5 Years Cancer Free, Now What?

For anyone that is familiar with cancer, you know that hitting the 5 year mark is huge in the cancer world. Most cancers, if they recur, are most likely to recur in the first 5 years. So, when survivors reach that 5 year mark, it is a huge milestone and many feel like a huge weight is taken off of their shoulders knowing that the “5 year date” is behind them.
To be completely honest, I've been far too stressed, busy, and distracted with other things in life to really process this huge moment, but I know what I'm feeling deep inside.
I honestly have no words. I have had a really hard year, but this.. this is the light at the end of the tunnel. The icing on the cake! The day that marks a huge milestone in cancer survivorship is finally here...is finally mine. I did it! To be honest, I never thought I would get here. I didn't even think I would make it to high school graduation and now I am a senior in college. Now, don't get me wrong. I’m under no illusions that five years under my belt gives me a permanent free pass. But I know that I worked hard to make it here and I am going to celebrate all day! 
When you feel threatened and like your days are numbered, you really learn how to LIVE your life fully, and you appreciate things that so many take for granted. I've lived more each year since cancer than I had in all of my life prior to cancer combined, and I've had five amazing and full years like that now. Cancer really does open your eyes and give you a whole new perspective on life, and I wouldn't give that back for the world.
So what changes in my life moving forward, now that I’m five years cancer free? Do I forget all of this, and go back to living my life how I did before? Not a chance. Cancer and the challenges of life after have marked my life in ways that are permanent, and I've had to evolve in ways that are permanent in response. There's no going back.
A cancer diagnosis as a teenager is a very deeply traumatizing experience in that it strips us of every sense of security that we might have had about our lives, our health and supposed longevity, and our futures and if we'll even have one anymore, all during the period of our lives when we're supposed to feel invincible.
I can never know how many days I have, or if my cancer will come back or not. Living my life fully in the present each day, helps me feel secure in that I'm not wasting my days or my life. 
I passed the 5 year mark… it just brings me to praise. It literally drops me to my knees. Our God is so incredibly mighty.
There are many days I wish he wouldn’t have used me and my family to show His glory in the way that he has ( I know that is completely selfish), but I am just blown away by Him and utterly thankful, as I have had a literal front seat to His miraculous power.
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Thankful For...

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are having an awesome day with your family and friends enjoying some good food. I hope you had a relaxing morning with your family watching the Macy’s Parade and hopefully now eating some good food! I wanted to take a few minutes and reflect on what i’m thankful for…

No Work
Christmas Decorations
Christmas Movies
Modern Technology
Ice Cream
Good Music
Family Memories
Comfy Clothes
Cool Weather
Star Wars Movies
Harry Potter Movies

It’s so easy to get dragged down by what goes wrong or unreached goals. I’m at the point in my life where I see that people are constantly evaluating where they are in life in comparison to other people. It’s so easy to look at your friend who just got engaged or your cousin who just had a baby or coworkers getting a promotion that you wanted. But the truth is, we all have struggles. And we all have a lot to be thankful for. I hope you've taken time today to reflect on what's important to you and what you're thankful for, not just this time of year, but year round.
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Cancer: A Battle No One Wants To Fight Alone

