Monday, January 28, 2008

This t-shirt says it all

Besides science fair, and starting to teach Saturday school, and the new science program we're starting, and the petition that is now up to 262 signatures (that's right, fools!) and trying to keep up with the new influx of emails, not much has been going on. This is the part of the school year we like to call "Boot Camp." That's meant not only for the kids, but actually mostly for the teachers. From now till April, it's all about getting ready for TAKS, and that means I've been working at least 12 hour days since we got back from Christmas break. It's hell, but I'm trying to keep a positive attitude and say, hey, it's only 3 more months. And by "positive" I mean "lots of beer" and by "attitude" I mean "in the fridge."
The really crazy thing about all this is that after I wrote my last post about all the pain I've been in and the sorry state of my body, I did some serious impulse shopping from Amazon (like 4 books in 5 minutes) and what I've found out has really helped. I can't believe I put off admitting for so long the kind of pain I was experiencing. Looking back, if I just would've admitted it, I guess I could've moved forward with it a lot sooner. But nonetheless I'm excited because it seems like for the first time since I finished Interferon (which is I guess a year and a half ago) I've seen some improvement in how I feel. It's pretty astounding that changing a few simple things can make that kind of difference. I'm thrilled, though- like really thrilled- to be feeling better. The pain was making me crazy. Nick Nolte crazy. Brittney Spears crazy. Okay, not Brittney Spears crazy. Leave Brittney alone!


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Light at the end of the tunnel

Hey kids,

Just a quick little post here. If you haven't checked my regular website lately, then you may not know that I've started a petition to require a Surgeon General's warning on all tanning beds (you can get there from HERE). If you agree with the cause, I'd appreciate your signature and ask you to pass the link on to as many people as possible.

That's all I got for now, but I'll post again real soon. I promise. Now stop being so clingy.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

I just wanna go to the rooftops and scream I love my best friend Evan

Okay, so it's not my thyroid. Which is actually good news, right? Yes, it's definitely good news. Even though it does not necessarily feel like good news right now. Anywho. Everything's going to be fine. Just leave it to me. Or the Beaver. Whatever. I'm still searching for info, still trying to figure out where these symptoms are coming from. I guess it could be the Bubonic Plague. Cross your fingers for that. I hear you lose lots of weight if you have it. Of course, that's blood loss. But whatever. I'm not picky.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

It sounds like a sexy hamburger

My mind is saying, "Just write," even though I don't quite know how to say what I want to say. I thought I'd start this post like most bloggers this time of year, writing about my resolutions and everything that happened in the last year that I learned. But what is really on my mind is faith. Faith not exactly in the religious sense, but more of in the confidence or trust sense. Like the way that I have faith that the sun will come up tomorrow. It's not something I question, and it has nothing to do with spirituality. I know it through and through without any doubt that the sun will be there when I wake up.

The question I suppose that you're asking yourself is why is faith on my mind today. Or, maybe that's just my question to myself. To be honest, I'm not sure. Even if I am thinking about it, I generally a.) am not religious or outwardly spiritual and b.) not open enough about it to post it on my blog. Yet lately, I can't get it out of my head. I've been thinking alot about what I know for sure and what I don't know. About the old me. About what I used to feel like I knew and what has changed. About how facing the possibility of death changed all that. About purpose and hope and about faith. I guess, also, I've been thinking about faith because of pain/health issues lately, and the way I feel like I am being tested by them. I know that sounds a little cheesy and confusing, but let me explain. If I was pre-cancer me, I would say that everything that has happened to me, everything good or bad that I have experienced up until this moment, had happened for a reason. Like fate. They were all experiences I needed to have in order to learn the lessons I learned to be the person that I am today. No regret or grief, just acceptance. And pre-cancer me would say that this very moment I am experiencing right now is the only moment I truly have. Even in this moment, anything could happen to me, but I can control how I react to whatever happens, and that is all I need to be concerned with for now. From this moment, I can go anywhere I need to go in life. And if my life were to end 2 minutes from now, well, then, at least I appreciated living in this moment up until my last breath.

I look back now and miss that peace that pre-cancer me had. I realize now that (perhaps stupidly) I feared so little then and I had so much faith in what I believed. I knew each moment was precious, and I tried to really soak it up and appreciate it for what it was. I remember a particularly good time in my life when I had a big window in my bedroom. I used to wake up in the morning and feel so lucky to be looking out of that window, to have the opportunity to appreciate the sun on the grass or the rain falling or whatever happened to be going on right then. I remember I used to say a silent little prayer of thanks for that opportunity before I even got out of bed and started my day. I felt happy just to be aware of what was going on outside that window.

That was pre-cancer me. I was a pretty content person back then, and I think a lot about my old thought patterns. See, the thing is, I've realized recently that there was nothing I had before cancer that I don't have now. All the possessions, all of the love, all of the friends, everything-- I have as much now (or, in actuality, more) than I did back then. I think about that and I know I need to get back to thinking that way. That was the only difference for me- the way I used to think about things. For that reason, I've been thinking about pain and illness in a new way, like, "what am I supposed to be taking from this? Is this supposed to be a lesson I'm learning?"

