Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Amazing week gets even better...

Well, I happened to have the most amazing week. Last week the SAMFund hosted their 2nd Annual Cornhole for Cancer Fundraiser @ Joe's in Chicago. It was perfect. Funny enough, that marks the one year anniversary of this very blog! I remember back to a year ago, when I got home after the 1st Annual event and the social night @ Theory- I was so inspired then, I had to write a blog about it. Well a year later, I am even more inspired. But before I get too redundant, I will share a link the a blog entry I wrote for the SAMFund blog. It explains everything, so you have to check it out. I am very sad that it's over...and I am counting down the days til next year.

So, back to my wonderful week. Last night I was so very lucky to attend the Women Who Make a Difference event @ Petterinos in Chicago, hosted by Lakeside Bank. An amazing woman who I feel so blessed to know, Sharon Karsten, won an award for her work with the SAMFund. She was being honored for making a difference in the community. She is a very wonderful person, and like I said, I was so lucky to get to attend the event. I was even luckier because I got to speak at the event. I am no public speaker. I get all flustered, shaky and super nervous when all eyes are on me, and to have all eyes directed to me while trying to speak is like 10 times worse....But it was SO worth it. I got to speak in front of everyone about my story of survivorship, my experience with the SAMFund, how they helped me in SO MANY ways, and best of all, I got to share with everyone how amazing Sharon is. Honestly, without women like her, I may have not had the opportunities I have recently been presented with in life. It was such an honor to be able to go up there, and somehow- once I got to the podium, after being introduced by local Chicago celeb-anchor-woman, Linda Yu, all nerves died down. I got up there with my little cheat sheet. I didn't look at it once. Whatever I managed to say up there was way better then what I had practiced. It was just right- which shows me that no matter how nervous I get, I was meant to be up there to connect with people. It was amazing. I met so many great people that night that are involved with so many other non-profits in the Chicagoland area. And I was accompanied by Andrew Feldman, another wonderful person who I met through the SAMFund- and served on the planning committee with him for the Chicago events.

I drove home that night glowing. I kept thinking "wow, how did I get this lucky? To have met these amazing people, to have done what I've done, I can't believe it". I can't stop saying this, but when I think back to a few years ago, like before I was even diagnosed, I would of NEVER guessed that this is where my life would take me. I may have had to endure really horrible scary cancer treatment for 10 months out of my life- but I would never change anything about my life because I couldn't risk not having what I have now. It's funny, but last night Sharon said to me: "Things that happen in life really do happen for a reason, serendipity". It stuck with me, and when I think back to my life, everything really did happen for a reason. That's why I can say that I am one of the luckiest people, because I feel so honored to be able to have learned the life lessons that I have learned, lucky to have met the people that I have met, and thankful to have what I have. I will never consider myself an unlucky person- well actually I have bad luck with cars, and cameras, but that's another story. I am very lucky, and feel so blessed to have what I have.

My week is going to get even better...

I'm going to Nashville this weekend. My cancer sister/friend/fellow alumni leadership member Melanie is hosting a SAMFund Fundraiser in Nashville on Friday. I am so lucky to be able to join her. She is a very special person to me, and I cannot wait to see her. She is SO passionate about the SAMFund, and being a former grant recipient and AWESOME cancer-survivor, I am so honored to call her my friend. I just wanted to say thank you to the SAMFund for everything. Thank you to everyone who supports the SAMFund, & thank you to Sharon and Andrew!


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

3 Year Mark!

It's my three year cancerversary. This day is bittersweet. I remember back to September 1st of 2007, when I officially called myself cancer-free. It was a Saturday, still pretty hot out. I had just finished my radiation treatment the day before. It sort of felt like your last day of college- you feel like you should be more excited to be done, but you don't actually feel different. I couldn't actually believe that it was all over. I was too scared to tell myself it was done. I figured when Monday rolled around, Dr. Siv would call me back and tell me the tumors hadn't shrunk, and he'd like to do just a "couple" more rounds of chemo....

