Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Humans have 7 vertebrae in their neck. How many do giraffes have?

 I got to pet a giraffe! It was so cool. They're so pretty and ginormous! I got to go behind the scenes at Ellen Trout Zoo and feed the giraffes bamboo and it was absolutely amazing. You can see them swallow and then spit their food back into their mouth. It was really interesting. Thank you Nisha and Mrs. Rudis for doing that for me, not everyone can say they had the same experience.

 Oh! And I also held hands with a monkey. They have old man fingers, it's sort of creepy.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Thanks so much to the Cook family for taking me to get my tattoo. I love it, I really do!

Yesterday I made the drive out to Nacogdoches to get a tattoo. YOLO, right?!?


 It wasn't spur of the moment. I didn't just get something to say I did. I've thought about this for a long time now and finally made a decision. I knew this was going to be permanent so I took the time to really think about what I wanted to get. I wanted something that described my goals, but not something that was cliche. I wanted something that I could look at and smile because it is a subtle hint of what I'm supposed to be doing. So I got the world tattooed on my left wrist.

Now every time I look at my arm, I am reminded that I need to be the change I want to see in the world. It's a constant reminder to strive to be a better person. A reminder that people are out there with much worse circumstances than mine. A reminder that every decision I make makes an impact on another life.
I never thought I would ever get a tattoo. I used to think they were trashy (no offense), but now I realize why people get them. Some people just need reminders of what's important to them or what they stand for. This is my life motto. Be the change you want to see in the world. I think it's better than Drake's. Just saying....

Monday, December 17, 2012

Make a Wish!

Thanks to everyone who told me about the meteor shower! It was great.

 Look at the stars! Just kidding. My attempt to take a picture of the meteor shower.

I was going to watch it in Austin, but I decided to come home instead. Then I made plans to watch it with a friend, but she ended up not being able to. But gosh darn it! I was going to watch that shower. I ended up watching it with my sister and my mom. It was great! I love them more than anything and I'm glad I got to share this with them.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

BE the change

Have you ever noticed how humans are like playdough?

We're constantly morphing ourselves to fit the situation we're in. We act differently around our parents than we would around our boyfriend or girlfriend. We'll say something in front of our friends that we won't say in front of our pastor. We change ourselves to be comfortable, to fit in. This is a fact. It's a method of survival. Adapt to survive. There's nothing wrong with that.
 But have you ever noticed that we never mold ourselves to be better than the status quo? We always mold ourselves after an example, but never to be an example. Once we fit in, we don't try to change ourselves to be something better. We just try to fit the mold that everyone else is. This is what's bad about being playdough. It doesn't change by itself. From what I've heard, playdough has never thought "hmmmm. I don't like who I am now, I should make myself better." It has to be molded by an outside force. Whether that be our hands, or a plastic mold. Humans don't change by themselves either. If we're comfortable with how we are, that's how we'll stay until we're told to change. And even then it's a long process because we always see how others should change, but acknowledging our own faults is not easy.
After the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, it's easy to say that "you've lost hope in humanity". It's easy to gripe about gun laws. It's even easier to share pictures that "restore" hope. It's easy because it requires no effort whatsoever. Any one can make a facebook status. Anyone can send a tweet. Anyone can express their thoughts on what's wrong with humanity. But few of us will actually make an effort to change what's wrong with the world. Why is that? Because it requires a change within ourselves. There is not a single force responsible for the downfall of the integrity of the human race, but there are about 7 billion. What's wrong with humanity lies within each and every one of us and nothing about it is going to change until we look in the mirror and address the problem.

So instead of talking about changes, be the change, because nothing ever happens just by talking about it. There has to be some kind of action to initiate change. Take a day and reflect on how you could be a better person. Work on being just a little bit nicer every day.  Do twenty acts of kindness like this amazing couple who went out of their way (and comfort zone) to make an anonymous impact on the lives of people in Lufkin.Whatever you do, it doesn't have to be drastic. Most of the time, the biggest changes start out with just a little something different.

Props to Walker and Katelyn McWilliams. I am so proud to call them my friends. And if you didn't click the link to their blog earlier, click on it NOW! If everyone does what they did, the world would be a much happier place.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I have Cancer again and that's not a bad thing

My remission ending has not made me sad at all. This is a little weird, but it might have made me happier. I know that without this, I never would do any of the things I really wanted to with my life. I would have left college and gone straight into my career without giving any of the items on my bucket list a look. Nothing is holding me back now, I'm free to take any leap that I want.

One thing that makes me smile is the knowledge that God is using me. A few weeks ago I was consoling a friend and mentioned something that I didn't really think would apply to me again, but it does. God uses us for reasons that we may not always know, and sometimes that entails large struggles on our part. Cancer is not the way I imagined God using me, but that's the way it is so all I can do is be happy for this opportunity to touch people's lives. Cancer sucks a ton, but in my opinion, knowing that I'm positively affecting someone's life right now far outweighs the suckiness of being sick.

My bucket list used to have only one thing on it, and it was to know that before I died, I left a positive mark on Earth. I know that right now I am. After I'm gone (which isn't for a while) there's going to be a big ol' Lizzie footprint in the lives of my friends, family, and maybe even people I don't know. Because of this, I can go to bed smiling every night, even when I am stressed over finals or feeling cruddy.

