#HospitalLife – In Pictures:

I am beyond thrilled to share that I have arrived HOME!  Late last night they determined that I was fit enough to return home and all of my efforts of putting up the fight of my life, certainly seems to have now paid off.  There is quite a descriptive post in the works, to walk through my latest health journey in words and how I feel that I have once again been afforded a chance at life. This has been an entirely transformative experience and one that I never imagined in my wildest dreams.  Somehow, my strength and resilience is at an all time high and because of that I have been peacefully healing —- mind, body and soul.

Here are a few pictures of the



My hemoglobin levels were considerably low, in which case I needed a blood transfusion.  It never really dawned on me how wonderful it is that people donate blood, something I have always been too ill to do even prior to my diagnosis as I have always been anemic.  I ended up using two units of blood which ran for about six hours.  Shortly after I felt like a completely different person; less fatigued, less cold and returned color to my face.  Thank you to those who donate!

Red Cross Blood Bank Centers

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The day of my surgery I snapped an #instax polaroid of my baby, Zoi.  It seemed obvious to me that if I had her adorable little mug looking at me with those eyes of hers, it would push me to do everything in order to make it back home to her.  Aside from all of the tremendous amounts of love I received from people near and far, my amazing friends, family and of course my husband — Zoila was the one little (but actually very HUGE) incentive to show up, kick ass and get back on the road of life and viola! here I am!

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Anyone who follows along on my Instagram knows that my baby Godson holds the actual key to my heart.  He stole it from day one.  When his beautiful mom — my lovely friend, Michele visited at the hospital the day after my surgery, she brought along a one of a kind flamingo and it instantly brought ridiculous amount of smiles — and not just from me, but all of the staff, fellow patients and anyone who saw my trusty IV monitor as I wheeled it by my side throughout my stay.

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I’ll admit, my biggest complaint about surgery is that you are forbidden the basic human need of drinking water (or anything for that matter), prior to the procedure.  In my case, I was told that I couldn’t have anything from midnight until later in the night after recovery.  Quickly, my mouth became a desert and my need for water seemed like life or death.  Of course that is an exaggeration, but it is certainly how I felt.  As soon as I got the green light, which was about twelve hours later, I ordered “sips and chips” and I felt like I stumbled upon an oasis.  Dreamy does not even begin to describe the feeling of when the ice water cooled my lips for the first time.  Sometimes it really only takes the small things to make you feel a sense of nirvana.

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Before I had even been transported to my room, my two best girls had flowers ready and waiting.  Prior to my surgery, I couldn’t find the strength to speak to them.  Distancing myself for selfish emotional reasons seemed to be the only way I could cope.  I felt that if I spoke with them, I might expose that I thought I was going to die and that we’d never have an ABC reunion again.  Without fail, they stood by my side no matter what and made sure that I knew they were there with me, showering me with their love and non-stop support.   I love you both.

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I felt so much power behind this operation.  Power from prayer and positivity and all of the amazing thoughts that were put out in the universe in honor of getting through this operation with a successful outcome.  I feel cheesy every time I say it, but there is no way I would have been able to do it without all of you.  Every single person that took it upon themselves to take the time out of their day to wish me well and include me in their conversations with whomever they have faith in.  It would be fair to say that I feel endlessly blessed.  Seeing this gleaming photo at St. Joe’s Hospital and Medical Center seemed like a fitting vision for the morning after the operation.  What a beautiful sight to see (I can even see my neighborhood if I look really close).  


On the same glorious walk as pictured above, I was marching along the halls with the most important women in my universe.  They guide me through every struggle and challenge and proudly walk by my side, even in the darkest of hallways.  There are not many words that can do this picture justice, other than, thank you and LOVE.

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Further exploring the hospital, my home away from home, I walked past my favorite piece of art adorned on the walls in the lobby of the Oncology ward.  This particular wall decor always seems to catch my eye.  I appreciate creativity and try to search for it wherever I may be.  I can especially appreciate when it’s in unexpected spaces and places.  Well done, St. Joe’s.

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Just two short years ago, Steve and I spent the night at the hospital on Christmas.  It was by far one of the more depressing of holidays.  I feel very fortunate that I will be able to spend this Christmas with my family instead of inside the hospital walls.  However, they do their best to make you feel in the holiday spirit.  To those who will be spending your holiday in the hospital, my Christmas wish is that you are surrounded by love and joy.  It will get better.

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One of my favorite little cheerleaders, Kambrell joined me at the hospital a few days after the procedure.  Seeing things through her eyes and the way she expresses her love for life, makes me feel equally alive.  She is one of the most special little girls I know and I’m so grateful to be a part of her world.

