In the Air!

In the Air!
400 feet above the ground in Orlando.

Florida

Florida
Taking my first step towards a new life.

Virginia

Virginia
Spending an afternoon at Marymount during my internship!

My rocks!

My rocks!
Wouldn't be where I am without my parents!

Graduation

Graduation
Walking for my Masters. An interesting book end as this all started when I graduated from undergrad!

Awesome Nurses!

Awesome Nurses!
After my port removal and saying goodbye to my chemo nurses before moving away from Michigan. Wouldn't be doing that without them!

Hair again!

Hair again!
Growing longer each day

Last Chemo

Last Chemo

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Silliness

Silliness
Something to remember and return to. A good day!

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Friday, July 8, 2016

365 Things to Smile About Day 333. Giant Step!!!! Facing Fears!!

Today (Wednesday) I accepted a job offer as an O and M specialist!!!  I have had a couple offers but this particular one seemed to be the best choice for me right now.  I am still nervous and downright scared about so many things, but I am so very excited to take this giant step into my future!

Along with this excitement I have been experiencing a lot of fear too.  I feel like I need to acknowledge some of my fears to be able to start putting them behind me.  I am stepping very wide outside my personal comfort zone with this move!  I will have two brothers each a couple hours away and a good friend about an hour and a half away but in the city I will be moving to...I will be alone.  And it is a BIG city!  This didn't use to scare me.  I use to be up for any kind of adventure and moving anywhere.  Now, I have the thoughts of what if something happens?  And lets face it, the very reason I am writing this blog is because something big and life altering happened to me just when I thought my life was finally on track.

Every scan I have had has been NED.  Every pap smear has been normal.  Every blood test has been clear.  And yet when I think about this move, along with the excitement of a new job in my field, I feel a fear inside of me that is sometimes so very overwhelming that I have to take several deep breaths to calm down when I think of moving so far away from friends and my support systems I have set up.  I don't make new friends easily.  I get along with people easily but that is not the same as having friends.  In this new town I will be setting up new oncologists and GP's and other doctors and going through lots of scans and tests and exams to update everything and satisfy new doctors and I will be doing it without anyone with me.  I have always either had someone in the room or the waiting room or at least at home when I was finished.  I will admit that as I am writing this, I am crying.  I have never been alone on this whole roller coaster ride and it frightens me.

I am finding myself swinging between elation at finally being able to be an active member in my field and moving out of the school phase and into the practical phase and then also anxiety and fear over how big a change this is.  And since I have addressed some of my fears, I feel it is only fair to spend some focus on the good side of this next step in my life.

The people I will be working with are happy people!  They love what they do and they put their all into it.  They like to laugh in that office and it is real and not put on to try to force a specific atmosphere....it is an honestly organic atmosphere of people being truly happy in their work.  That is an atmosphere I want to be in.  Most of the time I will be on the road working with clients but when I go back to the office, I know there will be a group of people around me with positive attitudes and a welcoming greeting.

I am very excited and confident about stepping out from under a teacher's supervision and being the one in charge of myself and my clients.  I am excited about meeting my clients and working with them to help them achieve their goals and feel that sense of freedom that comes with the independence they are gaining!!  I've already seen that look on a person's face when they thought they were stuck in a small, confining space because they were loosing their vision and then find out that the world has opened back up to them!  I can't wait to see that look over and over again!!

And then there is the fact that I CAN move so far away.  That I not only have clear scans and tests but I also have so much of my energy back!  In fact, since getting out on my internship I feel like I have a brand new kind of energy and stamina that I never felt before.  I suppose that comes when you are doing something you are passionate about.  Three years ago right now I was starting my chemo treatments and I was starting to think a thought that has only disappeared from my mind in the past two months,  "Will I ever be able to do even a fraction of what I use to do?".  There are still limitations on my energy.  As my body gets tired it is more pronounced in my vision.  I still hot flash amazingly intensely but fortunately the frequency has gone down some.  Although being outside on a 90 plus degree day and walking after my students, monitoring and correcting, I generally drink down a LARGE bottle of water as I feel myself hot flash added to the normal heat.  I will admit...that slows me down a bit.  I have noticed though that my client's determination often gives me the boost I need to keep going.  Thank goodness for AC in the car and a quiet drive to my next client or back to the office.  I have learned that is my recharge time.

I also still struggle getting words out a great deal sometimes.  Being able to convey a thought can be such a massive challenge still and I never know when it is going to happen.  I feel the chemo brain taking over and I flash back to just not talking sometimes during treatment because it was so hard to get words to form.  Knowledge I know I have sitting in my brain is randomly inaccessible.  But I am here!  I passed all my classes and kept a 3.84 GPA.  I passed my certification test for O and M.  I am studying hard for my Low Vision test.  I'm able to take a test again.  I can sit that long again without feeling my body fall over because it simply can't hold itself up anymore.  I'm planning to drive 800 to 900 miles to get to my new job probably by myself.  Granted, I might break it into a few days but I clearly remember a two years ago when after 45 minutes of driving I felt so exhausted my whole body was shaking and I had to pull over and let my mom finish the drive because I literally couldn't keep my eyes open or hold my head up anymore.  And now I am planning a slightly modified road trip!

So yes, there is a lot about next month that is very frightening to me.  But there is also a great deal that is exciting!  I know this is only the first step into my career and I am ready to just keep moving forward!  There is so much I want to do and I know I can only move so fast...but I am doing everything I can so that I can do as much as I can in whatever time is left for me in this world.  Be it five years, ten years or even thirty or forty years!  I want it all to count....career and personal.  So in order for that to happen, I need to not let my fear rule me.  I can't ignore it or it will just fester and grow.  But if I can face it and over come it then I think life will be pretty amazing.

***The image below is a purple cancer ribbon with the word "survivor" on the front of the ribbon.







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