So even though I'm sick, life is good. Really good.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Bucket List

This is a work in progress and it's not in any particular order. I'm just going to add them as I think of them

Mission trip to Africa or South America (maybe even both!!)
Bungee Jump
See an alligator in the wild
Tickle a penguin
Go to a Katy Perry concert
Meet Ryan Gosling
Meet Joseph Gordon- Levitt
Go to Europe
Visit New York during Christmas time
Go scuba diving
Adopt (more like sponsor) an orphan
Get a tattoo
Go on a helicopter ride over Austin at night
Cheesy I know, but get my first kiss
Ride in a hot air balloon
Run a 5k (for those of you who don't know me, that's a big deal because I DO NOT run)
Take dance classes again
Go paragliding
Ride a segway
See floating lanterns like in the movie Tangled
Crowd surf
Be in a professional photoshoot
Go to a filming of So You Think You Can Dance
Watch a meteor shower
Jump off a waterfall
Go rock climbing
Play paintball
Watch sea turtles hatch
Pet a giraffe
Hold a monkey
Visit a glow worm cave
Get a hot stone massage
Swim in Blue Hole
Learn to play the piano
Visit a walk through aquarium

Thursday, November 22, 2012


It's back. My remission is over.

I guess technically I never was in remission. There was a spot on my last round of scans but the doctors weren't sure what it was so we decided to just monitor it. On the scans I had yesterday it was doubled in size, so it's definitely cancer. They also found  four more spots on my diaphragm.

I can't say I'm surprised. I've been really tired lately and I've started having bits of nausea again so deep down I really knew. Also, this is going to be really weird, but the deciding factor was that popcorn made me sick. Before I had my tumors removed, eating popcorn made my stomach feel really weird and hurt. The other week I had popcorn and couldn't sleep because my stomach felt so uncomfortable. 

Chemo doesn't work and having surgery on that area to remove the tumors is iffy. It looks like there's nothing left to do. Even if we could do surgery, I don't think I will. The tumors will just keep coming back. My life would be longer, but I would hate it because it would just  be filled with surgeries. So I'm just going to keep on living my life as long as I can. I'm not sad or afraid. I get to be with my friends and family here and then I get to go to my real home in heaven. Either way it's a win win situation!

I just want all of you to know that I'm happy and I don't hurt. This gives me the opportunity to do what I really want to do with my life but didn't have the courage to do beforehand. I'm planning some great things and I'll post pictures here so you can all be a part of my adventure. I'm just going to close it out with my favorite scripture ever which just so happens to fit the situation perfectly!

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
Isaiah 41:13

Monday, November 19, 2012


Everyday, a ton of my Facebook friends post something they are thankful for. It's so nice to see people stop and really think about what we cherish and are thankful for, because, often, these are the things we overlook. It's so much easier to focus on the bad stuff that happens to us. I find myself asking God why he lets bad things happen way more often often than I thank him for the blessings he has given me. So this is my form of the thankful Facebook post. I'm only going to do one, but this is the most important and relevant to my life right now.

I am thankful that I had Cancer.

Yes, that is a shocker, but I've been thinking about it and if I could go back in time and prevent myself from getting it, I wouldn't. This struggle has changed me for the better and I am so grateful for it. It has taught me what real friendship is, it has taught me what to value in life, and it has deepened my relationship with God. God was able to use me for his plan and I can not tell you how giddy that makes me feel.

So thank you, God, for making me a stronger person. Thank you for giving me the challenge I needed to blossom.

On Wednesday, I go in for my second round of scans to see if any cancer has returned. I'm not going to lie and say that I'm completely confident that they will be clean. As optimistic as I am, sometimes being a realist is better. Because liver cancer is so aggressive, it seems as if a recurrence is not a matter of if, but a matter of when. My struggle may not be over yet, but I will face any new obstacle head on and rejoice knowing that my God is standing beside me every step of the way.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

And suddenly things are a little brighter

It's been a long hard week, and mine isn't even over yet. I have a midterm tomorrow, so I really shouldn't be writing this right now, yet here I am. I really just wanted to vent to people about how horrible my week has been and all I wanted to do was eat my weight in cookies. I bombed two tests this week, didn't get to go to After Dark, missed a psychology study so now I have to make that up with even more studies, and I didn't get to go to bible study. I swear all I've done this week was sit at my desk and study. I've been so stressed that I haven't been able to sleep causing my eyes to make me look like a raccoon, and now that I have hair, I actually have to do something with it. I now understand curly hair problems and the only solution I've found is a hat.
But my aunt sent me cookies and a smiley face balloon AND some random guy went out of his way to open a door for me which brightened my day a little bit. He probably thought I had been crying  because apparently I've been rubbing my eyes and my mascara was all the way down to my cheek bones, but that's beside the point.
The point is that I had been dwelling on the negative and overlooking the positives of my week. I was worrying about the grades I made, and there is nothing I can do about them, they're in the past and I can't change that. But I can change what tomorrow will be. I just need to remember that  I have friends that are awesome, family that loves me, and a God that adores me. I really don't need anything else. My life is good, today and everyday.
Our attitude determines the type of day we'll have, so stay positive and don't worry. As far as I know, worrying doesn't add a single day to our lives. Tomorrow is a new day so just take a deep breath and smile, everything is going to be alright.

P.S.- Thanks for the cookies, I've already had four.
And for those of you that aren't my facebook friends, here's a picture of my hair. It's grown a lot since the last picture of me I put on here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


This story just proves what I've been saying. No one suffers without purpose. God has reasoning behind every little thing in our life. He's not just throwing stuff at us because he can, he loves us way too much for that. This couple is amazing and their story is astounding.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Videos worth watching.

This is a video from a girl in my bible study. It's for a really really really good cause. Watch and share to help get this little boy adopted!

This video is awesome. Even if you don't like One Direction it's a great video. If you like music at all, you should take some time to watch it.

I am Redeemed.

I woke up in a worshipy mood today. I like it :)

I seriously listened to My Dear by Bethel Music on repeat like twenty times today. I love it. I couldn't upload the video though so here's a link to watch the cutest video of it ever. I hope my faith is as evident in my wedding as it was in their's. Seriously, this is beautiful.

