Thursday, December 15, 2011

This Just In...

Marissa is out of Surgery! YAY!

The doctors assured Uncle Brad & Aunt Chris that the surgery went routinely and they did exactly what they needed to do! Marissa is already speaking (Can't keep that girl from talking), and she is complaining with some pain, which of course, this is normal!

Aunt Christine wishes to extend her gratitude to those of you who are sharing her story and continuing to uplift her in prayer!

Megan Here for Marissa

Hey everyone! Marissa wanted to keep all her friends, family, loved ones, and in general- Prayer Warriors updated as her surgery unfolds throughout the day..

As unfortunate as it is, I could not be in Texas with her (which I know many others would choose to be there as well)... But Aunt Christine will be sending updates throughout the day. These updates may be a bit short and to the point- but before we get started with brief updates, I wanted to give you all some 411 on the process Marissa is heading into today.

If you follow her blog, or have any connection to her at all- you know that this little tumor is a stubborn thing. But her spirits are  better than they have ever been! The plans that the doctors have for today's surgery are: Biopsy, then Inject a Strand of the Common Cold Virus into the tumor.

Our smartest friend (Zachary)- was nice enough to study the injection and give us some information to share with everyone...

Marissa has GBM (glioblastoma multiforme), the most common primary brain tumor in adults. These tumors originate in glial cells (special cells in the brain that are there to provide nutrients and support to other brain cells). Marissa’s Neurosurgeon, Dr. Lang, has been working with brain tumor stem cells that have been isolated from the malignant gliomas (tumors on the glial cells, like Marissa has).

Dr. Lang’s group uses a drug that is currently in Phase I Clinical Trials (just getting started in human therapy)called Delta-24-RGD. This novel drug is tumor-selective (it has been genetically modified so that it only infects the tumor cells NOT normal human cells) and has oncolytic (cancer killing) properties. Delta-24-RGD is actually the adenovirus (a common virus that normally causes upper respiratory infections). The virus is injected into the tumor and works in several ways to try to get rid of the tumor: 1) It infects the tumor 2) Replicates inside the tumor and 3) Induces cell death of the brain tumor stem cells. This cell death is autophagic cell death [this is where the tumor cell starts to kill itself].

Marissa will be given another drug (at the same time as Delta-24-RGD) that will cause immunosuppression (cause her immune system to NOT work as well) so that he body will NOT try to kill off the adenovirus (they want it there to kill the cancer cells).

Pretty much, the virus will hijack the cancer cells, kill the cell, be released and infect another cancer cell to kill it. It could take several days for the virus to go through its life cycle.

 SO, We hope that will help some of you out.(Thanks Zach for studying that out)

Sometimes, we don't know what to specifically pray- but with information, we know more about the enemy we are battling. Pray that Marissa's body will accept this treatment they are performing. Steady the doctor's hands Lord, and guide them through this procedure. Give rest & peace to Marissa & her family as they face this adversary.

Marissa had to be at MD Anderson this morning around 5am Central time- Aunt Chris says she was her normal Joking self; this is encouraging to know she enters into this battle laughing, that reassures us that her faith is not wavering. 

Her surgery began around 10:30 Central time & is scheduled for up to 3 hours. If any further information comes my way I will pass along :)


Sunday, December 11, 2011

3rd times a charm!

That right! This Thursday I am having my third brain surgery this year. The treatment I was doing at UAB wasn't working, so we are back at MD Anderson. This surgery is a small one, it's a biopsy (similar to the one I had last January in Atlanta). But, while they have my brain open, they are going to put a virus directly on the tumor. Hopefully, this will do the trick!
Just another reason why I hate Bama football.... I was watching LSU/Bama game when I had my most recent seizure, which is my first seizure since last January. It totally me freaked out! Since then I have been havin trouble walking and using my right arm. I'm fine though, I start my day, everyday, reminding myself I'm strong! Plus my physical therapist is easy on the eyes!
Keep me in your prayers, especially this Thusday for surgery. I leave Tuesday, and I'll be in Houston until Dec 22. Megan will be on my blog this week. Expect some laughs!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding" Proverbs 3:5

My Favs in NYC last week!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Proud Friend

On my first day at Auburn, I met my best friend, Brandon. 6 years later, he is still my best friend, and now he is an Army Ranger! I got to go to he's graduation on Friday, and it was amazing! To see 100 soldiers stand and sing the National Anthem, with all the Veterans in the stands, how could you not be a proud American. They all stood with confidence, and looked so brave. I starting crying, if you know me, I don't cry much. I'm very proud of him and glad he gets to eat candy again!

Monday, September 5, 2011


Sorry it has been so long since I've written! I just got back from the beach with my family, and besides Tropical Storm Lee, I had a good time, and am nice and tan!!!

I find out about month ago, that the tumor is already showing some growth. Its very, very small, especially compared to pre-surgery. Because of this, I quit taking the chemo. 2 weeks ago, I started a new drug, and to be honest I have no idea what it is or does! I know that's bad, but my dad does all the research. I believe it attacks the tumor/cancer cells by cutting off the blood supply. I get an  infusion, in Birmingham, every two weeks. There is a guy who is 31 with the same type of cancer getting the same treatment as me. Its so nice to be able to talk to someone experiencing some of the same things you are. He was diagnosed around the age as I am now. He was very open about his experience and journey, also very positive. He and his wife were so nice, and funny. They make a infusion and day at the hospital a lot more tolerable.

Despite everything, I feel the best I have ALL year! In fact, I feel so good physically and emotionally I'm bored out of my mind! I still hope to find a job, but everything I start looking for a full time job, I change treatments or something happens. I need advice? Should I get a part-time job? I hate making decisions.

I do have Auburn and college Football to keep me entertained! What a game Saturday!!!

Recently I hiked Kennesaw Mtn with Candace. I've never done it before and it was so pretty!!! Here's some pics.

As always, thanks for the love, support, and prayers!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Not the game....though I do love a good game of  black jack! And the movie 21. I took my last pill Chemo, of my 21 day cycle, and now I get to be free, for 7 whole days. With the chemo I have to stop eating and drinking at 8pm. You think that would be easy, but its harder than you would imagine. So here is to the next week off  freedom! I also start my speech therapy this week. It has gotten a lot, a lot better, but around new people, or people that make me nervous or uncomfortable I really struggle. Or so I think. Hopefully this helps.

Sunday, my friend Carrie was in town from LA, well really she is probably my hometown, but now lives LA and we went to the Britney concert. She is Britney biggest fan, and it was sooo nice to go, dance, and sing. It was the first real, outing since my surgery. You know, beside dinner with my parents or a movie!

