Hodgkins Lymphoma VS Resilience

Well, welcome back Badasses

I could post an inspirational quote about this I could come up with some creative fluff, but for this post I refuse to do that. As many of you I’m sure have already heard I did not get the news we’ve all been praying for. Mr. Hodgkin’s is back (for a temporary visit) but he’s more stubborn than ever. It’s okay, he’ll learn the hard way who I am. I will have to undergo chemotherapy yet again, but this time a lower dose at first. I will then be going to USC to do a stem cell transplant; for those of you who are like WHAT? (because same) this is for you.

Stem cell transplantation: The use of stem cells as a treatment for cancer or other illness. The stem cells are removed (or obtained from a donor) first. Before the transplant is done, the patient receives high-dose chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy to destroy diseased cells.

Unfortunately for me Nevada does not offer this and I have to travel to California to receive it. Fortunately though I will be able to use my own stem cells and I will not need a donor. So YAY for silver linings.

Now that we’ve covered that I want to talk about some really serious topics that I don’t feel anyone talks about, and if they do they’re sure not talking about it enough.

I see hundreds of pages a day, yes hundreds I have a lot of time on my hands okay (don’t judge).  I follow the hashtags #hodgkinslymphoma #cancerwarrior #noonefightsalone and many more. To me a hashtag no longer represents something just to get that double tap on a heart. To me it has been the way I have found and connected with SO many people who are fighting battles of their own. Battles they feel alone in or feel as if no one understands. These hashtags are creating awareness but we need more! We also need more vulnerability and understanding. Because let’s be clear about something what you see on social media is the perception of what people want you to see. Life isn’t always positivity, sunshine, and rainbows. No it’s hard it’s really fucking hard and so many times we are forced to do things we don’t want to do but we have to do for what ever the reason may be. I am about to share things with you that I’ve honestly only talked to a few people about, but everyone who goes through something ESPECIALLY cancer has a right to feel each and every feeling you are feeling.

In the past two months I have taken up meditating, I have started praying like I have never prayed before. I have never been a religious person and always more spiritual, but now I am both. I have dug myself out of so many dark holes in my life and I have done it on my own. Depression and anxiety run deep in my family, and I have encountered and dealt with both. So let’s say you also suffer with both of these which I know a majority of people do these days which is unfortunate. Imagine already manifesting these problems and adding the word CANCER in the mix. Sounds like the opposite of fun right? You would be correct.

No body knows this I don’t even think my husband does, but every time you see me post an Instagram photo with me and my bald head, or me and a positive quote, or me telling you not to give up. It’s because moments before that I had a complete mental breakdown about whatever was building up that day, and the second I dig myself out of that hole I feel the need to tell people it will be okay because it will be. It will be but that doesn’t mean you can’t feel pissed and angry because that’s what I am. I am grateful to be alive, I am grateful that this is a curable disease, I am grateful that I have a support system and so many things to be grateful for. But, I am also extremely angry, confused, sad, hurt, mortified, terrified, and so may other emotions I don’t even have the words for. I am angry that cancer continues to take things from me, but also gives me things back. I am pissed that two of my best friends had babies and I missed both of their showers because of chemo. I am pissed that I find this out a week before I’m supposed to go to two important weddings. I am frustrated watching all of my friends move forward to the next stages in their lives with building families, dreams, accomplishments while I can barely leave the house. I am incredibly frustrated that I worked my ass off for 2 years to earn a promotion to get cancer 2 months later. I am saddened by the fact that my family and friends have to put their brave faces on when they’re around me when all they want to do is cry with me. Crying is something I’ve become quite used to these days. I cry alone, I cry with my husband, I cry at the bar with Courtni for 3 hours (after this we’re not talking about it anymore) crying is healthy and I have every right to cry and so do you. Once you get it out and I mean get it all out for the day, and then stand the hell up and stand in front of what ever you’re crying about and own it. As my idol Rachel Hollis says “Everything doesn’t happen for a reason, but there is meaning in everything that happens.” Find that meaning and make it your bitch (sorry I’m pumped about it)