But Monday came, and he didn't. It was done. I started to feel better...physically. No more metallic taste, I didn't feel like I was going to vomit (constantly). The sunburn-like effect started to disappear from my chest and neck. My hair was not falling out. It was starting to feel amazing- but I was still absolutely terrified. I immediately thought I was crazy, so immediately found the number of a psychologist who I could talk to about my constant fear of being sick again. Ironically, she was also a cancer survivor, so she really helped......a lot. But time seemed to pass, and 3 years later here I am. I just had my blood work, PET & CT Scans done last month....I was a nervous wreck, but happy to say I'm still CANCER-FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So tonight I'm sitting here realizing how lucky I am, and that perhaps my cancer was a gift. I know it sounds crazy, because when I had first said it out loud, I was like helllllll no it wasn't....but I think it was. It was not fun, but going through all of that really made me grow up. I learned some of life's most important lessons in the young age of 23. I never used to think it was fair, but now that I look back I wouldn't change a thing. Also- I cannot even tell you how incomplete my life would be without my "cancer-sisters". They are the amazing women who serve on the Alumni Leadership committee with me: Erin, Amelia, Hailey, & Melanie. Also, Sam, who STARTED the SAMFund, and Michelle, my honorary cancer sister :) I met these women through the SAMFund, and you would all be blown away by their stories. They're people that will be in my life forever. When I'm feeling down, scared, or freaked out that I feel a tumor in my neck, I can call them. They can relate to everything I feel. They are my support system. When I get scared, I think about what each and every one of them has been through and realize that I am so blessed. If I had never had cancer, I would never have gotten to know these people.

I would not be ok with that. They mean too much to me. I wouldn't go back and change any occurrences in my life, even if a magic genie granted me the power to. They are simply that important.

So, I just had to get on here and give them a shout-out. I tell them this way too much, but they are such inspiration to me. As I celebrate my own cancerversary, I thank God that my cancer-sisters are also celebrating their health, and just recently passed & upcoming cancerversaries.

I've been through hell and back, but each year when this day comes along I tell myself it was worth it. I would never give up what I have now because of it.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm taking the Oprah Pledge....

I was driving to work this morning and almost got side-swiped by this horrid driver. I was on Lakeshore Drive, near Randolph and had to swerve into the next lane over because this crazy woman almost hit me. I looked over and her eyes and BOTH hands were glued to her cell phone. She was texting, and almost hit me. I decided right then and there to take the Oprah Pledge, and NEVER use my cell phone while driving. Although, besides this morning's incident, I was also slightly inspired to do the pledge because of an embarrassing incident earlier this week.

Long story...

Catherine Anne is my best friend Julie's aunt....but I've known her my whole life basically, and she's like family to me! I got this crazy email the other day and thought it was a joke. I called Julie to confirm, and she said it was true. Soo...Catherine Anne is a huge Oprah fan, and happened to be browsing on O's website the other day. She saw something on there about 2011 brides, and decided to send the Oprah show my info since I will soon be a 2011 bride....I couldn't believe it, but they wanted to talk to me! So, now we're back to earlier this week. Monday morning to be precise. I'm driving to work talking to my friend Jen. I see on the other line that the OPRAH show is calling me and immediately tell Jen I must go. I pick up. The woman was so nice, but the first thing she asked me was "are you driving right now?". I said yes, but I'm using my hands-free set :) (implied smiley). I guess all O employees take her pledge, and in that pledge you also cannot talk to someone else if they're driving- it will help prevent accidents people! She was so nice, and told me we could chat later. Well...I was too excited, so I told her I'd pull over. I pull into the Whole Foods parking lot and shut off my car. We chatted for about 15 minutes or so. She had heard a little bit about me...but wanted to hear more. She was asking about Chris & I, and our struggles. I told her how we met...we're almost-high-school sweethearts. I told her about how amazing he is. I was telling her about all the special things he's done for me, especially while I was going through treatment for about a year. She asked about my sledding accident + diagnosis. I explained everything and told her how much stronger your relationships become when tragedy hits. My trauma and sickness had really brought Chris and I closer. It was a huge struggle, but I wouldn't of gotten through it without him (and my fam and friends of course!). I told her how he shaved his head when I had to shave mine, the surprise wig party he helped throw for me, and about our special celebratory trip to San Diego. I told her when we got engaged, and told her why we waited almost a decade to do it. She had also asked what kind of planning we had done, which embarrassingly I told her, really none. I'm too busy/too broke to plan a wedding....ehh. Anyway, that was that! It was pretty neat though...she is going to enter the information in her database and will contact me if the criteria matches! Have to say thanks for Chris for being so amazing. My little stint on here only highlights his awesomeness as a fiance. But really, he's my soul mate- and could not imagine my life without him being a part of it!


