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4/16/03

Dear Friends
I found the following writings on Laura's lap top-I remember her saying that she wanted to keep these so she could write her story to help others some day. I found reading this sweet, and painful. She had so much love, and energy......
Mom



Sept. 6, 2001- 10:35 pm- CCMC- Rm. 726

A teenager. That 8 letter word that most adults once they hit 35 forget about, and dread their life when their son or daughter hit their teen years. Listening to loud music, partying out, being lazy except when they actually feel like working- which would mean walking for about 8 hours around the mall. That's what I thought I'd be- a typical freshman who just acted the way any 13 yr. old "teenage" girl should. Little did I realize that my freshman year would be far different from the ordinary- at least in some ways. I would still be going to the movies and to the mall, still sorting out the cute and the not so cute guys, and still talking on the phone with my eyes glued to the computer or TV screen. But, that's not the only thing that I'd be doing. I met a lot of friends this year, friends I'd never know of if this one event had happened to me. I learned different scientific terms such as ANC and Vincristine or Leucavorin- words that used to be another language. I learned how many people are actually there for me- people I hardly even knew. And, you see the only reason these things happened, is because 5 months ago… I was diagnosed with Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. Or for those who don't know what that is- it's the big "c-word" Cancer. Most people think that having cancer, means that you're whole life goes down the drain- that you can never do the activities you once could, that you are always on the verge of living or leaving the world for a while- holding on with dear life to a cliff. Well, maybe for some- but I'm not going to hold onto that cliff with my hands and let myself fall. No, for I am on another cliff- at the top- where you can never fall, you see I am on the cliff of survival. I've had many people tell me I'm brave- perhaps I am. But, I can tell you now- I'm not any different from any one else- I'm just a girl living my life, and now I've got a bolder in my path- and I'm trying to find a way around it. Tonight I'm sitting in my room in Connecticut Children's Medical Center (CCMC). It's late, and I'm tired, but perhaps tomorrow I'll write more- and you'll find out just how I knew that I had cancer and what's happening to me. Because, to tell you the truth I have no idea how this journal will end up being.

