Just because you go through hell doesn’t mean you have to stay there. Whether you have cancer, you’re sick, you’ve lost a friend, a family member, a job, even a significant other, you are responsible for how you handle your situation. You can let your situation destroy you or empower you, it’s your choice. It’s so easy to call it quits and just not get out of bed in the morning. Even though I’m technically in remission, I’m still not done with chemo, and haven’t even started radiation. I don’t even know when I’ll be done with chemo at this point, since my Hematologist changes his mind every day. One minute I’m at brunch, the next I’m on bed rest, because my blood counts are so low, damn chemo! It’s okay though Doc, I know you just want to save me! There are days when I don’t feel like getting out of bed. I have a LONG way to go. I miss living a normal life, being able to go to work, go out with my friends, travel, go on dates — things that a “normal” 29 year old should be able to do. Speaking of dates, LIZ my old ICU nurse.. I heard you were trying to play matchmaker the other night on your overnight shift, LMAO. I love you, can I be you please?
Instead of dwelling on my situation, I see it as God and the universe taking what wasn’t working for me and giving me the time to myself to get rid of it. I’m far from perfect and I’ve made a lot of mistakes in life. I’ve taken a lot of things for granted, held unnecessary grudges and anger against people, and have acted like a spoiled brat. I’ve been inconsiderate of other people at times and very judgemental. I’m originally from Boston, and our values are completely different there than they are in South Florida. Over the past several years living in Miami, I’ve lost myself at times. I’ve been more focused on my looks, and other peoples looks, rather than who a person is deep down inside, who I am deep down inside. I’ve been more concerned with who’s yacht I’m going on, who’s table I would be partying at, than actually spending meaningful time developing meaningful relationships with meaningful people. I became so obsessed with working and making as much money as I could, to buy materialistic items like Rolex’s and Prada bags, to impress people that I don’t even know. One of my best friend’s from work, Jenni is a pharmaceutical rep also in Oklahoma. We are complete opposites..she’s a Zen Yogi, and like my big sister who slaps sense into me every other day. She always told me that deep down inside, I’m not even close to who I act like and this city was making me lose myself. And she was totally right. Sometimes a city can consume you. I was acting like someone I wasn’t..while on the side, I was in the process of feeding stray animals on 8th St (my manager once found dog food in my glove compartment during a field ride, and I admitted to him that SOMETIMES while I see stray animals during work hours, I detour to PETCO and buy food to feed them. Sorry, A! And one of my doc offices has yelled at me multiple times for feeding the stray cats outside of their office. Sorry, I’ll still continue to do that when I get back to work, ha!! Can I add those cats as attendees on my lunch and learn sheet? Kidding.), feeding homeless people, I even completed training to be a wish granter for Make a Wish Foundation before my diagnosis. That is who I really am, I don’t know why I was afraid to show it.
What cancer though?
So, now I have room to rebuild. I have room to figure out what I want in life, and who I want to be. And this cancer journey is helping me do exactly that. Today, instead of letting my situation control me, I let it empower me. I was able to spend time with two amazing girls who definitely turned my blah attitude upside down. One of my best friends, Lori came over and hung out with me for hours, doing my make up, dressing me up, and helping me feel more “normal”, while I was on house arrest and Neutropenic. She’s
an angel and I’m so lucky to have her in my life! She even wore one of my awesome weaves!
I was also able to have a Sex in the City type afternoon with my friend Jenna, someone I lost touch with for stupid reasons, who is honestly one of the most hilarious and sweet people ever. We tried on my crazy wigs, and she convinced me how good I look. Oh AND she told me that Jewish people wear wigs for religious purposes. Sorry you little Jewish princess, but I can’t even remember the term that it’s called, hahaha! We chatted and caught up and it was so fun. It’s moments like this that are making this journey all worth while. It helps me realize how I want people to view me, and at the end of the day, how I want to be remembered. Tomorrow is never promised, as I’ve learned through out this journey. And not to sound morbid, but we aren’t here forever. And I’m not talking about cancer, I could get hit by a car tomorrow. I’m actually surprised I haven’t, chasing after my crazy ass Cuban friend YUS who literally J-walks like it’s a paid job. Seriously Girl, watch before you cross! You never know. You know you can get fined for that in the state of New Hampshire? #oliviakarpinski. Shout out to the University of New Hampshire! Over everything, I want to be known and remembered as the girl who took a shitty situation, and turned it into gold. I want to be able to help not only cancer fighters, but just people in general, change their outlook on life. And that is exactly what I intend on doing! Cutie Dr. X bought me a book in Spanish, and wrote something in it along the lines of “always remember you see with the heart, not with the eyes” (thanks google translate) and I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Find my book “Talk Cancer To Me” available at amazon here: