Notes From Supergirl

My Diary from the Trenches

Still Kickin’


I’ve taken a break for a couple of months and I just wanted to jump on to note a few things. I am now 1 year and 2 months post-transplant. I have not been to a doctor’s appointment for 4 full weeks! I have been switched to a monthly visit schedule and tomorrow will be my first time back this month. One of the beautiful things about this change is that I have so much more time to do things now that I’m not spending days driving back and forth from the hospital. Another truly beautiful thing is that I often forget about cancer. I seem to forget that it was so much a part of my life for so long. As much as I appreciate this, in a way, I also wish it wasn’t so easy to forget. I got my haircut the other day and hated the way that it came out. I went into an over-dramatic depression and crying fit because I was so disappointed with the way I looked. Yes, I was being a girl, but I had to keep telling myself that I should be glad just to have hair! Get over it! It’s moments like this that I find myself sinking into a period of self-loathing about my lack of appreciation for day to day life at times. The farther I get from my journey with cancer, the harder it is to remember some of the pain or the misery that I experienced. When I’m feeling sorry for myself over something silly like my hair or a pimple, I bring myself back by trying to remember a really bad day in the hospital. Usually it works.

I’ve noticed a lot of changes in my life in the past few weeks, which I am beginning to recognize as a sign I am healing and growing from the transplant. Physically, I have become much stronger, faster and have increased endurance. Things that I struggled with a few months ago seem a little easier. I have more energy and far less fatigue. I feel normal. I still notice things that remind me of my underlying differences. For example, I did a yoga class with lots of headstands and came home to notice petechia under my eyes. Petechia is when you see small, tiny dots of broken blood vessels which is a result of low platelets. I won’t deny that it triggered a little panic/anger episode, but I feel fairly confident that my platelets are just hanging at a low normal level and this is just something that is part of my life now. Of course, I do look forward to a little reassurance from a blood test tomorrow.

Elsewhere, this new “freedom” has left me in a state of uncertainty about what to do with my life now. My kids are in school full time and I am home with no medical concerns and long, beautiful, full days ahead. This leaves room for my career to now take center stage. It has, most certainly, been on the back burner for these past three years and a few years prior as I raised my young kids. I’m not quite sure where I want to be or what I want to be doing. I love my design work and plan to continue with that but I want to do something more. I feel it’s there and I just haven’t materialized it yet. I continually ponder the idea of a book and part of me thinks I should just start writing and see what happens. The other part of me wonders if it’s a waste of time. I guess, if nothing else, a book would ultimately be a story I could leave behind for my kids one day, even if never turned into anything else. There is no waste in that.

The last few weeks have also brought some sad news about different friends who are now facing their own health challenges. I want all of them to know that I am behind them all the way. They are all incredibly strong, beautiful women who I know will overcome what is in front of them.

Lastly, I wanted to share a little experiment that I am doing with myself this year. I have challenged myself to face a new fear each week. Fear is by far the biggest thing that holds me back in my life. Cancer shook quite a few fears but I still find myself paralyzed at times by fear of different things. It would take quite a lengthy post to elaborate on all of the things that I truly fear but I am able to to recognize them now which is a big step in getting over them. Some of these challenges are very personal and emotional, others may seem silly or minor. But here’s the thing – no matter how big or small a fear is, each time we overcome one, we feel empowered and stronger to tackle the next one. So I challenge you to try this for yourself. You may be amazed at the results!

posted under Part 4 - Life
One Comment to

“Still Kickin’”

  1. Avatar March 10th, 2013 at 11:04 pm Sharon Michael Says:

    It is good to read your post. You have been an inspiration to me and many others.

    I can relate to your feelings of fear. There was a time I, too, walked that road. It happened the day my fear appeared I received in the mail my book of the month. It was titled ‘Hope’. I turned to a random chapter and there were the words that changed my life…For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. I knew from that moment on, I would chose to lean on to power , and love and a sound mind. There has been no looking back since.

    You have been and will continue to be in my prayers.