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"

Friday, April 27, 2012

Marisol's bitter sweet nuptials

Going to the chapel and we're going to get married;)
My lil sis got married Wednesday. It was a quick ceremony at the courthouse in downtown San Jose. It's Friday and it barely hit me that my little sister is MARRIED. The day was a blur, I woke up too early, barely did my hair and rushed to the courthouse with PB,my sis and her then Fiance. As we arrived, I could see PB was sad. Waiting for us were my sisters husbands parents all paired up and PB was definitely missing his other half. I asked MB if she wanted to go. We had her wheelchair and I suggested that with the wheelchair she would be able to attend. She was too weak and in too much pain to go. Luckily, my sisters good friends accompanied her and every seat in the little chapel was filled. 

I'm sure that  had my sister had the choice, she would have traded all those guests for that one special attendee, MB. When we got home, I showed MB the pics and at the end of the slideshow she started to cry, as PB approached her and leaned his forhead to her nose they both began to sob. I quietly left the room and as I looked over I saw tears streaming down my little brothers face. I told him to also give them some space. I knew that my Mother's tears weren't of joy. They were of sadness. Sadness because she couldn't attend her daughter's special day. It was in that moment that I cursed her cancer and how it has affected all our lives. 

I pray for the day that MB is cured. I pray with such fervor that I can't think of anything else. I did have one bit of good news. My sister has asked me to be her babys Godmother. I can't wait to spoil the crap out of that little baby and teach it some cursewords muahahahahahahaha.

A friends Gift of HOPE...

Trying times bring out the best and worst in people. I have been a bit of a bitch and my real friends know why. Those who have decided to "bow out gracefully" can go fuck themseleves and If I never speak to them again it will be too soon.

A friend of mine sent two great books to the house. One of them was Dodie Olsteen's "Healed of Cancer". This book has been one of the greatest gifts MB and I have received. Its short and sweet and filled with inspirational Psalms. It reinvigorated our faith and has made us believe in miracles again. Osteen's story has taught us how to pray with a whole new fervor. There is  a prayer in there that MB and I have begun to say every single day and the more we say it the more invigorated I see MB.

I ask all my friends and family of faith to join us in this prayer daily,

"O God, our Father, Your Word says that you are very present help in the time of need. I come to You now on behalf of Maria Vargas who is suffering with cancer. Father, I ask You, in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, to touch and heal her.

Distance is no problem for You, God. As I pray, You are there with her, even as I close as the very breath they breathe. So I am asking You to touch her body and heal her.

Now, you foul disease called cancer, I speak to you. Go from Maria Vargas' body in the name of Jesus! I command you, cancerous cells, to wither and die at the roots in the name of Jesus! Devil, I bind your power in this persons life, and I command healing to come to Maria Vargas NOW, in the name of Jesus!

Father, I ask You to replace with new cells those that have been damaged by cancer or any other disease. God, You can do that, because what is impossible with man is possible with You. You are a God who cares, and we believe You will do it just because we have asked. You love us that much.

Father, may strength and wholeness come into Maria Vargas' body this very day. Thank You, Lord, for doing it.

I Thank You, Jesus, that we will hear good reports from Maria Vargas healing because she has held fast to confession and Faith without wavering, because you are faithful who promised. Thank You father in jesus name Amen"

I ask that whoever pray with us pray with passion and conviction that MB WILL be healed. After receiving this book the attitude in our house has changed. We plead MB's case on a daily basis and say this prayer. Everynight before I go to bed I remind God that MB is too young to die, she needs to be healthy to go to Jeannettes big wedding, she needs to be healthy to play with my sisters baby. She needs to live to grow old with PB and keep me on the right track. MB has too much good to do so I remind God why we need her.

Thanks Again to the friends and family who read the blog and aren't constantly asking for updates but instead are sending messages of hope and wonderful cards and books in the mail. May God bless you all...Namaste;)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tia Alicia's Birthday

One of MB's wounds, she has two, I get to look at this everyday, if your one of the people that likes to judge my need to get away maybe you can see a portion of what I see and understand, because unlike you I can't waltz in and out of this every couple weeks.
Tia Meli, MB and my favorite aunt Alicia 

A couple of days ago, my favorite aunt shared that members in my extended family had judged me for going to TX alone for two weeks. I will never ever regret going away and taking some time for myself. The people that like to judge and make stupid assumptions are just plain ignorant in my eyes. No one, except my immediate family and two aunts will ever know the private hell that we are living in this house. The people that sit outside and judge and make dumb ass comments have never spent more than 24 hours in this house. Do I need to remind them that I've been here since day 1, day and night for over a year and a half watching the slow deterioration of the woman I cherish most on the planet. I hope these people never go through what I've gone through because if they did, I'm sure they wouldn't last a month. Like cowards, they waltz into my house once a week, once a month maybe even once every six months and they feel entitled to an opinion. Of course, no one would ever make these comments to my face. I wish they would say it to my face so I can give them a piece of Ms. Mariela Vargas.