I just wanted to share this little story....I felt so lucky to have been contacted by the Oprah Show!! Big shout out thanks to Catherine Anne!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This doesn't usually happen to everyday normal people like me....

We had to send a photo also....we tried to find a cute one...

So, now because of my embarrassing phone while driving run in with the O show (which by the way, the woman was soo sweet and understandable) and almost being hit...I am now pledging not to use my cell phone in the car....not at all... :) and you all should too.....


ps. maybe I should email the O show this this blog post? ;)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer was a blur...

For those of you who are following my blog, this entry is the continuation from my last entry regarding my treatment. Still trying to remember.

So I can't remember what happened in after the Cub's home opener. I remember having to carry around my silly oxygen tank. I remember my sister Meg posing with the big R2D2 oxy tank in some crazy photos...but I can't remember for sure. April seems like such a blur. I did celebrate my 23rd birthday though. April 24th, 2007. Chris came up to my apartment and took me out to a very nice Italian restaurant. I will never forget the gift he got me. It's funny because the gift would probably be offensive to most people, but it was too perfect. So, if you know me at all, you know I'm super obsessed with oral hygiene. Chris got me a spinbrush toothbrush, the best toothpaste, lots of floss, whitening strips and some awesome mouthwash. Sounds crazy, but Chris knows me best, and knew that gift was perfect, especially on his low-college-student-budget, mixed with my no-income-cancer-broke-college-student-budget. I wouldn't of asked for more. But that's really all I remember about April. School was about to end for the summer, so I guess that brings us to May. I was very happy because it was a trying semester. I was still trying to finish up the previous semester's work as well as the current semester's. It was double. I remember working all day in the shop building models for my projects, living at my computer for cad models, and sketching forever. I remember for one of my final projects we got to present in the Hancock Building in a room that happened to face the Lake, so it was beautiful. I wore my favorite wig to that presentation with a bright purple shirt. Here's a pic of my best friend Ralph & I.

After we were done, my classmates all met up at our FAVORITE spot near Columbia, Blackie's. It was awesome, but I was so mad I couldn't stay the whole night, I had chemo early the next morning, so I had to take a late train back to Joliet that night. So of course, the night flew by. I remember the next day was warm out. Went to JOHA and read the usual magazines, drank the usual grape juice. My mom probably brought me lunch from Babe's, and that's about it.

Once summer came I was finally getting over my lung issues. I had to continue seeing Dr. Garapati, my breathing specialist. I think I saw him once a week. Since school was done for the summer I basically moved back into my parent's house in Joliet. Every time I saw Dr. G I would have to go in this mini chamber and do all sorts of tests. I never liked it much. You sat in this tiny little space and put your mouth on this breathing device. You would have to inhale and it would cut the oxygen flow off randomly, so you couldn't breath. It was not fun at all. But eventually, my lungs were almost back to full capacity. I didn't have to carry around my oxygen tank formerly known as R2D2, and didn't have to take a million meds a day for my poor little lungs. This I guess brings us to almost June of 2007. That summer was very boring. I wasn't able to work yet with my crazy chemo schedule, so I had a lot of free time on my hands. Free time like that sounds fun, but it gets old fast. I had nothing to do. I actually started a daily bike ride. It started out by myself, just a few blocks. Eventually I got Bess to join me, almost daily, and we did some nice rides...pretty far.

