The Tea

I am 26 years old. I am a mother. I am an Artist. But mostly importantly I am a soon to be cancer survivor!  Up until 2014, if anybody would have asked me what my greatest accomplishment was, I likely would have said not a damn thing.  I felt worthless. With most attempts I’ve made at advancing in life the traditional way, I found success more and more elusive.  I did not have a privileged upbringing. I did not come from a stable home. I did not have the warmest and most supportive family members. The most consistent person in my life growing up was my grandmother (maternal). No matter how many different houses I bounced between I always found myself back with her. She was my rock. The only form of motherly love I knew. I lost her to lung cancer and a bunch of other illnesses on Nov. 5, 2010. I didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye cause I lived 3,000 miles away in LA at the time. The messed up part is she passed just a few days before I was coming home to visit. I was devastated.  By some standards, I’ve been on my own since I was sixteen years old. I lived with my best friend my junior and senior year of high school so 18 was the mission. Maryland just wasn’t the place for me anymore.

Summer of 2008, I moved to Los Angeles, California. It was about 3 weeks after graduating high school. Yup! I just up and left. It was easy once the opportunity presented itself because I felt like I had nothing here in Maryland. I had just turned 18 and with only a couple months of planning, barely a savings and half a plan, me and some friends were well on our way to our new home. I survived 3 1/2 years before coming back home. The experience was none of regret and very bittersweet, but I will always consider that place to be my second home. I wasn’t able to get the full experience I wish I could have had in such a beautiful place but I am very grateful and appreciative for all the wonderful people I met and all of the experiences I did get the opportunity to have. The lessons I learned from that time in my life has definitely helped shaped me into the person I am today.

By age 24, any ideas of where I should be or what I should have done by 25 appeared to be in the distance. Luck just never seemed on my side. Opportunities for furthering my education, fulfilling employment, or artistic growth always seemed to end in disappointment and discouragement.  Something or someone was always setting me back further than where I began, and crushing my desire to dream. But regardless of our set backs I’ve learned that we have to keep moving forward and express the beauty in our struggles. After another domino effect of more devastating and disheartening events I soon found out that I was pregnant mid summer of 2014. I would be lying if I said it was the most incredible news and life altering experience EVER when I found out. NOPE! All I felt was more devastation, more uncertainty and more fear of failing this time failing a child. It was no longer about me but one thing I knew for certain was that this child would be loved unconditionally. I constantly reminded myself that no matter what at the end of the day money couldn’t buy genuine love or happiness. My new mission quickly became Skylar J. I don’t believe in the “Baby Momma Drama” that’s stupid and it’s a major pet peeve of mine! When children are involved you have to be selfless. So me and her father are still very close and we make it our duty to make sure that she never feels unloved, feels any struggle and most importantly that she knows family! As time went by I gradually began to develop the “New Mom” glow and all the happiness and excitement that they say new moms are “suppose” to feel started to rise.It was the beginning of my third trimester in the winter of 2014. When I started to develop a very persistent cough that just didn’t seem to want to go away. Everybody would make fun of me because I sounded like somebody’s grandfather and god forbid if I laughed. The cough attack that followed after was unbearably hilarious I got made fun of often.  I didn’t think anything of it because my body was creating a whole human being so I’m thinking to myself, OF COURSE my immune system would be comprised in the meantime and with her pressing up against my lungs OF COURSE I would be out of breath all the time. It didn’t help that most doctors advise against taking any medications of any kind aside from Tylenol while pregnant. Unless it is absolutely necessary. But with my symptoms being very similar to those of pregnancy I naturally brushed it off thinking I was just fat and pregnant and/or I was coming down with a cold which I couldn’t take any medication for.

By the end of February 2015 we discovered that I had preeclampsia during my pregnancy. For those who don’t know, preeclampsia is a rare but somewhat common condition in pregnant women that causes chronic hypertension and high levels of protein in the urine. It can impair kidney and liver function, and cause blood clotting issues, pulmonary edema (fluid on the lungs), seizures and, in severe forms or if left untreated, can result in maternal and infant death. Preeclampsia mainly affects the blood flow and nutrients to the placenta, often leading to smaller or prematurely born babies. This condition often leads to full Eclampsia which is one of the more serious complications of preeclampsia, and can cause seizures that result in comas, brain damage and death.  So needless to say the best treatment option to completely rid your body of the issue and the fastest way to keep mommy and baby safe is to have a C-section immediately.

