Hey guys! Sorry I am blogging so late, but I have so many thoughts on so many different ideas (shocker, I have always been pretty forward and opinionated lol.) I have been contemplating posting a blog for the last hour or so and have finally decided that I should post and if everyone is asleep it will still be here in the morning to read. I want to start off talking about how I have been doing the past few days. I have good moments and bad. I am struggling to get over this last round of chemo. My first two rounds were five day treatments (Wednesday-Sunday) which means I also got five days of fluid. Both round one and round two took me about 48 hours after finishing the round to get over chemo and feeling better again. So both times I finished Sunday, felt sick until about Tuesday, was energetic and well until Friday night/Saturday when my counts dropped (it takes 6-10 days for chemo patient’s counts to dropped and the “proper term” for this is nadir) and then by Sunday my counts would begin to go back up and I would stay energetic until going back in for chemo on Wednesday. I would like to throw in that the first time my counts dropped that my fever reached 101 which means a home ER visit, ambulance ride, and 48 hours at Children’s so that I can get antibiotics to fight off infection because my counts are too low to fight any infection off. The second time my counts dropped my temperature did not get any higher than 99.7 so I stayed home. This just means my body was not fighting off as much infection as it was the first time when I had a slight cold (which let me tell you, it becomes not so slight when your body just stops fighting it off #eww.) Anyways, the point in all of this is if you will notice in my sick schedule above, I am supposed to feel better after 48 hours. After completing round 3 (my first two day/24 hour stay) it is now Tuesday night and a good five days since I have finished. According to my nice little schedule I should feel good again. In case you have not noticed I have a slight case of OCD so because I am still feeling icky I am also feeling agitated because my body is not sticking to the schedule. My reasoning is simple. This is kind of nasty but when chemo is put into the human body, the human body reacts negatively and tries to get the chemo out as soon as possible (which is why I get sick.) Chemo comes out of the body in any bodily fluid (the reason I now have my own bathroom, thanks little brother!) The first two rounds I was pumped full of fluids for five days, so I was going to the restroom a lot more, so the chemo was getting out of my body quicker (not to mention I am constantly drinking Gatorade and Smart Water.) This round I only stayed two days, which means one night and about twenty four hours of fluids. So it is taking longer for the chemo to get washed out is the point I am trying to make. I guess the most frustrating part about this is that I will begin to feel better and as soon as I start to think I am getting over the round, I get sick. Now is when I would like to insert the little emoji with the annoyed face. After lunch yesterday, I told my dad that I was feeling good and that it was a good day. At midnight last night, my sweet mom was up with me because I was sick…again. This morning and afternoon were FANTASTIC. But this evening I felt nauseous, had stomach pains, and was also having hip pains. After resting and some medicine I felt better than ever and was actually able to eat a baked potato. I am even currently debating on if I feel like walking to the kitchen because I have some chicken strips in the refrigerator that sound wonderful. I have an appetite. This is superb because I have had little appetite this week. I drank a smoothie for Easter dinner because that was the only thing that did not sound semi repulsive. I want to talk about the hip pains that I mentioned above. Before I started I had hip pains that would come and go, which basically my tumor was pressing against a nerve in my leg. The entire story of my journey to being diagnosed is long enough to be an entire different post. Now that I am starting chemo, any hip pain is a good thing. Because I have bone cancer, that means that I had cancer cells (or “bad cells” is what I like to call them) growing in the bone in my hip. The pain before chemo was when the cells were spreading, the tumor was growing, and then pressing against the nerve (I like to call this “When the tumor got on Kaden’s last nerve” lol.) Now the chemo is attacking the cancer cells and hopefully shrinking them. Any pain I feel is a good sign, because when a mass in your body begins to shrink it is painful. In a perfect world this would not be painful, but then again in a perfect world there would be no such thing as cancer. I also mentioned above that I am having stomach pains. This is nothing, I repeat NOTHING compared to the pains I feel in my hip (especially pre-chemo pains.) The stomach pains are a result of a combination of me not eating as much so my stomach is shrinking and the muscles in my stomach being worked more because I am constantly getting sick. I will be the first to admit that I am not the most fit or in shape and cannot help but wonder if I would not have the stomach pains if I was more in shape. The best thing that helps is pain medicine, a heating pad, and having someone rub my belly. I feel like a dog because I am constantly asking those around me to rub my belly. When I first began writing this post I thought to myself “I do not want to spend the entire blog post just talking about my health problems” because it seems like that is all that I post about. But then I felt it was necessary to share a little about how I have been doing, which soon turned into a lot, because I love to talk. Getting a blog may be the best thing I have done yet, because it gives me a way to get all of my crazy thoughts out of my head and still keep everyone updated at the same time. The last sentence was my intro to the rest of my blog, which I already know is going to be a mess of ideas. The first thing that is coming to mind is a little boy named Brayden. He is six years old and starts chemo tomorrow. He is the first person I have met that has a Ewing’s Sarcoma, the same kind of cancer that I have. Brayden experienced pains at the top of his femur, which is where his tumor is at. His tumor is actually very close to where my tumor is in my hip. Brayden has had pains come and go for the past year. His pains would be so severe that he could not walk, which is the same experience I had. I would like to ask everyone to please pray for Brayden as he begins