Valentine’s Reminder

HeartI hope you had a terrific weekend and celebrated love. And yes, it is great opportunity to take a pause and cherish love and friendship. Many of you might be surprised since in Mexico Valentine’s Day is the day to celebrate not only love but friendship. I have great memories from High School when we celebrated El Dia del Amor y la Amistad (The day of Love and Friendship). Each year high school seniors dressed formally and delivered letters, roses, flowers, and brought Serenata (Serenade) on behalf of others. It was a lot of fun not only because seniors will raise money towards graduation or a trip, but because classes were interrupted by deliveries, guitars, and short love songs. I also remember girls always competing to see who will receive the highest number of roses and letters. Obviously your heart will be broken if you didn’t receive a rose, flower, or a letter (not fun). Regardless, even though Valentine’s day is a popular and commercial day I like the reminder that love prevails and surrounds us. Love is manifested in many shapes and forms through our friends, colleagues, family,our faith, even strangers, and our furry friends. But most importantly love is a gift from God.

I know. I haven’t shared on the blog my thoughts and feelings about faith and it has been on purpose since I struggled to make peace with the challenges I faced and for a long time I felt I was left behind. It was until I started reading about faith that I understood that faith is about trust and letting go, about the belief of a greater plan for us, the deep understanding that we are not alone and instead we are blessed with love, resources, faith, and strength to persevere.

The last couple of weeks have been tough because I am going through a roller coaster of emotions and I am nervous about my upcoming scans in March 2. Physically I feel stronger and better each day, I am able to run a bit more and my hair keeps growing and the graft-versus-host on my skin is less painful and noticeable. Emotionally most days I feel super excited, positive, and great; but others I feel the complete opposite. Despite difficult days, I know I will persevere.

I will keep you posted and thank you for reading!

Lots of Love,

-Bea

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Battle Mode – Round 2

I took a break from writing on the blog because I wanted to take some time off after the treatment and the intense but fun projects I have been involved at work. But I am back to share with you our favorite recipes and the adventures and feelings of the new battle I have to fight. This is round 2.

For Thanksgiving we traveled to Bloomington, IL. We spent a day in Chicago – what a great city, – it was almost 18 years ago since last time I visited the windy city. We had such a fabulous.

A great day n Chicago
A great day in Chicago

I had a CT scan which showed an increase in the size of a lymph node on my neck. The fear of having the Lymphoma back was quite evident.

And yes, unfortunately the Lymphoma is back and not only back but it seems that I have a combination of two types of Lymphoma (Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkins). This combination is known as the “Grey Zone Lymphoma” a rare type of the disease discovered in 1998 that affects a very small percentage of patients. Definitely, I am going to buy several lottery tickets, perhaps I will have the same luck.

I had a partial biopsy of the lymph node, but yesterday I had a full surgery to remove three big nodes on my neck. I am doing well just tired and sore but feeling better.

On mid-December I will start chemotherapy again, it seems that the treatment is intense and concludes with a “stem or bone marrow” transplant, but let’s see….. I am quite disappointed and angry this time (but I will get over it). My hair was growing back and I was starting to recover my strength.

I have no choice, I am in round 2 of a battle that I know I am going to win. This time I am thinking about cutting my hair to be ready for this crazy battle. I  like Charlize Theron’s haircut for the role she performed in the soon-to-be-released movie Mad Max.

Thank you to my family and friends that have been praying and thinking about Dave and I.

I am strong believer that love, a positive attitude, and a warrior spirit can get you through the most adverse and difficult circumstances.

I am ready….