Saturday, March 17, 2007

Nothing terribly interesting.

Dear aspiring writers,
Never begin anything by saying that it won't be an interesting read. Even if what you have written is horribly boring, do not tell your reader that in the first sentence. Come up with something witty and droll to make them want to continue reading. And then the joke is on them when they do continue reading, only to find out that what you have written is neither witty nor droll. But by that point, the reader has no choice but to finish your writing, having already made the decision to continue past the first paragraph.

And so, we move on to paragraph two. It is midnight in Chicago. I had a latte an hour ago, so I am wide awake and ready to go. Nowhere. But it was still a worthwhile latte. Please, let me share with you my evening's anecdote and resultant musings. I went to a Caribou Coffee in a nearby town. While I was there, enjoying my steamed milk and espresso beverage, four high school-age kids came in and sat down right in front of me. I'd say they were about 16, given that some were driving themselves home, and the others were getting picked up. They were rather loud, rather vacuous, and more than slightly boring. Anyway, it occurred to me that I could not identify with these kids at all. I can't really even empathize with them because when I was 15 or 16, my life was completely different from theirs. And I have become so different from the person I was five years ago. It was just sort of a reality check. I don't feel like a teenager anymore. Partly because of the cancer, but mostly because I've experienced so much more of life. Everything I've done and gone through the past five years has made me so strong. I wouldn't be able to get through all this treatment if I hadn't grown up the way I did. So, I don't know, I hope those kids I saw in the coffee shop will grow up and be able to face head-on the challenges life throws at them. I'm sure they will, and I'm just being harsh. Hahaha, but that's what I do. Anyway, I'm checking out for tonight. Thanks for tuning in, and enjoy Saturday. Peace.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Humour me here.

Today was a good day. I went to a massive shopping mall a few miles up the highway. I got some new clothes; I got some new hats; I also got new sunglasses. I've realized that even if no one else is noticing me and thinking, "damn, that girl is fine," I still want to look good for myself. Besides, hello? Hats! Mall people freak me out a little bit. Particularly the girls. There is an eerie resemblance among all of them. Especially the ones who frequent Abercrombie, Hollister, and occasionally American Eagle. They all really look the same. Not that I have anything against those stores or the people who shop there. It just bothers me that they all carry essentially the same product, and their prices don't always reflect the quality of the clothes (price being high, quality being not so much). But enough of my rant, as I sit here in American Eagle jeans, which, I would like to note, do not highlight my butt-curves as there are about four or five inches of extra fabric to them. They're comfy. I'm also wearing Doc Martens and a choker I made in fourth grade of braided strips of cloth. So my judgments aren't completely hypocritical. It is, however, possible that these fashion choices of mine are the reason why, when at BU parties, I was rarely approached by guys. Oh, the irony. Dress like everyone else, get noticed. Make slightly different fashion choices, and no one really cares. Or of course there's the possibility that all of this is in my head, and the reason no one walks up to me is because I usually look very uncomfortable and unapproachable when I'm in a situation with people I don't know. Or a combination of the two. All things that have been on my mind; all things that, really, do not matter at all. But we're allowed that every once in a while.

In other news, I'm starting to lose the feeling in my finger tips again. Just about ten days ago I received the chemo drug Vincristine, the one that damages nerve endings. So this isn't wholly unexpected, although it is still unwelcome. The good news is I know that the feeling will come back. It was almost completely back before they gave me the chemo, so I know the damage isn't permanent. I'm pretty sure that when I finish all of these treatments at the end of August, my body is going to be so damaged that it will take months to repair itself. It will probably be years until I am back to where I was before any of this started happening. But that's still far in the future. Right now I'm concerned with not freaking out before I have to go to the hospital again, as well as going somewhere this weekend where I can wear my new Pants! And despite the, "Wah, I feel so sorry for myself" first paragraph, I do feel great, and I'm not actually wallowing in self pity. Just reflecting. Oh, and also, I got a blue tye-dyed t-shirt with a peace sign on it. I am super pumped. Rock on. Pax.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I rock the technology world.

So, in an attempt to incorporate more and varied types of media to my blog, I have figured out how to add pictures. In that same vein, I have figured out how to upload lots of pictures to web albums. Web albums not on Facebook. So, for everyone who has ever wondered what all the hype is about, check out my photos!!!

