Health update: So far so good. I’ve been on Letrozole for over a month and so far I just have crazy hot flashes fairly regularly. The only concern I have is minor. I have had some occasional pain/cramping in my pelvis/abdominal area. It could be scar tissue breaking up but I really don’t know. It could be anything so I’m not going to worry yet. Like Dr. Robison says, IF it’s time to worry she will let me know. I have a check-up with her next week so I will address it then. Until then, as far as I know- I’m okay.
Life Update: Something interesting happened today. I was driving to work especially anxious. It was the first day of freshmen orientation at Bryant and I had to give two advising presentations for incoming students for the first time. It’s not that I didn’t know the material and it’s not that I am shy of public speaking. I just knew that I had a TON of information to deliver in a small window of time. When you’re delivering to an audience that is already inundated with information, not making their heads spin is generally a goal.
So I’m chugging along on my normal commute, sitting at the stop light in front of campus, waiting for my green arrow and I smell something odd. I see white smoke start to billow upward in front of me. My first thought was “hey someone’s car is smoking” (I think it was a moment of wishful thinking). My second thought was SHIT it’s my car. My temperature gauge couldn’t be any farther on the red end of the scale. I was incredibly fortunate to already be at work and not stranded on 95 somewhere.
I would like to tell you that I just parked and said “suck it up Sally! You have a presentation to give. Deal with this later!” but unfortunately I cannot. I did deal with it later because I needed to dive into the madness of orientation but I certainly did not forget about it. Most of the morning my train of thought went a little like this:
Actual Voice: Welcome to Bryant! What are you planning on studying?
Voice in my head: YOUR CAR IS BROKEN! HEY! JESS! YOUr CAR IS BROKEN!
Actual Voice: Well it’s great to have you here! In your yellow folder you’ll find your schedule. You’re pre-registered for…
Voice in my head: HEY! LISTEN TO ME! YOUR CAR IS JACCCCCKKKKKEEDDD UP.
Actual Voice: …so tomorrow is when we will come together as a group and guide you with registering for your final two classes…
Voice in my head: $$$$$$$
The worry associated with not knowing what was wrong with my car in addition to the anticipation of speaking to a room full of young adults made for an anxious morning. The presentation was okay. I didn’t bomb it or anything but I think it could have gone better. My colleagues assured me that the first one is always the toughest (luckily I have six more opportunities over the next two weeks to nail it). Despite the reassurance I didn’t feel great about it and still beat myself up all afternoon for not being automatically amazing at a presentation that I’ve never given before
So much for not sweating the small stuff right? Over the last few months I’ve preached about how much perspective I’ve gained and how the little things don’t matter. Well I’m only human. I don’t think I necessarily let it derail my whole day but it certainly bothered me more than it should have (my Mom is going to read this and tell me to stop “shoulding all over myself” hehe). THEN I got mad at myself for being mad at myself!
When I sit back and reflect on the anxiety I had today there are several positive counter points that help me to realize that my day really was not all gloom and doom:
1.) The owner/mechanic from A&W in Smithfield actually came to campus to pick up my car FOR FREE.
2.) I have been squirelling away a little money for months should something like this happen. I can afford the repairs (oh I forget to tell you, my radiator is shot and the something-something valve is seriously leaking oil). It’s expensive and annoying but manageable.
3.) I have rides to and from work and my car will be done tomorrow.
4.) No one threw eggs at me during my presentation.
5.) I have SIX more opportunities to improve my delivery of the presentation as I have to present to many other groups over the course of the next two weeks.
(Stephanie Perry, my colleague, was key in helping me collect my thoughts in order to draw these conclusions since she made me sit on the other side of my desk and tell her what was wrong. Thanks “Dr.” Steph!)
In reflection of today’s events I forgive myself for letting them bother me because it’s a normal human response. If I threw confetti in the air and popped champagne over the hood of my my overheating vehicle I would be certifiably insane (or potentially the star of a hip hop music video). I realize that all of these events are in my control to correct or improve. That realization is critical. After dealing with serious illness that makes you feel anything but in control much of the time.
I’d like to end on a couple positive notes. Thank you to everyone that has taken the time to help me celebrate kicking the crap out of of some cancer. It is nice to share smiles and laughter with you guys for a change 🙂
Finally, thank you to Aimee Audette for sharing this link on facebook because it definitely perked me up:
Every little experience is your teacher now…and you are the perfect student!
I loved this post!
Oh Jessie .. it doesn’t seem to matter what you go through you always take time to look at it and define it for what it really is and then just deal with it head on! Congratulations for being an amazing and talented cancer survivor and human being! Keep up the great work, you have many friends (your mom too) and we are all continuing to cheer you on! Yahoo!
You really do amaze me every day with your strength and positivity and wisdom way beyond your years. What an inspiration you are! Glad you’re doing well, hopefully we can catch up soon! And I’m glad you liked the link 🙂 It certainly cleared up my case of the Mondays! ❤
What a great blog Jess! I am humbled by your endless good will and ability to positively reframe everything. You inspire me. And I loved the photos!! Great seeing you last ight – you do look fabulous-o!! Let’s do it again very soon – Karen’s offer of a fish pond cocktail hour sounds perfect!! Susanxoxox
We had cancer – we didn’t suddenly become super heroes capable of ignoring the stress and woes of daily life. Keep on kickin’ ass, though.
I enjoy reading your blogs, keep them coming. I think you have a great spirit and are a even greater person. Enjoy the wedding and dance all night.