Aleesha Liu's Journal
Written Nov 28, 2013 6:25pm
Good Evening all you beautiful people!
Merry Thanksgiving! I hope it was filled with wonderful family and delectable turkey!
It's been almost 9 months since I finished chemotherapy, and about a year since I was officially diagnosed. crazy how time flies!
I just got my 8 month scans and they were as clear as day! I honestly cannot believe how far God has brought me in the time span of just a year! He is truly good. This time last year I was just being diagnosed and spent thanksgiving in a small pediatric hospital room with my entire family crammed in, and eating Chinese food. AS fun as that was im thankful to be able to spend Thanksgiving this year with my wonderful family in my wonderful home, and not in a hospital.
Just so were all up to date, I have been out of treatment for about 9 months, my hair is growing back in as fast as it can ( I actually had my first hair cut not to long ago), Im crazy busy with applying to colleges and different activities, and have actually decided to go into nursing with hopes to work in Oncology. Awesome.
I've said it before but I don't think I can ever say it enough, from the deepest part of me I want to say : Thank You.
Thank you the Andersen Family and everyone that brought us meals. You have no idea how you lifted my family up. Your kindness and love meant to world to us.
Thank you to my small group who organized the fundraiser for me and constantly showered me with support and prayers. you girls are incredible and I'm blessed to call you guys my friends.
Thank you to the Roth family for being there for me and welcoming me into your home and family. You are an amazing family and I cannot express how much I appreciate all that you did for me. From giving me my shots to just allowing me a safe place to escape to, you constantly showed me grace and love I'm so very thankful to know such amazing people as yourselves.
Thank you to my MOST FABULOUS AND SPECTACULAR doctors and nurses from UNMC and everywhere else. you gave me the best medical care I could've asked for and graciously put up with my sarcasm and facetious remarks. The care I received from UNMC played a large part in my decision to go into nursing. you rock.
Thank you to the Badders family for creating t-shirts to sell on my behalf to help me and my family. They are wonderful and every time I see someone wearing one I feel encouraged and I am reminded of all the lovely people who constantly supported me.
Thank you to the Juliot family! Thank you for being my second home and family. Debbie, thank you for coming to chemo with me and taking me to radiation. Thank you for being an support and encouragement to my mom, I know she needed one. I absolutely adore all of you and think you are all the coolest cats in town. Also thanks for coming to Hawaii with us, im thankful I got to share that experience with people as rad as you!
Thank you to Make-A-Wish for blessomg my family and I with an incredible trip to Hawaii! It was so awesome to spend time with them and celebrate being together and being alive and well!
Lastly thank you to yYu. Thank you for praying for me. Your prayers lifted me up and whenever im having a down day I remember all the people who prayed for me and still are and im so so so very encouraged by that. Thank you for keeping up with me, supporting and encouraging my family and I, going out of your way to show us kindness and help us in all your special ways.
I wish i could thank every single one of you who played such a special part in my life this past year. I've experienced more life-change in this year than I could have ever imagined possible. It has been the most emotionally and physically difficult year of my life for a variety of reasons but i'm thankful for it all. I am so thankful for this experience. I am so thankful I had cancer. Without this journey I would've never experienced Gods incredible grace and mercy the way that I have. He has been my rescuer, my rock and my redeemer. I'm so thankful for the Lord and all he has planned for me. I'm eager to move on with my story and find out what else God has in store for me next!
Thank you all for faithfully journeying with me. And in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night. (;
~ Aleesha Liu
Written May 7, 2013 9:15pm
Hello Lovelies! Awhh isn't my picture cute? ;) That was from prom where Matt was voted Prom Prince and I was Prom Princess, huzzah! what a royal treat. he. he he. he he. (see what I did there? soooo punny!)
Once again this entry is way overdue, but alas, here I am.
To update you all, I have gotten all my post-treatment scans and everything looks all clear! I will always have spots that show up but as long as nothing is growing, it's A-Okay. Following that positive note, my port is scheduled to be removed next week! Huzzah! A person can only have a plastic tube in their bodies for so long.. ya know? On a unfortunate note, I recently got shingles. Apparently it's a common occurance post-treatment. It's much better now. Also, my hair is coming back! Although many assure me it's coming in quickly, it's hard to be patient.
Some may think that since I don't have cancer anymore that everything goes back to being normal. That everything is automatically okay and easier now. and while my day to day is simpler, everything isn't automatically easier. Although my physical fight Is mainly over, I still struggle emotionally with a lot of things.
While I fully embraced not having hair, it seems that the growing back stage is harder for me than not having any at all. weird, right?
I think it's because i'm stuck in an odd inbetween state where I don't have cancer any more, but things aren't completely back to the way they used to be. Im in a strange flux of states.
I often find myself dreaming that I have all my hair again. Long, thick beautiful hair that I can braid and put into pony tails. and in my dreams im so excited because at long last, it's back! And then when I wake up, for the briefest of moments I still have all my hair. and then I heart-breakingly realize that it's just a dream. I'll have my hair back soon enough, I know. But it's hard to have to be constantly reminding myself that my worth and beauty aren't found in whats on my head. It's difficult to be a 17 year old teenage girl and constantly asked why my hair is the way it is. No, it's not a personal choice, or a way to be all "hipster"... I have it this way because it's the only way I can move in the right direction. Even if its sometimes easier to live in my dreams, I have to keep waking up.
