Thursday, December 12, 2013

You have cancer, now you don' daily roller coaster

So I haven't written on my blog for six months. Well clearly a lot has happened. I think this is the obvious, but on June 28th I finished all my chemotherapies for good. After 2 and a half years 8,067 pills, 744 liquid doses (all not counting "as needed" meds), several IV meds/chemos, thousands of blood draws, 2 picc lines, numerous lumbar punctures and marrow biopsies being inpatient for most of those years its finally all DONE. The day after that felt completely weird. I honestly did not know how to be a normal 20 year old because the past three years my life has been dedicated to my health. I kept a small group of family and close friends surrounding me and missed out on college after many failed attempts and I basically watched everyone around me live their lives while I was fighting for mine. The chemo countdown couldn't move any slower. Then BAM! I am off treatment and back to reality with no direction on what to do or how to pick up where I left off. The first thing I did was apply to college and try to fit some work hours in. It was a good start but life after chemo is not what I expected at all. I thought I would be happy and care free which I am at times, but most of the times survivors guilt kicks in. It has been exactly one year since I lost my dear friend Leah Tepper along with many others and It's hard to keep living life when you’ve seen so many taken away. Leah was the most deserving life. I still can't believe or grasp what the world is missing; she made an impact on everyone. I have not written in this blog for many reasons, that being a major one. It is so hard to put my emotions on here because sometimes I want to forget about cancer all together but then I think about my friends and all these kids at clinic suffering from cancer. I need to keep writing and spreading awareness for them like I promised myself I would. Life after cancer is harder than I even expected. I am reminded of cancer everyday. I still have many doctor appointments, I am still on many medications and I still get biopsies. Biopsies are the worst. I felt safe on chemo knowing it kept cancer away and now I am off it with the thoughts of “will it come back?” There is no set cure, which leaves me thinking about being re-diagnosed constantly. It's quite overwhelming. Even through all of this I try to stay positive and catch every opportunity in life. Anything I can do to speak about cancer awareness I do, even if it is helping a newly diagnosed patient about to endure the three years of chemo like I did. I was not too happy about being a 21 year old freshman at college, but getting into Lasell and going with a positive attitude made it all worth the wait. I currently live on campus with my suitemates who are close to my age and have done all they can do to make sure our suite is clean for my low immune system. I have made friends with all the freshman; they always ask me for advice and it makes class fun being with younger students. I have also done way better this time in school than I have ever done in high school or at Hartford. Going through cancer made me appreciate education; it is what I need to get to my goal: to work in Public Relations for a nonprofit cancer organization. I also have not written on my blog because I never want to jinx myself, especially with three past failed attempts of trying to do college on chemo. I would always end up sick and back into the hospital. I cannot believe I have finally finished a semester of college. In some ways I think things happen for a reason. Three years ago I was immature and had no direction in life, or any appreciation for it what teenager does. Now I am 21; I have goals and I have accomplished some already. After battling cancer I know I can do ANYTHING. I will not let the countless appointments, fears of my cancer, and the side effects of the medication control my life anymore. Since I have last written I have turned 21. I have watched my friend Rachel finish her chemo treatments, finally went to a Kenny Chesney concert not throwing up from chemo, I got to travel on a plane, I visited my best friend and got to celebrate her birthday for once, I spoke for the northeast classic again (amazing organization!) met some patriots players, attended the Red Sox parade where players remembered me and most importantly got to celebrate my friend Jens 22 birthday. We were both cancer free together for once. My life has been amazing, yet it is still so hard to adjust to this new life. Cancer blindsided me in 2010 an now its 2013 and I'm all of a sudden back to being healthy and is quite the rollercoaster. It is very unexplainable; some days I am positive and happy and the next I am crying for no reason. The thought that I almost wouldn't be here today is always reminded. Cancer left the biggest mark on me.
Northeast Classic

Cousin Kait got married!

Finally got to visit my bestfriend in NY for her 21st

Jen celebrated her 22nd birthday cancer free :)

After two years of going to my favorite artist Kenny Chesneys concerts in pain & puking from chemo I finally get to relax and enjoy it cancer free :)