Chemotherapy is not a one-size fit all experience. When you are faced with chemo, a billion things run through your mind. "How sick will I get?" "Will I vomit often?" " Will I lose my hair?" "Will it even work?" 
Getting through chemo and recovering from it became the priority of my life for awhile. It is draining, both physically and mentally. The reality is, you can't control how your body is going to react or how fast you bounce back. I felt alone through this process most of the time. I didn't know anyone going through the same thing. And I honestly didn't care to know anyone going through this situation. Because of this, I felt alone.
But I wasn't alone.
This is Tiana. I met Tiana not too long after my treatment started. She got treatment at the same Phoenix Children's Hospital (PCH) clinic as I did, at a lot of the same times, I got mine. The first time I "met" her, I heard her talking to her mom a few feet away from me. I thought to myself "she sounds like she's my age". At this point in my treatment, I had only seen kids ranging from toddlers to pre-teens in the clinic or hospital getting treatment. No one my age. No one that fully grasped what we were all going through. I was very intrigued by this.
A few weeks went by and I went back for another round of treatment, Tiana was there again as well. This time my mom and I spoke to her and her mom before we got settled. They both seemed tired, as were my mom and I. However, I was happy to know that she would be there next to me again. Understanding exactly what I was going through, going through it "with me". Although I was not happy that we both had to be there for the reason we did, I was happy that we were there "together", and not alone. Knowing that someone close to my age was there, experiencing what I was experiencing.. it motivated me in a way. I thought to myself "If she can do it, I can keep pushing too." Unknowingly, Tiana became someone that helped me get through treatment because she was a constant reminder that I was not alone. And when she finished a few months before I did, I knew that, if she could finish, I could finish too.
Your family and friends can encourage you and motivate you throughout your treatment. They can remind you of how strong and brave you are. This may help some people, and I am very grateful that my family and friends did this for me. But no one did for me what Tiana did. No one was there "with" me, going through it with me. No one fully understood what I was going through. But I knew that Tiana did.
Tiana doing chemo
Tiana sat in the same hospital beds I did. She ate the same hospital food I did. She heard the same annoying beep of the machine you see above. And although every person's cancer and chemo experience are different, one can relate to another person who's gone through it. It is an unspoken understanding between people who've had cancer and gone through treatment.
After her last day at the clinic I didn't see Tiana for awhile. We did keep in touch, though! We became more than just "chemo neighbors". We became friends. I'm blessed to have Tiana. God allowed her to be in my life because he knew I needed someone to understand what I was going through. She never talked to me about her experience. I just knew she was next to me doing the same thing. It oddly kept me going. And believe me when I say I wanted to give up a million times.
People often talk about “fighting” cancer, as if you have some sort of control over whether the chemotherapy we poison ourselves with is actually effective. But you don’t.
What does cancer really look like? Most of the time it’s not a fight – it’s a full-on beating and you just have to sit there and take it because you don’t have any other choice.
And after that beating is over you try to restart your life. You’re overly optimistic and you push yourself, and when you can’t do something because you’re too weak and too tired you’re surprised. After it’s over, you have to admit that you’re still not where you thought you’d be years after being diagnosed. It’s hard.
But you're not alone. I'm not alone.
So, thank you, Tiana. For being there for me, even when you didn't know you were.
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5 Ways to Disconnect

The photographer (Erick Pickersgill) took this photo and removed the phones to show how terribly addicted we are.
Something that I truly struggle with is switching off. Being a blogger, youtuber, and online tutor means that I am on social media ALL the time. It is the norm for me to constantly check my apps and just see what everyone is up to.
I've created a list of ways to disconnect from the online world when you need a break. And let's be honest, we all need a break from social media sometimes.
  1. Turn off all of your devices. Although this one may seem like a no brainer, we all forget to do this sometimes. Even if you just turn it off for an hour it can help! Although, when I do it I have to let certain people know I am so they don't think I've died or anything.
  2. Read a book. I love to read, and I always have. Picking something that you can truly get immersed in is best and it's a great way to disconnect.
  3. Have some "me time". Go shopping, take a bubble bath, or have a netflix marathon! When all else fails, having some me time is a great way to stay away from social media because you get distracted quickly.
  4. Hang out with friends. Making time for your friends (without you both being on your phones the whole time) is very important. It's also a great way to just unplug!
  5. Get out of the house. Take a walk or hike (bring your friends with you!) and just escape the house for awhile. It's a good way to not be tempted to get on your phone.

How do you switch off from being online? I would love to know, so comment down below :) 

7 Things To Remember While In College

I wrote this post almost two months ago and I never hit the publish button. *hits self on head*
Although this is supposed to be about finals week, I decided to change it a little to match my situation now (summer courses). Also, I think this is something everyone should remember when taking classes at the college level or high school level. I think we could all use these reminders. 