This is my FAVORITE WORSHIP SONG EVER. It reminds me of how deep and wide God's love is. His love is bigger than I can imagine and stronger than I will ever know.

This video gives me chills every time I watch it. So moving. I just watched it now and almost started crying.
Here are some other really good songs,

This next one has poor sound quality. I'm sorry! It's the only one I could find. If you want to look it up it's called We Will Sing by Burgundy Road.

Living he loved me. Dying he saved me. And buried he carried my sins far away. I forget how big of a sacrifice God made to know me sometimes. His love and grace is more than enough for me, and I am so thankful that he is a forgiving God .Without him, I would be nothing.

I know there are a ton of videos on here, but each one of them is worth watching. ESPECIALLY THE SECOND ONE. If you watch any of these, watch the second one.

It's a great day. God loves us. Smile. Be happy.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Just some of my thoughts... I wish. These are just some quotes that I recently came across and really like

"Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns."
                                    -Anne Lamott

"If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."
                                   -Roald Dahl

"I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. I believe in love even when I cannot feel it. I believe in God even when he is silent."

                                  -Anonymous. Written on a wall during the holocaust
 I can only hope that I would have this kind of faith if I were in the same situation.

"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise, we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them."
                                - Thomas Merton

"I hate everyone. And Pants."
                              -Some random picture on Pinterest.
  This applies to my life so much. Mostly the second part. I love everyone, but I  REALLY REALLY hate pants. My family can attest to that.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's a matter of RYAN GOSLING

As most of the UT students already know, Ryan Gosling is in Austin shooting a movie. It's been posted all over twitter and facebook and whatnot. Tons of people have been trying to get a glimpse of him, I know I have! I heard a rumor that he was in west campus and completely dropped what I was doing to run across campus and see him. It's too bad he wasn't there, and now I have to rewatch a lecture because I missed most of it. Although it's "easy" for me to drop everything just to get a glimpse of Ryan, it's not so easy for others, especially those going through chemo. They can't leave the hospital because they have to be attached to chemo almost all of the time. I remember thinking it was a hassle just to use the restroom because I had to lug this huge pole behind me. And when I felt like walking around my hospital floor, I would have to plug into the wall because the batteries for the chemo disperser would die. Then there's the matter of being in a crowded place. Because chemo kills your immune system, you can't go anywhere where you could be exposed to lots of germs. It's already not fair that these teens and children have cancer, they shouldn't have to miss out on an opportunity to see Ryan! So, how about getting Ryan to visit them?!?!
Every Thursday the Dell Children's Hospital has a teen movie night for the oncology patients. Wouldn't it be awesome if RYAN GOSLING SHOWED UP? I'm trying to make this happen so it would be awesome if you could help! Just tweet it or facebook it. You could be responsible for making one person's week (probably year).

SO LET'S MAKE THIS HAPPEN! Let's see if we can get Ryan Gosling to visit the Dell Children's Hospital in Austin  on September 27!

Tweet #RyanatDell and spread the word!
Also make your facebook status about it and share my blog! We can make this happen.

Just some thoughts

I often have conflicting feelings about seeing myself everywhere. Do I wear my "Team Lizzie" shirts, or would that be weird? Do I save a copy of the magazine I'm on, or would that be considered narcissistic ? Should I think it's cool that people can google me and all these great articles come up, or should I think it creepy that so many people have access to my life and largest battle I have ever faced. I sometimes wonder if it was the right thing to do to start my blog. Don't get me wrong, I love being able to help others by sharing my story, but have I opened myself up to danger by doing so?  I've shared so many intimate feelings that I would NEVER tell a stranger. So many people that I know nothing about know the fears and trials that I have faced over the past year. Obviously I haven't shared everything about my life, but I've come pretty close. I've shared anything from embarrassing stories to my innermost toils. I sometimes wonder if I've crossed the line, have I shared too much? I hope I haven't.

This blog has opened up a huge debate for me. Where is the line between accepting compliments/ being proud of who I am/ what I've overcome and being too into myself/ getting a big head.

I know I definitely don't want to end up like this....

This whole entry came about because I was debating  whether I should post this link or not, but I really like the article and the person who wrote it is a dear friend of mine and her words mean a lot. The rest of her blog is awesome too, check it out!

Monday, September 17, 2012

***Update on last post***

So I posted my last blog entry after I didn't get accepted into a group that I really wanted to be in. One of the main reasons that I wanted to join this group in particular was that they did a lot of work with Make A Wish Foundation and I thought it would be really cool to be able to give back to an organization that I benefited from. But..... I didn't make it in, and boy am I glad now!! After my rejection, someone posted information about another group that I had never heard of called SMILE. This group actually goes to the children hospital in Austin and works with children in the oncology department. Their main focus is helping children with cancer.  I am so excited to be a part of this group. It's way more hands on and basically what I want my career to be. I feel like I was made for this group. If I had  been asked to join the other group, I wouldn't have time for SMILE on top of school, work, Navs (a christian group on campus), and the other group.

It all works out in the end.

God is great. Trust him, he knows what he's doing.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Everything happens for a reason

I believe that every action has purpose. God doesn't let things happen "just 'cause". It's all a part of his plan. If something doesn't happen, its because He either wants us to wait,or has something better in store for us. I don't feel sad when things don't work out the way I would like them to, I feel happy. Something better that I don't know about is waiting just around the corner for me. I know it's better because God wouldn't let something great pass me by only to give me something crappy.

Just remember, it's all for the best!

Friday, August 31, 2012

This is me. The new me. The better me.

