Archive for March, 2012

How to Save a Life

Posted in Uncategorized on March 29, 2012 by briannadiehl

Step one: Find a blood drive.

Step two: Go to the blood drive.

Step three: Give blood & save a life.

Never realized just how easy it could be.  I never had any desire to give blood, ever.  But now that my mom has Leukemia, I not only felt the desire, but an obligation to do so.  I’ve been there firsthand when she’s received platelets from someone who so generously did just as I have, and many others did today at Otterbein.  I was so surprised to see how many students give blood, it’s such a great thing.

The Red Cross is always in need of blood, 5 million patients need blood every year in the U.S. alone.  It can save a person’s life in so many situations, just one pint of blood could potentially save three lives.  Every 2 seconds a person is in need of a blood transfusion.  A fact I found to be extremely ironic, is that blood platelets, extremely important for cancer patients, only have a shelf life of 5 days.  So who knows?!  My mom might even receive some of my platelets, regardless, I’ll be helping someone very soon.

The Red Cross hosts over 200,000 blood drives every year, and I strongly encourage people to go out and donate.  All I know, is that the people who need the blood, have gone through much worse than a little needle prick.    I’m so glad that I was able to give blood, and I can’t wait to donate again.

P.S. An update on my mom for those of you who do not have her on facebook:  She is doing pretty well, just tired and ready to come home!  Still unsure about the date of the cord blood transplant.  Keep praying ❤

 

 

 

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Spiritual Spring Break

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on March 13, 2012 by briannadiehl

Twins? Having a great time on my spring break!

It’s funny, and sad at the same time, how events like my mom’s leukemia, can make a person more spiritual.  After learning that I’d only get to spend just three short days with my mom, before she went back up to the James, I was devastated.  Most college students have plans to spend their spring break in a different place, be it a beach, a big city, a warmer climate, whatever.  I was just excited to come home and see my family.  Even though I only got to see my mom for three days, it was the longest I had got to see her in a long time.

On Friday, I rushed home so that Mear’s Photography could take our family portrait for an art show they are having at the pump house in June.  It showcases Cancer patients and their loved ones.  It was fun, and I can’t wait to see the finished product.  On Saturday I got up extra early and made breakfast for my mom and sister, and I must say, it was pretty delicious!  Later that evening, my mom and her friend Melissa went for a walk and I went running and walked with them some.  Then we watched Marley & Me, which really makes me want a puppy (LOL) and did our nails.

Sunday was fun too.  I got to spend some extra time with my sister and we went to Easton to get her an outfit for her upcoming senior pictures.  We even stopped at Yagoot for some fro-yo. YUM!  Then, Sunday evening we went over to Karen Leeth’s house, one of my mom’s long time friends, and had a prayer circle.  My mom brought me and my sister up Catholic and I’ve always been very thankful of that.  Over the years we got really busy and made less and less time for God.  It was never something either of us meant to do, it just sort of happened, though whenever I am having a rough time, I’ve always turned to God.

Especially now, I know that God has a hand in all of this; He has a plan for my mom, and sooner or later it will be made clear.  Untill then, we have to trust that he will continue guiding us and keeping our faith in his decisions strong.  We should not be afraid.

That’s what our prayer circle comes into play.  As Catholics, we did the rosary.  I’d have to do a whole other post to explain the significance of the rosary but if you’d like to see what I’m talking about you can refer to this article on wikipedia to get an idea: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosary But, long story short, the rosary helps us concentrate on what we are trying to pray for, and to help get our prayers heard.  I was very moved on Sunday, and I feel like our prayers were being heard.  There is just something about a strong circle of faithful women deep in prayer that stirs a part of your soul that you forgot was there.

And, I say faithful, not Catholic, for a reason.  Not all of my mom’s friends are Catholic, which is great.  We had some women there that prayed the rosary with us, that were accepting of it just because it was a form of praying, and in the words of Michon Ekvall, “Prayer is prayer!” and I couldn’t agree more.  I found a really cool blog that addresses this subject and I tend to agree with most of the points it brings up: http://thinkingreed.wordpress.com/2006/02/15/can-protestants-pray-the-rosary/

Prayer is so important.  It comes in so many different forms and they all are beautiful in their own way.  On Sunday we had normal prayer, song, and the rosary.  It was a great experience and really made me a more spiritual person.  I have grown closer to my family in just three days, than I have in three years, and that is a miracle in and of itself.  Yes, I knew this spring break was not going to be a normal one, but I’m okay with that.  It’s been full of surprises, and I’ve come to expect the unexpected.

The first prayer circle, so glad I was able to come this weekend!

I hope everyone continues praying, mom is back in the hospital now, me and my BFF Johna took her up to the James yesterday.  She’ll be doing another round of chemo, and then in about 8 weeks, they will really blast it out of her system and give her the cord blood transplant.  Thank you to everyone who is praying and encouraging my mom, it helps so much.