A funny thing happened a few weeks ago. I was telling a new friend about my cancer experience, and when I had finished telling her, she said to me that since I am still here today, I must be here for a purpose.

Now, to believe privately and personally that each of us is here for a reason is completely different from hearing it from someone you barely know. For one thing, it's frightening to hear it. It sets up an expectation that you have to achieve something grand, and yet you have no idea what that thing is. And, for another, to have the kind of courage to openly state such an intimate detail of one's personal beliefs without any reservation or fear, quite honestly took me aback. Even if I did know how I felt about it, I don't know if I would've had the nerve to have the conversation with her.

So later, alone, I thought about it. Do I believe that, too? Are we all here for some divine purpose? And pre-cancer me answered, "yes." To which present day me said, "Oh, well that's friggin' great. Sorry, it's not my day to care."

I'm not sure what any of that has to do with my current health issues. I've been keeping a chart lately of my pain level just to see what it's really like. The chart has the hours listed throughout the day for each month, and when I'm in pain, I go to the chart and type it the level from 1-10. I think I have put this off for quite some time because I was hoping sort of foolishly and naively that maybe it would all just kinda disappear and I wouldn't have to deal with it anymore. But the results are in, the votes have been tallied, and I'm sad to say that the reality is I am in a good deal of pain and/or malaise on a regular basis. Bobby probably could've told you this months (or maybe even a year) ago, but hard-headed me has insisted on keeping up the pretense that "I'm fine" and/or "Everything is fine." That being said, I feel like now that I can admit that I'm experiencing this pain, maybe I can move forward with it. Maybe now I can deal with the reality and gain what I'm supposed to gain from it, which is, hopefully, the ability to live fully in spite of it.

I saw an endocrinologist on New Year's Eve (before the partying began, luckily) and although I am hopeful that all of my issues have been because of one little gland, in all actuality I think that I need to prepare myself if that is not be the case. I could be wrong, but she was very candid in telling me that Interferon has a way of causing "a syndrome of chronic fatigue for periods of time that are indeterminable." So, in other words, this may be an endocrine issue and I guess it may not be. And, if it's not, it may get labeled as depression (every doctors' favorite "I have no idea" answer) or chronic fatigue. I'm already being treated for depression, and although I know that chronic fatigue is finally being accepted as a real condition by doctors, I also know that treating it is still an art form that takes a lot of trial and error.

I guess what I'm trying to say though, is that either way, I'd like to be okay with this. I'd like to be able to say that I am mentally and emotionally going to be able to live my life fully, no matter the condition, even if I am not able to physically live fully. I want to be that way. I am hoping that my new goal to view things as more of an opportunity than a burden will help me get there.
Because in all honesty I'm not that cancer survivor that says they have learned so much from their experience and diagnosis. I still get mad in traffic, I still dread Mondays, I'm less "enlightened" now that I was before.
But I really WANT to be that happy cancer survivor. I've had my time to grieve and I'm ready now to be the person I want to be, to live each moment fully again. And I think that if I can do that, then maybe I'll remember what it was like to know that I had a purpose here. I want to feel that way again, to feel optimistic about my life and everything that has happened. To be OBSESSED with living. And to not only fulfill my purpose, but to appreciate all the moments in the quest to find it. And to wake up in the morning and say a silent prayer of thanks every day.

I'm just hoping that if I want it this badly, then maybe I can make it so. That's what the old me would've said, at least. So, for now, that's all I'm going to let myself believe.


Tardy doesn't even begin to describe it

Okay, I suck. I told Baldylocks I'd post 5 random facts about myself like a month ago, and I'm just now getting them here. But alas, my friends, here they are, in no particular order.

1. I love photographs. Even when I'm fat, (which is, by the way, right now). I'm not sure if it's that I love to pretend I'm famous or that I love to have particular moments captured or if it's that I'm a closet sentimentalist, but no matter, I'm obsessed with having pictures of me and the people I love. And, evidently, my cleavage, too.

2. I want at least 2 more tattoos. I've been stalling on this, but I'll have a koi tattoo before 2008 is over.

3. I think I might be the reincarnate of Eazy-E. I'm just sayin.

4. I miss my friends. Mandy, Kelly, Amanda. We've lost touch since I was diagnosed with cancer. Not sure why this happened, but I wish it wouldn't have.

5. I almost messed up the best thing in my life. That is, I almost missed my first date with Bobby. I was like an hour late, and he was on the brink of leaving, when I finally showed up. Lucky for me he was patient and sort-of forgiving. But he did stick around and we ended up having an amazing first date, which has led to me realizing I've met the man of my dreams. Aww.

That's it for me, folks. I'm here till Thursday. Try the veal.



I'm Too Young For This!