So many things have happened since last time I wrote…a week and half ago. Haha. Where to start? Mmmmm…. My days have all kind of mixed together. Wish me luck!A few weeks ago, I noticed a sign in the student elevator in the building live in. It said that the PRI office was hiring a new RA. I thought, “huh, that would be fun” and then went along with my day. I was hanging out with my friends that night and someone mentioned that they had seen the housing office was hiring…and “Sarah! You’d be sooo great at that job. You should apply!!” There were several “mms” and “yeahs” in agreement. I told them I’d think about it. A few days later, I was talking to Mom (and Dad a different time) about the possibility of being an RA. I told them that I had been praying about if I should even apply. Being the amazing parents they are, they were both very supportive in my decision, whatever it may be. I went and picked up an application…and continued to pray. I hadn’t gotten a “no” from Heavenly Father, so I filled out the application. When I turned it in, Veronica stopped me before I left the room. “Hey! Can you come in for an interview on Tuesday?” “Yeah, sure!” “Great. Thanks! You saved me from having to call you in about an hour to ask the same question. Haha!”
Tuesday came and the interview went soooo great! I was professional, confident, and really relaxed. One of the questions Judy asked the dreaded question about what my weakness was. My answer was kind of an out of body experience. I didn’t want to say something that everyone says. I sat and thought for a second and opened my mouth. I said that I’m really enthusiastic, probably to a fault. It was crazy!! What was I even saying?! I went on to explain that I put my whole heart and soul into everything. I sometimes will get so focused on something that other aspects of my life get ignored…a little. I gave an example when I was able to use my enthusiasm during a situation and how I was continually learning how to balance my enthusiasm. It was a pretty cool answer. The girls interviewing me were impressed with my all of my other answers too. They were both really excited at the possibility of having me on their team.
Several days went by and I hadn’t heard anything. I was getting anxious! Sunday rolled around and I ran into Veronica. She asked me if I was busy the next day and then informed me that I had a second interview with her, Judy, and Mr. Workman (the big head hauncho). I was super excited. This interview went wonderfully too! It was about an hour long. The first 15ish minutes, Mr. Workman gave me different situations and asked me how I would handle them. Some were pretty low key while others were big deal issues I might come across. After he had finished his portion, he turned to Judy and Veronica. “I have no worries here. She seems like a wonderful candidate. I would be happy to recommend her for the job.” After we said goodbye, he left. Judy and Veronica asked me some more questions, gave me some more in depth information with what the job would entail, what I would get for being a RA, and some other things like that. The more I talked with them, the more excited I got about maybe getting this job!
Fast forward to the next day. I’m at lunch with my Dad. I had a doctor appointment for following up on something. (No, not dermatology. That comes later. Don’t worry. I’ll touch on this appointment too. Patience.) Anyway, I get a text from Veronica asking if I could com down to her office at noon the next day. Of course, I said yes. I didn’t know why she wanted to meet with me but I was secretly hoping that it was to offer me the job. Haha. I got up the next morning and got ready for my day faster than I had thought it would take. It was a good thing too because as soon as I finished, I got another text from Veronica asking if I could come at 11 instead. That was in about ten minutes but I was ready to be there…early in fact! Yay! As I was finishing brushing my teeth, it dawned on me that Wednesdays at 11 is when the RA’s (both the girl’s RAs and the boy’s RA) with Veronica and Judy. I got even more excited. Did that mean I got the job?!
I went to Veronica’s office and ran into my friend Miguel. It turned out that he had interviewed for Ben’s position. (Ben was moving and wouldn’t be the RA anymore.) We stood there talking for a second before Veronica called us both in her office. We had some small talk before Judy came in with some paperwork. She closed the door and officially offered me and Miguel the RA positions!! Hooray! I got a name tag and master keys. (I actually got the keys today…but it’s fine!) I feel very official and powerful when I have them. After we had signed our contracts, we were invited to sit in and listen/watch the meeting with the current RA’s.
Holy crap!! It’s definitely going to take some time to get the hang of everything… I’m so grateful that I have another RA here to help me. (There’s two RA’s for the girls and one for the boys. I’m really glad that I’m not the RA there!) I’m excited to work with this team and get to know them better!! I had my official training at today’s meeting. There was so much information it was like trying to drink out of a fire hose. (I love that phrase! It makes perfect sense and gives a wonderful visualization!) I can’t think straight. I know it’ll take some times to get everything down but I’m looking forward to this job so much!!
It’s been kind of a surreal experience. During this whole process, I never felt nervous, scared, worried…nothing! I felt peace and confidence. It was weird. Usually when I interview for a job, especially one that I really want, I get nervous and can’t sit still. That wasn’t the case this time. Even though I really wanted this job, I was totally fine at the possibility of not getting it. I know that Heavenly Father was keeping an eye on me and that’s why I’ve been calm during the last couple of weeks.
