This is it. I'm on the home stretch. This past Monday I completed the first treatment of my final cycle of chemotherapy. Only 3 weeks left to go! The upward trend in my condition over these past couple months has been small, as we expected, but it's still improvement! I'm slowly able to eat more and eat mostly normal foods which is allowing me to slowly put some weight back on. The pain I have is less sever and the bad spells are less frequent. My energy levels are picking up and I'm able to go out and be somewhat active without severely crashing afterwards. So with all of that going for me, plus the end being so close at hand I'm starting to plan for what comes next.
It's been over 18 months since I packed a suitcase and move from Alberta back to Ontario. Apart from the clothes and my Xbox pretty much everything I own is still sitting in my house out there: my car, my tv and stereo, furniture, snowboard, bike, bbq, kitchen stuff... The thought of getting back to the home I made for myself, back to my life is something I want so badly. But it's also something I'm incredible nervous about. When I got sick in the summer of 2013 I wasn't in a terribly good place. I had just finished my degree and didn't know where to go next. I was only working part time because finding a decent job in that small city wasn't happening. So I spent most of my time sitting on my ass on the couch watching tv or gaming and the other half pretending like I was doing something important like working a few shifts a week or half-assedly working out at the gym. Needless to say, I wasn't going anywhere fast with my life. Now though, after over a year of turmoil, of sitting in a basement because I'm too sick and tired to do much of anything the last thing I want to do is move back there and fall right back into that funk.
I realize that my ability to do many of the things I want to do going forward will be limited by my health issues. I won't be able to work full time or just go snowboarding for a weekend. But I can't let me use that as an excuse to sit on my ass all day! I have my old part-time job waiting for me when I get back, but that won't be enough. I need to start getting my life in order and heading in the right direction. I will need to make changes, and they might have to be drastic so I don't allow myself to settle back into that life. I have absolutely no idea what those changes might be yet. We'll have to see what happens.
As much as I hate it, my choices going forward will mostly circulate around finances. I haven't had any form of income except some minor government assistance since I got sick. I've been blessed with a family that is able to provide food and a roof for me during this time, but they're just about reached the limit of what they can provide. So it'll be up to me to figure my own shit out. Unfortunately, moving back to Alberta could be problematic right now because the provincial economy is tanking, hard. Maybe it's time to get out of dodge... But moving and starting up a new chapter of your life can be incredibly expensive! Ugh, it feels like there's no right answer. Whatever happens, getting that financial stability and trying to aim my life in a positive direction is going to be one hell of a challenge.
I'd considered going back to school and getting my master's degree in Physiotherapy, but the cost of that is completely out of my reach. Perhaps that'll be my goal for 2016.
The one other thing that I've kept mulling over in the back of my mind for weeks now has been what to do about the Guardian applications. RT and this community have meant so much to me through all of this. I mentioned this when I started journaling all of this months and months back. The content these guys and gals put out every day has guaranteed that I smile at least once every day! And some of the people I've met and friends I've made here in the community have been more help than they'll ever know. I want to be able to give something back! Being a guardian at RTX seems like the perfect way for me to do it. There are 2 reasons I haven't submitted my application yet. Firstly, there are still some questions about my health. A trip like this will be absolutely crazy and will probably be more taxing on my than anything I'll have done up to that point. But that's not really the issue. Unfortunately, again, it comes down to money. I have so many expenses awaiting my when I move back out I just have no idea how I'll be able to find the cash to make the trip. In 2010 I dove head first into a volunteer position at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life but it financially drained me of just about every penny I had. But you know what? It was absolutely worth it! I just wish I had 2 pennies to spend on being a Guardian...
Man, this was supposed to be a happy journal. Oh well, if nothing else it was from the heart.