First Check-Up

Today’s first check-up post-discharge went well. All the waiting that happens during these visits plunged me deeper into a fatigued state, but I am glad that my lab tests so far look good. The act of leaving the hospital to 70-degree sunny spring skies gave me some much-needed energy. We even stopped by MOM’s to sip on some organic tea while shopping for some goodies. I love MOM’s and my beautiful mom. ❤

I will be returning to the hospital at least twice every week for at least another month or so, with a PET scan in two weeks. Until then, we are in a positive wait-and-see mode. I can’t wait until we receive good news that I am in complete remission and I can finally live life to its fullest with the people I love. I cannot imagine another outcome.

I did the most walking I’ve done in weeks today, and I feel good. In just a couple days, my love will be by my side through our next chapter. It already feels like a dream, and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have him.

It is still #AYACancer Awareness Week, so I figured I should discuss the romantic relationship aspect. It is obvious I have been #BLESSED in this regard, because without Hsuan and his love, I cannot imagine going through any of this as well as I have. Without my relationship with him, every issue that a cancer patient would be amplified: overall anxiety; the concerns over appearances; the feeling of being loved and important; the fears over ever meeting someone who would understand my past, present, and future; the fear of being able to be loved…there would simply be a lot more fear. I mean, could you imagine having to worry about dating and explaining just this past year alone to some poor stranger who has no idea what I’ve been going through? Literally just the thought of having to put effort into dating turns me off completely. So Hsuan gives me not only love, but also so much hope, happiness, strength, confidence, and reason to live and stay strong.

On the flip side, there is also a lot of guilt, and as I transition into the survivorship part of this journey, I know there will be a host of other emotions that will tug at me every once a while. I hear of “survivorship guilt” and it’s a silly thing to feel when we have gone through so much (like, we BETTER survive after all this shit), but so much has had to give for me to be here. Personally, I have had to pause grad school multiple times, give up a year-long fellowship, let go of budding friendships, break the repeated bad news to unsuspecting family and friends, be that girl with cancer that people have to feel bad for (or just ignore, nbd), and witness my parents bend over backwards for their daughter who needs 24/7 attention.

My parents have been working throughout this whole journey. As business owners, they can’t just take a break or call off from work. Work lives with us, and I admire their drive so much. They don’t use the “my daughter has cancer” card to get out of duties; they’ve used it only to decline wedding invitations or much-needed vacations to see my sister. I have experienced so much strength not only in myself, but also in my parents.

This journey has been so incredibly tough (seriously, I win in the “going through some shit” category, point blank. Everyone else’s issues are non-issues, #sorrynotsorry), and I would not have been able to persist without my loved ones. Relationships, romantic and otherwise, have been everything. Value the ones you have now.

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