Next weekend I'm off to visit Lauren and Lana in Nashville for MusicFest. First though, I make my monthly trip to Houston to how everything is going.

Friday, June 3, 2011

My Mircale

My miracle- 10 hours in surgery, 4 hours awake, 19 stitches, a lot of faith, prayers, and love. An operation   that Emory called inoperable. I'm not a statistic, a freak who studies for brain surgery, no statistic. Here's my story-

I thought surgery was not an option until my till last MRI at MD Anderson's. At this point, Dr. Gilbert was very convincing that I did need surgery, and my options were slim. An operations that could take away my speech, mobility to my right side, and risk my quality of life. A surgery that as best usually removed 80 % of the tumor, even on not so complicated cases. MY TUMOR IS 100 % gone!!! Tears fill my eyes as write this. God was been my strength from day one, and even on the darkest of days he held my hand, and has proven miracle on my life each and each days. 100%. I'm still battling actual cancer cells and will probably start chemo over the next week, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

Ok funny facts- I did study for surgery. The only thing that I could control was staying awake for the 4 hours. It would help them remove the tumor more safely. My Dad said the first thing I said in recovery was "I tried so hard Dad to awake" and he responded, I did. I stay awake the entire time! With a few entertaining comments to everyone.
- Naturally I would hit on someone. "Mark Fabulous" the assistant surgeon. I never actually met him, but showed a great interest in him
- Kept calling the OR a party, and that I was going to be soooo sad when it was over
-Ask for pics of my brain
-Could they make me smarter when they were in there?
-And one of my favorites, I told one of the best surgeons in the country he needed to get back to work, and he is operating on a pretty important brain! Laugh some time right?

The surgery was a total of 10 hours, and in the last minutes they decided they to get the last 5 % safely and they did! I'm so blessed and truly feel like a miracle each and everyday! Always remember God wants in these situations, hes the one person who he doesn't turn his back on you, and so many of those forget. He's my Savior.

If you are in the Carroll County areas, there is a Christian Concert at Villa Rica First Baptist. It starts 7pm on Saturday, and I'd love for everyone to come! Ill be there, and its going to a time for fellowship. The Benefit is frees. I had brain surgery a week ago so no excuses! haha

Thanks for the constant support and love.

My best friends wedding!

Meg's Birthday

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Marissa Parks Day- Part 2

I had the best weekend, ever! It was so amazing to see so many people with "Walk for Marissa" shirts on. Being surrounded by all my best friends and family was awesome. That night, we all went to a block party in Atlanta and finally for the first time in awhile, I just felt like I had no worries. I was there with my friends just having fun! I loved every minute of it. It did take me 2 days to recover, sleep wise. haha I have such an old lady spirit! I think Marissa Parks Day might be one of my new favorite holidays! Here's pictures from the race.
I leave for Houston tomorrow for all my Pre-Opt appointments. I'm feeling really anxious/scared about the trip and just ready for it to be over. I'm going to try and teach my mom (TRY) how to blog so she can keep everyone updated.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Marissa Parks Day- May 21

First! I am sooooo excited most of my best friends are going to be in Atlanta this weekend for the walk to raise Brain Tumor Awareness! Team Rosa has 80 people signed up! I was chosen as the ambassador and I will be giving a speech after the race. Anyone want to write it for me? Anyway, I can't wait to walk with all my friends and family beside me. AND someone from my team better win! I have I have some athletic friends.

I went to Houston this Wednesday to meet with my doctor there..The appointment didn't go exactly how I thought, and I was shocked to hear they want me to have brain surgery again, a week from today. Whew. This will be a more invasive surgery than the first one I had, and they are going to try and remove as much live tumor as they can. Its full on Grey's Anatomy, they put me to sleep, wake me up, and I will talk to the surgeon during the actually removal part, to hopefully safely remove it without doing any permanent damage to my speech. They are doing this because, even on a high dosage of steroids, the swelling on my brain continues to increase. I'm really nervous, and I will be glad when its over.

I wanted to share another blog with you guys. This guy, Kevin, I think I have blogged about him before. His mother had the same type of brain tumor as me- a GBM. I've never put that on my blog before, FYI. He is  doing a trans-American walk to raise awareness for this awful disease. He is not starting the walk till this fall, but here is his blog. You can also follow him @kevinswalk on twitter.

I appreciate if you keep me in your thoughts next week as I go through surgery and recovery. I'll be in Houston at least 10 days. I'll post pictures of the walk ASAP, before Houston! Thats a good promise :)

OH I just found about that tomorrow in the state of Georgia is MARISSA PARKS today!!!!! Hope you guys all celebrate appropriately!!!!!!! Kind of a big of deal.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Round 2.

I can't believe its time to start again. Tonight is my first cycle of chemo. I do this for 5 days a month.

I have had one MRI, and about half of the turmor died. So that's REALLY GOOD NEWS!!! There is a lot of swelling so the doctors couldn't see exactly was that wanted, and I am having one at the end of May.  I also decided to the do treatment at MD Anderson in Houston. I loooooved the doctor there. He took the time to get to know me, talk to me about my emotions, and overall they seemed a lot more knowledgable. I will continue treatment at Emory too. They will still call the shots, and I will go there every 2 months.

Due to the swelling I have lost some feeling in my right arm and  it has become harder to type. That is why I haven't been blogging as much, and why I don't/ in case I don't respond to a texts or messages back!

When I can find  the time to write again,  I will with more of an update on my life!

I am staying really busy... this week Denver, Co. Next weekend New Jersey!

War CAM Eagle!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day by Day.

Ahhhhhhh! I cant believe I made it! Six weeks.....but I finished my last radiation treatment just a few minutes ago. I will not know any news for a couple of weeks. I feel so, I'm not even sure what word to describe it , accomplished? I have been through more in 2011 than I ever imagined, and though at times I was tired and grouchy here I am today looking back to the very first day and I am so, so happy. I Remember sitting in the waiting room and wiping my tears fast so my parents wouldn't see me and thinking  how nervous I was and thinking "I don't know if I'm strong enough", through prayer, family, and friends I was strong enough and at the risk of sounding cocky, I'm very proud of myself!

April is a big month for me. I'm traveling to Duke and Houston, I'm the maid of honor in my best friends wedding, my lovely twinkles ( Anthony) is coming from LA with a ton of other people I used to work with, and I am super excited!  Ah I will be a busy girl!

In the meantime I'm going to the Bahamas Friday for Las bachelorette party. I can't wait to escape for a few days, be tan, and spend time with good friends!

Check out my little cousins Katie and Garrett supporting me! Aren't they cute?