Sept. 7, 2001- CCMC- 11:45 am- rm. 726
Cancer was something that used to be something I knew barely about. I never thought that it would ever hit me. It wasn't like I was addicted to junk food, I didn't drink, smoke, or do drugs. I had good grades, solid friends, anything that someone could hope for in a good life. But, for someone reason, some flaw, some mistake- I developed stage 4, pre-b-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. It, all went so fast- hearing about the news. It started with back pain, simple back pain. I used to figure skate- I thought my coach had over-extended my leg. Which has happened before. The pain eventually went away- a few weeks later I went snow tubing. It was the day after a snow storm- so there was that eerie silence everyone time I went sliding down the hill. The snow was freshly packed and you slid over it without any delays, like butter on your hands. It wasn't until nighttime, I couldn't move, couldn't sleep when the pain came so bad to me. I didn't leave bed for 3 days except to use the bathroom. My mother is a chiropractor- so I had an x ray it was perfectly fine. Better than most people's. But, then why did I have this pain? What was happening? A week later I returned to school with minimal pain. (I'm sorry to put you through reading this- but you do want to know why I got diagnosed- don't you?) A couple of months later I had planter warts all over my foot- I thought perhaps from the girl's locker room. I didn't know that was a sign till much later. Because, I had them burned off- I was limping. But, I was limping for just to long. I couldn't' sleep at all- I'd wake up screaming from the pain. I had to sleep in my mom's room so she could rub my back.  I was probably getting only 3 hours of sleep per night. But- I was in so much pain that I didn't even feel myself being tired. The pain eased in the daytime, but after a weekend in New Orleans- I could hardly moved- I couldn't go back to school. I wouldn't make it past 3rd. period. Finally, I had an open MRI. It showed a large tumor on my back. But, no one believed that it was cancerous- they thought it was a schwonoma. I was immediately taken to my Mom's friend DR. Stephen Lange- a neurosurgeon at St. Francis hospital- I had a ct directed needle biopsy scheduled for a Mon. But, I didn't make it over the weekend- I began having tingly down my legs and it would just jump out of no where. I was taken to St. Francis's ER. While in the ER- I went into a spinal cord shutdown. I couldn't move my legs at all. I was, so scared that I was going to be paralyzed, I even became incontinent. As, soon as that happened, I had an emergency M-R-I- and then immediate back-surgery- everyone was moving around like crazy. I had a total of 4 Lamenectomies. I don't remember much about what happened. But, I do remember my Mom calling from her cell ph., she ran home to get some new clothes. My Mom's friend and my Aunt was in the room- I asked her on the ph.- when she told my I had cancer I just dropped the phone, I couldn't breathe, couldn't cry, I just stared at the wall. I stayed at St. Francis for a few days, and then I was brought to CCMC- there I had many tests- some of what I remember are a pet scan, cat scan, and a full body MRI. It turned out that I had tumors in different parts of my vertebrate, groin, lung, side of back, and CNS fluid. I immediately started chemo. It was the day before Easter that I went home- but the next day I was back in the ER- I had a headache so bad that my Mom thought I was seizure and I had thrown up so many times, that I became dehydrated. They hydrated me and then I went home. Every time I sat up though, I had that bad headache; it turned out my Cerebral Spinal fluid went dry. I was told to lie down and not move for as long as I could. A week later I had to be admitted again. I couldn't keep anything down, including a sip of water or Tylenol- I was even throwing up blood. I ended up having a bacterial and viral infection in my stomach. I can't exactly recall how long I was in the hospital for, but it was for a while. After a while I began adapting to my condition. I finally accepter it after the 3rd time I was admitted in one month for fevers- I kept going home and coming back 2 days later with 102, 103, and 105 fevers. I cried for 2 days straight- I simply broke- but you know what I felt better. It, was then that I learned that just because I have cancer doesn't mean that my whole life has to be destroyed, when you get a cold or a fever- your still the same person, right? Well, that's all I have, a cold just to a higher degree. I even went to my 8th gr. Dinner/dance. For, the past few months I've been in and out of the hospital getting chemo. Called Methotrexate. In, a week or so I begin a new phase of chemotherapy, It'll be my 4th phase. I have 12 in total- most people only have around 6. I've gone through a good amount of "stuff", most of which you'll have to hear about with my journal entries. One, of them is a Hickman tube that I used to have, it was a long tube that would come out of my chest- it was SO annoying, I'd have to change it's dressing 2x a week, use special dressing when I showered, and no swimming. One day it just fell out, that day I decided to switch to a port. It's like a Hickman tube only inside of you. Now I can go swimming, take 1 million showers, and no dressing changes. It's accessed with a special needle, but it doesn't hurt. Plus, I use emla cream, which numbs my skin so I don't feel it at all. (Thank god for that!) Well got to go the nurse is here. Now, that you've hard basically about what happened to me- I can finally begin telling you about… my story.

September 9, 2001- 8:35 pm- home
Well, I'm home now; this chemo wasn't as bad as some of them. Sometimes, it's real bad. Not just being nauseous, but also being tired, and just plainly hating it. Also, I can't figure out why, but a lot of "weird" things happen to me, such as fevers for no reason or a burn on my foot from Methotrexate chemo- which no one has seen before. Things like that. But this time, I had the pretty typical- some nauseousness and a headache. Sat, they gave me some Benadryl, which whacked me out, to help with nauseousness because I'd already had Zofran-, which I usually use, but doesn't knock me out. On Thurs. I went to Teen Group- its past and present kids who've had cancer- I really like it. Everyone there is nice, and we've all gone through the same things, or going through it. My friend Nikki was there too. She was getting the same type of Chemo as me. She has a type of Sarcoma. Sometimes, I feel bad for her- especially for her protocol- She has to be admitted for 4 days every week- it goes on for about 3 weeks- then she gets a break, then it starts again. Plus, she has to have this complicated surgery. She either has to have a rod put in her leg, or to have an amputation- she used to be a huge swimmer too- and I don't think that she'll be able to any more. I guess, no one has it perfect, or the easiest. After, hearing everyone's stories- you always have something easier, but then you always have something worse too. It's just like life- no one is perfect. Even though I'm lucky that we have insurance, it doesn't mean that you'll always have money. I have to see how many days, my Mom isn't working- and since it's only the 3 of us- me being born by artificial insemination- she's the only one making money. Luckily though, we're not living on the streets, and I know if something were to happen- we have enough people who care about us to lend us money. So, my Mom every Fri. during this chemo goes to work- but comes back at lunch and then leaves early so she can be with me. I'm always grateful of that. Basically that day I hang around. This past chemo I had Chinese with Nikki at dinner-, which was fun. Fri. night my 10 yr. Old sister Joelle came- she slept over. Sat. my friend Erin and her Mom came- they brought Thai food- I've never had it before- it was ok. Joelle slept over that night also. This morning I was told I could go home in the afternoon- so while waiting- I painted the windows on M/S 8- I was on M/S 7 but they're moving HEM/ONC up to that floor- which is good because right now we are on a floor with kids that have contagious diseases. Don't ask me why, but I think that it's crazy. So, Oct. 1st up we go!

