Thursday, December 4, 2014

Update in Provo!

I'm so sorry that I'm so horrible at this! I'm going to try to get better! Let's review what's gone on since the last time I blogged... which was a whole year ago... oops!! haha 

Well the last time I blogged, I posted that my husband Tommy would be going to Boise State University and graduate with a degree in athletic training. We found out that the athletic training program there would be another 3 years there instead of 2 more years at Brigham Young University. So with that information, we decided to move back to Provo in May and continue going to BYU. Tommy took the hardship of starting back down there in January and lived with his brother while Avery and I stayed and lived with my parents while I was just starting my chemotherapy. We were afraid to live alone in Provo with me on so many medications and I was still having petite mal seizures that were keeping me from driving from March 2013 until January 2014. Tommy drove up to Boise every weekend that he could to be able to see us... which is a 6 stinkin hour drive!! Poor guy. Yes, he does love me :) When May came around, I wasn't having seizures anymore and chemotherapy was just making me nauseous and tired... but I felt like we would be okay moving down to Provo to live with Tommy and do it on our own. It had been hard living so far away from him.

So we chose to move down here in May 2014. And since then, we have been very glad that we did. We love our neighbors, love our ward in our church, we still have some friends that live down here from before we found out I had cancer, and we're making new friends as we go. I've been taking chemotherapy the whole time until a month ago when I got sick and saw that my immune system was lower than normal and that throughout this winter, I can pick up viruses much easier when I'm on chemotherapy. It was a really difficult decision and took a lot of thought and prayer and finally I decided to take a break from chemo and hopefully give my body/brain some time to become stronger. I have an MRI over Christmas time which will show us how it goes so please pray that it will end up well. 

Other than that, life is great! Avery is a year and a half... crazy! She's a little sassy now.. wants to be more independent and at times doesn't listen to her parents haha figures. Takes after one of her parents :) Sassy Kassi was my nickname once upon a time. Not anymore though hehe But Tommys doing well as an athletic trainer for the BYU football team and he's loving it!! Next semester he'll be a trainer for the BYU gymnastics team, which I'm soo excited about!! I miss watching gymnastics! I miss being a gymnast! Hopefully Avery will have the same desire someday! We'll see! But that's about it! Here's some pictures!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Back to Idaho

We're going to start off with some adorable pictures of Avery Jo.. because she's adorable!
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The hat that I always wear! I guess she likes to stick out her tongue when she's happy! :)

I know that I am a horrible blogger and that I have let a ton of time go since the last post, but I will try to catch everyone up on everything if I can! Since our little Avery Jo was born, many things have happened! I told you a little bit last time about the beginning of the radiation I was doing. That was going fine but I started having really bad seizures so they put me on lots of steroids which eventually stopped the seizures and I haven't had any of those since July.. thank goodness! Steroids are no fun.....! They make your appetite huge and I gained lots of weight from them and my muscle abilities were very weak. I was always very, very tired during radiation and it made it difficult to take care of the baby. I was lucky to have my husband there with me and his family as well. Radiation definitely made all my hair fall out all around my head except the very tip top. (Looks super funny)!! They said it would take 3 to 6 months for it to start growing back. And it finally is! Now i just have this funny little mohawk on top of my head with hair just starting to grow in around it haha and the hair is not really blonde like it used to be so we'll see if it goes back to its normal color. 

Since the radiation, which lasted for 6 weeks, we have been able to get a lot of things done and enjoy a lot of things as well. We were able to go to the beach over there with Tommy's family for a week to a place called Bald Head Island in North Carolina. It was beautiful and a place that we could just relax and spend time with one another. I'm so grateful that we could do that and that they were kind enough to take us with them! The week went by way too fast of course because we were having way too much fun! When we came home there wasn't a lot more to do besides spend time with his family and friends before we moved back out here. Tommy and his brother Jake started driving out here and my mother came to fly out with my baby Avery Jo and I. We went to Provo back to our apartment to where we had left most of our stuff in our apartment at Wymount on campus. We had made the decision to move up to Idaho after radiation to move in with my parents while I start my chemotherapy. They luckily have a small little apartment area behind their house that has 2 bedrooms and a bathroom. We are very grateful to have our own little space! Tommy sadly had to leave BYU and will be starting school at BSU in January in the athletic training department. I'm happy to be back in Boise after about 7 years of not being here. I have missed it a lot, and the people too. But there are some people in Provo that we miss still. But we try to visit them once in awhile. 

Anyway, life is going pretty great for us. I hope it is for all of you as well. There are many times when I think about what we are going through and how everyone has their own challenges and I know that Heavenly Father is watching us and knows what we can handle. I know that He knows that I can handle this trial and come out on top and that everything will be okay. There are times where I feel like I really need His help more than others, but we all need His help to get through our challenges. And He is the one who can help us out. We need to always be asking for that help and praying to Him for the strength to continue on our way through these times. I know that Christ also has paid for everything we each have been through. I know that He knows how I feel and how it affects me each day. I'm grateful for that. We can all get through our trials with their help.. I know that's true.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Avery Jo is born! :)


So on June 1st, little Avery Jo was finally born!! It was such an exciting day!! This little girl is honestly the cutest little girl ever! Of course I feel that way though... she's ours :) Anyway, she is now a month old tomorrow!! Time is going by for us very quickly. She was born at 4 lbs. and 12.5 oz. She now weighs 6 lbs just barely! Little Avery was born very healthily and was only sent to the NICU for about 6-7 hours! That was a huge blessing for us. She came home with us only 3 days later after she was born, which was  much better than what we expected. Here's some great pictures of her right after she was born!!