Even though all of my family lives in New Jersey my mom has always made it a point to stay  very close with them, and to make visits as often as we could! (I want to to give my Aunt Kelly a guilt trip right now to get her to Georgia more, but I won't, because she's awesome). And I love all my family up there very much! They have all been the best support to my family and me even though they are 1000 miles away!

Send me pictures of you and your tshirt so I can put them in my blog! We are doing one more order if you missed the first one! Email me at for info!

Oh, Im adding on! My best friend from college Brandon came down here to visit his sister and me and I wanted to give him a shoutout! I love both his sisters and brother in law (maybe more than him). We harrass Brandon, and they make me laugh so much! Anyway, his sister Laura came up with this great new way for Brandon to make decisions, but feel free to use it in your life as well.  WWMD??
How great is this? Thanks Laura!

As always thanks for all the encouraging messages, cards, hugs, prayers. I promise it all matters- even if I don't respond immediately ( I'm really bad about that) they all make my day brighter and make smile.

Carpe diem!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I whip my hair!

Or I used started happening.. Me, losing my hair, that is. It convienently started the Sunday I was hosting Laura's bridal shower. I'll go into greater detail on that in a second. Since Laura so kindly reminded me that she doesn't believe she has gotten enough "face time" on my blog, I will share a little about the actual shower. Well since my hair did start falling out that morning, I was a hot mess! I guess there was also some confusion about what time the shower actually started because we had to change the dates, and with everything that has happened over the past 2 months etc etc. I'm not sure people thought I could pull it off. And without the help of many, I woudln't have been able to. So thanks to everyone who helped me with food, setting up, and cleaning up! You guys are awesome! I hope Laura loved it, and the bride to be looked beautiful and glowing all day! It was great to see all of our friends, sit around, and reminsce on all our fun times that have brought us together over the years. Here are some pictures from the shower.

Ok- back to the hair. Again, remember I am taking chemo by pill so I am only losing my hair where I am recieving my radiation treatments. However, this area is a lot larger than expected. I tried to mentally prepared for the day. The doctors kept reminding me "its going to just start happening, and its going to come out in  big clumps." I thought I was prepared, but the first clump brought tears to my eyes. I had a little bit of a melt down, then I had a melt down because I was having a melt down and I felt selfish. But it was still hard. I called Megan and Kevin, who always seem to know what to say to me during these situations, or in the very least can usually make me fact, Kevin was the first to make me smile and laugh the day I got diagnose with cancer, I will never forget that! And of course they made me feel a lot better. I can still style it where you can't really tell for the most part, so that is good. Plus I have bought a ton of cute headbands. I am not really a hat person, but the Dr. said I can't be in the sun without, so I am looking for some cute ones!

Many of you already know this, because its how you find my blog orginally, but one of really good friends, Ben, (you probably remember him from previous blog posts)  writes for Here's his profile Cracked is a crude humor, and I only read it when he posts and to be a supportive friend. I can't thank him enough, though. Through this connection I have developed a relationship with a follower he has become, from what it seems, passionate about my story. He has been not only in contact with me, but with my dad. Ok- pause- My Dad. Where do I even start? I think that if he could, my dad would chose not to eat, sleep, work, bathe, and would just talk 24-7. He will talk about anything and everything. So when he finds someone that will actually listen to him, (not me) its bad. Well this kind, and what seems like the most patient guy in the world, listens. He has become a huge support to my family, and actually is helping us with a lot of the researching and decisions has far as treatment. So I am for forever thankful for this new friend, and all he has done for my family. Its truly amazing how people who do not even know you, can come into your life, and make such a difference. It's nice to know such people still exist. He also shared his homemade hummus recipe with me, which I can't wait to try!

With that, I have 2 weeks of treatment left. This is the first "standard" treatment. We did get second opinions before I started, and since this is the standard, I chose not to be ripped away from my friends, family, support to go out of state for something that could be done here. However; my parents would support whatever decision I would have made. Now though, many more decisions come.. Shortly after this treatment is over, my  family and I have decided to visit Duke and MD Anderson in Houston (Co- Jo, Im texting to you as soon as I find out the dates). These are two of the best hospitals and they both seem to have some promising clinical trials that Emory doesn't offer. Also, I am not thrilled with my onocologist at Emory right now. I haven't had to see him since the initial diagnose because my radiation doctors is my primary physcian right now, however once this 2 weeks is up, he will be who I see. Its just that I am at an awkward stage in my life where I do not have a husband or significant other to walk through this with me, but should be old enough to do it alone. Or at least, that is how he makes me feel. I couldn't do it without my parents though, and I want them there, even if my Dad talks too much, and asks five million questions, which he does. The doctor seems to not ever want to listen to them, their questions, or concerns. He is a little more patient with me, though. I am not sure what to do about this yet. I, however, LOVE Dr. Shu- my radiation doctor.

As far as my health- I feel great. I'm still tired but really thats it. I continue to ride my bike, which I am getting quite good at. I stole Colleen's bookbag so it makes for a lot easier shopping trip. I go on walks, and was feeling like an over achiever this week and went for a run!!! I was so sore the next day. Isn't that pathetic? I guess when I think about it, I'm already two months into my journey, so I probably haven't went for a run since before Phoenix. I have a few other weird side effects (which are mostly from the meds) like certain foods make me sick and leave bad tastes in my mouth, my teeth are more sensitive to cold things, my hair (obviously), but for the most part I'm still the same ole Marissa. My dad says been people asks how I feel he replies "She's still mean as a snake, so I think that's a good sign". Haha silly man.

SO since I am feeling well and am unemployed, I think I will start volunteering somewhere during the week. Any suggestions? I want to be able to make a difference in someone else's life, like so many have in mine. I think we all take for granted the people God puts in our lives, but there is a reason, even if just one little reason, that they are there, and I have began to realize that a lot more lately. So hopefully through this, I will be able to touch someones heart, and make a difference. Towards the end of March I am going to start sending my resume out again. Since I will be in Houston and up at Duke each for about a week, there is no point of sending it now. Hopefully I will find something sitting at home all day is not working for me, even though I am enjoying my time with my mom. We haven't killed each other yet which is good. We get along the best when we are shopping though, go figure! And we get along the worst when my dad is here! How funny.

Today I am going down to the dome to watch Auburn play Georgia in the SEC championship basketball tourney. War Eagle!

I have a scripture to leave you guys with today...Psalms 18: 29-30
(29) For by you I can run against a troop,
By my God, I can leap over a wall.
(30) As for God, His way is Perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Fab Bday!

