Thursday, April 30, 2015

How I Ended Up Back In the Hospital

I went home Friday, and although I wasn't able to share all the details of that until today, I began writing this post Sunday and then all hell broke loose during the week.. So I'm sorry for my lateness. But here is a mashup of my week since Friday.

--Friday, April 24--

I never thought I would be so happy to be home. There is nothing like sleeping in your own bed, around the people you love and being able to be free to roam and do as you will because, well, it is yours.

I literally thought the day would never arrive.

Spending a month in the hospital this time was much more difficult than the last (when Bex was born and I got my first round of chemo). Then, Bex and I were both in the hospital and I could focus on seeing him and spending time with him (when they'd allow me to when I wasn't sick). But it was a different experience.

This time, I loathed the hospital. I didn't want hospital food. I was tired of how the hospital soap smelled that I had to wash my hands with 28334738 times a day. I was tired of looking out of the same window wishing I could just go outside and breathe "real" air. I was tired of the IV pump beeping every 20 minutes or whenever one of my lines kinked and needed fixing. I hated having to ask someone to let me off bed alarm so I could go to the bathroom because I was considered a "fall risk." I don't know if I even told you guys about that night...

My days were long, my weeks were longer and then it literally seemed in possible for me to come out on the other side. I thought I was going to go bat shit cray cray.

But here I am, back at home, with all my boys. And I'm so happy to be home.

When Klay and I pulled up to the house there was a waiting party with balloons, a "Welcome Home" sign and a beautiful newly upgraded flower bed, thanks to my wonderful neighbors who do so much for us.

They've done it all. They've let the dogs out, purchased toys and leashes to take them on walks, they've donated money, they've re-done our flowerbed (making it more beautiful than it's ever been), they've brought us food, mowed our yard, they've been there when we needed someone to talk to, they have kept an eye on the house when we aren't there... And that's only the beginning of a very long, long list.

They are so thoughtful and mean so much to us. I'm so glad they were brought into our lives. We just love you two, Carl and Jana. Thank you for being our rocks during this time. You are and always will be a part of our family now. We don't know how we will ever be able to repay you.

I know the next three months are going to be extremely tough too.

I'm not supposed eat any fast food or food from restaurants, which my taste is way off and everything taste like shit anyway so it doesn't really matter. But when you have three or more doctor appointments in one week, you have to come prepared, and I am not prepared because I have to depend on everyone else to get me prepared (aka go to the grocery, make a meal, and for me to grab it for lunch on the way out).

I can't do anything for three months.

--No vacuuming, cleaning or dusting.
--No changing diapers.
--No dealing with doggy poo and pee. Don't do that anyway.
--I CANNOT be around cats or kitty litter.
--No veggies/fruits without peel on them unless they are canned or frozen.
--And a whole bunch of other shit, I don't remember...

Needless to say, with me feeling like I was whacked with a sledgehammer and completely exhausted, Klay is like a single-parent for the next few. I can feed Bex and try to entertain the kids, but I have to have someone there with me all the time to help me with them.

And I get tired just getting dressed for the day. I'm wiped out.

Plus, I have to take extra precautions to try to not get sick. If I get sick, it could be very serious and most likely will land me in the hospital (where I don't want to be).

--Tuesday, April 28, 1 a.m.--

At 1 am Tuesday morning, I started having severe abdominal pain. The pain woke me up and hit me out of no where.

I thought was having another gas attack like I dd before, but this time it felt slightly different. My tummy (up by my breast bones and around my ribs down on the right side of my stomach) were extremely tinder to the touch and my actual abdominal area (near my belly button and below) were softer and not as bloated as before.

I wasn't sure what was going on. Similar pain that I though may resolve with releasing some gas, but by 7 am and NO SLEEP, I couldn't keep it up.

We already had another doctor appointment scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, but we called and they told us to come in to find out what's going on.

Off we went to the Dallas--again for the the third time this week since Sunday--to the hospital. Of course we hit morning traffic which added nearly 50 minutes to our already 35-40 min commute. And I was in so much pain I couldn't think.

I had vomited twice at the house already and everything I'd eaten the night before between 4-6 had come up and it was not digested at all. I had some peanut butter and a banana, which is high in fat, so they said that could have kickstarted this whole thing, though it was waiting to happen.

Apparently gallstones, kidney stones, etc are hereditary and happen often to women post-pregnancy. So on top of everything else I have going on, I've just added another few stones on my journey to recovery.

I ended up having to stay overnight Tuesday so they could to a CT scan and ultrasound in the AM and then also to keep my pain a minimum.

I did get some heavy, much-needed sleep finally. I slept hard.

It might have been the drugs.
It might have been the fact I'd been awake FOREVER.
It might have been that I'd seen my kids this past weekend.
It might have been I was rejuvenated from my stay at home (though it was brief).

But whatever it was, I slept hard. I was out.

I was so happy to see my nurses though when I came back up to the floor!

--Wednesday, April 29--

After completing a CT scan, my doctor wanted to do an ultrasound as well. So yesterday was quite busy for me. I had to run around and do all of these tests.

The pain had become tolerable but it was still there, so I was OK with that for the time being.

After my ultrasound the doctors said my gallbladder was really inflamed and hazy looking and there were gallstones in there, plus a few in each of my kidneys.

As soon as my ultrasound was finished, they brought me back upstairs. Klay had school so he had to leave, but then the "surgeon" came in and told me, we needed to remove it today ASAP.

So ON TOP OF THE BIG C, I have to have a surgery to remove my damn gallbladder? What are the effin' chances?

Klay was running to CVS for me to grab a few feminine products I've needed (because, oh yeah, I've been bleeding for 5 or 6 weeks). #plugmeup

I have to wear pads to reduce infection-risks.

And then he had to run out to Academy to get a few fresh items of clothes since we didn't grab any in the rush to leave the house from the hospital.

By 3:30 pm, I was being wheeled down for gallbladder-removal surgery.

Insane. I did not wake up early this morning thinking I'd be making a trip to the OR. But I knew I couldn't suffer another gallbladder attack again.

I was under for about two hours or so.

It was a laparoscopic surgery, so there were was incisions made in my belly and three around my rib cage, so the recovery time is supposed to be better.

