*Surgery Update*

Sorry I have been absent for a couple days, I have been recovering from surgery. By the way, everything went amazing! For those who don’t know why I had surgery, I will explain..

Because of the cancer treatments and steroids they gave me, I got something called a vascular necrosis. Which essentially means my bones are dying. I have it in both my knees and my shoulder. In 2015, we had a bone graph done on my right knee. This winter, they did the exact same thing on my left knee. And then,  my shoulder ended up collapsing so we had to replace it in 2016.

Back to the surgery update.. I have been doing well since surgery. I am on a pain plan to help combat surgery pain as well as my regular pain. Although, my foot and my ankle are pretty swollen. We talked to the doctor and we are elevating it in a different way now that should help as well as icing. If it gets worse though, we will go to the ER straight away. But as of right now, we are working with our first plan.

Another thing I wanted to say was thank you for all your guys constant prayers and support. I feel as your guys love! Thank you so so so much! PLEASE continue to pray for a speedy recovery and healing.

Fly High

Taylor Hammond, my best friend and my little brother, you are gone but will never be forgotten. The way you lived your life was truly inspiring. Even on your roughest days you had a smile on your face. You had such a positive outlook on the world. I hope to live my life the way you did, never taking for granted everyday I am given.

I remember the conversations we had and the laughs we shared, I will cherish those moments forever. You had such a big heart and a larger than life personality. It hurts that your gone, but I know that you aren’t suffering anymore. I now have another angel to watch over me. I cry because I loved you.

I am tired of losing my friends to this monster called childhood cancer. An like all the others, I don’t want Taylor to JUST be apart of the “this many kids lost their battle this year” statistic. I want this to be fixed, we need to a cure. We haven’t been fighting all these years for nothing. His life and legacy means something. ALL of these kids lives mean something. We will keep fighting for a cure in their honor. And keep fighting for those who are currently in battle.

 

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I Am Struggling

I need some prayer right now. I am two years out of treatment and I am feeling sick and unwell. I’ve been going through this for 5 years now. An for the past few months its been hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am struggling. I am not in the best head space right now and I’m tired mentally and emotionally. I have fought for so long, its just seems like a never ending thing. An sometimes I feel like no one really listens, there are so many kids to worry about that I feel like I get lost in crowd. I just need you to pray that I can get out of this place I’m in right now. I would really appreciate it..
Alyssa Marie 💜

School Update

So this year, I am a Junior in High School. I don’t know why, but I just realized how fast senior year and then graduation is approaching. For the past few months, I have been looking at some Universities, mainly ones that have fashion programs. My top pick is FIDM – Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. For approximately, a month and a half now, I have been speaking with a lady named, Peggy Quayle, who is the Director of Admissions. She has been helping learn and prepare possible scholarship opportunities and early advantages I could have. Which for me is super exciting. If I keep my grades and GPA up, I could be excepted into the Junior Advantage program, which is where you basically get to experience the FIDM student life before college begins. I am also looking at being president or vice president of the Fashion Club at my school. One because I love it and two because I could get some amazing scholarships.  I have also been working very hard on my grades because honestly, at the beginning, my grades weren’t that great. I would have very bad anxiety attacks at school and due to that, I would miss school quite a bit. Now, I am doing better and getting everything on track. In fact, on my recent report card, I had only one C and the rest were A’s & B’s.

To be honest, God is just moving everything into place. I know God has a plan and I trust in Him to execute it. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me.

It ‘s Okay Not to Be Okay

So, I follow twin YouTubers named, The Dolan Twins. They are very funny and inspiring. They came out with a video on July 27, they were talking about not hiding your true feelings and acting happy when you are not.

