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Sweet T's Story

The Chronicles of a Survivor

3…2…1…AUGUST!

I recently downloaded a countdown app on my phone because I have some pretty big milestones slated for the next few months. Plus I really enjoy the constant nudge of anticipation that comes along with a good countdown. Think about it…most memorable, epic events in life are synonymous with some form of a countdown. And in my opinion…if they aren’t already, they should be. Image

The monster milestone, which is rapidly approaching, is…MY LAST CHEMO YAY! Tomorrow morning, Wednesday July 31st at 9:15am sharp you’ll find me at AGH, with bells on, ready to get this shiz over and done with. These last few chemo infusions haven’t been that bad, but it’s been a long, heavy haul…nearly 4 months of treatment. And frankly, I’m over it.

I’m over giving myself shots of blood thinner EVERY DAY…the blue tint of my skin, which started as separate bruises, but now is just one really big bruise covering my entire body below the neck. I’m over having sparse eyebrows and lashes and the “bad hair days” when my arm and finger muscles cramp up from trying and trying to get my scarf tied or put my false eyelashes on. Yesterday I counted and I literally have 16 eyelashes left. I’m over chemo and everything negative that goes along with it. For me, chemo has kind of been like that annoying, obnoxious lingerer you’d like to throat punch pretty much on a daily basis, but you just can’t. In real life, I simply choose to not be around people like that, but chemo is like obsessed with me! She won’t effing leave me alone! So, tomorrow, I’m going to punch chemo in the throat so hard and fast she won’t dare come back around my hood no mo. Like a ninja.

Although I’m not quite finished kicking cancers ass just yet (I still have radiation therapy) August 1, 2013 represents a new chapter for me in this life. Thursday morning, I will wake up feeling strong and accomplished and confident and ready. I will forget about all the annoying days I’ve had with chemo and remember that it’s what is making me healthy again…it’s what is giving me the opportunity to embark on this new chapter and appreciate life like I do.

But I will still throat punch that little biotch:) Cheers to this being my LAST chemo EVER. Peace and love, friends!

-Sweet T

“I want my soul to feel brand new…” -Avetts 

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Touch Your Tata’s! For the Cure!!

Over the past few months, in spite of, and mostly credited to my 2nd go round with the big C, I’ve had a ton of super special, memory box worthy moments. Last weekend was no different, possibly even more so than most…

 

I’m talking about the 5th Annual Touch Your Tata’s/Rally for the Cure Golf Outing, which, of course was a hit and the best outing yet AND keeps on getting better every year! This event is the love child of one of my oldest and most dear and compassionate and wonderful friends, Ashley. She started organizing this outing in 2008 in honor of her Aunt Char who battled and beat breast cancer with courage and grace. !!GO AC you’re my hero!! The following year, I was diagnosed the first time and Ash decided to continue hosting the outing, now in honor of me, AC and any and everyone else who has been touched by breast cancer.

This year, our 5th year (we took one year off for those of you who are counting) was by far our most successful outing. We had 146 golfers and raised around $13,000!! WOWZA! The event benefits the Susan G. Komen Foundation and proceeds are put to great use funding and supporting breast cancer research and lots of other great stuff like free mammograms. Great, right? It is. SO GREAT. But this event is about more than that to me.

It’s about friends and strangers coming together because they have been touched by this disease and they want to play a role in making a difference. It’s the notion that there are thousands and thousands of events just like this (although not nearly as rad) happening all over the nation and that together, we’re really having an impact and making a difference. That one day, breast cancer will be a distant memory and we’ll all be able to think back to this day and know that together, people can truly make a difference. I’d be amiss to say that Touch Your Tata’s isn’t about letting loose and having some fun too. It’s sunshine and jello-shots. It’s lots of hugs and belly laughs. It’s playing and prizes. It’s an escape, an inspiration…for me, it’s bottled up joy.


It’s hard for me to put into words the overwhelming sense of joy and inspiration that I feel when I see people rally together around a cause, especially one that is so near and dear to my heart. When I see the dedication and hard work of the volunteers who help make this event a success, all the men (and ladies!) showing their support rocking their pink from head to toe so graciously opening up their pocketbooks, the many, many warm embraces and kind words I was surrounded by, some from long time friends, some from complete strangers…I get the chills.