March 12, 2015 Skylar J. was born by C-section at 34 weeks. She was premature being born 6 weeks early and only weighing 4 lbs but she was 100% healthy otherwise. I literally considered this moment to be one of the happiest days of my life. Sounds a bit cliche but it’s true. After being put through so much and then seeing this living proof of a major accomplishment (creating life) the feeling was indescribable. Due to my stubbornness, I refused to allow the doctors to give me the C-section right away. They said overall she was healthy aside from her weight being low so I said if she’s Ok then I can have her naturally. Doctors love trying to push for C- sections cause its quicker and more convenient for them. But I wasn’t there for their convenience. After a bit of arguing, my doctor allowed me to stay in the hospital until I was 34 weeks (33 weeks at admission) to try to do this thing the right way. During that week I tried every single induction medication available and not one of them worked!!!! Exhausted mentally and physically eventually I gave in. I couldn’t take it anymore!! I was losing it. I wanted her out, I wanted those dumb nurses and doctors to stop touching me and I definitely was ready to get the hell out of that hospital so we finally scheduled the C-section. The doctors weren’t very happy with me and to be honest I’m pretty sure they all couldn’t wait for me to get the hell out of there either. LOL but who cares! I was ready to take my baby and move on with life.

Growing up I struggled expressing my TRUE feelings to anyone let alone a public platform. But today I can proudly admit that throughout that entire pregnancy and process I was freaking terrified! Aside from being terribly afraid of hospitals and worrying about keeping my baby safe, World war III was going off in my head and only god knew the disease that was developing in my body. I remembered feeling a range of emotions very quickly I’m sure with just giving birth and all. In a matter of minutes those emotions would vary from afraid and nervous, to relieved and happy, to comical and positive, to depressed and unsure, even to weak and useless. My emotions were a hot ass mess. Maybe it was postpartum depression, maybe it was just me, maybe it was both but regardless it was all bad. Looking at my little alien baby (what I call her lol) I knew this wasn’t the time to be losing my mind not when she needed me and I had a mission to focus on. As I started to realize that bringing her into this world healthy and safe no matter what it took was a major accomplishment that was enough to push me to get those damn emotions under control and fast! I hated what I was feeling but me being who I am would never express that to anyone. I am a master of disguise. I’m not perfect but I have my way of maintaining my mental health and thats through unapologetically expressing myself, my art, helping other and spreading love and laughter. Unfortunately, it has taken me until now to realize the hard way that opening up sometimes can be a lot more helpful than we think.  

Moving on, I had literally just gotten discharged from the hospital the night before. Skylar had to stay in the NICU an extra week for observation and to establish a few things with being in the outside world and all before they would let her go. I was still struggling with those thoughts and emotions I was having and still couldn’t understand why I had to be the abnormal one to get the “rare condition” and had to leave the hospital without my baby. I didn’t trust those people with her. The nurses sensed my anxiety and offered to have me watch her on camera from home. Big mistake! I must’ve called those nurses a million times. LOL. Resting wasn’t even an option. I tried sometimes but I couldn’t sleep knowing she wasn’t there and I spent those nights mostly crying all night by myself  watching her on the computer counting down the minutes until I could go back to the hospital. The only way I was ok was when I was at there with her. Separation anxiety is a very REAL thing. 

I went to the hospital every day until she was discharged to attempt to breast feed and make sure she was ok. That was short lived because my milk dried up very quickly after birth. At this point I found myself constantly questioning what was wrong with me! Like you haven’t felt REAL heartache until you’ve pumped a sore ass tit for a 1hr + just to only get 2 oz. of milk and then knock it over smh. Like I worked hard and felt a lot of pain for that milk lol.  The next day after being discharged I remember being in the NICU and suddenly feeling very queasy and weak. After all the emotional distress I was feeling I spent very little time acknowledging the fact that the irritating cough was back and much more aggressive. Of course I tried to brush it off thinking it was no big deal. But I started coughing so bad at one point that I threw up in the trash can next to her incubator in front of my best friend and the nurse. We all were immediately concerned and seeing how I was already in the hospital they convinced me to go downstairs to the ER to get checked out.  