In other news, it's windy outside. In more relevant news, I went for a bike ride both yesterday and today. I haven't done any cardiovascular activity in just about two months, owing to cold and sick and hospital stays. It felt good to be on the bike, but it was a slap in a face when I realized just how out of shape I have gotten. Granted, I pushed myself pretty hard, but I still have a very uphill road to pedal in the coming months. It's tough too because this coming Monday I'll be back in the hospital where all previous physical advancements are decimated by the extreme inactivity. Hopefully the room with the bike won't be off limits this next week though. And other than my sore thighs and calves, I feel absolutely great. Yesterday was 73 degrees, the day before was also warm and sunny. On Monday, Megan and I spent pretty much all day walking around The Art Institute of Chicago and the city itself. It was great. I had to sit down and rest a few times, particularly when we were looking at the paintings, but aside from that I survived the day with flying colors. I am really happy the way this session of chemo is turning out. No neutropenia, no debilitating side effects, and I can bike! So I am pleased.

Finally, I am going to visit Boston!!!! My doctor cleared it, and I booked my ticket today. The best part is I'll be there for the Boston Marathon. If ever I needed any extra motivation to get through all this, being in Boston with my friends as well as seeing world-famous and awesome runners will provide it. I will have no problem getting through the next four weeks because I have something huge to look forward to. And that's about it for me. Megan left this morning, leaving the house a little sadder and a lot quieter. I'm looking forward to resting up before the hospital, as well as fattening up before the hospital. (Their food is horrendous.) Oh, and spring is in one week. So, it's going to be good times ahead. Pax.

still life: feet on street with crushed cans, shadows

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

holla back, ya'll

Yeah, I don't know why that's my subject. I just know that it is. I have a few updates! First and foremost, I am out of the hospital. They discharged me Friday evening, after which I promptly went and had Mexican food. Mmm, enchiladas. The doctors kept me a bit longer because there was some question as to whether or not I had a urinary tract infection. I guess they found some enterococcus (round bacteria) in my urinalysis and weren't sure what it meant. The infectious disease doctors, however, said it isn't something I should worry about. There are innumerable types of bacteria residing in our general intestine and colon and bladder and such. The doctors figured it was probably just a normal bacteria swimming around in my bladder that wouldn't give me any grief. So that's good. I also got my period, which is giving me some grief. I haven't gotten it in about three months, and I'm not sure if I'm supposed to have it now. I'm taking birth control so that I don't get my period, but it can't be too healthy to not have your period for seven months... I need to ask my doctor about this. In the meantime, all of the usual and fun symptoms associated with periods have come and taken residence in my body. Cramps, headaches. It's kind of funny because I can go strong for a few hours until my head starts to hurt. And then all I need is a nap, and I'm set to go again. I suppose it's comparable to recharging my batteries. If batteries could feel pain. And ran my head. Also, I found out that during these next five weeks of chemo, I won't become neutropenic. Yay! So although I have to stay in the hospital for four days every two weeks, I can still eat what I want and go out in public. Fantastically good news.

In other cancer-related news, my "cancer story," such as it is, has been published online by a cancer website. There are a ton of websites for college-age students who have cancer. Some of them provide scholarships, some provide support groups. One,, has a link where cancer survivors and their friends can share their stories. I decided it would be fun to type something up and submit it, just to see what happened. Well, the guy who runs the site (and also has cancer) liked it and posted it. So, if you're bored and want the edited version of my blog - basically - check it out!

And finally, my ex-roommate but current friend Megan is visiting me now. It's a good time. The weather finally got awesome here. Today, we went to the South Side of Chicago's St. Patrick's Day Parade. It was fantastic. I haven't seen that many drunk 20-somethings stumbling off the curbs since I was in Boston. Ah, good times. Seriously though, everyone was wearing green, and most everyone, unless they were very small, was holding a frothy, amber beverage. It felt good to be around people again. I had my massive camera, took lots of pictures, and at one point these two drunk guys were like, "hey, wanna take our picture?" Me being me, I was like, "Yeah, sure." (I didn't drink today. I just like taking pictures.) So I took their pictures, got their e-mail address, and will be sending them their happy reminder of their spring break in Chicago. Another job well done by the Cancer Kid. And that's about it. Tomorrow is another downtown day. I'm excited. I hope everyone is enjoying their spring break, if they're on it, or enjoying the great weather, if they have it, or can find something to enjoy because it's not really worth it to be unhappy. Peace.