Today is my first day back to work since I left to begin a clinical trial at MD Anderson on January 16th. To summarize the past three and a half months, I experienced an increase in toxicity during the first trial for a t315i leukemia mutation, fought through muscle weakness and nausea, lost some of my vision, began blogging for MD Anderson, and was accepted as a compassionate care patient for a promising drug called Ponatinib. It wasn’t quite the kind of vacation I wanted, but I may look back on this period and say it was the best thing to ever happened to me.
Reading those blogs, it’s hard to imagine Katie and I have been through so much. The storm has definitely passed and a new chapter of our lives will soon begin. I’ll attend the same job as before, but everything will be new. It will be challenging to change the routine I’ve had and to try to get back into the swing of life. I’m tempted to believe this is really the hardest part of the journey, but I know better.
I’ve been anxious to return to work for a while.I’m afraid to fall into a routine again, to work an 8-10 hour day, five days a week, and be reminded of what it’s like for life to be normal again. I fear normal. No, that’s not strong enough. I dread normal.When all of these events were happening, I wanted to go back to normal. I didn’t want to endure the hardships of fighting a disease on a daily basis. It’s crazy how hardship changes things.
While I’ve been off of work, I rediscovered my passion for writing and helping others. I decided to make a commitment to accept all that I’ve been through and to embrace a new reality. I want to impact lives, encourage people, and be a part of something bigger than myself. The aim of my blog is to make that happen, but I want to contribute so much more. It’s tough to think of work as “getting in the way” but I know I have to be patient.
The month I spent at MD Anderson showed me a life of purpose. It inspired me to really do something with my gifts instead of simply existing and working a dead-end job. I don’t know how I’ll do that, but I feel like everything I’ve endured (and will continue to experience) is a time of preparation. I’ll do my best to continue to grow as a person and learn as much as I can, so that when the dream is finally clear, I’ll be ready to catch it.
Thank you for experiencing the past few months with me. Thank you for your support, prayers, hope, encouragement, love, and everything else that made life that much easier on Katie and me. I’ll never forget the kindness that has been shown to us. I needed that more than you could ever imagine. Now, I’ll carry those words into the future and provide someone else the hope and optimism you once presented me.
A return to life begins in 5..4..3..2..1..