Getting back to a ‘normal’ life after facing what for the most part is considered a terminal cancer is not the easiest of tasks. When I was in treatment I had my routine. I did not worry about anything other than getting healthy again, trying to enjoy every second of everyday and loving my family and friends as much as humanly possible. I was completely focused and knew that I did not want to be another notch to the GBM’s belt. In between the sickness, pain, sleepless nights and anxiety induced by the chemos, the absolute lack of energy and inability to leave my bed at times from the radiation, I was still the most optimistic GBM fighter I could possibly be. I never let any of my negative symptoms keep me down for more than the allotted time I gave each one. Once I felt any spark of energy or break in nausea I forced myself to get busy in anyway I possibly could. Self loathing was removed from my vernacular and I was determined to do anything and everything in my power to not only lift myself up, but try and help anyone else I could. For the first time in a while I was enjoying life on a level I hadn’t in quite some time. Even with all the nasty stuff I had to face, my life was not so bad.
When my treatment abruptly ended I was scared. I lost my comfortable routine and now I had to attempt to re-enter the real world. I was, and still am not sure on how my future would or will play out. Was I supposed to just start working for a paycheck again? Do I take some time off and try to live some of my dreams before it is too late? Will I have another 40 healthy years or another 4 healthy years? I was left with nothing but questions and being 28, (as selfish as it may sound) there are a lot of things I want to do for myself before I leave this planet and now more than ever my future is literally unknown. Anyone can die at any second of any day at any age. We all know this and I knew this from the day I knew death was the end result of life, but now I feel a more pressing type of fear. A fear rooted in the return of a cancer that I despise, resent and respect. I found myself in a weird limbo where I was stable, yet I still knew the cancer is still in my brain slowly, silently trying to end my life from the inside.
I thought really hard about just booking a flight and going to the most amazing beach I could find and spending a month doing nothing but surfing and relaxing, but the more I thought about it the less appealing the idea became. I did not feel like I deserved a vacation, all I really did was what anyone else in their right mind would do and that was fight for my life. Leaving just to get away would serve no purpose to anyone but myself and now I am more motivated than ever to make something of my existence here. I didn’t earn a vacation so I could not justify taking one just to get away. I have no doubt one day I will do everything I want and aspire to do, but right now I need to get my life back on track again. So that was my decision, picking up the pieces and getting my life back on track and trying to pick up where I left off (I didn’t have too much of a choice seeing as how I ran out of money and credit limit anyways!) But I knew I wanted to start my life again and being on a beach in some tropic location was not starting my life, it would only slow me down. I want to work and more specifically I want to help others. I am now 14 months out of surgery and 6 months out of treatment and finally starting to get my life going in the right direction.
This direction comes with confidence and confidence builds comfort. After 14 months of stability I am getting more complacent and relaxed in my lifestyle. I am not eating quite as well as I was, I don’t always take time out of my days to appreciate the small random nuances of beauty in life we often ignore or don’t even notice and I am finding that I am not as happy as I was 10 months ago. Good news though, that will all change. I am refocussing my life and I am turning 29 on Sunday. This will be my last year of my 20′s and I plan to make some extreme moves before I hit my third decade of life. Many of the wheels have already been set in motion and I am no longer waiting for anything or anyone. My future no longer has any guarantees and I need to make sure I have no regrets if this little monster ever decides to make an encore.
Tuesday I leave for Portland to celebrate mine and my sisters birthdays which are a day apart, I will be there for a week and upon my return another new life starts. A new life refocused with new motivation, new goals and aspirations, but the same purpose. I have made a lot of changes for the better and I will continue to strive to better myself in any and every way possible, love harder, work harder, and inspire others. This is my driving force in life and NOTHING else matters. This is what makes me happy and I know if I dedicate myself 100% to what I set out to do I will always be happy and failure can never be an option.
When thinking about 2014 I get excited about the endless possibilities it holds. A blank slate waiting for my next chapter to be written.
Still have plenty of shirts up in the ‘Support Store’ if anyone wants to help in the battle!