So THANK YOU, all of you, who golfed, donated, volunteered! I can only hope you had half as much fun as I did. Let’s get geared up for an even more awesome, successful next year!! MEG–thank you, as always, for capturing these beautiful memories for me with your camera! You’re so talented! AND ASH!! Your huge, compassionate heart never ceases to amaze me. I’m so lucky to have such a dear friend in you. Thank you for all of the hours of hard work and planning that went into making The 5th Annual Touch Your Tata’s Golf Outing the best eva. We couldn’t have done it without you. And thank you for being you, friend. Love you like woah:)

Summer Solstice With The Avetts

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Scott, Sweet T, Seth and Joe @ Firefly 2013

There’s something magical about music. Maybe it’s the artistry? The way carefully crafted lyrics and melodies make sense of emotions you weren’t quite able to make sense of yourself. Maybe it’s the sense of nostalgia? The way a song can take you back to a beautiful memory and let you relive those moments over and over. Maybe it’s the joyful feeling you get when you share laughter, happiness and a genuine connection with complete strangers because of your love of music? Maybe it’s all of that wrapped up together a bound tightly with guitar strings like a little present that you get to open and enjoy anytime you like?

It’s no secret that I have a deep love for music. It’s blatantly clear that my love for The Avetts is borderline cray/obsessive. Call it what you will, people. They make me feel happy, inspired, creative and warm…and in my book, there’s not a damn thing wrong with feeling like that.

What I’m trying to say, is that I had one of the best weekends of my life this past June. With lots of help from y’all my 30th bday wish came true…I rocked summer solstice 2013 at Firefly Music Fest with The Avett Brothers and it was just glorious!

Where do I even start? Ok…so there were months of anticipation that led up to this. I got word that the guys would love to meet me a few months ago, but didn’t really know what to expect when the day actually came. I had a dream one night that during the show Scott brought me up on stage and I played the harmonica part of “Backwards with Time” totally rocked it and wowed the crowd. In reality, I don’t really know how to play my harmonica all that well (what I mean by that is that I own a harmonica and sometimes act like the sounds that come out of it when I play sound good), and I probably would have just embarrassed myself when I peed my pants and then proceeded to pass out in front of 50,000+ people from shock…but it was quite the dream. Obviously that isn’t exactly what the day entailed, but it was a dream come true nonetheless.

So what really happened? I met the guys at the St. Jude tent a few hours before their set. We had a few minutes, just me and the guys, to chat, take pics, hug, doodle autographs on my new pair of Tom’s and basically become bfff’s. I don’t know if you can tell in the pic above, but I’m pretty sure I bruised both Scott and Seth from hugging them so tight. I wish I would have had some one taking video of the whole thing, because I barely remember the details of what we talked about. I do remember, however, walking up to Scott, him looking at me and his exact words in that sweet, deep, raspy southern drawl were, “Look at you and those beautiful blue eyes.” I melted. And I melt every time I relive that moment in my head. I also got a few minutes to talk to Bob, the bass player, one on one about his sweet daughter Hallie, who is battling brain cancer. It was my hope to bring him a little bit of peace and hope knowing that people with cancer can live full and magnificent lives. I know I told them that they inspire me and help get me through my tough days. All of the guys…Scott, Seth, Joe and Bob were gracious and beautiful inside and out…just as I had expected. It was a true honor and joy to get to spend a few minutes with them.

I thought that was the end of it…I stepped away and watched the guys waving as they were carted away and I felt a couple of tears coming down my face. They were tears of absolute and shear joy…and I couldn’t control it. The whole thing was a little overwhelming…in a good way. It was hard to believe what was happening to me…the events that had led up to all of it…everything that my family, friends and I have been through and experienced over the past 5 years, the sense of strength and accomplishment I felt…the happiness that engulfed me in that moment, the festival, my dear friends who experienced the weekend with me, the sunshine, the music, everything. All I could think was…wow…my life…what a long strange trip it’s been. That is a moment and feeling that I’m keeping locked up deep in my soul for safe keeping. My cup literally runneth over!

Anyone who has been to a music fest knows the dedication it takes to see your fav band up close and personal. It’s hours of missing out on other bands, standing like sardines with thousands of new friends, the sun beating down on you…all for the love of the band. I have to give my buddy, Noah a special shout out for setting up shop with me 4 rows back from the stage The Avetts were playing at and sticking it out for hours and hours in the heat waiting to see them. We had a great spot…it would have been a great place to watch the set. BUT! Instead of watching from our staked out spot 4 rows back, because the guys and their crew are so gracious and wonderful, I was able to get a backstage pass and watch the show from the mezzanine with the band’s friends and family. Again, I melted.

