Another Year Older
I know it isn't my official cancerversary yet, but I turned 33 last week and it got me thinking about just how much has changed over the past year. If you would have asked me on my 32nd birthday, what I planned to do, or what I expected would happen for the year, I never would have guessed what has actually gone down.
Last year at this time, I was finishing up another semester of grad school, planning/prepping/packing for a 3+ week school trip to Mysore, India, getting vaccinations, and prescriptions to keep me safe from malaria, travel diarrhea, and other fun diseases, and looking forward to another busy year of life. Boy how quickly and fiercely that changed!
I am grateful I got to go to India, enjoy the experience, and remain blissfully ignorant to what was going on inside my body. Looking back, it is terrifying to think that I was so far from home, in a foreign country, with a cancer raging inside of me. What would have happened if everything came to a head while I was there?! Luckily, I felt physically well, was exercising every day, and felt pretty fit. I made it through the India trip without even catching a cold, which is more than I can say for almost everyone else I traveled with. I returned over-confident that my immune system and body could take just about anything! Ironically, that was put to the test shortly after my return home.
Last year, I had never had major surgery, never stayed overnight in a hospital, had all of my body parts intact, and could list my medications on two fingers. Although all of that has drastically changed, I have also grown in ways I never imagined.
I thought I was open and honest before cancer, but cancer turns your life into an open book whether you like it or not. From little things, like keeping your actual weight a secret because for some reason the real number gets you down, or discussing disgusting side effects over dinner like it is a normal thing to do. Cancer wears you down to the point where you just don't have the energy to keep up appearances and you end up just letting the truth spill out because it is easier that way. I started this blog, which I never would have considered before all this. I try to keep it real as much as possible, while also keeping in mind my audience. Anyway, I am looking forward to what 33 has to offer, and hoping things take a turn for the better this year.
Treatment updates: No news from NIH yet regarding the 92 stomach biopsies taken December 4th. Started round 4 of Xeloda last week, continuing on the modified dosing schedule (5 days on, 2 days off, 5 days on, 9 days off) hoping this will keep side effects at a minimum- so far, so good. Plastic surgery follow up appointment on Wednesday, hoping to be cleared to return to yoga- although I am so out of shape now it could take awhile to get back into the swing of things.