My birthday was nothing less than fabulous! First, a ton of my friends and sorority sisters chipped in and got me an IPAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Im addicted! Thanks to Chloe, Adrian, Smith, Steph, Cassie Carraway,Meghan O'dwyer,Cody Watts, Meredith Olsen, Michelle Thomas,Jessica Haley, Sarah Perkins, Julia Drews, Meagan Steele, Maddie Schlafly, Rhouse, Haley Zoeller, Kim Mays, Lana, Lauren White, Carla Toro, Beth Davis, Kalli Black, Randall, Laura Cherry, Kim K, Meagan Baird, Cherie, Megan Difilipo, Rebekah Stevens, Kristina Werner, Katie Brock,Collins, Rachel Primus. and a special thanks to Casey Schott for organizing it! I love you guys all SO much! Just so y'all know I cried like a big baby when I opened it!

Friday night  some of my close girlfriends and I went to Horseradish Grill. Such a quaint, cute place on Chastain park. Again, I need to work on getting a boyfriend so he can take me places like that more often! Then I shockingly went out for just a few minutes. However, it seemed like all of Atlanta was on drugs so I came home and slumber partied with Colleen and J Rog! Saturday a huge group of all my favorite people went to the Ivy in Buckhead. We had dinner and cheesecake, thanks to Candace, and then hung out there the rest of the night. I'm used to being the crazy, fun friend so it's really hard for me to accept that staying awake till midnight is as crazy as my life is these days! But I had a ton of fun! I am so glad J Rog and Newman got to come down. They are two of my best friends, and I just miss them so much!

I also got showered with gifts! As you guys might have figured out, I am quite the shopping addict, and a got tons of giftcards I'm already dreaming about spending! I'm going on a trip to Minneapolis in April for a Twins game and to see the show Jersey Boys, my dad came and spent the day with me and maybe spoiled me a little too much, but that's OK, my roomie decorated our apt,  and I got all sorts of other stuff! Again, I can't even begin to express how lucky I am to have such amazing people in my life who love me so much. Even if I am a little nuts!

A HUGGGGE shout out to Atlanta Cycling for helping me get a bike! If any of you guys want to get a new bike to join me on my biking adventures, because an adventure is definitely what it is, this is the place to go. They are so nice and helpful! I got a hybrid bike, and went on my first ride Monday. I'm not going to lie, it was harder than I thought. I only almost crashed once, but it was almost into traffic, right in Buckhead. I had to laugh at myself. It was a lot of fun though, and kind me gave  a sense of my independence back. I went to Target all by myself! It was glorious!

I only have 19 treatments left!!! Then I have the month of April off. Starting in May I will do Chemo just the first five days of every month, for I'm not sure how long...At least a year. I'm feeling extra good this week, though! Maybe I'm still on a birthday high.

A huge congrats to Mandy and John, two of my friends from college, on their recent in engagement!

A mutual friend was nice enough to share his story with me, and I found it quite amazing and inspiring. I hope you will as well.

Don't forget the last day to order "Walk for Marissa" tshirts is next week! They are super cute, and I will be wearing mine at the Brain Tumor Walk in May! Here's the link to order:

If you want to pay my money order, feel free to drop it off at my apartment! I love visitors as I get pretty bored throughout the week!

Thanks to everyone who made my birthday special! Here's pictures of all the festivities from Thursday night dinner with my parents to Saturday!


The Rents
All the girls at the Ivy


Horseradish Grill

Friday, February 18, 2011


Its my birthday!!! Now, normally I would probably be depressed right now cause I'm getting "old". But today, I am celebrating getting old, and kind of happy about it! I love birthdays, and everything that they involve! I love dressing up, spending time with friends and family, being a princess for a day, taking lots of photos, cake, everything. Don't worry, I make a big deal of every ones, not just mine!!! I have treatment this morning, then let the festivities begin!!! My two other roommates from college (we had a big apartment) who happen to be the last two members of a silly thing called DAG (another college story for another time) Newman and J Rog (again with the nicknames haha) are coming down to celebrate from DC!!! YAY!!!

Tonight some of my close girlfriends are taking me to dinner, since I am just usually a a bit more tired on days I do radiation, and then tomorrow, we are having a full on celebration!!!! A weekend full of birthday fun! I have great friends! Cards and gifts have already started rolling in, and I will post at the end of my birthday to brag about how blessed I am and show you pictures of all our fun activities!

On a side note from my birthday, I have some followers from South Africa. How cool, right? They stumbled across blog randomly and sent me a touching and beautiful post card. I want to say Thank You. When I get messages encouraging my faith and strength, it only makes me want to fight that much harder! Your card really touched my heart, and my glad my story has touched yours!

Stay tuned...

Sunday, February 13, 2011


5 am! That's right, I'm up at 5 :) So when I ignore your phone calls and texts, just remember that!!!

I started treatment on Thursday!!! Only 28 left to go! Technically I have 38 chemo, since I continue to take that on the weekend, but 28 total! Thursday was kind of an emotional day. I had to remind my myself to stay positive, and my day started getting better. I would even go as far as saying it feeling good! I started the fight. Step-by-step, day-by-day, God and I are beating this tumor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My nurse even played me some Rhianna during radiation!

Now, I know that most of the world isn't up, but if you have a weird connection to me like Megan Spivey, who wakes up during my treatment time everyday, I would love to be lifted up during prayers at that time. I do chemo at 5:15 am, and radiation at 6:15 (eastern). It sucks getting up, but there is no traffic and my mom and I are home in bed my 7. Plus the morning gives me "me" time to just mediate and reflect upon my awesome life before the rest of the world can distract me.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, it was a blessing in disguise my office was closed, because I obviously will be out of work till at least this set of treatment is over, since it's everyday. I do FULLY intend on going back after that, though! Somewhere, hopefully, in marketing! But being 23, (almost 24, ahhhh) you never imagine that in a months time you will lose your job, and find out you have brain cancer. But hey, life happens. My parents are angels, and are helping as much as they can, but lets face it. I'm an adult! So in attempt to help with my medical bills, and the fact that I start paying Cobra
(insurance) soon, we are selling some ROCKING t-shirts for people to support ME, BRAIN CANCER, and simply just to LOOK CUTE! I'll be fashionably wearing mine at the race in May, but for those of you who can't make it, there's good news, you can help any day, week, night you want!

Megan (seriously what would I do without her? She's almost forgiven for all the practical jokes you played on me as kid, that she so graciously forget to blog in her blog) as it all organized. This is the link to order 

or you can email her directly at As always, I love hearing from you, too, so shoot me at email if you have any questions. I guess she deserves a picture for this!

Also, here's the proof for the t-shirts. So how cute, right?

(we know, its misspelled on this! We fixed it, proooomise!)