Of course since I'm immuno-suppressed, it may take a bit longer for me to heal. And they actually said post-operation that is why mine got so bad so quickly. Normally it takes a few days for someone to experience that much pain and for their gallbladder to look the way mine did, and it only took mine 8-16 hours.

When I woke, I was in pretty bad pain. I feel like someone had stabbed me and it was burning. I didn't think I'd be in the much pain post-operation, but I was.

I was that annoying person who wakes up groggy and confused and is saying "give me pain med. I'm hurting, I'm hurting."

Yep that was me--the whiner.

It was past 7 pm, by the time I woke up.

Once the doctor came out to talk to Klay in the waiting room, (and they wouldn't let him back in the OR recovery area), Klay came up to wash our clothes he had purchased and the nice clothes I came up here with, since I was now sporting an epic blue gown with a gorgeously planned out square design on it. #dontbejealous #makeitwork

--Thursday, April 30--

So the surgeon who performed the procedure came in this morning to tell me that my gallbladder was pretty "ugly" and inflamed. I had a few gallstones that were in the canal trying to make their way down to my liver but they got there just in time, but that would have made things incredibly worse. He did biopsy my liver because he said it looked a little nasty too, but my oncologist said that's to be expected with such high doses of chemo I'm

It was definitely the right decision to remove the gallbladder.

Sucky thing is: NO high fatty foods for two-three weeks. #aintthatsomebull

Dammit dude, I'm already having a tough time with what to eat at home, now this too? Shit. I'm screwed. But I am losing weight though, just not the way I would want to do it.

I'm supposed to be on clear liquids the rest of the day. I haven't eaten since Monday around 6 pm. #bitchesbestarvingaroundhere

Honestly though, I haven't wanted to eat. My appetite is not the best right now anyway. But for real though, a bean burrito sounds amaze balls. Just saying'.

I am missing home and my boys a lot. I just want to be with them. And I know this is really confusing for Brody. They are saying that I should be able to go home tomorrow. They just want to make sure that I'm doing OK for a full day prior to discharge. And I get that.

I got a bigger room this time. Go figure. In here a few days and get a bigger room, in here for over a month, get a smaller, more cramped room and bathroom. Oh, hospital logic... is there any?

I am getting up and moving around on my own, which is good.
Mostly, I'm just sore and tired.

I figured you guys needed a hefty update! So much has happened since I last wrote. I'll try to be more prompt this week. Got some more news (good news) to share soon!
OH! My friend Jaycie is hosting a Younique (a beauty product line) in my honor. She is donating all of her commission to me. If you think you're interested in some of their amazing products (I love their 3D Fiber Lash Mascara), visit her page on Facebook here and her Younique product page here
You can also watch a video of my review of the 3D mascara (which I did pre-cancer diagnosis and pre-Bex pregnancy) here. Video at the bottom of post.

So please help us out and order something for yourself (while also helping me out too)!

Hope all is out there in the world with you normal folks! Enjoy your days at work, your days with family and your time at home.

Tired, sore and feeling anything "but" sexy in my blue gown,

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Miserable Days

You know, people always said that my mouth would get me into trouble.

Well, this time they were right. I've had enough of my mouth's BS.

Mouth, you're killing me.

I'm sure you're wondering, WTF is she talking about now? OK, so here it goes.


Painful--that's the word I would use to describe the past three days.

I've not been able to eat anything the past two days. The day before that I barely had a few sips of a smoothie and that was it.

I've thrown up multiple times and why?


I have these sores that developed in my mouth, on my tongue and in my esophagus.#mouthsoresarenotjustforwhores
I'm just kidding.

It's terrible. I couldn't swallow any pills yesterday, so they converted the ones they could convert into IV.

But the ones that they had me attempt to take,  I would just throw back up with some lovely blood and mucus.

By last night, I took one sip of water because I was so thirsty I couldn't stand it. I managed to get it down but 30 minutes later I became super nauseated and puked in a bucket while on the bed (can't sit on the floor or they will label it a "fall"). And while I was throwing up I started having these lower back spasms. I hollered from how excruciating it was. The back spasms are from my bone marrow trying to spit out new cells.

This one was so bad, I threw up blood and bile.
And all that I was spitting up earlier that day was blood. That's it. It was horrible.

Meanwhile I have these sores in my throat, on my tongue and the sides of my mouth, and even down my esophagus.

These past few days have been exceptionally brutal. I've never felt pain like this. It's not like my mouth is sore, it's more like thorns in my throat and every time I swallow they just hit each other and try to send my food, pills or whatever back up.

I also couldn't talk much (or where people could understand me) because I have all of this extra saliva because I'm not swallowing because of the pain. This created an equally frustrating problem for me since no one could understand me, I had to repeat myself over and over again. Fun fact: my biggest pet peeve is repeating myself. I get super annoyed super fast.

I've literally felt like I'm in a horror film--some nastier version "The Exorcist" puking and spitting blood and other grossness everywhere.

I wish there was some way to describe it to you--the pain--but there honestly isn't. It feels like my throat closes or is closed more on one side and won't allow anything down and the pain is just reminding me to "stop trying to eat or drink."

But my stomach is all, "F U throat, I'm hungry."

My body is a bitch. What a P in the A (pain in the ass, for those of you who don't know that expression).

Beyond that, Klay was gone this weekend to the Reserves so it's been difficult not having him around. I'm just tired and exhausted, and I'm actually wanting to feel better or when I do, something happens and I start puking again.

I did just eat some soup, bread, and mashed potatoes and that seemed to go down ok (so far). It's just today has been one of those days I can't keep my eyes open. Between all of the meds they've given me (and they are strong) my head just doses to the side trying to get me to sleep. Then between these mini 20-30 min naps, I have crazy ass dreams and I wake up talking to people in the room who aren't there. And it's really embarrassing when a nurse is there and you say something about a dog and they are like "they let you bring a dog up here?" "Oh, no I'm sorry I was dreaming."

I am an EFFIN mess.

The Doc told me that if I didn't have all this throat mess going on, I'd probably be going home Tuesday (tomorrow). But he's still looking at me hoping I will be getting out of here by Thursday or Friday. I can't believe that. I'm just hoping my throat gets better. That's all I want is my throat to get better.

