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Cathi

Calling my MENA peeps

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Jordan
Timeline

Just checking in on my MENA family. How is everyone, anything new, how is everyone feeling? My husband left today to go to Hong Kong for work, he'll be gone for 2 weeks and I'm bored already. Is everyone getting ready for Thanksgiving? How are your kids, your new life in the US? Hubby has been here for a little more than 2 years and we are removing conditions and getting settled in the new house. Update me people.



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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Morocco
Timeline

First off, mimo, the house is beautiful! I love the huge porch.

Well, where I left off on my cancer battle was Younes arriving in the US on his B visa to support me. I was originally against getting married and doing AOS - thought we'd do a CR-1 instead - but things changed. First off, I found out that my treatment schedule would put my surgery right when his allotted stay was ending. Then, three week after mine was diagnosed, my mom was also diagnosed with breast cancer. This was a big shock as we hadn't had much prior family history. Anyway, as we wanted my mom to be able to fully concentrate on her own recovery and not have to worry about looking after me, we decided that he would stay and we would do AOS.

We were married in March in a small ceremony on the beach and had a reception at my parent's house (we have been living with them since my diagnosis, me having moved from NYC where I was living before). A lot of my family few in and we had a few friends and family friends attend. We hope to host a big reception in Morocco after my health situation is better so we can celebrate with his family too.

AOS ended up going really quickly...filed in June, interview last week, green card in hand as of two days ago! With all that's happened this year it was a relief to have something go right!

My treatments have gone well. I had five months of chemo before surgery to shrink the cancer. That made a lumpectomy possible but I still opted for a mastectomy as I didn't want to take any chances. The chemo killed most of the cancer but not all of it so I also had six weeks of radiation. Now I am continuing to take a drug that targets my type of cancer called targeted therapy. I am in a clinical trial so I will take it every three weeks until July. It's an infusion but not really harsh like chemo. My cancer is also driven by estrogen so I will begin shots to temporarily shut down my ovaries and a pill to help further starve my body of estrogen. I haven't had reconstruction yet but plan to do it after all my treatment is complete.

My mom is doing well too. Her cancer was caught early by a routine mammogram so she had a lumpectomy, radiation and is now taking hormone medication.

Younes and I are planning to move back to NYC after the new year. I can pick up working part time for my old company and we think there will be companies there where Younes' vast language skills would be needed. Through all of this he has been my rock and my greatest support. This whole miserable situation has really solidified our relationship and that's the one good thing that has come out of it.


9/2011: Met in Morocco

12/2011: Trip to Europe together

1/2012: My trip to his hometown

11/2012: His first trip to USA

1/2014: His second trip to USA

3/2014: Married

Adjusting from a B visa

6/25/2014: Sent AOS package (I-130, I-485, I-765, I-131)

6/28/2014: Package received at Chicago Lockbox

7/2/2014: Text and email notifications

7/2/2014: Checks cashed

7/8/2014: Hard copy NOAs received

7/25/2014: Biometrics appointment

7/25/2014: RFE for foreign birth certificate

7/26/2014: RFE responded to

7/30/2014: RFE response received

8/14/2014: Status changed to "Testing and Interview"

8/29/2014: EAD and AP card production ordered

9/10/2014: EAD and AP card received

9/27/2014: Interview letter received

9/29/2014: SS card applied for

10/4/2014: SS card received

10/28/2014: Interview - approved pending final background check; online status updated that night

11/1/2014: Welcome letter

11/4/2014: GC in hand

ROC

8/13/2016: Sent I-751 Package

8/15/2016: Package received at CSC

8/17/2016: Check cashed

8/19/2016: NOA1

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Jordan
Timeline

First off, mimo, the house is beautiful! I love the huge porch.

Well, where I left off on my cancer battle was Younes arriving in the US on his B visa to support me. I was originally against getting married and doing AOS - thought we'd do a CR-1 instead - but things changed. First off, I found out that my treatment schedule would put my surgery right when his allotted stay was ending. Then, three week after mine was diagnosed, my mom was also diagnosed with breast cancer. This was a big shock as we hadn't had much prior family history. Anyway, as we wanted my mom to be able to fully concentrate on her own recovery and not have to worry about looking after me, we decided that he would stay and we would do AOS.

We were married in March in a small ceremony on the beach and had a reception at my parent's house (we have been living with them since my diagnosis, me having moved from NYC where I was living before). A lot of my family few in and we had a few friends and family friends attend. We hope to host a big reception in Morocco after my health situation is better so we can celebrate with his family too.

AOS ended up going really quickly...filed in June, interview last week, green card in hand as of two days ago! With all that's happened this year it was a relief to have something go right!

