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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Saturday, October 15, 2016

My New Normal Day 58. Three Years Into the Rest of My Life.

This morning I woke up and looked at my phone and saw the date.  October 15.  My mind started to fill with memories and thoughts.  Three years ago today was my last chemo treatment.  Three years. It seems to be both a long time and hardly any time at all!  I don't remember every moment of that day, thanks to some of the swiss cheese left in my memory.  But I do remember a few things.

I remember I was concerned because my throat had been sore and they weren't sure until the last minute that they would allow me to start the treatment that day.

I remember just as the Benadryl was going into the IV my oldest brother and his wife walked in to the infusion room as a surprise.  They had come to be with me on that last day and hang out!  I was so excited and so worried too because the IV Benadryl made me more than a little loopy!  I would start talking uncontrollably but it sounded like I was a And the things that came to my mind were always odd thoughts!  Then I would pass out for about an hour and when I woke up I was just sleepy, not drunk anymore!  It was a great source of hilarity for my mom and nurses but for some reason I remember feeling so worried I might scare my brother and sister-in-law with my drugged ramblings!  I didn't of course but I think I was seriously over compensating trying to act normal!

I remember my mom standing next to me at one point, holding my hand and then putting her head down by mine on my pillow for a selfie!  Lol!  I remember my nurses coming in and out of my little cubby I claimed for each of my treatments.  I remember feeling happy and scared and trying not to think about how sick I was going to feel for the next week.

Each time this date has come up I have found myself to some degree or another feeling anxious and scared and I usually spent a good deal of time crying.  All I could do was relive the feelings of fear and being sick.  I could actually feel it all like it was that same day over and over again.

Today however was different.  As I looked at the pictures and posts I had put up that day three years ago (thank you Timehop) I felt myself starting to feel a new feeling.  One of gentle shock and disbelief.  As the day went by today and I spent a few hours hanging out with my little brother (who was an amazing support to me through all of it), I found myself almost marveling at how different everything is.  As I drove back to my home this evening I was talking to a friend and it struck me very hard just how much has happened.

Three years ago I was a rambling idiot, pickling her brain hoping it killed all the active cancer cells hiding in all the dark corners.  I was anticipating a week of feeling sick and so exhausted I couldn't life my head sometimes.  Now, I'm on the other end of the country from that infusion room.  I have a Masters and am certified in my field.  I am someone people turn to for help and information.  I am so busy running from one thing to the other with work that I only thought about what day was coming up only a couple times before I had to push it aside and focus on work.

I was amazed that I was able to push the thought of today aside so easily!  I didn't think I would be able to ever.  I'm not forgetting what happened to me at all.  I don't think I ever could or would really want to forget.  For me, remembering everything I went through keeps me pushing forward.  It keeps me wanting to enjoy life and find as many reasons as I can to smile!  But being able to set it aside and not let it consume my life every minute of the day feels like a huge relief!  I went through the week focused on my work.  The work I am able to do because I went through everything I went through!

I can't let myself forget what happened or I might start to forget to do things like take that ridiculous trip to Europe and go to see friends or the ocean or NASA.  I would forget that I have a pretty good reason to enjoy my life and find new experiences and do those things that might scare me.  But I want to be able to enjoy all of these new things without feeling that fear all the time.  And today, I was able to put that fear aside while still remember what day it was.  I'll never forget this day.  Every year it will come around and remind me just how much more life I have left to live!

Picture:  Two pictures side by side.  The left is of me on this day in 2013 in the infusion room smiling with my bald head covered in a pink bandana with yellow and green swirls on it.  On the right is a photo of me today with a small smile and my hair spilling down around my shoulders.
















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