Plus, Brody is really starting to miss mommy and daddy. It just breaks my heart when he says he wants us to come pick him up. I'm so ready to be with my boys again. I mean who could resist this adorableness?

Those two faces make everything better. I just adore them. I'm so ready for this hospital stay to be done and behind me. It probably won't be my last stay, but let's hope it will be for a long time.

Feeling Mouthy,

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Rough Days + VLOG

Today--April 16--has sucked some major balls.

My throat is hurting so bad I can hardly swallow water. #whoisgonnamakeajokefirst

Besides that, I still have a diarrhea, excruciating pain in my mouth and throat, and now a possible bladder infection. I'm hurting today and it's pretty brutal.

On the upside I've had some of the best nurses the past few days. I've been so lucky. Honestly! And it makes the time go by faster with nurses who care, want to get to know you and do really sweet things for you out of no where.

The other thing I got today is Granix which is supposed to help my counts recover faster. Side effects: you feel like you have the flu w/ most complaining about body aches. Can I catch a break?

Then I saw the cutest white dog today. I was going to take it home with me. But they have me on so many drugs that I think I imagined it. These drugs mess with you man. So if you see a typo or some shit that doesn't make sense, I'm going the blame it on the drugs. I can barely make out the words on the screen because of the drugs. But hey, they are working so I don't not giving a shit.

So anyway, I literally can't swallow anything. It's brutal pain thankfully I VLOGGED for you guys yesterday so you're nightly 15-minute train wreck show is on.


Drained & In Pain,


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Letter Series Vol. 2 // A Letter To My Donor

Writing a letter to someone you don't know and thanking them for something of this magnitude is a hard task to tackle.

I think I've written a letter to someone I didn't know before. It was probably many years ago and in grade school a few times--a member of our military, a child overseas, etc--a designated pen-pal, if you will.

You probably remember those. The one thing I do know about you is you're around my age, so I'm assuming you remember handwritten letters and good ole snail mail. And after all of this time, of all of the countless letters I've written, if I could choose one to be handwritten, it would be this one.

Maybe eventually I can send you one through the donor registry, but until then I have a lot of work to do... so I guess I should focus there first.

But a day doesn't go by that I wonder who you are and what you're like.

Is she from the US?
Does she live in Germany?
Does she have kids?
What kinds of hobbies she like to do?
Does she want to meet me?
What did she think when she got a phone call saying she was a match?
Why did she decide to become a part of the registry?

I have so many questions and thoughts running through my brain about the kind of person you are.

But now that I've gone through with the transplant and parts of who you are becoming part of me, I wanted to write and really try to explain my thoughts, feelings and gratitude.

I've never dreamt I'd write a letter to you--whoever you are--and say the following, but here it goes:

Thank you for giving me a chance, a chance to live a longer life with my family and friends. 

Thank you for giving me an opportunity to make a difference in their lives. 

Thank you for saving me from being released from the gravity of this Earth too soon. 

Thank you for giving me something that is rightfully yours that was internally and scientifically made for you for your body, and sharing it with me to give me a chance to live longer.

Thank you for giving me hope. 

Thank you for giving my family hope and some peace of mind.

Thank you for taking the time to fill out the registry. Who would have ever thought that there are two people essentially made up of the same DNA--blood or whatever inside--and we've never even met? 

Thank you for taking time out of your life to do this for someone you don't know. It shows how unselfish and thoughtful you are.

Thank you for not passing up this opportunity to save someone's life. I hope that you will want to meet me one day, as I'd love to meet you.

Please never feel guilty if you never want to be contacted. I couldn't imagine giving something from your body--some of your anatomy--to save a stranger's life and finding out it didn't work. 

If that happens (it won't) but if it did, it's not your fault. You tried. You just happened to be the lucky person to have to the inside-goodies to match mine.

And that's what matters; you found that out and you've followed through donating your stem cells and  given me a fighting chance at life. There is nothing more I can ask for than that, truly.

Some people battling this disease don't even make it this far; they never make it into remission. I did it in one try. It seems like I'm supposed to go through this, right? Maybe we are supposed to meet and this is just the way we have to do it. 

Who knows what God has in store for us? 

What I do know is that I could NEVER express my gratitude for your act of kindness. I just wish there was someway I could give back or give back to the community for your act of selflessness. 

I wish I knew what I could do or what to say to you, but the truth is I don't. I don't know what to say. 

I'm sorry for that. 

The magnitude of the possibility of what you're giving me is far too large for a few words on a tiny screen. I wish I could do more. I wish I could say more. I've honestly never been so at a loss for words in my life. And to the people who know that personally have never witnessed that in my 27 years of life. I'm a talker;  I like to talk.

But I truly don't know what to say.

And maybe it's better not to say too much in this case. The simplest "thank you" may be the best. 

Thank you for giving me some more light at the end of my life. Whether it's one minute, one year, two years, ten, twenty or fifty, thank you to you, my donor, whoever and whereever you are.

I will cherish every bit of it and bask in the rays of light. 

Forever grateful & warm,

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Dear Emotions,

I hate you.

My soul feels like it's being drug down a slowly sinking mud pit. If I let it, it will consume me and I will be no more.

I cannot let my spirit fall in here. I will not.

I have to keep fighting and pushing and always remember that "this too shall pass."

Today, though, I emotionally couldn't hold anything in. I saw my boys, I cried. I cried when I went to the bathroom just to give me a moment alone. I cried when they left for the night. I cried in my hands when I went back to my jail cell that's keeping us apart for yet another night.

And I'm jealous. And I'm angry. And I'm hurt.

I'm jealous I'm not having a so-called "normal" life right now with my family. And I know there are people out there battling so much more than what I have on my plate before me, but it doesn't stop me from having all of these emotions.

I'm angry because I feel like I'm burdening everyone who tries to help us out while I lay in a bed fighting this disease doing nothing. I know why I'm doing it (why I'm laying here). I need our family and friends' support to get through these next few weeks, but I'm the type of person I don't like to ask for help--in fact I despise the idea.

If you want help, sure, I'll help you. But don't think for a second I'll just come and ask for help if I need it. I don't know why I'm that way. It's just who I am.

