It’s been a while since I’ve written here, but there hasn’t been much to write about. Things have quieted as far as my cancer goes. I had my last Keytruda treatment a few weeks ago. I have my first annual mammogram next week. I also get my port out next week. Remember my fears about getting my port? That feels like a lifetime ago. While I’m not eager to have another (minor) surgery, I am looking forward to getting my hardware removed.
I have been doing some journaling and reflection just for me. I have had so many great changes over such a short period and now that life has calmed I am figuring out who I want to be now. I don’t want cancer to define me, but it certainly has changed me. Cancer has shown me how strong I am and how much support I have in my life. I have learned that it is okay to be vulnerable and that I have so much to be thankful for.
This is the first time in a while that I’ve been able to take a step back and reevaluate the ways I have always been. I have always had long hair. I have always worked directly with the public. I had taken for granted that things don’t stay the same and that I have very little control over what changes.
I have had amazingly few big life changes. I went to school with many of the same people from kindergarten through graduation. I have had five jobs over my quarter century of working. I have lived in the same house for 17 years and have only ever lived in three, adjacent cities. I worked in the same building for 14 years. Change is hard and something that I’m not comfortable with, but it turns out that it is something I can handle when I need to.
I’m really excited to see what the future will bring and how I will continue to grow.
While there have been many changes in my life over the last year, one thing is the same: Jacob and I are solid.
I haven’t said this enough, but he has been an amazing partner over the last year and the entirety of our 24 years together. He had the same stressors as me, but from a different perspective. He had to be strong for me just as I tried to be strong for him. He may have been oversolicitous at times, but he was with me every step of the way. He went to every appointment, every treatment. Due to COVID protocols he often couldn’t come in with me, especially early on, and he waited a lot outside the office or in the car. I always knew that he had, and will have, my back.
I am fully vaccinated and that is awesome. My immune system is still less than it was before chemo, so I’ll be wearing a mask for a while. I’ve gotten to hang out with fully vaccinated friends and family again. I’m not a hugely social person, but it is really nice to be able to visit with people in-person again.
I will go into stores now, but even with a mask I feel pretty anxious. I know it will ease over time, but it was really scary being sick during a pandemic. I am afraid that others will get me sick. I am thankful that masks work and that I am free to wear one whenever I want. We’re going on vacation this summer and I will certainly be wearing my mask on the airplane.
Work is good and I am so thankful that they stuck with me and were willing to hire a junior developer in the first place. Now that the rest of my life has calmed, I’ve been able to stretch my legs a bit more at work. I’m figuring out what schedule works best for my mind and body and not trying to force myself into a 9-5 lifestyle. I can take time out of my day to exercise or run an errand. I appreciate that is a luxury. We’re also experimenting with a 4-day workweek over the summer and I am eager to see how that plays out.
I am actively working to not compare myself with others. I don’t have the many years of experience that my coworkers have and I can’t change that. All I can do is work hard and keep learning and unless I hear otherwise, that is enough.
While I work remotely, I am not alone at work. I work with people who are very diverse but also very similar. One of the core values at Sandhills is to assume positive intent. When it feels like the world is increasingly divided and that people too often twist words for their own purposes, it is reassuring to remember that most people are kind and have good intentions.
I am also planning to remodel my office / guest room. Since I spend most of my day in this room, I’m looking to personalize it a bit, move furniture around and make it a cozier space overall.
I am going to keep writing, though the subject will vary more. Sometimes I might write something more technical and code-oriented. Other times may be more reflective like today. I don’t have much figured out and writing is a good way for me to process.
I’m working on making a new website for myself and this blog will move over there once it’s ready. I’ll let you know before the move and these posts will still live here, too.
I have a few plans for posts, both cancer and non-cancer related, but let me know if there’s anything that interests you and thanks for reading.