Don’t feel sorry for yourself because just as you compare yourself to those “instagram models” I compare myself to the people in the world just out there having a regular cup of coffee and enjoying time with their friends. Disappointment has become a huge part of my life, but so has gratitude and gratitude ALWAYS wins if you let it. Think your life is bad? Well, it’s true bad shit may have happened to you, but if you’re reading this you clearly got through it, so whatever it is you’ll get through that too. If you want to humble yourself follow those hashtags I mentioned before. Follow them, follow the inspirational stories of warriors of people who thrive off of little moments because little moments are what make up big moments. We don’t want to inspire you because we have cancer and are fighting it I mean if I’m being completely honest I don’t have a choice. The choice is live. It’s not a choice. We want you to be inspired by the HOW; how did we get through it, how did we stay positive, how did I impact someone’s life for the better? Think about this though these are all questions you don’t have to be diagnosed with cancer to do; it can be anything anyone goes through. Sure gossiping, comparing, negativity, blaming the world and others for your problems is the easy way. But nothing in life worth having is easy, we all know that. Don’t take the easy way. Find out the WHY? Listen to understand. Try to understand what someone is going through instead of taking it personal. I’ve learned a lot this last year and one huge lesson is that when someone is angry at you it has WAY more to do what’s going on with them than with you. Remember that.

 

Love you all always,

XOXO Bechtold Badass.

 

 

 

If you don’t know, now you know.

Hi Badasses,

As most of you may know I had my last PET scan after my 12 rounds of chemo to find out whether or not I was cancer free and in remission. Well, if you follow my story you unfortunately already know that that’s not exactly how my appointment went. Ironically the night before I had a complete mental breakdown because I felt something was wrong like I could feel in my soul that my journey wasn’t exactly over, but my family and best friends did what they always do and pushed me out of that dark place and into the light. Unfortunately for all of us my intuition has never been wrong. The original 13cm mass has completely departed thanks to chemo, but two different lesions have found their way into my lungs at 2cm each. It has not been confirmed that I still have cancer, but I also am not in remission either. IF I have Hodgkins again I will be on the ride of my life. See the first time I was fortunate enough to JUST do 6 months of chemo (yeah I said it) but I have met people who have had to do chemo, surgery, radiation in combinations or all three and let me tell you that shit looks brutal. I am scared shitless of radiation and the potential stem cell transplant I might have to do, but don’t worry it gets better. Not only would I have to do the stem cell transplant but they don’t do that here in Nevada which means I would have to travel to California, Utah, or Arizona. Don’t get me wrong I will do whatever it takes to get this bullshit cancer out of my life forever, but for any of my fellow cancer survivors we all know that the beginning of the process is the ABSOLUTE worst thing ever. And I’m right back in it EXACTLY 7 months later (13’s are no longer my jam). It’s like everyone is always talking around you, but never has any answers for you. They have all these “plans of action” on situations where we don’t even know what’s going on in the first place. So, you just sit there quiet, confused, and frustrated once again not understanding why your body continues to betray you, but enough of that.

I want to talk about something that’s been heavy on my mind lately, and it’s things that no one ever talks about when it comes to illness and disease. First of all we are not only fighting for our lives, we are fighting with the hospital, the cancer center, the insurance companies, 3rd party sick pay, disability checks, less income, how most of us can’t drive during treatment, and a bunch of other things I can’t think of because chemo brain.. I see hundreds of GoFundMe accounts on a daily basis and before I was diagnosed I will admit I was one of those people that saw it and kept scrolling, but you honestly have no idea the trauma that all of the stress things like this bring on top of you literally fighting for your life. I have been extremely blessed and grateful for the company I work for and the insurance company they use, but not everyone is that lucky. Insurance also likes to play games and choose what they think you do and don’t need. For example I had the WORST mouth sores after my first round of chemo and all anyone talked about was “Magic Mouthwash” and how amazing it was. Well, my insurance chose not to cover ONE ingredient ONE. So without insurance the mouthwash was almost $200 and I absolutely cannot justify that, so then I had to find an alternative. Also, anyone whose anyone obviously knows that nausea is heavily associated with chemo and my oncologist wanted to prescribe me an antacid AN ANTACID YOU GUYS. insurance said nope. $85 antacid. yeah no thanks. The point I’m trying to make is cancer doesn’t just affect our health and body. It affects everything and everyone involved. Not only that, it just doesn’t stop when your treatments do. Thanks to insurance and communication and whatever else goes on in that world (I will never understand it) you get bills months later and sometimes are expected to pay them before you can get another treatment, or any information about your scan, or a prescription. (Talk about cruel and unusual punishment)

A friend of mine just recently beat Stage 3 Colon Cancer he kicked that things ass so hard!! But his troubles have honestly just begun because of insurance and medical bills. I don’t want to put his business out there but I’m just trying to make the point of just because he’s cancer free doesn’t mean he’s stress free or worry free. He now is trying to raise enough money to pay to get insurance back because somewhere along the line his stuff got messed up and nobody bothered to think about him. THE PATIENT I mean HELLO. You would think people would do what it takes to make a cancer patients life easier, but in my honest opinion people don’t talk about this enough. They think YES! CANCER FREE! life is back! WRONG were a bunch of lost puppies trying to navigate everything. Can I do things I used to? Will I ever not be exhausted? How am I going to pay for all this shit when I’m not even working? At the same time we’ve never appreciated our lives more than during and after cancer. But as we all know things worth having don’t come easy.

