I always had this idea in my head of fighting like hell, winning my fight with cancer, moving on with my life and living happily ever after. I guess I wasn't being too realistic with myself since my mentality from day one has been "Prepare for the worst, hope for the best." Even before I abruptly ended all my treatments I realized that I needed to start working again. My treatment dosages were being gradually reduced and other than the first morning after my chemo I was basically fully functional again. I built up some debt that wasn't doing anything but getting higher and staying at home all alone everyday was getting really old. After I stopped all Western treatments there was no doubt in my mind any longer, if I didn't find ways to stay busy I think I might lose my mind.
I remained an employee of my previous employer and planned on returning back there upon completion of my treatment, but situations changed and I was no longer able to return. This was not the news I wanted to hear, but I have had to deal with much harder hurdles in my life and finding another job shouldn't be too difficult, or so I thought.
My job and financial situation is a very minor problem in life, I still am cancer free and my most recent MRI done last Thursday was all clear! Great news! December 17th will be one year cancer free! The thing I forgot to factor in was all the stress that comes with being "in remission." I used quotes for that word since I still am far from being considered in a remissive state (9 years to exact). So if you see me, lets just not talk about it cause I really don't want to jinx it :)
My new life now consists of worry and stress nearly everyday. Everything is now a symptom in my head and every headache I have I am immediately convinced that the cancer is back. Anytime I lose track of my thoughts or forget something, it's for sure the cancer. Every weird sensation I feel is immediately something terrible. I feel almost like I am now living my life 2 months at a time waiting for that "all clear" from my doctor so I can breathe again. The worst is the week or two leading up to my MRI when it basically consumes me. I know this will get easier and this past MRI was by far the worst since it was the first MRI post treatment. Don't let me sound like a Debbie Downer, I am so grateful to still be cancer free facing the worst form of brain cancer there is. I am already in a very small population of humans to go a year without this crap returning. I am thankful for everyday and every hour I have, but the mental games are wearing.
When I was in treatment I had my routine and I knew what, where and how I was fighting my battle. I was never nervous or stressed, I was determined and driven with focus and determination. I had a vision and I was determined to do everything in my power to survive and now I am back kind of just floating. Now I kind of seem out of rhythm. Trying to find a job and getting rejected for positions that frankly I know I am over qualified for is really frustrating, but at this point in my life my job title is the least of my worries. I guess the rejection is the hardest part knowing my capabilities. This is just another stress on top of everything else along with the the rejection which is more of a mental bruise.
I still wonder what is harder, life during treatment of life after.
As of now, my answer is the latter.
I am pretty sure this was one of my bad posts, but I said in the beginning over a year ago I am sharing everything, the good, the bad and the ugly. I know tomorrow I will wake up and I will continue my battle, I just needed to vent a little and I guess this is now my public journal so I apologize if I got a little emo.
On a positive note, I want to thank everyone so much who has donated to my continuing medical expenses fund. I am utterly blown away by seeing how many people support, love and care for me, especially those I have never met. You guys inspire me to continue with this crap hand I was dealt and without your continued support I would literally be drowning in debt. I hate that I have to ask, but I hope I can give you all a little bit of courage to face life a little easier, if not a t-shirt will have to suffice! The shirts are all but done and being printed up within the next week or so and I have something in the works for anyone who is facing a GBM themselves, as I know I have a few GBM fighters following me as well! If you have a GBM, please email me or leave a comment with your e-mail. Stay strong and never stop!
For anyone who wants to donate: Ryan's medical expenses.
"One day at a time."
This Chi Chi Rodriguez fail at a trick golf shot should make you laugh, I sure did.