It's not always easy. Because I know I have all the support in the world, but there are emotions and feelings those around me just wont understand. And that's okay. I'm thankful for a God who listens to the words I don't say and cares about the burdens of my heart. Even when my heart is heavy, it is well with my soul.
On Thursday i'll be auditioning for showchoir. This event (although I dread it) is a miracle in itself. Due to chemo, for the majority of this year I could hardly talk, let alone sing. No matter how I tried, I couldn't make a noise, and if I did make a noise, it certainly wasnt pleasant sounding, much less musical. I'm thankful God's has given me my voice back. I often take for granted having a voice. Being silent when you have so much to say isn't as easy as it may seem.
I look forward to continued healing. I think the scars on my back and arms are healing, but they are still quite prominent. I know that healing comes with time. I just have to keep waking up, and moving forward. And I shall.
with a grateful heart...
Written Mar 9, 2013 7:20am
The day has come that I knew would but often just could not see while on this journey. It's kind of like walking through a cavern and you know if you follow the path you are one you will come out the other side but the journey it scary and full of danger and possible detours, but you know there will be a end to the cavern, you just can't see it yet. So we traveled this cavern and with so much help along the way we have made it to the grand opening! Aleesha is done with all her treatments! We will continue to have her closely monitored with more scans and frequent checks, but she has completed all her treatments with great success!
I need to somehow find a way to thank everyone of you who has traveled this journey with us and helped us along the way. Please know that no words can adequately express my gratitude for everything everyone has done for us but here is my feeble effort:
Thank you to all of our awesome medical team at UNMC. We received the finest of care! We always felt as though each and everyone that we came in contact with genuinely cared about Aleesha and their whole focus was to help her heal. We were made to feel as though we were not at a medical center but visiting family who loved us and would care for us! I simply can't imagine going anywhere else and receiving such love and support and having the worlds finest medical center here in our back yard it such a huge blessing.
Thank You to Dr. Don, Nurse Jeanine, Rebbecca and Deb(child life friend) you all took such amazing care of us and are the reason we were able to stay on this journey and arrive here in the sun at last! You all are amazing at your jobs and we are so very grateful for all you have done! You each knew exactly how best to make Aleesha feel most comfortable and help her in each of your special ways, you each often went above and beyond what could be expected! Beyond excellence! Yup! That's YOU!
Thank you to our dear second family the Juliots! Thank you my dear Deb for stepping in and traveling this journey with us, hand in hand. You companionship, friendship and love carried us through the most dark times. Thank you for always being there, really being there! Thank you for giving Aleesha a second home she could go to rest and heal. I could never repay what you have done for us but know we now have a bond that will continue for a lifetime!
Thank you to our dear Matt Roth and his whole family! You my sweet boy always let Aleesha know she was beautiful, no matter what medically was going on with her. You never turned away from her, no matter how sick she was! You were sweet and patient even when she didn't feel well and spent so much time not available to you. You and your family were so very important in her journey and provided so much love and care that I couldn't imagine how we could have gotten through this with out all of you!
Thank you to everyone who has brought all the wonderful meals! You all are amazing cooks! Those meals were a huge blessing! We looked forward to each of them and they lifted us up each time we received one, especially when we got the opportunity to visit with you! We were often so isolated that those visits were also great gifts!
Thank you to each of you that gave the gift you were called to give, for the gift cards (amazing!) for the hand made gifts, the well wish card - so uplifting - each one a treasure kept! For all of you who have supported us financially, lifting that burden from us is like lifting a ginormous boulder that fell on our heads! My heart can't begin to tell you how the financial gifts have saved our household from being crushed! Pizza night blessed our sould beyond measure! To physically see everyone come out and celebrate with us was overwhelming and gave us so much joy! Every time I see someone wearing Aleesha's green bracelets make my heart leap as well as the sweet t-shirts - they all help spread Aleesha's message and let me know of your love and support.
Above all, thanks be to God! In HIS almighty grace and abundant love HE provided us with an army of friends and family, some of who we didn't even know we had. This mighty army came along side us and lifted us up in prayer and provided for our needs often before we knew we were in need. How amazing it is to be so surrounded by so many who only wish is to help you fight the battle! Thank you all my dear and mighty army for fighting this battle with us!
Glory to the Lord Almighty for all your love and support!
Thank you all of you who have shared this story with us! This is by no means the end of her story but I feel like we are now able to start a new chapter! We will continue to keep you updated as to Aleesha's healing progress and how her new scans come out. Look forward to more of Aleesha's famous writings! Until then, with my deepest gratitude....
Blessings to all!
P.S. if I did not get you included in my list of Thanks please forgive me, it's only because there is not enough room here or anywhere to include everyone I need to Thank! Please know my heart is overflowing with love and gratitude to all of you!
It will be my joy to say, Your will, Your way, Always!!!!