Helloooo to all of you who come across this. And to those of you who have been keeping up with these little updates every two weeks, I appreciate it.
Quite a lot has happened the past two weeks.
On some positive notes, I had my first party of the summer with most of my best friends, including two friends who came to visit from college. It was so nice to be back with everyone and have everyone together again to just let loose for the night. I also enjoyed my friends from school getting along with friends from home, and I can’t wait for my upcoming summer parties! I’ve also been working a lot at Pacsun the past couple weeks and am finally getting the hang of retail. I never thought I’d be good at it, but my managers have been pretty impressed with how I’ve been doing, so that makes me feel really good. I also really love this job compared to working at a restaurant because I get to actually interact with people all day, although some can be a pain in the ass. I’m so glad that I have this job, and am looking forward to working there all summer.
On a less positive note, I was sad to hear that two people have lost their battles with cancer in the past two weeks. One was a guy about my age who was really great friends with one of my friends from school. Another was a guy a few years older than me who went to high school when my sisters did. I was seriously upset when I found out that they’ve passed away due to cancer. It’s not fair that they had to suffer for so long only to be taken away at such young ages. It really helped put into perspective for me just how fragile life is, and how quickly everything can change in just one day. I think of those two, and everyone else who is fighting much more serious types of cancer, and I can’t help but feel bad about myself, almost as if I’m cheating because the cancer I’m dealing with is highly and completely treatable and curable. I know that’s not my fault, but I can’t help feeling horrible about it. Why do I deserve the satisfaction of knowing that there’s an extremely high chance of me surviving this while there are others out there who don’t have that luxury and safety of knowing they’ll be okay? It’s not fair to them, and I truly wish everyone had such a high chance of surviving like I do.
Anyway, I met with my oncologist today, and she told me my bloodwork is still looking great. I scheduled an appointment to have a PET/CT scan next wednesday, and if it comes back showing the cancer has really diminished or is practically gone, then I’ll only be receiving treatment until the end of next month instead of the end of summer. So I’m reeeally hoping everything goes well so I can focus on other things in my life and try to get everything in order.
I have to admit, it’s getting harder and harder to deal with chemo and the nausea and everything. It was especially difficult the last time because right after chemo I had to also deal with really bad allergies, so I was trying to fight off the effects of that alongside the nausea. Those three days were absolutely horrible. Chemo in general is getting more difficult to deal with because my body is so used to the drugs now that it knows when and what is coming, so now I feel a little sick on my way in to get treated. There’s also this one medicine that I have to get through my IV that I can actually taste and smell, and it tastes/smells like sharpie/rubbing alcohol. It’s one of the most disgusting odors ever, and it makes me violently gag every time. I hate it. If it wasn’t for that, I’d be fine.
I was happy to see my “guardian angel” again today. I finally learned her name, too. She always catches me by surprise. Anyway, she came up to me this morning with a card in hand from a girl my age who just got done her treatment for the same exact type of cancer that I have. I read the card after the lady left and it was a really kind gesture from the girl my age. The card read “Chemo Sucks” on the front, and I couldn’t help but smile because well, it’s true. And she understands. In the card, she basically said how she knows everything I’m going through, and that I’ll make it out just fine. She also said she’s trying to start a foundation for cancer patients our age so that teachers can come to them and teach them so they don’t fall behind in school. She gave me her contact information in case I want to talk to her, which was really nice. I finally learned why the lady is always there on the days I am, too. The lady explained that she works at a daycare, and one of the children’s grandmothers there has to go to chemo, but her family can’t always take her, so the lady volunteered to take her to her treatment every week. She’s seriously such an incredibly kind lady, and I definitely have to bring her a gift or really nice present on the day of my very last treatment to pay her back for all the nice things she’s done for me.
I realized something today during chemo, as I was just sitting around. I looked all around me at all the other patients getting chemo and noticed that we’re all different. Some of us are old, some of us are young, some middle aged. Two patients had accents, one man was dressed in fancy business attire, while an elderly man dressed very casually. There was a young, skinny woman in the corner while there was a heavy set, middle-aged woman to my right. The woman who handed me the card today accompanied her friend who was an elderly black woman, while the woman to my left was on the phone with her kids, jotting down some things to get for them at the store. Her mother was with her, keeping her company and a smile on her face. My point is, we’re all different. Things like cancer don’t discriminate against anyone. They don’t care about how much money we make, how much we weigh, whether we’re physically fit or overweight, how many kids or grandkids we have, if we’re married, how old we are, the color of our skin, where we come from, if we go to school, or have a very high-paying job at a corporation, or whether we work hard every night at a restaurant trying to pay bills and make it by, how many friends and loved ones we have, counting on us, praying for us, hoping for our speedy recovery, our return back to good health. Cancer doesn’t care. It’s not sexist, racist, or prejudice in any way. It simply attacks anyone, regardless. No one is invincible or immune or safe from it. And that’s a scary thing. It’s just one of those things in life that isn’t fair. But you know what? That’s what makes it beautiful, in a weird way. That people from all different backgrounds, ethnicities, races, ages, gender, and socioeconomic standings can come together to fight this thing, and those that survive band together to raise awareness to everyone out there, and try to keep them hopeful and optimistic for a future where we don’t have to worry about things like cancer. I really like that, how so many different people can share the same worry, hope, and dream.
So, thank you, cancer, for bringing people together.
But at the end of the day, what we all want to say to you, and I believe that I speak on behalf of everyone,