I have been feeling pretty good this weekend, I even went shopping (twice) and have made it to a dinner and lunch, but today, I have the honor of supporting my best friend Laura at her first wedding festivity! She's been a rock in my foundation the past month, and it feels good that today I will get to do my maid-of-honor duties and assist her in whatever she needs! Can't wait!

My family, friends and especially ME! can not thank you guys enough for being there over the past month. It's been an eventful one, and I don't think I could have made it through without all the love and support. I have the biggest fan club and you guys will never know what that means to me! I am SO thankful to each of you in my life! So in attempt to say thank you enough, THANKS!!!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude

Well, Well, Well......

I wasn't quite sure when I was going to post again, but I figure now
is as good as time as any. As many of you may know, I was readmitted to the ICU
at Emory last week due to swelling on my brain. Therefore, I
actually got my the results a lot sooner than planned. On my mom's
birthday actually. We have a weird way of ruining birthdays in my
family... Mine is coming up on the 18th, by the way, in case I forgot to
mention. And I LOVE birthdays!

Anyway, I found out last week, the tumor is malignant. Aside from my
select friends, and family people don't really know the details,
including me. I don't research it, because I am suited and ready for
the battle! And I ask you all  to join! I start treatment, which will
include radiation and chemo this Thursday everyday for 6 weeks. I ask
that you all continue to stay positive for me, as my dear friend
Meredith informed that being positive doesn't always mean being happy.
But you guys have to remind me! I am aware that this is going to be a
long, hard, battle but with God by my side and the army of friends,
support, love, and encouragement He has given me-- I'm ready! I
NEED positivity. In fact, I'm going as to separate myself from
negative people right now, even my best friends if I have too. I have enough testing
my faith, so anything else, doesn't have a stop in my life
right now-sorry, love you!

ON a reallly really cool note. Those of you who are already jealous
you didn't go to Auburn, since we are the National Champions, and
pretty much the best school, everrrrr!! i'm not biased, of course. One of
my close friends Jessica and her mom, Mama Sal, sent the Athletic
Department at Auburn my story.

(I really like pics, please you get to see how pretty my friends are)....

The Auburn Athletic Department sent me a package. Its AWESOME!!!!!!!
It included SO MUCH Auburn stuff; a picture of Gene Chizik signed to
me (he is looking extra studly, too), a signed poster of Cam Newton
(breath taking), a BCS Media Guide with an encouraging message from
Trooper (wide reciever coach) and lots, lots more!!! It seriously is
the best school ever, and not that I ever did or would question going
to school there, but seriously, we are family. War Eagle.

One other thing. Thanks for signing up to support me in the race in
May. Of course, I keep forgetting to sign myself up, typical. Many of
you have asked
about the donations. Those go directly to the Brain Tumor Research
Program. Its a great program, and I truly encourage it. For those who
wanted information about my direct donations you can send them to
United Community Bank in Villa Rica, GA:  485 W Bankhead HWY, Villla
Rica, GA 30180.... #-770-459-3100. Now, I am not asking for donations,
I already told you, you guys are giving me the best present, by simply
praying over me. I just wanted to clear that up because I, as well
as my publicst/cousin/best friend, you guys may know as Megan, have
gotten questions about that.

God is bigger than this, and with Him by my side, I know I can make it
through! Keep praying!!!!

Oh, and a huge thanks to Ben Smith, for possibly making a "Marissa Parks Day" in Georgia. How sweet would that be?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Acts of Kindness

A few months of ago, my roommate Colleen, was very affected by an awful act of violence. She is the most selfless person I know, and I hating having to watch her upset. Each night when we watch the TV to see shooting, wars, kidnappings, and much more; it makes me so much more sad.

I have to tell everyone, in the kind of world we live in, how hard it is to think there is more kindness than sadness that they show in the Media each day-- but, I am living proof.

I received at least 10 bouquet of flowers. I never thought I was a flower person, but I thinking I should really try one of those boyfriend things so I can get them more often. My bests friends Leeeny, La, and Megan have been here almost everyday. My other wonderful roomie from college, R House
(we like nicknames) just brought a big basket, full of goodies and I've had too many visitors to even name. I got packages from all of the country, messages from thousands of people. I had one of my best friends (not cousin, whoopsie) sit in the waiting room for 12 hours while I went through surgery and recovery. I had a girl who I knew from my marketing class in college get me a thoughtful gift, people who are not even my bosses anymore send caring messages, people volunteer to  bring dinner for weeks to come, my wonderful Aunt Kelly is in from New Jersey, a trust fund in my name for donations, people for brain cancers with just simple words of encouragement. Someone who stumbled across my blog  is volunteering to donate me a sparkly pink bike, more cakes, cookies, candy, (against my wish) books, gossip magazines, gray clothing and shoes to support Brain Tumor Awareness. If you never heard the song "Pocket Full of Sunshine" it is actually perfect for my life my right now, and now thanks to Michelle Thomas I have a creative, Pocket Full Sunshine

So, for a lot of those people who leave me sweet messages that I am an inspiration to you guys, you are the inspiration. I know I am a positive person, but I could not do it all without the support of you guys. If you don't know how impressive this is, if  you know me, you know. The amount of support, and Acts of Kindness literally makes me SPEECHLESS. Now,I don't know whats more impressive- me, speechless, or all the support?!!  Thank you soooooo sooooo soooooo much. And of course, the prayers are the best gifts of all, and they are coming from everyone. Thanks! And you remember, you think the world is becoming an evil place, pay it forward, and do something for someone else. They appreciate it, I PROMISE!!!

And, now to the boring stuff.

Saturday, I started  to get a sensation on the right side of of my face, and totally lost my speech for around 2 minutes. We didn't know what it was, and if it was a side effect of the meds; Sunday night it started again. We called the doctors and they told me  it was another type of seizure, and to up my dosage of seizure medicine. On Monday it happened again, and it lasted around 4 minutes. I started to continually have the seizures every 20 minutes, for 4 hours. Within the firsrt hour I completely lost my speech. TERRIFYING. If you can imagine me going through the rest of my life would be without speech. OMG. I couldn't say my funny stuff and make fun people with awful fashion style, although some of you may really enjoy it.

I just started stumbling across a few words and for an hour I lost my speech completely, my parents said it sounded like I was talking like a 2 year old. At the emergency room I spelled my name with 14 letters (its 7), getting only the letter M right. AND I thought I totally deserved a cookie for doing so well. They did a  CAT scan and found swelling and bleeding on my brain. I immediately was admitted to me the "ICU" type room.

On a good note, this floor is great for hot doctors and they visit directly at times. I am about to brush on  mascara and go for a walk to scope it out. This total visit has been better. Last time I was here I received a very uncomfortable sponge bath by two large nurses, prompting multiple inappropriate comments to my mom thanks to my pain medicine. I'll stick to the hot doctors this visit, thanks.

