I know I haven't posted in a while, and I guess it's because I haven't felt like it. But I realize there's a difference between not feeling like doing something and not feeling up to doing something. Since I've been feeling up to doing something lately, I need to be grateful and run with it, so here I go.
Everything is getting so much better. My life is starting to feel somewhat more normal, mainly because I'm not getting something foreign surgically lodged under my skin, throwing up, sleeping 20 hours daily, tingling up my fingers and on my tongue, or seeing 4 of something singular.
I'm enjoying all the fun pointless things I've gotten to do for the last few months because of my health. But now that things are looking up for me, it's time for me to try and start living normally! So I am starting a new job tomorrow and am looking forward to having some sort of a responsibility aside from 3+ Dr.'s appointments weekly.
I'm still on the same diet that I've been on since around January:
No white/enriched flour
No red meat
No artificial colors/flavors
The other day me and my mom were shopping when she picked one of my old favorite treats up and then put it back down, feeling bad that unlike her, I couldn't eat it. So Diane naturally apologized and I realized that life is sweeter than any treat that I could eat. I am so grateful that unlike my diagnosis, I continue to keep- not only living- but enjoying the life I live.
I keep a gratitude journal where every day I write one page of one thing I am grateful for and why. It has been what has helped me through this time that was starting to look scary before it began looking amazing.
It's so interesting to me that beforehand I have tried keeping a gratitude journal and writing a page full of things I am thankful for and have massively failed. But when I focus on something- just one thing- every day that I love and have a tremendous amount of gratitude for, I am not only able to keep the journal-ing consistent, day by day, but that I am beginning to believe what I have to live for and feel happier.
I have been through a lot of pain this year alone. In January and April I had surgeries that were putting foreign objects into my body, lots of chemo, some radiation, and a lot of hair loss, headaches, heartbreaks and nausea. I remember the January (port placement) surgery, when I first got home from the hospital I looked at myself in the mirror and remember feeling nauseated. Now I know a lot of people have bigger problems and that they're way more cut up than me- but that's besides the point. I saw what I claim is my third boob (the port in my chest), and just felt sick. I remember how red the scar above it was, wiggling it back and forth beneath my skin and the way the three bumps irritated my fingertips.
It was so creepy to me and I could hardly breathe when I saw the tube going up my chest and into my neck where it disappeard into a vein, and then into my heart.
Three months later I found myself in a hospital bed again getting another foreign object lodged in a man made hole of my skull/brain with a visible tube to where my port is, which then disappears into my stomach, releasing spinal fluid. Because all normal brains need help draining their spinal fluid-not.
This time came with some radiation, a head shaving and some bald spots, but supposedly relieving me from a harsher life end than to be expected normally. ((Even though bumping "the button" for too long could cause violent vomiting, severe headaches, and even cause a coma that can lead to death), and people wonder why I am irrational when they are close to, or even seem a threat to my head).
I have a hard time sharing my success to people that also have cancer, especially my same kind. I think it was because my friend Savannah (the one with leukemia from St. Jude) didn't tell me when she went into remission. And when I finally figured it out, I asked her why she didn't tell me about it, and she told me she didn't want to brag. (She's amazing). But at that point I realized that whenever I saw any success at all- even in the times I didn't care to see any- that there were many other who weren't seeing that same success and that I need to feel grateful, instead of throwing myself the usual pity party (which usually included peanut butter m&m's until I stopped eating sugar).
What I'm getting to is my success. I have experienced a lot. I have been extremely blessed and I am very happy that my life has not been ruined because I chose to look at one bad thing instead of looking at the million other-maybe smaller-things that were going good for me and that I have been blessed with.
I went on two runs this last week. It was only to the end of the street and around the church, but I went on two runs this week. RUNS! I haven't enjoyed exercise since diagnosis- to understate the matter. But I am starting to enjoy things that I used to love again! I may not be able to run a 59 second 400 meter or a 20 minute 5k anymore, but I can run, and I can see straight, and not limp, and I am grateful for that.
My new job is in a city about 20 minutes away from, so it's a good thing that my eyes have corrected so that I can safely commute.
My fingers are in amazing shape, and not only can I type this up quickly, but I can also play the piano accurately.
I got to go to the Manti Pageant yesterday and I didn't need to be wheeled in my wheel chair for 1 second of the entire thing because I have strength, and can walk straight.
My life has gotten so much better, I am more positive, I am healthier, I am kinder, I am more productive, and I am enjoying things that the cancer-free Rachel enjoys.
I am so grateful for all the prayers that have been offered in my behalf, and I'm so thankful that so many people believe in such an amazing, mysterious, and healing Father in Heaven and are helping to bless me through it.
I am grateful I have a religion (LDS), and a family from those who also believe either in my religion, or outside of it.
I can do hard things
As always- some pictures.