Kristen's Adventures in Living
In 2003 I was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. At a barely pubescent 15 years old, I beat cancer. I was the first juvenile case in the U.S. (I have been told) to have a rare form of cancer I never should have had. And they've never figured out why I had it. Water under the bridge.
Fast forward to September 2014. I found a lump in my left breast and jokingly told my boyfriend I probably had breast cancer. A month or so later a lumpectomy realized my joke wasn't a joke so much as a cruel reality... triple negative stage 1A breast cancer. So off I went to chemotherapy and radiation. Again. And a few months later, a short short haircut I never would've braved otherwise and all was looking well. Then the migraines started.
Which eventually leads me to where I am right now. With a grim, "6 months to live" type of prognosis. Because that's what they give you when your breast cancer returns as metastatic brain cancer. The scary thing breast cancer survivors fear the most in that first 5 years out. And a PET scan revealed more growth in my liver, lungs, and bone. So the news doesn't get better, but the brain is still the biggest concern. So that's what I'm facing. A possibility of an abbreviated life.. a life I've spent so much time working on and making mine. It's still mine, it'll be mine until it's gone.
So my purpose in creating this page is to help with our pursuit of our best, beautiful life. We are travelling, getting second opinions in some of the best medical capacities in the country, and wrapping up our summer with a wedding. 9 years ago I met this guy at a fraternity party at Oregon State and felt something I've never felt for another person. At the time I was 19 and way too young to be in that mindset, but I've always known this is the person my life is meant to be shared with. However long my life may be, shooting for forever.
The funds we raise will directly fund our wedding, travels, and medical expenses. There is a lot of the world I've yet to see, and I'm not missing it for anything! I'm not missing anything in this beautiful life. It's amazing what a little bit of perspective can do. I want everything in my life and I'm not going anywhere without a hard, long fight.
I'm going to be recieving biological and immuno-therapy medical treatment at a Swiss clinic to better understand and prepare my system for the treatments available to me here in the U.S. I want to be my strongest self to try to fight this as long as I can. I would love to grow old, be a mother, an outlier, a person given a death sentence who beat the odds. I've built my life around beating odds, and that is my plan now. My plan always.
Living my best life, being my best self, that's all I want in all of this. I want the opportunity to do things excatly as I want to do them. Life without regrets, without second guessing, without fear.
I've already been incredibly and positively overwhelmed with all of the love and support I have recieved from so many people. We need our people, and it's come to my immediate attention that I have a lot of amazing people in my world. I couldn't be me, do me, without any of you. Thank you so much for loving me and breathing life into my sails. For making my life so much more spectacular. To say that I am grateful, appreciative, doesn't even begin to articulate how I feel about all of the love and support I'm being washed over with. From the very bottom of my heart, thank you all for standing with me.
News Story: http://koin.com/2016/05/31/months-to-live-kristen-rogers-lives-life-without-regrets/
Today is a special day. Today I get to marry the love of my life - Kristen Rogers-Jacobs. Though you may not be here in body, I feel your spirit everywhere I go. From our super sweet apartment in Portland, through the crashing waters of Yellowstone Foss (Waterfall), to the booming upper deck of Mile High Stadium. While I miss our time together and am sad and angry that you are gone, I treasure the time we had and know how lucky I am to have shared a life with you. You kept me company when I felt alone, and I made you laugh, or at least pretend, when you were feeling sad. We kept each other warm on the windy cliffs of Iceland, and always made sure we were ultra cool on the white sandy beaches of Costa Rica. You were my best friend, my confidant, and my biggest fan. I love and miss you girl - with ALL OF MY HEART, ALL OF MY LIFE.
Thanks for the update, Kristen. I look forward to hearing of your wedding! I wish you and Ian many years of health and happiness. My heart, my thoughts, my prayers. BIG HUGs to you both. (Ian's mom was a part of the Col. Norman Vaughan Antarctic expedition as I was).
We love you both and miss you. Kristin is with us as well, as are you Ian. Hope to see you soon and we are blessed to have you as family.
I love and miss you both