Sunday, February 11, 2018

Our Cancer Story | The Beginning

The start, if you can believe it, was January of 2017. Maikal started noticing a pain in the back of his knee. I looked at it one day and saw that his vein was quite large. So we had assumptions that it was a varicose vein that was the problem. He went to see his doctor, they didn't pay too much attention to it and sent him on his way. Weeks went by and the pain was still there so he went back to his doctor. They once again ignored his complaints and said 'just keep an eye on it' and sent him on his way. No tests, no nothing. Obviously very frustrating. So over a few months, the pain was just there and constant, then the 'swelling' started (very minimal at this point). We still thought it was a simple varicose vein issue so our concerns weren't urgent. When summer came, the swelling was still there but the pain had lessoned slightly and with the business of summer, time just flew by and his leg wasn't bothering him so it kind of just took a back seat. Moving onto Fall semester. The pain came back shortly after summer and with it being his busiest semester of all of Dental School, he didn't have time to get to his leg issues.

So the semester ended, he came home, we had a baby boy, he took his Boards (which he passed!) and now, his leg was in serious pain and the 'swelling' was insane. He went to a few doctors before they sent him in for an ultrasound. They were pretty rude and didn't seem to care much about his pain and the swelling in his leg. So the tests came back, Doctors call Maikal in and sits him down to tell him that he has a 12 cm MASS in his leg. Ummm say what!??? So this little annoying pain that he's been living with is actually a big deal!?

There's the stupid thing. That is his knee cap at the bottom.

Maikal came home quiet and worrisome that day. Which is obviously not a good thing. A mass? Ya that's scary. Then the booking of appointments came. We need tests done to see exactly what this is. We thought maybe a cyst or something. Trying to be optimistic lol. A few weeks go by and we are back in Cleveland by this point. He got his results from his Doctor in Canada back, and it's Cancer, frick. Now whether it is benign or malignant is the question. Still hope at this point! He goes in for a biopsy as one of his tests. Such a stressful day! They took 3 pieces from him. About 1 inch long and the thickness of a straw. His leg hurt for 2 weeks from that test! This was the big test....the one we had been praying for that his Tumor/mass would be benign. The results took a week. Longest week of my life! The day he went in to get his results..... I felt sick all day. The nerves were so over whelming! But I thought, "theres no way he has Malignant Cancer, no way, that doesn't happen, It's totally has to be, it has to". He came home that afternoon without much emotion.

On no. Nope. Don't say it. 
The bad kind of CANCER.

A soft tissue Sarcoma was growing aggressively in his leg. I burst into tears. So many thoughts went through my head. Our lives together, the kids, our living situation, his treatment process, his sickness, life.......death. Was this beatable? How aggressive? How long will it take to beat?

Of course, with more questions come with more tests. CT scan next to see if it has spread. With this particular Cancer, if it were to spread it would most likely go right to his lungs. Which if you know anything about Cancer, lung cancer basically means death, and the chances of that being the case was 50%. Thats a freaking high number!!! When I heard that part.....I was inconsolable. I felt like I couldn't keep myself together. Maikal could actually die from this. It was so much more serious than I ever thought it could be. I was crying all day every day. The thoughts of the future and what it would be like was constantly running through my head. Fighting hard to beat it while Maikal went through treatment after treatment. If he died, my new baby would never know his father, my kids would grow up in this life without really knowing their dad. Just, everything. We even spoke about finances and how I would be ok, and what our living situation would be. If it did spread, we would have stopped school and went back home. We talked about a lot of things. Calling our family and close friends was the hardest part. There were many tears on both ends. Many.

Was I dreaming? I woke up the next morning just praying it wasn't real. That this Hell would just have been a nightmare. I still wake up thinking it isn't real. I took extra photo's, extra video's that week. I didn't want to leave his side. And you guys, You amazing, supportive, loving friends and family who were there every second of everyday for us. It was SO hard. I remember that following Sunday, it was a tough one. There was talk of 'God's plan' and 'death/afterlife' and my emotions were already so high and I went to the bathroom twice to cry. So the days went by, friends brought us dinners, offered babysitting, and loved ones gave us words of encouragement and support. We were overwhelmed by so much LOVE. It was truly amazing and we will never forget that. So the CT came and went, and again, waiting for those dang results. The big results. The results that would change everything. But as you guys know, we got those tests back, and from what the scan said, he was CLEAR!! Now....the scan can only pick up so much. He COULD have cancer in his lungs, but the CT didn't pick it up because it's small. So obviously that is still creeping in the back of our heads. But, the test said clear, our prayers were answered and I have never felt so much relief in my entire life. There was HOPE. I fell to my knee's and thanked God for this blessing. I hugged my kids and sent a bunch of Heart emoji's to my hubby! We have a chance when I thought there was none!
Ok, so obviously he still has stupid Cancer, but it was localized. It's still bad. We can literally see it growing. From Christmas till today, it has grown quite a bit.

This was a few weeks ago. You can see his left thigh is quite a bit larger than his right. Over the past week we have noticed more of a bulge coming out of his thigh. Get this thing out!


Now that know where it is, how big it is, what kind of Cancer it is, he can get treatment done.