September 10, 2001- 5:15 pm
I was on AOL just now but the ph. Rang so it cut me off- when my sister gets off- I'll get back on. I decided to tell you how my day went. It was pretty boring, These guys cam to wash the outside and inside of our windows- they're shinny now. But, it's raining so all their work is destroyed from outside mud! Oh well. I have 2 tutors- Françoise Miller (she's French) and Priscilla Teblagne. They're both really nice. Mrs. Miller does all subjects accept math. So, she came today. Priscilla does math-, which reminds me- I have homework! Ahh!

September 11, 2001- 10:35 AM- home
America is under attack!

Oct. 7, 2001- 1:15 Pm- home
I've been meaning to write- I really have, but right now it seems like my whole life is SO hectful. America being under attack- that was hard to believe.  From what I understand a very, very, evil terrorist named Osama Bin Ladan highjacked 2 planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center in New York City! They're gone- the tallest buildings in New York City- a symbol of the United States hit by 2 planes! They also crashed a plane into the Pentagon and into an open field in Pennsylvania. Thousands and thousands of people have died. It is considered the worst attack seen in the U.S.A- worse than Pearl Harbor! It will forever leave an imprint in our mind. Today though, while watching TV about a hr. or so ago- I found out that we've struck back- we just bombed some places in Afghanistan. Well, now for your "oh-so-lovely" current events lesson- you've now got my life's current events to listen to. It's been bad, very bad. I was happy that I finished the last in-patient Methotrexate. I'm into a new phase of chemo- re-induction. For the first dose of it I had to be admitted. We had MAJOR problems during that stay. I became very, very nauseous. When asked for anti-nauseous medicine- they gave me the wrong med! I started hallucinating- I'm still scared. I can't remember quite what happened but I can remember seeing a few things- like this man in a captain's outfit- he kept laughing at me, and these 2 girls- they hung themselves. I had to be given 4 over-dose shots to get the Adivan out of my system! When I did get home I couldn't keep anything at all down. I had to be put on IV fluids at home. It was rather funny to see my Mom hooking it up- our neighbor Mrs. Ellsworth came over to help us because my Mom was too confused! After a few days though I began feeling better. I began then with horrible stomach pains- I even had an emergency CT scan of my stomach. All negative luckily. My Uncle Jimmy came up a couple of times and did acupuncture to help with the pain. He has a new girlfriend- Dawn. She's sweet- but 13 yrs. Younger than him! In my opinion I think he's too old- but don't tell anyone. The new chemo I'm getting is causing a lot of pain in my legs. I can't even walk without crying- Mom just put a call in to see if there's something else that I can do for the pain. I hope so. I feel like I've got 2 broken legs- it's terrible! Oh well hopefully I won't have to ho to the ER for pain-meds. I wanted to write more, but I'm just in too much pain and to tired- I only got 3 or 4 hrs. of sleep last-night.