So I was feeling a little reminiscent today and started looking through some old pictures. Not to sound narcissistic, but I truly didn't realize how beautiful I was. I mean, I was a stunner. And I'm not going to lie, I miss looking like that, especially here (University of Texas). Everywhere you turn there's a beautiful girl.....and a really cute guy staring at that girl.I seriously can't turn my head without seeing some girl being flirted up. I found that there were no guys staring at me (except for the one who asked what happened to my hair and then walked off) or trying to get my digits. It is so easy for me to wish that I looked like I used to, but the thing is that I don't. No matter how many times I go to bed, I'm going to wake up a different person than the girl in the previous pictures. Not only have I changed physically, I've also changed mentally and spiritually. 

 I'm a different person and I'm a completely different kind of beauty. 

 Even though I miss my old looks, I love the way I am now more than I ever loved myself back then. I used to paint my face with makeup so that I could be "pretty", but now you'll rarely find me wearing more than mascara and blush. I love my life so much more now and I am so much closer to God. I'm so much more light hearted than I was before. Also, I'm more wise. I'm and old soul. I realize the importance of things that most people my age don't, so I don't sweat the small stuff. And I don't dabble in petty things. 
This is starting to sound like a profile for eHarmony.... what I'm trying to say is that although I struggle with my self image sometimes, I'm beautiful. I have a great personality and if guys don't realize that, then it's their loss. 
So here I am, the new me. The beautiful me. The bald me. The fun me. The wise me. The better me. I'm Lizzie 2.0

 This entry sounded really narcissistic, but I needed to write it. I needed to document these feelings while I still felt them, so when I feel down I can go back and read it. Sometimes I just need a reminder of how awesome I truly am.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Midnight FroYo, Glacier Water, and the Public Transit System

 After a week of being a homebody and hiding out in my room, I'm glad to say that I'm adjusting nicely to Austin. This really is a great place to live and I'm looking forward to spending the next few years here. UT provides so much for students to do! I'm not used to it. I find myself repeating my life in Lufkin, sitting around for a long time trying to think of what to do, only now I have too many choices (as opposed to none). Just in the past few days I saw stand up comedians, had frozen yogurt at midnight, played a weak game of football (and its a stretch to be able to call it that), and went to Barton Springs. Boy is that place cold! I've swam in spring water in Alaska that was the same temperature as this. But anyways, the bus rides are free for students so the entertainment options are limitless! I love calling Austin home.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

With everyone leaving for college lately, it's given me time to think about life. Starting college in a new town can be scary.  You have to start over in a new place without all the familiarity of home. Your friends and family aren't there to support you, to protect you, to push you. You are completely responsible for yourself. You're an adult. You're on your own. You could change who you are, and no one is there to call you out on it. No one really knows who you were in your home town, so starting with a clean slate sounds very attractive and is completely possible.
I've been flirting with the idea of having a completely different life at college. My morals keep me from having the lifestyle that most college students have so I've considered forgoing my morals so that I could "fit in" with the other college students. It would be way easier to make friends if I could mold myself to fit their lifestyle. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that wasn't me. I am the way I am for a reason. I would not feel comfortable living any other way.
You don't have to change who you are to make friends. I promise people will be attracted to your fortitude. Other people are out there looking for someone who is not wishy washy. Someone who doesn't change every time a new situation is thrown at them. Someone who sticks to their morals.
Like I said earlier, starting college can be frightening. And changing who you are sounds like an easy fix. I just ask that you remember who you are. Any group of friends that forces you to change who you are just to hang out with them, is not worth being friends with. Never compromise yourself, I promise you won't regret it.
My hair is growing back white blonde. It's interesting. I can't wait till it grows out so I can see if it gains pigmentation. Last time it grew back like regular hair and it was DARK. And when I say dark, I mean almost black. This time my hair is growing back fuzzy, like rabbit fur, and blonde. Typically, post chemo patients grow hair which later falls out and then their actual, permanent hair comes in. I wonder if this is my temporary hair. If it is, I'm going to be annoyed! I'm ready to have  hair so I don't have to worry about getting sunburns on my head.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Since shaving my head, I have had a little self esteem trouble. After the initial head shaving, the "Bald is Beautiful" kick wore off and I began to feel like less of a girl. I grew up with society teaching me that girls should have pretty, long hair. It's thrown in our faces almost every day that women have hair. Shampoo commercials are filled with women that have long, luxurious, thick hair. Makeup commercials have models with long hair. Even Pinterest conveys the same idea. I have yet to see a picture there of a girl with a pixie cut that people long for. I'm just as guilty for feeding this idea that women have hair. When I see the picture of the Disney princesses without hair it gives me the creeps and  I certainly haven't pinned a picture of a short haircut with the title "MUST HAVE." We are taught that hair is what makes us girls. I didn't realize this until after I lost my hair. Children were constantly asking me if I was a girl or a boy. One girl had even referred to me as He like fifty times after talking to me the whole weekend. (I found this surprising because I think my voice is pretty girly. It's sort of high for a boy voice.) After a few times (like 15) that ended in tears on my half, I learned to shrug it off. They're kids, they don't know. I came to accept that I can be pretty without hair, that was until my last round of chemo. This time it made me lose my eyebrows and most of the eyelashes on my right eye. I was left feeling like more of an alien than a girl.
I played the feeling off as a joke, but I guess it mattered to me more than I thought. Last Wednesday when I went to church someone who I hadn't seen since my eyebrows went MIA shouted "You shaved your eyebrows!" I didn't think anything of it at the time but it took a toll on my self esteem. Later that week I found myself drawing on eyebrows and thinking I was pretty again even though I looked like a clown. (I have never been, nor will I ever be, a makeup artist. One of my eyebrows was darker and higher that the other. I looked like Jenna Marbles in her video My Boyfriend Does My Makeup.) My mom and stepsister had the decency to not let me leave the house that way so I took them off.
Later that night at a party, my friend Leah asked if I wanted my hair back. At first I was like DUH! It's not my life dream to be bald. But then she explained that she thought I looked really pretty with no hair. She thought I rocked the look and didn't really think I needed hair to look good. I have to admit that made me feel really good. It's nice to know that people have different ideas of beauty. You don't have to have a certain kind of hair, or any hair, to be beautiful. So thank you, Leah, for the GIANT confidence boost. I feel like a girl again. I mean I still want my eyebrows back, but I can wait a little while for my hair.

