Just a Hufflepuff and a Ravenclaw

The Honeymoon

Nothing about our story has been normal, and our honeymoon wasn’t any different. Originally when Jon and I first got engaged back in August, I started looking at all-inclusive stays in the Caribbean. I wanted to go somewhere hot and somewhere neither one of us has been before.  We were going to go away for 10 days and it was going to be PERFECT!!!!….But of course with everything that has transpired in the past 7 months that dream honeymoon was just not an option anymore.

Jon and I had no idea when we’d be able to go on our honeymoon with chemo and my new job about to start. I was preparing myself that it would be at least another year before we would be able to take a real vacation and who knows how Jon would feel after doing chemo for a year. So yea I was getting pretty bummed that one more thing was going to be taken away from me.

Until a wonderful organization gave us an amazing opportunity!

Making Our Honeymoon Possible

Spark the Way is a nonprofit organization in Florida that Jon has gotten connected with and they have helped support us in our time of need. Their annual gala event was scheduled for the beginning of March. The girl who started this organization asked Jon for a video to introduce himself and his story to give people a glimpse at what young adults with cancer go through. One night I looked at Jon and said that would be fun to go to next year if we could, and Jon looks back at me and said, “Why not this year?”

Our honeymoon could not have been more perfect! We were able to get away for about a week and go to Tampa, Florida, which was warm for a Washington native. (Apparently not so much for Florida natives even though it was like between 70 and 75 degrees).  Our honeymoon consisted of a hotel on the water, laying poolside, Universal Studios/Harry Potter, a spring training game, a fancy gala, the second highest rated beach in America and the man of my DREAMS!

Some Trip Highlights

Jon got to experience a theme park for the first time in 13 years! It was so amazing getting to see him just be a kid again and enjoy something that many of us have taken for granted! And if any of you know Jon well, he LOVES Harry Potter! Going to universal studios and experiencing the magic of the Harry Potter sets and rides was amazing!

We spontaneously were able to go see a Phillies’ spring training game. On our way to church Sunday, we drove by the Phillies’ training facility, and I love baseball, so I looked up their game schedule and it just so happened they had a game at 1pm that afternoon. It was great! After church we went to sunny, major league spring training game!

The Spark the Way gala was super fun! We got to get all dressed up, had dinner, and spent the night hearing from young adult fighters similar to Jon. The night was full of laughter and tears. They had an auction to raise money to support more cancer fighters. Jon and I were given the opportunity to get up on the stage and share our story which was a really awesome experience!

Our Support

Jon and I are experiencing hard and unexpected situations, but God has been sooooo good sprinkling in times of joy and giving us opportunities to make incredible memories! We could not be more thankful! It is possible to be hopeful and joyful in times of despair and darkness! We also could not have made this trip happen if it wasn’t for our parents and the incredible people at Spark the Way! If you haven’t checked them out, YOU. NEED. TO.

 

 

 

Untimely News

Valentine’s day

Valentine’s Day to a lot of people is a day of love. To me it’s just another day. I’m the type of person that gets more excited about the candy sales the day after than the actual day itself. This year was our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple! A little more to look forward too than past years. We originally were planning to do dinner and a movie, a classic Valentine’s Day. Instead, we had to schedule an appointment with an oncologist to get a second opinion. So our Valentine’s Day ended up being the weekend before. The weekend was well spent! We did a simple lunch, dinner and a movie! Nothing too crazy, but it was perfect!

the appointment

Unfortunately, the oncology appointment did not go how we expected it to…The oncologist was very nice, but straightforward and to the point. We were told that my husband has Stage 4 appendicieal adnocarcaonoma ex goblet cell carcinoid. A lot of big words that weren’t super familiar to us, but hearing Stage 4 was difficult. After that we talked about chemo options and what that looked like which seemed pretty routine and what we were expecting. Then the oncologist looked at us and asked if we would like to know what the average life expectancy was for this type of cancer. Jon and I unanimously said yes, of course we wanted to know what we were dealing with! The average life expectancy for this type of cancer is between 2.5 to 5 years.

 

Not what I wanted to hear after being married for only 3 months…

 

I lost it and couldn’t hold the tears back. A lot of things started racing through my head and I don’t remember much of what the oncologist said after that. I just wanted to be home.

next steps

After we got home that day, we sat on the couch and cried together not really knowing what would come next. Although it was a hard time, being together in that moment felt perfect! We truly had nothing left and the only thing we could do was pray. Moving forward we will still do chemotherapy and live life as much as possible because Jon is young and pretty healthy other than the big words that are attached to him. Just because we were given a number doesn’t mean we need to give up and call it quits. We have endured a lot since we got married, but we do not regret any decisions we have made since the diagnosis!

Cancer: The word no one wants to talk about

Cancer

My fiancé was diagnosed with cancer about four months ago. He went in for a procedure that should have been routine and then I got the call. My husband has suffered from Crohn’s disease for about 13 years now. It was time to get him some relief. We had scheduled a surgery to take out his colon. He went in for the surgery and the doctors had opened him up and found what no one wants. Cancerous tumors were sitting in my husband’s appendix, colon and abdomen. I had to wait a couple of hours before I could go into see him, but when I did we cried as the doctors told him his situation. My husband had cancer.
We spent three nights in the hospital not knowing much and planning on how to move forward. I have student loans and was working a job that was barely paying for my expenses. My fiance had a full-time, big boy job at least. But with the new medical expenses that would be coming up, we were unsure of how we would make it through. Thankfully his sister asked to set us up a fundraiser that which would end up providing us most of what we need. The community surrounded us was incredible! They came alongside us with donations, meals and emotional support!

Living Through Cancer

Through all this we still had to plan a wedding. We had picked a date for May of 2018 which gave us 9 months to plan. Unfortunately, not being married was going to make the road ahead very difficult. So we had to make a choice…
…and 9 days later we were married! With the help of our family and our pastor we planned an intimate, beautiful wedding! November 10th, 2017 was one of the best days of my life! The wedding happened in a familiar church we had been attending. Present were our close families and couple close friends. It was the type of wedding I didn’t know I needed. We are still going through with the “wedding” in May, but it’ll be more like a party with family and friends. In other words, a lot of the pressures of planning are no more! Yes, they still have to get done, but so what if something goes wrong. We are already married and have been going through the ups and downs of life for six months by that point.
So at the age of 23 I am happily married to the man of my dreams with just a slight little hiccup…he has cancer. Cancer has brought many sorrows, but in an indirect way it also brought great joy! My husband and I made the decision that cancer is not going to slow us down! We fight everyday side by side. He is the love of my life and I’m so very thankful that he is mine!
Photo by www.jakecampbellphoto.com