November 2, 2001 10:10 am home
Well all that pain put me in the hospital. I had to stay there for a couple of days. Dr. Gillan, my oncologists, decided to skip one round of chemo, give me 50% one week, and then 75% another week. That's my last Vinchristine till Maintenance. I was supposed to get chemo this past Wed., but I didn't make counts. My ANC was 750 and it has to be 751- I missed it by 1 pt.! Can you believe that? It was my birthday on October 20th, 60 kids from my school came over the day before and sang happy birthday to me and gave me cards, it was so sweet! Everyone is acting SO nice to me. Aunt Theresa and Uncle George (friends from Jersey) came up on my b-day and some friends of mine (Casey, Erin, Allie, Courtney, and Sefira) went out to dinner. The original plan was to go out to Friendly's with my friends, then walk over to Blockbuster which is next door to pick out a movie and then come to my house. My mom, sister, and Aunt Theresa and Uncle George were going out for Chinese. But, when we got to Friendly's the water pipe broke so we decided to go for Chinese to, we got our own table though. We rented a movie and went to my house. Jolie got a clown to come to make us laugh- I felt like a little kid, but it was cute. She told older jokes though, and made balloon-figures. My friend Erin slept over. I was SO tired the next day though. There was a healing mass though so I went to that, but I pretty much stayed home. I sang in the choir concert at my school. On Halloween we went out to dinner the day before with the Buonomes at the Pond House, they had it all decorated. You had to walk through this Haunted House and this guy scared Erin and me, we screamed SO loud. I handed out some candy to some trick-or-treaters the next day, and Joelle went for candy- she was a witch. We then went to these 2 houses in West Hartford who's lawns are all decorated and people jump out at you, etc.; It was fun. Today, is homecoming. The football game is being dedicated to me and I get the game-ball! I'm very happy. Then tonight I'm hoping to go to the dance, it's a casual homecoming dance though, not fancy at all. I hope it will be fun. Well got to get ready for the game. I promise to try and write more often.

November 4, 2001- 9:50 PM home
Well the game was good. I was kind of embarrassed, I was sitting with the band and they made this announcement about me. Then a couple of guys from the football team came over to me and handed me a game-ball- that's a football with the whole team's signature on it. Oh and guess what- we actually won! We don't have the best team either.
My Aunt Mona, her boyfriend Uncle Steve, and my cousin Greg came up. It was nice. We had Boston Market for dinner and then I ran over to a dance. My sister's friend Alex stayed over, so her Mom and my Mom both picked me up early- (her Mom was visiting with my Mom) around 9:45- my Mom wouldn't let me stay any later even thought I wanted to- The dance ended at 11- but I guess I didn't leave THAT early- but still… Today, I went to church and tonight I had religious-ed. Oh yeah we also went to Wal-Mart, and my sister bought a sewing machine. My sister and her friend Alex are starting a business of making these corn-sacks- you put them in the microwave and they feel good when your sore or cold on your shoulder, stomach, back, yadayada. I'm making them, to give as Holiday time presents- which is only a month and like 20 days away- wow! Anyway- I'm giving them to some people at CCMC- Tomorrow is a BUSY day- I have Mrs. Miller, Priscilla, and in my honor I'm going to this health-place, where a lady is putting together jewelry and calling it the "Laura Line" and the proceeds from people who by the necklace, bracelet, and/or earnings tomorrow will go to me. So I better take a shower and hit the sack. 

 

 

October 1
Hi everyone,
Well I got sent home Thurs. and had a good time just hanging around sitting in our family room in our recliner. I never realized how special home is, until your not there for a long time. But, Sun night, out of the blue I got a fever of 103.3 so at 3 in the morning we had to go back to CCMC. My fever broke around 2 this afternoon and hasn't come back. Tomorrow I'll find out if my blood cultures are negative or positive. Hopefully there negative and this is just some virus or small infection somewhere so I'm on antibiotics for now. I have an ANC of zero and a small amount of Lymphosites (they help with fighting virus). So I have to be careful, so I ask if you have a cold, allergies, or have recently been sick even with antibiotics and if you're feeling better not to come visit me here at CCMC or hopefully if I go home in a few days there either. I'll catch anything very fast and when your counts are low it's very hard to get better. Thank you for understanding. Well it's late and I best be going. I hope all is well with everyone!!
Laura


Sept.1
I am feeling much better and have more energy. I'm thankful for how much help Joelle has been. She's helped while I've been here whether it be getting out of bed, going to the cafeteria for drinks or a snack, or just being there. Amanda has come down from New Hampshire to stay with her and I'm thankful for that too. I hope all is going well with you and that school starts off good. I'll try to post again soon.


