Sunday, July 25, 2010

The One Where The FDA Does Not Approve My Diet Plan

I think it just occurred to me that prior to diagnosis, when I was losing all this weight (100lbs), it really had nothing to do with my sudden mastery of dieting and my attempt at running. All that time, I really thought that I had worked hard to lose weight and to change my life, but really it was Henry Hodgkins and his persistence to grow inside of me and tease me with a life I've always wanted. So, thank you Henry Hodgkins for at least giving me a glimpse of what life could be like skinnier. But in order to kill you and for me to live, I have to chemo your ass. On one hand, I guess it is better to be alive. But on the other hand living a life of being the fat girl again is pretty depressing. As of date, I have gained 40 lbs in 3 months and I'm only getting fatter.

There is part of me that really thinks that when this is all over, I can go back to dieting and go back to working out and I can lose it again. At the same time it seems like something I just can't do. For my entire life, I was always the fat kid. Then when I suddenly started losing the weight, life seemed to really change for the better for me. Then The cancer struck and just ruined everything.

I know I shouldn't be as lame as to complain about weight gain when it is saving my life, BUT.....

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The One Where Strangers Are My Best Friends

So the past few weeks have probably been the worst so far for me during this whole process. I haven't slept more than 4 or 5 hours a night for weeks and I am constantly having sever joint pain. It has become unbearable and all the medicine I have been taking does not seem to help. With that being said, i've been really cranky lately and probably really unpleasant to be around. I snapped at my mom earlier in the week and she did not deserve it. She has done everything she possibly can for me to make me comfortable and to make me happy. This whole cancer thing isn't on me, but its really not easy on my mom or those closest to me. I honestly can't imagine being in my mothers shoes and having to deal with me!

Also, throughout all of this, i've said it over and over again that as much as everyone tries to understand what I'm going through, they just can't. But there are people that do understand. And these people are my best friends, who happen to be complete strangers. I've made quite a few friends through the Cancers Survivor Network. It's a great place to meet people who have been through or are going through this exact same thing. I've met so many people who are around my age and that in itself is a blessing. No offense to my companions at the UT Cancer institute, but I don't have much to talk about with my 70 year old companions, other than a love of The Price is Right. Anyways, I digress. Some of my friends have been in remission for 20 years, some have just finished treatment, and others are still fighting away. Everytime I get to hear the wonderful news that someone's cancer is gone, I truly get so excited for them. I know my day is right around the corner and i know they will be right there cheering me on as well. So thanks!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The One Where Kristen Bailey is gone too soon

This deserves a post all in its own.

On June 17th one of my dearest friends Kristen Bailey passed away. It came as a complete shock to me. I had just gotten home from chemo when I talked to her mom. What happened to her is still unclear, but we know that she died in her sleep while on a business trip in Missouri. I had just spoken to her a few days before she passed. We were talking about my newly found bald hair cut and she was telling me how excited she was to go on her trip. She was so happy, happier than she had been in such a long time. Her masters was completed, she had a great new job, and a super hot new car.

Now my dear friend is gone too soon. I met Kristen at MTSU back in 2004. She was energetic and silly and I was instantly drawn to her. One day she sat down with me and told me how much she admired me. I thought it was a strange thing to say and i asked her why. She told me that she admired me because I was so confident and seemingly didn't care what people thought and was true to myself no matter what. She said that she admired that because when she was heavier she didn't feel those things. Her telling me this was a shock, as she was a tiny little thing and I was, well, quite the opposite. I told her that I couldn't imagine her not being confident, as knowing her for a few short months, she seemed to have everything under control. She was full of life, and smart. so smart (i def copied off a few of her tests in int'l biz). From that moment I knew that I would have a friend that could understand the things that I was going through and that I could learn from her. In fact, she was my main motivation to start losing weight. I looked at her and said if she can do it so can I.

Over the years we had some awesome times together. She eventually became a neighbor to me in our apartment community and there were nights when I was upset and she always offered a shoulder to cry on. She was the least selfish person I have ever met in my life. She would sit there and listen to me, even when I was blabbing about the same thing over and over again.

In February, Kristen called me and was in a great deal of pain. She asked me if i could take her to the emergency room and of course i did not hesitate. While we were sitting in the Triage area, the doc was asking her all kinds of questions about her medical past and surgeries and what not. It blew my mind how much she had really been through. I knew that she had been sick a lot but she never really spoke about it too much. She was always so positive and didn't let it get her down. Anyways, I sat there with her for almost 8 hours. I know she was in terrible pain, but I didn't hear her complain at all. Never. We actually had a blast in there. Talking about boys and watching Hoarders.

A month later, I was diagnosed with Hodgkins. Kristen was immediately one of the first people I wanted to call. We went to dinner and she listened to me and she comforted me. I was scared. So scared. All she did was tell me that It will be ok and to be strong. I think her influence is one of the reasons I've been so strong during all of this. I just remember that Kristen had been through such similar pain and she was so strong through it all. After all my surgeries and after chemo she called to check on me.

Now more than ever, I just want to talk to her. I miss her silly voice. I cry myself to sleep most nights thinking about her. I know I shouldn't be sad because I know she is in a better place. But I'm selfish and I want her here. I wonder when it gets easier. I really feel like it is surreal. I can't believe that at 26, she's just gone. I really miss my friend.

The One Where I'm Halfway There

I know it's been a while. I am halfway done with my chemo treatments. Yay. I guess. I had a chest xray a few weeks ago and the doc told me that the tumor is shrinking significantly. He did say however that I will probably still have to have radiation when it is all said and done. So yes, it was a good visit, but at the same time it just made me sad that I still have a long ways to go. I'm sure when I'm all done, i'll look back and think "wow, what a short amount of time it was."

Things have been really rough for me the past month though. I am so emotionally and physically exhausted I can barely stand it. I'm getting weaker as the weeks go by. I'm bald. I've gained about 40 lbs from the chemo. That has been one of the most annoying parts. Working so hard to lose so much's all just down the drain. I've felt really depressed. It's a lonely time for me even though i'm surrounded by people all the time, and all the time I just wish to be alone. It's weird really. I know i've said it over and over again, but people just don't understand. As much as they want to understand, they can't. You just can't imagine what it's like to be tired all the time. To barely have the energy to get up and go pee. My joints have been hurting so bad lately. I can't sleep the pain is so bad.

I've had a lot of good experiences though. I went to Pittsburgh to see Suzie and I had such a great time up there. It was so beautiful and we ate some truly amazing food. I could maybe see myself living there. Or maybe not. Maybe Chicago is in order. Maybe back to Nashville. It all seems so far away. Getting back to normalcy. I hate that I have such a defeatist attitude lately. I feel like I have to put on such a strong face all the time because I hate when people pity me. Yeah my life sucks, but it sucks even more when people go "awwww, or how are you feeling?, or your hair looks great" blah blah blah. I am really thankful for all the people that care and support me but it's really overwhelming sometimes. Getting asked how i'm doing 20 times a day gets really tiring. I'm terrible, i feel like crap, and somedays it's just more than I can take. All I have are my thoughts all day long. Nothing more. They are crazy thoughts. Scatterbrained, sad, depressed, anxious.

This was probably the most unproductive post, but there it is.