It’s been a year. One year: 18 chemotherapy sessions, 36 bags of poison injected into my port, and 48 hours of sitting in those Lazy Boy recliners and staring out the same window.
But i made it.
On my last day, i deliberately sat in the same recliner that i sat in at my very first session. It felt fitting, to close this chapter of my life the same way i opened it. Of course, my head space was way different today. Today, i bounced into that office, greeting everyone who looked at me for even a second with cheese smiles. I cracked jokes. I let the staff sing to me, and i beamed when Jen announced to the whole room that this was my last treatment. I glided out of that office, feeling – for the very first time – excited that i am closer to getting my life back.
I have never met Patrick – not in person. He’s just some random guy who plays Words With Friends games with me via cell phone. We chat during our games; in fact, he kept me company all throughout my hospitalizations in July and August.
When i started getting my post-chemo energy and strength back, he encouraged me to join the “Arizona Hiking” Facebook group, which he moderates. We had talked many times about some of our favorite places to hike around Arizona, and i was down to learn about some new areas to go in the upcoming year. I signed up, and then he asked me to introduce myself and my circumstances to the group.
“No offense, Patrick, but what’s the point? I mean, why would a bunch of strangers even care?”
“I think you’ll inspire people.”
He was right. My introduction received 578 responses and 78 comments.
Less than a month later, Patrick reached out to tell me that a group member wanted to feature my story on her own blog. I contacted the member, and she told me that she wanted to add a page on her blog called “People Who Inspire Me.” She asked if i would be willing to write a 500-word synopsis about my situation and what hiking does for me, along with some before-and-after photos. I agreed, and she just sent me an email to notify me that the page was up and running! I posted screen shots below, but they’re difficult to read, so here is the link as well: http://n8trgrl.webs.com/inspiring-people