August 12,
Hi everyone, sorry I haven't written in so long but I have been too tired between 3rd degree burns, fevers, chemos working and not working, etc. to get onto a computer. I am beginning to feel better and have just started to eat after not for 2 months. It's not as easy as it sounds and I get full after a few bites. Tomorrow I will go for a bone marrow test to see if any cancer cells are still in it and to get a Hickman tube put in again. I hope all of you are having a good summer. Stay cool!
Laura


5/18/02
Hi everyone,
Well we couldn't be happier on having Joelle be a 100% match. This is wonderful news, especially considering how rare it is. I have little energy. Yesterday I was sent home for a few hours. But, we had to return to CCMC early because I wasn't feeling well. On the way I passed out in the car (I'd already almost passed out earlier that day in the bathroom). All of a sudden my Mom looked up and there were Farmington fire rescue... it was so lucky. An ambulance came and at the point.  I was in immense pain and had a very high pulse of 170. I was rushed back to CCMC. I'm fine now however twice in the middle of the night I fainted again. I have been put on many iv-fluids and it seems to be helping. Right now I ask for no visitors. My counts are 10 and that means IF YOU HAVE A COLD OR HAVE ONE  BREWING I'M GOING TO GET IT. PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT I'D LOVE TO VISIT WITH YOU LATER ON. WELL GOT TO GO, getting tired.
Laura


5/15/02
I know it's been awhile but I just was not feeling good enough to look at the screen of the computer let a lone the TV which was in the background. I'm feeling a little better. I've had the usual chemo reactions though. I haven't heard where they are doing the transfusion now, it's either probably in Boston or Philadelphia whichever has room in 4 weeks. Today I was able to go home for a few hours. It was nice... now I'm going to go to bed. Much love,
Laura


5/9/02
Hi everyone... If you're interested in where to become a bone marrow donor here's someone that can help add you to the list...

CarolAnn Baldwin
Community Education Specialist
New England Marrow Donor Program
209 Farmington Ave.
Farmington, CT 06032
800-676-4545
800-953-9129
baldwinc@usa.redcross.org
 

Today I'll start IV chemo. I'm actually feeling pretty good. Yesterday, I got a bone marrow test in my spine and found out that 96% of it is leuckemic cells. I also got a spinal tap and they put chemo in. Well got to go.
Laura


5/7/02
Hi everyone,
Today was not a good day at all. I found out that my cancer has
relapsed. It has come back as the same cell as before but instead of as in the form of lymphoma it's in the form of leukemia.. but it's not leukemia exactly... it's kinda hard to explain. I will be getting heavy heavy doses of high chemo all at once and so then I can go into a quick remission which will allow me to go to Boston I believe for a bone marrow transplant in a month or two. We don't know yet if Joelle is compatible. So, whether or not she is. I am asking everyone if you would help in volunteering to be a bone marrow donor. It could save many lives... even mine. Pain wise I am feeling better. So, I am feeling better. I still am hurting in my back and chest but not as much. Hopefully I'll be able to get into remission quickly and find a compatible donor quickly. The only big thing I ask of you is to keep me in your prayers. Also to limit the number of phone calls please refer to my site for reference or call Phyllis Kayan at 678-9648 or the Moynihams at 675-1123. Also I ask for no flowers because they make me nauseous and give me a headache. Also I have plenty of stuffed animals so I'm not in need of those either. But cards are fine  Thank you... got to go
Laura


5/5/02
Well... I have a good reason for not writing. On the 23rd as a Christmas present from my Uncle Jimmy we went to Turks and Caicos. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort called Beaches. It was fun. The water is totally transparent, I could see the color of my nail polish where it was chipped. It was like regular water, absolutely beautiful. Not like the water in CT. It was also really warm, I got a sunburn as did Mom and Joelle. For some interesting news Joelle went parasailing while we were there with the wife of a family we met. Thanks to the Howe's! Joelle said it was like being in a swing set in the air. You don't even realize you are moving. When my hips get replaced I'm going to definitely do it. Oh yeah on another note, the date of my hip replacement changed. It's now May 14th, and they're going to be done at the same time in Waterbury Hospital. I'll stay there for about 5 days and then a re-hab center for 2 weeks. Anyway back to Turks and Caicos. In general we had a good time. However on the way back (the 30th) after taking one plane we landed in Miami, we then took the 2nd plane from Miami to Bradley. On the way I fell asleep on the Miami plane. I woke up a while later in soooo much pain. It was in my chest and back and stomach. I didn't tell my Mom at first even though I could barely breathe or move. I think part of it is because I'm so stoic and never cry. But eventually I woke her up because it got to the point where I couldn't handle it. We were taken to the back of the plane and a nurse volunteered to take vital signs and then I was given oxygen to help me breathe and relax. The pain was so intense that I was screaming and crying. They were going to do an emergency landing, but we figured that by the time I explained my medical history to a hospital and people we didn't know, we would have landed in CT and been at CCMC. So when we did land, the flight crew ask everyone to remain seated and paramedics came and strapped me in a chair (how embarrassing especially because I hate being center of attention medical wise) and was taken out to a stretcher. They did vital signs and a few extra tests and brought me to CCMC on a stretcher by ambulance. They tried an IV in the ambulance but it didn't work. So we waited till we got there. An IV was started and I got pain meds. My Mom was worried of an embolism, because of two airplanes and this is what the ER was worried about too. So I had an EKG and a chest x-ray but it showed nothing. I was admitted and have had MRI, cat-scan, echo-cardio-gram, GI scope (in the OR), and bone scan. On the MRI they found some sort of mass. Hopefully it is an abscess and that's what they think it is and not a tumor but we are not sure yet. Hopefully Monday I will get a biopsy which will determine what it is. So right now I need everyone to help pray for me so that it's not a re-occurrence. We thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts. Congratulations to all my friends who made their confirmation today. Sorry I couldn't be there.
Laura