My friend Wanda said it best in a letter she wrote to "The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show." She said, "asking for help was not in Cass's DNA." Click here to listen to me on "The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show."

It's really not. I hate asking for help. I hate having to depend on people to do things I'm responsible for. I hate it all.

I know that right now in this time of need, I shouldn't hesitate for help, but I feel so much like a burden. Even burdening to Klay at times. His life wasn't supposed to go this way--married with two kids in our mid- to late-20s and with a wife who has cancer. He got the shitty end of the stick. And that's not fair.

If something happens to me, he has to start all over again.

This is my life and I should have control of it.
I should, but I don't.
My body has taken control and I'm fighting this fight to live and to gain my control back.

I just pray this transplant works. I know there will be more trying times in the future, but I just want to get the transplant done. The bummer thing about the transplant is that it's pretty uneventful they just fuse the stem cells through my trifusion line. Nothing fancy, no snazzy surgery prep, it's just like a basic blood transfusion.

Womp, womp, womp.

My emotions are just sucked dry today. Nothing is there to shine a little brighter on life today. It's like I got nothing left loaded in the gun. I'm out of ammo... nothing else is in the tank.

I just don't have much in me tonight to try to laugh and smile about anything right now. I want to be home. I want to be with my boys, my dogs and with my husband. That's all I want; and I can't have it right now.

And I feel the burden of not being able to take care of my family the way I should. I should be at home and helping them get ready for bed. I should be helping them brush their teeth and give them baths.

But instead, my eyes fill with tears blurring my vision of the computer screen, until they slide down my face--only to be followed with the multiple sobs.

My life took an unexpected turn at such an early age. I wasn't ready for it. I don't think anyone is ever ready for it.

I have cancer. I'm getting a transplant.

And all I can think to do is to apologize.

And say, I'm sorry for crying. I'm sorry I can't help you, I'm sorry I got cancer and have to ask you to watch my kids for me because they can't come up to see me. I'm sorry for being sick. I feel guilty about that.

I'd wondered what it would be like if something terrible was to happen to me and now I really know. I don't want to know any more. I don't want this anymore.

I always felt lost in the dark for most of my life. Like "that" friend that gets pushed to the side for someone cooler, better or more fun. I was never "the girl" everyone loved and everyone wanted to hang with. I was the one the girls hated and were mean to because I don't even know why. I wasn't mean or never tried to be. But I've had milkshakes thrown at my car, my face marked out in photos around the school, brownies put in my seat so I'd sit them. People who've said "Leave that gum in that chair cause Cass is coming to sit."

And all I've ever wanted is a friend--a true friend--that at the end of the day had my back. But throughout my younger years, my "friends" used and discarded me when they no longer needed me around or if it was better to follow another person or crowd. They got tired of being my friend because people were really mean to them to for being my friend.

I never understood that. I just wanted friends--real friends. So I guess in a pity-self-loathing time of my life I wondered what it would be like if something like this--life-threatening--were to happen to me, would people truly care?

I tried to imagine it. But I couldn't.

And now I'm here. It's not an imagination; it's a reality.
And gosh do I feel stupid for trying to imagine such a thing.

And it sucks for me, my boys and my husband.
And I'm sorry to you three for imagining such a life. I know it was just a thought, but it's come to fruition.

I need you boys to know that if mommy could take care of you, she would. If they would let you sleep up here with me, you'd be here by my side.

Klay, you know I have to send you home for them. My heart misses you so deeply tonight when you're not here with me. And it's nights like tonight I just need to know your near me and I immediately feel better. We don't have to talk, touch, I just need you to be.

But I know how important it is for you to get your time in with our little guys too. They need daddy-time and you need some time to rest at home, away from the cancer-chaos and your meltdown-wifey.

I'm sorry for all of the stress and work that has been thrust on your shoulders the past four months. You have stood by me every second of the way, and it's only made us stronger as a couple. I could never imagine having anyone else by my side for the rest of my life. I love you.

And that's what I am thankful for through this process--my kids, my boys, my friends and family, and the people who've commented, read, purchased t-shirts and supported me through this time.

I know I have people who care about me now. I do. More than I honestly thought did.

And thank you for doing that--supporting me. It really warms my heart and helps me get through days like this.

My brother in law Chad made this awesome video to remind me of all the support I have ready to lift me up at any time. It's a beautiful video and I love it. It's of you guys who posted photos on the day I was getting my transplant to let me know you all were thinking of me and praying for us. Thanks, Chad for putting together such a great gift that I can cherish forever.

I love all of y'all and remember to live life to the fullest.

Happy and sad,

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Transplant

It's finally happened.
Transplant day came and went.

AML | Stem Cell Transplant

I will no longer be me on the insides (at least that's kind of how I see it). Someone else's stem cells will try to graft to my body and generate a new, functioning immune system.

I know I should be more excited but I think my nerves have gotten the best of me.

It was a pretty anticlimactic thing. They infused the stem cells through my trifusion line in my room--like they would blood or platelets; no surgery or anything.

I suppose it's a bigger deal in life rather than the actual physical process of it all.

My nurse stayed in my room the whole time and monitored me, checking my vitals every 15 minutes. It was pretty cool cause you could see them (the stem cells) going through the tube into my chest.

I got 5 MILLION stem cells.

It seems like a lot, but any where from 4-7 MILLION is the norm.

AML Stem Cell Transplant

I wish I could say that I took some cool photos for you guys, but I didn't. I've been battling a migraine and so I wasn't really up to taking them myself.

I don't think you would have been able to see the stem cells anyway.
I just wish I would have been feeling better to document it for you guys.

The nurses did come in and sing "Happy Transplant Day [to me]" and brought me a cake and everything. That was really cool and sweet. It made the day feel special.

But these past few days have been super rough. From GI issues to a migraine that won't go away (which has made me puke countless times), I've just been physically a walking nightmare--emotionally too.

After four months, I still can't believe this is happening to me. I look at photos all the time and think "wow, I complained about a lot in this life." I was down most of the time, not much seemed to keep me happy. I was happy, but I bitched a lot.

