An Update of Sorts

Sunday, August 5, 2018

It has been awhile since I posted here. I had lunch with a friend I hadn't seen in too long a few days ago who said she missed my blog posts, so I was inspired to try to come up with something!

Actually, I have several posts in my drafts that I have started and just not liked the way the words were going, so my lack of posts isn't for lack of trying.

Anyway, I thought I would try again, so if you are reading this, then it was a success :).

2018 has been decent. Obviously, I have had worse years, but this year has had some real lows. For some reason, my anxiety picked up majorly this year (I think I mentioned this in my last post). You would think three years out that it wouldn't be as bad, but it has been worse this year. In April I found a great therapist who has been AMAZING in helping me. So while it is still present, it is MUCH improved.

There has been a lot of sadness this year. In February, we had to put Oreo, our beloved old dog down. It was his time, but it was very sudden and sad. I have had a lot of changes in my life these last few years and his death just felt like the end of an era, in a way. Maybe sounds crazy to you, but that's the only way I can put it.

Also in April, sweet Bella (who I believe I had mentioned here before...she was fellow Osteosarcoma warrior) passed away. Obviously, it hit me hard, but it hit me even harder than I expected it to. I was and am so very sad. It is one of those things I will just never understand. I think about her every day. I know she was younger than me, but she is truly one of my inspirations for getting through tough stuff but never being negative. I will never forget Bella and I hold her memory in my heart every day. I hope you will continue to keep her family in your thoughts and prayers, I know I do.

I know my feelings fall under the umbrella of survivor's guilt. To me, it was a realization of how fragile and unfair life can be. Why are we not outraged that children with SO much left to live are DYING because of a lack of research?! It just makes me so very sad.

In May, I (finally) did graduate from college! That was a big deal, but I couldn't help (still) but think it wasn't how or when I wanted it to be. I think being done with school has been hard because I realized that time in my life is over. My time at USC in Columbia always felt kind of unfinished, but knowing I am done with college just made me realize that the unfinished feeling is permanent. I will never get to go back to what I missed out on and I am still sad about it. I don't dwell on it and I am happy I was able to graduate. I graduated, got the degree, and made some good friends, so that is what counts! Unfortunately this big "teacher shortage" is not in the area where I am certified or where I live, so still no job. I am a little bummed, just because I felt like I already waited my extra year, but I have options so I will figure something out!

Honestly, I have been feeling pretty "stuck". I think this is sort of an age thing too. It just seems like so many people are moving forward with their lives and I just keep staying the same or going backward. I know I am young and have plenty of time for things to change, sometimes it is just hard! I feel like I haven't done or accomplished as much as I see other people doing. When I say this to people, their response is always "but you beat CANCER" and like yeah thats an accomplishment, but I don't feel like I can take credit for it. I got lucky, really. I am lucky to live in an area with amazing doctors and hospitals. I am lucky I could afford to see them and get the help I needed. I am lucky the drugs worked the way they should have. It doesn't feel like an accomplishment in the normal sense because I don't feel like I did anything (besides get to be miserably sick for a whole year). It may not make sense to others, but that is how it feels to me.

I had my first appointment yesterday with a new primary care doctor. I haven't had a non cancer related check up in like four years, so it was time! I had to fill out all that new patient paperwork, and one of the sheets gave me ten spaces and asked me to list any hospitalizations or surgeries I have had. There was no way I could do that, so I had to summarize, but it was weird for me. I used to be the patient that had no surgeries, hospital stays, etc. I had to be a little sad when I realized that will never be me again. I will always have this complicated medical background. Even three years later, little unexpected things like that still get me. I am thankful to be at the point where I can see a regular doctor for regular things, though!

I don't want this post to seem all negative, because despite the hard stuff, there has been good stuff too.

Some happy this summer was getting to see a concert at Madison Square Garden! I got to see Harry perform his second show there and it was amazing! We had great seats, and I would literally listen to Harry Styles read the dictionary, so his show was so good! As someone who has gone to a fair number of concerts, MSG really is a whole separate experience. I will forever be thankful I got the chance to go experience a show there.

I have been working a lot with the AYA (adolescent/young adult) cancer team at Greenville Health System to get things moving there. The doctor in charge is great and I think things are moving in the right direction. They put together this advisory board and have a plan, so I am VERY excited to be a part of it!

I have had some fun trips and good times with friends, too. I think there is this weird notion out in the universe that one can hit their "quota" on bad things happening, and after that, things should automatically turn around. I hate to say it, but I just don't think that is true. I know too many people and instances to think that anymore. I think we just have accept that life is unpredictable and embrace it when things are stable and calm. It doesn't do any good to stress about what is coming, whether it be good or bad. I am trying to do more of that!

If you have read this far, thank you for your continued love and support. I have scans tomorrow (Monday the 5th) then will see my doctor Thursday afternoon. I also see my surgeon for my annual appointment on Friday. Of course, any good thoughts, prayers, etc you want to send my way are appreciated. It is weird, I no longer get super stressed or anxious before scans like I used to. My feelings this go round are more about anger. Anger that I have to deal with this at all. Anger that I have to get back in that "mode" for a week. It really just sucks!

I hope this post didn't seem to negative! Writing is an outlet for me, where I can process thoughts, so I think that is why it comes out so differently than my regular conversations. Life really is good and I am grateful.

Thank you so much for your continued love and support! I hope that you have all enjoyed your summer!