April 17
Hi.. Well, I got a little more of my homework done. But, I still have a lot more to do. Dr. Gillan said it'd be ok to have the surgery. My orthopedist and oncologist decided to do both hips at the same time. The re-hab will be much harder and I will be more sore but I'll be able to get it done with. So, it's still scheduled for the end of June still at UCONN in Farmington (John Dempsey). Ok well, got to go.
Laura


April 13
Hi... It's been a year. It's hard to believe that I've already been diagnosed for over a year. Sometimes it feels like it's been my whole life and sometimes it feels like I just found out yesterday. I have been doing alright except for my hips. I found out my right hip collapsed too. I have been in a lot of pain lately. So, the orthopedist penciled in a hip-replacement for the end June and one 3 weeks later for the other hip. But, I'm not positive I can get it until my oncologist is back in town. So next week I'll find out if I can or if I have to wait till next year. This will determine whether I can return to school for 1/2-full days next year. If I can't have it, then I will continue to be home-schooled full day till junior year. Well I hope to those of you who are on April vacation that you have fun. Is anyone going anywhere? Well got to go... I need to work on a World History Project...
Laura


March 19
Hey everyone. I'm doing pretty good, but a little sore. The concert went great and EVERYONE was sooo amazing. Another school even sang and they raised some money. Other people donated money too. Thank you to everyone that came or contributed. That night I slept at my friends house because my Mom was in NH so I went to school. It was GREAT to see everyone and that night I went to a dance but someone broke the sound system... oops. It still went ok though. I am still sore though from doing it. Tomorrow I go to the clinic for a spinal tap and vinchristine (The chemo. that can make your legs hurt) but all should go ok. If I talk to anyone I might sound kind of weird because of the medicine they give  you when you get spinal taps... :) I'm really happy because I found out that I have an A+ average. in science class. Oh yeah, the other day my friend Cat came to Avon and all of a sudden she showed up in school... I was shocked but happy at the same time. Again I'd like to say thank you soo much to everyone that baked, helped out, made the program, and I know I don't know everyone's name but you know who you are!!! Thanks again!
Laura
P.S. My friend Maria is 19 and has had a re-
occurrence. Unfortunately the chemo. has not worked... and she shall remain at home... please remember her in your thoughts... thank you


March 11
Hey everyone I am doing great. Last Friday was Mom's b-day, I cooked dinner for her and invited a few people over. It was fun. I am feeling better and I am finally off crutches... :-) yeah!!!! It feels GREAT!!! I am excited about the concert Thurs. I promise to write again soon :-)
Laura


March 1
Hi everyone, I am doing great. I've been going to a few classes this week and to chorus. My hips are feeling much better. I've suddenly got a TON of hwk. haha. The other day I watched a movie on Julius Caesar, for school, it was "ok". But, not one I would've picked if I went to Blockbuster. My grades have been great so far. Which reminds me I have some hwk. to finish up before my tutor comes.
Laura


February 20
Hi everyone, so I got my once a month iv-push chemo today and I'm supposed to go on steroids for the 5 days a month... but when I got there my doctor told me that she decided to take me off steroids- so I don't have to ever take them again! :) Well I got to go- just thought I'd tell you all.
Laura


