This blog finds me coming off the high of going down to L.A. for the weekend to see my film on human trafficking premiere at the 168 Film Festival. I had 3 full days where I could (almost) forget that I was in the middle of chemo. It was a whirlwind trip, but well worth it. We made many connections, met some amazing people, and really enjoyed the artistic community. It was especially great to connect with other Christian film makers who have the same heart and similar giftings. Also, we won an award for Best Supporting Actress- Goldie Hoffman, so there was that added bonus and excitement. Yay Goldie!! We stayed in the lovely home of my colorectal surgeon, who has the most AMAZING bed. We looked forward to going to sleep every night. Only problem was that it made it very hard to get up in the mornings. The trip as a whole was fantastic and I felt beautiful the whole time. I love L.A. I've always felt that I belonged there, ever since I first stepped foot on the soil when I was 11 years old. I belong in the sunshine and warm weather. It makes me feel whole.
We met some pretty amazing film makers and saw some incredible films, but the time finally arrived for us to return to Canada. We flew in late last night to the welcome of my Step-Sister, Lauren. She flew in from Calgary to spend some time with me this week. I had to be up this morning very early to get my blood tests done to confirm that I would actually be able to do chemo today. They must have been fine because I got my full regiment while Lauren and I gabbed it up. It was the shortest feeling hospital visit yet! I guess time flies when you're having a good conversation. It is so nice to catch up with Lauren and to connect with her. I've always had a soft spot for her and it's really nice for her to be here right now. It's especially comforting because she's a nurse and deals with chemotherapy all the time. It's like having my own built chemo information booklet. I love it!
Today was the first day that I really chatted with some of the other chemo patients. I've been doing Friday day for my hospital visits until now (they pushed the chemo rounds back so that I could go to L.A. and live a little). I'm thinking that all the young people must come on Mondays, because I never really saw any when I was there on Fridays. I chatted with a couple of young women who were both fighting breast cancer. I don't think I'll find any colon cancer patients of my age and gender. Oh well! One of the ladies was completing her last round of chemo, so I was able to celebrate it with her. She was so positive and inspiring. She told me that I can make it through this. She knew about the ups and downs. She knew that it can be tough. And she knew that I am strong enough to do this. The second woman I met was close to the end of her rounds and still had a beautiful smile on her face. We had a good chat about our fertility treatments, being that she is only 26 and I believe has no children. I was very pleased to discover that she had planned for her future. It's nice to see other women who do not give up and refuse to lay down and die to this disease. They are strong and beautiful and inspiring.
I've joined an online support group so that I can connect with people about cancer. There are so many things that we cancer patients and survivors go through that people just can't comprehend unless you've been through it yourself. I've been feeling the need to chat and connect with other patients so that I can truly empathize with them and have them empathize with me. These treatments can be very isolating and it's nice to know that others are going through it too. I can't wait to develop some new friendships and have some people that I can talk to who really understand what I'm going through. I do have some friends currently fighting and/or surviving cancer who I have talked to, but it seems we are all at different stages of the fight. I am really excited about connecting with people at the same stage. I think that's why it was so nice to chat with those ladies today. Our drug regimes may be different, but our experiences were pretty similar thus far. I will forever remember the smiles of these two women and know that they touched my heart and inspired me to keep trucking through these treatments. Thanks ladies :)