Monday, June 8, 2015

Hate me now, but Love me later

By all means, if you hate me for not updating my blog I understand. I can give you a brief update about my life. I finally graduated and I am writing a book that is will be a diary style book about my journey with cancer, love, school, and my life as a cancer crusher, before during and after. I don't plan on it being an inspirational book or anything it's just something I have been praying about for months now, and I finally have found my answer. Be prepared for the next chapters of my life, I know I am.



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Friday, December 5, 2014


There are a handful of people that know what I went through this summer. How I let it affect me, how I am possibly still here and at peace. They saw me break down over and over, and over again. Yet, still I've made it to the end of yet another year. At one point I didn't believe I could be broken anymore, and still I slid further and further. God was always on my side, that doesn't mean it was a cakewalk. Sleep deprived, knees sore from prayer and still I felt like I was dying. Finally I realized, life doesn't care about you, about what you want, about what you deserve. It's all up to you.

Three strikes and your out! That’s the rule of life right, that’s what people say when they're fed up with you. Well what do you tell life when your fed up with it? Have you ever just lost everything you have had or have ever wanted? Have you ever been so fed up with life that you just have no more fight in you to give? I think about people who fall into this category. Expectant mothers who suddenly lose the child in their womb, cancer patients who hear there is nothing we can do. I think about me. All these people that have love and life ripped from their hearts, for what, for this game called life? Adapt or die. As many times as we’ve heard it, the lesson doesn’t get easier. Problem is, we’re human. We want more than just to survive. We want success, we want love, we want honesty, and happiness. We want to be the best we can be so we fight like hell to get those things, because as humans we know what we want and when we don't have those things we want, and everything else feels like death.

Sometimes, things are simply out of your control. You can't change them. You can't bend them to your will. It doesn't matter if you're already forty-five minutes late, your hair isn't brushed, you haven't fixed breakfast and you're killing brain cells by the second while you sit here.  Dying, dying inside you can't change the way things pan out. Sure you can hope for the best but honestly hoping for the best never gets me very far in life. Hoping for the best is not preparing for the worst and preparing for the worst is the best thing you can do sometimes. Think about it, what if we all factored in the worst-case scenario in our daily lives, and interactions. When everything hits the fan I don't think we would be as shocked or hurt that our lovers cheated on us, our bodies betrayed us, the friends we thought we had turned their backs on us, or my personal favorite the universe just simply hates us.

So what do you do? How do you decide when you’re left in the dark? How do you make sure you’re not making the worst decision of your life? How do you decide when you've had enough? You close your eyes. You block out everyone and everything around you. You pray the voice inside of you is right, because once you’ve decided you can’t ever go back. It might be hard for anyone to admit, but there's no shame in simply being human. It can be a relief to stop hiding, to accept who you really are. A little self-awareness never hurt anyone. Because when you know who you are, it's easier to know what you're about, and what you really need. It's easy to know that you need someone to help you through the rough patches. To ease you through the game, but what do you do when you don't have that? When you have no fight in you but they sympathy from others rolls in. Do you fight, or do you remain content with the idea that you've done your job?

When your 0-2 how do you get the next win? How do you attempt to tie the score? Moving forward what do you do? Whenever we think we know the future, even for a second, it changes. Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely and we’re left only with the choice of what to do next. We can choice to be afraid of it. To stand, trembling, not moving. Assuming the worst that can happen or we step forward into the unknown and assume it will be brilliant. So what do you do, plan for the worst and hope for the best pretending like the worst can't happen, or do you remain aware of all possible options?



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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

We're Back At It Like We Never Left

Did you know: Approximately 60% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are already in stage 3 when they are diagnosed.

Since September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, my sister, owner of Elan Renegade Vintage, is offering "Teal Deals" all month long to bring awareness to this silent killer. 

