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.