The power of prayer definitely works. A woman in the ER asked to pray with my dad and within minutes of them praying together I started being able to talk again, so keep them coming!

I am coming back on Friday to meet with the radiologist to get my pathology results and treatment plan. I still won't know if it is cancerous or not until then, but I know I can fight this! I will keep everyone updated.

My mom demanded a picture of us on the blog, so here it is-

One for thing- I have doing a 5k walk to May for Brain Support Awareness. If you are interested in my being on my team ifs the link and I am TEAM ROSA (another nickname) or email me at

Friday, January 28, 2011

Megan here for Marissa...

Hello to every pair of eyeballs that has taken the time to read this blog of Marissa's, to every mind that has wrapped itself around this truly shocking and life changing reality that is called her life, to every parent praying for health over their children, to every friend of Marissa- whether good, bad, fake, old, new...but mainly, to every heart that has shoved aside its own desires and concerns for the moment- and made room inside of them to take in Marissa's story.

I know alot of people have been following Marissa's updates from my facebook account- I am posting those updates on here today for those of you who have had trouble viewing them- for those of you who I didnt tag or failed to remind- it was nothing personal- just a very busy and long day- so please forgive me.

Fun background I do want you to know (mainly for the people who have NO clue why I have hacked into Marissa's account)

I met Marissa in kindergarten- at Temple Elementary. So we go back far enough to remember borrowing each others purple jelly shoes from the Gap, cheating on spelling tests on Braves Day at school in Dr. Glover's 3rd grade class, Marissa tying a string to my tooth and attaching it to the door knob of her playhouse-swearing to me that "THIS WILL WORK MEG", catching 100 fireflies and releasing them in her bedroom just KNOWING that when we turned the lights out- the fireflies would light the whole room up.. We used to get excited when her mom would take us to the movies in her giant blue astro van to watch movies like "Hunchback of Notre Dame" on the big screen.

We buried a time capsule in her backyard, told all of our dance friends that there were dead people buried in my front yard, tried to convince her brothers their house was haunted for ONE FULL YEAR. No, we didn't go to the same high schools, but did we take prom photos together every year- we sure did. We may or may not have, but definitely did, sign each others yearbooks. People- This is the girl who convinced me that it would be the "Greatest idea I have ever had"- to send each other flowers on Valentine's day in the 8th grade and label them "from your secret admirer"...

If you live in Temple and your house has ever been rolled- Yea. We had a part in that.

For those of you confused about family relation- we started that little white lie in the 6th grade... & well.. you see how long we have kept it running. But to me- she feels like nothing less of family.. cousin may be a bit stretched when in reality, she is more of a sister to me.

I was there for Marissa when Aunt Jennifer passed away. She wiped my tears when my Poppy passed. Skip thousands of heart felt memories later- and she was standing beside me the day I walked down the aisle and married my best friend in the whole world.  & Like so many others that love her- I intend to be there the day she walks down that aisle, and has those babies, and more currently. I intend to be there- the day she smacks down this tumor and whatever comes with it.

Now you know a little bit about the connection with this strong woman I look at each day! Every life she comes into- she touches and leaves a lasting impression on.

I know Marissa has been so touched by every person who has encouraged her with letters, cards, kind words, and prayers. She is so blessed, and she knows that. She has not muttered one word of negativity and expressed a sense of loneliness throughout the entire process. I encourage you all to stay by her side- for this journey still has many twists and turns coming.

I find it fascinating that so many people have learned about her, grown to care for her, even without actually knowing her. To all of the survivors of brain tumors and brain cancer- thank you. Thank you for fighting and winning before her. Thank you for setting the example- and than- standing along side her- when you don't even KNOW her.

You are all diamonds & you will be blessed for your compassion that you offer her.

Now- as I promised you. The updates from yesterday- the day or surgery:

SURGERY DAY- Update #1

Well well well... The blogging torch passes for only a moment I'm sure. Anyone who knows Marissa well enough knows- nothing holds her down for too long.
We got to the hospital this morning around 930 am- she was scheduled to go into surgery prep at 10am- 3.5 hours later- the nurse JUST walked into the lobby and took her back. Aunt Christine went with her. Uncle Brad, My mom, and I are holding down the corner of the waiting room right now.

(Side note on her waiting time: Apparently her doctor had an emergency patient bump Marissa out of her spot for surgery- which threw a wrench in his gears for the whole day.. Marissa's surgery was scheduled for #4- so we had to sit and wait thru the emergency patient & #3.)

For those of you wondering- she was and has been in really really good spirits this morning! Our moms had us both laughing so hard until we had to take a bathroom break- we have all been reminiscing of times come and gone. Memories from old, new, funny, ironic..

Marissa and I have always had the longest history of making fun of our moms together- to their faces.. and our moms dish it right back out.. Among our lobby laughs today- new inside jokes have been established- such as:

"I will never do ZUMBA again without a pantie-liner-- I learned my lesson the first time"- Amy Spivey, 47 years old
"O my gosh- the new American Idol will let all the 15 year olds try out this year-- all because of that JASON BIBER kid"- Christine Parks, 47 years old

Our moms.. have made this day hilarious.
After offending a few people by our volume of laughter and conversation topics- Marissa and I realized that we are still in our pre-kindergarten modes. We see each other and get so loud and obnoxiously hyper fast- then we crash- and yes- as expected from any 4 year old- we spread our pea-coats out on the lobby floor and took a nap.

It is this day- that I will store in my memories of us. Laying here with my oldest, best friend.. and knowing that we are both shoving the reality of the day to the side- and it really wasn't that hard to do.

Our moms left the lobby to go grab some caffeine- and It grew really quiet between Rissa and I. This is the first time today we have just been alone.. Between our cell phones blowing up, nurses probing her and her parents for info every few minutes, and the roaring laughter our fabulous mothers- we realized- we were alone and it was quiet.

She leaned so close I thought we were going to share a new secret- and she swallowed back her tears and said- "Meg, can we pray?"

You know how when you get that lump in your throat- that burns your eyes and makes everything in your torso HOT.
Yea, pretty sure we got that.
I knew her anxiety was finally peeking thru-but here is what shows me her true strength..

ANYONE AND EVERYONE IS PHYSICALLY CAPABLE OF BEING POSITIVE. We all are. Marissa has chosen that road thru this journey- and it looks "Strong" to everyone.. But her strength is so much more than that smile you see when you visit and her common joke of the "brain tumor"...
True strength is shown when the SUPER POSITIVE person, feels fear and weakness- and turns to GOD first. Not to her blog, her texting, her cards and quotes people have sent..
But in her time of anxiety she called upon the one thing that WILL heal this situation.
She said, "Can we pray?"

