“Only Available for Believers”

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As I pulled up to Starbucks yesterday, craving something sweet, they were advertising a drink that was “only available for believers”. Yep, I had to have it. It was called the unicorn frappe, I had convinced myself they were thinking of me the whole time why creating this drink because it was making my dreams come true. Pink fruity, sparkly Starbucks drink, doesn’t get much better than that!

I thought it was unique that they chose “only available for believers” as there slogan for this drink… that pretty much describes my life. The life I live, as a cancer patient, is a life only believers can achieve. Believing in the Lord, believing in your friends and family to support you, and believing in yourself. That’s what gets you through! Believing.

After going to the doctor on Tuesday, I had a lot of medicines changed to hopefully get this body’s pain under control. This change has taking a huge toll on my body as it gets adjusted to everything.. A bunch of resting and sleeping has gone on, that’s actually where the unicorn frappe and I first met. My bed!( dreams coming true). Also, I’ve been taking baths with epson salt, hoping for some kind of relief! I don’t have much success, so if anyone has any bone ache relief tips , throw them this way PLEASE!

Something I just started doing to help keep busy is taking care of dogs! Since I have so much free time it has been perfect, a nice responsibility, that helps give me the exercises I need! Dog walks and play time everyday or whenever the owners need me. It’s been fun and I hope to be able to do more and more with this the stronger I get.

Also, I’m going to be starting a program call Star. It’s an oncology rehab/PT program to help me “get back to my normal self” again. As you all know, I’ve been ready for something like this for a while now, so I can’t wait to start! “Star’s bringing Sexy back” plays in my head when I think about being there lol.

Anyways, this was just a few things I thought you’d enjoy to hear about! Taking it easy, yet staying busy enough, to help me get back to my “normal” self. Just got to believe!

-xo Kara

6 Months Post Transplant

I’m laying in bed thinking about the past year and all it has brought me…. it’s a mixture of happy and sad tears for so many reasons I can’t even explain. I lay here 6 months post transplant in pain, wondering how much longer I will feel this way. How much longer until I feel normal again…. and there is no answer except that I know I won’t stop fighting until I get to that normal again. This could be next month and it could be in years, it’s just part of the process. It’s all just perfecting my “chapter book” that I’m beginning to call it.. aka my journey battling cancer.

What’s amazing is how far I’ve come…  Last month I was approved to travel in the US! For me, that was a huge reward. I felt like I was free again! Next thing you know, the O’Neal girls were on a flight to Washington D.C….. I had never been and let’s just say, I can’t wait to go back! I tried taking a bunch of pictures….. Now that I look back at them they are all blurry but at the time I thought they were perfect (life with a trimmer). Here are a few that turned out okay!

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The last day was rough for me… I tend to sometimes think I’m superwoman and do way more than I should do (to stubborn to learn from it). The 3 hour flight home felt like a million years and makes cringe just thinking about how miserable I felt. So miserable that we basically dropped our bags off at home and headed straight to the ER. I was admitted immediately and finally felt relief after I was put on a continuous drip of pain meds. After three days y’all, I felt like a new woman! The doctor finally let me go home, and guess who was there… My whole dang family! When you all don’t live in the same city, it’s hard to get everyone together as much we wish.. So I’m always thankful for time spent with my fam bam as it grows and grows.

The night I got home from the hospital, I realized it really probably wasn’t time. As much as I loved being home, I’m still struggling with extreme bone pain and am having to live off of pain meds… which SUCKS. Sucks so much. But just as everything else goes, “it will get better over time”. Oh, and you know that medicine “Prednisone” that made me EXTREMELY large.. I’m back on that so when you see a picture of a whale as you scroll through your Instagram or Facebook, don’t be alarmed. It’s just me 🙂 Heading to the doctor today to hopefully find an answer to whatever the heck is going on. Hoping for something that doesn’t make me fat, grumpy, or sleepy… that would be me dreaming though!

Some other super cool things have happened since the last time I posted…

I was finally able to meet Sydney, a sweet friend who also just received a bone marrow transplant. God called me into her life last fall when she was first diagnosed with AML and it has been the most special experience being able to connect with her. There is just something about having someone there who has gone through something similar that makes everything more comforting.. She is doing really well, but continue prayers for a quick recovery for her!

Also, I’ve been able to experience the rewarding feeling of being able to inspire others. It’s a feeling I can’t explain and something I hope to be able to continue to do. A good friend of mine from high school, Richard, has followed my journey since day one. We have built a special connection this past year with our journeys of “never giving up”. Although both of our journeys are completely different, we have been able to encourage each other to never stop fighting. Here is the story, from ESPN, about our relationship. I’m forever thankful for this friendship!

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Richard in his spring game! 

I always say this… but I hope to post more! (Laughing at myself, because I get worse and worse about it. Ugh) Maybe I’ll get news worth posting about today at the doctor, and you may here from me tomorrow! PRAYING

-XO Kara