Friday, December 16, 2011

Big Girl?

So this is how it all happened.
I went to lunch on Tuesday with my mother-in-law and her ever-so-fabulous friend Becky.
Becky mentioned an apartment management position in Davis that was needing to be filled "yesterday".
We got home from lunch and I grabbed my laptop and Adam and we headed off to chemo.
There we updated our resumes and faxed them off to the property management company.
With a great referral from Becky's son and daughter-in-law, we got a call the next morning for an interview in Davis.
After two hours of questions and answers and viewing the complex, we rushed home to get to chemo again on Wednesday.
Thursday morning we called "Boss Lady" and got ourselves a JOB!!
This includes: a free two bedroom apartment and a full time job managing 48 units in Davis, California.
We move in on Monday and we are so so excited!!
This kind of stuff does not just happen to people. 
Thus the reason I know "all y'all's" prayers are working:)
But hello!!! 
Does this mean I'm a big girl now??
Married, Cancer, Managing Apartments??
All BEFORE I'm twenty-one??
Okay, okay little mija is growing up fast:)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Giving in the Family Room

Chemo is filled with so much holiday cheer this week!
Yesterday Adam was in a chair next to a lady who lost all her hair but was wearing a santa hat.
Not to mention her red shirt, black shoes, and "a little round belly that shook when she laughed like a bowl full of jelly."
She got a little fiesty with the nurse when she tried to stick her to get the IV in, but that's understandable.
All the nurses are wearing festive scrubs and around the holiday season the visitors start bringing gifts.
My Aunt came in and brought us a bag full of mandarin oranges.
My grammy came the day before with a giant box filled with wrapped gifts.
Thinking she was going to be handing out a present to all the cancer patients in chemo that day I said,
"Uh, excuse me, what are you doing?"
"Well every year I do the Twelve Days of Christmas for people having a difficult time. And you, my dear, are having a difficult time."
Grammy has always been so selfless and thoughtful.
She has an unwavering faith and love for her Savior and shows that through her service.She provides all types of service for people older and younger than her, related and unrelated, more often than just this time of year.
With the box that she gave us we are able to open one present everyday til Christmas.
It has been so fun to grab a present on our way into chemo and open it while we're there.
I hope we can all grasp the true meaning of Christmas this holiday season by focusing on giving more of ourselves, the gift that only you can give.
Also, this is my Grammy.
And it's true, she doesn't have wrinkles:)
76 and looking gorgeous:)

Friday, December 9, 2011


Ha. Retiring from blog world?
Seems like it right??
My apologies.
We have been so crazy filled with adventures!
This past week Adam and I took a trip to visit my family in Fresno.
And with this trip I realized how great my life is.
How many newly weds really get to spend every moment of everyday together?
Ergo, the reason I feel like we're already retired.
We wake up and go on walks in the morning.
We build gingerbread houses.
We make frequent trips to the hospital.
We pay extra attention to make sure we get enough fiber, fruits, and vegetables in our diet.

We travel.
We read books.
But mainly, we just hang out.
Needless to mention, going back to "work", is going to be difficult.
Adam had a doctors appointment this morning and guess what??
His cancer is in remission according to blood work.
But here's the tricky thing,
sometimes cancer markers aren't shown in blood work because they are so itty bitty.
Therefore, we must carry on through the last two cycles of chemo.
Starting Monday will be cycle three.
Then the next one will be the first week of January.
SO EXCITED for him to start feeling like a 24 year old and less of an old man.
He gets tired really easy from mediocre tasks but helps me with our Christmas crafts.
Speaking of, why doesn't everyone do homemade presents every year? 
I swear homemade stuff is the best.
Speaking of.....
My mom is a supervisor at work.
There is a competition of who can be the most festive with decorating there offices/cubicles.
They win a pizza party.
Anyone who knows my mother knows...
Her office was transformed with two of her favorite helpers, Adam and I, into a gingerbread house.
If she doesn't win, I'll be angry.
Also, scratch that comment with going big or going home, when it comes to Christmas without the kiddos.
This is my mothers "Christmas Tree".
She really started slacking since I've been gone.
But got to give it to her, it's creative.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


