It has been a while, which always makes it hard to know what to start my next sentence with. I guess I'll get right down to the reason I'm posting: tomorrow is my first post-treatment PET Scan. That's big news.
Back in October, after radiation finished, I was really anxious to get my PET Scan to make sure everything worked, but my doctor informed me I had to "give it time to work." The effects of radiation--the good ones and the bad ones, which I'll get to up ahead--continue to happen even months after you're done actually showing up to the hospital and sitting under the rays. So my doctor told me he wanted to wait until the end of January to scan me to have the clearest picture. I figured there was nothing I could do but wait patiently, but every now and then the thought would bob up from under the surface of all my other thoughts to remind me I'm not totally out of the woods yet.
And the woods have been a little dense lately. Like I wrote in my last post, the road to recovery (what a typical phrase, huh) has gotten particularly bumpy these past few months. The job hunt has been hard, but with any luck that will change soon. (I am currently in the interview process for a really exciting spot at a company that I would kill to work at, but the superstitious lady that lives inside my head already thinks I've said too much.)
But aside from that, I've also been dealing with the pesky side effects of chemo and radiation. My lungs really took a beating from everything that's been thrown at them over the past year. I get winded very easily. For a while, I couldn't actually take deep breaths without a sharp pain in my chest. After a visit to my doctor before Christmas, I was put on Prednisone, which is a steroid. It helped clear up the pain, but one of the most annoying side effects of steroids is weight gain, and girl put on some pounds. I've never been a skinny girl, but in addition to the weight I gained after stopping chemo, I'm now at a weight that I haven't been since I was when I was drinking 40's four nights out of the week in college. It ain't cute, and over the past two weeks I've been trying to really eat right to get back to a healthy weight. I have to look at it as another way of keeping myself healthy and cancer-free in the long term. But like I said, my lungs are a little feeble right now, so the runs I've been going on are more on the pathetic side than the Lance Armstrong side. But if I've learned anything over the past year it's that good, solid results take time.
Other things that have been happening:
I've had another story published in The Hairpin called "Conned by a Mom" and I've been writing in my other blog, singularladies.com.
The new season of American Idol started, and I'm apparently still into it? Well, ok.
I got my first haircut. Just a little shaping for the curly garden growing on my head. I opted for a faux hawk type-thing that Evan Rachel Wood sported a few months back.
I figure it's the time to have fun, because once these hairs grow any further, it's going to be a while before they see a pair of scissors again. This haircut has also made me pay serious attention to guys' haircuts because they tend to be more similar than the ladies' that I come into contact with. Example:
Yeah that's a baby, but he's still a dude.
My family got really sad news that our neighbor recently discovered she has breast cancer. While I think hearing you have breast cancer comes with many more worries than Hodgkin's, I remember those first few weeks after you "go public" with the news. It's exhausting. It almost feels like you have to make everyone feel better and not vice versa, because people just don't know what to say. But I now know that being in the position of having someone you care a lot about get sick is no picnic. My mom and I picked out a nice ceramic cookie jar for my neighbor, and I baked some chocolate chip cookies to give as a present, because when words fail, cookies are a decent substitute. Still, though, it didn't feel like enough. What could, really? Not to say that the comforting thoughts and well wishes are unappreciated. Quite the opposite; I got so many treats and presents during treatment, and even though they weren't necessary, they did so much to cheer me up. I'm not one to normally save cards, but I've kept each and every one anyone sent me. They're all in a box under my bed.
This felt like such a mish-mash of an entry, but I guess that's what happens when you neglect your blog. I'll undoubtedly be writing more tomorrow. Eeee!