I will be 100% honest about this I can make cancer my bitch, I can tackle on chemo like nobody’s business, and if it comes to radiation and stem cell I’ll do all that too, but watching how it affects my husband, family, and best friends is something I would rather never witness again. My mom has been through this shit with so many people in our family it’s completely ridiculous and unfair. My sister was born extremely premature and honestly she’s the biggest miracle I’ve ever seen in my life. That little girl could fit my dad’s wedding band up her leg when she was born and now she’s almost a teenager. So my dad and step mom have been in the hospital WAY too many damn times. My husband tries to take on EVERYTHING and still manages to make me laugh every damn day. My best friends are scared out of their damn minds because they constantly think they’re not doing enough and need to do more (honestly you guys are perfect I promise). The thing is like I said before cancer doesn’t just affect the person with it. It infects everyone involved with its disease, and that’s the most heartbreaking part of it all.

I did not want for this post to sound negative in anyway but I did want to bring awareness to the fact that because someone is cancer free does not mean their journey with it is over. Cancer DAF about your bills, your family, whether you keep your job or not, your friends, nothing. The only thing cancer cares about is spreading.

I do promise you this. In 2019 I WILL be cancer free, and I WILL be in remission, and I WILL accomplish everything I’ve set out to accomplish this year. Cancer you got your 6 months of 2018 and I refuse to give you another 6.

If any of you Badasses ever need to talk, cry, vent, laugh, or anything in between. Im Here. Always. You’re never alone.

 

 

XOXO,

Bechtold Badass

Now What?

Hi Badasses!

I am currently 6 weeks post chemo, and have never been more confused in my entire life. But why? I just finished chemo shouldn’t that mean everything is great and back to normal now? I mean I don’t even think that would be a possibility no matter how hard I tried. To be completely honest I don’t even know what ‘normal’ is anymore, and I definitely don’t want to go back to who I was before. Not that I was a terrible person because I’d like to think I wasn’t, but I also had a huge misconception of what was important in life and that was another HUGE lesson. I must say being that it’s 2019 I am honestly extremely surprised at the lack of information for cancer patients. The first thing I did when I was diagnosed was google every possible thing I could because who even knows what Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is? I didn’t. My husband didn’t. My family didn’t. Why don’t they teach these kinds of things in school?

I’ll never forget my senior year of high school and in my health class we had to find speakers who would somehow make an impact in the class. Two of my friends chose my mom as their speaker because she’s a Badass Breast Cancer Survivor and the way the class reacted was amazing. There should be more of that in schools. You would think there would be tons of reading materials on cancer in general, but it’s actually pretty hard to find the information you actually want. Like “why are my eyebrows and eyelashes falling out a month after chemo?” “Why does everything make me cry?” “Why do I still have severe bone pain?” “What is normal?” “Who the hell decided you have to wait a week for scan results?” “How do I act in public?” “How do I deal with scanxiety?” “How do I go back to hanging out with my friends?” “Am I allowed to get mad about stupid things?” These are just a few of the questions I ask every single day lately. I honestly haven’t been this emotionally exhausted and drained since I lost my hair. I wish I could say that I’m done with chemo and every thing is peachy keen but that would be a lie. The truth is i’m struggling. On Wednesday I will hopefully hear the words “In Remission” or “Cancer Free” (I’ll settle for either) and it can’t come soon enough. I mean I have been waiting since July 13th 2018 to hear those words.

The other day I was having another anxiety moment (there were a lot) about my scan and was talking to my husband about it. I told him I felt like I was about to take a test that I had no control over. A test that no matter what I do it doesn’t matter. My husband looks at me and smiles he says “What do you mean you didn’t prepare for it?” “You’ve been fighting your ass off for the last 6 months. THAT’S your preparation” and that’s when I decided he was completely right (for once.. JK) I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and accepted what is currently out of my control. Easier said than done.