Fortunately, the only people whose opinions I want or even listen to at this moment are living under my roof. My aunts father and siblings are my war buddies. We are on the front lines, we are fighting the good fight. We are rolling with the punches and watching it all unravel.

Today, was my favorite aunts birthday and I tried to make the day as special for her as possible. One of the highlights was when my aunt and I were treating one of MBs bedsores, the sore is located right above her butt and my face was really close to it while I applied the special ointment the way the doctor had told me, as I was doing this MB farted in my face. That made my aunts day! We had a good laugh and then I went out and bought my aunt a card and a birthday cake.

The Chinese believe that when there is a sick or disabled person in the family it is a blessing and that the disabled person's soul has taken one for the team so that the rest of the members of the family can evolve their spirits. Caring for a sick person, especially one you love sooooo much, gives you so many oppurtunities to grow and to evolve. You use pieces of yourself you never knew you had. It's like the pressure and intensity of the situation gives you keys to a secret stash of tools in your soul that you never knew you had. I constantly find myself reciting fifty cents line, "Gods favorites have a hard time".  I truly believe that. At thirty years old I have the strength of character that most could only dream of. I'm not dependent on anyone, I'm fearless, I'm not afraid to be myself and say what I feel. I know who I am and what I can do. Most people go through their entire lives searching for what I have and never find it. MB is giving us all a gift. We can choose to rise to the occasion or not.

Today, after an extremely hard day my Dad yelled at me for not ordering a water filter, that really hurt my feelings because I had no time. Usually, I yell back, I stand my ground and Papa Bear and I bring down the house. We are both Sagittarius Monkeys and have a great deal of passion, especially for fighting. Today, I just stood my ground and walked away, I knew that if I blew it up it would only stress out MB. I cried a little, PB went for a walk and an hour later we were cool and in search of our kitten whom her Mom had hid from us because she was tired of us holding it.

I don't think anyone knows what the meaning of life is. I believe we are here to learn the lessons and then we go somewhere eternal with a bag of tools we fashioned here on earth. What I do know, is that when you are at the edge. When you are about to slap the shit out of everyone you know and jump off a bridge because you just can't take it, that's when Ms. Kitty (our cat) hides Rocky (her kitten) and all of a sudden your on a wild goose chase running around the garage with a flashlight demanding Ms. Kitty tell you where Rocky is!....That's the thing about life, you just have to go with it, never knowing what horrific or magnificent place it will take you. The only thing I can tell you is that wherever it takes you that's where you are meant to be in order to learn, grow, evolve not as a human being but as a spiritual one......Namaste;)

Ms. Kitty where's ROCKY!?

After an hour of searching, we found her in a dark corner of the garage

HERE I AM!...Ms. Kitty hid her!...she would

Thursday, April 19, 2012

3rd Stage of Grief....Anger

Lately I've been wanting to tell everyone off. It pisses me off that people are so damn happy. I quit FB because I couldn't stand all the, "I'm having such a great day posts". Everytime I read a happy post  I want to comment, "Go Fuck Yourself!...No one gives a shit!...I hope you step on pooh on the way home!".  I read online that anger is one of the stages of grief. I'm embracing anger, I take to it  well. I'm a natural at anger, I learned from the best. They don't call my dad Grumpy for no reason. I know I shouldn't be so upset, but I am. I even have a mental list of people who piss me off.

At the top of my list is people who like to claim MB as their own. They are like, "Oh I feel like she's my MB too I love her soo much!". My inner response to that is, "Really Bitch really?! cause I don't see you wiping her ass everynight, or sleeping on the floor next to her, I don't see you cleaning her gross ass wounds and bedsores. I don't see you lifting her out of bed everyday because that's what a REAL daughter does!" I swear next time someone tells me they feel like my Mom is their Mom I'm going to slap them in the motherfucking face. You can't claim to be someones daughter and do none of the nitty gritty. MB has TWO daughter's Me and My sis and I sleep on the floor next to her and clean her wounds and my sis wipes her ass so there.

Other people that piss me off are the people that really want to be there for you and keep asking you what they can do. I hate that. I have all this stress and now I have to figure out a job for your dogooding ass!? NO, the people I like best are the ones that are smart enough to see a need and say "hey Can I do this for you?" I Love the people that call and say, "hey can I bring you guys dinner tonight?!. LOVE THEM! "

I also get really annoyed when people are constantly asking how my Mom is doing. Lets make a deal when MB is suddenly cured or suddenly gets really bad I'll make sure to post it on her FB. Until then stop exhausting me with the same damn questions! Also, if I don't want to talk I don't want to talk so stop calling me! FUCK. You know who's hella cool, it's the people that let you know one time that they are there for you and then leave you the fuck alone. I LOVE those people. I swear people don't understand the meaning of the word SPACE and PRIVACY! My days are so hectic I don't even have time to be on the phone so just text and shut up.