I guess the point of this post is that there are different ideas of beauty when it comes to hair. And that words can make a huge impact on people, even if they don't realize it. So be careful what you say because it can affect someone greatly.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


While I do believe that everyone has the right to their own opinion and should be able to express it freely, I do not support Chick-fil-A appreciation day. As Christians, we are supposed to love our brothers and sisters even if we don't necessarily agree with what they're doing. Hence the saying "Love the sinner, hate the sin." Today's event has morphed into something it was not originally intended for. Instead of being a day to support a business that is being scrutinized in the public eye for expressing an opinion, people are going there as a form of protest against gay people. I do realize that not everyone that went to chickfila today went there to take a stand against gay people, so do not feel like I lumped you into that group. As christians we are supposed to be the body of christ, though. We are the arms, the limbs, the lips, and the heart. We cannot take part in protests such as these because they are hateful. A spiteful seed is at the root of this protest and the supporters of it are responsible for nourishing this seed until it grew into the spectacle it was today. The protest today casts a negative light on christians. To others, it seems as if the heart of christianity is a cruel and hateful one. Instead of being part of the group that speaks hateful words from lips that are supposed to be of Christ, we need to be part of the group that reaches out with open arms and cradle those that are being hurt by this huge debocal.
Christians don't hold protests against liars, we don't hold protests against adulterers, we don't hold protests against people who disrespect their parents. So why should we hold protests against homosexuals? When we protest, we only hurt christianity by turning people away. We are responsible for turning people towards Jesus, so why don't we focus our energy on something that has a seed of love instead of one of hate? We need to be hands that heal instead of hands that hate because "Jesus paid much too high of a price for us to pick and choose who should come."

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

So yesterday was the day I had been dreading since my surgery. Scan day, the day that determined my life for the next year. As you know, my cancer is very aggressive and does not respond well to chemotherapy. Knowing that the only way to really get results is to remove the tumors, I was afraid that I still had tumors somewhere in my body. So my mentality going into this day was hope for the best but expect the worst. After all my scans were over, my mom and I waited in a conference room while the doctors reviewed the images for a LONG time. When the doctors returned to tell us the news, they had smiles on their faces. My scans were clean!  The only reason they took so long was that my body was playing a game of Tetris. There is a piece missing so my organs are moving around to try to fit that hole so it was hard for the doctors to tell what was what. But they said everything looked great! I even get to have my port removed so that I can enjoy a normal college life! Let's just hope that I don't get skin cancer from this sunburn I'm sporting!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

I'm supposed to be writing an article for a magazine, but I'm on the last paragraph and completely stuck. So I decided to write a new post on here. Hopefully this will get rid of my writer's block.

This week post chemo has been great! I've hardly been sick, which is really awesome, and have had energy to do fun things with friends. It's going to take a while until I can hang out like I used to, but that's expected and completely understandable (I've been taking medicine that's killing my insides!! And I'm not going to lie, it also gives me bad gas. So if you smell something funky, it was probably me.) Here's a little look at my past week.

I went bowling Wednesday night with my church youth group. I did pretty well for my usual no-bumper bowling. Scored a 64! We then went to Chickfila where I ate my Sonic double patty cheeseburger. YUMMY! Then I went to see Bernie, the new movie with Jack Black and Matthew McConaughey. I really recommend seeing it. It's not the usual stupid Jack Black movie, not that I don't enjoy Shallow Hal. He does a really good job portraying his character. Plus it's a true story about a man from Carthage, Texas. Most of the people in the movie are actual townspeople that knew Bernie. Their dialect and thoughts make the movie so great.

Thursday night I got to wear my new cowboy boots that I got for graduation. A couple of my friends and I drove to Nacogdoches to enjoy a nice dinner at Auntie Pastas. We gorged on fresh bread and enjoyed elegant conversation of menopause and hot waiters. After we all went to a friend's house and watched the season premier of Awkward, my favorite show on MTV. (Frankly it's the only one worth watching.) I then rode Phoebe's donkey

before playing my first ever game of Cops and Robbers. I would make a horrible cop in real life, we caught less than half the people the first round and zero the second. It was still super fun though!

Friday I enjoyed a nice outing with my aunt and sister. We ate yummy chicken enchiladas at a tea room before going to see an early showing of Magic Mike. BIG MISTAKE.  Most awkward movie of my life, do not go see it with family. Too be honest, the movie was not at all what I expected and I was severely disappointed in it. The dancing wasn't that great. Channing Tatum does some really good solos, but other than that it's just a lot of pelvic thrusts and men putting their business in people's faces.

Later that night I went to a friend's 50th birthday party (AKA Club Clint). The hosts had a garage? with a disco ball and sound system hooked up which made the night super fun. This was the funnest party I have ever been to! We danced all night and enjoyed the sounds of the eighties!
Are we smiling?!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I just wanted to share a piece of my boredom project. These toms used to be a cream canvas color. I still have to paint the other one though! I'm not going to lie, I chose to paint this because it was the coolest design that required the least amount of artistic ability. The reason I'm so bored is that I am in the hospital this week for my final round of chemo. Yes, you read that correctly. I'm in remission! I emerged victorious in my battle with cancer!I am a survivor. (To all of my past english teachers) I ain't got no more cancer in my body thanks to God and my doctors. Although this news is great and I'm super super duper happy about it, I am not ready to fully celebrate. There is a very real chance that it can recur. For the next couple of years, I will have scans every three months to see if any tumors have grown. So I ask that you still keep me in your prayers. Cancer completely changes your mindset. Pre diagnosis, I never thought about getting cancer, but now I will forever fear its return. This fear will not affect the way I live my life (besides the fact that I'm a sunscreen addict now), but it will always be in the back of my mind. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think most cancer survivors think this way.