The Elan Renegade Vintage online shop features timeless attire for days on the job, evenings out on the town, and romantic weekends. The shop offers vintage clothing including dresses, skirts, pants, shorts, blouses, and jackets ranging in style and print from floral to leather. Accessories including hats, bags, shoes, and jewelry are also sold in the shop from eras as far back as the 50s. Shop Elan Renegade Vintage for the perfect vintage addition to your wardrobe.

This week, use the code TEALDEAL60 for 60% off your purchase. Check back next week to learn more and to score another sweet "Teal Deal."


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Monday, May 19, 2014

Can you say AMAZING!!!!!

From surgery to recovery back to surgery again there is one person I can say I don't deserve for them to be so nice to me, because I'm a pain in the butt. Jayde A. Gavin better know as Jay, also known as my ying to my yang, my left brain, my other half, my rib, my sugar lumps, my heart, my loving boyfriend has put up with my lack there of health from the beginning  Okay, I know you all are probably dying for the story with this guy, so i'll dish. 3 years ago I was a working woman on a life mission and I was motivated by money. I had 2 jobs one at the USDA, and the other at Texas Roadhouse. I was smart my government job was the money I saved and Texas Roadhouse was my play money.

So one day while I was at Texas Roadhouse ready to gouge my eyes out counting down the hours till work was over. Then I hear excuse me, the first thought that popped in my mind was he needs steak sauce. I turned around to see this guy (Jay) on crutches, I asked how could I help him. He simply stated he wanted nothing but to tell me I was beautiful, as I blushed I thanked him and he walked away with the help of his crutches. Well to make a long story short he was transferring from VCU to Bowie State to play basketball...of course it would only be right that he meets the cheerleader. So I pretty much ignored his whole life the whole summer I never returned his calls or texts. Now fast forward to the beginning of the semester i'm walking through the gym, now who do you all think I see, of course I see Jay working out. We talked for a while everything was cool he was excited about the season and I was refreshed that he seemed so different.

Over the next few months we became pretty good friend talking each other through life struggles  relationship issues, school stress, our respective team drama. I learned he was a genuine person who once he called you a friend he would do anything he could for you. My point is that when you have amazing people in your corner you can do anything under the sun, and he has been nothing but AMAZING! Jay needs an award because he has truly been a blessing through everything. From the beginning he spent the long hours in the hospital with me entertaining me, bringing me my craved foods and being the shoulder I cried on when I was frustrated. My first surgery he stayed in the hospital all day with me. During my recovery he became my designated baby sitter, because my mom hated leaving me alone.

 My second surgery he did the same thing, the night before my surgery I threw a huge fit when he was about to leave because I didn't want him to leave me that bad and even though he had workouts in the morning he stayed and we slept in the twin sized hospital bed. I was comfortable, him on the other hand not so much. The next six days I was in the hospital so was he, whatever I needed he gave me. Of course my family has been there for me, but they kind of have to Lol. Jay on the other hand could have rolled out a long time ago.

The blessing in disguise I like to call him to my friends because he always wakes up think how can I put a smile on her face, and through all of it he has stayed by my side. I am a pain in the butt. I whine, I throw fits, i had nasty attitudes that makes it impossible for almost anyone to have the patience to deal with me. I fuss and fight with him, but at the same time it amazes me how much he loves me and how much he wants to be here for me. To sum it all up the lesson I'm trying tell ya'll is that when people come into your life its for a reason.

Trust and believe Jay and i had our fare share of drama and at one point in the past 3 years I wished I had never met him, because he was draining me of all life I had in me. Now in hindsight I wouldn't change a thing we have such a strong bond because of everything we have been through with each other, and for each other that has shaped our relationship to what it is today. Moral of the story you never know what or who your blessing is until life gets real and you see who is not only in your corner, but there to stay.

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Oh. Hey y'all !!!