What I wouldn't do to go back living days like that? Not that I want to be ungrateful; I don't. Life was simpler then. I miss the simple life--worrying about what to eat for dinner or going to the grocery store and now it's all about getting this cancer out of my body and "saving my life" talk.

I feel like I'm lying to you guys sometimes. Some days I've accepted this life and other days I refuse to think it's mine. I wake up everyday in the hospital in a nightmare. I don't want to be here. I just want to be home; I just want to be home.

That's all I can think about. I don't know why I can't seem to snap out of it. I just can't get out of this mindset that I'll be home eventually. I'm just going to have a rough go at it until then. And it sucks.

I just wish I could get over the emotional part of this journey. I can't keep from crying. I can't stop from thinking. I just need my mind to be taken away from the heartache of it all. I need to be with my boys and then that makes it worse.

I spent the bulk of tonight watching videos of Brody from my Facebook. They made me laugh and smile. I miss him so much and remember all of that like it was yesterday.


The boys came up and they are getting so big. I was feeling a lot better Friday so I asked my MIL to bring them up. Brody is a hoot, talking a lot and saying things out of the blue that just make me wonder where he gets his personality from. He's so much fun. And then little Bex isn't so little any more. And he has the biggest grin when he smiles. He's so sweet and happy. I just love those little guys so much.

On Saturday, I got a really bad migraine. It was brutal and the IV pain meds they were giving weren't helping. Then I started puking and had this nurse that was ridiculous. I almost cussed her out a few times. She was just slow and then disappeared for 4 hours. WTF. This bitch...

She was driving me freaking crazy. I was hot. I wasn't having shit that day. I was miserable.

Now it's Sunday and I'm feeling much better today. I got to see one of my favorite nurses that is a few floors below me and she always makes me feel better. She walks through the door and I get more excited than a fat kid at an ice cream shop or candy store... you get the idea.

I just love her. And I fell in love with another nurse up here too. She's so amazing, funny and is good at her job. She makes me forget about being up here and I get excited when she's around too.

And that's both of their gifts in life--helping us have fun while we are here, making me laugh and forget about the cancer crap. It seriously makes a world of a difference on who your nurse is.

As far as the way I feel, I feel OK today. My throat hurts in a way it never has. It feels like I swallowed a rock every time I drink or eat. And my esophagus hurts. It's not sore, just painful. It's a weird pain.

My counts are starting to drop significantly so we are going to restrict visitors. I don't want to get an infection which could delay me going home. And infections at this point, can be fatal to me.

Unfortunately when your on this floor you hear of people passing, and it's sad. It breaks my heart for their families and some of them are so young. So when we get home we need to be extra careful for three months. It's a scary time, but it's a crucial time for me to get through these three months and start to feel better.

I know every leukemia/cancer case is different, but it's still scary to know some of the people down the hall aren't doing so well and then you hear they passed on.

It puts things in perspective though. We need to be extra careful during this time and over the next few months while my body goes through all of these changes.

All I can think about are my kids. I have to fight and get through this so I can be home with my boys. I have to.
I will.
I won't lose this battle. I can't. I won't.
I will beat this.

There just seem to be so many signs that I'm supposed to be here.
I probably wouldn't have found the leukemia so quickly if I weren't pregnant.
I had random back spasms which sent me to the doctor to get more blood work and that's when the leukemia showed up (three days after I went to the hematologist and the blood work was normal).
Bex could have died because he had this huge knot in his cord and I'd already had a placenta hormone problem which made them worry my placenta would give out before birth.

And then Bex did so well post-birth for a preemie that it was almost like he skated through it all like "I got this, Mom." And he's done so great since.

I'm just honestly so thankful for my boys. I love them more than they will ever know. And plus they are super cute!

Now it's Monday, April 13 and the chemo has lowered my counts. I just got up to walk a few laps around the unit and got so tired, so quickly. It's amazing how quick your body will give out. I managed to do six laps around, but I'm pretty exhausted now. My throat is still hurting (it's called mucositis not sure how to spell that), but it makes it incredibly painful to swallow or eat. It feels like there is a rock in my throat that goes down into my esophagus and then tries to come back up on occasion. It's pretty painful. (I know I already said that once but, it really effin hurts).

Life on Cass Lane | AML

Beating AML I feel like I'm emotionally in a better place than I have been the past week. #finally #zoloftyourmyhero

I'm really trying to make sense of all of this and trying to remember that it's better I'm in the hospital than at home right now with the boys. I'm so immuno-compromised that any sort of sickness could give me an infection that could be fatal.

So, I'm just trying to remember that while I'm locked up "and they won't let me out." #oldschooljams

Anyway, I'm getting tired. Probably going to lay down for a bit. I'll try to VLOG later if I have the energy. But right now, I'm pretty much like the "clear eyes" guy that talks. I'm not too entertaining. Very dull and slow.

Hope all is well out there in the 'real' world.

Remember its probably better than my reality.
Which blows big toes.

Tired and Bored,

Monday, April 06, 2015


Today I've been a walking dead zombie on the outside and the in.

I'm physically there but mentally I can't deal. I'm not functioning. I'm on a one-way track to nowhere; just going through life's motions but not experiencing any of the joy I'm supposed to experience.

I can't shake the thoughts. I can't fight the fear. It's here. I'm in the thick of it. I want to fight. I am fighting, but I'm tired of how this whole thing effects everyone else--my boys, my husband, my parents, my sister, my grandparents, my friends, my family. I hate it all.

My heart just aches so heavily and hard at the thought of being away from my kids. It's killing me from the inside out.

After a rough day away from them, I need to just remind myself what it is I'm fighting for. I know it's hard, but I'm fighting to be with them--to walk with and watch over them as they age and grow in life. And that's what I have to keep reminding myself. It's only two more weeks but it feels like an eternity away.

I'm enduring all of this heartache now and experiencing jealousy that I don't have a so-called "normal" life anymore.

I just talked to them on FaceTime and it did lift my spirits some. It's just when Brody starts saying he wants "mommy to come home" it breaks my heart into a million pieces. He knows mommy is sick. He knows mommy is at the hospital and it's killing me.

I was afraid seeing his sweet face and hearing the sound of his voice, I would lose it and go back down into my tiny, dark hole away from everyone. I've just been distant the past two days with people I know--my friends, my family, my kids. It all seems like too much to process or to try to take in and handle.