My treatments have gone well. I had five months of chemo before surgery to shrink the cancer. That made a lumpectomy possible but I still opted for a mastectomy as I didn't want to take any chances. The chemo killed most of the cancer but not all of it so I also had six weeks of radiation. Now I am continuing to take a drug that targets my type of cancer called targeted therapy. I am in a clinical trial so I will take it every three weeks until July. It's an infusion but not really harsh like chemo. My cancer is also driven by estrogen so I will begin shots to temporarily shut down my ovaries and a pill to help further starve my body of estrogen. I haven't had reconstruction yet but plan to do it after all my treatment is complete.

My mom is doing well too. Her cancer was caught early by a routine mammogram so she had a lumpectomy, radiation and is now taking hormone medication.

Younes and I are planning to move back to NYC after the new year. I can pick up working part time for my old company and we think there will be companies there where Younes' vast language skills would be needed. Through all of this he has been my rock and my greatest support. This whole miserable situation has really solidified our relationship and that's the one good thing that has come out of it.

Wow!!!! You have had quite a stressful year. I am so happy for you both, congrats on getting married and AOS going smoothly. I am glad to hear your treatment went and is continuing to go well. I have Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis and I take oral chemo(methotrexate)and I have infusions(Rituxin)every six months that last 6 weeks, it is exhausting. It;s great that they are able to use hormone therapy as a part of your treatment, it's amazing how far treatment for breast cancer has come in the last few decades. How are you feeling after the mastectomy? That is a big surgery with a long recovery. I used to be a surgical assistant in the OR and I assisted for mastectomies often, it is a big surgery. You are an inspiration, so strong. I recently saw a documentary about women who were having reconstructive surgery after mastectomy, there was one woman who had her nipple reconstructed when they did they implant, she then went to a tattoo artist to have the nipple color tattooed over the reconstructed nipple, it looked amazingly real and the color matched her other nipple exactly. I am happy that Younes was able to stay and be here for you, he sounds like a great man who loves you very much. Sounds like the wedding was beautiful. What beach was it at, which state do you live in?

It's great that they caught your mom's cancer early, early detection saves so many lives!

I am jealous that you will be moving back to NYC, I love the big city and have always wanted to either live in Boston or NYC. I grew up just north of Boston-10 minutes away, and currently live 40 minutes north in NH. I want to take Moath to NYC this year at Christmas, the lights are beautiful, skating at Rockefeller center at night is so fun and the atmosphere in the city this time of year is just so lovely.

It was great to hear from you, I think of you often and I'm so happy your recovery is going well!



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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Morocco
Timeline

Glad you asked...Husband finally landed a job and has been very hard at work since the summer. They are good to him and appreciate his good work ethics. He just got a raise in his hourly pay and health ins.

He bought his own car and enjoys his independance...... finally.

It was a long two years of adjustments but all is good now. Just like when awaiting the visa, we stayed strong together and got through the harder times. And there were A LOT of challenges after he arrived here.

We also are removing conditions.

Looking back to the beginning of this journey....I am so grateful to be out of the unknown and waiting.

Good Luck to those still waiting.


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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Jordan
Timeline

Removing conditions was the start of my nightmare. Hope nobody goes through what I went through.

You'd be shocked at what stereotypes about Arabs can do to a guy here in the USA. : \



The moral of my story: Stick with someone who matches your own culture.

( This coming from an Arab who married an Arab from overseas... go figure. )

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Jordan
Timeline

Removing conditions was the start of my nightmare. Hope nobody goes through what I went through.

You'd be shocked at what stereotypes about Arabs can do to a guy here in the USA. : \

oh no, what happened?



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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Jordan
Timeline

Glad you asked...Husband finally landed a job and has been very hard at work since the summer. They are good to him and appreciate his good work ethics. He just got a raise in his hourly pay and health ins.

He bought his own car and enjoys his independance...... finally.

It was a long two years of adjustments but all is good now. Just like when awaiting the visa, we stayed strong together and got through the harder times. And there were A LOT of challenges after he arrived here.

We also are removing conditions.

Looking back to the beginning of this journey....I am so grateful to be out of the unknown and waiting.

Good Luck to those still waiting.

Happy to hear your hubby is working and finding his way. It is nice once they start earning their own money and driving. life changes so much for them, having independence is important. I enjoy seeing your pictures on Facebook, you are such a beautiful couple and your dog is darling! Your long hair has given me the inspiration to grow mine out, I;m about halfway there. My husband was lucky in the respect that he found his first job after a few months and found a job in his field after 9 or 10 months, I hear of so many who take much longer. But like you said as long as you stay strong together, all is possible. My husband is in Hong Kong for work until the 18th, it's our first time apart since he entered the US, so I am missing him. Thank goodness for Skype!

I'll be glad when removing conditions and citizenship is done, immigration is so stressful, we just want it over and done with.