Speaking of Heavenly Father keeping an eye on me, I had a doctor appointment to follow up some concerning results to a test. (Oh my gosh. Be patient!! It wasn’t the dermatologist appointment!!) At my annual biopsies, I have to collect a stool sample. Gross, I know, but that’s my life! Those results came back with traces of blood in it. Totally not normal! So I had to come do it again. I did… This time, the results had MORE traces in it. What?! I hadn’t talked to my heart team about it yet, but my liver doctor was totally on top of it! …It probably helped that I was in for a clinic visit to her when she showed me the results. Before my transplant, I had some really sketchy veins in my esophagus called Varicose Veins. They were swollen and they were at risk for being rubbed wrong and popping, causing internal bleeding. Because 1. it’d been a while since we checked out those veins and 2. I had blood in my stool, she ordered a endoscopy and colonoscopy. That’s what I was doing at the doctor on the Tuesday that Veronica had texted me. Dad came down and I got to spend the day with him. Things went really well. The prep was just lovely… *insert eye roll* It was obvious that the doctor who would be doing the procedure didn’t know my personality because he he asked me how the prep went. Being me, I said, “Oh it was my favorite thing! I should do that kind of cleaning out more often!!” The nurses laughed but he just looked at me with a blank and very confused stare. I just laughed and told him that it went just fine. We talked a little and then the put me to sleep. Oh my goodness, I wish I could have that kind of help sleeping all the time! Haha.
Recovery went really smoothly too. I was awake and ready to leave within maybe a half an hour after the scope had been in me. Before I could leave, the doctor came in to talk to me and Dad. “So, before you went to sleep, do you remember me asking if you ever get heartburn?” “Yep.” “Do you ever lay down and just hurt?” No…?” “Oh, so you’re one of THOSE people! You have acid reflux…” “Yeah, I’ve had that since before transplant.” “Okay. Sometimes it can be so internal, people don’t feel it. You’re one of those people. You have ulcers all over your esophagus. Take 40mg of omeprizole twice a day, or something like it that works with your other meds. Talk to your transplant team, take what they say…and then come see me again in three months.” “Oh…okay.” “Also, the varicose veins are gone. I didn’t see anything!” I thanked him, we said goodbye, and Dad took me to lunch! It was a pretty good day.
Okay… Finally. The moment you’ve been waiting for!! It’s time. I’ll now tell the tale of visiting my dermatologist. My appointment was Monday afternoon, so we came down Sunday night. (Oh yeah, I was in Idaho for the weekend. That was fun.) Shannon and Jesse have a baby!!! She is the cutest!! She’s perfect and so tiny! Mom says that she’s the same size I was when I was born.
She wears premie diapers. They are literally the size of my hand!! I changed her diaper and started crying… It was great! So, the reason I told you that they have a baby is because that’s part of the reason we came back to Utah Sunday night. They live in Provo so it was easy to go say hi and give loves for a bit. After the visit, we went back to my apartment and slept.
The next day, we got up and ready for our day. Rachel wanted to come to this appointment too but had plans Sunday night, so she was going to drive down in the morning. Oh, it was so fun to have Mom AND Rach here for this appointment. We decided that we needed to go to lunch before the doctor.
Rachel needed somewhere to park her car…because she didn’t want to drive alone everywhere and that doesn’t really make sense so I texted Ben. He was the RA at the Lodge and I’m great friends with him so I figured that he’d let Rach park there for the day.
Our conversation went like this:
Me: Heyy! So…my sister is coming down for the day and I was wondering if it would be okay if she could park at the lodge while she’s here? (That way she wouldn’t have to pay for parking… Haha). If it helps sway your answer, I’d be glad to bribe you with cookies.
Him: Sound good.
So with that taken care of, we decided to meet her at the lodge and just all ride in Mom’s car. While we were waiting for her to get here, I got to talk to Brad on the phone about my doctor appointment, the day’s plans, and I invited him to come to lunch with us. He wasn’t sure he would be able to make it but wanted to meet up with us before we left so he could meet Mom and Rachel, and give me a hug. We made plans and hung up. We invited Charlotte to come to lunch too! She got shoes on and we all got into the car. We got there and Brad was there…in his car “sleeping.” I got out and ran over to bang on his window. He got out, gave hugs, and I made introductions between him and Mom. We all waited for a little bit longer for Rachel…and she called Mom completely lost. She got there eventually, and I ran over and we almost tipped over because we hugged each other so hard. She hugged Mom, I made introductions again. I convinced Brad to come to lunch and we all climbed into Mom’s car and drove to Zupas!! It’s probably one of my favorite places. We ate lunch, talked, laughed, and had a great time. After lunch, we dropped Charlotte and Brad off and went to my appointment. (I’m such a slacker… I don’t have a picture of us at lunch. I’m sorry!!!)