Chemo pressed on, hair still wasn't growing back. And that was June. July is when Meg's birthday rolls around. I somehow managed to afford a couple tickets to a concert for Meg's birthday. We were going to see Incubus. Me, her, Chris, & Maggie. So much fun. It was warm that night. I wore the usual blondish wig, with this super cute scarf Meg let me borrow.
The concert was awesome. It was at Northerly Island in Chicago by Solider Field. When it ended, we sped out of there to get to the car. We cut across this huge field to beat the crowd. We snuck under this rope to cut in front of everyone. There was a warm breeze. I crawled under, looked up and Chris's jaw dropped. Then Meg's and Maggie's did. I looked back to what they were focusing on and saw my blonde wig/scarg duo dangling from the rope in slo-mo in the wind. I swear the crowd coming out of the concert (consisting of what seemed to be 1 million people) just stand there and freeze. The usual Kate would of been freaked out and embarrassed, but I took it as a sign to stop wearing the wig. I laughed it off. I did not put it back on. I proudly walked on with my bald peach fuzz boy hair. From then on I didn't really wear the wigs anymore. My hair wasn't growing back, but the wigs were getting boring, and it was really hot.

For some reason I can't remember much more. Just awaiting the last chemo appointment....

More soon.


I'm back...

Sorry for the absence...and I hate to make excuses, but I've been very busy. Let me catch you up.....

I've been healthy!! My next check up with Dr. Siv is coming up in August. Actually, I'll have to reschedule it because I'm totally treating myself to a family vay-cay....It's fine though because I have no reservations about putting it off. I'll have the usual, blood work, PT & CT scans. Ick...but I haven't started freaking out yet. I'm sure I will due August 1st, so I'm enjoying the month of July. Also, September 1st will mark 3 years cancer-free. I can't wait. I think I'm going to throw myself a party for my cancer-versary. You're all invited.

So like I said, these past months have been pretty busy. I started a newer job, and thank goodness, I'm receiving health benefits through them. They started July 1st, and I plan to take full advantage of the health care. I still work at the salon, and I'm also working with the SAMFund, which brings me to my Boston trip.

The SAMFund was actually what inspired me to start my blog, if you remember back to my first entry, it was about the Chicago Fundraiser and social night. Ever since I received the "living grant" from the SAMFund, they have been a huge part of my life. I love to help them whenever, and I am officially a part of the SAMFund. So, back to Boston. I went there for the Alumni Leadership Committee Conference. The SAMFund has created a group of past recipients to help with the program, fundraising, network, and just about everything, (which is soo much fun). I am SO honored to be a part of the ALC. We all had the wonderful opportunity to meet in person, and we got to travel to Boston for it. I met the most amazing people ever. We had about 3 days together, which of course flew by way too fast. Friday night we all had some awesome seafood, thanks to Sam's dad. I got to know everyone, hear their stories and totally relate to them. It may sound crazy, but knowing that we had all shared a very similar experience brought us together so quickly. It was like I had known everyone for years, but really I had just met (most) of them that very day. We kept the weekend going with a few conference meetings, some fabulous food, and a little bit of site-seeing. When Sunday rolled around we had a brunch at Michelle, (the SAMFund Program Director, and honorary cancer survivor)'s home. It was so yum. But we knew that it was almost time to say goodbye. It felt like the night after the Chicago Fundraiser, when I had to say bye to Sam. It's not easy to say bye to someone who is that amazing, and I was dreading that farewell to the ALC ladies. After brunch, Sam and her husband dropped us off on Newberry Street, or as we liked to call it, "Newbarrrrry Street". Hailey, Amelia, Melanie and I got to hang for a couple last hours. We all sat and had a drink in the sun. I kept looking at the time and knew it was time to leave. Amelia and I had flights around the same time, so we caught a cab. We sat in the airport for a bit exchanging stories. Amelia is my cancer-twin, she is also a survivor of Hodgkin's Lymphoma, so we really had a lot in common. I basically waited til the last minute to board, not wanting to say goodbye. I boarded the plane and couldn't even relax because I was still in awe from the weekend. In that short weekend, I built strong bonds with the most amazing people, my cancer sisters. We all can't wait til we're in the same state again. I forgot to mention we're from all over the country: Tennessee, Illinois, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, & California. Hopefully I'll get to see them very soon, maybe at a fundraiser (which I hope to see you all at).

