Thursday, November 22, 2007

Would it be cliche to write a Thanksgiving Post on Thanksgiving?

Yes. Yes it would. Luckily, I will still do my best to write one. Thanksgiving honestly doesn't mean very much to me anymore. Consumerism, the driving force of America, has almost eradicated Thanksgiving as a holiday. After Halloween, stores went straight to putting up Christmas decorations. I suppose it makes sense from a commercial standpoint: Thanksgiving is not a money-making holiday. Halloween is; Christmas is. The point of Thanksgiving is to give thanks for what we have. It is difficult to find a way to commercialize that concept, although the food stores do a good job in marketing and selling the "Thanksgiving feast" foodings. And yet it is the point of this day that needs to be emphasized.

I have not spent a Thanksgiving with my family in three years. As I mentioned, it isn't very important to me. I am thankful every single day for what I have and for who I am. I don't need an excuse to eat turkey or nap for two hours after sleeping eleven hours last night. The point of Thanksgiving, to me at least, shouldn't be a day to indulge yourself without feeling guilty. For the past three years, I have spent today just enjoying being me. Last year I went to Starbucks and a movie by myself. This year I worked on a photo project, napped, and relaxed. The absolute best part of this is that I am on my own, in my own apartment, spending the day how I want. As much as I am stressed out or anxious about school, I am content with my life right now.

One year ago I was working myself ragged. I remember last Thanksgiving break: on Wednesday, I worked at the gym from 6-10 am, and then I went to Borders to work from 11-8. I was sick, I was exhausted, and my cancer had just kicked in for real. I couldn't walk up stairs without blacking out from the lack of oxygen to my brain. I was taking Nyquil to help me sleep because I was dead tired but not sleeping well. I looked terrible. Two weeks later, I was in a hospital. The funny thing is, if you had asked me, I would have said I was happy. I would have said I was thankful for being able to live my life how I wanted.

So much has changed, and yet not a whole lot has, really. I am thankful for the same things and more. I am healthy, ish. At least, I won't be dying any time soon. I am having a tough semester, but I am surviving, and I am Here. I am in this semester. I can't think of anything better than that. No, I am not with my family, but they have probably had enough of me for a bit. I don't need one day of gorging myself on stuffing to remind me that I have So much to be thankful for. We all have so much to be thankful for, regardless of what day it is or how much pie is on the table. So I hope everyone is having a good day. I hope everyone can realize they can eat turkey whenever they want because it is delicious. And I hope and pray everyone is healthy and thankful for it. Thank you all for being there for me for this past year. Pax.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It is snowing!

November 20th, and it is snowing hardcore in Boston. I was so excited when I left work this morning and found myself surrounded by falling, white wetnesses.

I really haven't had that much to report since my last report, which is why I haven't reported anything. Last Wednesday I met with my doctor to discuss what comes next for me. He took me off most of my pills, so I am now only taking two types of pills in the morning, and I will be reducing it to one within the next few days. I love not having to take pills; they were one of the worst parts of treatment. So much to remember. I will, however, start taking more pills once I resume my follow-up treatment. I am finished with the main chemo, but I still have a year to go until I am finished with everything, officially. I am giving myself a two week break right now though. Next Wednesday, one week from tomorrow, I get another bone-marrrow biopsy, and then I start the remaining treatments. Those will include three types of low-grade chemo: mercaptopurine pills once a day, methotrexate pills once a week (17!), and an IV push of vincristine once a month. This means that my white blood counts will still be low for the next year, but they shouldn't be dangerously so. I will also probably be getting intermittent labs and a bone-marrow procedure every six months. This race isn't over yet, but the worst of it is behind me.

My hair is getting long; I think I may need a haircut. I have started running, although slowly and not frequently. I actually desperately need new running shoes. I am starting to have knee trouble, and I would rather not exacerbate that. Hopefully the Boston Globe will run my story this coming weekend. It has been delayed a few times, but we should be on schedule now. I am anxious to see how it goes, although I'm sure it will be great. It's funny because I wonder if people will recognize me or realize that they cut me off at the T or bumped into me on the street. I doubt it, as I don't think most people are that observant, but you never know.

Otherwise, I am just getting along. Final exams and final project deadlines are rapidly approaching, and I have no time to think about anything other than school. Thanksgiving will be nice because I have no chemo or blood counts or procedures to worry about. I am looking forward to relaxing a bit, just chilling out in my apartment. So hopefully I will be able to.

Enjoy Thanksgiving, and I hope everyone is safe and well-fed and warm. Peace.