It has been over 4 months since my last post. Any time I sat down at my computer to start writing, I got frustrated. I couldn’t find the words I wanted to say. I felt like I was back in school when I was forced to write papers. This past weekend I decided it was time to get back to writing. A lot has happened in the past couple of months. I didn’t realize the amount of people who read this blog. This past weekend, at our second “Screw Cancer Brew Hope”, several people asked me when I would get back to the blog. After I shared my story at this event and was greeted with a standing ovation, I realized it’s time to get back to writing.
Everyone has their own story. No matter what life situation you are in, I find that connecting with people who have had similar experiences is the best way to get through anything. I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who are willing to support me and be there in my time of need. I am generally a very private person. I do not like to post on social media about what is going on in my life. I usually don’t let people know I have been at the doctor or have gone for tests until afterwards. I was hospitalized earlier in the month for an overnight and even then I didn’t let a lot of people know. It is just nature of the how I handle my disease. When people hear you were hospitalized they tend to go into freak out mode.
What has been going on for the past couple months? I have been riding Joe as much as possible. I was a counselor at Camp Dost for a week. I went on vacation for a week at the beach. I have been attending and helping to plan showers, parties, and a BBQ/Pig Roast for my sister and her finance, since they will be getting married this fall. I attended my cousin’s wedding. Most importantly I have been trying to live my life. Just because I have cancer it doesn’t mean that everything around me is going to stop. Life moves forward, people change, and in the end the most important thing is to be with the people that have been with you from the beginning.
I have had plenty of awkward and bizarre encounters in the past couple of months that have been more than entertaining. I plan to write about them in the upcoming weeks. The most recent story was at a party this weekend that we were hosting with our friends, who have become family to me. Before the program started and I was talking with people and I was asked questions. It started with the usual: “how are you feeling and how is treatment going?” Then they said, “You look great. Have you been working out? You look like you have lost a ton of weight.” I just quickly smiled and said, “No I have just been doing my usual routine but thank you.” What I really wanted to say was, “The reason I look thinner is because my chemo pills make me sick to the point where I don’t like to eat a lot because I get horrible diarrhea or throw up.” I knew to keep quiet for once. Plus that person probably had no idea what to say and that’s ok.
Cancer is an awkward topic and most people are generally afraid to talk about it. It is just a word. Usually when someone tells me that they knew someone who died from cancer they just give me the look. I call it the “oh shit I shouldn’t have said that because she has cancer.” My usual response is, “it always is the cancer in the end.” Just because I have cancer doesn’t mean talking about it is a forbidden topic. However, there are times where I do not want to talk about it. If you know me well enough, you know when that it is. Also it is blatantly obvious when someone gives you a one-word answer of, ”fine” that means they don’t want to be asked any more questions. Now everyone is going to be afraid to ask me any questions. Don’t worry, if you ask me about Joe or my family, you will not be met with a hostile response of, “I don’t want to talk about it right now!”
Just remember to laugh at the bizarre; try to enjoy each day; and remember that no matter what happens in life, tomorrow is a new day. Even if it is the Monday after you get home for a vacation and you wish you were still at the beach.