Well, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently… *insert snarky comment here*
I think it’s one thing to have been diagnosed and fought cancer once, and an entirely different situation to have to face it again. Both of these periods of time have taught me a great deal, and very different lessons.
This time around, I’m finding that, holy shit is life short. Like, seriously short. And it’s definitely not a guranteed thing… it’s constantly at risk of ending… like a candle flame being snuffed out by the slightest breeze.
Most of us are lucky, and don’t really need to think about how fragile life is; living almost ignorant of the fact that every day, every minute, every second… could be the last.
The more I am faced with the lurking concept of death, the more I revisit what I want to accomplish in this life, and what I’m willing to do or give up to achieve what I want. Recently, the biggest thing I’ve been mulling over in my mind is that of returning to school.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I fucking love school. Let me repeat that with a little more gusto– I FUCKING LOVE SCHOOL. I love everything about it (except maybe the few inevitable douchers that dwell in all classes). I love the assignments. I love the papers. I love the tests. But more than anything, I LOVE the learning. Absolutely love it.
Perhaps the only reason at the moment that deters me from advancing 100% forward with schooling is the fact that I’ve kind of been through some shit, if you haven’t already realized that.
I’ve been through a lot of shit. I’ve spent a lot of time in the hospital, and as a result missed out on a lot of things that I’ve wanted to do, attend, accomplish… and every single time I miss something because of the battles I’m currently facing, it’s as hard as if it were the first time all over again (that’s what she said!).
Life is short. Life is fragile.
I want to live. The idea of spending more years in school seems less and less appealing as the days tick by. I think I’m starting to really see that I want to have a job that makes me feel like I’m helping others, like I’m fulfilling some aspect of my life. In this regard, I’ve found that sharing my story and helping others in similar situations absolutely elevates me to new highs. I adore sharing my stories; my victories, my struggles, my thoughts, my experiences. I hope that in doing so I not only raise awareness for blood cancers, but also shed light on different elements of life. I truly just want to make a difference and impact people’s lives with the experiences I’ve undergone and continue to endure.
If I were to not go back to school, I do have plans and ideas as to what I’ll do instead; and living in my parent’s basement is not on that list. The basement is already taken, since that’s where Mickey’s (my older brother) room is 😉 (Mickey if you’re reading this I love you and you know I just have to tease you any chance I get! Haha).
Currently, I would love very much to get a job working for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or a similar group that raises awareness for blood cancers. Along with that, I would enjoy being able to help newly diagnosed people through their journey and be able to provide my experience in an attempt to help them. Basically, I just want to help and make a difference for people who are going through what I have and what I still am going through. Fighting a blood cancer, going through a transplant, relapsing… all of those experiences have given me a special set of knowledge that I think a lot of people could benefit from. Along with that, though, the generalized idea of adjusting to a new normal (which, I’ve come to learn, is not something that changes once– “normal” is a constantly evolving idea) is a more relevant idea to a wider group of people. I’m fairly confident that if you’re alive your idea of “normal” has changed at least once in your life, and that most likely won’t be the last time, either.
I’d like to be an example that shit can go way south. And it can go south really quickly, and several times and in several ways… but just because that happens, doesn’t mean that you should give up, abandon hope, stop fighting, or stop seeing the beauty and humor in the world. For every shitty experience that I have been through, I have found even more reasons to smile and to be thankful for life. I have met exceptional human beings. My life has changed drastically, and as I’ve said before, I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.
I’d like to have more opportunities to speak about my experiences and my crazy, bizarre story. Me, the type of person who could hardly raise my hand to ask a question in class, now loves to stand in front of a room of strangers and talk, answer questions, express my thoughts and feelings.
I want to support, encourage and motivate people– not just those who are fighting cancer, but anyone. Everyone. I have been so incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by such a massive support system that I want to be part of that for someone else, because the thought of having to go through what I’ve been through alone tells me that my story, although not over yet, would have turned out significantly different.
Anyway, that’s where I’m at with things in that regard currently. Much like the idea of “normal”, I’m sure some things might change… but I have a feeling that as far as what I want to do and achieve in life are concerned, they will stay pretty damn similar.