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Just a few of the many gorgeous flowers I received. THANK YOU! I was able to enjoy them everyday and smile thinking of each person and the memories we have shared.  I chose to donate the flowers to the Oncology ward of the hospital once I was released.  They were all so beautiful and I wanted other cancer patients to be able to enjoy them as much as I did.  Please know that your kindness has such an impact and made many others smile, as well as me.

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Last but most certainly not least, my Steve sent this to me the second night, once he returned home to our dogs, Keg and Zoila.  He always knows how to make me laugh, as he was wearing my #ASU hoodie and my satchel to carry Zoila, all in an effort to take Keg on a walk. He takes care of all of us so very well and I am the luckiest person to have such a brave, selfless and loving man.  Thank you seems so insufficient.  What else can I say? You’re top notch, my love.


More to come soon.


Britt x

11.30.2015: Pre-Op Video Update

11.30.15 BKO. from Britt Ochoa on Vimeo.

It is safe to say I am fairly numb after today’s visit with one of the surgeons performing my operation on December 3rd, 2015.  My energy levels are pretty low and this is the easiest way for me to communicate with everyone at the moment.  If you’ve messaged, text, called, etc. I’m sorry for not responding — I’ve been a little emotional, as I am sure you can imagine.  But please know your love and kindness has not gone unnoticed.  All thoughts, prayers and good energy is beyond appreciated and I’ll update my blog as soon as possible after surgery on Thursday.

Love forever,

B x


#SteveJobs #Quote I  #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I   www.BeStillMyHeartBlog.wordpress.com

Acceptance is demarcated in a few assorted variations.  One being favorable reception; approval.  Another being the fact or state of something being acceptable.  When it comes to family members coping with a loved one’s cancer diagnosis, acceptance from family members may be one of the most difficult things to do.  No one wants to believe or accept that his or her loved one is ill and a coping mechanism is non-acceptance, while rejecting the notion of the illness is much simpler than the alternative.

With a cancer diagnosis, particularly with a family member, comes many feelings; shock, disbelief, fear, guilt, sadness.  It goes without saying that no one is ever prepared to learn that their loved one, whether it be their child, mother, father, brother or sister, has a life-threatening disease.  Combatting the acknowledgment of the illness is only a buffer to delaying painful feelings.  Often, with the denial factor of conceding the cancer derives from feelings of lack of control, as trusting someone else with a family member’s life is fear provoking.

Through much research, I have come across many articles, which showcase that non-acceptance of a family member’s diagnosis is not uncommon.  In fact, it is relatively more common than the substitute of the family accepting the diagnosis right off the bat.  Particularly in parents, acceptance takes greater length of time.  Parents often blame themselves for their child’s cancer, with feelings of preferring to have the cancer themselves, rather than their child.  With this comes many questions, “why?”, “what could I have done differently as a parent?”, “why me, why us?”, “why my daughter or son?”.  The first part of accepting a loved one’s prognosis, specifically a child, is accepting that there may never be an answer to the questions of what caused the cancer and why.  Secondly, finding a reason as to why this happened isn’t necessarily going to change the fact that it happened and the outcome.

Many family members find themselves feeling isolated emotionally and find it difficult to properly emote.  The good news is, you are not alone.  There happens to be a slew of ways to learn to accept the diagnosis of a family member and ways to ensure that the dive into reality takes place in a copasetic fashion.  First and foremost, don’t be afraid to express your feelings, talking to other family members and/or the person who has been diagnosed in an open dialogue may serve as great therapy to know that you are not alone and as a family unit, you will all work through the unbearable news.  Don’t shy away from a good cry session.  Crying is known to psychologically give your feelings a good airing and is thought to be a healthy tonic.  Additionally, the use of a support group for family members and parents of cancer patients is a bountiful form of beneficial healing and often allows the family members to feel like a part of a community and more connected to the in’s and out’s of the disease itself.

Once the family member lets go of the anger, guilt and other innumerable emotions that come along with the territory, the shifted energy may be used to help themselves, their family and their loved one battling the grave disease.  Face forward with your beloved and know that they appreciate having you as a part of their unshakable support system.  Know that the person with the cancer recognizes that people compartmentalize things differently and while some family members accept the news and take charge, others may take time to come around to the new normal.   Don’t go at it alone, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and identify that your acceptance towards to the cancer will mean the world to the patient, even if it takes a while to arrive there.

This post is dedicated to one of my favorite people in the whole world, you know who you are.  Know that you are not alone, and I know that you are always here for me no matter the situation.   I love you to the moon and back. x

***If you or someone you know is having trouble accepting a family member’s diagnosis, please check out the below resources:

Online Support Group:

ACS (American Cancer Society) has an online site called the Cancer Survivors Network that family members can join. Another option is the Association of Cancer Online Resources.

Local Support Groups:

The National Cancer Institute offers a searchable site to look for cancer support groups and organizations for family members. ACS provides links to similar resources.

Helpful Articles:


Britt x