Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I was shot in the arm today.

And by shot, I mean I was given a shot. Specifically, I was given a virus. Even more specifically, I was shot with the flu virus. Fortunately for me, the virus had been killed. As the flu season looms ominously in the distance, it recently occurred to me that perhaps this year I should get a flu shot. I asked my doctor who resoundingly said, "Yes. Get the shot." I suppose it makes sense: I have few white blood cells to combat any sort of viral infection that may decide to find its way into me. Since there is no prescription available to battle viruses, my best option was to receive the immunization. Now that the virus has been injected into my system, I will be able to create antibodies for it. That way, if I do happen to catch the actual flu virus, I will already have built up a resistance. So awesome. Best case scenario, I just don't catch the virus.

Today was sort of ridiculous, in the way that my days tend to be. I suppose I should preface this by explaining what is currently going on in my life. I noted a few posts ago that I was asked to be interviewed in front of the first-year medical students regarding my perspective on terminal illnesses and such. Okay, exciting, I can do that. But the plot thickens. This story was pitched to The Boston Globe, the main newspaper here in Boston. The story was picked up by the "Higher Education" department, and they decided to expand it beyond my talking to the med students. Basically, there will soon be an in-depth profile of me in The Globe involving interviews, photos, possibly multi-media, and excerpts from my blog. The reporter who is writing the story is going to be shadowing me a bit over the next week-ish to try and get a better sense of who I am and why I am who I am. It is pretty intense, and I wish her luck. The really ironic thing is that while she is profiling me and the photographer is taking pictures of me doing my thang, I am supposed to be coming up with an idea for a photo essay for my photojournalism class. And I have no clue what to do. I kind of want to do my photo essay on the photographer doing a photo essay about me, but I'm not sure if that would work so well.

Anyway. So today, I get to my Hinduism class, and my professor starts by saying, "Before we begin, Caroline, would you like to explain to everyone about the people from The Boston Globe who will be joining us in class next week?" Now, I knew that the reporter was planning on coming to a class at some point, but I hadn't expected her to have worked so fast in getting permission. (Perhaps that is why I wouldn't be a very good journalist...) So, I sort of muttered something about, "I am currently receiving chemo, and I'm talking to the med students in two weeks, and the Globe has decided to profile me, which involves their coming to my classes. So, um, dress nicely on Monday...?" I sounded like an idiot. My professor then said, "And you're writing a blog, as well? Why don't you give us the link." So, okay, I did. Wrote it on the board and everything. (Hello to anyone from class, if you actually copied the link and are visiting my b-log). I sort of doubt they will, just because I know how college students are, and I know that they don't tend to care tremendously about what their peers do in their free time. Regardless. My teacher's announcement was unexpected, and I was quite taken aback. The point is that a reporter and photographer will be joining me in class on Monday. We'll see how it goes.

Although the subject of much of the profile, I have essentially stopped worrying or thinking about how I have changed and how it is affecting my daily life. I don't really see the point anymore. I am who I am, regardless of disease or drugs, and that's cool with me. Finally, briefly: my blood counts have fallen since last week, which was to be expected. Hopefully they will come up again for next Wednesday when I am scheduled for my FINAL chemo treatment. Happy white blood cell thoughts, that is all I ask. Alright, thanks for sticking with me. More updates as life happens, which it inevitably will. Happy Hump Day. Pax.


Anonymous said...

Hey Caroline,

Congratulations on the Boston Globe thing! That's pretty damn awesome. And sorry to hear your last chemo session was rough :( I won't pretend I know what that's like, but I've had my share of scary medical procedures and I can empathize. Anyway, you're almost done, so hang in there!

I was just at Dana Farber tonight for the brain tumor support group. I got some fliers on the Zakim Center programs and a resource directory listing all these programs for young adults with brain tumors and cancer. They look pretty cool, so drop me a line on email or facebook if you want more info!


Megan said...

I came back giggly tonight and I'm pretty sure that my roommate/your roommate/Rob (???) think I'm crazy.


Anonymous said...

Hi Caroline,
My name is Anoushka - I'm a good friend of your aunt Nora's in Edmonton. Have been following your blog for a while now...she just sent me the link to the article you did with Boston University. It was really fantastic to hear your voice...anyway, just wanted to say that I hope things continue to go well for you and I'm keeping you in my prayers...have a great weekend. :)

Jessica said...

Wow the Boston Globe! That's awesome!
Good luck with your last chemo. Afterwards you could have a "last chemo treatment" celebratory cupcake or something (if you feel up to it, and I hope you do).
I'm thinking happy white blood cell thoughts for you today and always!