I hadn’t been very worried about this appointment…until now. I hadn’t given myself a chance to really think about what was going on regarding my face. When I had initially gone to see him, he gave me some ointment to make the sores go away…but took a biopsy of one of the spots, too, just in case. The sores went away so I almost kind of forgot that I had cancer. It’s weird. Anyway, I hadn’t processed the diagnosis or something so on the way to the appointment, it really hit me what was happening. I’m so grateful that my mom and sister where there.
I got called back and the three of us filed into the room. I was there for an ED&C. It’s a super simple procedure that took like ten minutes! They numbed the area and electrically burned the spot. Crazy easy. The site itches because it’s healing but it hasn’t really actually hurt so that’s nice. I mean, it did when the Novocain started wearing off but that’s about all.
Sorry, before the procedure happened, the doctor said that the carcinoma was only in one spot! What?! So, all the other sores on my face was actually impetigo like he thought!! Children…and people with weak immune systems can have a reaction that is a mix of staff and strep on their skin, called impetigo. It’s temporary and shouldn’t come back again. I don’t do anything easy…or just once, so we’ll keep an eye on that. Because it went away with the stuff that he gave me, the only spot with carcinoma was the spot that he had biopsied. It was one of the newest spots…and it looked slightly different enough from everything else. That’s why he chose that spot to test. What a tender mercy!!
Now I am happy to say that I AM A CANCER SURVIVOR! Yeah…that feels wrong. I mean I did have cancer but only a little bit. I feel like I should just stick to saying “cancer free.” I still feel cool but not “HA HA LOOK AT ME!” So, after we were done with that appointment, Mom dropped Rachel and I off at my apartment. We said goodbye to her and she left back home. I got to hang out with Rachel for a little longer. We had a wonderful conversation. I have sure missed her!! She eventually had to leave… Brad and I were wanting to go celebrate but he was busy for the rest of the night so we made plans for the next day to go get celebratory ice cream.
I got a text from Ben when he got off work that night:
Ben: Just got off work. Where’s my cookies?
Me: Oh you wanted them tonight?! Well..I might have to come over and use your kitchen…or you’ll just have to be patient until I move and have mine.
Ben: Haha, you don’t need to make me cookies but…I couldn’t say no if you do.
Me: Hahaha! I mean, I’m probably going to make cookies eventually anyway… I might as well make some to share too.
The next morning, Brad (and Sam and RJ) came to pick me up and we went to get celebratory frosties! We passed KFC on our way so after frosties, we circled back around for chicken.
On the way, Sam asked me what kind of cake I liked. Obviously I said chocolate. It’s usually the best bet to get chocolate anything if you’re getting something for me. Haha! So we order our lunch and sit down. Sam gets called up for his order and he comes back with two cakes. One for RJ’s birthday and one for me for being cancer free! It’s been a really fun and yummy treat to have around.
Once again, I remembered how lucky I am for such amazing friends. They are so supportive and loving. I seriously don’t know what I’d do without them!
Today, after I said goodbye to my friends for the night, I didn’t want to go home. I wandered over to Temple Square. I’m so grateful that I live so close to that beautiful place. I slowly made my way to the reflection pool. Along the way, I people watched. There are so many different kinds of people on this earth, but we are all children of God. He loves us all so much! I found a comfy spot on the side kind of out of the way of everything. I just sat and stared at the temple. After a few minutes, I pulled my scriptures up on my phone. (Technology is amazing!!) I didn’t read anything in particular but it was fun to be looking at the temple while I was reading the word of God. After reading for a while, I said a little prayer and zoned out looking at the temple again. Usually when I “zone out” I’m in really deep thought. I pondered over everything that has happened this last year…or even just four months. I don’t even recognize myself sometimes! I’ve grown so much. I’ve built a closer relationship with my Heavenly Father. I’ve become more confident in life. I’ve become stronger. I’ve become more outgoing and friendlier. I’ve become a different Sarah. Of course, it’s the good kind of different but definitely not who I used to be. I have been so blessed! Heavenly Father loves me!!! As I was thinking, it started raining. Not a light sprinkle, it pored! It was soooo pretty! It was almost like Heavenly Father wanted to tell me, “Hey Sarah. Life is pretty great. Don’t give up. I’m so proud of you. Don’t forget that I love you so much!” With tears in my eyes and sloshy shoes, I made my way home. Little reminders of my Father’s love for me like that make me feel so special.
It may not feel like it sometimes, but Heavenly Father loves you too! You are His beloved child. He wants the very best for you. Don’t be afraid to turn to Him. He’s there waiting with wide open arms, waiting for you!