Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review of 50/50 - The Movie

The soon-to-be-released movie, 50/50, starring Seth Rogan and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, has been creating quite a buzz in the young adult cancer survivor community. It's unique and refreshing to have a blockbuster movie focus on such a rarely highlighted, but much deserving topic. Surprise, people in their twenties get cancer, too. Now there's a movie about it, and I think that's great because that means awareness, understanding and action. Let's hope it creates a buzz through the non-cancer world as well. 

I was wary that the movie would be overdramatized or Hollywoodized and would miss a huge opportunity to educate audiences about the young adult cancer world. After viewing the screening in Hartford, Conn. last night, I can assure you that that's not the case. Cheers to scriptwriter Will Reiser, who based the screenplay on his own adventure with cancer at the age of 27.

The film sheds a realistic light on the uncomfortable and frightening dichotomy that is trying to live your life in a world of seemingly invincible, carefree companions, while death stares you right in the face and treatment takes away your confidence and sense of belonging. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Rebirth and Redesign

Yesterday marked 100 days post allogeneic stem cell transplant, a tremendous milestone. That means that today is Day +101. Today began the next phase of my newly gifted life, courtesy of science and sisterly love.

I am happy. I am thriving. I am becoming comfortable in my new body. I am humbled by how far I've come. I look forward to where I'm going.

This newly designed website and logo represent the opening of the next chapters in my life as I continue to grow and stretch emotionally, physically, spiritually, and professionally. There is much healing to come, but this project has been a testament to what I've accomplished in the summer of 2011. This website development provided a solace and a focus during my first 100 days of recovery.

It has been a pleasure working with the talented artist Joy Nelson, my cousin, communication designer, and newly minted graduate from the prestigious Carnegie Mellon. Her fresh ideas and ability to bring abstract concept to reality with color and artistry was tremendously integral to the logo creation process. I am forever grateful for her patience, talents and devotion to helping me make this happen.

eyes peeled, always is a symbol of journeys that I have endured and of those that I have yet to experience. I will continue to share my adventures and illuminate those of others in hopes to inspire, educate and connect.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Homecoming and Day +95 Update

I took a blogging sabbatical for a bit as I got my head screwed back on. This is not to say that it's completely in place yet, but it's many rotations closer than it had been.

I'm home. I arrived home on Friday night, September 2. I spent the entire summer of 2011 away: June 9-September 2; A summer in The Big Apple. My last days in the city were spent packing with the help of my mom who stayed with me for the last week and put up with my incredible moodiness as my exit day approached. The last day was primarily spent at the Sloan clinic and waiting in the pharmacy for all of my drugs to go home with. I said an official goodbye only to the Hope Lodge programs manager whom I had grown close with and two men on my floor who wished me well as I cleaned out our shared kitchen cabinet. None of my close friends were out on the roof deck when I left, and I think it was better that way. I was extremely sensitive and in an emotional torrent.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Kitchen Charades

This morning I stumbled into the community kitchen bleary-eyed and head swooning from nausea. My focus was only to get to our cabinet to scavenge for something – anything – to sate my nausea.  However, out of the corner of my eye I spotted the woman from Turkey, here, along with her three grown children to care for their ailing father. She started up with me right away. I had no idea what she was saying as she speaks zero English. We began a pantomime, a sign language of sorts back and forth. I was not yet fully awake and again, my nausea was fierce. A game of charades was not what I had in mind for 8 a.m., but that is what I found myself playing.