A Long Way from ICU

This time last year, I was on night five of my hospital stay. Feverish, my body was starting to prove just how powerful the mutant T-cells could be.

Hours later, I woke up, rushing to the bathroom to vomit. Mom must have pitied me. After all, just two hours prior, I had turned 26. The vomit kept coming.

The rest of my 26th birthday was a blur. I think the nurses tried telling me that I would be transferred to the ICU. I remember flashes of my mom and nurses pulling my limp body up from the bed to pee bedside. Did I eat? The next time I was fully conscious, it was the day after.

In the weeks after discharge, my mom would lightheartedly relay the story of how I hilariously failed the toxicity assessment questions, which were given every hour or two. Not only did I scribble illegible sentences, but I also was incredibly insistent on where I was, jumbling nonsense about my high school. “Atholton! Atholton High School!” (I do recall having a feeling of frustration at some point.) I can only imagine her laughter—and maybe horror—in the hospital room, while witnessing her delirious daughter give totally incorrect answers with such confidence. She had some pride sharing this story.

One year later—freakin’ global pandemic aside, I am in a much better place. My scans last week were clear! Much of this past year has been about recovery and adjusting to a new normal. As I mentioned in my recent post, this self-quarantine is nothing to cancer patients and survivors. We can get through this.

It has been a long journey to get here, and although the world is falling apart, somehow we are still here.