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Keep talking to be okay.

After posting about my struggles with my health and my concerns about what to do and where to turn when I feel lost or scared, I received such an incredible outpouring of love, understanding, empathy, kindness (and even a little pointed silliness intended to make me laugh... thanks, Lacey). The responses I got made a few things abundantly clear. First and foremost, that I am NOT alone. That despite feeling like my problems are too complex, interwoven and bizarro, people with health issues nothing like my own feel the same. Second, that I am loved and supported by SO MANY amazing people. People I've met during all the different stages of my life and who are still, thanks to the positive parts of social media and social networking, a part of my life today. And third, that maybe I shouldn't have stopped writing. That maybe I still need it. That it helps me. Helps me sort out the craziness bouncing around inside my brain. While having a conversation with one friend this morning ab…

Because I don't know where else to have this little breakdown...

There is really nothing about being an AGING young adult cancer survivor that doesn't 100% suck.
And it's not even something I can get across to anyone I know to ask for advice, because it's all such a strange combination of things that are impossible to understand for someone that hasn't been here...
I now exist in this world of limbo between being stoked to be 5 years out and just having the opportunity to still be ALIVE, and the exhausting, never-ending series of fears that something else could be wrong. As I get older, this only gets harder. I'm almost 42 and on top of the regular stuff that starts to break down in our bodies at this age, I've also been through a lot more shit that's messed me up beyond just the regular decline of a non-athletic, semi-chubby, moderately-healthy-eater in their early 40s. I feel like almost DAILY, I find myself asking the question: Is that pain just general aging biz, or is it more sinister? Which is then followed by a lit…

If you get email updates or anything, I'm sorry!

Big apologies to any of my old followers who were following this blog via email updates or whatever. I decided that I was never going to return to my "The Long Ease" blog, and rather than continuing to pay for two domains, I just transferred all of those posts over here. Didn't occur to me til I finished that I lost all of the original comments I received during my HBOT... oops!

Regardless, I'm back to not posting on just ONE blog again. Which I'm sure will make not reading everything I don't post on both sites a lot less time consuming for everyone.

Honestly, though, I've actually been thinking a lot about this blog the past week. Partly because I am trying to just be more positive in general, but probably moreso because we are coming up on my 5 YEAR diagnosis anniversary. My Cancerversary. The magical 5 year mark where they'll let you start thinking about things like being eligible for life insurance again and whatnot.

I haven't really planned a…

Day Forty!

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**This post was transferred from the now defunct "The Long Ease" blog.**

Two days ago, I said something to the nurse at HBOT about being almost done and she mentioned the fact that my insurance had approved 30 more sessions after the initial 30.  It sent me into complete freak-out mode - I'm not going to lie.  I think I had been getting through all of this stuff knowing that there was this countdown.  This end date.  I felt completely blindsided by her news.  Did I HAVE to keep going?  What would they say at work?  Can I afford to keep getting these tiny paychecks?  SHOULD I keep going?  Would more be better, even though I am already feeling so much better?

I had a million questions.  And the problem was that NO ONE can answer them.  The doctors at the Wound Center seem to know basically NOTHING about my condition.  The questions they've asked me in the follow-up sessions I have with them every week or two are useless.  And then the Urologist didn't really seem t…

9 to Go

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**This post was transferred from the now defunct "The Long Ease" blog.**

It's been a hectic few weeks, and I sort of lost track of my blogging.  But I wanted to pop in real quick this evening with a TMI report about my healing.

I've been told from the get-go that these oxygen treatments have the best results with radiation injury.  As you likely know, I started the treatments for an injury inside my bladder - therefore the healing progress cannot be gauged visually without an expensive (and in my case, somewhat risky) procedure (cystoscopy). The only way to tell if it's working is really just based on how I feel.  I've been hesitant, to say the least, to admit or even believe that I am doing better, but over the past couple weeks, it's really gotten quite obvious:

I no longer wake in the night to go to the bathroom, and when I DO have to pee, there is no pain, pressure or discomfort AT ALL.  I no longer wince in pain when my car hits a bump let alone when…

Infected. Again.

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**This post was transferred from the now defunct "The Long Ease" blog.**

Well, today SHOULD HAVE been Treatment Day #24... but things don't always go according to plan...

Yesterday, as I sat across from Ryan during our Labor Day breakfast at our corner diner, I was feeling pretty great.  Like, finally feeling like I knew for sure that I was getting better.  No doubt in my mind.  I even felt comfortable saying it out loud.  That was an awesome feeling.

After breakfast, we went to run some errands, and I started to feel a little "bleh" in the belly.  Bloated and uncomfortable by the time we got home, I was in and out of the bathroom for a couple hours.  Ryan guessed that I probably got a mushroom in my omelette somehow.  Not hard to believe and the symptoms seemed similar to the mushroom situation.  But as the day went on, I started to feel like it was less gastric upset, and more the same stupid lower abdominal pain that has accompanied my last several infection…

Beyond the Halfway Point AND All Clear.

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**This post was transferred from the now defunct "The Long Ease" blog.**

Tuesday was treatment day #20, and as of yesterday's #21, I was officially the back side of this treatment thing.  I arrived early today for #22 - on purpose so I could sit on the bench outside Lutheran Hospital and enjoy my coffee in the crisp morning. It is gorgeous out today.

Or maybe I'm just in a particularly good mood.  
Nothing much to report on the treatment front.  Some days I feel better than I have in months, other days I feel just as terrible as I did when this all began.  It is difficult to tell...  And Ryan pointed out the other night when a friend asked how it's going that I am incredibly hesitant to admit that I might be feeling better.  Which is true.  I'm not sure exactly why that is, but I am working on figuring out that particular reaction to inquiries about my progress.  After today's session, I had to see the doctor there to assess my progress.  Unfortunately, w…