Life post chemo is a tricky concept because during treatment the mission is “don’t puke, and eat some food” post chemo your mission is…..live?…but restricted?….but am I cancer free?….I AM LOST AND CONFUSED. They don’t tell you that after your last treatment they will continue to torture you. First once your done with treatment you get to wait 3 weeks then you get “checked” then you wait a week get a PET SCAN then you wait some more and you get your results a week later. That’s where I’m at the worst part of waiting to date. Honestly and I mean it waiting for these results is worse than when I waited to find out I had cancer. I KNEW I had cancer. I do not have any idea what is going on in my body right now, and the thought of hearing anything besides those two words is just unfathomable. Plus I keep forgetting about my bestie Mr. Port that also needs to be removed and never put in again.

One thing I know for sure is being “strong” isn’t as much of a choice as you’d like to think. The choice is more like “live or die” Once you make the choice to live that’s when your mindset changes.

As strong and positive as I am I still have a lot of extremely rough days and I think it’s honestly because I’m still trying to figure out who I am after all of this. At the same time it’s not “after” because it’s still very much apart of my every day life. I am trying to ‘trust the process’ but man is it deterring when you’re 6 weeks post chemo and you look in the mirror to find half of your eyebrow missing. It’s a real punch to the gut. Then you laugh because you’re crying over a damn eyebrow. But really it has absolutely nothing to do with the missing eyebrow or the fact that your hair is just at a standstill. It has EVERYTHING to do with not knowing if you’re cancer free or not. It has everything to do with having a second chance and being so paranoid about screwing it up. About having “guilt” about the loved ones in your life who didn’t make it from the disease and now you feel it’s your duty to fully live your life in every way because they couldn’t. It’s the unrealistic expectations you put on yourself as a survivor to be happy all the time. Then you smack yourself until you realize that YOU KICKED CANCER’S ASS. CELEBRATE IT.

Then you go through the feelings of “we’re not doing enough” “I need to find ways to help” “how can I make a difference” and then your husband, or your nurse practitioner kindly reminds you that you should probably start working on yourself again before you start helping other people. This is the part where you agree, roll your eyes, and google later. I will say this though social media can play a crucial part in your days, good or bad its up to you, but honestly if you’re having an off day mentally stay off of it. You think it’ll be fine, and then you see something extremely upsetting on a cancer page you follow or someone is complaining about something irrelevant on facebook. Then you’re down the #hashtag rabbit hole on instagram and you’re even more sad than you were 20 minutes ago. Just Don’t. On the other hand #hodgkinslymphoma was the very first thing I looked for and I found comfort in 2 or 3 accounts. 1 was an author and lymphoma survivor, 1 was stage 4 but had a very similar story and situation, and the last one was a page that appreciated cancer warriors. These pages helped me in many ways because there’s no worse feeling than feeling alone and they took that burden off making me feel like they all knew EXACTLY what I was going through and there is no better feeling than that. Also I would recommend reading as many self care/self help/ books as you possibly can during this experience or in general honestly. Although they may not be “cancer” specific I know that reading is one of the things that has truly made a difference in my outlook on having cancer and dealing with what life throws at you. (I’m a control freak so they help)

I do wish I could give any advice on how to deal with waiting for your scan results, but I am unfortunately in need of it myself. All I can say is I fought the fight. The fight of my life and in my heart and in the deepest of my core I know I will be cancer free, and be on my way to a healthier and happier life. So until then Badasses!

 

XOXO,

Bechtold Badass

New Year, Better Me

Welcome to 2019 Badasses! We did it! We made it through hell and back (also known as 2018) A lot has happened since my last post, but I’m happy to report about 99% of everything has been positive. I am officially done with chemo and I have my follow up appointment on January 21st. After that I will officially have my PET scan scheduled and hopefully I will hear the words”you are in remission.” If I learned anything last year it’s that things might not go the way you wanted them to or the way you think they should, no things go exactly the way they are supposed to whether we like it or not. I have also learned to accept things that are out of my control because there is no point in stressing myself out over things I simply cannot change. For instance my “chemo day” was always on Wednesdays and for 11 rounds it never changed, but because of a flooding at the Cancer Center and the holidays I was forced to change my very last chemo appointment to a Friday. I know those of you who aren’t going through this are thinking “doesn’t that give you two extra days of feeling good.” Well, the answer is yes, but the response for us is more frustration. Frustration of planning your life around your chemo schedule, and literally mentally preparing yourself each and every time you have chemo. So, when that gets changed you feel like you are having something yet again taken away without having any say. Needless to say I ended up getting over it because I was being a little dramatic and it was ONLY two days, and I was able to rest those two days after the holidays.