As most people discover over the holiday season, balance gets justified. 
One too many desserts.
Four too many glasses of sparkling cider.
A justified extra $100 on the most perfect Christmas present.
I've decided this holiday season I'm not budging.
I want, and more than that, I NEED to stay within the boundaries this year.
"Too much of anything isn't good for you," right?
Spiritual, mental, physical and emotional balance is what I"m striving for this holiday season.
It's when you have self control the life seems to roll out smoother.
And with that, comes some of my personal changes.
Exercise more, eat less.
Pray more, stress less.
Love more, argue less.
Study more, procrastinate less.

Someone once told me that if you tell someone you're goals out loud,
there is an 85% chance it's going to happen.
My blogging proclamation.

On another note, Adam introduced me to a little slice of Mexico.
Welcome to Denio's Auction & Market.
Where Mexican's gather and sell produce or other misc. items for real Mexico prices.
AKA ultra cheap.
Adam and I decided that getting our produce here was far tastier and much easier on the budget.
We made it a tradition to go back every Saturday morning.
9 LBS of Oranges for $3.
30 LBS of Potatoes for $4.
2 baskets of strawberries for $2.
10 Limes for $1.
6 LBS of Plantains for $3.
 With all the oranges, we decided to make fresh squeezed orange juice.
And since, I've decided there is nothing better.
Except maybe this.

Sometimes I play dress up with Adam out of the blankets the hospital provides, when we get bored at Chemo.
This weeks character: Monk.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Two of a Kind

Adam started chemo again this week.
We were on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
THANKFULLY, we got off for Thanksgiving.
And we're back at it again on Monday and Tuesday of next week.
Somehow I got sick in the middle of it all.
Cold symptoms and then a fever.
Still recovering.
It's one thing when you're married for three weeks and your hubs gets diagnosed with cancer; but it's a whole different thing when you can't sleep together because you're ill.
You see, a cold to me, can be deadly to him.
Thus, the reason all doctors and nurses warn him to be careful around the holidays of all the people and all the germs.
If he gets a fever of 100 degrees, emergency room it is.
And so, to prevent the previous from occuring, 
we sanitize.
We are just a bunch of sick-o's this week.
Regardless, today was the best thanksgiving I have ever had.
Perhaps when you're needing the blessings they fall more abundantly.
Or perhaps when you've been humbled you recognize them more frequently.
Which ever it may be,
May we always show appreciation for the miracles we receive, no matter how big or how small.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Last Week

Our last week in Rexburg has been bitter sweet.
I learned that our time together is so precious.
Not in the "dying" sort of precious.
Because Adam isn't dying.
But in the "we were ripped out of the newlywed stage" sort of precious.
We have been all business and serious and full of emotions.
Being back in in Rexburg, let us forget all that for just awhile.
We realized that we fall more in love with every trial we work through together.
Also, being in Rexburg, we got alot done.
I took my practical examination for state boards in Pocatello.
We packed up our apartment.
We had friends from Grace come.
Adam's hair started falling out.
So before we were all traumatized, he went bald.

I cut some hair.
Adam and I realized our own idea of "cute brown boots."
And mainly we had a wonderful time just being alone and together.
"As we focus our energies on lifting the burdens of others, something miraculous happens. Our own burdens diminish. We become happier. There is more substance to our lives."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Another Cancer Wife

This is Courtney Palmer.
 Real gorgeous, I know.
She has been my closest friend throughout hair school.
Also, a member of the dream team.
Her husband, David, has cancer as well.
Perhaps our friendship was heaven sent.
She has helped me through this whole crazy life.
The wedding, the chemo, the school.
She knows a lot and is a great secret keeper.
She is real blunt and cannot, no matter how hard she tries, hold in her most honest opinion.
People who don't really know her think she is super rude.
She has been my little life saver through it all.
Meet cancer husband, David.