Once I was checked in and explained what brought me in, the ER doctors decided to perform a CT scan w/ contrast of my chest to see why I was coughing so bad. After hours of waiting I was diagnosed with hospital induced pneumonia after being in the hospital all that time with Skylar.  I was prescribed antibiotics and then discharged following normal protocol. After taking the medication prescribed the cough went away for awhile. After about a month or so that annoying cough started to come back. Not thinking much of it again, I started to think maybe they just gave me some weak drugs and I needed to go back to get much more stronger meds.

By May I found myself heading to the ER again but this time at a different hospital whose wait time wasn’t as ridiculous. Following similar procedures as before, the doctor basically just asked me questions about why I was there and what I was previously diagnosed with. After providing all the information requested the only test the doctor ordered was an X-ray. Terrible I know. Shortly after reviewing the X-ray and going with the medical history I provided, this new doctor once again diagnosed me with pneumonia. What he did next was exactly what I knew he would do and that was prescribed me a different “more stronger” antibiotic and then discharge me for the second time. I tried once again to move on with my life and enjoy my baby but I just couldn’t seem to catch a break. Having this cough was frightening. Whatever I had I didn’t want her to catch it. I spent more time worrying internally more than anything else.

It was bugging me out that these doctors kept telling me that it was pneumonia but that it could also possibly be a very bad respiratory/ bronchial infection or a fungal infection in my lungs. Yet, nobody was ordering any additional test and everyone’s finger just kept easily pointing back to pneumonia. My intuition started telling me something wasn’t right. I mean I’m not a doctor but even I could tell something was wrong. We’re suppose to put our faith in doctors right!? They’re suppose to know these things and fix it right!? Wrong! That’s what I use to think but nope not after this. I didn’t trust them at all anymore. So naturally I turned to google and started doing my own research in an attempt to get answers. This was a very bad idea FYI. I ended up diagnosing myself with every cancer in the book. But all the ER doctor left me with was that if it came back a 3rd time I needed to see my PCP (Primairy Care Physcian) so that we could understand what was going on.

I’ve worked in the medical field for 5 years and I am somewhat of a hypochondriac. I always find myself in some doctor’s office and noticed that I myself was becoming more accurate and correct with my issues than they were. Automatically I knew that the ER doctor’s suggestion to visit my PCP was BS. With that vicious cycle on repeat, I bet you can guess what happened next. You got it! As you’ve read multiple times by now a little more time went by (about a month and a half to be exact) and what do you know the cough went away, yet returned once again. To describe it best it was like an old man or a smokers cough. Pure uncontrollable hacking no matter what I did whether I walked, talked, ate etc. I struggled to breathe each time. When I noticed how frequently this was happening became the moment I could no longer just brush it off anymore. I started really questioning what was going on and why this cough would not go away. I knew it was no longer a cold or pneumonia because if it was then everyone in the house would be sick including Skylar. Plus I had no other symptoms besides the coughing, chest tightening and trouble breathing. So I thought!

I purposefully brushed off going to the doctors again until the middle of july, they just kept telling me BS and honestly I was afraid. I knew something was wrong but my intuition was popping. You go through these mental battles of  “Do you really want to know?” debates with yourself . At the end of the day I had to decide what was best for my baby. She needed me so we had to get to the bottom of this asap. Out of curiosity and the possibility of getting referred to an actual specialist, taking steps toward figuring out what the hell was wrong with me became my new focus. I decided to put my faith into the PCP as one last attempt before I started to lose it. He sucked as I suspected. I’m telling you from the appearance of his office to his whole demeanor. It was all bad. I was very dissatisfied with his service. But of course after being evaluated all I got out of that visit was ANOTHER order to have ANOTHER X-ray done and diagnosed for the 3rd time with pneumonia and prescribed even “stronger” antibiotics. Ridiculous right! I remembered thinking to myself, “This is ludacris!”, “What kind of pneumonia could I possibly have that is THIS resistant to all this medication.” At that moment I knew that this could no longer possibly be a freaking hospital induced pneumonia. Following that visit I did a lot of research and tried to dissect my body and my symptoms on my own cause this was getting out of control. 