Besides the fact that I didn’t know hardly any of the nurses during Round 12 (apparently they’re off on Fridays) it wasn’t has traumatic and emotional as I thought it would be. Until my husband completely surprised me and showed up as I was about done. The reason this was so emotional for me was because of the fact that before he started school he came to every single appointment and chemo round, but that all changed when he started school so it was the perfect surprise. I knew coming out of the chemo coma this time around would be more difficult than it usually is for a couple different reasons. One being the fact that my body was so used to Wednesday’s that mentally I had to retrain myself and the second being the fact that this was the last one and  I was so mentally and emotionally done that I knew I would try to “rush” out of the chemo coma without actually being out of the coma (if that makes any sense).

Lets just say for the next 2 weeks I was nothing but an emotional mess. For all my supporters out there please remember this. Just because a cancer patient finishes chemo and hears the words “in remission” We are still far far far from “back to normal.” Yes, we are officially done being poisoned by the drugs that also saved our lives, but mentally, emotionally, and psychically we have no clue who or what the hell we are. It has been 2 weeks since my last round and the amount of pain I am still in is unbearable at times. Not to mention the completely confusing identity crisis I now have, and beginning to speak about my cancer in past tense. The easiest way I can think to describe my current state of mind is like when you are in a toxic relationship for a long period of time and you finally decide to leave. Well that relationship was a part of you and your everyday life for so long and it consumed you, and now all the sudden you have to live without it which means re finding yourself and learning who you are without it. It will ALWAYS be apart of you, but it no longer consumes you. It is a very confusing place to be mentally, but the feeling of getting a second chance at life definitely out weighs any negative feeling I’ve ever felt, and that’s what you must always focus on. The light is ALWAYS there and sometimes you just have to look harder to find it.

After about 3 failed vacations in 2018 I started 2019 perfectly with 2 of my absolute favorite people in the entire world. My husband and my best friend. It was the most perfect birthday weekend I could have ever asked for. I cried about 15 times because I felt as if my new life I had been waiting so long for had finally arrived with open arms. Every single part of this weekend was eyeopening and perfect. From the tears rolling down my face while I felt the sand between my toes. The adrenaline I felt from the waves hitting my feet and legs, and the burst of high I felt as I took my wig off and felt the water completely cover half of my body. It was truly empowering. These two are some of the most amazing individuals with the most beautiful souls. They made sure I had everything I wanted and more.

Disneyland was absolute perfection, and although my body is 100000% sore and in pain it was all worth it. I will say this…I did experience for the first time a very defensive moment about me having cancer. This was the first Disneyland trip I had ever had being “different” and boy did that get me some attention (not needed or wanted.) The short version of the story is we boarded the “handicapped” trolley and we made one mom very angry. The cart we were in also had a woman in a wheel chair with her daughter. The mom on the cart next to us tries to get the attention of the employee and fails (she’s just cranky honestly) so my husband being the nice person he is gets the guy’s attention for her (well that was our first mistake) She then tells him that she needs our cart to hold her stroller and the employee tells her no this cart has a wheel chair so we cannot put your stroller with her wheelchair. She didn’t like that answer so she takes it out on us. “Well I thought this was for strollers, and not for “normal” people who can sit anywhere in the cart.” If this was the old me she would have literally regretted ever saying ANYTHING like that to us ever, but I simply said “actually this is the handicapped section.” Well she didn’t like that either. So she decides to have her husband go tattle on us for being in handicapped (which I AM and have a sticker to prove it) then when her husband gets no results she goes to the guy herself and he tells her ma’am they have a handicap sticker. As were leaving the trolley I can just feel the anger coming from her and her husband and I just don’t understand. Why are you so focused on me and where I’m sitting when you are literally at the happiest place on Earth with your family and you’re being an absolute asshole in front of your kids before you even get to the park. The moral of the story is yes I “look” fine, yes I have “hair” and makeup on, but you know absolutely NOTHING about me and my disability so how dare you question or judge me. Just because someone looks a certain way doesn’t mean they aren’t fighting for their life. I am an extremely happy and positive person coming out of this experience, but don’t for one second think I still don’t struggle everyday because I do.

Everyone is fighting battles we know nothing about. SO sit down and humble yourself this year. BE KIND. BE SUPPORTIVE. ASPIRE TO INSPIRE. Be the light at the end of the tunnel for someone. Try to be more understanding of why someone maybe acting or treating you some way. Don’t post petty subliminal messages on social media. TALK ABOUT IT. We as humans are not mind readers so if you’re upset with someone just tell them. Ask yourself is it worth losing this person? If that person is toxic then remove them, but holding a grudge only hurts you.

