October 31, 2010

october update.

it's the last day of the month...so it's time for an update!

halloween last year was a little rough...i remember getting treatment on that friday, and all the nurses were dressed in costume. it was the first time i got really, really sick from treatment...so, i still have a little nausea thinking about that one. ugh. thank goodness for feeling healthy this year.

life is fantastic right now...almost through my first semester in my MSW program (crazy), and have been fortunate to find my 'groove' with the work load, and don't feel stressed or overwhelmed anymore. and, it seems i've somehow avoided the chemo brain - i've been able to pull all A's so far, which i'm pretty proud of. i was so sure i'd suffer from lasting chemo brain, but i decided to go for it anyways. aside from a little problem with my attention span (it almost feels like i have ADHD), i have no complaints of any cognitive difficulty. it's funny what you feel grateful for.

i've been networking with the oncology world up here, and plan to start shadowing the oncology social worker at the hospital, as well as the pain and palliative care social worker, and perhaps a few others. i'm really nervous to find out where my own 'stuff' comes up, but i'm more excited than anything...and i know i have to manage this challenge before i can do good work on my own next year when i actually do my placement in oncology.

life outside of school is wonderful, too. we've been enjoying the beautiful fall weather, and really taking in the beauty of the little things. apple picking, pumpkin spice lattes, the leaves changing, the crisp air...all things that remind me how beautiful life is. fall is by far my favorite season, and i feel fortunate to be able to take it all in this year. i even made my first apple pie (i've always just aided my dad in making his)!

i'm also learning a lesson in keeping perspective. once you've received a cancer diagnosis, your life is forever changed. but, once the physical battle is over, it's easy to fall back into a pattern of life and forget the perspective you promised yourself you'd hang on to for dear life once this was over. i have forgotten many times. mostly when i started school, and i was running myself into the ground trying to get all my work done...and then beating myself up when i couldn't. my stress level sky-rocketed, and i realized i wasn't really spending as much quality time with the ones i love...or taking time for myself. then, i reminded myself of what my priorities actually were. my health and my loved ones definitely come before school. it's not that i'm not totally invested in school, because i am...it's just that i don't want to put so much into school that i'm not living the life i want. lots of people have said..."well it's just two years and then i'll get back to my life". what i realize, that most don't, is that we're not promised tomorrow, let alone two years from now. and, i get that in a way that's more real than i would have ever imagined. so, while so many people have put their lives on hold for the next two years...i've decided to keep living. i'll work hard and invest myself in my education and my career...but not to the expense of the rest of my life. i want to make sure that i can go to bed every night knowing that if i didn't have tomorrow, that i was happy with today. life really is one day at a time, and it's our responsibility to make sure that we live each day with that in mind. so, when i get stressed, or lose my perspective for a minute, i stop and remind myself where i've been...

it's all about balance. and perspective. cancer warriors, always remember how lucky we are to have that.


  1. So well written and well said! Love to you.

  2. Oh how I miss your posts.... I wish I could sit down and drink a pumpkin spice latte with you and just chaat. And you are so right- I often find myself falling back into old habits. So frustrating :(