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I’m not sure what heaven will be like, but, for me, I’d like it to be something reminiscent of this. I’d have no problem spending 47 eternities or more surrounded by music, friendship, sunshine, peace and happiness. Thanks to everyone who shared my email and blog and liked my facebook page…you all played a part in this dream come true. Also, thanks to The Avetts, Bob, Joe and Dane for everything you have no idea how much this meant to me…yinz rock my world!

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Chemo #6: Take 2

chemo #6

Last Wednesday I wasn’t able to get chemo because it turns out I had a pretty massive blood clot in my left upper arm. I’m behind schedule and frankly I’m pretty pissed at cancer for messing with my flow and ruining my 4th of July plans and even an invite to see PJ in Ontario on the 16th. UGH. Take a hike, cancer, you’re just stupid!

They thought the clot might have been from Spike, my port, and even threatened to take him out and use my non-existent veins to administer the rest of my chemo infusions. Luckily, (or unluckily) a CT scan says that Spike has nothing to do with the blood clot and once again I’m a medical mystery. So, I’ve been shooting myself up with blood thinner for the past week. I have to give myself a shot in the stomach twice a day and it’s pretty much the worst thing ever. You’d think I’d be past my fear of needles/injections by now, but I’m just not. I have to listen to really loud music and pump myself up before each shot. It’s probably pretty funny to see. The shots do seem to be working, however. I no longer have elephantiasis of the arm. Which, although is a made up name, is very painful and quite embarrassing. So I’m winning!

So here I am, one week later, blood all thinned up, back on the chemo train, ready to beat the shit out of those cancer cells. Ok. The pre-meds are. kicking. innnnnn. I think I’ll take a nap in this comfy chemo chair and hopefully have lots of crazy,happy, music filled dreams. Those dreams are the best:)

Btw, my firefly/summer solstice with the avetts blog is on its way. Keep your eyes peeled but heed caution….it may be a long one because it was pretty much the best weekend eva.)

Signing off from chemo #6. Only 2 more to go. Over and out. 10-4,

Sweet T

scott and sweet T aka bfff's
scott and sweet T aka bfff’s

“…nothing short of thankful”…for the weekend that was had

I had one heck of a weekend. One speckled with a sampling of all of my favorite things in life…family, old friends, new friends, parties, campfires, Pittsburgh, music, food, laughter and memory making.  And at the foundation of all of those things, I reached an important hurdle…HALF WAY DONE WITH CHEMO! Obviously, it was only appropriate to host a party with lots of food and booze in my backyard to celebrate.  That backyard bbq turned into an entire weekend of pure bliss:)

I’M HALFWAY DONE WITH CHEMO…LET’S GET WEIRD.

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I had an extra week off between chemo infusions so I was feeling like superwoman…no nausea, no fatigue, no meds. Ahhh. It was so refreshing to feel normal for a few days. I needed it. It gave me a boost. It reminded me that all of this that I’m going through is temporary. That soon all of this will be part of my beautiful history. That this will be something I went through and got through that made me the person I’ll eventually come out to be on the other end. A better me.

Ok, enough of the goo. Let’s get down to the good stuff the fun stuff the memories. If I were to try to capture all of the wonderful conversations, embraces, giggles and memories that were made this past weekend, we’d all be here for 72 hours. SO I’m going share a few magical moments with you in detail and with some beautiful photos.

ARTS FEST, TOUR DE BURGH, SILVERSUN PICKUPS

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Most of the photos you’ve seen are have been taken by my wonderful and talented pal, Meg.  She has been documenting my journey via beautiful photos since the very beginning. She’s photographed my head shaving party, random happy hours, rally for the cure planning meetings…and now, my very own photo shoot! Saturday morning, I got all dolled up, had my make-up done and we headed to the woods of Washington County for “Sweet T’s Wild Photo Shoot”.  If someone would have told me that one day I would be bald, half naked in the woods, sipping mimosas, allowing someone to take photographs of me, I would have told them to “take a hike cray mofo”.  But it happened and it was an experience, a wonderful one. Thanks for capturing this, Meg. Love you lots:)

SWEET T’S WILD PHOTO SHOOT

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Just a few other highlights from the weekend that I can’t leave out:

1. Watching the night disappear and the sun come up on Saturday morning after hours and hours of laughing, drinking and friendship at my kitchen table with some wonderful ladies.

2. Accidentally crashing my 11th grade prom dates 30th bday party and getting to hang with him and his gang the whole weekend.

