Fighting Stage 4 Leiomyosarcoma one day at a time

Hello Everyone,

Thank You for visiting, I initially started this blog to keep family and close friends updated on our journey to Houston Texas, to visit with Dr. Burzynski, a world renowned doctor, who specializes in cancer.

A year and a half ago, MB was diagnosed with stage 4 Uterine Leiomyosarcoma and given no more than a year to live.

MB is only 50, she hasn't seen any of her kids get married or have babies. She still has a thirst for life, three kids and a Husband who absolutely adores her. My sister is 23 and youngest brother only 17. We still need our Mama Bear. If you are, or were, blessed enough to have an MB like mine, who has always loved you unconditionally and supported you, you will know how we feel. Nothing can replace a mother's love. Nothing.

Because MB's cancer is very aggressive, we had no time to waste. The very same day the doctor told us to prepare for hospice, MB and I said, "Fu*k That!", Hospice is a dirty word at our house.We started applying to the Burzynski Clinic as soon as we got home from the doctors appointmet, after 3 days of collecting medical records and sending faxes we were finally accepted.We never took time to think, we just acted. No more than a week and half after we were told to go home and prepare for death, we were on a plane headed to Houston TX in search of life and a second chance. We've left California and our family during Thanksgiving.

Even though the treatment is crazy expensive and we are away from home during the holidays, this is still the best decision we ever made. Sometimes you have to bet big to win big!

We aren't the Kardashians, we are just the Vargas' and we are going through the "realest" hardest battle of our lives...This is our story....If you'd like to start reading from the very beginning click on November, on the lower right hand side of the page and the very first post is the "Adventure Begins"

Monday, February 27, 2012

Be. Be. Be Agressive! (clap clap)

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Cancer Advocates need to be agressive, informed and compassionate. When someone  tells you, no I can't do that, you don't sit at home and cry. You put your big girl pants on, you use your big words, you write emails and you express yourself in the clearest most concise way you can. If you are a believer in God, you ask him to have your back, you do what you can do and you let him handle the rest. Like Joel Osteen says, with God everything is under your feet. Enjoy this little tidbit about how being agressive, informed and a woman of faith got me and continues to get me what I want for MB. So let me re-introduce myself, my name is Mariela Vargas and no one FUCKS with my MOM or my FAMILY!

Don't let my big boobs and pouty lips fool you, there is nothing ditzy about me except my laugh!...Have a blessed day everyone!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Winter Goals!

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Oh and I didn't start Jan 1st. I started working out everyday and using myfitnesspal.com (its 110% free to join and use!) since Feb. 1st. So in about 3.5 weeks I've lost 5 pds and had about 5 cheat days. Try not to cheat, those cheat days count! Also, whats kept me going to the gym are, Zumba and Turbo Kick, UJam's ok but the people who go to that class kinda annoy me! I call it the UJAM cult cause they all like to wear funky hats and sideways shirts and pretend there on the set for an LL Cool J video!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Am I a Bitch???.....and I LOVE me some Christians!

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Oh and I wasn't drunk, it was my first glass. Also, shout out to the Buddhists and all the other religions I forgot!...Oh funny thing about the purse, so when we got to doctor I left MB's purse in car, she was like, "I'm worried about my purse, and I asked, "do you need anything in it?" she quickly replied, "no" I smuggly replied, "well keep worrying about it because I'm NOT getting it!"....lol

The question on everyones mind...."Why did you delete your FB?!?"

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

There is a reason....

My aunt keeps my family sane and together!
In the last year, I left my job, my own apartment and very independent, trendy fantastic single free spirited life style to move back home and care for MB. Currently, I'm jobless, live with my parents and have no real love life to speak of. It's all been put on hold. On days that I feel sorry for myself I hear the words of my most amazing aunt, "there is a reason for this, God has a why? in mind and it's our job to be patient, help your mom and move forward."