Thanks to everyone who cheered me on during this battle and followed my blog. Do y'all think that I should keep up with it, other than to update my prognosis every three months?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

So I was looking through my blog the other day and realized I never made an update about how my surgery went! As you all know, I survived. The surgeon removed 2/3 of my liver up to the margin where he could no longer remove anymore. He was not able to get all of the tumor, he had to leave a little sliver which hopefully will be killed with my chemo. He also removed my gallbladder, the tumor in my esophagus, and the tumor by my heart. During the surgery, the surgeon found and removed four more spots in my diaphragm and bile track that looked iffy. When tested, three of them came back positive for cancer. I'm really lucky my surgeons were some of the best in their specialty and saw those spots, because they were too small to be seen on any X-rays.

 I've felt SO MUCH BETTER since the surgery. It's crazy how much that tumor in my esophagus made me puke. Now that it's gone, I don't get sick! And now that I'm all healed up I can do anything I set my mind to.

 Here's a picture of my awesome battle scar!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cancer changes everything. It takes a toll on your body. It changes your hair, obviously. It changes your perspective on life. It changes the way your family functions. All of which I expected. What I didn't expect was for it to change my friends and how they act around me. I've noticed that they all pretty much fall into these three groups.

Some will try to use you. Even if we've barely talked my entire life, we're instant "best friends". They take everything you tell them and use it as a way to get ahead. Nothing you tell them is safe because it will eventually be used as information to hold over others' heads. You're almost like their new shiny toy that they carry around to make others jealous. This works for them for a while, but once you're no longer that much of a concern to others, they drop you as quickly as they picked you up.

Others don't really know how to act around you. They treat you like you're a piece of china that will break any minute. They assume you're too frail to do anything, so you stop getting invites. Then the saying "out of sight out of mind" takes effect and they no longer stop inviting you because you're frail, but because they really just don't remember you. Which really sucks because getting up and out is what makes you feel better.

  Lastly, there's a small group of friends that don't change at all. These are my favorite. These friends don't treat you differently and they stick with through everything, even when you treat them poorly. These friends watch Dance Moms with you. These friends send you funny animal pictures and talk about old crushes. These friends let you eat their last brownie and tell you their plans for the zombie apocalypse. These friends tell you horrible horrendous knock knock jokes. They're genuinely concerned about you and listen no matter how much you complain. These are true friends and I am so glad I have them.

The next time you know someone that is going through something rough, think about what type of friend you are. And don't lie to yourself about it, because friends really do affect someone's battle. The type of people you surround yourself with really does make a difference on your recovery; mentally, physically, and spiritually. They need a strong group of friends behind them to lean on. So I BEG that you really try to be a part of the last group I described, because when someone has to go through something rough and life altering, like cancer, the last thing they need to worry about are their friends.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

My hair is growing! It's weird because I know that hair takes time to grow, but it seems like I woke up one day and all of the sudden there was peach fuzz covering my head. I even had to pluck my eyebrow (now eyebrowS) and shave my legs the other day. I'm not going to lie, being hairless is one perk that I will definitely miss. I've had the luxury of not having to shave for so long (the last time I shaved was prom) that now shaving is going to be a big hassle. I did just have chemo though and I have one more round at the end of the month, so I do get to look forward to not having to shave again.  Unfortunately, the hair on my head is only temporary because of these two rounds. But hair does grow! I just wish the hair on my head would grow as quickly as my eyebrows.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

This past weekend I received some news that I'm not sure how to respond to. My emotions were conflicting constantly and I had no idea what was the right way to feel. I'm not going to lie, yesterday I was a blubbering mess. While I started the day crying for one reason, I ended it crying for another. Ruth gave me a bag full of cards that I decided to read. Each one was moving and inspiring. They left me with renewed confidence and vigor. Thank you everyone for giving me the will to stay strong and not drown in my situation. I would also like to thank Walker and Katelyn for telling me its ok to feel what I'm feeling and to let people know. I don't have to keep on acting like a super human. Although I've acted optimistic around people, I'm scared. I cry..ALOT. Sometimes I don't even know why. I yearn to have my old life back. My faith has wavered and I was beginning to crumble. I felt like a sham. Everyone was telling me how inspirational I was because of my unwavering faith and constant strength during my battle with cancer. But secretly I was breaking under this pressure that was being put on me. I thought that it was wrong for me to feel the way I do, but I'm only human. I can only be strong for so long. But because of the cards you sent me, I realize just how much support I have behind me. As much as I complain about the physical town of Lufkin, I really do love the people. I am so thankful for everyone in and around Lufkin and I have no idea what I would do without y'all. Here are some excerpts from some of the wonderful cards.

"Tough Cookie- A fighter that who's too busy kicking butt to sit down and cry, but know's its ok to do both."

"Your fight has reminded me that all of my burdens can be made light if I only set them on Him."

"So I have always loved butterflies. They're so pretty and happy and free. But who would've thought this ugly caterpillar could transform into something beautiful. I sorta see cancer this way. At first it seems like this awful, ugly, unfortunate illness, but something beautiful can come out of it."

"Your situation made me realize what is important, and now I try so hard to always be grateful and handle things like you did."

"I know we believe in different religions but... honestly I don't think that God gives a challenge w/o giving us the adequate strength to get through it."

"I haven't been very "in-touch" with God lately. In fact it wasn't until last night that I realized- I haven't prayed in a very very long time...years!.. It made me realize a lot. I haven't been living my life like I should. Things are going to change. I promise to get closer to God, for you Lizzie! Because of you!"