3. Spending the entire weekend with my dear friend, my soul sister, KT, who came all the way from Denver to visit.

I don’t mean to brag or anything. Ok, that’s a lie. I absolutely do mean to brag…only because I’m nothing short of thankful for all of the people, places and experiences that this life is giving me. And the best is yet to come!  This time next week, I’ll be at Firefly Music Festival loving life and meeting my boys, my inspiration, The Avett Brothers. YAYAAAAA

Until then…peace,

Sweet T

the flip side

We’ve all heard it a million times…cancer effects all of us.  Some of us are smack dab in the middle…battling with all we have. Others know bad ass survivors who are thriving and inspiring people everyday. And unfortunately, most of us have lost someone to cancer…and for those, we celebrate and remember fondly the memories we have with them.

For the most part, I’ve experienced cancer from the inside. The side where you know first hand what cancer feels and looks like…the side where you have some control over the situation, the side where you don’t  have to feel helplessness and fear for someone you care deeply for. For those of you on the outside…the flip side…mad props for realz. I don’t know how you do it.  You think I’m strong…I say YOU are the strong ones. Y’all are my rocks…the support system that is inevitably there for me at the drop of a hat.  You help me through the bad days and embrace the good alongside me. You feel emotions that I can’t even fathom. You make me smile and inspire me to get better and live an amazing life. We often celebrate the courage of cancer fighters and survivors, as we well should. But we don’t celebrate enough the courage, strength and importance of those of you who are living and breathing cancer right along side us. So…Cheers, to you!

Most of you have no way of knowing what cancer feels like.  When people hear the word”cancer” a lot of times they think it’s a death sentence…that people battling this disease are sick and miserable all the time. I can’t speak for all survivors, but I can tell you from my perspective, cancer is not all that bad. (HAHA, cancer.  You got nothing on me.) Thanks to medical advances and wonderful organizations that are making strides in early detection and treatment, the negative stigma that cancer once held is no longer a reality. My doctors have my back…I have a pill that remedies pretty much any side effect that comes along with treatment. My hair is going to grow back.  My scars will fade. There are far worse situations that one could be in and I count my blessings every day.

My hope is that this message brings those of you on the outside a little comfort and peace…knowing that we survivors are just fine. That although cancer blows a big one, it’s nothing that we can’t handle. You don’t need to feel helpless or scared or sympathetic for us.  Although we know you would, we wouldn’t want you to change places with us.

p.s. I passed the 1/2 way point with chemo last week…only 4 more to go! My spirits are high and according to my doc, I’m handling treatment like a rockstar. Oh, and here are some pics of what cancer REALLY looks like…lots of smiles, friendship and bad ass bandannas.

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For memory’s sake…

“…I try to think of bad times.  Good memories are all I have.” -Avetts, One Line Wonder

I’ve always been a sucker for nostalgia. There’s something special about escaping into a memory and living in it even if it’s only for a few moments…remembering where you’ve been, the places, people and things that are near and dear to you and ultimately how they’ve shaped your life as it you live it. I have a beautiful library of memories that I keep deep in my soul and I find it so lovely when a smell, a song, a taste, a friend can bring those memories to life and take me back to that place.

Lately, I’ve been even more caught up in the magic of my memories. I don’t know if it’s the glorious hours that I’ve been spending hanging in my backyard letting my mind wander and the sun shine down on my face, or the heaviness and reality of this whole thing I have going on with cancer.  Or maybe it’s all the time I’m spending at my parents house and the drugs I’m on…but my sense of nostalgia is at an all time high and I’m loving it!

Last week, I was taking a leisurely stroll through my beautiful neighborhood soaking in the sights and sounds of the city…Mt. Washington…Pittsburgh and I’m all of a sudden overwhelmed by the smell of fresh cut grass and gasoline. The space between the city streets of Mt. Washington and the lazy barely paved roads of Washington County where I grew up couldn’t be further from one another. But the smell immediately takes me back to summertime in good old Southview, PA. I couldn’t help but smile as memories of long summer days, tan legs, neighborhood kickball games came flooding back to me. I had very vivid recollections of good times spent in the swimming pool and trampoline in our backyard, fishing with nothing but nets and our bare feet down at Galati’s pond, and riding my bike for miles upon miles. I can remember feeling free and happy and loved. For me, that’s the epitome of childhood.