Here's some more recent pictures of her!

So everything has gone over incredibly well with little Avery Jo. She has just been a huge blessing for us and has brought a little piece of joy into this time of our lives. 

I will now explain a little bit about what is going on in our lives right now to continue updating everyone. We are right now living in West Virginia with Tommy's family so that I can be getting radiation treatment and chemotherapy from the National Institute of Health in Maryland. It's been 2 weeks since I've started it and it's going alright. It just makes me very tired from the radiation and all the medication that I'm on so that part is difficult, but it's been very helpful to have Tommy's family and my mom and dad have been here to help with little Avery, so that has helped us out a lot. Only 4 more weeks of radiation and then this part will be over! But as for now this is what we are going through and we are just trying our best to get through it! 

For everyone on that fundraiser that Meagan Jackson formed for us, I just want to say thank you so much for your contribution!! I know that it will help us so much in many ways! Good luck on your race this week ladies! I'll be cheerin you on from here!! :)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Update on our lives...

I have decided to start a blog now right before we have our little baby girl! I'm hoping that this will make it easier for everyone to be updated on what's going on in our lives! As many may know, we have had a lot going on these past couple months! I will give an update on this now so that everyone can feel included and have an idea on what's been going on!

Well it all started in the end of February/beginning of March of 2013, so only a couple months ago. Tommy and I at this time were going to school and working as much as we could. Tommy was in the middle of doing an internship at Pleasant Grove High School that he loves helping with the athletic training there! I was 26 weeks pregnant at this time and growing :) I started having weird things happen to my body that turned out to be mini seizures for about 3 weeks. I assumed for awhile that these things happening were just part of the pregnancy and it was hard for me to see that they weren't actually normal for pregnancy. (First time being pregnant... I had no idea what to be expecting!) It was even hard for me to describe to my OB what was going on because during the seizures, my brain would kinda cut out and it was hard to even understand what was going on. So finally in the end of March, I had one of the worst seizures I had had and Tommy was with me and it really scared him. We were talking to my uncle on the phone who is a doctor when this happened and afterward he said that we needed to go to the Emergency Room. So we went to the ER that day and I explained to them my symptoms and immediately the doctor knew I needed to have an MRI done. It took awhile to get that done and finally get the results back. When they came to tell us the results.. It was the weirdest thing to hear. The doctor came and told us that I had a growth in my brain, which was a brain tumor. Tommy and I were incredibly shocked. We didn't even know how to respond or how to act after that. It was something that I honestly was not expecting to hear. We were told by the neurosurgeon guy that I would be operated on the next day to take out this brain tumor. The tumor was in the frontal left lobe of my brain and we were told that there was some possibility that taking it out could mess with other parts of my brain and create personality changes or even speech changes. I didn't even know if I would ever be able to speak again after the next day. That night I even wrote a letter to our baby girl that would eventually be born because I didn't know if I would ever be able to talk to her. 

We called our families and thank goodness my family and Tommy's parents were able to come on such short of notice! The next morning they shaved my head to prepare for the surgery. This was incredibly hard for me to allow. My hair was soo long! I really still miss it a lot and won't have long hair again for a long time. But it was a sacrifice that I had to make. The surgery went better than the doctors thought it would. I can still speak and I'm told that my personality has not changed! Still Sassy Kassi is what I'm told haha What a great blessing for us that those changes did not occur! They took out as much of the tumor as they could without interfering with vital parts of my brain. The part they took out was a little smaller than a tennis ball.. holy HUGE! I couldn't believe that it had been up there and I had no idea. It was classified as being a grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma tumor. Brain tumors can be classified on grades 1-4, grade 4 being the worst, so a grade 3 was not the best news we wanted to hear. It is cancerous and the cancer cells have spread some into the rest of my brain. This means that I now will soon be starting radiation therapy and chemotherapy. I could not do this while pregnant so we will be having our little girl early so that I can get started sooner on the treatment. She will be born on Saturday!!! June 1st and will only be 35 weeks along, but she is predicted to do well and be just fine. A week and a half after she is born, we have chosen to move out east to West Virginia and live with Tommy's family there so that I can do my 6 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy at the National Institute of Health in Maryland. This will also be a great blessing for us! There is a lot coming up in these next couple weeks for us! We are very excited for these upcoming changes! Especially to finally have our little girl with us in a couple days! I will continue to update this as much as I can and I promise to post pictures of this little girl! Thank you SO much for everything that everyone has done to support us and for all of your prayers! I know that this is helping me so much and I could not get through this by myself! 

Our sweet little girl :)