Forgiveness is 100% more for you than the other person (remember that)

Thank you for sticking around for this very long post!

50294551_10217479793123168_637118841712803840_nUntil Next Time,

 

XOXO Bechtold Badass

The 2018 Kaleidoscope

Buckle up Badasses,

This post is going to be a long one, so grab a snack and some water, wine, or spiked egg nog? (and a glass for me since I can’t drink).

Every year around Christmas and right before New Year’s I always take the time to sit and reflect on the year and most of the time the good outweighs the bad and overall I usually have a lot more to be thankful for and toss it up as a good year. Well, apparently 2018 wanted change and I was just along for the very bumpy ride.

I know you’re probably thinking my awful year started in July when I was diagnosed with cancer, but I have to tell you that you’re unfortunately wrong. Cancer has not been the only contribution to the testament of Meagan Bechtold’s strength this year. No, this all started in January. Anyone who knows me knows exactly just how much of a crazy obsessed dog mom I am, and in the first week of January I got the most devastating phone call I would ever answer. I was 30 minutes away from leaving work and was taking a small break in the backroom when I get a call from my husband, but when I answer it just sounds like breathing and I can’t understand what he’s saying. Finally he blurts out that Bowser (our youngest fur baby 1.5 years old) has a huge tumor in his lungs (the irony of this) and has a terminal form of cancer. Our options aren’t really options at this point. 1. Be selfish and keep Bowser as long as we possibly can even though he refuses to eat. 2. Do the right thing and put him out of pain. Being the dog mom that I am I absolutely could never be selfish like that especially when he’s not eating and all I could do around him was cry, so my husband and I knew what to do. My husband went to take Bowser into the animal hospital on Jan. 9th and I was with my mom trying to be distracted because although all this was happening my birthday was also in 2 days, and I basically had forgotten. Bowser was put out of pain on Jan. 9th and then cremated on my birthday Jan. 11th. Don’t get me wrong I have dealt with the rainbow bridge before and each time is completely heartbreaking, but the difference between then and now is the fact that my fur baby was only 1.5 years old with so much life left to live. This tragedy left my husband and I completely shattered, but like we always say “Everything happens for a reason.”

February comes and were starting to heal and become more positive. Then we learn great news about this puppy were going to receive! My husband shows me pictures and I just cry, but this time I’m crying because I’m so grateful and happy for this little guy to come into our lives. Fast forward to December and Opie just had his 1st birthday and weighs 82lbs. I call him one of the silver linings of 2018. We still remained hopeful in February until my husband starts having chest pain and high blood pressure. I drive him to the ER where he is hooked up and ran through multiple tests for his heart. About 6 hours later all the tests were finished and thankfully his heart was fine, but there were other things causing the problem. The last 3 months had been emotionally draining, and his body was physically taking a toll. We were given a few things to help with anxiety and blood pressure and then we were sent on our way. Update to now he is doing much better and obviously realizes the importance of health. Biggest lesson of 2018 TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. but really, please do it.

March, April, and May.

I’m going to refrain from boring you with the details of these months because honestly it’s a blur at this point. These weren’t “terrible” months for me by any means, but these were the months of the year that had the most change (well you know until July). I was in a very very confused state in my life. All my husband and I have ever wanted to do was to achieve our goals, but sometimes bills and priorities just have to come first. My husband has been wanting to go back to Barber school for quite some time now, but with school comes less work and less work means less money and less money for the husband means more working for me. I wanted to figure out a way for him to do this for himself but still not have our little family struggle, but I also didn’t know what to do. Too make a very long story short for the next few months I worked on communicating what I wanted for myself and made my personal and work goals more clear. I worked extremely hard and another huge silver lining of 2018 was a promotion that I had been working toward since my career at Ulta began. With greatness comes great responsibility, but the part that quote is missing is “With great responsibility comes people who doubt you from every angle.” To avoid making this negative I will just leave you with this..When you want something in life work for it and get it. When you get (not if WHEN) do not let anyone (I mean it ANYONE) take it away from you. There is a reason it’s yours. There’s a reason YOU were chosen. The person or people who made that decision saw something in you, and you need to see it too. Once that started to get under control then came June.