I love James Taylor. For many reasons. His voice is like velvet and his music is mellow, comforting and peaceful. I’ve seen him live more times than any 29 year old should ever admit to. Other than having the voice of an angel, JT’s music is special to me because some of my absolute favorite memories of my entire life are tightly stitched to his Mudslide Slim Album (read up on music-evoked nostalgia if you get a chance…it’s fascinating). The summer of my junior year of undergrad at Gannon, I took a biology class that afforded me the opportunity to spend 2 weeks exploring Yellowstone National Park. At that point in my life, I had never been west of Ohio, so the vast beauty and greatness of the mountains and wilderness completely captured me…mind, body and soul. We hiked, camped, explored, animal-watched for 2 weeks straight. I experienced all of this with some very special people including one of my very best and most dear friends ever, KT. It was heaven to wake up in the wilderness and breathe in that brisk mountain air and have no idea what the day would entail and what we would see or discover. I met a new part of myself on that trip. Reminiscing makes me warm inside.

I guess what I’m getting at is that I’m thankful.  Thankful that round #2 with the big C and this medical leave has given me the opportunity to truly disconnect and escape from the stresses of everyday life and to reflect and focus on what makes me genuinely happy and what is important to me. It’s pretty damn great.

coming to you LIVE from chemo room #1 at AGH!!

photo (22)Ladies and Gentleman! I’m coming to you LIVE from Allegheny General Hospital’s Cancer Center in Pittsburgh’s beautiful Northside neighborhood!  You’re about to get an exclusive sneak peek into exactly what treatment is like.  Exciting, I know.  Please try to contain yourselves. This is chemo #3 of 8. You know what means…almost 1/2 way done. YAY! Everyone is always asking about chemo and treatment and what it’s like, so I thought I would take this opportunity to  let you all in on the true life of a cancer patient. Think of this as an episode of MTV’s Real World, only without all the booze, illegitimate sexual relations and bad ass house on the beach (I got nothin but love for ya, East Deutschtown…yinz would rock the real world).  Ok, so realistically this is nothing like the real world, but I hope to entertain you either way.  And I just really want to say this…

You think you know, but you have no idea… Chemo day is always long.  My appointment was at 11:30 and it’s currently 12:51 and I’m just starting to get my pre-meds and other drugs. There’s a lot of prep work that needs to be done before the nurses start to actually administer the chemo therapy…like exams, accessing my port, vitals, pre-meds, gossiping, etc. I typically see my oncologist (who is also my buddy and saving grace) before each treatment.  She gives me an exam, making sure that the chemo is doing what it’s supposed to do and that there’s nothing peculiar going on. I have nothing but good things to say about all of my doctors and nurses.  They’re just the smartest, most talented and genuine group of people a gal could ask for in a medical team.  On a side note, AGH should probably hire me to do their communications and PR. I would be a superstar. After my exam with my oncologist, I head back to the treatment room which is basically a huge room with lots of big comfy chairs and all kinds of top notch, super cool medical equipment.  It’s really quiet, aside from the constant beeping of the machines that administer all of the drugs, so I typically pop in my ear buds and rock out to the avetts while mi madre plays on her ipad.  She’s fairly new to facebook so I assume she’s probably tagging and sharing and stalking like there’s no tomorrow.

Fast forward. Check-in and exam…done. Prep and pre-meds….go!  All of the pre-med drugs they give me are used primarily to control and even prevent the nausea that comes along with getting the red devil chemo.  Before every treatment, I am injected with aloxi, emend, decadron and ativan and they are all given through Spike, my port, and have to slowly drip into my system, so it can take a while.  As I type, I am currently being injected with ativan, which is making me feel all loopy and warm inside…and kind of like I want to watch the discovery channel all day. Not gonna lie…it’s pretty awesome.  I’ve never blogged on narcotics before…this might be good.

photo (20)photo (26)1:55pm Chemo time.  The red devil chemo comes out in two huge syringes and has to be administered manually by one of the nurses, it usually takes about an hour for all of the chemo to be injected.  The chemo is literally bright red…that’s where the idea for my next tattoo came from.  I had always liked the meaning of the word sanguine (cheerfully optimistic) but it wasn’t until I saw the other definition of sanguine (red in color) and heard of the type of chemo I would be having that I decided I like it enough to get it tattooed on my body and have it live there for the rest of my life. I can’t wait to get it. Any artists out there want to work with me on designing it?? I also get another type of chemo after the red devil, cytoxan, which is set up on the drip just like the pre-meds.  It also takes about an hour.