Both are real model-esque.
Dave was diagnosed with stage 2 Lymphoma probably 4 months ago.
He has been through I believe 5 chemo treatments.
He has 3 left to go.
Court and Dave have been married 3 years, 3 months and 12 days.
He is a graphic designer and she is a hair stylist with a passion for fashion.
Check out her blog:
A Fancy Day
Courtney was there when Adam and I were just first dating and he was home for winter semester and I was lonely, to the time he left for doctors appointments and full body scans just 3 weeks ago.
I have asked her what has been most helpful to her with all this going on in her life.
She told me that it is important to remember ourselves, the wives, too.
So frequently friends and family would ask, so how is Dave doing? 
As sweet and thoughtful all the concern for him was, what about her?
She was having to deal with him having treatments, and side effects, and doctors appointments, too.
It's important to make time for yourself.
Go to the gym, go to dinner with friends, do things that don't make you feel depressed when life is full of challenges.
It's hard to be so selfless when it isn't a choice.
I am so grateful for her love and friendship. 
She is so hopeful and so kind.
She is always forgiving, but never gives up. 
She is determined and happy. 
She is crazy and hilarious.
I'm so proud of her for just pushing through when everything seems to get so hectic, so doubtful, and so complicated. 

From my ugliest hair colors to my more recent;
Here's to Courtness.
(okay she isn't dying, and neither is her husband, but I just love her and she needs a tribute.)

We Made It

Not to worry, we made another safe trip back to Idaho.
Rexburg welcomed us with chilly winds a frost bitten grass.
It's real gloomy and I can't wait to be back in California.
Our drive seemed to pass by much quicker than a week and a half ago.
Probably because I slept alot.
Adam was feeling well enough to drive, thank heavens.
As usual, I had my three hour turn from Winnemucca toWells in there too.
We brought baby carrots, grapes, and of course Doritos, to keep us occupied.
Except this one baby carrot was pretending to be a cheez-ball.
Ok and so we clearly needed another creative "homemade" date.
And so we made tacos for dinner and caramel apples.
I know the pictures are blurry, but it's going to be fine.
Then we went to a BYU-Idaho function called ICover.
It's fairly self explanatory where bands cover popular songs. 
It was great entertainment for only $2.
Today we had plans of using my brothers truck and moving all
"the big stuff."
The bed, dressers, desk, etc.
And then this happened.

One additional reason why I hate Idaho.
We're hoping it clears up by later today because my brother is going back down to Utah tomorrow.
We will be leaving Idaho this coming Thursday.
Adam has a doctors appointment on Friday
Blood Work done on Saturday.
Back to chemo on Monday.
Adam is feeling pretty well for the most part.
He is up and able to move around.
He has been feeling disoriented a lot but nothing he can't handle.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Today has been a rather tough day.
Shouldn't have been seeing as I got to do hair today.
But today I've been real anxious.
It's when we are put in difficult situations that we are "tested".
When we're uncomfortable, upset, tired, or running out of patience is when our true concerns of character show through.
And let me tell you, my character is really just flying around these days.
I break down A LOT.
(Naturally, as it's that time of the month.)
But recently, I thought about all the sacrifice that goes on.
The sacrifice from my parents for paying our bills while Adam was in the hospital and while I was finishing school.
The sacrifice from my in laws who opened there home to newlyweds, still figuring out who they are as a couple. (I mean really? not even 3 months yet!!!)
The sacrifice from my family; cousins, aunts/uncles, grandparents, who have called to support or who sent us money to get us back home so Adam could start chemo.
The sacrifice that my friends from school, home, and church, made to hold me when I couldn't stand up when Adam first called and told me all this news.
The sacrifice Adam makes to cheer me up when I'm having trouble adjusting.
For example;
Just as I was writing this he stopped making chocolate chip cookies and came in the room.
I nuzzled my head into chest and said, "I"m having a hard day."
He said, "Well just think tomorrow will probably be worse."
I pulled away and looked at him and said, "Wow, really?"
He said, "Well at least now you can appreciate the rest of today."

