Let’s be Real

I thought to myself last night, the reason I started this blog was to share my journey and create a public diary through my battle of colon cancer as a 27 year old female.

BUT, I decided it was time for me to be vulnerable with you all who are taking your time to read this and share with you my life…from the start.

I grew up in Mukilteo, WA. I have a brother who is three years older than me. We had the typical brother/sister relationship. I tried anything and everything to get him in trouble. He would do anything and everything to annoy me. We would bicker, but we loved hard. We knew how to have fun!

As a family, we had dinner together every day during the week. All four of us would sit down at the table and talk about our day. We camped a lot and traveled to some pretty amazing places. I had an opportunity to travel to Norway and Denmark with my family. In high school, I went to Italy with my orchestra class and traveled all over there. It was all amazing! I played the viola, if you were wondering. 😉

I played soccer, but my love was for tennis. I played club tennis, competed in tournaments on my own and with my dad, and all 4 years of high I was on the varsity tennis team. I love it and miss it!

But let’s get into the nitty-gritty. December of my 8th grade year, my parents broke the news to my brother and I that our mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer…stage 4. Looking back, my parents didn’t really tell my brother and I a whole lot about the battle my mom was facing. We knew it wasn’t good. My dad was by her side every step of the way. There was not one moment he did not miss. My mom wanted my brother and I to keep living life. My mom was such a fighter. Even at her lowest, she had a smile on her face. For our family, my mom was our rock. She was incredible! My mom lost her battle January of 2006. I was 15 years old and my brother was 18 years old. It got to the point the cancer was taking over and her body was shutting down. The last few days, my mom was on life support. We decided to pull the plug.

I was 15 years old, motherless. It wasn’t right. I thought to myself I won’t have my mom to be there for me during homecoming/prom, brake ups, graduation for high school and college, wedding dress shopping, my wedding day, and when I have children. Between my dad and my brother, I become the rock. I took on the characteristics of being the strength for the family. I grew up fast, in my mind and become very independent. People describe me as an old soul. My dad and I become even closer. We had a strong father/daughter relationship. No one could get in-between us. My dad was and is my best friend!

Life continued on and you sure learned what the word “family” meant. It’s been 12 years and not a day goes by where I don’t think about her.

I graduated high school and moved to AZ to go to college. I loved being away. I got my bachelors in psychology. However, I sure appreciated WA. After graduating, I moved back.

My dad got remarried to an amazing women who actually knew everything about my family. She was dear friends with my grandma (dad’s mom). I got a sister out of it who is 10 years older than me and we have the same birthday. We have a great relationship. My sister gifted me with two incredible nieces who I love dearly and a great brother-in-law. My relationship has grown so much with my brother over the years, it’s been amazing!

Fast forward to August 2017. I get diagnosed with colon cancer and a few weeks after, my dad passed away unexpectedly. My dad had a pulmonary embolism. WHAT…

I was in complete shock. I thought to myself, wasn’t my situation enough for our family. Going through my battle, it’s been hard not having my dad around. It’s been hard not to think was my diagnoses too much for my dad? Did it play a factor in what happened? I couldn’t image how it feels being a parent and watching your child go through something like this at such a young age. I’ve been surrounded by amazing family and friends. Shout out to my brother and bonus mom for being by my side at every doctors apt, lab work, and chemo. Even though it has been just a few times, it feels like this has been going on for a while.

My struggles, I am independent and it’s hard for me to rely on others for help. I like to just have the control and do it my way. I also tend to be the strength for everyone else because that is who I am and that is my comfort zone. I feel like I am like that with my family, friends, and work family. So far, this has been a HUGE learning experience. I have cancer and I cannot do everything on my own. But, easier said than done. It’s not easy for me because everyone else has lives too. I don’t want someone to change around their schedule or cancel something to be able to go with me to a doctor’s appointment. But, I have cancer and I cannot do this on my own. I don’t want to do this on my own. It’s a learning experience. I take it day by day. I took on these traits when my mom passed away and have kept them ever since.

In my last post, I mentioned it is very important to surround yourself with good people. I have an amazing family and a great group of friends. I have the best cheer group ever. I want to take the time to thank them. So, THANK YOU! I couldn’t do this without my family and friends. I am learning I cannot control everything and things are not always going to work out how it was planned or how I planned it.

IT IS LIFE! Just need to enjoy the good moments and days. Bring it on Nov. 9th.

xoxo,

Audrey

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