2:27pm.  Ok. The drugs are kicking in. I’m starting to feel pretty tired (which is completely normal).  When I had my last round of chemo I slept for like 72 hours straight no joke.  I barely got up to pee.  It was good though (not the peeing part, the sleep part)…I slept all the way through the bad parts of chemo… the nausea and being uncomfortable.  It really worked out.  I think I’ll leave you all for now before I start crazy talk…drug induced rants about how much I love candy or how the 5-day work weeks is the worst idea ever invented. Or even worse, who is getting my vote for mayor in the primaries.  I choose to spare you all.

Before I sign off…I was left the loveliest of messages from one of my sisters friends that touched my heart and brought a smile to my face and I want to share it with you, friends.  “…I am not gonna lie I was heartbroken to hear this T…. so undeserved. But as I read your blog I get it…I can see the “why?”. You are changing hearts minds and lives kiddo!” I wouldn’t touch the “why question” with a 10 foot stick before this.  I just didn’t see the point in wracking my brain for an answer that I will likely never get.  But Meg, you’ve opened my mind to a new perspective and I thank you.  Now I know that understanding the scientific and medical reasoning behind my first AND second battle with cancer isn’t what’s important here.  Understanding why I’m here, going through what I’m going through is the real question and I already know the answer to that:)

Until next time,

One Love -T

Top 10…no, Top 7 Reasons Chemo Doesn’t Suck

ImageAs I turn the proverbial “corner” after chemo #2 of 8 and there is more hair covering every square foot of my house than is left on my head, I feel the need to remind myself of reasons chemo does NOT suck.

1) Naps. When you’re going through chemo, napping is completely acceptable and appropriate. And I’m not talking a little 20 minute nap after a long day at the office…I’m talking long, mid-afternoon naps, with no alarm waking you from your slumber.  It’s lustful.

2) Ellen. The Ellen Show is hilarious and heartwarming and is also realistically the only good show on day-time television.  I get to watch it and literally lol* every damn day. Thanks, Ellen.

*Here’s a funny story about “lol” that I just have to share.  Older people accepting and using technology, more specifically, internet slang inevitably hilarious.  Take this little gem of a story as an example…One of my friends mothers (who we’ll fondly call “Jenny” in order to escape ridicule) is drafting an email to her friends/family notifying them of funeral arrangements.  She writes a very nice, thoughtful and sentimental email and at the end signs it, “Hope to see you all at the viewing. Lol, Jenny”.  Everyone who receives this email is baffled as to why these funeral arrangements are making Jenny “laugh out loud”.  Hey, Jenny. LOL does not mean “lots of love”.  LOL

3) No hair. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to not be bald right now, but having hair is expensive. I could adopt a child with my money I’m saving on razors, waxing and hair products.  Plus its really awesome not having to shave your legs.

4) Snail Mail. People don’t send paper mail much anymore.  Unless its your birthday.  But I’ve received at least one card every single day since Sweet T v Cancer: Part Deux commenced. It’s such a treat to pull brightly colored envelopes out of your mailbox and hear from old friends, new friends, friends of friends everyday.  Also, anyone over 70…why and how is your handwriting EXACTLY the same??  Mind blown.

5)  Visitors. People are always wanting to come visit me! I don’t know if they feel obligated, sentimental, or if I’m just amazing company…but, either way, I’ll take it.

6) Opportunities. Chemo/cancer, although it has been quite disruptive to my mid to late 20’s, has also presented me with the opportunity to do things that I probably wouldn’t have had otherwise. The first time I was diagnosed, my wonderful Aunt Vic sent me to the Superbowl!  What??  Who does that?  It was one of the best memories of my life, watching the Steelers stomp the Cardinals.  This time around, I’ve decided to take medical leave and cash in on doing some things that I haven’t had the chance to focus on…like, teaching myself how to play the harmonica, starting a garden in my back yard and baking all the cupcakes my little heart desires.

7) Kindness and love. I know I’ve said this before, and it might sound a little bit silly, but I’m truly thankful and awed over the kindness and love that stupid cancer brings out in people. So, thank you, cancer, for grabbing all of us by the shoulders and shaking us until we realized how wonderful life is, how beautiful and deep our relationships are, and how effing special it is to be able to share everyday, no matter how simple, with those that we love.

Disclaimer:  Cancer and chemo do indeed blow a big one (sorry that was vulgar). This was supposed to be a Top 10 List, but I couldn’t come up with 3 more reasons to finish off the list.  I need to keep it real. And I don’t want you all to think that I’m living on a planet where all things are puppies and sunshine. I have bad days just like the rest of the world, I’m just choosing to focus on the good and not the bad.  That’s what gets me through.  I hope this encourages you all to do the same! 

Peace and Love,

Sweet T

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