So, other than that amazing trip, my life has been pretty amazing. I'm back to blogging, and will have some more updates at a faster pace (hopefully). Can't wait. Have a good night...


Correction, I'm forgetting something HUGE. I got engaged. Chris asked me to marry him on April 23rd in Milwaukee. He is the BEST guy in the world, and I'm the luckiest. Of course I said yes....after making him swear it was real. (I didn't believe him at first). He's always surprising me like that...but after dating for 8 years we are finally ready for that big day. I couldn't be any happier, and I am so blessed to be able to share my life with Chris, who has always been there for me and has shown me what true love is. Love you Chris.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

That reoccuring question...

So, I'm sitting here admittedly feeling a little sorry for myself. I find myself asking that question, "why me"? It's something we all ask ourselves at least once in a lifetime, but there is no denying I've asked it numerous times. It's usually something regarding health: why WAS I diagnosed with cancer? why DOES MY back hurt horribly every day? why CAN'T I seem to stay healthy? or, money-related: why ARE MY student loans exceeding 60K? why DO I still have to live with my parents? why DO I still NOT have a job? Boo Hoo. I'd be a liar if I said I never asked why me...but I do realize that everything happens for a reason, and I do have it very easy and I shouldn't complain. But tonight I can't get that question off my mind.

I feel like I'm in this trap-

I had to have this ridiculous "minor" foot surgery last Thursday. No big deal. I had to have it done. Health comes first, right? So I schedule it, take off the weekend, and go in assuming it won't be anything. I was wrong. Since Thursday I've been in tremendous pain, well only when I walk, but still- how can I possibly sit around constantly? Whatever. Actually I didn't mind taking off the weekend. I never have weekends off, so it was nice. I took a million naps, worked on my portfolio, stalked on facebook, etc. It is now Tuesday, and I still cannot walk without feeling like I am dying. I had to miss a meeting Sunday, call off work Monday, Tuesday, and now tomorrow. I don't even know what I'm going to do about Thursday, which is a 7 hour shift of me on my feet the entire time. I'm freaked out.

Not a huge deal, but it poses a few problems.

1. I feel guilty for having this surgery done, but I shouldn't because I had to have it done.
2. Missing all this work is really hurting me financially this month. I have to pay off interest on my private ("student loan") notes to extend them, etc, etc- meaning Jan and Feb I have no money left over after all my payments, but missing work leaves me negative wondering how I will pay these bills, plus my regular student loans, and medical bills, insurance, etc.
3. I am scared I am going to get in trouble for missing this much work.
4. I am stir-crazy from sitting, it gets old fast.
5. Even though I feel guilty for some crazy reason, if I didn't do the surgery it would get worse fast, and in turn be more expensive.

I don't want sympathy- I just wanted to share my constant revelation that I always seem to forget about: I don't know exactly why things happen that make me question how the world works, but I do know that they are there to make me a stronger person.

Simple. These tasks/burdens/obstacles will in turn teach me to be better with my money, keep myself healthier, and teach me to work harder.

Nobody asks for bad things to happen, but they happen, and it's not fair. No matter what I'm dealing with I don't always remember to automatically accept it. I go through the guilt/anger/worry phases, and then realize it'll make me stronger in some way/shape. So now I see, despite this stupid medical burden I'm dealing with, it's there to make me a better person. I should not complain because I know how easy I have it. And in regards to my last post, my advice on worrying is to not worry. Obviously in my case it causes physical and mental disarray, making the situation worse. In my experience, life works best when you accept and understand. The question "why me" will never be answered, but if dealt with maturely, you can make amends with whoever is out there in this universe making decisions on what happens in our lives.

