Growing up is hard to do. As a 24 year old, just starting out in the working world, being diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma can be a big blow. Here's my attempt at putting it behind me as smoothly as possible.

20 March, 2006

Phase 2 Begins

Phase 1 (beat cancer) - check

Phase 2 (get back in shape) - starting now

I'm back at work now and trying to get my sleep schedule back to something manageable. I'm hoping to start working out next week, we'll see how that goes. I signed up for 2 volleyball leagues for the summer and I'm thinking about maybe doing something else. It's exciting because I can do whatever I want this summer! Not that I couldn't before, but this summer just feels different....

08 March, 2006

Finished, but crying

I can't remember the last time I was crying, probably last year when my grandfather passed away, but I am right now. It's been an emotional day.

My chemo went well. The IV slid in on the first try, no burning in my veins, I'm not feeling all that bad right now, etc.

I got home and checked the Hodgkins support website which I do often. I was all set to brag about being finished. One of my friends, a beautiful young girl, diagnosed about the same time as me, sharing the same experiences as me, Caitlin Homes, had passed away. Her mom posted the message and told us that she got pneumonia yesterday and passed away in her sleep. My girlfriend welled up at the news, but I held it together. I didn't want to read too much because I was having dinner with my girlfriend, my sister and her boyfriend.

We had dinner and then opened up a fantastic bottle of port that my friend Ananth bought me for finishing chemo. It was delicious! We were all very happy that I was finally finished with this ordeal.

Then my girlfriend left, my sister and her boyfriend went to sleep, and I went back to the support website to read it fully. I read the mother's comments and I read all of the condolences left by the members (all people who have gone through or who are going through Hodgkins). I completely lost it, and I think I did so for two reasons.

1. She was just an amazing girl. She was probably only 20 but she seemed so incredibly happy right up until the end. Her comments always included funny pictures of her and her friends, she enjoyed life, she made those around her happy. She was worried that her sadness would impact her parents so she tried to hide it. Why do we lose those who are so good so young?

2. It made me realize my own mortality. My 30% recurrence chances are not good odds. I've made it this far, but am I really done? I sure hope so.

Here are some great pictures of Caitlin, she will always be remembered.

Laughing is my favorite, my laugh is really loud. - Caitlin

Caitlin is the second person on our board to have passed away after Rickie-Lee just passed away a little while ago. It's a horrible disease and I hope from the bottom of my heart that my time with it is over.

The last one......

I'm just getting ready to go in for my last treatment! I'm more nervous for this one than for any of the others. I just can't wait for it to be all done.