I'm packing up my stuff and getting ready for a month on the road, in the hospital, and recuperating at my cousin's house in Maryland. Today was my last full day in L.A. for the next 30 or so days, and it was jam-packed. Got my CT scan results (which were good -- "the cancer" knows better than to move to my liver or lung), chatted on the phone with Ilse Sugarbaker (who was very happy with my CT scan results), had my last pre-surgery acupuncture session with Mary Ellen, hit the weights hard for the last time in a while at Educogym, met one last time with Fr. John (the pastor at my parents' church), and said goodbye to all of my awesome friends (that actually started yesterday at OMM and last night when some of my crew came over).
The time has really flown by -- it feels like almost yesterday when I was discharged from Good Samaritan, nursing my fresh incision wound, 14 pounds lighter, struggling to finish an In 'n Out burger and fries (the appetite wasn't too big back then), but charged and ready to beat the hell out of cancer.
And now, here I am. All healed up, in peak physical condition, 14 pounds heavier, much stronger (I've gained an inch and a half of muscle on each of my quads and half an inch to each of my biceps), 7 rounds of chemo tougher, a vegan who eats like a horse, and still focused and determined to thoroughly embarrass cancer.
I've learned so much in these past few months -- about diet, exercise, meditation, managing stress, among other things.
I've also met so many fabulous people -- from Dr. Lenz to Mary Ellen to Judy Worsley (leader of the Worsley Institute for Classical Five-Element Acupuncture) to Buzz (the Duke alum in Seattle who hooked us up with tickets to the Duke/Oregon game) to Howard to all the cancer warriors who have emailed me about the blog to none other than Coach K himself.
I've also strengthened my relationships with people who were already in my life -- my hubby Will, my mom and dad, my family, my OMM family, and my buddies -- Rhett, Tim, Sabrina, Anna, Ruth, Aymee, Nick, Jessica, Erin, Morgan, Dan, Jillian, Jon, Carla, Junior, Tope, and many others (yes, I’m very, very lucky to have so many good friends).
I do believe that cancer has changed me. It's made me stronger, calmer, more grateful, more focused, and...if you can believe it, happier. Happier because I know how precious life is because I fight for every minute of it. Happier because I know how much I am loved. Happier because I know that, though my journey, I'm helping others find courage and strength and joy. Kind of the opposite of what "the cancer" had in mind, right? What an idiot cancer is. Foiled again, you stupid idiot!
I'm a stronger and better person because of this disease, but now it's time to get rid of it once and for all. While I'll truly miss my beautiful city and all the wonderful people that live in it, I'm not leaving L.A. with a heavy heart. Instead, I'm leaving determined and ready to slay this dragon and get my butt back home to my family and friends, where it belongs.
It's officially time to leave my beloved Los Angeles and hit the road for my next big adventure. The blog posts will keep coming, rain or shine. We will continue on this journey together. I wouldn't have it any other way.