My mom walked over and led the prayer b/c even I couldn't hold it together long enough to mumble actual words out.

After that- we walked down the hallway to find the maternity ward (not because we feel our clocks ticking- but simply to appreciate the beauty of life.. the beginning of a new person's journey... and we kind of like laughing at some of the names people pick!) After 10 steps past the waiting room- we got distracted and found ourselves right back with our moms.

It may have been God's timing because no sooner than we greeted our lobby buddies, the nurse was ready for her.

Aunt Christine could have lifted a car with the adrenaline that kicked in after the nurse asked for "Parks".. She jumped up- threw her bag to my mom and grabbed Marissa's paperwork.

We all just starred at each other. Marissa's face went flush and that lump came back into all of our throats.. She came in for hug to each of us, My mom, then me, then her Daddy.. The longest hug of all-the most precious display of love.

She said, "Oh my gosh I am nervous now.. But I've got this."

Keep praying and wear your Gray to show your support for brain tumor awareness!!

Update #2

Per my latest facebook status update: Marissa was taken into surgery 15 minutes ago- The nurse has explained that the surgery will be a bit more extensive then what the Dr. explained to her! But her mom said she is doing good back there! We have all eaten and we are now back in the waiting room to wait for round 3!
round 1: waiting to get called into pre-op
round 2: from pre-op to OR---
round 3: O.R.

Expanding on the Nurse- Marissa and her family have been under the impression that the doctor planned on drilling a small hole into the side of the skull today- however, Aunt Christine informed us- during pre-op the nurse told Marissa they would actually be cutting out a piece of her skull- over the size of a walnut. She found out she will be losing more hair than originally promised- luckily Jamie Best - of J. Best Salon in Villa Rica has graciously offered to do extensions for Rissa, free of charge (after she recovers from the surgery and hospital stay)

also- on an awesome note- for those of you keeping up with Marissa's blog- check this out!
Uncle Brad got a phone call today from someone that  has stumbled upon her blog... fast forward to the section where Marissa states she, "Would like a bike- pink and sparkly".
Well, this wish may come  true- as a Bike Shop has contacted Rissa's family and would like to donate this bike to Marissa! I would shout out more credentials- but I don't have all the info I'm sure, and I would hate to say the wrong business name!

On another note- I want to thank all of Marissa's friends and followers for being so awesome! You have touched her life in the smallest way!
The constant encouragement you have offered has been amazing!
Her parents keep getting blessed with food & financial help for Marissa!
Thank you ALL!
I know I don't know all of your names & I don't even know how she knows half of you- but from the bottom of my heart- thank you for loving and supporting her!

Since Marissa has been moving from room room, a few more guests have started to join us here: Candace Saxon, both of her brothers, & her future sister-in-law!

Her family defiantly says they feel the warm wishes and prayers with them today!

Just what the doctor ordered

Yep. you guessed it- we are in the waiting room and the doctor is here.

Here is the 411:

1st thing to be thankful for- Marissa being treated here and not Arizona. the doctor literally said to us JUST NOW, "I have no idea what the doctor in Arizona was thinking when he diagnosed her- what he found is nothing like what we found in there today" Arizona informed her that she had a walnut sized tumor with Swelling around it- which was causing the seizures. Infact- the "Swelling" was "Gliomas" dividing.

2nd thing to be thankful for- The NURSES are not the DOCTORS- no disrespect to any nurse out there- but the one she saw today particularly- we are glad was not her doctor. WHY do I say this?- Well the nurse who explained to her that her skull was coming off- WRONG. the doctor just assured us that once they got in there- he decided to go with the pin sized drill! PRAISE THE LORD!

Furthermore- Here is the diagnosis:

They removed pieces of the tumor- the piece will be sent to be tested for cancer and we wont find out anything for ONE week from today! Long week to wait- but she will be extremely sore and tired over the next week- so hopefully thru focusing on rehabilitation- she won't worry herself too much with next Friday. As for her parents- the longest week of their lives, I'm sure.

The gliomas- basically a group of cells which are forming the "tumor" in the lobe and on top of the brain!
if they divide rapidly- this will mean this specific tumor is Malignant-- aka- cancer
If they don't  divide or divide slowly- then this is just a mass of cells grouped together- they will be removed- basically blasted with a form of radiation or medicine to kill those little suckers!

The doctor would not give anyone a definite YES or NO- on whether or not is in infact- cancerous. however, the thing concerning everyone is the fact that these gliomas are growing rapidly enough to cause multiple seizures within two weeks of one another.

Aunt Chris and Uncle Brad are overwhelmed, but with fear of the next steps & lack of answers today, and JOY- as Marissa went thru the surgery fantastically!!! a surgery which usually takes 1.5 hours on average- they finished in an hour!

The doctor is POSITIVE that Rissa won't have a long hospital stay- he is even predicting her moving into a normal room tonight or in the morning- and on to Temple within a day! The only thing that will slow this process down for marissa- is the seizing, hemorrhage, or too much swelling. Her body has been fighting off seizures for over a week now- but the doctors feel as if they are a very possible thing to experience after this surgery!

Everyone- we need to believe together for a positive test result for next friday, we need to believe for a short stay here and quick recovery- and RIGHT NOW- say a prayer and believe for NO SEIZURES.

She will stay with her parents in Temple until they return to Emory for the biopsy results next Friday!
For those of you hoping to visit her at the hospital- I will let you know her room number and her expected stay time as soon as I know!
For those of you hoping to see her after she recoops for a few days- I can let you know her parents address!

Shout out to Candace- Who spelled all of the medical terms in here- after explaining them to me!

Tid Bits

Ok- The princess has awoke!
She is swollen- as expected- from the fluids, etc.
She has the expected patch of hair missing- but not too bad- and nothing Jamie can't fix for her! Her family got to go back into recovery to see her- and after Candace and I went back- We prepared to see the worst, but surprisingly- it was uplifting to see her that awake and talkative. She is in pain- but they have already started her meds.

They predict she will go into a regular room tonight- and leave tomorrow sometime (so for those of you planning on sending flowers and gifts to the hospital- I would wait and send it to her mom's house- since that is where her full recovery will be spent this week)

Aunt Chris says that anything in the envelope family- small gifts even should be sent to  P.O. Box 305 Temple, Ga 30179
Anything shipped like UPS, flowers, food etc:     82 Lakeview Drive Temple, GA 30179

Her final determining factor which will let us know if she is going into ICU tonight or a regular room tonight- is: Her CT scan.
Which she is in now. Pray for no abnormalities on the scan so she can get into a normal room!!


