It is difficult for me to update this webpage frequently. The absolute best way to stay up to date with what is happening is to follow me on instagram where it is easier for me to post: @vivavivian
I kinda forgot I had this page and have been solely updating and writing on Instagram! Sorry if there was anyone out there waiting for updates. I just updated the main page if you want to catch up.
All cancer aside, the rest of my life is so full. Family, friends, community etc. I even run the PTO at Joaquin’s future elementary and am currently writing a book. I know, I know….that book i’ve been writing fooorrreeevvvverrrr. but ya know, I think, for a very good reason, I never wrote THAT book. Because the one I’m writing now….is really special and this process and topic is changing my life in the most fantastic ways.
I can’t wait to share it with you soon.
with all my love,
Infusion day had a rough start in getting an IV placed (I’m used to that with my teeny tiny veins) but once everything was up and running, I sat back and “froze” my mouth with delicious homemade popsicles.
Then we got a surprise visit from my childhood friend who just so happened to be visiting from Texas and in the neighborhood! We passed the time making inappropriate jokes and trying to keep our giggling to a minimum as to not upset anyone around us 😬 After chemo, we went out for lunch and then parted ways. Such a lovely surprise!
His shirt says “mom is my hero” 😭 Todat, the day after chemo, I’m feeling good! No symptoms so far! My doc is on board with me continuing all my supplements, and if you mix that with all the wonderful food that is pouring into our lives, I have no doubt that supporting my body through this will help me come out stronger! Big thanks to my amazing community that continues to support us in miraculous ways! ✨✨✨✨✨✨
So much love,
I’m just numb enough to write this post. I keep changing gears from numb, angry, scared, sad, and then, of course, determined. I have to fight again….for him this time. I have to fight like hell. I don’t mind fighting. I think I’m pretty good at it by now. But this is different now. My body has been compromised and I’m already weaker than I used to be and I have a super loving, needy, wild child speeding into his “terrible twos” to care for. I don’t know how my body will react or what my physical capabilities will be, so I will most definitely be leaning on my community more than ever in the next few months. But I have to fight. For him. For me. For us.
I’m starting chemo on Tuesday, May 23rd. Because the cancer seems to be progressing rapidly (it’s in my liver, bones and lymph now) my oncologist wants to do 2-3 rounds (possibly more) of chemo every three weeks to shrink the tumors before switching to hormone therapy. Since chemo will be wreaking havoc on my immune system and all other good things in my body, I’ll have to be simultaneously building up my body through nutrition.
Ways you can help:
- Meals – Healthy food we can pop out of the freezer for dinner. Or something fresh you can drop off at our doorstep. or Juice. Even daycare lunches for Joaquin would be a fantastic help!
- Playtime – Come over and play with Joaquin! He loves walks or going to an indoor or outdoor playground. Have kids? Bring them over and play in the backyard! Ideally, you can set up the same time and day to come by every week, but we’ll take whatever we can get!
- House – I doubt anyone ever says “I feel like cleaning someone else’s toilet today!” but hey, if that’s you, come on over! or maybe someone lost a bet to you… ha. ok. if toilets aren’t your thing, perhaps you can help with laundry or gardening etc
- Financial – I’ve had to quit working and Sasha’s had a couple of gigs fall through recently, so things have been pretty tight recently. Aside from basic medical bills that I am still paying from 2 years ago, the supportive care I will need while undergoing chemo adds up quick….and a new wig! Supplements, acupuncture, therapies, juicing, etc are all part of the supportive care I will be taking to keep my body in fighting shape. But also, continuing childcare for Joaquin is going to be crucial to let my body rest as much as possible.
- Sasha – Take this guy out for a drink! or coffee. give him a call. send him a text. let him know he’s not alone. come over and hang.
- Me – Good company and laughs. Movies. Gardening. Arts & Crafts. or just laying around and chatting about life 🙂
Hello sweet friends,
It was in March of 2015 when I received the news of my recurrence while pregnant with Joaquin. We all went on this crazy journey together. It played out like a sad and beautiful, heartfelt drama with a happy ending. I eventually stopped writing because things became wonderfully boring. IT WAS GREAT! I’ll take boring any day compared to the how scary life can get.
We have spent the last couple of years honing our parenting skills (still with plenty to learn!), experiencing the rapid ups and downs of parenthood, and enjoying the life changing and often overwhelming love that comes with it all. Joaquin has been such a beautiful addition to our lives and I’m grateful for every day we get together.
It seemed as if cancer was moving further and further away from us. But a few months ago, my oncologist started noticing an upward trend in my tumor markers. They were still in normal range, just higher than they had been over the last couple of years. We decided to get an MRI of my chest and ended up finding two new affected lymph nodes and two small spots on my liver. Like the two times we’ve found cancer before this, we are finding this early and taking action cautiously. The next steps for me will be a CT/PET scan and a liver biopsy.
Sasha and I were devastated with this news. How could this be happening again? We spent a solid week living with the most morbid thoughts running circles in our heads. Songs that usually filled us with love brought us into sobbing fits of sorrow. Now that the dust has settled and the tears are all cried out, we are able to stand tall again and look directly down the path we are heading. We don’t know what’s ahead, but we are ready to go there with strength, grace, hope, faith and, most importantly , love.
Thank you for being our unwavering support during these times we’ve needed you most.
As you can all imagine, the last few months have been incredibly intense. I won’t even get into the hospital trauma where I almost died (that’s for another time). Instead, I just want to jump forward past all the horrendous stuff and adjust my focus on the good – Joaquin!
Here’s a fun journey of his life, thus far, through pictures!
Slowly getting used to this parenthood thing!
We’re tired, but we’re making it work. As I prep for a surgery next month, we’ve had to hire some help to assist us with Joaquin. This is a huge financial sacrifice for us, but it gives me the opportunity to rest and strengthen up before surgery. It’s a small surgery where they will remove roughly 10 lymph nodes from under my right arm to check for any remnants of cancer that may have survived the chemo. It means I won’t be able to use my arm for around 3 – 6 weeks. Impossible to think of when it seems I need 5 arms to care for Joaquin! But we’re making it work with the help of some incredibly generous friends and family. We’ve been blown away by the amount of support we’ve been receiving from so many. It is especially meaningful to see our busiest friends and family take time out of their hectic lives to help us out when we need it most.
Thank you for checking in!
So much love,
After a total of 19 days in the hospital, I’ve been home for 10 days and I’m still feeling good! I have a long way to go…but overall on the up.
My main objective during this time has been resting, eating, and rebuilding. I feel so blessed to have my loving mom and the amazing Sasha by my side taking care of me and holding me up 24hrs a day. They have been amazing and I know I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am if I didn’t have them in my lives.
The biggest news this week was that I successfully kicked C. Diff out of my body, tested negative, and finally got to see Joaquin! After many bouts of crying over the 2.5 weeks we had been apart, I prayed and prayed for this moment, and it finally happened.
He’s doing so well now! And so much bigger/plumper! He’s 5 weeks old and up to 2 lbs 11 oz (he started at 1lb 8 oz). The nurses say he’s super feisty, but every time I hold him, he’s the calmest, sweetest, baby boy.
I really hope this is the beginning of many more days of bliss.
Thank you for all the love and prayers that have been sent our way from all over the world. It has made such a difference in my recovery and I feel that love on a daily basis.