June,

June 11th about 1 month from being diagnosed (this story is ironic and weird too)

I remember this day perfectly. It was a Monday and I had called out of work so I could go to Urgent Care about my stupid ongoing cough and weird consistent fevers. Well I get up and go to Urgent Care. He tells me he thinks my bronchitis has come back and prescribes me the usual antibiotics and sends me on my way. Well as I’m leaving the parking lot BOOOOOOM I get into a car accident. My very first car accident and the car that I paid for on my own for years and is 1 year from being paid off COMPLETELY TOTALED. I’ll spare you the details, but basically now I have this stubborn cough, i’m sore and now traumatized from this car accident. Monday June 13th I get a new car. (silver lining? You be the judge)

July 13th,

Yes, exactly a month after I get my car and registrations due. BOOM Urgent Care again, but this time with the twist of Emergency Room, and well you know the rest after that by now. (If you don’t check out my first 2 blogs) Don’t worry though I may procrastinate a lot in my life, but it will never be my bills so the registration was already paid and sent in. I won’t bore you with the details of the remaining months because we’ve already been through that, but we can switch gears a little bit.

I will leave you with this,

As traumatizing and downright painful this year was I am truly the happiest and most at peace with myself than I think I have ever been. As many cliches, quotes, phrases, and sayings there are about living life and being happy they’re all true. Life IS too short, and you can’t do a damn thing about it, so why try to change it? Accept change, challenge it, embrace it, create it, love it, live it, whatever you want to do with change DO IT.

If you’re doubting yourself on whether or not you think you can get through it or not. Well, YOU CAN. When I think back to who I was at the hospital and how scared I was and confused. I had NO idea what Hodgkins Lymphoma was, and now I could answer just about any question. I didn’t think I could make it to Round 2 and now I have Round 12 on Friday. I started this journey with my husband by my side 3 days a week all day every day to take care of me, but my husband was given the opportunity to start school, and we both agreed it was best to do it now. Since October my husband has been going to school 5 days a week and working the other 2 and sometimes both. Which leaves me to take care of myself which in my opinion has made me 10x stronger mentally and emotionally. Except sometimes I forget to lecture myself about eating so that’s been a bummer. As much as I miss my husband everyday I am so incredibly proud of him and he finishes school the same day as my last treatment. PAARTAAAAAAY. JUST KIDDING I’ll be sleeping/hibernating until 2019…literally.

Most years are good years for me, but this one was definitely the worst year of my entire life, but it has changed me for the better and has set up what I will make the best year of my entire life, and I will not let anything get in the way of that. Not even the word Cancer. Leave all your shit in 2018. Leave all your negativity and self doubt in 2018.

2018 I fell, 2019 I get up.

 

Until Next Time,

 

XOXO Bechtold Badass.

Don’t Quit Your Day Dream

When you ask a cancer patient going through chemo how they stay positive you never truly get the same answer every time. Every person has a different reason as to how they stay positive but also the answer can change everyday. Most days I am strong and positive because I know for a fact there are far more people out there who have it worse off than I do. Yeah I know that sounds kind of odd considering cancer is about as scary as it gets, but it becomes quite humbling having to go to the Cancer Center every two weeks and seeing people who just simply get EXACTLY what you’re going through. Whether you say anything to these people or not you feel for them. You don’t ask them “how are you?” because you know just how loaded that question actually is, and honestly the answer is always the same “Well I’m alive” (no but really it’s a thing). You just simply smile at each other, possibly share your snacks, and nap trying to forget about the pain you’re both enduring at that very same moment.

When you begin your cancer journey the end seems so far away, and you figure you’re just torturing yourself even thinking about future plans, but what if in a way planning for the future is also the only thing that keeps you sane? Now that I’m 10 rounds deep into this I’ve gotten my routine down pretty much to a science. The first two days are spent in complete hibernation complete sleep mode (this is the time I don’t answer any social media/texts/phone calls) the day after is spent being completely awake and feeling all the nausea known to mankind. The next few days that follow consist of me watching various movies/tv shows, reading, writing (when my neuropathy allows), and most important of all are all my Pinterest goals. Pinterest can be a very dangerous slope considering the whole “social media vs reality” thing, but it can also be extremely motivating. I mean if were being honest I’ve already redone my kitchen, planned 3 different vacations, and created a nursery for my unborn children and I feel pretty damn good about it. Yeah Pinterest can have a way with making things extremely unrealistic, but it also has this amazing ability to allow you to create visions you want for your life. Besides there’s nothing wrong with Pinterest dreams anyways and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I guess the bigger point I am trying to make is that no matter what you’re going through, and no matter what you’ve been through you still have the ability to go after exactly what you want for a better life for yourself. Everyone has a different way of dealing with things and for me writing is my outlet and Pinterest just happens to be that very bright light I see at the end of this tunnel.

