Tag Archive | survivor

20 Years Blessed

20 years ago, I was given amazing news, that after a 4 month battle and being told repeatedly that I would not survive, I was not only going to survive but that my cancer was gone. Just vanished, leaving only scar tissue in it’s wake. I am so blessed to have had all these years even with the crazy side effects and complications that I’ve had since. Menopause at 28, blood clots, heart condition, it hasn’t been an easy road but I don’t regret a second of my journey.

I have an amazing daughter who has grown into an amazing woman. She got her first job just a couple of weeks ago and she’s showing incredible ambition and displaying her sense of responsibility. I’m so glad that I’ve been here these 20 years to witness her transition from typical teenager to extraordinary woman.

I’ve been able to realize that my brother isn’t just the annoying little boy, but has become one of my best friends too. My brother and I have 5 years between us. I’m older and as a little boy he just wanted to hang out with his big sister and frankly I couldn’t be bothered. As we have grown into adults, we’ve had life experiences that have helped us grown closer and become friends. I may not talk to him every day, but we don’t let a week go by without checking in on each other to make sure that we are ok.

My mom, my rock. She’s always been in that role and I don’t think that will ever change. We’ve been there for each other through break ups, heart ache, deaths of 2 amazing men (both of whom I was proud to think of as Dad) and ups and downs with health. Though she doesn’t live close by anymore, we still talk at least once a day.

My dad, he’s not one for showing emotion. At least with me he never has. We’re not close but I know that when I need him, he’s there for me. And that’s enough for me.

Over the years I’ve gotten to re-connect with some old friends and make some pretty amazing new ones. They’ve become like family to me. I don’t think that I would have been able to get through some of the rough times without them.

I’ve gone on to get 2 different degrees. Something that I didn’t think that I’d ever do. I really have accomplished quite a lot in these last 20 years. I can’t wait to see what I do in my next 20 …..

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Time to Slow the heck down!

I found this on Google when I typed in Slow Down, I think it’s fitting for me.

Since my lovely daughter has left for TN, I have been moving at warp speed. I am working my regular job plus a second job (that’s strictly volunteer) and school. To say that I’ve been burning the candle at both ends is an understatement.

So it’s time that I slow the heck down and take time to smell the roses, or another flowers for that matter. I fly out in two days to spend 10 days with my mom and daughter and I’m going to use that time to try and re-group and re-think how I tackle work, projects and just everything.

October 12th is my 19 year anniversary of being in remission, it’s only fitting that I be with mom and Tiff during this time and that I start to remember that life isn’t worth living if you don’t actually live it.

My volunteer job is what I actually love doing, I’m designing, contributing, brainstorming and working with an amazing group of people. Their love and support during the last few months has been what’s kept me going. I can’t stop being part of that, it’s become such an important part of my life. It’s helped me to grow and learn things about myself that I needed to learn.

School is important too, it’s teaching me the information that I need to know to help at my volunteer job. Becoming a Graphic Designer isn’t just a dream anymore, it’s becoming a reality. And while it’s not necessary that I get that piece of paper that says I have a degree, it’s really important that I see this through.

So I think it comes down to that I need to be find a way to manage my projects and school work more efficiently so that I can have some semblance of a life outside of these things. I need to find time for me. I need to be able to go back to the gym again, to spend time with my brother (who I have been neglecting, not that he’s not busy too, but I feel like I’ve been neglecting him), to spend time with friends and to have some down time too.

So while my life is about to get a heck of a lot crazier with multiple projects, I’m going to do my best to slow down and enjoy life, moments and people. I hope that everyone else does the same. Life is simply too short not to find joy!

Bit of Emotional Release

I’m coming up on my 19th year of remission from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I have a good friend going through cancer treatment and a family member that is dying from cancer, so it’s pretty much assured that my own treatment is heavy on my mind these days.

I’ve been thinking about my savior a lot lately. No, nothing spiritual, the doctor that saved my life with the experimental treatment. I’ve been wondering where he is, if he went back to Greece, if he was still at Dana Farber, if he was still doing research. I finally Googled him.

I found him in seconds. Why I didn’t think of doing that sooner, I have no idea. I’m on the computer everyday, for work, for school, I should have searched for him before. He is no longer with Dana Farber but another major Boston hospital. He’s still doing research but also seeing patients too.

I was inspired after finding him. I sat down and wrote a short letter thanking him. I know he’s a doctor, he doesn’t expect a thank you. Heck I don’t even know if he’s going to remember who I am, but that’s ok. It was good for me to sit down and write to him. It felt good. Maybe it’ll even brighten his day when he gets the letter.

Whether I ever hear back from him or not, I feel good because I was able to say thank you to him, something I don’t think that I ever did years ago.