The past couple weeks have been pretty good actually. A lot always seems to happen in two weeks between each therapy session.
Firstly, my friend and I have applied for summer jobs, and hopefully Pacsun gets back to us soon. We’re planning on working together, which would be awesome if everything actually works out. I absolutely REFUSE to go back to my old job working in a restaurant. I hate it so much. But I’ve never worked in retail before, so if I do end up getting the job, that should be interesting.
When I first started chemo, I sort of stopped working out, but that just made me feel even crappier. So I’ve decided to really get back into it and have been working out every single day. It’s weird that I’m actually in better physical shape now than I was in college this year. I went running with one of my sisters last week and somehow managed to run 6.5 miles! I haven’t run that much since the summer, and it felt so amazing and rewarding afterward. I started to get chest pains the first mile, but I powered through it and they went away for the rest of the run. I mainly kept going though just to prove that cancer can’t get the best of me, and I’m not going to stop doing what I love for it. So, take THAT, cancer.
Since I have so much free time, I’ve finally started to really get into learning Italian and am making a lot of progress. Italian’s an amazing language and I can’t wait until I’m fluent enough to go around speaking it. I’d really love to visit Italy one day, but I doubt that’ll happen anytime soon.
During my free time I’ve also been spending the majority of my time taking care of the puppies, especially our newest one, Lucy. It was great to have one dog around the house, but it’s even better to have two little pups who show us so much love & attention. They can be the biggest pains in the ass sometimes, but I love them both, and Leo is so thrilled to have another companion around. Even when I’m feeling like shit, it’s a great feeling to wake up next to two puppies who keep me company & cheer me up.
I’ve been having really bad dreams lately. Last week, I had a nightmare every single day. One night was about a demon trying to possess me, another was about 20 or more tornadoes surrounding me, another was about me getting arrested, and then the absolute worst one involved the nuclear power plant in my area having a serious meltdown and radiation getting everywhere, and my family and I had to try to escape before it got to us. It doesn’t sound so awful, but it was absolutely horrifying. Every dream involved one of my biggest fears.
Besides my own health problems, a lot of my close friends have been having serious health issues too. One of my best friends had a kidney infection and needed to go to the hospital. Another one of my best friends gets migraines all the time, but they’ve been a lot more frequent and intense, so she went to the doctor’s and found out she’s anemic. My friend who’s studying animation at SCAD who I’ve mentioned in a previous post has been having chest pains lately and is going to the hospital to get checked out. And then recently another one of my best friends had to go the ER because one of her pupils was larger than the other and that could indicate a brain aneurism. Luckily, she didn’t have one, but they still don’t know what’s wrong with her. Finally, one of my good friends from school just texted me last night saying her friend from home who’s also dealing with cancer is getting worse and doesn’t want any visitors anymore. I honestly don’t know why so many truly great people are suffering from health problems lately, but it really upsets me. I just want everyone to be perfectly healthy and okay more than anything. This year is certainly not a good year for people’s health…ugh.
I’m so excited for the next couple weeks! My friends are finally coming home from college for the summer and I cannot WAIT to see all of them again! Summer’s finally about to begin, and I’m thrilled.
Last thursday or so, one of my sisters stopped me and told me to turn around so she could see something. She found a small streak of my hair starting to bald. I started freaking out and got really worried. I’ve also been noticing that when I get out of the shower and my hair’s wet, it looks a lot thinner and I can see a lot more of my scalp. Normally, I have VERY thick hair, so it’s very easy to notice when it starts to change. I’m also shedding a lot more. I mean it’s not falling out in chunks or anything (yet), but still. I knew that hair loss is a major possibility for chemo patients, but I guess I was just hoping that I’d be one of the lucky ones and get to keep it. It’s not the BIGgest deal if I do lose my hair, cause my hair’s short already, but still. It’s going to be weird. I’ve never been bald before…BUT I have always wondered what I’d look like. I’m mainly just concerned about losing my eyebrows. But hey, I guess we’ll see what happens.
Before I started chemo today, I met with my oncologist and she informed me that everything is going very well, like my blood work and all, and then checked my swollen lymph nodes and told me they’re finally starting to shrink! Which means the treatment is working. She informed me I’m beginning my second cycle of chemo, and that each cycle is two sessions long, or 30 days, but that patients usually begin to lose their hair after the second cycle. So i should be on the look out very soon. She also told me that the treatment won’t affect my fertility or anything, which is good news because she said some treatments actually do affect people’s ability to have children in the future. I received REALLY great news today when my doctor told me that after I complete my second cycle in the next month or so, I’m scheduled to have another PET/CT scan, and if it comes back okay, then I only need 2 more cycles instead of 6! :D You have NO idea how happy I was to hear that. I mean I know it’s not definite yet, but still, just the possibility that I may be done chemo earlier than I expected is exciting. So all I can do is hope & pray it goes well!
During chemo today, two women came up to me personally to speak with me. The first woman is a practitioner from the Paoli Hospital right across the street who comes here to work with cancer patients. She sat down, introduced herself, and told me that she too had Hodgkin’s lymphoma 30 years ago, and that she’s completely fine nowadays. She just wanted to let me know that I will get through all of this, and that I’ll be just fine. It was such a kind gesture and I really appreciated her personally coming up to me to reassure me I’ll be okay. A few minutes later, an elderly woman came up to me, and kindly asked me if she could give me a hug. I said of course, and she embraced me, and kissed me on the cheek. I’ve never met her before, but she said that she’s here sometimes when I come in for chemo, and wanted to let me know that she’s thinking of me and keeping me in her prayers. She asked for my name, and told me to keep fighting and she hopes to see me again. It was honestly one of the kindest gestures I’ve ever received. I had to hold back my tears. This woman, who I’ve never even met before, has been keeping me in her thoughts and prayers for the past month. It’s people like her who restore my faith in humanity, and that there are really great loving people in this world. And it’s people like her who give me hope and faith, and encourage me to do the same and reach out to people who truly need love and support as well.
Just goes to show, when you see someone who could really use a little extra support or love, you should try to reach out to them and show them that they’re not alone. You might not think it would do much, but honestly, it could mean the world to them. So whoever’s reading this, I’m encouraging you to try to show at least one act of kindness to someone this week. Even the smallest gesture could give them that extra boost they need to make it through. Life’s short, people. Make yours worth living.