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