February 19
Hey everyone- so my counts are fine now. I am feeling great! On the 27th I'll be off crutches at home and on the 13th I'll be off of them anywhere I go. That works out great because I won't need to use them for the benefit concert :)
I went to this intuitionalist who said to take these different vitamins or something to keep some chemo side-effects away (mostly long term because I don't really get any side-effects from chemo any more). There is one that's a liquid that tastes really disgusting- hehehe. Joelle went to the Squillaro's house in NJ, Mom and I may drive down otherwise we'll meet them sometime in Danburry Mall.
Laura


February 11
Dr. Hagstrom sent me home and told me that it wasn't worth it to wait there and see if the tests come back positive because so far they've been coming back negative for staff, so here I am. If they do end up showing positive then I'll have to go back. Unfortunately, my counts dropped so I have to be careful as to whom I'm with and if I'm not at home I need to wear a mask. They should go high again fast because they most likely dropped because I was sick. Well I got to go study for a World History midterm.
Laura


February 9
Well today I got a call from Dr. Hagstrom one of the oncologist- and it turns out that I have a staff infection. Even though my fever is lowered and I feel good, I got to be here to the tests show negative, so probably till at least Mon. Well got to go the PCA will be in soon for vital signs.
Laura


February 7
Hey everyone,
Semi formal was a BLAST. It was a ton of fun. My friend Shannon from Jersey is very sweet. We went out to the First and Last Tavern with about 24 people or so. Then we went to the semi at the high school. Everyone looked really nice. I was feeling good until Wed. when I got a fever. Luckily because my counts are high I won't be admitted. Although they think that I may be developing pneumonia so I have to be on a medication that tasted really disgusting. Hopefully I'll get better soon. Got to go.
Laura


January 28
Hi everyone- my surgery went ok. I was a little sore but doing better. I'll be on crutches for 5-7 more weeks. On Sat. I'll be hopefully going to semi-formal at AHS, I'll try to take pictures. My friend, Shan, from NJ will be coming up to visit that weekend too. Today I was in a photo shoot for the American Red Cross, it was fun. On the 14th of March, there will be a benefit concert for me, tickets may sell fast- but to those that go thanks. Got to go- I'll keep you all posted.
Laura


January 19
Hi everyone the surgery went ok, but I'm very sore and the pain meds. are keeping me tired, I will find out soon what I have to do and will keep you posted. Next week I will get vinchistine chemo again. Well got to go the pain meds. are making me tired.
Laura


January 14
I found out that my left hip has collapsed- thus I will need a hip replacement. My right hip is starting to so most-likely on Thursday I'll get a surgery to stop it. I will need to be on crutches for at least 2 months. Hopefully I'll be able to go to semi-formal which is Feb. 2nd. Thanks for checking in on me.
Laura


January 9
Well- as it turns out I will not be needing radiation after all. The radiation doctor said that she didn't see why I'd need it. I was very happy. On the way to see her though- we had a complete tire blow-out, the tire literally ripped in half and fell off our car. We are ok though- and road service came and put on a spare. This past Fri. was Nikki's wake and Sat. was her funeral. It was really touching. At her funeral, I got the privilege to sing a song- There You'll Be by Faith Hill- I had to learn it all in one night. But it all went ok. I may also be singing it at a March concert in school. Mrs. Giampolo (Nikki's Mom) asked if I would record it for her- I was originally going to do it on tape- but I'd really like to do it on cd- if anyone knows a place that'll do this for an inexpensive price- I'd be really grateful- because I'm not sure where to go for it.   Chemo wise- Maintenance has been very easy so far. I am not as tired as I have been on other chemos. We are still not positive on what to do for my hips, but I will keep you posted.
Laura


January 2
I had a good new years. I went to my friend Aaron's house- who lives in a town called Lebanon- we launched off rockets and small fireworks and sparklers, it was fun. I hope all of yours was good too. I am physically doing great- I'm hardly even tired. Unfortunately though, I have some bad news. Tues. night Nikki passed away. She was one of my closest friends- and I will always remember her. I was fortunate to visit her before she left, She will continue to be my guardian angel- and I'm happy that no longer will she be in pain. All my love Nikki! All my love to everyone else...
Laura


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