Friday, January 1, 2010

Cushing's, Cancer, Graduation, and New York

The two holidays that always seem to bring me down are New Year's and Valentine's Days. I guess it's been the expectations I've placed on them. When I was a teenager, I was the oldest, by far, of all my mom's friends kids, so I was the default babysitter. Every year my mom and her friends would get all dressed up in gaudy outfits with their big 80s hair and shiny long nails to party like it was 1989, give or take a few years. I was stuck with 5 or 6 kids all my brother's age in a house with a beta video player and boxes of pizza. It was some cruel form of birth control.

As it neared midnight, I became weepy. All the kids were usually conked out by this time or in some kind of comatose state. I'd be watching Dick Clark ring in the new year in my favorite city in the whole world - New York. Depressing.

I've never been to a New Year's Eve party that has met my expectations of those days. I've been to gatherings with family members and even been to a big downtown event (during which I was taken to the ER with kidney stones). I've even had my own party at our house where I cooked everyone dinner and we had a fine time. Still nothing to brag about...

For ringing in 2010, I had thought, a few years ago, that I would be celebrating just like I had always dreamed I could. This is the year I would graduate from college! After years of hard work and planning, it would all be paying off in 2010 - so I would have a lot to celebrate.

Instead, I sat in my throne with my own private O2 bar watching "Up" with my husband and daughter. There was nothing wrong with it. But it wasn't much different from any other weekend night either. It made me feel disappointed and sad about my situation. After all, I really had something to look forward to!

There have been a lot of other things that have happened to me since my birth in 1974 that I haven't even gotten to here yet. Things that have made me stop looking to the future before. There was actually a point in my life where planning and thinking about what I was going to do or what I was capable of were actually pushed out of my mind as to avoid the disappointment that would surely follow failure. It took me a long time to get over that. To be able to plan and see a future.

Now I sit here in the first hours of 2010 wondering if I have the strength to look ahead, to plan on anything. There seem to be more questions than answers and I really am afraid to plan. I know what I want, but I am not sure of the path to get it. I'm on my way with ridding my body of Cushing's syndrome. Soon, I'll start the process to alleviate cancer, too. The path to graduation in May is all set, but I'm unsure of my ability to conquer 10 credit hours, work full time, take care of my family, and go through radiation therapy/wean off steroids at the same time. The ultimate completion of 2010 will find me in Manhattan with my family working in a job I love and completely healthy and fit.

Here's to hope - because that's all I have left.

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