I'm so grateful to everyone who wants the best for us,
and for everyone who has prayed for us,
and who hopes everything is going to work out, and I promise you it will
Because it always does.

 We're driving back to Idaho tomorrow so I can take state boards,
and so we can pack up our most perfect apartment,
and so we can say a temporary goodbye to my dream team.

"Although there is much to fear,
we were moving mountains long before we knew we could."
  Also if you have time to read my blog,
you have time to watch this video.
It inspires me and I watch it almost every week.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Apple Hill

Once upon a time we got our first day off of chemo.
And with that free day I was NOT going to sit around and do nothing like I had for the past week.
We got up at the usual seven am and met up with some family to venture to Apple Hill.
My Aunt Tanya who is engaged to Matt and his son Henry.
And naturally my Prima and her husband Steven.
I had never been, thus didn't know what to expect.
In simple terms, it was like a ji-normo farmers market with an emphasis on apples.
They had the most deluctible apple treats along with freshly pressed apple juice.
Adam and I bought a gallon to take home.
There were local "crafty souls" there selling there homemade soaps and trinkets.
It was fun to drive along the apple orchards and to find other small farmers markets up the road.
Adam got pretty tired about half way through, which was expected.
So we headed home a little early.
It was freezing, so using him as an excuse was perfect. 
I'm so grateful for California.
And for activities.
And for no snow.
And of course,
I just love my Adam.
He is doing so much better the farther away we get from chemo days.
Still tired.
Still feels like he got hit by a truck.
But is able to get up and do things with me:)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Date Night

Sometimes when you're newly married and don't have money and your husband gets cancer,
you move in with your ever-so-generous in-laws.
And sometimes when your husband is always sick, weekend dates get creative.
We sat at home in our sweat pants with The Big Bang Theory on,
wanting so badly to make some Neiman Marcus cookies. 
My newly acquired "aunt-in-law" if you will, Aunt Cathy, called and asked what we were doing.
She wanted to stop by for a visit when we told her we were going to the store.
Bless that beautiful lady for saving us a trip to the store and for bringing us almost every ingredient for these delightful cookies.
While we were making them I decided that was our date.
We mixed em up, stirred em up, plopped em in the oven and violla!

The most perfect cookies in the world.
And here's the thing about trying out new recipes.
You can buy the most expensive ingredients, and follow directions without flaw,
but how do you really know that some mixed up flour and sugar with a couple eggs is going to turn into a cookie after it's scorched with heat?
Because you have faith.
That is how you KNOW.
Faith has been on my mind a lot lately because I feel like that's what keeps me sane.
It's the days that I'm lacking faith that I get all ski-womp-es and forget the big picture.
It's those "bad thinking" times that I get too self centered and only care about how my life was "ruined" because of cancer.
Because you know, really, if I had chosen to not get married, 
I would have a fabulous job, with fabulous people.
I wouldn't be poor or living back with parents.
I would be able to eat out when I want and buy new clothes without asking.
I would be able to have my own bed.
But guess what Christina?
You CHOSE to get married to the man of your dreams.
and so, 
you promised to be by his side.
Ergo, instead of my "bad thinking",
I have to believe that this is all going to work out.
I have to keep believing that God is with us everyday, helping us to be more patient and loving.
I have to believe that there is a reason why Adam found out he has cancer AFTER we got married, even though he probably got it a year ago when we first starting dating.
I have to believe that the job offers that I wanted to take more than anything in this world, will hopefully still be available when all this is over.
I have to believe that as a twenty year old girl that I was given this situation to make me grow.
So that maybe someday, when someone else's faith is lacking, they can borrow mine.