his journey that is so similar to mine. I personally understand how scary it is, and can only imagine how terrifying it must be to him because he is younger. Stay strong Brayden! My next thought is my PROM DRESS CAME IN TODAY!! It is long, light pink, and is blingy at the top. I honestly felt like a princess when I tried the dress on. Between lots of pageants as a little girls, and different formal events throughout high school, I have worn formal dresses on several occasions, but when I tried this dress on today I felt like a princess. I love to dress up but because I spend most of my time in bed sick now, I wear tee shirts and pajamas for the most part. I wear jeans when I first go to the hospital and a button down shirt so it is easy to access my port, but this is the most dressed up I get these days. Even on those days as soon as I get in my hospital room and in bed I change into pajamas. I must share though, the nurses have named me “fashionista of the hemoc/oncology clinic” which makes me happy. Update: I am now beginning to feel nauseous and the chicken strips sound disgusting. I am currently glad I did not make the trip to the kitchen. This is just an example of how as soon as I feel good, I can quickly feel sick quick. Hey that rhymed. New subject!! Today was my interview for the ALT magazine article. Lindsey Gordon came to interview me and she was so sweet. I would like to thank her for driving to Nashville and coming to my house to interview me. I would also like to thank Mrs. Renfrow and my cheer buddies for coming to visit me. I had so much fun today. I was excited to dress up today which includes wearing a wig! During the interview my cheer girls took turns sharing stories about me and that was the best part of my day. They shared stories of me doing funny things, constantly dancing, and my driving incidents. For those of you who do not know, I will admit I am a terrible driver. After four months of being 16 and having my own car I had already totaled one vehicle and was on my second car. One of the girls said “Kaden remember that time you ran up on the curb and got a flat tire?” My response was “which time? It has happened twice!” They shared stories of funny thing I would say or do during competition practice, which is as one of the girls said “a really stressful time.” It brought back little memories you forget, which was really nice. The girls also brought me A TON of hats. I want to thank EVERYONE who gave me a hat, I love each and every one of them. During my interview I told my story and then Lindsey asked me some questions. The most difficult question was “What do you look forward to the most once you are done with your battle?” This question was not difficult because I did not have an answer, but because my answer made me a little sad. I responded that I look forward to going back to school and doing everything like I normally would. I miss going out and seeing everyone. I miss my normal teenage life. I do not let this take over and I am still happy but it is almost tougher not having my normal teenage problems than it is to do chemo. I told Lindsey during my interview that everyone keeps telling me how positive I am and how strong I am. I feel like being positive and staying strong is no longer a choice I have. There is absolutely no way I could not be strong and do this. There really is not. I do not like needles and before this I would even say I hate needles, but if the doctor says you have to get a shot or access your port then you get strong, you get over it, and you do it all while smiling. It is not something where you say “oh I do not feel like doing that” because that is not how you get better. I do not want to have cancer. Nobody wants to have cancer so if being strong is what I have to do to kick cancer’s butt then that is exactly what I will do. I think a lot of times I cannot help but to selfishly ask God “why me, why does this have to happen to me. I have other plans for my life and cancer is not in those plans so why me God.” It is not right of me to ask God that. I am not saying that I know why I got cancer, because I do not by all means, and if I did then we could easily be on the verge of having a cure to cancer. But with that being said, whenever I start to ask “why me” then I think of my brother and my sister. I think of my mom and dad. I think of my grandparents. I think of my best friend, Maddi. I think of all my friends really. I think of everyone I love. Then I think about how I know that I am not emotionally strong enough to handle any of my loved ones ever having to go through something as strong as cancer. I then know why me. God does not give us anything we cannot handle. I believe that God knew I couldn’t handle any of my loved ones getting cancer but I was strong enough to handle it happening to me. I do not think of it as a punishment, but more as a blessing because I do not have to watch anyone I love be in pain. I pray every day that none of my loved ones ever get cancer, I then pray that my worst enemy never gets cancer, and then that everyone else in the world does not, those I know, and those I do not. I pray for a cure to hopefully end cancer all together. Something I learned after being diagnosed is that there is so many different types of cancer, which means they need so many different types of cures. I know that scientists are on the verge of finding a cure for several kinds that are more common. This is wonderful and I pray that this happens in the near future. I pray that soon after that, a cure is found for the less common cancers, like mine which is extremely rare. I have only been diagnosed for a month, but I feel like I have already grown so much as a person, and my relationship with God and those around me has grown so much. I feel like I am already beginning to mature. I am a dramatic person and some of the things I complained about often before being diagnosed seem so stupid and pointless now. I know that something so great and wonderful is going to come from this terrible thing. This is just a bump in the road. I am going to grow up, graduate high school, then college, get married, have kids, find a job, grow old, have grandkids, and I know that when I am 90 years old I will look back on what is so big in my life right now, and think about how I overcame it and it wasn’t that bad after all. I cannot wait to get past this and live the rest of my life.
p.s. I have been blessed with the opportunity to make a wish. I can wish for anything I want! I am trying to put a lot of thought into my wish and would love it if y’all had any ideas or suggestions! Thanks!