Apparently baseball is a bigger part of our lives than I ever noticed before.

Joy = hot dogs at baseball games, surrounded by friends and a very cute boy.

It has been a great week. A really, really great week.

There were no special events or major occurrences, it was just a normal, average week… and it was perfect.

Cancer really does have a way of putting things into perspective and making normally ordinary moments feel extraordinary.

Six months ago, I would’ve said a week like last week was just okay or fine, and by societal standards that’s all it was. I went to work every day, hung out with friends a couple times, and cuddled in bed with Ivory watching TV every night.

It was totally normal, which made it absolutely perfect.

It was the first time, since start chemo, that I felt 100% like myself. I laughed, I joked, I had energy, I was happy.  And for a while, I really wasn’t sure if I would feel that way again.

The week following my chemo was a dark week for me, and I’m not afraid to admit that I was depressed. The gravity of the situation hit me with full force and it was difficult reality to face.

Before starting chemo, all of my doctors told me things like, “don’t listen to the horror stories” and “chemo isn’t what it used to be.” But the thing is, I’ve never seen anyone go through chemo and I had never heard any kind of horror stories. All I knew was that you throw up and you lose your hair. So when they told me that, a part of me was like, “Awesome! I won’t feel any different.”

That was not the case. Chemo is still chemo.

While I didn’t throw up nearly as much as I had mentally prepared myself for (it only happened that one time), I definitely did not feel like myself.

I was endlessly tired. I had some major digestive issues. I barely ate or drank anything, and anything that I did eat gave me awful acid reflux. It sucked.

On top of the physical part, the week was full of transitions. The transition from “healthy” to sick, from 25 to 26, from independent to dependent, and from living on my own to living with my parents again.

I got older and, seemingly, lost all of my freedom, independence, and self-sufficiency in one fell swoop.

It knocked the wind out of me, and it felt endless.

And just as I was accepting that this was how I was going to feel for the next 6 months, something switched. I woke up Tuesday morning with a burst of energy that stayed with me all day. I was able to work all day without feeling light-headed, dizzy, or tired, I was able to eat (small) meals, and I had enough energy to go to a support group and Ivory’s baseball game.

I felt normal and it felt amazing.

Even though I said there were no special events or major occurrences, feeling that way was major and very special, and I’m thankful to my body for picking me up when my mind was ready to give in.


4 thoughts on “//joy

  1. Hi Mandi – your mom just shared your blog with me so I’ve now read all your entries and am up to date. You are such an eloquent writer and have made your journey so interesting and inspiring! Please know we are all praying and thinking about you out here all the time and know you will get through this a stronger person. And p.s., I love all the pics you’ve included – you and Ivory are seriously the cutest couple and look so happy together!

    Love you – Sherry, Tony and John

  2. MANDI LOUISE!!!! I just found your blog too!! I love you and am praying for you, your family, your doctors, and everyone involved in your care. You have a story to tell. And you are wise beyond your years.. Thank you for sharing your journey. Wishing you health, healing, and harmony during this challenging time. I love you oodles..

    Myra, Stacy, & Kathleen

  3. Dearest Mandi,
    Thank you so much for sharing your deepest joys and fears with us all. That takes courage and faith. Please know that Matt and Kimmi, Chris, Joel, Doug and I keep you in our prayers. When you are feeling down, know that many, many people are praying for your complete healing. Remember, miracles happen every day and there’s no reason why this recovery can’t be your very own miracle!

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