Then there are the people that keep asking me to go out and do stuff. These are the people I find especially clueless. Really, I wanna go out and do random ass shit and plaster a fake ass smile on my face while MB whithers away. Again, my response to that is....I'm sure you all know it by guessed it, lets all say it together cause it feels oh sooo goood...... GO FUCK YOURSELF!

Basically at this stage in the game everyone pisses me off except my sister, brother, dad, Mom and two aunts that live here. I'm sure when I am done being angry everything will be back to normal....wait...spoke too soon, nope, I'll be in the depressed isolated stage....actually that makes sense cause I'm sure after I've told all my friends and family to go fuck themselves I'll have no problem finding some alone time;)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Protecting My Cubs...Please don't show up unnanounced

Ever since I began caring for MB I began to feel like the Mama Bear, not just to her, but to my siblings as well. Whenever I write, say or do anything it's not just for myself but for those less vocal around me.

In the two previous blogs I asked that people not only give our family space but that they call before they come. Once a visit was scheduled I asked that people please act as normal as possible. I don't ask these things because I feel a crazy need to control people, I ask these things to protect MB and my family. MB is not the only one worn out by visitors, My siblings and father are as well. I'm not trying to keep MB hostage, I just want her and my immediate family comfortable because it truly makes for a more happy and peaceful home.

There are still some people that feel that they are above these rules because they think, "Oh well I'm her Mom, or brother or sister in law or niece or nephew, I can show up whenever I want." My response to that is ughhh NO no you can't! Yes, MB is special to you but you still have to respect not just her wishes but Our wishes and our immediate family. My sister is pregnant, my dad works a full time job, we want our home to be a place where we can relax. It's frustrating to walk into your own house and see a "visitor" no matter who they are and have to talk to them. Small talk is exhausting! Please put yourself in our shoes for just on second and respect us and our wishes. Also, there are many things  that our immediate family need to discuss in private, logistical things, painful things and we need our privacy now more than ever!

Another excuse I hear a lot is, "well your Mom enjoys my company I can stay as long as I please." Again No! We as her caretakers are exhausted and are not in the mood for long visits. We sleep on the floor next to her to make sure she is ok during the night, we prepare all of her meals, we clean, we cook , we need our space to re-energize as well. I think if you all begin to look at the bigger picture you can understand where my family is coming from. If you still want to see me as an "evil control freak" than I guess that will have to be your problem.

I have blown up on some people and I apologize for that but if you know the rules and you feel like doing whatever you want anyway be prepared to get a mouthful from me because I not only speak for myself, I speak for my sister, dad, brother and everyone else who lives in this house and is exhausted. I would LOVE to thank the people that already text and call and arrange their visits in advance. That simple act is so helpful and makes things easier on MB and the entire family. I know it doesn't seem like a big deal but it is. In a family as big as ours its imperative that people schedule visits!

From now on I ask that EVERYONE text me (408-416-1815)and ask me when a good time to come is. If I don't confirm the visit please don't be surprised if I'm rude when you arrive, tell you off, or not even let you in. That's it, i'm not playing anymore.Some who have known me a long time know of my explosive nature. Those who don't don't be surprised when you see it because I protect my family with the wrath of a Lioness protecting her cubs. MB and my family is just so tired. I hope none of you take this personally this is just how I protect and love my family. That's it. Also, there are many ways to show you care and make your presence known, write a letter, send some flowers, leave a VM you don't have to visit. Here is our address, 157 Venado Wy, SJ CA 95123. I hope this is clear and everyone gets it now.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A decision has been made

I would like to begin by thanking you all for the continued support. We spoke with MB's doctors and the treatment has had a partial effect. The tumors in spine and bone are shrinking but the ones on her liver and lungs continue to grow. The treatment has made MB weak and she would no longer like to continue. She has decided to go on Hospice and stop all treatment.

We ask that you give our family some privacy at this time and please not visit unannounced. Everyone of you has had plenty of time to visit and speak with her and if you haven't come by now then you really weren't that interested in seeing her. That may be harsh but its the truth. Close family and friends are still very much welcome but please call before you come and limit your visits to no more than 15 minutes. MB is very weak and is sometimes too polite to tell people to leave but long visits exhuast her.

My lil warrior has fought a long battle but it's time for us to let her rest. Only myself, father, sister brother, tia alicia and tia meli see what she goes through day to day and its just tooo much for her weak frame. We ask that you join us in  leaving  this to God and pray for a miracle. Again thank you all. Your prayers are still welcome and we will keep you posted on her progress, please read the blog for updates as some days I am too busy to answer my phone and get back to you.