A few more weeks went by it was now the middle of August 2015 . I started to really freak out at this point. Something was definitely wrong! My cough had gotten so terrible that I couldn’t hide it anymore. I lost about 50lbs post birth thinking my snapback was on fleek! (EXTREMELY upset when I found out I was sadly mistaken LOL!) I struggled with my breathing and had the appetite of a 2yr old. Family and friends started acknowledging the fact that this cough was lingering without ever being resolved and began to draw their own conclusions that this couldn’t possibly be pneumonia. Multiple people no matter where I went just kept telling me I needed to see a specialist to get this checked out. Naturally I’m the type of person who likes to prepare for the worst in every situation. It helps me cope with the outcomes later on if need be. So I started to consider all the sucky possibilities of what could possibly be wrong. Of course I didn’t want to accept those negative thoughts but this was my reality and I definitely knew something was wrong.  

Days started getting harder to manage to get through. I had little to no energy. I barely ate and when I did it was like 2 bites of this, 2 bites of that and I was full LITERALLY! I started getting very short of breath walking up steps or anywhere for a long period of time. My chest started to feel like I was carrying weights on it everywhere I went. At one point I literally had uncontrollable cough attacks whenever I laughed or talked too loud or even after walking up just a few steps. A lot of the symptoms I was experiencing I just thought was from being a new mom cause being out of shape and carrying diaper bags and car seats is heavy and tiring. I tried hard each day to keep good faith that it was all minor fixable issues. Unfortunately my gut instinct was telling me otherwise. I just knew that if I went to get this thing looked at a doctor would be delivering bad news. So I kept putting it off and trying not to worry about it in an attempt to enjoy my brand new baby and live life normally. I refused to tell anyone what was really going on. I did my best to mask everything until my symptoms were really outta control and very noticeable. I didn’t really show it either but I was scared.

Shortly after I established mentally that there was an issue one of my coworkers started to get really concerned about my health and my cough. Of course the hacking followed me to work. So she decided to tell me that she saw on the news a lady talking about how she was diagnosed with cancer and she found out by this dreadful cough that wouldn’t go away. She said it immediately made her think of me and she started to press me out and urge me to go to the hospital because it could be something serious. She was right!!! She had no clue I was already mentally establishing that lol. A few days or so after that conversation I was having trouble sleeping one night. I couldn’t breathe while lying down and when I tried to lay on my right side I developed a very sharp pain towards the bottom of my rib cage. This pain started getting worse and worse and the shortness of breath was getting just as bad. I really wasn’t sure what was happening to my body. But that pain on my side rapidly became unbearable. I couldn’t drive or sit down without positioning myself a certain way and sleeping on that side just wasn’t an option. I knew for sure something was very wrong.Where was this pain coming from? The next day my coworker was still urging me to go to the hospital and after the pain I was experiencing I finally decided to go like a week later. One day I was meeting up with Skylar’s father and the pain was so horrible I could barely drive. Not having a good feeling about what was happening I started to cry hysterically as I drove to his house. When I got there I explained to him that something wasn’t right and I had to go to the ER. Scared to death I asked him to go with me cause I didn’t want to go alone.

Later that night we made our way back to the Montgomery General Hospital Emergency Room for the second time. After explaining my history with the 3 pneumonia mis-diagnoses, the pain, the shortness of breath and urging them to do more test the doctor finally ordered a full body CT Scan with contrast again and NOT a damn X-Ray. The waiting period was crucial. The silence in the room was unbearable and all I could do was pray and pray that it was something simple and reversible like a virus. When the ER doctor finally came back to the room it was all of a split second but I already knew the news she had to deliver was bad. She was such a sweet genuine nurse but everything suddenly appeared in slow motion.

She showed us the scan and explained how multiple lymph nodes in my chest had lit up (from the contrast indicating tumors were present) on the scan and that they suspected this was Hodgkins Lymphoma and I needed to be admitted right away for biopsies. After she said the dreadful C-word everything else just kind of became a blur. I barely heard or understood anything else she was saying to me. The only two things replaying in my head was thoughts of Skylar and death. Talk about a “New Mom” buzz kill! Trying to wrap my head around everything happening I couldn’t get myself to accept this. I could barely look at the scan. I did a side glance and with that I saw enough. My chest was lit up like a damn Christmas tree. I immediately got nauseous. My mind was racing 100 miles a min. I watched a biochemistry major’s (someone who knows way more about this stuff than me) face fall and that was enough confirmation for me.

