Writing captivating articles is not a simple task. It has never been easy for me to open up and share my experiences, but I am now becoming more comfortable sharing a slice of my life. Throughout this process, I have grown a thicker skin, and I am no longer fearful of telling my story.
I created this blog with the intention of keeping my family up-to-date on my cancer journey. In addition, it would function as a healing outlet for me. However, since I posted my first article, the number of Team Lia devotees has grown tremendously. To my amazement, I have been showered with an outpour of love and support from people of all walks of life. I am ecstatic that my articles serve as an inspiration to many. Since my first post, the goal of my blog has been fine-tuned. Now I write articles to keep family, friends, past teachers, professors, and perfect strangers in the loop. Another intention of this blog is to provide a source of comfort to people grappling with a cancer diagnosis. I yearned to have a quirky, relatable, yet honest blog to turn to when my life turned upside down. So, I decided to take charge and create one. It's the best decision I've ever made.
Back to the title, 'Exiting the Dark.' By no means am I out of the dark. I wrestle with my diagnosis every day, and I am beginning to see the light because my treatment is more than half-way over. Seven down and five to go. Two more months before I can say sayonara to chemo and hello to durable hair follicles.
I pride myself on being authentic, and I'll keep that promise by updating you on the positive, as well as the negative aspects of my life. Let's get the negatives out of the way first. I sound like a broken record when I say that I detest chemo with a budding passion. I'm tired of being tired. I'm fed up with feeling nauseous and groggy after treatment. Last week I had the pleasure of being rushed to the Emergency Room because I had an dystonic reaction to my anti-nausea medication. For those of you who don't know, symptoms of dystonia include spasms of the neck muscles, difficulty swallowing and breathing, and tightness of the throat and tongue. Additionally, I've finally gained enough strength to put away the head wraps and rock the buzz cut, but now my hair is thinning. I desire to grow thick, healthy hair, but I will have to be patient.
Looking at the above list, I feel an overwhelming sense of loneliness. Nonetheless, now that I'm sitting with my thoughts, I welcome a sense of belonging. I am not alone. Millions of individuals have walked in my shoes. My feelings are valid. Often times I find myself reeling over the unfavorable aspects of my cancer journey before I refocus myself on all of the surprising benefits.
Now for some positives. I live my best life, free of pain, during the week before treatment. I am currently in South Carolina on vacation with my family, and I am having a blast soaking up the sun. My fingers and toes are shriveled like prunes because I've been in the water all day. I'm in my natural element, and I feel free. I'm returning to school in the Fall. I have been able to connect with people in the last couple weeks who have reinforced the validity of my blog goals. No matter how shitty my day may be, I always go to bed with the belief that I have the power to comfort, support, and guide people.
As I wrap up this post, I intend on making lemonade out of the lemons that life chucks at me. I want to be the person that people look to when they feel like their life is in shambles. I'm brimming with ideas that I will share with you once my treatment is over. Every day I stare fear in the eyes and say FU! I encourage you to do the same. With that being said, I am going to end this article with one of my favorite quotes. The first time I read this quote I was floored. Read it and then read it again. I have hopes that it will speak to you as well.
All my love,
Hi, I'm Lia. I have Hodgkin's lymphoma, but Hodgkin's lymphoma does not have me.