When Life Gives You Lemons: Infusion Center Diaries

The Infusion Center Diaries - is this a series I'll continue? Who knows. But for now, here is your long post alert and my latest thoughts on life. 

This is a post I've been thinking about for a LONG time. I've gone back and forth so many times on writing it and posting it. I never want to come off bitter, rude or insensitive through wordy posts. Well, today I finally was tipped off and decided it's time to finally share this post. So here we go. 

I'm going to preface, as always, I'm not sharing these details for pity, sympathy, or anything of that nature. I share my experiences and thoughts to help other people. With my very first post I said, "If this helps one person, then it's worth putting all this out there." I've accomplished that and it only motivates me to keep going. If my hardships can help inspire you, then this fight is worth it. Anyway.

In the last 14 months of my life, here is a general list of things that have happened:

  • Stage 4 [incurable] cancer diagnosis
  • Loss of the ability to ever carry children and harvest my eggs
  • MAJOR Crohn's flare
  • Ileostomy surgery (and adjusting to a very new lifestyle to accompany it)
  • Loss of my grandmother, to whom I was extremely close, and couldn't attend the funeral because of said cancer diagnosis
  • Laid off from a job that I LOVED
  • Lost my dog, love of my life (I know the dog people out there feel me on this one)
  • Heartbreak due to the end a wonderful four and a half year romantic relationship
  • Countless hospital stays
  • All the issues and defeats associated with my cancer and Crohn's flare (most of which have been documented in previous health posts)

I'm sorry, but at 27 that's a lot to deal with in a short period of time. And I hate to say this, but I feel like I'm forgetting something. Again, l'm not sharing this so you feel bad for me. Quite the opposite actually, which is why I call this post The Infusion Center Diaries. 

None of this is fair, I think we all can agree on that. But the lesson I've learned is that it's all in how you handle things. Today I had my routine infusion at the cancer center (2x a week for fluids, among other infusion treatments), and the woman next to me would NOT. STOP. COMPLAINING. I've seen her before and this is pretty routine for her. Everything was wrong in her life, and she will tell anyone who will listen (whether you want to or not). I'm not kidding. In a 10 minute span she said so many 'glass half empty' comments I was about to lose my mind. And we're talking really trivial things - down to how far away she had to park (btw, there's free valet). Everything out of her mouth was so negative and "woe is me" and it was just exhausting to listen to. To help paint a picture, she has breast cancer and smokes like a chimney, so there's that. I get it, sometimes the smallest things can change your mood and ruin your day. Or you're just having one of those days where everything seems to go wrong. Really, I get it. I complained about some really dumb things before all of this. And at the time, those dumb things were a big deal, just like the things you might complain about are. I'm not saying any of this to diminish things going wrong in your life, or hers. Not at all. Not everyone is going to have to take on such big battles like me. The whole point is how you handle your troubles, no matter how big or small. 

It's frustrating to have a bad day, or have bad things happen. But it's how you handle them that counts. You don't think I get mad when I see my friends going out and having fun, and I'm stuck at home or in the hospital, again, because I don't feel well? It frustrates me beyond belief that I'm held back so much because of my health issues. But you better believe that I use every ounce of good energy I have whenever I can. There are even times when I force myself to get out and do things, when all I want to do is lay in bed. I refuse to let my life pass me by like that. One thing my mom has said through all of this is that it's up to me to take my life back as much as I can. I've been robbed of so much that I'll never get back. It's up to me how much more I allow to be taken from me that's in my control. 

That's my message to you with this post. It's ok to have a bad day and complain about everything, but don't let it become a habit. Your problems are just that, your problems. It's completely up to you how you handle them. My friends constantly say, "I feel so bad complaining about this to you" and I get so mad at that statement. I was complaining about similar things before all this. The size of the problem isn't the point. The point is that it's all in how you deal. You had a rough day at work? Fought with your significant other? Well cry it out, eat some ice cream and move on. Put your problem in a balloon and let it go. You decide whether a problem affects you for 5 minutes, 5 hours or 5 days. Make the call and commit.

I'm not going to sit here and act like I have a shiny attitude every single day. Are you kidding? I'm SO guilty of crying and complaining and getting mad. Sometimes I feel like I'm going to physically explode from frustration. But I allow myself to feel those feelings, recognize them, and then move forward. I take my life back.

It's up to you what you take away from this post, but I hope it at least inspires you to look at your troubles a little differently and make the most of every moment of your life.

As always, thank you for the unwavering support to all my health posts. Thank you for the love and positivity. Thank you for all of it, from the bottom of my heart.