My fourth week of summer courses is this week. I only have 7 WEEKS  
If you're wondering how I feel about it please see gif below.

I have 3 weeks of classes left and it may seem like it's far away, but 4 weeks has already gone by so fast!  It has been really hard to keep focus  because I've been working and knowing im so close to being free is making me anxious. Freedom is calling my name you guys, and I want to answer so bad but I must wait.. 3 WEEKS.. IT'S SO HARD.

 (^^^ thats what keeps happening to me honestly.)

I'm not going to lie.. Last semester was a very rough semester for me emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, etc. And taking summer courses has been easier but still, it has been a little rough and I feel like my life has just been a complete hot mess. 
All mess and very hot (I live in Phoenix, that says enough.) 
So trying to keep it together and not have a mental breakdown every 5 seconds has been very hard. I'm struggling. But I have yet to give up and I think that is what really matters. 
Having amazing friends is a big help because they constantly remind me that everything is going to work itself out and I need to calm down.

College is hard, and classes can really get to you. I know I am not the only one struggling so I just wanted to give everyone a few reminders of things that are very important. I hope that you remember to do these things and trust that everything will work out! It may not be your finals week and you may not have summer classes, but try to remember these things whenever you're taking classes.

1. Be kind to yourself, you are doing the best you can.

2. Don’t skip meals.

3. Drink plenty of water.

4. Take frequent study breaks.

5. Go outside & get some sunshine.

6. Try to get some exercise.


Number 7 is most important! I love you all. 
Pray for me, nothing is wrong, I'm just in college.

Until next time..
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5 Tips to Getting Stuff Done When You're Lazy

I'm not going to lie to you guys. 

I am lazy.

I love feeling accomplished, unfortunately I don't always love the hard work it takes to get there. Putting off the things I need to do is a fine art that I have perfected. I procrastinate about everything that's tedious and everything that seems overwhelming. If you're nodding along as you read this then I have tips to help you get things done!
  1. Make a Plan - The key to being productive is to make a plan, so making a to do list is a great start. Lists help you to remember what needs to get done and help you to feel like you're more in control of your life. By doing this you get a sense of accomplishment when you cross something off the list.
  2. Prioritize - Making a list is so helpful, but its not helpful if you don't prioritize what needs to be done first. Make your list in order of what absolutely needs to be done first and cannot wait.
  3. Eliminate Distractions - It can be really easy to get distracted by a million little things, especially social media. If you really need to get something done then you need to make yourself unavailable. Turn off your phone, put your headphones in, and get your work done.
  4. Break Things Down - Set smaller goals in short-term increments. By setting baby steps for yourself you'll be more likely to finish your goal and start not the next one.
  5. Have a Time Limit - Getting started is the hardest thing, and I am sure it always will be. However, if you give yourself a time limit of 30 minutes or so it helps to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel!
There aren't really any shortcuts to make work take less time. Trust me, if there was then I would have figured it out by now! The one thing I can say is, in order to become more productive you just need to be more organized and disciplined

Until next time,
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Pre Spring Break Struggles

It never fails that the week before spring break I struggle to complete my assignments and go to class. Last week was no exception. I know that it was because my brain was so ready for a break and it just wanted to shut off already. I finally am able to start my spring break and enjoy not having homework Even though it "officially" started on Friday, I did not finish my homework assignments until last night! I am so excited to be done for a week and just enjoy some good ole Netflix and naps! 
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How To Email Your Professors + Free Template

photo from weheartit.com

I have been using my email for a lonnnnng time. Since middle school (or before that) but not for sending emails. I used it to register for games and prizes (lol). No one ever teaches you how to write a professional email so you are left to figure it out all on your own. It's important to understand 'email etiquette' no matter who you may be emailing, but especially when emailing your professors.
So when I got to college and had to email my professors I was a little nervous. I wasn't sure how to find a balance between being professional and casual. I always contemplated on whether or not to start my emails with "Hey, Hi, Hello" or to say "Dear Professor blah blah". I mean my emails didn't come out too bad but I have learned some things in my three years of college that have made my life, and can make your life easier. The way you communicate with your professor is very important and can say a lot about the student you are.
First things first, decide if you really need to send an email or if what you need to talk with them about would be better discussed in person during office hours (yes, they have those, read the syllabus!) And since we're discussing the syllabus, make sure what you want to ask or discuss isn't already covered there.

