Oh Boy.

I haven’t written on here in awhile. Mostly for good reasons, as I began this blog when I was sick, because I had cancer, to help people keep up with my story. Now fast forward 2.5 years. I continue to be “cancer free,” as far as we know. My check ups are good. I still worry. I still freak out at aches and pains. I still get anxious about each appointment. But life has been good, easier, and definitely busy, with a few bumps along the way (pun intended, keep on reading!)

First off, I got married in April. I haven’t posted since March at my 2 year “cancerversary” or whatever you call it. Our wedding was magnificent, minus the anxiety of the rain, which cooperated and cleared up just in time. We went to Thailand for a 2 week honeymoon. It was gorgeous, so fun, so worth it; and our honeymoon was definitely productive because WE GOT PREGNANT THERE!! We found out just 1.5 weeks after getting back from our honeymoon!

For friends and family, this is old news. We started telling the world back in early July, but for any fellow blog followers, this is new news!

We planned to have kids right away. I always wanted kids. I knew I wanted to be a mother. I was so fearful cancer took that from me. Chemo ravages your productive system and can prevent the ability to have children. Thankfully, i was not only able to conceive, but we did so on our first try. We never in a million years thought we would be able to get pregnant so easily. I know God had this plan for me. He knew not only how much i wanted, needed to be a mother, but he knew i was meant to be one.

I am 19 weeks today. We are having a sweet baby boy due in January! We are so thrilled, excited and blessed. I have had an overall easy time so far. Both Dylan and i have said that pregnancy is not how we expected it to be; not how the movies we have seen have depicted!

We cannot wait for this new addition and chapter to our lives. It makes it easier to focus on my future knowing I have a future and I carry him every day with me. I know the fear lingers daily in the back of my head; the what ifs. They will always be there. I continue to try to stay connected to my friends I have made during my cancer journey.

Many attended my wedding, I attended their weddings, I text and message them fairly often, and its nice to now have other topics to discuss besides cancer (like weddings and babies and work and relationships) with them.

Since I last posted, on some sad news, I have lost 2 of my friends I made through our journey with cancer together: Polly and Tina.

I had the pleasure to meet both Polly and Tina in person, though I live far from them. Polly planned to be at my wedding (and of course, despite her devastating news was apologizing to ME and worried about how my day would go). She found out the day before my wedding that her breast cancer was back, after surviving breast cancer and then leukemia, and was gone within days. I miss her so much. I think about her all the time. I re read texts we sent. I look at her picture on my fridge. I was in the airport in Hong Kong when I got the news that she had passed, it was hard being so far, she was gone so quick, but I got to say goodbye to her at her celebration of life and I am so thankful for the positivity and strength she showed me throughout the almost 2 years I got to call her my friend.

Tina also had breast cancer, hence how we met, and she was a ball of fun, so hilarious. She was always so positive, and fought hard and for so long. Tina once sent me shark earrings just because they reminded her of me with the cutest note; she was just so thoughtful and always so kind. I think about them both a lot.

I continue to try to be positive about my future, and now my babies future. I can’t wait to start this new journey, though cancer will never be behind me fully; the continued fear, the lingering problems, the friends I have lost. But, cancer can now hopefully be a more distant memory, as time goes on.

19weekUS

Two long years.

It was 2 years March 8th. Two years since I heard that I had cancer. I know that probably many of my friends and family are tired of hearing about it. Im well and healthy now right?. But I am far from normal. Far from healed emotionally and physically from all that has happened to me.

Life has gotten easier as i get further and further out from treatment. i have been so focused on work, WEDDING PLANNING ( 1 more month!) but, i still deal with a lot in the cancer world.

I just had a 3 month check up last week. As always, I make myself sick to my stomach the day of, but put on a brave face. You can feel fine, good, normal and healthy and go in one day and your not anymore. I mean after all i felt fine all that time i had cancer. But my blood work was normal, Thank GOD! I think this appt. has special significance because I was so scared of not only getting sick again but worrying and getting sick again before the wedding..losing my hair, not having a wedding, not enjoying it. I feel I can breath some relief at least until my next appt. now. I was officially graduated now to every 4 months. Which is exciting but uneasy. A lot can happen in 4 months. Its hard to imagine that I shouldn’t be worrying, like my doctor says. I know he cant guarantee anything but he always tells me I am okay. I will continue to be okay and to live and enjoy life.

I still constantly worry. Every ache and pain. I have chronic back and shoulder pain after all the radiation and surgeries. I just keep counting down to that magical 5 year mark… I am 2 years out. Almost half way there.

Heres my hair now!

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One year post ALL treatment!

Quick check in: I am 16 months post chemo. But officially one full year post ALL treatment since I did radiation after surgery.

A lot has happened the last 4 months, but not on the Cancer front, praise God!! I’ve been super busy with work, wedding planning (4.5 more months!) and younique: trying to get back to health, growing my hair <that takes a lot of work lol.

imageI had another 3 month checkup today. I still always get so nervous going and make myself sick the day of. Things are still all good , blood counts are good and my doctor continues to try to convince me I will be okay and am okay, despite my continued anxiety and worry. Every ache and pain I worry but no pains get worse and are not consistent so I try not to worry. It’s hard to trust your body after this .. Radiation and surgery did a toll on my body, esp my upper back and neck.  Chemo took a toll on my bones, I get achy and my mind – I have an awful short term memory now! It’s frustrating. My dr told me to do crossword puzzles, Hm ok.

