I’m Still Here

Hello to all those who read this!

I know, I have been silent for some time, just have so much that I am working through in life. So many changes and new challenges to face, but that’s life. Right? I hope I have something right.

Lately, it’s been primarily adjusting and refocusing back on my college education. Yes, you read that right. I am still attending college full time while battling cancer and recovering from a transplant. I have had people tell me that I am an inspiration for continuing my education through everything, but that’s not why I do it. My education is important to me, and when I am done and conquer this battle, I want to continue my life as “normal” and have the job that I want. So, I will continue going to school and gain the education I desire.

While I am not in school during the fall and spring, I am working. Yes, you read that right, too. I am also working while battling this cancer. I am in the Air National Guard and absolutely love it. They have been wonderful working with me and my needs. I am an aircraft mechanic, so sadly I haven’t been able to do much of my job the past year, but I have still been able to contribute where I can. I wish I could do more when I work though. I feel like that’s just a constant frustration. I feel like I am so limited in what I can do because I have cancer and how the treatment affects me. I am sure I am not the only one in this battle that feels that way. I can’t take trips to other bases for weekends because I have to stay close to home. I can’t work on planes because there are too many chemicals. Take away those two things and what am I going to do? I end up doing administrative duties and the like, which I don’t always mind, but I am in the military in a demanding job and I can’t do more. I know it’s not in my control. I have to work with what I got and in time I will be able to return to work. I just gotta get there. Everything takes time and sometimes my patience is thin.

As you may have picked up on through my recent posts, I did have a peritoneum transplant. I had about 75-80% of my peritoneum replaced. I was placed on the transplant list in July and only spent a few days on it. I did not, by any means, like being on the transplant list. Yes, I am appreciative of my donor. Yes, I am honored to have it to live. But at the same time, I still question why “I was worthy of it”. Why do I deserve it over the person behind me? I guess that’s my depression peering around the corner though. At first, the transplant went really well. My body was showing signs of acceptance and circulation. That’s what we wanted. But why would any of this be easy for me? A few weeks into August, I was having some issues: fluid buildup, lots of pain, swelling, and sensitivity in my abdomen. I was also struggling with eating and digesting anything I ate. Scans and tests then showed acute organ rejection. Really?! Since there wasn’t much damage to my new peritoneum at this point, they decided to do a month of trial medication and see if the rejection would stop. I am now reaching the end of my trial month and prepping for more tests to see if another transplant is in the books for me. It just never seems to end.

At this point, I can confidently say that I am aware and accepting of my current medical situation. I know I have cancer. I know it has now been 66 weeks since first diagnosed. I know I no longer have a reproductive system. I know I will be on hormone replacement therapy for the rest of my life. I know I had a peritoneum transplant and am risking another. I know I will be on anti-rejection medication for the rest of my life. I am aware of all of this, no matter how terrifying it all is.

But there are other things that I am aware of. I know I have an amazing support system. I know what to expect when I do my final chemo round. I know I will survive this. I know I will have a life after this. I know I will find someone who loves and accepts me for me at some point in my life. I know I will have the career I want. I know I will strive to achieve everything I desire in life. I KNOW I WILL LIVE!

I don’t know when I will post again. Between school and medical necessities, my life is pretty consumed, but I will do my best to post again in the near future.

Thank you for reading!

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