A Blanket “Thank You” Post

It’s time for me to actually update this poor blog. And it’s also time for me to thank you properly.

I haven’t been responding or updating or doing anything a decent person would do because I was genuinely overwhelmed by the amount of love and support I was and am still receiving. I was literally paralyzed by the comments and likes and profile pictures and gifts and cards and flowers and text messages and prayers…and I don’t say “literally” because I’m hip with the cool words, I say “literally” because I couldn’t have responded appropriately if I wanted to. Now, though, I think I am ready to attempt to show my gratitude.

Thank you so much. Yes, you. You reading this. I feel every ounce of your support and your love and I don’t know how to reciprocate accordingly, which drives me crazy. I never saw this cancer coming, and I never thought (in the 10 minutes between receiving the news and receiving the first messages) that I would be as supported and as prayed for as I am. I can only hope that there is an opportunity in the future for me to return the favor and to make a difference for you.

I’ve added a picture of the boat at Folly that my amazing cousins painted for me. So many people have changed their profile picture on Facebook to the boat to show support, and I haven’t been able to comment on each picture to thank them. I HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO THANK EVERYONE! THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!! Anyway, here’s the picture.



Mini update: Last Thursday I had one last biopsy for a spot on my pelvis called the right iliac crest that showed up hot on the PET/CT scan. Many things can show up hot on this type of scan, which is why I had a biopsy. The results have not come in as of right now, but once they do we will be able to determine what type of chemo I’ll be treated with and when I’ll start.

The Situation: A Summary

Hello! Matthew made me this rad blog, so I’m going to use it to keep a running log of everything that’s happening. This post, though, is merely a rundown of my situation for those who have not heard a lot.

About three weeks ago I was waiting for my shower to get warm, and bent to scratch my back. I noticed a lump on my lower left back, told my mom about it, had an appointment later that day, got an MRI that evening, and quickly realized we weren’t dealing with a lypoma or hematoma like we had thought. I had a biopsy of the lump soon after this, which was pretty cool since I got to watch it on the ultrasound while it happened. (If you don’t like needles, don’t get cancerous tumors.) To make a long story short: the lump is a Ewing sarcoma, which is cancerous but curable. It’s found mostly in children and teenagers, and the cause is entirely unknown. I thought it was a dragon egg, but for some reason that was ruled out fairly quickly. Hmm.

To be frank, I don’t really remember dates or anything like that. There was a CT scan, where the radiologists and other doctors that looked at the images saw some teensy nodules on the lungs that concerned them. I was then scheduled for a surgery which would include a lung biopsy, bone marrow aspiration, and the installation of my chest port. The lung biopsy was planned to be done thoracoscopically, but because the nodules are so small a thoracotomy was also a possibility. Luckily, only part of the biopsy had to be done through thoracotomy (thoracoscopic surgery is much less invasive).

I spent 3 days recovering in the hospital following the procedure, two of which I spent very much drug-addled. I thought I was cognizant, but apparently I was not. If you came to see me in the hospital, I apologize for failing to converse with you. I hope I thanked you though…if I didn’t, then thank you. One thing I did that I remember was ask for “liquid water.” Everyone thinks this is riotously funny, but honestly I just didn’t want ice chips again. One must be very specific sometimes. In terms of anesthesia before the procedure, I remember giggling a lot and also some bright lights. That is literally it.

The future as it stands includes about 9 months of chemotherapy, including surgery to remove the lump. I’m vain: the hair loss is going to be the hardest part.

Sappy part:

So now, on Easter 2014, I look to the future with the same emotion an inexperienced and untrained runner might feel if forced to run a marathon. The road is a long one, but it is one that can be traveled. And though I am nowhere near ready to travel it, I will. A long time ago I decided that I if given the option to do something or stay home, I would do that thing. I always chose the uncertain over the comfortable. I did so because I live by the mentality that no moment is guaranteed. I am glad that I live this way: I have had more fun than I deserve to have, and I have enough amazing memories to span three people. Now, facing this challenge, I am not regretful. There are no “if only…”‘s. No day but today.