photo from weheartit.com

Once you've made it past that conclusion the next thing to always make sure you do is to use either your school email address or a professional one. This is the first things that is going to pop up and the last thing you want your professor to see if your embarrassing middle school email. Using belieber4life@gmail.com is not acceptable when it comes to emailing professors! If you don't already have one try using your first name, period, last name @ whichever email you choose ("kate.johnson@gmail.com" for example). And when it comes to finding your professors email, it can almost always be found in the syllabus. 
The second thing that will be seen is the subject line, and because of this you should always keep it concise and straight to the point. It will help your professor to know what you are contacting them about and will help when they are replying to you. For example, when I am emailing my professors about certain absences I will make the subject line " Week 9 Absences", or something along those lines. Never send an email with no subject line.
If your professor has already made it clear what they prefer to be called, be sure you address them in that way in your email. Simply just stated "Professor _______" will do if you don't know their title. And before addressing your reason for emailing them, starting off with "I hope this email finds you well" is a great professional greeting! Make sure you don't overdo it.
Keep in mind that short, sweet, and to the point is the best way to write an email. Only include information that is relevant to the situation. Do not write a page long email for a short question. A short opening with who you are and why you are writing will do. Most professors are on a tight time schedule and it is the worst to receive an email for a short little question. Also, make sure you use proper punctuation and grammar. LOL, JK, NBD is not professional in emails.
Now that you have reached the end of your email it is time to thank your professor for taking the time to read your email. A simple " Thank you for your time" will do. Professors are more likely to respond and appreciate your email enough to help you out if they feel respected. 

Something that is also important is how you "sign" your email. I always play it safe and just put my first and last name. That way the teacher can easily look up what class I am in and/or recognize who is emailing them if they remember my name. I also include my email and phone number underneath so my contact information is easily accessible if needed.
I hope this post has been helpful to you and if you need a visual
 you can download the Email Template Here

Until next time..
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The #1 Tip To Drinking More Water

I am the worst when it comes to drinking water. Some days I dont drink water at all and then other days thats all I drink. It's something that I know I need to do and something I really need to get better at. Part of the problem is that I dont have water accessible to me when I really want to drink it (which is about 90% of the day). Either that or I dont have my water bottle with me to fill it up.

I have figured out that if you want to drink more water there is only ONE way to make sure it happens. Carry your water bottle with you EVERYWHERE. Or always make sure there's water ready in your fridge for you to grab and go. Doing this has made drinking water for me much easier. I personally prefer to bring my contigo water bottle with me everywhere because I love the straw! This water bottle is very similar to the camelback water bottle!

(shoutout to my friend cliff for being a hand model!) 

My only problem now is actually remembering to bring it with me or to refill it throughout the day. I am working on it I promise! However, I have learned that if I am at home and I leave it on my desk, I will voluntarily drink it, because I will drink or eat just about anything that is in front of me.
What are some ways you get yourself to drink more water? Do you guys use apps or timers? Share with me please!! I so desperately  need it haha.
Until next time..
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10 Favorite Instagram Accounts

To say that I am instagram obsessed would definitely be an understatement. I spend more time on instagram than I would like to admit honestly. It's so hard not to though! The inspiration and entertainment is endless if you follow the right accounts. So today I am sharing with you guys 10 of my favorite instagram accounts.
1) So to start it off I of course LOVE the bloguettes instagram! They have a consistent posting schedule which is one of the reasons I love them and their content is so good! Almost every post links back to a post on their blog or video on their youtube so it's more than just their pictures!

2) Second I ABSOLUTELY love @curlsunderstood. Mainly because I'm a curly girl myself and I love seeing photos of other curly girls! Plus they give tips and showcase hairstyles as well!