"A faith is a necessity to a man. Woe to him who believes in nothing."
Victor Hugo

Friday, November 4, 2011

Really, Truly, Honestly

So a little too much information or not, 
this is a realistic blog and that is how it will stay.
Needless yet quite comical to mention,
I have a fantastic bowel movement cycle.
(this all ties in i promise)
So in Idaho i will regularly wake up thirty mins before my alarm goes off to well....
take care of business.
I woke up at 8 everyday for school.
And when it wasn't school, it was church.
Regardless, I'm on a very set schedule.
While forgetting about the time change my body still wants to wake up a half hour before the alarm goes off.
Luckily, with the chemo schedule, I need to be up at seven anyways.
Putting two and two together,
I still wake up at 8AM Idaho time.
Not putting two and two together,
that's taking care of business six thirty california time.
Now not to waste anymore time on the preface of this post.
I woke up at six thirty this morning and couldn't go back to sleep.
I was real anxious.
Today was a big day.
I took my written exam for my cosmetology license.
Passed with an 84%.
Didn't study and finished 110 questions in 20 out of the 90 minutes alotted.
I may be legally blind, but i'm a real fast reader.
Also, today was Adam's last day of chemo for another two weeks,
thus putting us at the end of cycle one.
As i tossed and turned and couldn't manage to count any sheep,
I thought about how grateful I am for husband I have.
I wiggled my cold toes between his warm ones and realized that many couples given this same situation,
couldn't do it.
They would blame each other for the "crappy" situation.
The trial would pull them apart instead of push them together.
They would give up.
I am just the luckiest.
Lucky to have a husband who doesn't get mad when I'm screaming and crying because I hate this.
But rather, wants to hold me to comfort me.
Lucky to have a husband who doesn't take his anger out on me when he feels light headed, nauseous, and weak,
But one who asks if we can cuddle while we watch a movie to relax.
Lucky to have a husband who doesn't get mad when I ask a favor of him,
But will drop what he is doing to help me, even with his achy, poison filled body.
I'm so grateful that we have taken this "treacherous mountain of a trial",
and turned it into a beautiful hike.
Lots of hard work, patience, and love.
One foot in front of the other.
Adam said to me a couple weeks ago,
"You know I couldn't do this without you."
Being the smart aleck I am, I said, "Well technically, without you I wouldn't have to do this."
But really, truly, honestly, 
I couldn't do it without him either.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

For better or for worse?

We have just accomplished day three of chemo.
After day two he wasn't feeling too good.
A little nauseous.
Super tired.
Really weak.
We wake up at seven every morning and leave the house by seven forty five.
If we aren't to chemo on time, 8:15am, then they don't let you do it. 
After Adam married Mrs. Anxiety, you had better believe we're almost never late.
This morning we get to chemo and a nurse, who we will call Blanchard, calls us into the "family room."
Onto the far other unfamiliar side. 
She prepped Adam's skin and made sure she found a thick enough vein for the IV.
Blanch then proceeded to "misfire".
She probably had the needle in his arm for a whole solid minute and was stirring it around til she got some blood flowing into the IV. 
Needless to say, Adam was miserable and we knew it wouldn't be a good day.
Then she gave Adam some anti-nausea pills and a cup of water to drink them down that had what appeared to be a boogie stuck to the inside of the cup.
Maybe Blanch doesn't like younger couples.
The drip went on and what seemed like the longest treatment of our lives.
The IV bags drip one at a time.
The first one is always some saline.
Then magnesium.
Then liquid Platinum.
Then something that freezes off warts, in liquid form. Nitrogen?
Then the rest of the Saline.
Adam is really tired.
All the time.
He is so weak.
He expressed to me today that, "He feels like he is drowning."
Hair hasn't fallen out quite yet. 
We're expecting that in a week or two.
I talked to a different nurse about my expectations about what i thought chemo would be like.
I told her they might as well be mixing it in a caldron and all wear witch hats and while it's in the IV bags it's probably boiling.
As the nurse laughed at my description, she said, "But aren't you so glad it's not like that? Chemo is a happy place. It's not about dying, you're here because you're surviving."
Enjoy some pictures from our past two days:)
Day two picture above.
I had the privilege of taking my sister-in-law, Kenz, to "neverland" by giving her a pixie after yesterdays treatments.
Ergo, if you need your haircut, I'D BE HONORED.
Today was me and Adam's 2 month wedding anniversary! So while he was sleeping I snuck away and got him a "Love You" balloon.
The nurse commented, "Wow, only two months? You sure got to hell and back really quick."
Oh Blanch, you have no idea.
But, I know we will get through this.
I know we are getting stronger everyday.
Happy 2 Months Adam Call Nelson:):)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sleepless in....roseville?