It's a lot of hard work emotionally.

I'm up and down, I'm here and there, I'm like a one-woman circus catastrophe waiting to happen. I'm all over the place right now. I'm in a funk, I feel like a zombie because I can't snap out of what is happening to me.

The emotions of this all is what could ruin me. I think I manage the pain well, but it's the emotions that hurt. I just have to know that I'm not going to be up here forever stuck in this room, wasting away one day at a time--a day that I could be spending with my kids and loved ones.

That makes it hard. I see all of the beautiful photos that my friends are posting on Facebook of their kids having fun Easter hunting, and I won't get to do that with the boys because I'll be chained to my hospital bed. And that just sucks. But I will be able to do it with them next year.

But I do love seeing all of the beautiful photos and imagining what your days must of been like. What  went through your mind when you chose your family's semi-matching outfits, how many of you stopped by the store on the way to get some last-minute Easter supplies, how much good food you consumed.

I wish I could be out there doing the same with our family right now, but it's not going to happen.

I just can tell that all of the blood-life that pumps through my veins is draining out of me. I have this poison being cycled through my body, killing off parts of me (my immune system), so they can replace the "bad" parts with "good" ones. I get it. But it is literally life-draining; I don't know if the pun was intended on that or not.

SEE? I can't even make a joke.

My hormones and emotions are very top-heavy and it doesn't matter which way I lean cause it's gonna be a doozy of a fall. I just can't shake it. I need to, but I can't.

I do feel a little better tonight than I have all day (this was actually last night that I wrote this). My mom brought me scrapbooking stuff with motivational quotes so I could work on a little project while I'm up here. And it kept me busy and helped me relax. It was actually just what I needed today.

Then, the nausea hit. And I got sick and sick.

I'm better now, but I just hope it stays that way. It was pretty awful.

I'm starting to feel worst physically, but it doesn't help that emotionally I'm not at my best. I'm dragging my feet everywhere--physically and emotionally--around and I just need help. I just need something to lift my spirits. I need something to know that this is a few weeks of nothing and we are going to move forward and this will be a distant thought from the past. That's what I want more than anything.

Distance from this. Distance from this pain in my heart.

I never thought that I would experience physical heartache, but this really does make my heart hurt. Being aways from the kids and living for two weeks in this room is going to drain me. I don't know how I can make it through this. I'm trying. I'm trying. Lord, I'm trying, but I feel defeated.

Please God, come into my heart and explain to me that this is all worth it in the end. Provide me with the spiritual distance I need from this hospital while I'm still physically in here. I need a mood changer. I need to step up my game. I know if I continue to go down this negative/depressed route, it won't be good. I need a better attitude. I need something to do.

Ok, Cass.
Life is worth it.
It will get better.
You're a fighter, Cass.

You can do this.

Cancer, you can suck it.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Letter Series Vol. 1 // A Letter To My Sons

I just can't seem to find it in my heart tonight.

I know I was meant to battle through this time and for a purpose, but as I look at photos of my boys the "reason" for going through this doesn't bring me solace as I lay in the hospital bed away from them.

My heart and soul are 40 miles away from me tonight, but feel 5000. I can't bare to think about how I haven't seen them since Monday or that they can't come up here to see me everyday because it puts other patients with low immune systems at risk.

I know that life isn't fair. I just can't find it in my heart to push through these feelings tonight. I'm not as strong as I sound on paper [or technically] your screen.

I can push through some emotions and utilize my acceptance for what is, but I can't do it tonight. I can only think of them--my precious babies.

That's all that's on my mind tonight.

I can't help but feel the burden that I'm forcing onto others for having to care for my children that bore into this world. It's not OK with me.

People shouldn't have to care for MY babies. I should be able to do that. I should be able to care for them.

There is nothing more precious in this life than to become a parent, and this disease [or any serious illness, for that matter] can take that away from you.

So here I lay in a hospital bed in Dallas with three more days of chemo left and another two weeks or more stuck in his dungeon. OK, this dungeon is much better than the where I did my first round of chemo in November, but it's still a dungeon if you can't get out into the light and feel fresh air on your face.

I'm laying here... eyes closed and typing away (and yes, I can type with my eyes close because I'm a bad ass). Anyway, ahem, like I was typing with my eyes closed, I'm imagining feeling the air on my face and watching Brody run around outside on a sunny day much like he did on Sunday, the day before I committed to being in this place.

I picture holding baby Bex and kissing the sweetest little nose and smile, I've ever seen. I just want that baby-smell to intoxicate me again. It's crazy that a smell can make everything melt away and keep me calm and content with where I am.


[[A letter to my sons]]

Hi, my lovely babies.

Today is day 4 I've been away from you and it may not feel like it for you two, but it feels like an eternity on my end. I miss your snuggles, your smiles, your giggles, and your smell--except for when you go number two... Bro, Bro, you know I'm talking to you. Shewwwwwweeeeee. Stinky poo poo.

But despite what comes out of both of your rear-ends, I'd deal with it to just be home with you again.

Brody, I miss your loud "zombie-acting" skills and watching Bex smile when he hears that the "Zombie is coming to get me."

You two are the most precious things to me. I'm just so thankful that I chose the best daddy for you two. He does everything mommy does, if not more. Probably more. It's more, guys. There I admit it. He does more. He does it all. And he is the best daddy in the whole world, that I can promise you.

You know I may not have known that this was going to happen to me, but I definitely felt something was off in my bones. About half my way through my pregnancy with Bex, I felt a fear in my heart I'd never felt and terror swarmed around me.

Questions popped in my head:

"What if something terrible happens to me or the baby during this pregnancy?"
"What would we do if something is wrong with the baby?"
"What if I leave my Bro behind?"

I feared for the unknown.

But when his cancer decided to show its face to us, it fortunately impacted me and my life and not jeopardize the life of my second baby, boy Bex.

Bex, you don't know it yet or have any clue, but you saved mommy's life when you started to grow in my belly. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't have been getting routine check-ups and regular blood work done. I wouldn't have found the cancer as quickly as we did if you weren't in there growing inside of me.