I Love my aunt soooooo much. She has left her family to live with  and help us in our greatest time of need. Before she came back to help, my stress level was at a 12 and PB was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. My aunts presence calms us all. She focuses on MB 110% which leaves me more time to manage the household and other tasks without having to worry about waiting on MB hand and foot. This morning PB was bitching about Cancer doctors and I was about to start a heated debate(fight) when my aunt whispered in my ear to just ignore him. She listens to PB and lets him vent without becoming confrontational. I am too close to the situation to here PB's negativity. I'm a fighter, I fight with anyone who disagrees with me regarding MB's chances at survival!

My aunt and I have a lot in common, we are both fiesty with big hearts. We are action oriented. We DO we don't just say. We like to cuss, and when we get out of the house we cuss like sailors. I guess one of of the "why's" of this whole ordeal was that my aunt and I have grown super close, before MB got sick we'd see eachother once a year and now we are super BFF's. One day I hope I can be half as kind and devoted as her. She is my little General and I LOVE HER!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

You think you know....but you have no idea

My little warrior, this is her daily outing (our backyard), it's so hard to see her struggle.

The last three years have been crazy to say the least and the last year has been absolutely horrific. Ever since MBs Cancer took hold things have never been the same. Last year, I left my job and apartment in Oakland to move back in with my parents at the age of 29. For someone who hasn't lived at home for more than 6 months in 9 years the transition was difficult. Suddenly, I was sneaking out to see my BF and making up excuses as to why I was out all night, really, really I still get interrogated? I'm 31 geesh! One of the things I miss most is my independence and freedom.

My life's been on hold to care for MB and lately I've been getting really frustrated. She's maintained a sort of stability but she still can't do much for herself and has limited mobility. Up until my aunt came to help, I not only had to maintain a household of 5 (cook,clean,shop,etc) I also had to be MBs full time care-taker (make her lunch, take her to appointments, grab her water, help dress her etc..) This has all become so overwhelming lately. To make matters worse, i'm the one who witnesses Mb's bitter moods, crying fits, moans etc. At least my sis, dad, and bro go to work during the week and get away for a while. I'm supposed to have the weekends off but am usually roped into helping MB in the mornings because no one seems to be able to wake up before 1pm. I know this sounds like i'm complaining, maybe I am, but the stress is real. Last night I dreampt that I was telling a group of people that I wished MB would just die ALREADY!....How fucked up is that?!...My subconcious is EVIL. Thoughts like this scare me, I don't want MB to die but how much longer can I LIVE like this.

Saturday night MB was crying and yelling saying she just wanted to die already, no one was home, just me, usually the way it goes, i'm the lucky one who sees the nitty and the gritty and it teared me up inside. I stayed up until five am begging God for answers. Why all the sadness? Why all the pain? Why am I the one who's career and love life has to be on hold at the age when I should be developing both?!

I don't know why. All I have to do is push through the anxiety, stress, and sadness and have faith that something good, no GREAT will come along.

Until then, in order to maintain my sanity, I've decided to go away for 2 weeks. My little sister was like, "why don't you just see your friends when your in TX with MB". That really annoyed me, she acts like she doesn't know MB in and of herself is a full-time job. When I go to TX with MB it's NOT a vacation. I can only ever get away for two to three hours at a time.

Living with someone with terminal cancer is the most excruciatingly difficult thing I have ever had to go through. One day someone tells you the person you love most is going to die in 6 months, so you do everything apart from rubbing mud on her face and feeding her chilli sandwiches 10 times a day to keep her alive. You spend ridiculous amounts of money, fly to various countries and states, spend endless hours on the internet,phone,fax doing research and for what? The last year my nerves and my families nerves have been on crack, over analyzing every cough, fever, pain. Anytime MB feels a little different your forced to face thoughts of a death that never comes, it only teases us and keeps us, especially me as emotional hostages with no end in sight. If it wasn't for my faith in God I would have probably jumped off a bridge by now. You think you know but you have no idea.....

Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Numero Uno Roll Dog

MB loved dressing up her little Lady


MB and I WERE sister's in a past life, I just know it. Our relationship has never been typical. If you've ever been lucky enough to see us interact you'd just laugh. The other day I was asking my friend if she'd ever tried the Diaphragm as a form of Birth Control, MB side busted and yelled, "have you ever tried being celibate!?". She would.