The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLEOLQsmX3s

It reminded me of when I used to dumb down my pain or act as if I was okay. At one point, I thought I had to be strong and be the inspiration everyone said I was. I used to feel like I was burdening people when I was in pain. Whenever I was in pain, I felt like if I said something I would ruin what we were doing. I realized that it was not good to do that. I also realized it is okay not to be okay, I am going to hurt sometimes, I am going to feel sick sometimes. I don’t know maybe it was just me who thought this way. I do want other people going through similar things or anything at all, to know that it is okay not be okay. It is okay if your not up to doing anything, its okay if you feel sick or are hurting. Don’t do what I did, for a while it caused issues. I had to figure out what I could take and use for my pain because I was hurting myself by not saying anything.

Just wanted to tell you guys this and give some advice..

An Inspiring Song

I was on YouTube the other day I came across a song called Rise Up by Andra Day, it came out  in 2015 Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwgr_IMeEgA .

It is very inspiring to me. One of the lyrics is, “I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache”. Everyday during treatment, I struggled to get out of bed, it hurt and I felt so sick. Even now, dealing with all the side effects from treatment, I don’t feel like getting up out of bed. Knowing I have my family right by me and God giving me strength each everyday helps me get up and fight through the day. I do want to say, you are not alone, you have my support. I have lost so many people through this journey, and I WILL RISE UP AND FIGHT FOR YOU AND THEM.

It’s Official…

So I had a doctors appointment with my knee doctor and we discussed whether or not I am going to have surgery. It’s official I will be having surgery on MY left knee during Christmas break, so I don’t miss any school. It is basically the same as last time, with my right knee. We still need to make the final decisions about if we’re going to use a graft or cement in my leg. Please continue to keep my family and I in your prayers as we make the final decision on what to use for this surgery.

California Trip

I first of all want to thank Nicole and Brian, close family friends, for taking us with you to California, Universal Studios and to flying.

This Summer, Nicole and Brian invited us to go with them to California for a trip. We went to Universal Studios, which by the way was amazing! I actually like it better than Disneyland, I would definitely go back. We went on quite a few rides, captured some moments with our cameras and made memories. I was so excited to go to Harry Potter Land, I love the movies and plan on reading the books. It was so cool to see all the different shops they had there. I really liked the butter beer, it was delicious. One of my favorite parts was that we got to spend time together and I got to see all the joy in everyone’s eyes. It was truly a fun time at Universal Studios. I want to thank Uncle Michael for all he did for us and spending the day with us.

We also got to fly!! That was all thanks to Jim Churchman and his crew. You can go to facebook and his website to read fully what he is all about..  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSmileHighClub/  Website: https://www.smilehighclubinc.com/                                                                    He helped us all fly like superheros.. His mission is to “make you fly like the superhero you already are, we can create smiles and memories that will last forever.” from his website. He put us on a belly board and made us fly, he also can hook you up in your wheelchair and can make you fly. It was so much fun and really put a smile on my face. For a child or anyone going through treatment this is a way to take your mind off your treatments and put a smile on your face. I think it was really cool because my brother was really hesitant at first but then Jim talked to him and got him to do it in the wheel chair. He was tense at first but he loosened up and enjoyed himself, each time he went faster and faster.  I love what he is doing and I thank him for giving us this experience, I truly enjoyed myself. I hope guys go check them out and donate if you can.

We also got to go to the Santa Monica Pier! I have never been and it was so much fun. We rode lots of rides, took some pictures and had some snacks. I had a great time.

Shoulder Doctor Appointment

On July 7, 2017 I went to see Dr. Kam, the doctor who did my half shoulder replacement. I first want to say he is an amazing doctor and I am so thankful to him.

We talked about my range of motion since I last seen him, since I haven’t been in PT, he said it is better than last time. I wasn’t sure if it was because of not being in PT. We also talked about how long ago my surgery was, which is 1 year as of June 24. I am so proud of the progress I have made. We have now worked up to seeing him once a year, of course we can come in sooner if needed. Most of all, I am so proud of my progress. This surgery has taken away my pain, besides a little pain ever so often, and now I can move it without hurting. I thank my family for being by my side through all of this. I also thank God for helping make the decision to go forward with all of that as well as him put his hands on the nurses and surgeons.

Maybe by the next time I need another shoulder replacement, we will some new things we don’t have now..