Okay so I know you all hate my life because I have not posted since the 4th, but I did for some reason it posted under the dates I drafted which were in January, super random yeah I know I'm going to get my life together for you all. Okay! Now let me fill you in on the rest of the week of chemo last week. It was HORRIBLE! I was sick, and irritable the entire week, I had my usual Wednesday temper  tantrum, but Thursday was the absolute worst day of my life. I'm not even being dramatic. I had my wig appointment which went well. Me my mom and my sister acting silly trying on  wigs was just the laugh I needed to begin the morning, too bad chemo was going to absolutely SUCK! I had Lakisha put in my IV because she understands that I have rolling veins and I need special attention (I know i'm a total drama queen, but really my veins are rolling.) and then I felt like this -___________-

 I really don't know what happened, or why I felt so nasty, so fast but it was the worst day I had in a while. Not to mention that chemo took FOREVER! It was a long, very slow day. The car ride home, ehh ... not much better. Once I got home I just assumed my position in the couch, and hoped for the best, too bad I only got the worst. So from the terrible Thursday you would assume I was excited for Friday, not really I was more so excited to get my IV removed after chemo, and to be honest I was secretly hoping the sky would open and a gigantic crater would fall on the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, and they would tell me chemo is canceled.

 However,the universe wasn't quite aligned the right way so I went to chemo with a better attitude and did it ever pay off. I climbed up into the daybed ready to go straight to sleep and about 30 minuets into chemo I have someone that wants to meet me. Her name was Ali and she is making a documentary about cancer. So I told her my life story she instantly was intrigued by my journey we talked for about 2 hours before she left in attempts to get back to New York before the snow storm. Then before I knew it chemo was over, and I was a happy camper. But Friday when I got home, oh boy did it go bad. So you guys remember my cute little short cut, yeah it was holding on to dear life, and I started putting make-up on my scalp because I was getting a little thin. It was working though until my scalp was on FIRE because the make up was caked up on my scalp so Courtney decided we should wash my hair. Let me be the first to tell you the worst idea on the face of the planet. My hair fell all the way out. I cried and went directly to sleep.

The next morning I woke up, put a turban on, called Jay and off to the MAC counter we went. I told the girl at the MAC counter I had cancer, my hair is falling out because of chemo and I need to buy some make-up so I can feel better about myself. That mission was accomplished wonderfully. Now on Tuesday I must say I had the best surprise ever. That was from my doctors office. They sent me a beautiful basket of gifts All Teal :) so when I went to go drop by with a thank you card it was a true pleasure to see everyone supporting me by wearing teal ribbons. Ann even cut her already short hair a little shorter just for me. I know I say this in almost every post but I truly am amazed every single day by the support that I get every where I go. It is truly only the thing that keeps me going. So thank you everyone who has ever said a kind word to me or wished me well you have no idea how you are making me stronger everyday.


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Life's Accidents, and Lessons.

Dying changes everything. There’s the emotional fall out, sure, but there’s also the practical stuff. Who’s going to do your job? Who’s going to take care of your family? The only good thing for you is you don’t have to worry about it.  If only life was just a dress rehearsal and we had time for do-overs. We’d be able to practice and practice every moment until we got it right. Unfortunately, everyday of our lives is its own performance. It seems like even when we get the chance to rehearse and prepare and practice, we’re still never ready for life’s grand moments. 

Have you ever wished you had known someone just by the way people talk about them, with such eloquence and grace? 2 years ago I was able to meet someone who I had heard nothing but praises about for the Past year and a half. Jay introduced me to him mom 2 years ago. Although she passed in 2009, the energy I felt that day was seemingly unreal. Today as I’m remembering someone I only knew post humanous I can't help but feel somewhat dejected that those are as far as my memories go of someone I have heard was so amazing.  Have you ever been somewhere and you know you were supposed to be right there yeah that’s exactly what I was feeling like I was gaining knowledge from a great legend. As we sat down for a moment to spend time with her I thought down the line as to when I become a mother, how will I know the right thing to do or say to my child, will my child grow up hating me or will we be best friends. 