"My kind friend Lizzie, you are the poop to my toilet...If I still had a Myspace, you would be in my top friends!"

One of the most eye opening cards was from my dear friend Nisha. Since my diagnosis, everyone has been throwing bible versus at me. Which, don't get me wrong, is totally ok. But sometimes I'm just like "Thanks but what does that have to do with my situation?" Nisha included in her card a scripture that most accurately affects my life.
"Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. Since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal"
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend a retreat for children with cancer. The Faust's opened their beautiful home, Squirrel Creek Ranch, to us so that we could have one weekend that was not focused on cancer.  I have never been more distracted from my illness while still being fully aware that I'm sick (if that even makes sense). I mean you had to have cancer to get invited. The weekend was packed full of  fun activities that kept me from concentrating on my cancer like seeing exotic animals, fishing, water balloon toss (Alex and I won that competition thanks to the teachings of Mr. Willis!). Even though my weekend ended in two visits to the ER and a short stay in the hospital because I caught the stomach virus, it was the most relaxing time I have had since my diagnosis. Not only did I meet the love of my life (too bad he's 28 and I'll never see him again and it was a completely one sided secret crush), I caught fish with my bare hands! I mean they were minnows in a barrel, but it's still legit. I loved spending the weekend surrounded by people with cancer, because there I was normal. Everyone there has been affected by cancer and they were fighting their own battles. Here are some highlights from my weekend.
 My first limo ride!

 As you can tell, I REALLY LOVE butterflies.

At an antique farm house!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I just wanted to share a small part of the story of my surgery day.I think it might provide some comic relief. When I got to the hospital at 5:45 Tuesday morning, the stuff I had to take the night before to clear my bowels was still very very much working. So my first ten minutes at the hospital were spent running around the first floor ( which is like a maze), frantically looking for a restroom so I wouldn't pull a Bridesmaids' move and poop on myself. When I got to my room, I had to put on a hospital gown ( you know the typical ones that do not cover your butt AT ALL). Except mine was even worse, it was missing a strap so it wouldn't close at all. NOT ONE BIT. Then they had to move me to a different room because my surgery was postponed, but instead of getting me a different gown, they put another on my back like a robe. So instead of having one gown that swallowed me up, I had two that completely engulfed my entire body. Later they had me take another pregnancy test, even though I assured them there was no possible way that I could be pregnant. But no one ever came to take my urine sample back, and when they wheeled me out of the room I asked if they wanted me to bring it with me, but they told me no. When I got down to the surgery waiting area, they asked me if I had taken a pregnancy test, to which I replied yes, it was still sitting up in the room. So they sent someone up to find it, but it was gone! They had lost my pee, how irresponsible! They asked if I could take another one, which I replied I might be able to, but I hadn't had anything to eat or drink past ten o'clock the night before, and it was now two in the afternoon. To my surprise, I was able to pee easily...too easily. I had almost filled up the cup when I felt one of my gowns drop into the toilette. In my attempt to get the gown out, I leaned my pee cup too far over and proceeded to spill most of it all over me. At that stage I was annoyed, I had just done all that work for nothing! There was barely anything left in the cup, and there was no way I was going to be able to pee anymore. The hospital was just going to have to deal! So I stormed out of the bathroom with a scowl on my face and placed my cup firmly on the counter. About an hour later a nurse came by to inform me that my pregnancy test was, in fact, negative. To which my mother and I replied OH! THANK GOD! WHAT A MIRACLE.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

This is the goodbye letter I wrote to my tumors before surgery. Dearest Tupac, Mary Kate, and Ashley  It's been fun....NOT. I hope you have a nice trip and never return. Seriously, you're not welcome here. I don't like you. Forever yours (just kidding), Lizzie

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I just wanted to thank everyone for the love and support you have provided. It has been so nice to have such a large group rooting for me. If you would still like to help, here's a way that you can change millions of people's lives. Just donate a small amount to the American Cancer Society in support of cancer research. If everyone donates just a small amount, there would be so much money being fueled to stopping or curing cancer! Imagine one day without cancer; you can be responsible for such a beautiful future just by donating a dollar or two! If you would like to donate, just follow this link!
There's a link right above this. It's just black so it's hard to see. Move your mouse over it and it will light up!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sometimes life can be cruel. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Some people are put in our lives for only a short period of time and are taken away almost as soon as they appear. Some people only live a short life and some live to be a hundred years old. Some suffer from disease, abuse, or poverty. It can be hard to find your way and discover your purpose in a world like this. One that is filled with hatred and suffering. It can be so easy to see what goes on around us and choose to focus on ourselves. Focus on our own suffering and remain unconcerned by the pain of others. It is SO EASY to become lost. To drown in what the world is throwing at us. To lose purpose, to just live life like a machine. Without feelings, hopes, or dreams. Only focused on survival. Like the song says "What good am I? Heaven only knows." Just remember that God gives everyone purpose. He does not just put you on Earth to suffer through it alone. He strategically places people in our lives to make an impact on us and we are meant to make an impact on others. We are meant to LIVE and discover our purpose. I believe that God only puts us on Earth for a purpose, and once we have done that, we don't have to live here anymore. So even if you are young, find your purpose. Make sure you live life and don't get caught up in the chase of monetary values. Our lives are like dust, here one minute, and gone the next with something so small as a gust of wind.So make the most of your life, you may not have that long. I don't mean to sound so morbid, but it's true.