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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Jordan
Timeline

Oh, just someone deciding to use me to get in the country. That's all ; same old immigration horror story - though she thought that the restrictions were 5 years, not 2 ... why, I don't know. My fault for not noticing the signs, though (I, and anyone else, should always keep eyes peeled for signs of any type.) I should have tossed my rose-colored-glasses in the trash 15 years ago. Trust me, though - I've ripped them off & stomped on them.

( On a side note, I've become a far more cynical, distant, and un-trusting person - assuming the worst of every person I run into. : ( The experience hasn't done any good to my having any type of meaningful relationships. It really stinks.

Literally 5 years to the day - she did a 180 in attitude, took my son, ran off + made horrible accusations against me. I'm not looking back ; not doting ; and hanging on to every tidbit of information for the eventual day when my son asks "What happened?"

I'm glad I have proof ready for that day. : )



The moral of my story: Stick with someone who matches your own culture.

( This coming from an Arab who married an Arab from overseas... go figure. )

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Morocco
Timeline

Oh, just someone deciding to use me to get in the country. That's all ; same old immigration horror story - though she thought that the restrictions were 5 years, not 2 ... why, I don't know. My fault for not noticing the signs, though (I, and anyone else, should always keep eyes peeled for signs of any type.) I should have tossed my rose-colored-glasses in the trash 15 years ago. Trust me, though - I've ripped them off & stomped on them.

( On a side note, I've become a far more cynical, distant, and un-trusting person - assuming the worst of every person I run into. : ( The experience hasn't done any good to my having any type of meaningful relationships. It really stinks.

Literally 5 years to the day - she did a 180 in attitude, took my son, ran off + made horrible accusations against me. I'm not looking back ; not doting ; and hanging on to every tidbit of information for the eventual day when my son asks "What happened?"

I'm glad I have proof ready for that day. : )

Sounds like a hard lesson learned and usually it is the children that pay for our stupidity. Remaining untrusting, cynical and distant for your possibel future partner is only hurting yourself in MHO, no one is worth staying mad at.

Did you ever think of finding an Arab American instead? Then the using for a VISA is out of the picture. Your first post on here confused me ...it sounded like I had something to expect ahead of me removing conditions....I hope you can recover from your past and find the right one.


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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Morocco
Timeline

Happy to hear your hubby is working and finding his way. It is nice once they start earning their own money and driving. life changes so much for them, having independence is important. I enjoy seeing your pictures on Facebook, you are such a beautiful couple and your dog is darling! Your long hair has given me the inspiration to grow mine out, I;m about halfway there. My husband was lucky in the respect that he found his first job after a few months and found a job in his field after 9 or 10 months, I hear of so many who take much longer. But like you said as long as you stay strong together, all is possible. My husband is in Hong Kong for work until the 18th, it's our first time apart since he entered the US, so I am missing him. Thank goodness for Skype!

I'll be glad when removing conditions and citizenship is done, immigration is so stressful, we just want it over and done with.

Oh let it grow GF.....it is your crown. I sure he would love it.

hahaha

I do know, by assumption, your husband had an a good education in his field so more power to him!!! (F) There are so many factors against the SO that comes here with little. I intervened in anyway I could to get him a possible interview...finally this company showed him a chance that he needed.

Love the home and we are coming to visit your big house in the forrest. With the little dogito. :yes:


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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Egypt
Timeline

Popped into VJ to say Hello! Its been forever since I've been in here. Hubby has been a US Citizen for 2 years now. He voted for the first time recently. All is well for us in Texas!


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Hi everyone hope all is well.

It has been a stressful year for me that started in March. My father ended up in the hospital with kidney failure, due to untreated anemia(his doctor kept saying let's just wait and see) and the day after he got out of the hospital one of his brothers ended up in the hospital with a massive stroke and died a few days alter. We knew his brother was going to die as he had cancer and was told there wasn't anything else they could do, but we thought he still had to at least the end of this year.

In the process of all of this, my mom was told she most likely had cancer on the day of my uncles viewing. She hadn't been feeling good for quite a while, and at first thought it was stress from a close first cousin of hers also being told she was not going to live, as she had cancer and the treatments were not working anymore and she had a year or so to live. She dies in November 2013, and right before she died, my mom finally went to the doctor, but they told her she had a stomach infection. By the time in March that she went for further tests, she was really not able to eat that much and had lost weight. They did some tests and finally in May she was told she did have cancer and she only had a few months to live at the most. I am sad to say that my mom died on September 1. It has been the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. Ahmed has been great though helping me through this. He and my mom had grown close in the 2 years Ahmed has been here, so it has been hard on him too to lose her.

On a happier note, Ahmed will be starting school in January going for a MBA in Global Management. He is also waiting on the next training class to open up for a fulltime job in a medical insurance call center as a Arabic/French translator.

Kimberly

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