“The Start Of My New Journey”
August 3 | Written By: Alexandrea Blue
What I have been up to: Well hello there! It’s been awhile I know. I want to apologize for taking almost 7 months to write another blog post as I have been so busy, anxious, stressed, happy, and feeling a billion other emotions everyday. There’s so much that can happen in 7 months and a lot has. I got the opportunity to go on two trips already this summer and being sick it can be really difficult to travel but with the best nurses and doctors and a great plan I was able to go and have a great time. In March I got the chance to go to Disney and Universal in Orlando, Florida. I had a blast and even though I had to be in a wheelchair basically the whole time I seriously enjoyed the entire time. I got to ride all the roller coasters I wanted and eat all the yummy foods the parks offer. Recently, I traveled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and I had a blast. I was super nervous before going on this trip as I was not at all 100%. Before leaving I haven’t had chemo in almost a month but I was still getting something like morning sickness (nausea, vomitting, constant headaches) and we think it was because we were weening me off lots of medications but we didn’t really know for sure. Just going with the flow I decided to go and I am so glad that I did. The sickness in the morning continued on the trip to Mexico but I was able to control it with special medications which saved my life. Going into the maintenance phase I really wanted to just “live my life.” It’s been almost 1 year of having cancer and as you can probably tell I am done sitting in the house, laying in bed, and being lazy. I’m definitely ready to get my life started again. I will be taking 3 more trips the month of August (2022) to keep on living my life and doing what makes me happy. I’m so thankful that the Shedneck Foundation is taking me and my boyfriend to NYC for a weekend of shopping and dinner a weekend in august. Pigeon Forge Tennesse for some family time in the Smokey mountains, and Cancun, Mexico for my last trip of August. I am beyond thankful that I even get to travel so much especially still recovering from almost a year of harsh chemotherapy.
Latest Update (Cancer): Today (August 2nd, 2022) I am officially in the maintenance phase. Today I went to U of M and I had my infusion appointment and my spinal tap procedure of the month. We also talked about what this month will look like. I will continue chemotherapy for the next two years but most of the chemotherapy will be taken orally instead of through IV. I will still get some through the IV just not most. I will also be coming into the hospital every month instead of every week which is a HUGE change that I am so happy about. Then a little bit of labs here and there to make sure that my counts are on track. This plan that we came up with is seriously perfect compared to what I had to go through the 11 months. The chemotherapy will not be as harsh, my hair will finally continue to grow (it will stay this time) and overall my body should be feeling much more energized. This step is huge for me and my family and to be here is truly a blessing.
How I have been feeling emotionally: I know we all go through things of our own but i want to share how I feel sometimes having cancer and how I deal with it. Yes, we all have our days but sometimes I feel like there are more bad days than good days. When you’re told you’re going into maintenance and maintenance is supposed to be great, amazing, and wonderful that’s what you expect. To still continue to wake up and feel sick everyday when I’m not supposed to is extremely frustrating and confusing because we don’t know why. I have been dealing with this anger for about a month now as I was expecting to just instantly feel immediately “normal.” But I realized that I was on so many medications (a book) that it does take time for it to actually get out of my system. So I get down sometimes and all I want to do is lay in my bed, be depressed, and stressed and just not be productive because it feels like nothing is going right. Being sick every single day seriously gets so old. So today we talked to the doctors and we came up with a plan to take certain medications before waking up to see if I would feel better when waking up. I really hope it works so that I can finally feel normal again. I want you all to know everyone has bad days but they don’t last forever.
What’s next for me?: Now that I am in maintenance I will finally be able to go back to school in October of 2022. I will be able to shadow again and start learning so that I can be successful in my career and finally graduate. I am praying that I will have all the energy and I will be feeling great for when school comes around. If you didn’t know I also have 2 more years of chemotherapy and I will officially be in remission (gets to ring the bell) in March of 2024! I dream about this day every night but until then I will continue to live my life, enjoy life, and celebrate it. God is good all the time and I wouldn’t be here without Him, my family, and my friends. I am so excited to start this new chapter in my life of kickstarting my career, building Milo N Ivy Boutique, and working on how to live my life again.
Weight Loss: I don’t really enjoy or like talking about my weight or what happened and how my body has changed throughout my treatment but since I have some great news about it I thought id share. As you all may know I was on a very high dose of steroids about 30mg all throughout the beginning and ending of my first and 3rd phase. Which made me gain about 40lbs in total. I became super hungry all the time and it was getting super out of hand but I couldn’t help it because I was on the high dose of steroids. Steroids help kill the cancer tremendously which is why it was a serious option for me. I knew that I didn’t want to stay at the weight that I gained so I ended up asking my parents for a personal trainer and they were able to get me one and we worked out for months for a 2-3x a week and it went really well. If I wasn’t working out with the trainer I would go to the gym myself or ride my Pelaton. It all was working but very slowly and I am very impatient so I was getting even more insecure. So we decided to go on a very strict diet and I would only intake very very few calories per day. We talked to oncology about this and they decided that this was not going to work as I would not be getting enough nutrients in and I would be out of energy. We listened and decided that we needed to change what I ate so we tweaked that and I started to watch what I ate everyday. No fast food, no soda, no candy. Now, I don’t really have an appetite as I am on a very low dose of steroids. As of today (Aug 2) I have lost a total of 18lbs and I am super proud of myself. Although, I still don’t see it I know that whatever I am doing is working. It can be hard to already lose your hair and then gain weight so this needed to happen for me to feel good about myself. Being off steroids the weight also drops tremendously which is amazing. I will continue to try my best to keep up with this “diet” and I can’t wait to see how much more weight I end up losing!