Also, this Monday is really important. As I've said before, my case is so rare that treatment is always different and my doctors weren't even sure that chemotherapy would work. I have tests this Monday to see if the chemo has made any impact on my tumors. So please keep me in your prayers.From what the doctors told me, it sounded like if my chemo doesn't work, there's nothing else they can do for me.
Change. Change is something that has become a constant in my life. I knew things would be different once I was diagnosed. That day, I moved forward with my new life and never looked back. I thought I had completely accepted that my life was now different. Instead of waking up at 6 every day to get ready for school, I wake up and take oral chemotherapy and nausea pills. Instead of eating lunch with my friends, I sit at home alone with my dog. Every Monday, I have to drive to Houston for a check up. And unlike my sister, who has a cold and just has to suck it up and deal with it, if I get a cold I have to be hospitalized. I had even accepted that I no longer look like a normal teenage girl. I embraced my baldness, and I am slowly learning to shrug off all the strangers that stare at me when I venture out into public. Although I thought I was totally ok with my new life, I was wrong. I still yearned to be a normal teenager like all of my friends. I wanted to do the normal teenagery things that I was no longer allowed to do. I didn't realize that though until the day before prom. I finally cried. It was the first time I had cried since my diagnosis.
My second round of chemotherapy was definitely harsher than my first. My body was weaker than the first time, so it could not handle the chemo very well. While I was in the hospital, I puked every day, sometimes more than once. Because my medicine has delayed nausea, it only got worse when I got home. For two weeks I puked three, four, maybe five times a day. It definitely took a toll on my body. My throat was so raw, I started to puke up blood. I stopped eating because I knew I would get sick later. I even stopped drinking because it hurt too much to swallow. Thursday was odd, I had started to feel better. I even told my mom and texted my dad that it was the first day I hadn't puked in two weeks. I had celebrated too soon though. When I tried to go to bed, I kept getting sick. The next day I got sick again and noticed that more and more blood was showing up when I got sick. I finally told my stepdad to call the doctor and they told me to come into the E.R. I was so sad! I thought for one night, I would get to be like all the other people at my school and do the normal senior thing, go to prom. I would have to miss the one thing I was looking forward to for weeks! When we got to the Children's Hospital, they rushed us into a room and tons of people were running in and out. It turns out that my heart rate was 140 (people have that heart rate when they run marathons). My body was so weak and dehydrated that it was working super hard just to function normally. They stuck these things on my chest to monitor my heartbeat and also started an IV of liquids. The doctors were determined to get me to prom though, and if they couldn't get me out of the hospital then they would find some guy to come dance with me. Saturday would be the weirdest prom preparation day ever. At three in the morning I had to have a platelet transfusion to stop the bleeding in my throat. That day they continued to pump me full of liquids as fast as they could. When they finally disconnected me from my IV and told me I was ok to leave, I jumped in the shower and headed to the Galleria to get my head shaved. I had already lost most of my hair, but I still had patches, like a balding man. Then I went to Mac to get my makeup done quickly so I could head home and finish getting ready. I ended up making it home an hour before my prom pre-party. My grandmother showed up just in time with a new pair of toms to wear with my dress so I could finally leave. (I had to wear toms instead of the heels I had planned on because my oral chemo makes my feet feel like I stepped on a fire). I ended up having a great time at prom and it was so nice to see all of my friends and classmates! Although I had planned on going to an after party, I was just too tired to function anymore. I ended up going to bed at 12, perfectly satisfied with my day. I realized that it's ok to miss being a teenager sometimes. I have to accept that my life has changed, but that doesn't mean I can't still be a teenage girl sometimes.

The wind was blowing so hard. I was freaking out because it was messing up my hair.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

 Today is the best day of the year. Jesus CONQUERED DEATH so that we can have a relationship with him. I have to admit that I sometimes forget the importance of this day, especially this morning. Some days cancer really really sucks, and today was one of them. I woke up feeling sick and once I got to church my nausea only got worse. I know this is scary to hear, but this morning I was perfectly ok with dying, in fact I would have considered it a blessing. After lunch I started to feel better, so I decided to listen to a little christian music as I napped. As I was listening to the lyrics, I had a much needed "AH HA!" moment with God. I was thinking about my cancer and Easter and I had an epiphany which left me thinking "I see what you did there". Since my diagnoses, my faith had started to confuse me. Although I knew that I was safe in God's hands and that whatever happens is part of his greater plan for me, I found myself drifting from him. I had stopped reading my Bible and was praying less and less everyday. I can even remember laying in the hospital this past week telling God that I just needed a break from him. Just a little time to myself without having to try, I was tired of putting in the effort to make the relationship work. But God has a funny way of not letting that happen, he never lets go. Even though I was tired of him, he was still working in my life and drawing me closer without my realizing it. Easter and/or my cancer could not have come at a better time. Both are working together to make this day even more awesome. Katelyn McWilliams mentioned to me one day that the greater our suffering becomes, the more God's grace can grow. I really do understand that now. God wants a relationship with us, even if we are running from him. That's why he sent his only son to suffer on the cross for us.
Just a few words of wisdom
"We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through our suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies."
2 Corinthians 4:8-10

Sunday, April 1, 2012

 As you know, my hair started to fall out this past Tuesday. I was going to wait till the last minute to shave my head, but I was getting really annoyed by all the stray hairs flying everywhere. Each night when I took a bath, it was like brushing out a golden retriever. Hair everywhere! So against my Grandmother's will, I had a small shaving party. I had originally planned on inviting lots of friends, but I felt that this needed to be an intimate event because my family was having a hard time. So here are the pictures of me and my family during the head shaving process! It's a good thing I got my eyebrows waxed that day, I would have been bald headed with a unibrow!
The before picture
My "family"

Me and my Mom

The first cut!
Alex's turn

Kyle's turn

The moment they convinced me to get a mohawk

Almost there!

The hawk!

all gone!

I was excited to use my head scarf
I can't stop touching my head! It feels like a puppy. Who would have thought that shaving my head would make me more confident than ever! BALD IS BEAUTIFUL.