Until Next Time,

XOXO Bechtold Badass

Being There..

I hesitated for awhile about writing on this topic because it’s a subject that weighs extremely heavy on my heart. As anyone whose ever been through a rough time in their life you understand the importance of someone being there for you, and in being there for someone you always hope they will return the favor if it’s ever needed and be there for you. I’m not talking about a break up or having a shitty day although we do still need people for that. I’m talking about serious stuff whether it’s illness, a loss in the family, or any kind of situation where you truly need the people in your life to be there for you. It always starts the same once it’s new and fresh everyone everywhere is there for you and wants to help, and the more time goes by the less you hear from people, and don’t get me wrong it’s completely understandable. I understand that everyone has things going on in their life and lets face it I’d prefer you didn’t text me “how are you?” everyday, but let me fill you in on a little secret sending someone an “I love you” text or “thinking of you” or “you got this your’e so strong” means the absolute world. You’re not being annoying, you’re not imposing, you’re not overstepping you are simply being there for someone who needs you and you’re doing a damn good job. There is no “right” way to be there for someone that needs you but I will tell you there is only one “wrong” way and no it’s not saying the wrong thing or asking too many questions. Some of the things people do or say may irritate us at times but that’s because honestly we’re just irritated in general trying to go through whatever it is were going through, and sometimes the things people say honestly blows my mind just a little. Although in everyone’s defense a lot of people have no idea about specific cancers and how hard it is going through treatment. They might not always understand what situation you’re going through, but take it from someone who knows from experience the absolute WORST thing you can do for someone going through a hard time is disappear. When you choose to disappear on someone who needs you the most you are making a lot more choices for that relationship than you could ever imagine.

The amount of support I’ve been given from people has been absolutely amazing and I truly appreciate everything everyone has ever done for me. Even if it was just liking a blog post or sending a text trust me I appreciate it. My husband is just about as amazing as it gets when it comes to someone taking care of me. My mom comes with me to EVERY single chemo and doctors appointment. I have an amazing home cooked meal every other Tuesday before chemo made by my step mom so I can spend time with family before my next appointment. My mother in law was at the hospital with me every single day until I was able to go home. Everyone has sort of filled their own role in my journey and it wouldn’t be the same without all my pieces put together. The truth is I have never felt more supported in my life or been as close to people as I am now, but there are a few people out there that have truly broken my heart during this. People I would have never expected to disappear in the hardest time of my entire life. You know when you’re younger and your parents tell you they’re “disappointed” in you? And you’re like okay whatever so you’re not mad though? That’s how you feel when you’re going through the hardest time in your life and someone chooses not to be there for you. Disappointed.

Ask anyone going through anything no matter how big or small about how they’re feeling and the answer will be alone. When I was diagnosed with cancer I knew I wasn’t technically alone because I’ve been surrounded with cancer before, and I knew I would have my husband and my family by my side. But somehow you still manage to feel alone. In the beginning you feel like literally no one understands what you’re going through and how could anyone possibly get it? Then with a little navigation, a lot of google, and some time to reflect you being to cherish those who are there for you and have never left your side during this whole process. Even with all of that love and support it’s like when your boyfriend/husband says 10 good things about you and 1 bad thing, and immediately your mind goes straight to the one negative thing he said at the very end. It’s sad how easily that one negative thing can consume you. That’s how it feels when you have the whole world supporting you but 2 or 3 people who you thought would be there just simply aren’t.  Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying we need you everyday, we don’t even need you to text or call everyday or even every week but just being there at all makes a difference and trust me we notice. So no matter how big or small a problem can be. Be there. Be there for your friend, for your girlfriend/boyfriend, husband/wife, daughter/son, co-worker, sibling, aunt/uncle, cousins, the girl you met one time from instagram (no but really), just be there in any way shape or form, and I promise you’ll make a huge difference in their world. There are no wrong ways to be there for someone and there’s definitely not an instruction manual on how to act around someone whose at rock bottom, but believe it or not even if you’re sitting on the same couch staring at the wall at least you’re there.

At the end of the day words can’t express the appreciation I have for my amazing support team that has never left my side since day 1! (including all you badasses reading this) Like I said before I wouldn’t know what I would do without all my pieces!

 

 

Until Next Time,

XOXO Bechtold Badass