Possibly the hardest thing about cancer is what do you do after?
I mean as a cancer patient there were known protocols. I had a routine. I went for my five days of chemo, lived in the outside world for two weeks. Rinse, repeat for 6 rounds. I couldn't work because, you know, chemo. But besides a few hospital stays my life didn't change very much. I had no loss of appetite, I never threw up or got sick, I worked out as much as I could and when my blood counts were up I tried to go out and be a normal human. Well, as normal as a cancer patient could be. However, because my battle was so "easy" people's reactions changed dramatically and quickly. When I first broke my news to friends and family a lot of tears were shed. Even I thought I was going to die. I was not ready for my time on this planet to be over but all those after school specials I watched told me the opposite. It wasn't until my first round was over that I realized this battle was manageable. This is where my strength and great headspace came into play. The fear of the unknown was over. I had poison running through my veins and I was still "ok". I tried to control what I could in my life and all the rest I would figure out as it went.
Back to that easy part of cancer that I was talking about. Yes, it was fairly easy but I say that loosely. It was the hardest thing I have ever done and I never want to do it again. But, if the universe had to give Lymphoma to someone I'm glad it was me because I could handle it. My body could handle it. My mind could handle it. This is where people's dispositions towards me changed. Most for the good but I think because I was such a champion people forgot what I was actually going through. I had a PICC line running through my bicep into a major artery and then into my heart. Chemotherapy, and an aggressive kind at that, was coursing through my veins (some still is). I lost all of my hair. I had the immune system of an infant and couldn't leave the house at times for fear of terrible infection. I had some gross bodily things go on that I won't discuss, like ever. I was probed and prodded daily either to take blood, to have a spinal tap, take my vitals, check my breathing blah blah blah. I had my gameface on and people stopped checking in on me as much because I was doing so well. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one to ask for help but when I do, know that I really need it. It's almost like even though I had cancer everyone started treating me like I just had a really bad flu. Like she's sick, but not realllly sick. Was that a blessing in disguise? Probably. On one hand I never wanted to be treated like a cancer patient. I had a great attitude and didn't want to lose my headspace. On the other I sometimes just needed to be taken care of and have people help me. I don't let people help me often, one of my learning lessons from this. I guess the grass is always greener and one never knows what to do in tough situations like this. In the end, everything worked out for the best. My friends and family are all top notch and I couldn't have done it without them!
So here I am in remission with this huge weight of a second chance at life on my shoulders. What do I do now? How do I take this life lesson and move forward? I have no fahking idea. What I knew from before I got sick is that life was too short to work too much and not enjoy it. Now I fear that statement! It's so true and so scary. So much pressure to not F up this second chance. What job is going to be my dream job and make life fulfilling? I know that I'm not going to be a slave to the man and literally nothing is worth stressing over and not being able to enjoy your personal time (unless you're curing cancer of course.) What man am I going to meet that is going to be able to enjoy all the big things in life and not sweat any of the small ones? I mean he's got to be pretty f'ing awesome, no pressure. What regrets in life can I change around and take a leap of faith with? I've always wanted to own my own business and call my own shots. Now is good I think. But seriously, what am I going to do? If anyone out there has these answers please let me know as I'm still searching for them. I do know that I've had a good run thus far and up is the only way I'm headed.