Natalia's journey

In reality our entire family news will be shared through this blog as our baby grows and as we fight cancer.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

200+ days and still clean!

It's all good and I am soooo happy! My right lung is all clean and the left one has a few tiny "clouds" left -- the doctor is not concerned and so I am not worried either! My mass is about the same size as before so I guess I'll just have a war medal in my chest forever :) And, I was taken off 2 of the pills, which have been keeping my blood counts low but again, my doctor is not worried because the counts have been steady and he thinks in about 2-4 weeks they will improve and so will my energy and appetite. He was concerned about my weight (I am now at 107 lbs) and honestly, I have no clue why I am this way as I am eating more and more so I am personally not too preoccupied -- you know, weight gain has never been an issue in this country! Hugs and kisses to everyone!!! Thank you for your prayers!!!

Oh, and thank you all for the prayers for Alese - she is out of ICU and back home!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Happy New Year!

Today is spring equinox - official new life beginning for our Mother Nature and an official Holiday for the Bahai's who call New Year "Naw-Ruz". My belly is still stuffed with the awesome food in abundance last night -- can we celebrate more often?! And this has been a new life beginning for me as well... I've had a lot of prayer requests during the fast and to my surprise 3 big ones already came true in the last few days! So looks like this will be a very promising and exciting year. At the moment I am waiting to be called for my CAT scan at MD Anderson and I am pretty calm - I know it will all be good, if anything, I am curious to see how much more my residual mass shrank - I'd be super happy if it's around 1 cm or less. And I am confident I am still CANCER-FREE. I even believe that the residual pneumonia is gone :) It's good to believe but facts are nice as well (for extra support) so I'll know the results next Tuesday -- stay tuned!

And thank you for all the prayers for Alese -- I know my prayer for her has been answered and though she is still in ICU I am confident she will make it. I also wish they'd choose MD Anderson -- the quality of care would be better in my humble opinion. She has a rough road ahead of her - second SCT (transplant) -- I wish her all the mighty strength!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Calling for your help for a Miracle to happen!

I am very heart broken about Alese's news yet I am very determined to help in any way I can. I firmly believe in the power of prayer and positive thoughts and I ask every one who reads this blog to take a minute out of your busy day and send the most powerful positive vibrations of healing and recovery to Alese. I've added a counter to the site 3 months ago and looks like our blog gets about 1,000 visits a month so imagine the power of at least 250 people praying and thinking of Alese. Her dad called me when our own lives where in crumbles due to cancer, when we were lost, confused and disheartened. He was extremely supportive and exhibited lots of good will that energized me and I know Alese is the same way -- she does not give up even in face of death yet at this time she needs any extra healing support you can give.And I know I should be detached from all that may happen but I can't -- I cried reading about her sufferings and could not help but blame that doctor who made such a stupid mistake installing a catheter -- it's not that of a difficult procedure -- I've had it done 3 times and 2 went very smooth so I am just devastated for her. I think it's even more intense for me because I've been having sleep issues again for the last week or so. We've had other tests and difficulties that aren't cancer related but I feel I have no right to complain so just keep us along in your hearts and thoughts as you pray for Alese. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Happy Women's Day!

I wish all the women and girls reading this blog to stay forever young and forever beautiful, be full of vibrant energy with good humor and positive attitude about life! March 8 is big in Russia -- it's actually a day off so I hope that everyone can treat themselves to something nice after a long day at work or school :)

Cancer-wise, I will be attending a retreat for women touched by cancer tomorrow at MD Anderson -- I am looking forward to doing something pleasant and relaxing at MDA -- I have mixed emotions about the place since most of the time being there is no fun. And my CAT scan is coming up in two weeks but for the time being I am just simply not thinking about it.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Spring is in the air!

It's March and spring is here! It's one week since I am done with the radiation -- my throat is fine now and so is my skin though I am very sensitive to the sun. My skin was burning yesterday since we spent a few hours outside. I think it will be tough for me to remember to apply sunscreen all the time -- so please remind me whenever you see me!

It strikes me that every culture and/or religion likes to celebrate spring in it's own way ... for example, in my home country Moldova, there is this wonderful tradition of 'Martsishor' where for the first few weeks of spring everyone wears a small ornament of white and red flowers which are a symbols of a long time legend about life and love that are renewed each spring. At the end of 2 weeks those in love exchange the martsishors, others hang them on the trees for good luck.... I came across one three years ago when we were home -- it's in my hand in the picture below.

And in my Faith, I am a Baha'i, there's 4 days of celebration where everyone exchanges gifts and loads up on good food, cause fasting comes next (in fact, it starts tomorrow and will go on for 19 days). Fasting is the time of spiritual and physical purification for the soul and body, a time to meditate upon the year that's about to end while setting new goals for the year to come. Of course, while I can't do the physical part of the fast this year I've got a lot to pray about -- the gratitude of another year to live and see my baby grow, my husband who stood by my side in the good, the bad and the most ugly days of my life, my co-workers who've supported me and my family throughout the treatment, my friends that I truly know are 'friends indeed' and all the random new people that have entered our life for a not so random purpose of help in need.

Likewise, in the Russian Orthodox tradition, there is a period of "Maslenitsa" right before the Great Lent where for a week everyone enjoys bliny (a cross between crepes and pancakes), with the last day of maslenitsa being the Forgiveness day, when we say to each other "God forgives so I forgive". In fact, we had a mini celebration of maslenitsa and my end of treatment a week ago with a few girlfriends of mine .... see another picture below and notice the huge contrast of my hair then and now!

Martsishor on the cherry blosom tree

Celebrating Russian Maslenitsa