Just three days after seeing the hematologist, I went to the hospital because you were kicking and causing spasms in my lower back that weren't normal. You were trying to tell me to go to the doctor to get checked out. And I did.

Essentially, I didn't expect to have you a week later, nor did I expect to get the news I got the very next day--mommy is very sick with AML If it hadn't been for your rocking around like a crazy person in womb, I wouldn't have went back to the doctor that week. Everything about my treatment would have been pushed back another week, another day, another hour and it all seems like too much time when your trying to fight for your life.

It wasn't until you came out and I saw the knot in your cord that I realized I helped save your life too. I had a placenta-hormone issue we discovered early on in the pregnancy that had us already monitoring you closely. There was a chance the placenta could give out before birth and you'd stop growing and getting the nutrients you needed to survive. But kowing that while you were still my tummy, and then seeing the pretzel-tied knot in your cord solidified your reason for being here on Earth as much as mine.

You were supposed to arrive 10 weeks early.
You weren't supposed to go full-term.
That's not who you are, Bex.
You were ready for this world the minute you started to sprout inside of me.
You were never going to wait.
You were going to beat to your own drum and you did, bud.

You pounded on my back to get mommy help--to save me. You did that. You saved me. And because you saved me, I kinda saved you too I suppose. Though, technically you probably saved yourself; just go ahead kid, you can have the credit.

I honestly don't care. But typing this story tonight made me feel much better. Imagining how you came into the world crying and reaching for air. You breathed on your own with no help.

You're tough, little guy. They said you wouldn't be. They said you'd be weak, but you proved them wrong. Your my rough and tough little baby boy.

You were out of the NICU so fast and on the special care nursery and home in five-weeks time.

And your brother has never shown one iota of jealousy. He has been so proud of you from the very first moment he saw a photo of you. He loves his "baby brudder" and he watches out for you all the time.

Brody gets on to me if you're crying and I don't get up fast enough to feed you or change your diaper.

"Mommy, feed baby brudder now!" he demands. "He needs you."

Oh boy, Bro. You both do, in so many more ways that you know. That's why I'm stuck in this dungeon fighting for my life.

I'm fighting for you--both of you. I love you so much.

I don't ever want to leave you, ever. And I won't.
I will be here for you always, but I can't make promises.

All I can do is tell you that you've given me the best gift and the most appreciation for life I've had in my 27-years on Earth. Thank you for that. How could I ever want more?

And don't think I'm giving up. I'm not. Mommy's heart just hurts tonight. I just long to be around your snuggles and watch you smile, grin and giggle. You fill up a room when you giggle, Brody. It's the best sound in the world.

I'll still be there to watch your first football game, to walk you in on your first day of school and I'll probably catch you touching yourself for the first time... (gosh I dread that one).

I know you're gonna hate me for putting that on the FOREVER-lasting internet. Sorry, just the way I roll boys! Mommy has to embarrass you sometimes. It's a right of passage. I've been there, trust me. Plus, by the time you're old enough to be typing things on the internet, computers will probably be a thing of the past... maybe not. But something new will be the latest and the greatest, and people won't remember what a blog was.

That's the reason I want to write you, and share my experiences with you--other people might not remember what a blog was, but I will save these for you to read later in life.

Whether it's public, private or gets lost on the interweb, I want you to know who your mom is in the thick of it. I want you to know that I try to find ways to lighten the mood at any chance I get. Mommy just doesn't like to knee-deep in tears; that's not me. I don't want tears to constantly stream down my face. But there are days I have to feel it and this afternoon was just one of those days for me.

But I promise you, I will always try to find some light in the darkness. It's how we move through this life. And it's how you will move through yours.

That is one thing I know now after having both of you.

Life has purpose.

We aren't a bunch of wandering stars in galaxies; it's a pretty thought, but it's not true. God is there. I've never felt closer to Him. I doubted Him before, now I know he is in my heart.

Our story is proof of that. We've witnessed reason beyond reasoning this past year.

Never forget it, my loves.

With love forever and ever and always,

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Rockin' Out with My Scalp Out

So, some of you may have noticed I've ditched the hats.

It could be the warmer weather that started this trend, but I'd like to say it was my likening to my giant, shiny, bald head.

Unfortunately it was most likely the hot temps we are experiencing in Texas. Needless to say, the suns is out, so the scalp is out. #needsomeSPFstat

But I will say, that I have finally threw my hands in the air with Lil Jon's "I don't give a F" attitude and accepted what is.

Accepting Cancer and the baldness with it
I'm bald.
I look different.
And I am different.

"But I don't give a damn, so you don't give a F**K," see what I did there Lil JON?

"OOOoooookkaaaaaayyyyy," I can see him respond shaking his head and dreads errrywhere.

I know. I'm dumb.
But sitting in a hospital bed 24 hours a day will kinda do that to ya. #FREECASS #FREECASS

I've just gotten to the point I can look in the mirror and recognize the girl staring back at me. I see photos of me with hair and I don't know if I'll ever be "her" again. I don't think I will ever fully be her because cancer has changed me, but I do see part of me still there.

Ironically, I'm more physically happy with myself now than I have ever been and I'm probably in the worst shape I've ever been in physically. I just honestly don't care about all of the "beauty fog" that swarms us any more. I'm "balding out" and I never wear make up any more and so what? Who cares? Maybe if I had my own team of people who wanted me to prep me for the day, I'd be game, but even then, that seems too exhausting.

I don't need to prove to anyone that I'm pretty with or without hair. I'm happily married to a handsome man and he loves me skinny, fat, bald, no eyelashes, etc. He accepts me for who I am; I just wish I could have had that same attitude about myself sooner in life.

I'm getting used to being me--without all of the extras brushed on WAR PAINT to make me look better. I'm not saying I won't go without makeup for the rest of my life; I wouldn't put the world through that...

Of course, putting some a little something, something here or there helps make anyone feel a little better. Instagram has some great filters, but they aren't that damn great.

But I think I'm more confident now leaving the house without makeup, even if it's just to go to the grocery store. I ALWAYS AND I MEAN ALWAYS had to have at least something on when I left the house. Most of the time it was the mascara that did me in. These light-colored eyelashes do nothing for my pale complexion so I usually just put on foundation, bronzer, eye shadow, (aka the whole she-bang), because of the eyelashes.