They say becoming a parent is one of the most rewarding yet draining jobs in the world. I can only imagine. Then I realized its not always about will I be doing the right thing. It's about love, the love you have for your child, and your family that will keep you doing the right thing time and time again. There are times in our lives when love really does conquer all. Exhaustion, sleep deprivation, anything. There are also those times when it seems love brings us nothing but pain, and we’re always looking for ways to ease the pain. Sometimes we ease the pain by making the best of what we have. Sometimes it’s by losing ourselves in a moment and sometimes, all we need to do to ease the pain is call a simple truce.

 Making mistakes is the easy part fixing them is where the difficulty comes in. Loving, and learning how to love better is the class we all fail occasionally. At the end of the day when it comes down to it, all we really want is to be close to someone. A parent, child, friend, or companion. So we do this thing, where we all keep our distance and pretend not to care about each other, it’s usually a load of bull. We become defensive, we pick and choose who we want to remain close to and once we’ve chosen those people, we tend to stick close by them. No matter how much we hurt them, the people that are still with you at the end of the day, those are the ones worth keeping and sure sometimes close can be too close but sometimes that invasion of personal space, it can be exactly what you need.  They say death is hardest on the living. It’s tough to actually say goodbye. Sometimes it’s impossible. You never really stop feeling the loss. It’s what makes things so bittersweet. We leave little bits of ourselves behind, little reminders. A lifetime of memories, photos, trinkets. Things to remember us by even when were gone. 

No matter how many plans we make or steps we follow, we never know how our day is going to end up. We prefer to know, of course, whatever curve balls are coming our way. It’s the accidents that always turn out to be the most interesting parts of our days and ever more our life. The people we never expected to show up, and the turn of events we would have never chosen or ourselves. All of a sudden, you find yourself somewhere you would have never expected to be and it’s nice or it takes some getting used to. So you go to sleep each night thinking about tomorrow, going over your plans, making your lists and hoping that, whatever accidents come your way, will be happy ones. I’m hoping these life accidents are happy ones.



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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

See You laters, Goodbyes and the Grief Between the Two.

There are five stages of grief. They look different on all of us, but there are always five. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. 2 years ago today I was fresh out of the hospital, and I had a horrible fall in the shower while trying not to sneeze because my cut was still so fresh that I did anything not to use my abdominal muscles. Horrible day. 1 year ago today a seamless trip to Farmville, Virginia, yeah I know where in the hell is that, well it's in West Bubble, but anyways I was going with Auntie Yvette to check on her mommy. I packed a quick bag a hopped in Uncle Jeff's new truck to go see about the pretty lady name Evelyn. 

The 4-hour ride Auntie Yvette and I did our usual gossip and other mischievous things. Then a call came from the surgeon on call that was about to operate on Ms. Evelyn. Everything quickly turned upside down almost instantly. I still to this day don't know how we went from a trip to check on Ms. Evelyn to a life threatening surgery so quickly. The rest of the ride was somber, mid way there we traded and I drove while Auntie Yvette rested, called her sister Karen and tried to prepare her self for bad news, not knowing neither of us could prepare for what was coming. When we got to the hospital she was already in surgery and we played the waiting game. Me, Auntie Yvette, and Ms. Evelyn's friend Ms. Dot sat waiting until she came out of surgery. 

Somewhere around 2 am she came out of surgery and that woman was not the woman I knew. The doctor told us that the next several hours were a critical period and were her post op care was crucial to her survival. We prayed a lot cried a little, and went to Ms. Evelyn's house to clean up and rest for a while. After getting things in order at the house Auntie Yvette and Ms. Dot settled on the couch to rest and I went into the infamous AKA shrine room to close my eyes under the pink and green adorned room. It seemed as just at I was closing my eyes under the covers in bed Auntie Yvette screaming peeled my eyes wide open, that’s when I knew something bad happened. 