I am eight years older than my siblings and my Parents married young, so PB was out drinking a lot with his buddies. This left  plenty of MB and WMV (wild Mariela Vargas) one on one time. I remember MB dressing me up and curling my hair, I was a Mexican Shirley Temple. She'd take me to Kindergarten all dressed up and then when she'd picked me up she intuitively knew that everyone had given me compliments. My five year old self thought she was psychic. When I had BF in preschool she would let me buy him the coolest water guns there were! My 4 year old BF bought me a box of  100 crayons. I was dissapointed to say the least, I went all out of my way to make MB buy him the BEST Super Squirt and I get CRAYONS....REALLY! Even back then, MB was offering her very best words of wisdom. She'd tell me that it was very nice of him to get me something, and I should thank him for the gesture. Egh, as much as MB tried to mold me into a polite, nice, reserved young lady it failed. I became my wild, free spirited, spontaneous self and she's loved me every step of the way embracing me just as I am and adapting to my personality. When I was younger she'd leave presents for me on my bed just because. I'd walk in my room and there'd be a brand new lunch box with a radio!...yes my lunch box had a radio. Every night she'd come in my room and  read me a book, when I learned to read I'd rip the book out of her hand and tell her she read to SLOW(english was her 2nd language) so I'd read the book to her instead.

Today, I was talking to a friend, I told her that as soon as MB gets better I'm running away to Tuscany for a year. MB heard part of the conversation and when I went to help her put on her pants she began to tear up and said, "Please don't leave me, your the only reason I'm still alive, no one takes care of me like you" . I quickly assured her that I wasn't going anywhere until she was all better. People are always in Shock of how I take care of my Mother. Why is it so shocking? She treated me like a queen my entire life the least I can do is return the favor. She is the strongest most magnificent woman I know. As we drive to doctors appointments she constantly entertains me with her cuteness. I was so busy today I didn't get a chance to eat until after her Lymphedema therapy(almost 5 pm) . As I drove home I mentioned I needed to pull over to get a sandwich or else I'd faint, she quickly responded "Me TOO!" in the cutest little voice I'd ever heard her use. Moments like these make me so happy that she's still alive, still sharing her awesomeness with me.

When I see her struggle out of bed and force herself to walk around to help with her Edema, I am in constant awe of her strength. She NEVER gives up EVER and it is my duty, No, my honor to help her fight as long as I possibly can, its the least I can do. She's doing all the hard work, all I have to do is memorize all her meds, get her to all the right doctors and specialists, deal with insurance companies, yell at my little brother, straighten out my dad, make dinner, do laundry, yell at Pharmacists,Organize protests, organize television interviews, write her blog, drive her around and clean. Sitting with her at her appointment exmplifies my current role in MB's life. The doctor asks MB what type of Cancer she has and MB just looks at me and I answer (she knows what kind of cancer she has, she just loves having me as her secretary, I think it makes her feel hella badass, which she IS!), the doctor catches on quicly and directs all further questions to me. MB just sits back and gets her massage. Anytime I feel overwhelmed and sad I just think of the pain she deals with on a daily basis and I yell at myself for being such a pussy! Yeah I can be a little bitch but I straighten myself out, if not, Ada Silva, My Lil Sis and Yazzy Fresh are there to knock some sense into me.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Woe is me....

This post is for EVERYONE, Including me. I've been a really crappy friend lately. Mostly because I think other people's problems are stupid and I'm not afraid to tell them. The other day my BFF Ada called and told me she had to go to the ER for a migraine, I was like, "oh my god why didn't you tell me?!" She very non-chalantly replied, "well, last time I called you when I was having a bad day you asked me 'ARE YOU DYING' when I said no you asked 'Is anyone in your family dying!' again I said no and you were like 'well then you don't have a problem!, stop bitching and get over it!'." Yup sounds like me. Lately, I have very little tolerance for people and their "problems". Don't get me wrong, I am sympathetic when people are having REAL issues but the day Ada is referring to, she just called me to say she felt "Blah". Please don't call me and tell me your having a crappy day because you feel"blah" or I will slap you in your FACE! Telling me you feel blah is like telling a soldier who was just brutally wounded in battle and had to have his leg amputated that you have a really annoying splinter. Just consider me an emotional mess right now, Im the soldier and your the splinter, so just think before you complain. Acceptable issues you may discuss with me are, sickness,death and marital issues. I've had a couple friends go to jail lately, again NO SYMPATHY, you made your bed, lie in it and start fixing your own damn problems. I'm sure your next thoughts are, "Wow what a BITCH!" Also, before people start going nutz and sending me crazy messages. I actually have about 10 friends who've been arrested in the last year and I'm not singling anyone out. I'm speaking in general terms.

