Over the weekend, I was determined to get outside and exercise. Since I can’t go to the gym because of the port in my chest, I figured walking would be a better option for me. The neuropathy in my hands has become almost unbearable, and has now spread to my legs, making it extremely difficult for me to even walk. While trying to walk .5 miles, I managed to fall to the ground three times. 4 cycles of escalated chemo later, the side effects are officially a b*tch. . Real talk, the side effects from chemo are no joke. So what did I do? I picked myself up off the ground and continued walking. When you know how it feels to be stuck in an ICU fighting for your life, you learn that even walking is a luxury and it could always be so much worse, so I’m going to figure out a way to deal with these side effects. And I will eventually find a way.
The main questions I find myself asking through out the last few months, including this weekend as I kept falling, while trying to walk like a normal person..were all along the lines of “what if?”. “What if I was diagnosed earlier?” “What if the Allergist had realized I didn’t have allergies?” “What if my PCP put all of my symptoms together and realized I had Lymphoma two years ago?” It’s so easy to become angry and trip over the what if’s, the could’ve, would’ve’s, when in reality, everything happens for a reason and you have to trust in god’s timing. Although it stinks that I could currently be in treatment for Stage 1 or 2 Lymphoma, rather than 4, I look back and think, if I would have been diagnosed two years ago, I wouldn’t have been prepared to handle a situation like this.
Two years ago, my mindset was completely different. I was negative, completely lost, unhappy with my job, hanging out with the wrong crowd, and in a relationship that just wasn’t a good fit for me. If I were to face cancer two years ago, I would be emotionally screwed. Which would lead me to be physically screwed too, because like I tell you, cancer is 50% how you handle it. If I had to rely on some of my friends at the time, or the person that I was in a relationship with to support me during a time like this, I would have been sh*t out of luck! When my aunt passed away, this person was more concerned about networking at a bbq and partying with his friends in NYC, rather than supporting someone who was so close to him for so long. I can’t even imagine how I would have been supported during a time like this. But like myself, he has his own path to take and own lessons to learn in life, including learning that some behaviors are no way to have meaningful connections with others.
But we live and we learn, and I truly believe that there are no coincidences in life. People enter and exit our lives for a reason. At the time, it’s hard to see the reason, but everything is a learning experience. Timing is everything. I think about it now, and although, yes, my situation is annoying, I’m prepared for it. The people that have come into my life within the past few years, even the past year, have made my cancer journey so much easier. From my coworkers who have become best friends, to new friends, and of course, old friends, I wouldn’t have the motivation that I do now to beat this crazy monster!
It’s very strange how God has specific people enter our lives when we really need them. And in my situation, he had an actual Doctor enter it when things were really rough at the beginning, until I was mentally able to get it together and handle my situation. God also strengthened my friendships with every other person in my life too, leading to an amazing support system, which is key in beating cancer. So, you can keep asking yourself why this is happening to you, and what if you were diagnosed at the time that you were. Most of the time, the answers are right below the surface. Keep digging, you will eventually find them!
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