Thursday, November 26, 2015

My Thanksgiving 2015

Earlier this month I celebrated one year of being cancer-free. Yay! It's been a strange year of ups and downs, as life is wont to do. Ultimately, I am incredibly blessed and have much to be grateful for:

—I'm grateful for eyelashes and eyebrows. I'm grateful my bangs hang over my eyes. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm also grateful for arm hair and stomach hair and back hair. You never notice how important some things are until they're gone.

November 2014
February 2015

—I'm grateful I can breathe without chest pain. A month after my final chemo treatment, I lay in my bed and inhaled a great, long, marvelous breath and there was no pain! I breathed for several minutes, reveling in the complete comfort I felt. Breathing air. No tenderness. No restrictions. I was free!
(Bonus: I can wear normal bras again! The tightness of bras exacerbated my chest pain and since no bra in the market matched what I needed, I had to create a makeshift bra to wear during the chemo months.)

I'm grateful I can run. And take long walks in the park. And go shopping without feeling like passing out (or vomiting).

Mom and I went to Disneyland in February! Super fun!

—I'm grateful I can carry a purse. (Although I've grown rather fond of the mini purse).

—I'm grateful I can chase and wrestle my nephews, and give them piggyback rides.

—I'm grateful that when I had to change insurance providers, I was able to continue with my regular oncologist's care.

—I'm grateful I finally, finally finished my MFA! Hurrah! Thank you to my kind and understanding professors—Hillary, Chip, and Amanda—for supporting me while writing my thesis. =)

—I'm grateful I survived a season of unemployment and eventually found a full-time job. (Update: A week after originally posting this, I received news that I was going to be laid off. Huh. Onward to new opportunities!)

—I am extra grateful to my friend Mack who took me on an epic expedition! This summer we went to New York, Ireland, Scotland, England, and France. Of all the historical sites and museums and plays we saw, my favorite aspect of the trip was having energy to visit everything! We walked an average of 10 miles each day (our record high was 17 miles). Among our more rigorous activities, we hiked to Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh, climbed 528 steps to the top of St. Paul's Cathedral in London, and ascended 704 stairs of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Considering during chemo I barely had enough energy to make a round trip from my bedroom to my kitchen, being able to hike and climb this summer was a blessing. Thank you, Mack! (Also, watching Jack Gleeson (a.k.a. King Joffrey) and his friends perform in Bears in Space at the Soho Theatre was astronomically delightful!)

Mack and Me atop Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

We hiked from Arthur's Seat (left arrow) to Edinburgh Castle (right arrow) and obviously to the Ferris wheel.

July 31, 2014
Chemo Costume #6
Hermione Granger
(not Voldemort!)
July 31, 2015
Enjoying hot cocoa at The Elephant House,
where J.K. Rowling penned
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

St. Paul's Cathedral

Eiffel Tower

—I'm grateful for past experiences, present blessings, and future adventures!

Thank you to everyone—family, friends, neighbors, kindred spirits—who has supported me. I wish you the best with your endeavors!

Happy Thanksgiving!