One of the biggest adjustments since being married has been sharing a bed.
Adam is a cuddler.
I am not.
He wants to fall asleep cuddling with our legs intertwined.
I'm thinking...
"how could anyone sleep with someone touching them??"
To please both parties, we simply cuddle for a couple minutes and then I make my break and turn over.
Peacefully you'll sleep til someone moves, or pooters (Adam's name for a fart), or talks to you.
Having been the first night after chemo, I asked Adam how he was feeling sometime around 5AM.
He tells me he is feeling great.
I think well duh, youre on a tranquilizer.
So I turn over and attempt to go back to sleep when he says,
"I don't want to do chemo again."
With emotions stretching from each side of the spectrum I feel my rubber band to happy snap.
Naturally I start crying.
Ergo, not being able to go back to sleep.
Ergo, early morning blogpost.
It's hard to watch the side effects kick in.
My Adam has never felt this sick.
So nauseous.
So dizzy.
So weak.
More pale than ever.
and then a good nights rest just to do it again in the morning.
I feel helpless and it's hard.
It is emotionally, physically, mentally draining.
People always ask, "how do you do it?"
You do it because you have to. Because you have no other choice and even if you did you wouldn't ever choose it. 
You do it because when you pray to strengthen your marriage every day,
and God gives you cancer,
You just have faith it's going to bring you closer together.
And it has.
And I'm eternally grateful.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The "Family Room"

We made it alive! 
We arrived in California on saturday night around six pm.
So glad we're back and safe.
Today was DAY 1 of chemo treatments.
This morning has been just a bundle of emotions.
We woke up at six forty five to get ready.
Getting in the car, Adam turns on the radio.
The song "you gotta keep your head up ohhhh oh. You gotta keep your head up yaaaa ya." comes on.
I couldn't figure out if our Ford Focus was giving me a hint of the film Transformers, or if this the Lord singing to me.
We drove all the way to Sacramento to freeze our future babies at a sperm bank and hurried on back to Roseville for chemo treatments.
(incase your unaware chemo has potentially and will most likely make you sterile.)
Waiting in the waiting room was sorta wierd but entering the "family room" as i like to call it is was even more weird.
I imagined chemo was a private thing. You would sit with an IV in your arm in a quiet room and barf if you needed to in your own privacy.
How wrong i was!
at least at kaiser.
There were reclining chairs lining the walls and the room sorta looped around like an L shape. Some people had curtains but no one chose to use them.
The cancer patients just sit in the recliner with there IV's in and let the poison drip.
As most would agree when walking in you feel a little eerie like you just walked into the wrong classroom on the first day of school. 
But i soon realize not to feel eerie but to "make yourself at home."
After the four hours of us being there, it felt like a big family room.
Some people got the medication without any loved ones by there side, others had the max of 2 visitors the whole time.
I believe, they don't close the curtains because they find support in one another.
Today I learned that there is something magical in the strength of numbers.
Every person's treatment is different.
It's interesting ease dropping.
And oh brother, you try and avoid in there.
It's naturally and everyone does it.
Thus another reason why the "family room" is so appropriate.
Some patints are scheduled to come back in 3 weeks, we WISH!
we're back in tomorrow.
and the next day.
and the next day.
and the next day.
five days a week.
four hours a day.
then a two week break.
We love having visitors. Makes the time FLY.
Adam is peacefully asleep as they gave him a "tranquilizer" to take every night to help him relax.
Enjoy some pictures from our day:)

Now before we begin, let me preface.
The nurse handed Adam three pills and said, now these might make you feel a little wired.
You might not be able to sleep tonight.
Our photoshoot.

Todays lesson:
There is strength in numbers.