Monday, January 18, 2010

December Checkup....

Sorry I've been neglecting my blog. I need more free time. So I wanted to write an update about my current situation.

Every few months I have to go back to Dr. Siv for a check up. I get blood drawn, pet scans, and ct scans. No fun. The blood getting drawn is no biggie. I'm quite used to needles, so that doesn't bother me. I go to JOHA to have it all done, which is nice. I go into a little room with a tv/mags, reclining chair. I get an IV inserted, and immediately flushed (not sure what they flush it with), but it reminds me of what they used to flush my port with. Yuck. Memories start flooding in, and they're all coming from that smell and the gurgling sound of liquids being injected into me. Then they get me ready for the Pet scan. I've copied this from the trusty

To conduct the scan, a short-lived radioactive tracer isotope is injected into the living subject (usually into blood circulation). The tracer is chemically incorporated into a biologically active molecule. There is a waiting period while the active molecule becomes concentrated in tissues of interest; then the research subject or patient is placed in the imaging scanner. The molecule most commonly used for this purpose is fluorodeoxyglucose.


I still can't get used to it. Kevin, who has done all of my Pet scans brings in this medium sized metal box that looks like it may contain something very valuable, or destructive. He opens in and takes out this needle-y thing full of a pale yellowish liquid. That is the short-lived radioactive tracer isotope, also known as radioactive sugars. Anything labeled as "radioactive" always freaks me out and simultaneously reminds me of the Simpsons opener when the green stick falls down Homer's back...Hmmm. That's done, and then the nurse brings me two wonderful glasses of this lemonade concoction. It is amazing, because I'm not sure if I wrote about the barium sulfate I had to gobble down while in the hospital, but it was absolutely horrifying. The lemonade has a funky metallic taste to it, but so much easier to drink then the elmer's glue grape flavored substance which I swear was 50 gallons (in my mind). Then I sit.

I guess I have to let everything sink in, the sugars, lemonade, blah. I sleep. Kevin always takes the magazines away from me. He says it will create a gathering of the sugars in my head from concentrating on reading. He always brings me a warmed up blanket, it's nice. I sleep really good in there.

As I'm going through all this I am really shaky. I hate going to my checkups and scans. I always freak out, but this time I was suspicious of something. I just had a bad feeling. That mixed with anxiety leads to physical disarray, meaning I had hives break out under my right eye. I was really freaking out.

I wake up, and go to the pet scan. I lay on a large table slab that slides into this huge cylinder. It sucks because after I hurt my back, I wasn't, and still am not able to lay on my back. But I have to, so I do. The pet scan is not so bad. I basically fall asleep again. When it's over, maybe 15 minutes have gone by, and it's time to get up. I am freezing, and cannot get up. My spine feels like it's locked in place. Yuck. Whatever...I go into the next room for the ct scan. I get on the same contraption, but I get a giant twirly cord plugged into my iv. It's connected to a huge robot-like machine filled with what looks like a lot of liquid. That's the contrast. I have to have it injected in me for the scan so my body shows up, (I guess). It's gross. I can smell it of course, and I see this giant tank emptying into my arm. It's really warm, and the vapors start to come out of my mouth, I can taste it. Then it makes you feel like you've peed your pants. I think I do pee my pants every time, but I don't. It's just that fooling....The ct scan isn't too relaxing. This is where you have to Breath. Hold your Breath. Breath. Hold your Breath. And so on. It's over, and I'm on with my day.

Meg picked me up and we went to Panera and got some soup. It was nice.