The doctor kept urging me to get admitted to have the biopsy done because legally they can not officially say you have cancer until a biopsy is performed and confirms the presence of cancerous cells. But she knew that’s what it was. We all did. But all I wanted in that moment was my baby. I didn’t care about anything else. I told the doctor No! I refused to be admitted right then and there. I needed a minute to digest the info but really I just had to get the hell out of there. I couldn’t believe this was happening!! I wanted to run and pretend it never happened. It was a Friday so she gave me until that Sunday to get my ass back in that hospital or she was gonna personally hunt me down. I practically ran in the house once I got home. It was really late at night 2 maybe 3 am. I instantly grabbed Skylar, curled up in my bed and I just held her tight all night like someone was gonna steal her from me and I just cried and cried and cried until No more tears would come out and of course asking god “Why me?” Why would he bless me with such a beautiful baby just to take me out the minute she was born. Grim was knocking at my door and he wasn’t here to steal Skylar away from me but he was coming for me. 

One thing about me is I naturally have a very positive, determined, and adaptable personality.  My coping mechanism for how I deal with sadness or negative energy is Crying (to release the negative energy and the emotion), Praying (I talk to god about the issue), Meditating (finding your balance and peace within and w/ the issue), and Moving on (you can’t hold onto that negative energy, negative energy reflects negative effects onto your body so you must release it so you can continue living life as positively as possible) at least for me. The next day I had to got myself together quick. I really hate effecting other people with my problems. But I had to embrace the fact that I had to tell my close family and friends because no one likes to talk cancer. I found myself comforting them more than getting comforted and that was ok with me I really didn’t want anyone to worry. I wasn’t going to accept my new reality until the biopsies said so just as the doctor had said. So making sure I stayed strong so that my family and friends could stay strong became my daily duty.

Of course my family was sad but everyone held onto those doctors words of waiting for the biopsy results. I finally got admitted that Sunday the last day of August, forcing a face of strength I knew I had but I just wish I didn’t. I had to be admitted because I literally had just cancelled my medical insurance to switch to a cheaper carrier and because I didn’t have insurance at that very moment the only way they would do my biopsies was if I stayed in the hospital (Just my luck right!). I stayed in the hospital for about 5 days. They completed the 1st biopsy where the radiologist took samples from a lymph node in my chest. The waiting game was killer. It took forever and I felt like I was in jail. I absolutely hate hospitals so my anxiety was at a all time high. The doctor came back finally just to say they didn’t get enough of a sample to determine the outcome so I would have to do a second biopsy in the same area but a different lymph node. Mind you biopsies hurt like hell so to say I was pissed is an understatement!! Meanwhile in between all the waiting, several doctors were visiting me. Oncologist, pulmonologist, Internal medicine, Hematologist, and the list goes on. Everyone kept discussing treatment plans and options etc. But I wasn’t trying to hear any of it. Until those results came back. It’s like everyone was prepared for this battle but me. After a couple more days in the hospital and talking to so many doctors I started to except the possibility of this being cancer and my new reality. So I silently started preparing for the news.

Finally my oncologist came back. She stated that they compared my second CT scan to that of the first one I took back in March while in the hospital with Skylar and it didn’t look much different. She told me I could be discharged and receive the results from my oncologist as an outpatient because they were taking forever with the diagnoses. I immediately got angry. Skylar was 6 months old and for 6 months I was mis-diagnosed 3 time with pneumonia. I was now concerned as to why this was not caught the first time if the scans didn’t look different but of course I got some half ass answer that really wasn’t an answer at all. She quickly changed the subject and left the room. On Sept. 16, 2015, I was finally diagnosed with Stage 2 classic Hodgkins Lymphoma a cancer of the white blood cells (my immune system basically). Due to the lapse in coverage with my insurance I did not start my chemotherapy ABVD ( a regimen consisting of 4 different chemo drugs) until 2 months later on Nov. 5, 2015 (ironically my grandmother’s death date smh). The oncologist office put me off on purpose because my new insurance didn’t go into effect until Nov. 1 so they told me some bullshit lie that they were waiting for a second opinion on the diagnoses from Johns Hopkins. NO biopsy result takes 2 months to come back. They put me on steroids in the meantime to keep the disease “content” while I sat around for 2 months not being treated smh.