When You’re Weak, I’ll Be Strong

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 7, 2012 by briannadiehl

Well, I knew this week was gonna be a long one, especially since spring break starts Friday.  I knew I’d need a LOT of energy and motivation to get through these last tests I have, before I can come home.  I’ve been eating super healthy (and even taking my vitamins!) and for the first time in forever, I actually ran 3 miles- which I haven’t done since my cross country days…

All in all, staying on top of my work, and being extra healthy really has given me tons of energy and strength.  Unfortunately, I had no idea just how much this energy and strength was going to come in handy and just how soon.

Mom had her doctor’s appointment today and they found out that the leukemia is back.

Now, I just want to point out that there are many ways you can take news like this.  Obviously, it’s upsetting, we all want it to be over.  But, at the same time, we’ve all known that cancer is never an easy battle.  The way I choose to look at it, is that we got lucky the first time, most AML patients (2/3’s to be exact) don’t even go into remission after the first round of chemo, which my mom did.  So, now that it is back, we just take it one day at a time, like we did before.

Mom will be back in the hospital soon and the doctors have a plan ready for her when she gets there.  We all know she can beat this, so keep sending her encouraging comments/notes/etc because we’ve got to keep her spirits high!  And keep the prayers coming, God has a plan for her too, and we need all the strength we can get.

“When you’re weak, I’ll be strong When you let go, I’ll hold on When you need to cry, I swear that I’ll be there to dry your eyes When you feel lost and scared to death, Like you can’t take one more step Just take my hand, together we can do it I’m gonna love you through it. “

http://youtu.be/WxIt70j_SPk

P.S. Check out Martina McBride’s song (it’s the link above), it’s super inspiring and just puts into 4 minutes and thirty seconds how important love and faith is in a time like this. 

Wish I’d Never Grown Up, It Could Still Be Simple

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on March 1, 2012 by briannadiehl

Wow, It’s been quite some time since I’ve written a post on here!  What can I say, school is in full swing, and I am definitely living up to being BZ BRI… (Lol)

Part of the reason I haven’t blogged much lately, is due to the fact that I really haven’t had much to blog about.  Most of you already know that my mom was released to my grandparents house to recover, and now she is back to recovering at home.  It’s been a slower process than we have expected, but slow and steady wins the race, at least that’s what I’ve been told!  We don’t really know what the future holds for us right now and my parents have some tough decisions to make, regarding the route of treatment my mom will get, once her counts have gone up.

Everyone’s prayers have definitely made a world of difference.  We have a long road ahead of us, but so far, everything has went better than expected.  My mom is an inspiration to everyone, even if she has had a rough day, no one would even notice because her spirit shines, and she has such a positive attitude.  Please continue praying for strength and guidance as my family has to make these decisions in the upcoming weeks.

Also, I’d like to thank everyone, especially my mom’s close friends, who have visited her in the hospital and at home.  You guys have really helped maintain such an optimistic and positive atmosphere.  I can only imagine how difficult it must be, to have your daily routine restricted due to your health.  Not being able to work or go out in public really puts a damper on your social life!  But, because of friends and family, you have all kept her life interesting!  It’s great hearing from my mom after she has spent time with all of you, I can just tell that after these visits keep her spirit uplifted.

Keeping that in mind, I’d just like to remind anyone that does venture to see her, as much as this helps her spirit, you must be aware of your personal health as well.  This time of year is especially bad, but even if you suspect you may be getting ill, or even if you think you just have the sniffles, or allergies, this could potentially put my mom back in the hospital, and we don’t want that!

Trust me, even I could not stay home when I came back to visit, all because of a darn cold!  It really stinks, but we all just have to be germaphobic for a while, and if that’s what will help my mom stay healthy, then I say BRING ON THE VITAMIN C AND HAND SANITIZER.

O.K, so… completely switching gears.  On a positive note, I just recently got a job!  I’m nervous and excited at the same time.  I started last week at the Westerville Grill and I’m being trained as a waitress.  It’s pretty fun so far, and last night I actually got to serve a couple of people, and even got a few tips!$!$! This is really going to be a test of my time management, considering all my schoolwork and sorority activities, but I’m confident I can handle it.  I guess we’ll see!

2012 may not be the end of the world(teehee, see what I did there ;P), but I’m definitely getting a glimpse of what it means to be an adult in the real world.  Mom’s leukemia, living in a new city, college, getting a job; all are challenging, but I’ve tried to face each one with a positive attitude an open mind, and a smile on my face.  I’ve grown up so much in the past year, I hardly recognize myself anymore.  Not that I’m a different person, but I’ve become a stronger more independent woman.  That’s life for you though, they say God won’t put you through anything that God knows you can’t handle, and they couldn’t have said it any better.