"As of now, I feel pretty much back to normal. As in, no pain, no nausea, appetite's normal, energy's high, strength is high, all that fantastic stuff that usually means you're healthy and most people just completely take for granted. Heck yes. Cancer: you can kiss my skinny butt. The only sad thing is that BU starts class tomorrow. I guess most people are sad because they have to go to class. I'm sad because I'm not. But, best not to think too much about it. I'll be back sooner than it seems."
I wrote that one year ago today. January 15, 2007, I was in Chicago, lamenting my presence in Chicago while my friends and classmates were lamenting their return to class. January 15, 2008, I am in Boston, overjoyed that tomorrow I have class along with every one else here at BU. I find it so interesting to look back at my old blog posts. I can see exactly where I was and what I was thinking one year ago and compare it to where I am and what I'm thinking now. My situation certainly has changed. I find it funny, too, that I wrote I felt "pretty much back to normal." I think, in reality, I was trying so hard to tell myself that I felt normal. I desperately wanted to be normal. I had just finished my first inpatient onslaught of chemo, the initial barrage that killed most, if not all, of the visible leukemic cells. I survived with flying colors, barely sick, and eager to get on with some semblance of a life. I never thought, oh, this isn't fair, why did this happen to me? I more thought, oh, this is stupid; there isn't anything wrong with me; stop treating me like a sick child. I think it's fair to say that for a very long time (months...) I was in my own form of denial about having cancer. Maybe that was a good thing. I am certainly irreverent when it comes to talking about it, or I was. Cracked jokes about my catheter, my hair, my pills, everything. It's how I got through it, I think. Well, that, and the prospect of returning to school.
Here I am, one year later, like a kid before Christmas. I am excited; I am nervous; I am not looking forward to the massive amounts of homework I just know are headed my way. Maybe I can pretend my homework doesn't exist either, and it will go away like my cancer. That would be freaking sweet. It's just so strange to me that I have been cancer-free for one year now, and yet I have just barely finished my initial infusions, and I still have one year of maintenance therapy. I am not done yet, but the cancer is so far gone. Yes, I am back at school, working, running, eating, whatever. A stranger would think I am that awful word, "Normal." But I am in-between cancer and not-cancer. I am a survivor, in remission, still receiving therapy, had cancer. What does "normal" mean, anyway? I wrote I had a "normal appetite." I can say for sure that now my appetite is hugenormous. I love me my foods. Is that normal? Seriously, I do not know what the word means anymore, and I do not want to know. I am me, and I am frequently absurd, mostly unexplainable. The best part is, by "normal" standards, I'm not even healthy right now! I have a raging cough and my nose hasn't stopped running in five months. For real. So yeah. I am here, in my apartment, in Boston, ready to start my spring semester at BU. I am me, whoever you think I am plus whoever I know I am: I am abnormal awesome. And although it took me longer than I expected to move forward to where I am, I did it. I did it, and so can you, if you need to. Anyway, that's all. Happy Tuesday, sad toad. Peace.