After completing 6 treatments out of 12 (which equals 6 cycles total) I had my 1st PET Scan (which shows the progress of how well the treatments are working) on Jan. 20, 2016. The scan results showed that most lymph nodes were shrinking but we had to wait until I completed all 6 cycles before we would really see the difference. April 7 was my last cycle. This was also the moment I really went public about my cancer and put one of my session onto a social media website for everyone to see.  On April 19th I had my second PET scan. Although I was hoping for the best, the news was not good at all. My doctor had that face again like she seen a ghost. I automatically started to cry because I knew. She finally delivered the news that the chemotherapy did not work. That new lymph nodes had developed up my neck and part of my diaphragm now making my cancer Stage 3 Refractory Hodgkins Lymphoma. Refractory means the cancer was resistant to the initial chemotherapy ABVD. She then proceeded to tell me that my only hope for a cure was to have a Bone Marrow Transplant which is a process that would give me a new immune system since my own wanted to act like a fucktard!

Against the doctors orders especially because I’m hard headed and love my independence, I drove myself to all of my appointments. So I was alone when I received this news. When I left, once again I had to go through my process of coping which was cry, pray, meditate and move on. I sat in my car in the parking lot for about an hour crying hysterically and doing just that. I just didn’t understand why my body had to be the difficult one. I just couldn’t understand why this body was failing me. I also tried to figure out why god chose me to have to deal with this especially after having a baby. I truly felt like death was approaching and quickly so I started having the “If anything happens to me” conversations with my family and friends. I’m not afraid of death, everyone knows that these bodies are temporary, but I needed everyone to make sure they understood that regardless of what happened to make sure Skylar is ok. Shortly after I became the newest member of the Johns Hopkins guinea pig gang.

I started a new immunotherapy chemo drug that supposedly did well in patients with REFRACTORY Hodgkins called Brentuximab Vedotin. After ONLY 4 treatments I had a very bad allergic reaction and I broke out in a rash from head to toe. The worst feeling ever I was so itchy. I was given steroids to clear it up and it worked almost immediately. I now did a 3rd PET scan which showed that the medicine wasn’t working anyway (meaning more cancer) so I was taken off of it. Devastated that this was now the second treatment to fail was not giving me much hope. But for Skylar I did my best to keep my faith strong and continue to fight. I approached every situation with a “Do whatever you gotta do to get rid of this” mentality. My oncologist no longer knew what to do with me because of course I had to be the odd ball out of everyone to have the fucktard cancer thats resistant to all these drugs. So I was quickly pawned off onto Johns Hopkins.

On Aug. 10, 2016 I started my 3rd chemotherapy what I call my “miracle med” the immunotherapy drug Nivolumab. It was originally a clinical trial drug but it had just gotten FDA approved that April. I was told that this was my last option before I would have to be a true lab rat and join clinical trials in hopes that something worked. I had my last round of Nivolumab on Feb 9, 2017. After 14 treatments the last PET scan I took on Feb 20, 2017 showed remarkable results. I FINALLY responded well to the medication and my chest looked almost clear. The doctors were very impressed. I was SO happy to finally receive a good scan. It was like being held under water for so long and then finally being able to come up for air. This good result was exactly what we wanted to see to know that most of the cancer was gone and I would be able to proceed with my transplant and now we are here. Preparing for transplant( explanation in blog).

After battling this disease for a year and a half so far 35 treatments and 1 total body radiation later ( includes BMT conditioning process), I am finally able to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I have hope that this will work and this cancer will soon be a thing of the past. After so much heartbreak and devastation I feel like I can breathe a little bit. Although my journey is not over yet it is one step closer being done and we are definitely moving in the right direction. I do apologize for the length of this story but it was the only way to catch you guys up on the last year and a half of this struggle and fully provide you the experiences and the emotions that took place behind it all. My smile and my happiness is genuine. Am I strong? Yes. Do I always want to be? No. But this is why I made this blog so I can show you the ins and out of life of a cancer patient. To show you that life can be bitch but you don’t have to die. The worst thing you can do after being diagnosed is to stop living life. I want my readers to understand that throughout all of this the most important thing I’ve done was continue to live! I still worked full-time (even when I felt like shit), I still managed to care for my daughter, I still did art and when I could and most importantly I still lived and did all the things I loved to do! I owe a lot of the credit to Skylar because on the days I did want to give up she kept me strong and helped and reminded me that although our bodies are temporary my work on earth is not yet done. Even though timing was terrible with her arrival, I am a strong believer in everything happening for a reason. I truly believe she was brought to me to give me the added strength I needed for what was coming.  I’m here to share my story with you fellow Scallys in hope that it will make a difference in someone else’s life even just a little bit! Welcome to the world of Scally!! I hope you all enjoy!