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It is the end of February. I am 28. I am not 22, the age I was when I started this blog. A few weeks ago, I was surprised to see I net more web traffic than ever before. I post here rarely; I'm not sure what to say that hasn't been said. Who am I now that I wasn't 6 years ago?
Scar tissue.
There's been organs lost and battles waged on the inside. There's a decline in health and a rise in self-awareness. I drink less. I do less. I swim more. I travel more. I dive headfirst into either everything or nothing.
This week I slept three straight days. My Jawbone UP band told me I took 324 steps yesterday. I think that was to the bathroom and back into bed. How pathetic! I write these updates and I look back and some of them are so similiar; I feel powerless, I try, I fail, I whine.
On February 8th, I moved into an apartment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I haven't lived in the city since July 31, 2011. Nearly three years have passed since I called NY home. When I lived in California, I was certain I'd never go back to New York City. There was so much air in California. I had my Lost Days, the days where I slept, but it was with the windows open and the sunlight streaming in, fierce. It was beautiful and it was lonely and it was hard.

I had to make myself do things. I had to make friends.

Moving back to New York...that first week reminded me of moving to LA. I have plenty of friends in New York, but I hadn't connected with them, really connected with them, in some time. You can't just go back. Things have changed. People have changed. In New York, everything changes, and the city forgets you.

You forget the city too. You walk West when you mean to walk East. You transfer subway lines and end up going the wrong way. You learn about new ways to travel, a ferry that goes right across the East River...perhaps these things had existed in the 7 years I spent in New York, but I'm relearning them.

I'm relearning my friends, and my relationship to this town. I had a good first week back.

And then Claire visited, and I stayed with her and my new pal Aidan, and we had a great long weekend, snowed in on the Upper West Side.

My friends threw me a birthday toast, and I took the train home on the 17th to NJ to see my family.
I've been home in NJ for 10 days now, almost half of the month. I spent half of the month in NJ, napping with Sadie, napping with the dog...napping.

My friends and I spent last weekend in the Poconos, swilling cheap beer and shopping at Wal-Mart.

That's a lot of money to waste on not being somewhere, and I've come up with a thousand reasons I haven't gone back.

But mostly, it's hard to reintegrate. It's hard to admit that! And I have been so tired. Sleeping, managing an out-of-control diabetes, bronchitis, and mouth ulcers. I have been sick and I have wanted the comforts of my bed in NJ, my parents 100 feet across the yard, the dog asleep at my feet.

Maybe most people want the comforts of home. Maybe I'm not cutting myself a break. Maybe I don't push myself enough.
Tomorrow I'm getting on a train and going back. I feel a little bit better. The sores have receded and the cold and diabetes...well, I reckon they'll stay for sometime. I've made plans for the weekend and next week.

If I need to go home to NJ, I will.
There are different parts of me, and they all want different things. My brain wants my body to get its' shit together, and my body so does not want to do that. It's all "fuck you, brain." Stupid body.

And my heart. My heart belongs in two places, maybe three. And I'm strung out, hoping to touch them all. But I'll try. I'll run headfirst into this adventure, this year of 28.

What else is there to do?
Thanks for reading along the way.



Six Years Out: World Cancer Day, 2014

I remember the moment my parents told me I had cancer. I remember the shock, and my boyfriend's arms around me. I remember crying, calling my friends. I remember how Rachel and Gen rushed over, tears in their eyes. Meghan and Erin's cracked voices over the phone. My cousins...my siblings...my parents' fear.

I don't really remember surgery. I remember checking in. I remember going home.

I remember the radioactive iodine treatment. The men in Haz-Mat suits, giving me a toxic pill to swallow as they stood the recommended amount of feet away, tape measure in hand. The walk behind my mother to her car.

I remember driving to New Jersey with my mom, who wasn't afraid to be near me, even though I was quite literally toxic. My friends visited through the bathroom door. I was isolated for a week. My dad bought me a TV. My siblings were scared.


Next month, I'll undergo a full-body scan to make sure nothing's left. 

My doctor said there's abnormal lymph nodes, so I'll get an ultrasound too.


These six years post-diagnosis have been the hardest of my life. Cancer doesn't end when treatment does; it's effects linger, especially if you are young when you are diagnosed. 

Young adult cancer survivors used to exist without acknowledgement. They still have the highest mortality rate out of all cancer populations, because they are often overlooked. To be young and vital and then suddenly sick is terrifying.

I remember the depression right after treatment. It was all a blur; I graduated from college 2 months after I was diagnosed. Everything was happening at once.


I can't imagine my life now without the friends and community that I've come to know through this terrible disease. I can't imagine a world without their friendship and support. It is the silver lining.


Cancer destroyed my body. Cancer provoked Type 1 Diabetes; last week, my doctor told me it was the trigger. It took a mild case of lupus and made it suddenly more severe. I have been so sick and so sad. I have been angry and depressed.


This week, I move to Brooklyn. I have been home for almost 18 months, recovering and then getting sick again. I've accepted another diagnosis. This month I turn 28 and I'm getting an insulin pump for my birthday.

I didn't live for so long; I slept. I call them the Lost Days. But as I look toward the end of my twenties, I don't want any more Lost Days.

I am not better, but I am okay with that. I am moving forward. I am healing, even if that means I'm not medically any better than I was a year and a half ago.

I have had so much support. My parents are amazing; my sister and my brother and cousins are my rock. My friends are steadfast and this community builds me up when I am lost. 


Let's support each other. Give whatever you can to fight cancer. It takes so much. It is not a gift, and we must defeat it. 

I recommend the American Cancer Society and First Descents. Too Young for Cancer is also a good organization for young adults battling this disease. Give toward metastatic breast cancer and Ewing's Sarcoma. Give toward melanoma, or Hodgkin's and thyroid and pancreatic. We need advances. We need them now.

Link to donate to First Descents is here: http://tfd.firstdescents.org/site/TR?px=1004761&fr_id=1060&pg=personal


Thank you all for inspiring me to keep on. Thank you for all your support these past six years.

I am so lucky. I am so grateful. 

I'll never forget the friends we lost and will lose. I'll always remember their fight and determination and I will call on that on days I am not up for living.

This is what it means to survive.