3) Next up is @heyclaire who is a youtuber that I have been following for a few years now and her instagram is very pleasing to my eyes. She travels often and posts a lot of those photos here and I love going to her account and scrolling!

4) Another youtuber I love to follow on instagram is @shirleybeniang! She has a blog along with her youtube channel and my favorite thing about her is her personality and fashion sense! If I want inspiration for an outfit her account is one I go to first!

5) The next account I love belongs to @ravenelyse, yes another youtuber! I can't help it being a youtuber myself I am constantly exposed to big youtubers channels and accounts. Her account is another favorite because of her fashion sense as well as some of her hairstyles. Lately she has been posting a lot of personal photos which I love, because she is actually expecting and pregnancy is so exciting to me! It's amazing to see be able to see her go through her pregnancy with so much excitement!

6) @juliadeitzy is one of the girls I work with and her personality just shines through in the office! But one thing that I love seeing on her instagram is her travel photos! She's been to amazing places and she shares her photos and some short video clips as well! I recommend checking her out if you love accounts like that. 

7) Another girl I work with has a beautiful instagram as well! @hannahstingel has one of the most aesthetically pleasing instagrams I have seen. Her filters and content are 100% perfect and I love when she pops a selfie in there every once in awhile!

8) @laurenswells is a new account I have come across actually a few days ago and I really enjoy her instagram! I can't quite tell you why yet but check it out for yourself and you may understand!

9) Diamond (@pariselsewhere) is someone I met a few weeks ago and she has a great personality and her photography is so beautiful. I really love her account and I love what she posts because she doesn't seem to have a theme but everything goes so well together.

10) Last, but definitely not least @bretmanrock is one of my favorite instagrams to go to for entertainment! His makeup is on point and he is hilarious!

I would love for you to tell me your favorite instagram accounts in the comments! I am always looking for someone new to follow! Until next time,
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B-Team Happy Hour at Little Cleo's Seafood Legend

So yesterday the bloguettes team (aka B-team) had a happy hour/get together/bonding time yesterday and it was so much fun! We went to this place in Phoenix called Little Cleo's Seafood Legend, and let me tell you, the food was absolutely amazing! 
I had so much fun hanging out with the girls and getting to know everyone more. The set up for us was so cute and the place was beautiful! 
My favorite part of the "happy hour" brunch was that I got to try new foods! I tried frog legs (which taste like chicken!) and also oysters!

They also served us cajun shrimp and brussel sprouts! Pictured below is the one thing I can't remember though! It's an egg topped fish on top of toasted bread and it was delicious! Honestly, everything was just SO good.

Another thing I forgot to mention that I was able to try for the first time was absinthe! I know you may be thinking "isn't that illegal?!" "doesn't that make you hallucinate?!" My mother was sure to ask me the last one, ha! But no it is not illegal anymore because they changed the ingredient that made you hallucinate so I was not seeing any unicorns and what not!


I had such a good time and I know I will definitely be going back to Little Cleo's soon!

Until next time..
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Staying Organized

For the past few months my planner has been sitting on the shelf. I didn’t really need to keep up with dates like I used to and it added weight to my bag. However, I felt so bad about it just sitting there and not being put to use.

Fast forward a few months and I’ve decided to give myself a new outlook. I got a new planner to help me stay motivated in using it. A big motivating factor for me breaking out the planner is that this semester I have more classes and I know I will have to keep track of more quizzes,tests, and study sessions. On top of all that I'm interning at a great company called Bloguettes where I will have a lot of things to do. I honestly can’t wait to see how much more organized I become this spring semester.

I spend my mornings checking emails and trying to figure out some organization for the day ahead so adding things into my planner at this time is very easy. Keeping a planner has always helped me keep up with important events, my schedule and slowly but surely is getting me back to being organized.

I suggest everyone try using a planner, whether it’s a physical planner or one on your phone/tablet/computer. If you like it and find good use from it I promise it really changes your life!

Until next time,
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