Monday, February 18, 2013

Fair Warning: having a bad day.

Every once in a while I treat myself to a self-indulgent, self-pitying blog post.  The sentiments are usually short-lived, but I need to get them out or they just sort of fester and don't heal.  Like that frustrating sore on the inside of your cheek you keep poking at with your tongue and occasionally nibbling on with your teeth even though you know it will heal quickly if you just let it be...  Today is one of those days.  This morning (before breakfast, a mistake), I opened a hospital bill and saw a bottom line that is more than my monthly rent.  So much for a new hiking pack with my tax return.  And then I began panicking a bit because that bill was for those drugs that I supposedly need to keep me healthy, the ones I supposedly need every three or four weeks possibly for the rest of my life.  The ones I haven't gotten since December 13 that, while I so desperately wish I could keep putting off getting more of, I so desperately need because I am not properly digesting Anything. 

Whose great idea was this to keep throwing all this in my way, one more thing to try and figure out how to manipulate, the best way around or over of straight through it?  Nobody in the medical community that I've met so far gives a Flying F*** about me as a person and what this immune situation is doing to my body.  Each is only so concerned with his or her individual specialty, and every single specialist has deemed my "case" as "definitely interesting."  My assumption is that no one knows Why this is happening...  Possibly this total-body post-chemo meltdown has never really happened among young adult leukemia survivors.  It is all so novel; there are no answers and only half-hearted attempts to treat the surface symptoms.  And, of course, expensive treatments only Mostly covered by insurance.

Often, I feel like I blame everything in my life on having had cancer.  Occasionally it's justified - it is doubtful these medical issues would have ever popped up without a leukemia-catalyst.  As for the rest of the times, I don't know.  Would I be working as a grossly underpaid and undervalued barista?  Would I have lost my belief in myself and my ability to Do and Be Anything?  Too, would I be living in Denver, have run 2 marathons, fallen in love, learned how to truly take care of myself as well as how to appreciate and empathize with others?  There are no black and whites, no absolutes, really.

Everything has this crazy amount of potential energy.  I am trying so hard to figure out a way to release mine, to get going and start making a tangible difference in this world.  Objectively, I know these medical issues will be resolved.  I'm looking into alternative ways to pay for medical bills.  I just stocked up on toilet paper.  Someday, I won't be living paycheck to paycheck and I'll be able to go skiing with my friends on the weekend because I won't be at my hourly-wage job.  Yet emotionally, today, only right now, I wish my life hadn't gone this direction.  Just at this moment because I basically never feel that way.  Truly, I love my life and am thankful for everything and everyone in it.  I am blessed; I am beyond lucky.  I'm just giving in right now.  It will pass.  This isn't some cry for help or blatant need for pity.  Quite the opposite: this is my admission that I am so human and an acknowledgment that it is okay to have a bad day.  I don't know right now what I'm going to do, but this too shall pass, and it will be okay.  I have to believe that everything will be okay, even if it doesn't happen until tomorrow.

So, I warned you.  Hopefully you are having a grand Monday today, which I do mean.  I love when people have good, productive days in which there was a lot of laughter.  Go laugh.  I think I'll bike around some then head to my chemistry lecture (which I Love!!).  See what tomorrow brings.  Peace love and not nearly enough miles covered lately...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Some things I will just never learn

Such as self-control when it comes to chocolate, peanut butter cup ice cream.  You'd think by this point in my life, after all the pints of various flavors I have consumed, knowing full well the epic, gastric consequences of eating more than I should, equally aware that I have almost Never stopped before it was too late...  You would think I might tone it back a little, or, better yet, Stop Buying Pints of Ice Cream.  Yeah...  No.

Instead, I continue to live for the moment and ignore the well-established precedent of post-cream pain.  Anywhoo.  Moving on, we have been having the loveliest spring here in Denver, Colorado.  I mean, winter.  It is winter.  Frigid, howling zephyrs, all long down jackets and sad faces...  But no, I can't even kid.  While the East Coast is in the midst of a massive winter spectacle (2-plus feet of snow in Boston??), I am sitting in my apartment in a tanktop and with the windows thrown open.  Only a few minutes ago, I was sitting out on my balcony in my tanktop while I digested.  Spring.  And yet, due to an most unfortunate bike-related spill in early January, on the one day winter hit Denver, I have not been running outside.  Until today, I haven't even been running inside.  Ugh.  I did, however, start lifting more to at least do something good for my body while I let me knee heal.  So, my biceps are gigantic.  True story.  Today, though, I had had enough and hopped onto the treadmill and busted out One entire mile! And then I went and lifted some more because I didn't want to exacerbate the still-niggling pain in my knee.  But One whole mile!  It was fine, too.  I really just stopped because my knee is stupid.  Since I still bike everywhere every day, my aerobic capacity tends to not decrease too much on extended run-leaves.  Yet another reason to lock up your car and throw away the key!  Fitness!

So I am slowly starting to run again, key word being slowly.  But I miss it like crazy.  I am also beyond excited for the sun's rising earlier and setting later every day.  Soon, soon it will be Actual spring and I will be all healthy and ready to rock those 6-milers and beyond once more.

In other news, I still have no globulins (*shakes head).  But I say, "screw them."  Perhaps I'm not better off without them, but I am managing quite well on my own, thank you very much.  So well, in fact, that I traveled half-way around the world in a little aluminum can surrounded by other people and their germies, then spent ten days in two foreign countries, exploring, eating cheese, eating more cheese, wandering around, taking photos, eating some more cheese...  Then traveled back to Denver in another little aluminum tube surrounded once more by germies and their peoples.  And I did NOT get sick.  At all.  For sure, got an upset stomach from all the cheese, but returned home triumphant and healthy and reluctant.  (Italy was Incredible!  Must go back...)  In fact, it wasn't until two days ago that I began to feel like something was attacking my chest and head.  Pretty sure I picked up whatever it was from this absurd child who was hacking all over the place at a super bowl showing I went to on Sunday.  I almost wrung her little neck.

The moral of This story is that two days later, I am back to normal.  Whatever my normal is, anyway.  My head is still a bit congested, but then, I am always a bit congested.  But...  Could it be...?  Could this focus on so-called "whole foods", the fruits, veggies and kale I've been trying to eat more of, actually be working to keep me healthy?  ("healthy.")  I finally met with an immunologist on Wednesday.  His gospel was that I unequivocally need the IvIG infusions and may forever.  I still have some terrible unresolved intestinal issues, so, I am okay receiving the infusions for now.  Hopefully they'll help my gut!  But perhaps I can avoid the pesky upper respiratory infections and sinus infections and the flu and pneumonia and cytomegalovirus and what have you all on my own, all by following a diet focused on Plants.  Could it really be that easy?

I sure hope so, because that is what I intend to study for the next three or four years.  Anyway, that is where I am at today.  Ran a mile, kicked a cold, time to head out for a cute date with my super cute boyfriend.  (Who is, himself, fighting a bug.  But he'll pull through.  I hope.)  Best of luck to everyone I know and love out east...  Stay safe, stay warm, get all cuddly and cozy this weekend, then go and enjoy the snow.  Don't forget your vitamin D.  Peace, love!