A week of horror goes by. That anxious feeling I mentioned earlier had grown even worse. I was a wreck. I felt like nobody understood. Everyone told me I'd be fine, and not to worry. Well if you know me, you know I am a professional worrier. I think I lost all color in my face. My eye was worse. I don't remember eating or sleeping. I got to work one day and one of my co-workers (rudely) asked if I got punched in the face. I had a few melt downs at work, at home. It was scary. I hate playing the waiting game, but even more so since I had a bad feeling. It's friday morning and I wake up at 7am to a surprise visit from Chris. He took the day off from work and came over super early to surprise me and take me to my appointment. We went out to breakfast (at Louie's of course...), and then onto JOHA. I freak out in the waiting room. I go to have MORE blood drawn, freak out to the nurse. She told me that it's normal. Most everyone freaks out when they're back to their oncologist for this visit. I felt a little better only because I knew they didn't think I was crazy. I get into the same room I've been in a million times, hop on the same table I've sat on a million times, and dangle my feet because I can't reach the step. I stare at the garbage can and wait. Chris was very sweet. He kept saying funny things to cheer me up. Doctor Siv walks in and my heart drops. Usually when he walks in, the first thing he says is "Kat-her-ine, you are ok, tests went well". But he didn't. I knew it. They had found something in the scan. Thank God Chris was there, because while he was explaining everything, I was just sitting there with my jaw dropped thinking I was going to die. They found a "moderately large cyst" that I had to get checked out, just as precaution.

He went on to explain that it was all going to be ok, and it was nothing to worry about. He said pet scans are so sensitive that they'll pull up everything, even if it's not dangerous, but we still have to check it out. He told me I had to go get an ultrasound because another ct scan would be bad (emits too much radiation). He kept reassuring me that I was fine, and there was no reason to be upset, but I couldn't believe him. I wanted him to tell me I was perfectly healthy and nothing was wrong and I could go on with my life, but how could I get my hopes up? I couldn't. I had to call off work, and literally went home and straight to sleep. It was horrible, and really hard because I knew I shouldn't worry, but I just couldn't not. I felt like nobody understood why I was upset. When you're on the other side of things, even if they are severe, it doesn't mean it's any less scary. Why would I believe I was going to be ok, because my whole life I thought I was, and then one random day I was diagnosed. Without any warning. You can't expect life to work out how you want it. But, that's just my pessimistic rant...Normally, I'm much more optimistic. I just couldn't be then, no way. I don't remember that weekend. I remember Monday when I had to go to Future Diagnostic for my ultra sound. Chris took that day off also. We went, and I had assumed I'd find out the results that day. Noway. The woman told me that my doctor would call me. Great. I remember going to work that night, but I don't know how I did anything because my mind was in another place. I get on the train to leave for the city Tuesday morning for my other job, and I'm freaking out. I call JOHA, it's too early. They're not open yet. Great. I call and call, and finally at 9am on the dot, I get through. The woman told me they didn't have the results, but even if they did, I would have to make an appointment to come in because they cannot give results over the phone, whether they're good or bad. I am just a wreck. Then she tells me that Dr. Siv is on vacation and he won't be back til late January. I tell this lady to call me back. I call my friend Liz and freak out to her. She gave me the confidence to call them back and be blunt with them. As I'm talking to her, JOHA calls on the other line. It's the same lady. I told her that I don't care who reads my results, but I want them read, and I need the information now. I asked her "how could you possibly expect me to wait til January to find out? Christmas is in 3 days, it will be ruined. My life will be a mess until I find out, so find out". This is so unlike me. I never do that. But, luckily, she called me back and rudely said "your test results are fine, every thing's ok". I melted. 10 million pounds had been lifted. I was so happy, and I felt like such an idiot for freaking out so badly for the past 2 weeks. It was amazing. My doctor called me shortly after from his cell to tell me again, which I really appreciated. And that was that.

I go back in March for blood work. I hope it's a lot smoother than my last. I feel ok now, I hope I can refrain from worrying out of control again.

To celebrate (even though my family thinks that I am crazy), Chris took me to Vegas. Maybe I didn't deserve a vacation, but my optimistic self came back, and I simply said to myself that I am very thankful to be alive and healthy, and I am going to celebrate. I may be selfish in that aspect, but I don't care. I want to enjoy what I have and do what makes me happy. You only live once.

Just wanted to thank all my friends and family for putting up with me during that time because I know I was acting like a crazy woman.