstruct all of that. 

After the very uncomfortable biopsy experience, we left. 

We went to my cancer lunch at the cheesecake factory. Yum. At this point the reality hadn't set in quite yet. I was still trying to wrap my head around it. I texted my close friends saying "It is cancerous". As I read the text back to myself, even I couldn't believe it?!

Well since then I have had a mix of emotions. I have been happy (maybe oblivious), and sad. I have been calm at times.. and I have also freaked out. I would say I have a panic attack about once a day. Once I feel the pain in my side and realize that there is something inside of me trying to kill me... that usually does the trick. I would say overall I am doing pretty good! I still love life. I still find things to be grateful for every single day. I think the most important thing is that I am not mad at God. I promised myself when I was little that I would never ask God "Why". I try to just ask "What". What can I learn from this? What can I do to help make it through this? I am trying to keep that same habit a midst this cancer ordeal. I still love God, and I still love life. I am not even mad at that doctor who called me a "gum chewing fool". 

The coolest part about having cancer? The support I have seen from everyone. I have been blessed to be surrounded by awesome family and friends. The love and support from them means more to me than they will ever know. I have cried over more than a few texts that I have received. People are just awesome. 

Phew! If you are still reading this, you made it through the first entry! Congrats. 

We all have trials but it is my belief that we "can-cer vive" anything that life tries to throw at us. Just remember that life is whatever we make it. I choose to make it good, cancer and all.