Thanks Again,
Mariela Vargas and family

Dear Friends

I would like to begin by thanking all of you for being so supportive during this difficult time. My very close friends know that I have stopped going out. If you would like to see me during the following months you will have to come to my house if you want to "hang out".

For the time being I don't want to go out to dinner, or tea, or drinking, or dancing, or any party of the sort. During this time, my full attention and energy will be devoted to MB and spending time with my family. My close friends understand this and everyone else can fuck off.

I would also like to tell you to please not ask me how I feel or how I'm doing because those are really stupid and ignorant questions. How the FUCK do you think I'm doing?! MB is whithering away that's how I'm fucking doing so stop asking dumb ass questions.  If I want to talk I'll call you so stop asking me that too. Also if you do come to my house just act normal. I hate those fake ass I'm so sorry looks, I hate long creepy hugs and I hate weird awkward sympathetic glances. If you do any of this I will tell you to Fuck Off and go home.

Sorry for my anger I'm just annoyed.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Accepting the Unacceptable

As I write this, I sit in front of MB watching her sleep and listen to Joel Osteen at the same time. I feel at peace, a welcome change from yesterdays traumatic events. It started off as a normal day prepping for our weekly visit to Turlock. Usually we go to Turlock on Tuesdays but we were going to take water out of her belly and the soonest they could do the procedure was Wedn. Wednesdays PB, BB and my lil sis are all off and home. Tuesday's it's usually just me and MB. Why is this important? Well, this particular week It made all the difference that our appointment was Wedn. and not Tuesday.

After prepping MB, her breakfast and my snacks for the two hour drive I went over to MB like I always do, walked along side her like I always do, Held on to her arm as I always do but today fate had something else in store for us. As I walked MB's fragile bloated frame to the door she fell. It was one of the most horrifying experiences of my life. What made it even more horrifying is that a month prior I had a dream that I rushed MB up some stairs and when she reached the top she collapsed in the exact same way that she collapsed on me yesterday. In my dream, she died and I felt extremely guilty for pushing her. Luckily, she didn't die yesterday but it was definitely a wake up call. As MB fell, I tried to hold on to her as best I could and It softened the blow but she still fell face first in front of our door.

The following minutes were excrutiating. When she fell, PB was in the shower upstairs and BB was sleeping  I couldn't stop screaming, I screamed at the top of my lungs, I no longer recognized the screams that came out of my mouth. I didn't know what to do, MB had lost all mobility and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't even turn her around. I noticed tears drip out of her eyes on the cool cement floor, both of us helpless, both of us exposed. That's when it hit me. There are things beyond our control, no matter how hard I pray, no matter how many treatments we do, no matter how much we change her diet maybe this is it. I realized we can't keep pushing her for our own selfish desires. Maybe it's just no meant to be.  After what seemed like forever, probably only a minute or two, my brother sleepily ran down the stairs without his shirt. As soon as he saw us on the floor he rushed to our aid. PB was still in the shower and couldn't hear the commotion. As BB and I struggled to get MB up we still only managed to sit her up. BB pulled her as I pushed. With the Edema she has bloated to about 195 pounds. Finally, as we sat her up I sent BB to get PB to help us get her the rest of the way up. PB rushed down in his boxers and wife beater and I swear he was gonna have a heart attack. I will never forget the look of anguish on his face. Through tears he screamed at me for trying to get her to the car without him, he couldn't stop screaming as he pulled the love of his life up. BB tried to defend me telling him it wasn't my fault. PB yelled at him and in all the chaos BB ran upstairs and cried, when he finally composed himself he ran back down to help and suffer through more of PB's wrath.

Yesterday's events have forced us to reconsider many of the decisions we've made. We do not regret fighting,never that, we are just at a place in MB's disease where all of us have stopped to think, "Is it still worth it, should we keep encouraging her to do chemo when we see that it leaves her bedridden, her body falling apart piece by piece, at this point is this a life worth living. Is all the suffering, the swelling, the wounds, the bed sores, the mouth sores the sadness worth it?" I still don't know, someday's I think yes and some no. Everytime she gets mouthsores or a wound it's like I get punched in the stomach. I don't know how nurses do it. Whenever I help heal MBs wounds or even give her water to drink I'm forced to look away. I just don't know anymore.

MB and I spoke a great deal yesterday and we've decided to not do anymore chemo pending her next Pet Scan which is scheduled for Next Tuesday. Depending on her results we will decide whether to push forward and reorganize treatment or whether to accept God's Will and put her on Hospice. The next couple of days will be difficult to say the least but whatever happens we will be a couple steps closer to closure.

If you pray, please pray for us, we are still hoping for that miracle, we haven't lost faith. Thank You all for reading and for all of your positive vibes and for joining us on our journey.