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.

Friday, October 28, 2011


today was my last day of hairschool.
All the papers are signed and it's official.
it's about time.
Things have been crazy! 
I got a ninety two percent on my mock practical board exam.
Adam has been working his butt off to get out necessities packed up and ready for our 12 drive home to California tomorrow morning.
I can't wait to be back around family.

Although it's so bitter-sweet being done with school.
I'm going to miss the Hair Academy.

I'm going to miss the job opportunities and the friends.
I'm going to miss my dream team.

I can't wait to be getting Adam better.
And for the long drive tomorrow to be home.
I'm excited to be out of a cold zone and to be some place the sun still likes to shine.
I'm excited for the opportunities that await:)
Also, my apologies for the lack of blogging. 
Somewhere in between finishing school and...
finishing school,
i got a little busy.
Emotions have been crazy! as usual as of late, but that's

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Alright so granted life has been a smidge busy. 
No excuse for my lazy blogging.
Big update today though!
Adam met with the oncologist and they decided his treatment plan.
He will start chemo on Halloween.
He does a dose-a-day for 5 days in a row and then gets a 2 week break.
The back to the dose-a-day for 5 days and then another 2 week break. 
This cycle will continue until the beginning of February where he will get another body scan to see if those little cancer cells are still hanging in there.
I told Adam we need to dress up in our Halloween costumes for his first chemo treatment!
I mean who says halloween is only at night time??
After today I will have survived another week of 12 hr days at school thus bringing me closer to being done!
One more 12 hr day filled week and i'll be graduating on Friday October 28th at 2:00pm!!!
Also, for the best news of all....
drum roll please.....

He will leave today and take a train from sacramento to salt lake city.
There he will wait a couple hours in a bus station and take the salt lake express to Rexburg.
I will be awaiting his arrival at noon on Sunday with a big kiss and open arms.
Also, we're moving back to CALIFORNIA.
crazy i know.
It just feels right.
We will be back to Rexburg whenever my sicko gets better, but until then.....

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Happenings

My mother Brenda June Engeler came for a surprise visit.

I had just about wrapped up a long day at the Hair Academy and a girl tells me some lady wants her layers trimmed up.
First of all, no one ever asks that.
Second of all, she was standing with her back to me and leaning on the front desk counter.
No one ever does that either.
I sort of rolled my eyes , not wanting to take another appointment so late in the day.
When I realized that wasn't my choice, I focused more and said that looks like the back of my mom.
She turns around and ta-da! In Idaho. 
I had no idea.
Needless to mention, if you know my mother, we got much accomplished while she was here.
1. She managed to complete 8-9 loads of my laundry.
2. Stocked me up on groceries and made me every meal for the past 3 days.
3. Drug my behind out of bed to finish my thank you notes for the wedding gifts.
4. Got me to fill out my State Board of Cosmetology Application and mail it in.
5. Dropped off a gi-normo bag of misc items to DI.
6. Got my bike from my old apartment.
7. Found out my first bit of GOOD NEWS regarding ADAM CALL NELSON!

ERGO, an update.
We got the results back from the PET scan and thank sweet moses they didn't find any more tumors than the ones in his lymph nodes by his liver and spleen. 
He meets with the oncologist Wednesday where we will learn more about his treatment plan and decide what we shall do with our crazy life. 
Hopefully the plan will be to be crazy together. 
I can't handle much more of this apart business. 

It's really been kicking my butt lately.
Honestly, (and i only mention this because i vowed to keep this a realistic blog.)
some days, when people would ask how i am right now,
I would say, well i'm awake and brushing my teeth.
And some days that's all I felt i could do.
It's hard to be by yourself when your meant to be together.
It's hard to be 20 and have to handle illnesses that you only hear of your grandparents getting.
It's hard to go to school for 12 hours a day and feel motivated to do anything else when you get home.
But then someone always comes along and picks you up, and gets you going.
Love and miss my man.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


 Lessons to be learned are oh so numerous.
During this life we encounter trials to test our faith and our actions.
I have talked with many close friends and family members over the past couple weeks and have realized the strength and faith that comes from them. 
However when all is said and done, regardless of the support given to your by loved ones,
the consequence of our actions always falls on us. 
This makes reacting to our trials complex.
A commonly asked question, "Why do bad things always happen to good people?"
After all it's probably the good people who will be able to handle it and grow from it.
I have always been a more bubbly and positive spirit.
This cancer trial, in particular, has stretched my positive attitude to almost the opposite pole.
Meanwhile, I have learned so many things and I hope you can learn them too.
1. Do not try to control what is out of your control. You will always fail.
2. Always have faith and do what you KNOW is right for you. In doing so, the Lord will bless you more than you could have ever imagined.
3. This life is the time we are to be tested. We don't necessarily receive our reward in this life.
4. Focus on what is RIGHT in life.
5. There will be a time in your life when you can't help yourself and so you must receive; but God will also give us another opportunity to give, and when it's my time, I'll know and I'll do it because when I couldn't do it for myself, someone else did.
6. Life never happens how you expect it; but that isn't because God doesn't love you, it's because his way will make you one thousand times happier than you could have ever made yourself.
 Now for your long awaited report.
Adam got his PET scan yesterday and said it wasn't the most pleasant thing. He should be getting the results back soon.
CROSS YOUR FINGERS for tomorrow!
He meets with the oncologist on Wednesday where he will learn more about his treatment plan.
We still haven't decided if we will be staying in Rexburg or moving home for a short period of time while Adam gets his treatments.
But we will know soon:)

"Sometimes the Lord will calm the sea;
Other times he lets the sea rage and calms His child."