Let me share a story. A year and a half ago, when I found out MB was really really sick, I hated my job, hated my life and bitched about nonconsequential things. After about a month of seriously complaining about my life, just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, I was arrested for a DUI. The next year was literally hell. Did I mention I caused an accident which led to my arrest which escalated my charges. For the next 6 months, I was going to court every month trying to get my charges reduced. My lisence was suspended for One WHOLE year with no exception because when I was arrested I refused all chemical testing. They forcefully drew my blood because of the accident.

As I was dealing with court, doctors appointments and MB's cancer, I decided I wasn't going to be negative. Afterall, I knew what negativity had garnered me so far. Everytime I entered court, I was like I'm going to get a Wet Reckless, Im going to get a wet reckless. Everytime I drove MB to a doctors appointment without a lisence, I drove the speed limit and secretly prayed no cop would pull me over.

This last year I've FOUGHT HARD to turn every negative into a positive and it's paid off. I got my lisence back in December with full privileges, I got the Wet Reckless, no dui on my record!, I made new friends, I've learned new things, I've developed a stronger sense of self and have helped and continue to help MB through the most difficult stage of her life. Now, when I start to feel sorry for myself, I quickly think of MB and thank god for all my working parts. Even though my life seems to be on pause, I have faith that the right job, the right Man and the right people will enter my life when they are supposed to. I have faith that God has AMAZING things in store for me. Amazing things, travel, money, love, it's all coming my way and when I get it, I will appreciate it soooooo much more. I often think, "wow, all this slaving away cooking for my parents and siblings has made me a pretty awesome cook, my future hubby will be so lucky, a smart, hot wife who can cook!" Acts as small as opening the fridge make me grateful, I look at all our food and say, "Wow WE are blessed!"

When I see MB in pain, I remind myself that the healing process takes time. I beg and plead for a miracle. I keep it real with Jesus, I say, " Jesus, stop fucking with us now, its time you start curing MB, come on now she is too cool and nice to go through this, you've made your point, we get it, now start helping us, please I BEG you, don't make me organize an Occupy Jesus March cause I WILL". At this point, i'm sure Jesus is just laughing at me going, " Girl you so crazy, relax, patience, this shit takes time, If I wanted her I would have taken her already"

This experience has forced me to think a lot about our journey here on earth. I wonder, why is MB sick and my annoying, old ass Grandma, who's lived a more than full life feels great!?!?!?!(yes, I just talked shit about my own grandmother, trust me, if you knew her you wouldn't blame me). I have come up with a theory, here it goes, bare with me. I think, that we all really live in heaven and our time here on earth is like going away to college.We are sent to earth to learn lessons and these lessons are pre-determined before we arrive. That's why bad shit happens to good people and the really evil annoying people live forever. I think that up in heaven, MB, Myself, PB lil sis and lil bro made a deal. MB was like, I am going to teach you all about LOVE, SACRIFICE, FAITH, COMPASSION and PATIENCE. Maybe, just maybe, MB chose to get cancer as part of her "earth life plan" to teach us all how to be better human beings and help our evolution as spirits. Maybe dying is like graduating, no more tests, no more stress, no more all nighters just an eternity of spring break. At this point half of you think I'm probably crazy but if you believe in the eternity of the spirit you know that there is more than this, there is more than work, than school, than petty shit, than sickness. I believe there is a place that we ALL go to where there is NO CANCER, no pain, no hate, no anger, no annoying coworkers, just LOVE. I believe we are all here on earth to learn the lessons, so don't take yourself to seriously, don't take your problems to seriously, because like my favorite Arab always says, "Nothing lasts forever my friend, nothing."