Now no more doctor appts for 3 months hopefully !!

xoxo

 

 

 

 

younique! New start! 13 months post chemo

Who has heard about younique? It’s this newer all natural, no carcinogens, no animal testing makeup and beauty products. I was offered the chance to sell it a few months ago and wish I had! But I signed up exactly one month ago and let me tell you it’s been a crazy month! I’m not here to tell you all about the products and sell it right now, but how it’s changed my life and helped my post cancer life.

I remember a year ago when I was going through chemo and surgeries and every day social media posts revolved around cancer, my life revolved around cancer. Heck, it kind of still does because I still think about cancer frequently and the fear and worry is still there.

But, a month ago I joined under one of my young survivor sisters (whose sponser for younique is also another young survivor ) and we are all now selling this amazing product (along with about 70,000 other people). Because it’s all online , rather than spending my day worrying about cancer and reading posts on cancer groups that make my anxiety levels rise I now spend my time on social media sharing these products, selling and making new wonderful friends. It’s been so fun and rewarding and distracting! It makes me feel beautiful again, whole in a way. I love this and so glad I decided to join!

Want to see some of these amazing products ? Visit youniqueproducts.com/rebeccahunwardsenimageimageimageAnd here is a hair update :) 13 months post chemo image

 

One year post chemo!

I have made it! 365 days ago I had my last chemo. I can’t believe it’s been a year already! So much has happened but it still feels like yesterday. The thought of chemo still makes my stomach turn and looking at pictures of me bald brings back awful memories.

 

Though it’s been  year since chemo ended not an hour of every day goes by that cancer doesn’t run through my head. Maybe that’s why I have been feeling anxious. I know the first 3 years post treatment are the most crucial for what I had.  Now that I am one year down, counting down the next  2 at least I have mixed feelings … Happy to be here but always so worried too. I need to be here to get married..  To have kids.. To raise a family, I can’t imagine not but it’s always a fear. I don’t know when that will go away.

 

I overall feel good… Been having back pain but told its from radiation and my surgeries, that it’s muscular and trying not to worry. My life of dr appts has returned to mostly work and normalcy (well my new normal)

 

sometimes I just sit and think… I still can’t believe this happened to me.. Cancer at 26, now here I am approaching my 28th birthday in 10 days. So much has happened. I see old pictures of myself and hard to look at that and think wow that girl is going to have breast cancer..lose her hair..her breasts..at  26. I have accepted it I suppose but still so surreal sometimes. I am thankful I am here with wonderful support and I hope many more years to come.

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imageOne year post chemo hair!!

Implant Surgery

I had my exchange surgery 5 days ago. I had my expanders removed and replaced with nice squishy implants! I also had a little bit of lipo and fat grafting under my armpits, as it created a fat pocket where my lymph nodes were removed. This procedure was outpatient and I was home the same night. It took about 2 days to start to feel really well. For the first 24 hours home I mostly slept and didnt get out of the recliner. 5 days later I am feeling tons betterm just a little bruised and sore but can get up and around just fine.

I saw my plastic surgeon 2 days after my surgery. I can now shower and he told me to massage my implants and “make them do the hokey pokey” when I can to prevent scar tissue from building up around them, especially the radiated side.

However, for the next 8 days I still have to wear this awful front closing tight bra thats stuffed with foam under my armpits for compression on the lipo areas and a tight band that velcros across the top of my chest. Its very uncomfortable and hard to cover up. So pretty much I just undo it occassionnally or in the shower can massage my implants. It leaves implants in my skin and I am really hoping it doesnt dent my implants. I cant wait to take this thing off. I also cant drive til next week.

I think I am going to try to go back to work in a few days. I see my doctor tomorrow for another checkup and see if he will release me to return to work with rides of course (on thursday he was iffy about it).

Thats really all the updates for now.

xoxo

365 days.

365 days ago…one year.

Its been one year today since I heard the dreadful word first told to be: Cancer.

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My last year has been overrun by this word. I have been sick, tired, sad, mad, confused, optimistic, pessimistic, worried, scared, happy, furious, hurt more times this past year in regards to cancer.

Today I try not to focus on these things. These past feelings that overran my life this past year. Today I focus on the future. The future of being Cancer Free. I have been anxious and overrun by worry recently of the chance of cancer coming back in some form and having to go through hell again. But I dont want to be worried all the time. I want this next year to bring nothing but health, happiness, and a brighter outlook for my future.

This past year has gone by so fast. It seems like just yesterday I heard those words. I remember those feelings. But on the other hand, it seems like a lifetime ago as well, because SO much has happened in a 365 day span.

I could not have gotten through the past year without my family, friends and fiance. It was a tough year, the hardest of my life, but I am trying to stay optimistic that this next year will be wonderful.

Its hard to believe this was me last year, on Dylans birthday the week before I was diagnosed..and compared to this year on Dylans birthday

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Very different, in so many ways (I miss my hair…)

On some great things coming up, I will be having my final exchange surgery in just 10 days, changing out these awful rock hard expanders for nice squishy implants. Excited is an understatement!

My sister (and nephew) and neice will be here fo 2 weeks in April, I cannot wait to see them!

Dylan and I set a date and picked a venue for the wedding: April 25, 2015 at a beautiful outdoor venue in Porterville, Ca.

My hair is growing..still so slow in my eyes, but its getting poofy and big. I WILL be dying it in the near future lighter (not as blonde as I was)..but to give myself some feeling of having this hair on purpose at least :)

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Heres to a great new year for me…hope to continue feeling good, staying healthy and hopefully never hearing the C word told to me again! XOXO

Becca