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Going to school for so many hours in one day and listening to the hum of the blowdryer gives you lots of time to ponder.
I have most recently revisited my thoughts and feelings of HOPE.
As we all should during our time of trial and hardship, it's important to remember hope.
Hope is that glimpse of dreaming and wishing that you long to hold on to when nothing else in life seems to be in your favor.
 And because this life was indeed made for our growth and our strength, we are alotted some hope to get us through the hard times.
It's the spiritual grace that has helped me get out of bed and carry on day to day.
Now I'm 100% fully aware that our situation isn't the "worst case senario".
But regardless of the times or the trials we can all be day dreaming on hope.
I have never felt so blessed by the incredible and countless miracles that are prouncing themselves in our lives daily.
Thank you to our family and friends that are so loving and so understanding.
God will bless you ten fold.

"Hope is some extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us to control our fears, not to oust them."  ~Vincent McNabb


It's GOING TO BE fine

Over the past week I have thought alot about the phrase "it's going to be fine."
"Going to be" is clearly future tense. Well what about right now?
I know the future will be fine. That's why I sealed myself to him for time and all eternity in this thing.
So that everything would always be fine. I think many people most often want to hear the "latest report" rather than the day to day struggles the trail is imposing. 
Honestly, it's been harder going day to day without him than knowing he is sick. 
Although the illness is the cause of it all, let's try to think more of the "Day to Day" than the end result.
Long awaited "report".
Adam has part of his abdomen scanned to see if the cancer had spread elsewhere and surprise!
There it was. 
Tumors were found in his lymph nodes around his spleen and his liver. 
They are going to be doing another full body scan on Saturday to see where else the little guys wanted to explore. 
He meets with an oncologist tomorrow and will find out some more about our treatment options.
He feels fine.
So fine, he went and got his scan and went shooting with his two brothers and made it back just in time to hear the results from scan. 
I'm so happy he doesn't feel "sick" yet.
I'm going to school from 9:30am to 10:00pm everyday so I can be back with him ASAP.
But like I have heard a million times, it's going to be fine.

Monday, October 10, 2011

From the beginning

September 2nd 2011 was our WEDDING DAY.
Three and a half weeks later we went to the doctor because his right testicle was swollen. 
He said, "That's peculiar" and sent him get an ultrasound the next morning.
Adam got a call an hour later telling him to come back to get the results. Adam said my wife gets out of school at five and I was going to go with her to get the results.
They said "No, you need to come in now."
He went in to get the results and I got a call at 1:00pm saying they think he has testicular cancer.
I drove home from school and picked him up, took him to the oncologist in Idaho Falls.
There they told us it wasn't good news and they would be removing his right testicle in the morning.
Be ready for surgery at 6:45am; nothing to eat or drink after midnight.
Without hesitation we went home and got some sleep and met the doctor at the hospital the next morning.

There he received his IV.
And we gave them medical insurance information.
And off to surgery he went.

 I sat and waited for an hour and a half with my brother. Eating SPICY NACHO doritos and sipping hot chocolate to keep our minds distracted.
The doctor came in and told us the tumor they removed was much bigger than they had anticipated. 
A little smaller than the size of a golfball. 
Then the doctor told me I could go see my sweet husband. And oh how sweet the general anesthesia made him.
I was so sick of being in the hospital so I called one of my friends so he would hear me talking on the phone and wake up. Some say it's rude. I call it keeping my sanity. 
We left the hospital around 2:30pm and got home around 4:30 after picking up the medications.

We got the biopsy report back on Monday October 3rd 2011. This confirmed the testicular cancer in his right testicle. He was diagnosed with two different types of cancer. The doctor handed us the pathology report and didn't say much else due to the fact our insurance wasn't going to cover anything unless we get Adam back to California.

Yesterday we drove down to the Salt Lake City airport. Had lunch at the wonderful and fantastic IN-N-OUT and got Adam to the airport plenty early. He flew to Seattle and then landed in Sacramento a little after 9pm Idaho time. I'm so glad he made it home safe!
Today he went to the doctor where they told him things we already knew but with great assurance that everything was going to be okay. He has a full body scan to see where else the cancer has spread and what stage it's at. Needless to say we have been so so blessed by many loving and supportive friends and family. GOD BLESS YOU ALL.