Saturday, April 21, 2012

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.


  1. Lizzie, you don't know me but my name is Dave Perez. I'm a fellow lufkin-ite and I happened to stumble upon your story a couple of weeks ago. I have kept up with your blog and I must say that you are a strong woman. Words can't describe how inspiring your attitude towards your situation is. I have kept you in my prayers since I first heard. Please keep posting.


  2. Just catching up here..another you don't know, but I did post earlier...and I am praying for you,too. I wanted to post on this particular entry because...ohhh emmm look amazing going to prom! That smile of yours is all you need! The dress is perfect on you and you and your friends look like you all are having a great time! Stunningly beautiful. Ok, that's all. Wonderful posts, thank you for sharing!