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.