But now that I don't have any, I don't care. Not much I can do besides glue some falsies on and I have the cutting-and-gluing skill level of a pre-schooler.

This whole journey has led me through many ups and downs and places that I never thought I'd reach. But acceptance is key to anyone going through a similar journey. Accepting who you are physically, emotionally, intellectually, etc, is the key to realizing your potential and getting over the "sorry-for- yourself-hump" when faced with life's challenges. #whatdayisit #humpday

You have to accept yourself in all aspects of life to continue to thrive and not live a stagnant life. We have to keep moving forward and keep progressing, and the only way to do that is by accepting life's challenges hand-in-hand and riding out the waves of life.

We have to keep reaching, wanting and aiming higher to make this a life worth living for.

I'm doing everything I can to fight for myself and my kids. I miss them so much, and it's tearing me apart and it's only Day 4 in the hospital.

But I have to remind myself they are all I care about.

Who gives a shit if I'm bald?
Who cares if I have no hair?
Who cares if you think I'm ugly without eyelashes? Or without make up on?

I have a wonderful life with two beautiful boys and a handsome husband.
I'm fortunate beyond belief.
That's what matters.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia fighter

But today, I do just really miss them.

I know it's already Thursday, and I still have a ways to go before I get up outta here (three more days of chemo and two more weeks in this hospital bed), and to be honest I'm surprised how fast it all is moving so far (of course I typed that earlier and I feel like the day has ticked by very slowly since).

I'm sure it will really start to slow down when the chemo starts kicking in and I really feel weak, tired and sickish. I get all queasy just thinking about it.

At least by then, I SHOULD be able to get the good drugs.

Effin' peeps trying to keep me from doping up in here. I mean c'mon people, it's safe.
I'm in a hospital.
You're monitoring me...
Give me the goods.

I know I sound like a total druggie. But that's the one perk to being in the place...mmmkay? #dontstomponmyrainbow

I don't even know what that means. I just made that up. And I don't even have any drugs in me!

It'd be super entertaining for my readers and followers if I were all drugged up.

Klay could film me.
I could be thinking I'm winning a Grammy or some shit,
Or thinking I'm seeing Klay for the first time like that guy did when he got his wisdom teeth pulled and couldn't remember his wife,
Or crying because I want Beyonce to come see me. I don't even like Beyonce [no offense Bey, but I think Kanye likes you enough for everyone],
But that's not the damn point.
The point is---drugs are good.

Funny things happen when you're on drugs. Haven't you watched any movies?

Ok, I sounds like a total drug-head when I've literally never even smoked pot--LIKE EVER. I know, I'm talking the talk, but I never walked the walkie.

I honestly haven't.
I'm a total square.

Maybe when my kids graduate and I go to Amsterdam one day (shhhh! don't tell them, it will be mommy and daddy's secret), I'll toke it up, live large and be a little risqué, but right now I'm gonna stay drug free--unless it's hospital drugs.

Last night, I couldn't sleep a wink. I honestly couldn't, and I was exhausted this morning.

So effin' angry at the damn world this morning cause they won't give me the good shit. DAMN you Busulfan (chemo). Three more days and I better be back to the good drugs... poor pitiful drug-wanting Cass. All she wants is some good sleep! IS that too much to ask?

Cancer, do you see what you've done to me?

You've turned me into someone different. DRUGS!!!!! DRUGS!!!! DRUGS!!!!

RIP clean and sober, Cass.

I'm officially going to replace Dopey from the Seven Dwarves now. It's happening.

Wait, Where did this post start?

Ahh forget it.


PS. This is joke-post and I don't mean anything too seriously by it but... if you get offended, lighten up, go get stoned and then let me know how it goes.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Shit's Getting Real + VLOG


I have finally got some shit out of me--literally.
And I'm a much happier person because of shit.

So my "Cass Game Face" is back on. I'm ready to kick some cancer ass and wore my "Refuse to Sink" shirt my sis got me a while back.


Beyond the poopsie, I did shower today. 2 for 2!

BUT the shower was effin' freezing and I had NO hot water. Plus, I tried to figure out the shower head and pushed this red button that said "PALL" not "PULL" but "PALL."

I pushed said fancy red "PALL" button and the shower head shot off and hit me in the forehead.

Who the hell knew that hospital showers could be so dangerous. Now I have a mark on my forehead. Pure sweetness... sigh. Only me.

In other "Cass" news, they pushed my transplant day back a day. So I will now receive the donor stem cells on Wednesday, April 8 instead of Tuesday.

Apparently the transplant is a very anti-climatictic deal (pretty much gonna be like a blood infusion or something), so it's not anything super incredible happening that day anyway. I mean potentially it could be saving my life, so that's pretty big, but the process itself is pretty lackluster from my understanding.

"Well, dango, dango," as my husband would say.

I don't know where he gets sayings like that from. He's kind of a nut bag--or he has one! LOL... I guess two... TBD.

Actually he says he has "two nuts in one nut bag."
Ahem, now that we have that cleared up, I suppose we can move forward.

This post is very anatomy/bodily fluids-driven I feel like.

If it grosses you out, I'm in a hospital for 21 days so suck it up, buttercup!

Klay said this post is gross. I say "EFF IT. It's cancer, it's real. We all poo; it's life. Get over it."

On a non-bodily-related issue, I do miss my kids. Klay took Bex to his first doctor appointment without me and he almost weighs 12 lbs. My little chunker. The only concern for him is finding a formula better for his tummy. He has BM-issues... like me. Apparently I just have shit on the brain cause every where I go it turns into shit. Maybe this is just shit post and I should just give up while I'm ahead.

I do truly miss the boys though. It's really difficult for me to think about them and how they will have to understand all of this one day. I think that's what really gets to me is trying to explain why mommy had to go through this and watching their reactions.

And to end this bodily-fluidly full post, I need new undies! My shit did get real today, just not where I wanted it to. #cancerhatespanties #victoriassecrethereIcome

Here's the latest and the greatest VLOG from yours truly.

[enter corny music in 5, 4, 3, 2... VLOG]

My heart is full but my bowels are ugly,