Headed to Austin

Good morning! A whole range of emotions as I finish packing for my trip to Austin. Austin holds my heart, Austin will forever be my favorite place, Austin holds so many memories for me and Austin was where our sweet boy was born. I’m excited, nervous, stressed and everything else in between. But this is much more than a trip. I left Austin so abruptly because of my diagnosis at the time with Leukemia and never got to properly say good-bye or so-long to my friends.  
My last memory of Austin was Cesar rushing to get to me to the airport (we even got pulled over and got a ticket! ) to catch a flight ALONE to Baltimore so I could check myself into Johns Hopkins and while my sweet friend Alyce Alston took Cesar and Gabriel to the airport to fly Gabriel to Atlanta. It wasn’t the memory I wanted to have in my head from the city I love so much.  
Now I get to return to see all my friends and hug each and every one of them. While I made such amazing friends here in the DC area, I didn’t know anyone in the early stages of my fight and it was too far for my friends to travel… so apart from my amazing husband Cesar, my amazing 5B nurses were my only on-site support system who could hug me and tell me to keep fighting to survive.
My now former news director Pam Vaught allowed me to do stories from my bedside which gave me focus and kept my mind busy and she listened to me cry when she had a newsroom to run.  
So I head back to Austin soon.. nervous that while I miss that life, I look NOTHING like I used to look when I lived there. My hair is not so hip, it has lots of gray (can’t color it now) and I’m trying to lose the weight I gained from lots of steroid meds and the damage all the chemo did to my liver/kidneys etc which help metabolize food/thyroid function etc.. It’s a work in progress… but I am #ArmoringUp each and every day and most importantly i am so blessed to be ALIVE! Just don’t be so shocked when you see me in person. I look and feel a bit broken. BUT …. I will not complain — I am alive and many who fought this battle are not. I have friends IN the fight right now and I pray every minute of the day for them. 
Let’s end blood cancers. Let’s ArmorUp for LIFE® and walk. Let someday be TODAY and may no one suffer on this journey again. I hope money we raise from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Walk will help save more lives with the countless trials funded by LLS.
Hope to see you Saturday at the Walk 5p!! I’ll post the press release shortly. 


Loriana Hernandez