Mind. Body. Soul.

I haven’t updated in six months because things have been somewhat uneventful. I feel that the quickest way to recap what has been going on is by separating it into the following three categories: mind, body, and soul.

Mind: Since I have has so many issues with my latest treatment, I went on medical leave from work in September. After three months, I still wasn’t 100% ready to go back to work full time. Unfortunately, my boss needs a full time person in my position so I knew the right thing to do for the integrity of the program was to resign. As I have mentioned before, I love what I do. I finally work in a position doing something I’m actually interested in and passionate about. I had a great working life and I really enjoyed what I did. When I first got that job, it felt like things were finally going my way. I hate that a lot of my satisfaction and happiness comes from working. But, now that I am unemployed again, I feel like I need something to reignite my passion. I want to find something that I will be able to do either with a flexible schedule or from home. I need to find a way to pay for COBRA insurance premiums in the meantime (will be looking into LLS copay help again, of course) or find a way to even get insurance if all these repeals go through. I have a mortgage, car payment, and a Netflix addiction (first world problems). I need to find my motivation again. I used to love doing so many things. I just have to get back into a routine without the nausea, fatigue, and pain getting in the way. I need to find something to keep increasing my knowledge. I need to find a path.

Body: I can feel my body physically getting weaker everyday. I’m getting slower and slower. I have less and less energy but I need more energy to do the same daily tasks. In the last month, I think I have had one morning where I actually felt well rested and energized for the day when I got out of bed in the morning. I get so much sleep, but I never feel fully rested. It gets so hard to get out of bed, especially the colder it gets. The days that I have the energy to get out of the house, I feel exhausted the next day. It’s like I need a 24-hour recovery period from any activity. Just walking through the grocery store or Walmart tires me out. I’m so happy my house doesn’t have stairs. I haven’t had any extreme pain recently. I did have another short stint in the hospital again for extreme vomiting. I just couldn’t stop throwing up the entire day. That was about when my FMLA began. Since that hospital stay, my side effects have been manageable.

**GOOD NEWS –> I did get a PET scan about a month ago and I got the results from my oncologist at my last treatment. There’s basically no sign of disease left in my neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis except for one node that is only a few millimeters in diameter. So we know the treatment is working. My doctor is trying to decide now whether or not to do another round of treatment or go straight to transplant. It’s looking like we’ll be doing another round of treatment unless I hear from him before January 3rd. But, he’s back home in the Middle East right now so… doubt it.

Soul: I feel like the light in my soul is slightly dim at the moment. I love my life. I couldn’t be more thankful for everyone in it and even strangers who have shown their support for me. It really amazes me everyday that Justin hasn’t complained about anything because I have definitely been slacking around the house despite my lack of a job. My parents have checked in on me everyday since I got released from the hospital. We had a nice Christmas with the three of us at my house. It was the first Christmas without my grandma and, unfortunately, the end of our traditional annual family Christmas card. My sister was also unable to come home for Christmas since she was working. It’s another change to adjust to, but the holidays will never be the same.

I’ve had a lot of good times with my friends these few months with some people even making the big trek to the mountains to see me. I had a very relaxing getaway with my line sisters to Chattanooga. I feel so grateful for being able to attend my friend’s wedding. I remember being in isolation and everything the year I had my transplant and I missed three weddings. I’m glad that I was able to make this one for one of my dear sorority sisters and the first wedding with Justin as my +1. I just wanted to end the year with something more to look forward to. I also didn’t want to end another year going through treatment. Although, I will hand it to the WInship volunteers for bringing Santa around the clinic and singing Christmas carols. That was a fun day at treatment. I wanted to end the year on a high note. I usually look forward to making a recap video at the end of the year to review all the memories, but I just don’t feel as excited this year. Like I said, I just need a little boost. Something to pick me up and motivate me to get going again.

Again, thanks to everyone who has kept in touch with me despite my lack of updates. I will try to be more consistent in 2018.

~SL

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