Auntie Yvette was on the floor crying and Ms. Dot sat in disbelief, the hospital called to say her heart stopped beating and she was on a respirator that was breathing and working for her. Her organs were failing and her body had gone into septic shock. Her insides were failing from the poisonous waste being spilled in her body. She was dying and there was nothing anyone of us could do about it. An Advanced Directive is a legal document that you cannot deter from in any shape or form what is on that document does. Along with that was a very explicit Do Not Resuscitate order. The DNR Ms. Evelyn signed was so specific it would scare anyone who read it, and Auntie Yvette made it very clear that if we did not obey it Ms. Evelyn would come back and haunt us. She was dead serious about that, and I believed her. She passed later on that morning, and at that was the moment that defined me as a niece. 

At that moment 4 hours away from our families I became the back bone to my aunt, my grown aunt that I looked up to for years needed me, the same aunt that every time I needed something I looked to her at that moment she needed me more that she ever could have needed anyone else. At that moment I realized I was growing more then anyone could know. We wrapped our business at the hospital went back to the house and the first thing Yvette L. Gray said is she had a teleconference. I never looked at anyone so sideways at my life, and then I realized this woman is the same person as I am. If you know me you know I will do anything not to think about my latest life shambles. Well so does she, she puts things in the back of her mind until she is ready to deal with them, she has a slight case of OCD, she was going to break at any moment, and I was her glue. After exhaling I began to take control of the situation. I produced the agenda for the day; we showered for the day and began to plan a funeral. 

Now if anyone knows my Auntie Yvette you know she goes OVER THE TOP FOR EVERYTHING! Like seriously, everything we had a moon bounce and like 200 eggs for 6 kids on Easter Sunday. So we already know how this funeral was going to go. It was going to be perfect. I confiscated her phone and was her driver in Farmville the rest of the day, well I mean she had to give me directions everywhere but you get the point. After a grueling day of life smacking us in the face we began our journey home. She was not okay, and neither was I.  

When we finally got home she dropped me off I walked in the house went directly to my room and I cried. I cried because I don't understand why my family seems to not catch a break. From my cancer to this, from Markus having trouble in school to that, from Courtney trying to be the one keeping us siblings together our parents were clearly stressed, and this was not something she or I needed, or was it? This past year has been tough but the bond between my aunt and I truly has become so unreal. If I don't speak with her 3 times a week something is wrong, she calls me first with her toughest life problems. Me, her 22-year-old niece I am her life coach, and she is mine. I have learned more from her in this one year than I have over the course of our aunt/niece relationship and we have been exactly what each other needed at the exact moment we have needed it every single time. Don't y'all see how God can have somebody in your life for years and you don't see his or her purpose until way later. See at this point I’m preaching way better then y'all saying Amen. LOL! The dictionary defines grief as keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret. As people we’re taught to learn from and rely on books, on definitions, on definitives. But in life, strict definitions rarely apply. In life, grief can look like a lot of things that bear little resemblance to mourning.

 This year has taught me this very important lesson. Grief may be a thing we all have in common, but it looks different on everyone. It isn’t just death we have to grieve - it’s life, it’s loss, it’s change, and when we wonder why it has to suck so much sometimes, has to hurt so bad, the thing we have to try to remember is that it can turn on the drop of a dime. That folks, that’s how you stay alive. When it hurts so much you can’t breathe, that’s how you survive. By remembering that one-day, somehow, impossibly, you won’t feel this way. It won’t hurt this much. Grief comes in its own time for everyone, in its own way. 

The really crappy thing, the very worst part of grief is that you can’t control it. The best we can do is try to let ourselves feel it, when it comes, and try like hell to let it go when we can. The very worst part is that the minute you think you’re past it, it starts all over again. Always, every time, it takes your breath away. There are five stages of grief. They look different on all of us, but there are always five. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression, and finally, Acceptance.

Rest In Perfect Peace Evelyn Williams



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