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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Living my life

I had plans. Not huge plans, but I had set my sights on having a great summer and making fun plans for the future...going to Ross' graduation, attending weddings for close friends and perhaps a Caribbean vacation. This was going to be the summer that I rejoiced over my victory over cancer and I was really excited about making these plans. Then my world crashed around me...again...and I found out that the cancer never went away. Suddenly I felt like I couldn't do anything but worry about saving my life. All my so-called important plans went out the window and I didn't know if I could do anything that I wanted to do except go to the hospital and get treated.

Since my first round of ICE chemo was so rough that I could barely get out of the bed, how did I expect to do anything else? Yet the body is miraculous. I slowly recovered and in a week I was my normal self, no nausea, no sickness, it was like it never happened. So then I thought, "why can't I do what I want to do?" I didn't let cancer and chemo slow me down the first time, I still went to work, I still went out with my friends and I still lived my life. This treatment is a lot more aggressive and I have to be a lot more careful since it causes my white blood cell counts to decrease to extremely low levels, putting me at risk to get sick. But I spoke with my doctor to determine when my white blood cell counts would be high enough again for me to travel and I decided I would continue to live my life (within reason of course) and do the things that are important to me.

A nurse at the hospital told me that I have to be positive and believe that everything will be ok and I think a large part of that is continuing to do the things that make me happy. So I booked a flight to Pittsburgh for Ross' graduation and made tentative plans to attend the weddings. The Caribbean vacation? That's on hold until all of this is over, I will definitely need to celebrate. Doing all the "normal" things that I would have done despite cancer is so important. Going to work everyday that I can is really important because it makes me feel like "me" again when I'm going through all of these scary, un-normal things.

In the spirit of living my life, I've been continuing my search for my wedding dress. And Easter weekend we found it! My mom and I went to Kleinfield's (home to TLC's "Say Yes To The Dress") and I said yes to the dress! (And no, to every one's surprise I didn't opt to be on the show...there was no real incentive except being on TV). I'm so happy that we found it before I started to get really sick, it gives me something fun to think abut when I'm not feeling well. I had my second treatment this past week and it was out patient--which meant I got to go home every night and sleep in my own bed. Ross and my dad came into town for the treatment and my dad is still in NYC playing the role of "nurse" as I recover :) Spending some father/daughter time has been good for both of us. He's been great, coming up with projects to do around the house when I feel up to it...by the time he leaves my apartment will be spotless!

So day by day, step by step, trying to continue to live my life. That's my reality right now.

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