12 Hours Later
The CT was good.
They found blood on the brain but the Dr. confirmed that it is nothing serious- only the aftermath of major surgery to her brain.
We know her motor skills and personality are the same old Marissa as we have already experienced these comments from her in the past 30 minutes.
"I want the ugly socks and gown off- they are not agreeing with me.."
"I would like frozen yogurt- not that nasty jello- jello is like a giant booger in your mouth"
etc etc

On the more blunt side- some of the conditions of the the recovery room are very startling to my mom and I. It's very hot and sticky in there- noisy- and apparently the nurses have been quite rough when handling Marissa.

When they moved her off of the gurney- they were so rough with her that after the CT was over she refused for them to touch her again. She informed them that she would be walking herself back to her own bed.

This is so disheartening to me. This has been an amazing hospital- she has the best doctors in her corner- but I wish the recovery room nurses were making her feel a bit more comfort.

Laura and Colleen are on their way with dinner for the family and some goodies for Riss! It will be good to see some more smiling faces here- My mom and I are the only ones left in a huge waiting room- and we have already nicknamed all of the fish in Emory's over-sized tank.. Just what are the compensating for with that tank I wonder?? Ga Aquarium will not be threatened by this attempt dear Emory.

Candace had to leave but she was able to tell Marissa goodbye before leaving .. (yes we are still waiting on a room) Candace informed us that when she entered the recovery room Marissa has a rag over her head and she let Candace and the nurses know that she "Does NOT feel well at all, and would like her room now."

The magnitude of pain that the head and brain went thru today have made her ultra sensitive to EVERYTHING. Even the nurses told us we do not need to use a normal speaking voice to her- the very sound of the words send vibrations and signals of pain straight thru her.

She is now on 3 types of pain killers and we are all just ready to see her into a room so she can sleep tonight.

The doctors would like to discharge her tomorrow- so we are gearing for that. For all of you who have stuck with us today- THANK YOU SO MUCH! You are a blessing.

~~~~~UPDATE THUS FAR~~~~~~ One prayer answered super fast- she just got a new nurse in recovery- Aunt Christine came out THRILLED about how nice the new nurse is! YA

Everyday it's True- You Make All YOUR mercies New..

This should sum up the adventure of surgery somewhat- even though we all know this is only the beginning of a journey in her life- that only faith, support and patience will help her thru. 
I spoke with Aunt Chris this morning- Marissa is headed home today! Emory is planning on releasing her around 2pm! 
Marissa did however find out from her doctor today- that the group of cells has indeed grown in size and number since the stay in Arizona. The doctor is not giving her or her family any answers that can lead us believe one way of the other- but the doctors do intend to have a treatment regiment set in place by Thursday or Friday of next week- which is also when she receives the biopsy results. 
As I said earlier- this will be a long week. But nothing that can't be handled.

Marissa was highly overwhelmed by the volume of calls ad texts and emails- she is literally- taken over by the amount of support- It brought tears to her eyes.. which her family and friends can not thank EVERYONE enough for.

Continue to follow her updates and keep those prayers coming! More answers soon- but regardless of the outcome of that biopsy- God is on the throne- and Marissa's life was set out before she was even born.. God doesn't lead us down roads that we meet a dead end on. He doesn't give us more than we can bear. & he will never leave, nor forsake us... So regardless of results- Marissa has got this.

Thank you for letting me share with you some details while she is recovering and still heavily medicated! I am positive she is ready to connect with you all!

- Meganshae

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Simple Things

After not feeling well all weekend, I was determined to make this week a good one! So Monday I woke to see my roommate off to work, and did just that. I went for a walk to Border's and then walked through the park on my way back. You know that saying "someone else is always a little worse than you" SO TRUE. It's amazing how many simple things we take for granted each and every day of our lives. While I was walking I was silently praying and observing simple miracles God gives us everyday. Look outside today and be thankful for beautiful things that you enjoy. It might be your favorite flowers, tree, or even simple sunshine. Be thankful for having the ability to walk and be able to see and enjoy those things, because honestly they are simply wonderful.

On kind of another note, spun from the walk, I am going to invest in a bike. I bet you guys are so excited to see my cute new bike riding the roads of Buckhead. I can't drive for 6 months due to seizures (stupid) and I am way to independent and stubborn to have to wait for people to drive me around. Of course I had no idea what kind of bike to even buy, I was looking at mountain bike, how was I was supposed to know? But with the help of a good friend we found  a cute, "riding" bike. Of course I want pink and sparkly. I'll keep you posted on this adventure

The anxiety of Thursday is starting to slowly taking over my life. I stay up late, I woke up early, and basically I just do not sleep. The way feel is almost impossible to put into words. I am scared, but relieved. Anxious, and nervous, but also excitement to finally get the process started. I go today for an MRI and more Cat Scans. And then surgery tomorrow....EEKS!

I have a few requests. For those of you lifting me up in prayers, I know its human nature, even for me, to pray for selfish things like, no cancer. But, I ask that you pray for God's will, and pray more for acceptance, and patience for me this week and during this journey. Also pray for yourselves! Pray that you guys can all be strong for each other during this time, and be strong for me. I also wouldn't mind if you prayed that I lose as little hair as possible tomorrow hhaha, andddd maybe to be less stubborn. Thanks for keeping me in your prayers, its the greatest gift of all!!! Oh- and the baked goods have to stop. I have to honor of being the maid of honor in Laura and Michael's wedding in April, and I prefer not to be obese while standing on the alter! Thanks!

Thanks to Chloe, Casey, Michael, and Kevin  for filling my apartment with beautiful flowers!!! AND.....


Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Clincher....

So, I have insomnia. It's like a timer goes off in my body every morning at 5 am. It sucks. I am sure it's a mixture of nerves I don't express throughout the the day, and the anxiety of having to sit and wait....that is the worse part so far.

SO.....Somewhere through the process of this whole thing, I lost my job. No, I am not joking. I couldn't write a story this good if I tried. I didn't lose it because of my sickness, but my companies new CEO decided to shut down the Atlanta branch which has left me jobless. I haven't quite figured out what I am going to do about this new development yet. Maybe I will win the lottery, or just move to a beach and become a bum. Sounds tempting, right?

I am convinced it is some sort of blessing in disguise since I wasn't released to work right now anyway. But you if you know any marketing or sales jobs in the Atlanta area, I am actively searching!

Today Michelle and Cody are going to visit me from Auburn, and I am thrilled! Tomorrow Katie and Matt are coming, and of course I have the continued support of my everyday backbones Colleen and Laura. Have I told everyone what a lucky girl I am? I don't think I could ask for better friends.