~ Radiation. 5 days a week for the next 5 weeks.
He is suppose to feel extreme fatigue, which obviously sucks as he will also be doing school.
Once the 5 weeks are done, 6 weeks of recovery.
~ Then surgery to removed the Mass from his leg.
This Sarcoma is Rare. It is extremely Vascularized and there is a risk of Maikal losing a lot of blood during surgery. Yay........
~ Then followup appointments to make sure they got it all.

From now on, Maikal will need to have yearly check ups to make sure it hasn't come back. Which is always a concern with Cancer. It will always be there. Did it come back? Is it worse this time? What if we don't catch it early enough?

Maikal amazes me. He has this Monster inside literally killing him, and he still works hard at school, plays with the kids, makes time for me and even takes a few feedings in the night so I can catch up on rest. He still laughs hard and cracks jokes.
It's weird, you would never know he had a disease that kills 8 million people a year inside him.

We will keep updates happening. If you would like to see more updates, I'm more active on my Instagram account you can follow me HERE.

I would like to say, again.....THANK YOU. Thank you for the messages, the hugs, the hello's, the playdates, the tags, the emoji's, the food, and the notes. We have felt every prayer. It has kept us going in a very trying time. We have a very long and rough road ahead. Maikal will be dealing with more than anyone should have to. Cancer is dumb. He can beat this! #Maikalcanmakeit

Monday, January 22, 2018

How We Wore It | WHITE

The girls are back!! Our 'How we wore it' series is here for another year!
And if you missed my last post, happy 2018 everyone.



That's what came to my mind when we were thinking of our post this month. White is representative of the above words. Although, being a Mother, white is definitely a challenge to wear haha. By the end of the day, it would be more like 'Dirty, Stinky, Ruined' #momlife. I will only pull out the white outfits for special occasions so they don't get ruined! Which is a total bummer because I LOVE white. Majority of our apartment is white and it's my favourite.

So my little Roka is 2 months old, which means, for me, my body is still in post pregnancy form = big and squishy! So flowy shirts are what I gravitate to until I get my butt in gear and lose this baby weight. Going to workout for the first time this week and I'm a little scared for that 'day after' soreness. 

Which (sneaky segway) is one of my New Years Resolutions! And like our theme of WHITE, a new year brings NEW goals. NEW chances. NEW opportunities. NEW perspective. So if you had a bad year, leave it there. If you had a fabulous year, bring it with you and make it better.

Here are a few of my Goals this year:

Get Roka to sleep through the night (this is definitely #1 goal lol)
Lose baby weight
Travel somewhere new
Don't gossip
Control my emotions when the kids do something wrong

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check out my friends post's linked at the end of this post! They are FAB.

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

2017 Memories

I can't believe the new year is upon us already. At the end of the year, I look back and say "man that year went by so fast" but then when I look at pictures from the beginning of the year, I say "man that seems like forever ago". Anyone else have those same feelings?

But it really is so fun just looking in my 'Lowry 2017' album on my laptop and going through memories that we've made over the past 12 months. So being as a blog post about '2017 recaps' seems to be popular, I might as well jump on the same train. So here are some of our awesome memories from this year!

* Visiting Maikal in Cleveland (we were living apart for 4 months). We needed furniture, and our house is kind of difficult to get couches into, so this was our idea. Backup van to house, climb on van, push couch up, lift couch up, bring through patio door (since its wider and right where the living room is). It was a success! And hilarious. And hard.

* We had my whole family there for Thanksgiving!! And the Fall leaves were amazing, so we had to have a little fun in them! We also were staying at my parents house for the 4 months and it was simply amazing. Having my parents there to help me and put us up was so generous and loving and I owe them big! Thanks Mom and Dad for being the best parents ever!

* Obviously, Roka came into our family! And with that I became a mom of THREE. He is an amazing addition to our family and it is so fun seeing him grow and watching the kids get to know him. Stay tuned for a blog post on the first 8 weeks of his life coming soon ;) 

* Maikal had his first Straight Shave. It looked awesome!

* My sisters Rebecca and Chelsie got Engaged! I just happen to be there for Chelsie's proposal, we were snapping a few photo's of them since they don't have any together, and in the middle of it, he whips our this awesome ring case and gets down on one knee! (total surprise, im sure I looked like a crazy person snapping away when he pulled out that ring) and it was one of the coolest and happiest moments to watch! 

* Ben turned FIVE. He started Kindergarten this year and he has learned so much already and I am so excited for him to grow. 

* Maikal and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary! 

* We went to California!! It was my first time, Maikal has been a few times. We stayed at our friend's house near LA. Hit up all the beaches (our fav was Laguna). Then road tripped up to San Fran to see Matty Graduate from Dental School! 

* Aurora turned 3! The spiciest and funniest little human that will ever walk this planet. She keeps us on our toes!

* This year was Lowry Christmas so I knew I wasn't going to get to see my Grandma and Aunt Lila. So we went to visit them! 

* Becca got married and I was one of the Maid's of Honour!! I love having Anthony in the family and their wedding was one of the funnest ones I've ever been too! Just a good time with games, friends, food, and a starry sky.

~ Dying over this pic. Just dying~

So these were just a few to mention. There have been many good times this year, but these were some awesome moments I will forever remember. Obviously there were some bad parts, but who the crap wants to remember that stuff? Ya you can stay in 2017, smell ya later.