Tuesday, November 24, 2009

life is a struggle, right?

A brief update: I am currently working on my senior thesis collection for fashion design; a culmination of my college work and personal artistry. It is exciting and rewarding and STRESSFUL AS HELL.

Normal stress after cancer is proving to be an uphill battle. In my pre-cancer days, I'd stay up for days and a time, drink gallons of caffeine, and kick out a project that I could be (reasonably) proud of. My body would recoup in a few days and I'd be fine.

Now, things are drastically different. I am managing my time well and have allowed time for rest, but my body is screaming at me. I like working with a deadline, but I worry that my body won't be able to keep up with the demands I'm putting it through. 10 hours a day, every day, I've been draping, pattern drafting, sewing, drawing, crying in the shower with my clothes on, all with wide-eyed anticipation for May.

After a few days at work my muscles are burning. Everything aches, from my back to the tips of my fingers. I've had a cold that's been waxing and waning for 3 months now. My PTSD symptoms are out with full force, presumably due to all of this stress. I am not complaining, I'm merely documenting my experience. I understand that cancer, PTSD, stress, and the general "failing" of my body won't go away, and I'll need to cope and adapt. That said, I am the happiest I've ever been in a long, long time. Or perhaps, just more appreciative of happiness... :)

Here is a really great, accessible essay on PTSD. I relate to just about everything that is written.

Here's a sneak peak at one of the muslins I've been working on:

So basically, in a nutshell, I'm stressed and in pain and it sucks, but I'm trying to work it out. [Not "make it work", I swear, the next person who says that to me gets a pressing block to the head.]


Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you! You are amazing! I love you very much and hopefully we can get together Sunday!


Katie F. said...

I only recently discovered your blog. You should be so proud of yourself! Thanks for inspiring me. I don't have cancer, but I have MS. You are an inspiration. I have no doubt you inspire even folks not suffering from any disease. Thank you!

stephen said...

as someone who struggled a lot during college - albeit totally different - but with severe PTSD.. I can tell you that it fucking sucks but once it's over life is 100% better. Plus, you're making amazing work... just think.. college sucks for just about everyone but only a few actually make something that will lead them there and you appear to be one of the talented ones that actually harnesses their gift.. soooo remain optimistic and keep dancing cause i've heard that makes the world spin faster.

Dennis Pyritz, RN said...

I’m glad to see that you’re doing well and still blogging strong. I am just reviewing my blogroll (“Cancer Blogs”) at www.beingcancer.net in order to update, expand and upgrade its content and features. I have almost 700 blogs listed now, yours included. I have recently added a “Reviews” section on books, movies, and music. I plan to add some new features in this month. Also in the works is a book project covering the cancer blog community.
If you have not visited in a while, please stop by. If you agree that the site is a worthwhile resource for those affected by cancer, please consider adding Being Cancer to your own blogroll. And like bloggers everywhere, I love receiving your comments and ideas.
I have you under bone cancer. If you have a more specific diagnosis, I could list it for readers.
Take care, Dennis

Miss Melanoma said...

I love everything that this blog said. And ditto.

You rock.


Kate Burton said...

I have to second the you rock sentiments! With a little time you'll find out which things are really going to trigger your PTSD and try to plan for it. Better living through chemistry that's my new mantra

Yuko Nagai said...

That looks already pretty darn cool, keep up the great job, looking forward to your updates---

Anonymous said...

You inspire me. I can't say that enough. I have actually bookmarked your blog (makes me a little embarrassed to tell someone I bookmarked their blog!) but I just absolutely love the way you write, and I have read your journey through cancer, and you inspire me to deal with my fibromyalgia more optimistically. and honestly, whenever I am having writer's block, I read your blogs for inspiration because the way you write just strikes a chord of creativeness inside me.
Keep up the amazing work and stay strong!

kaylin andres said...

thank you for the kind comments, they make me happy :D

Anonymous said...

Just finished a bone marrow transplant, and I can empathize with your comparison of life before and after diagnosis and treatment. My mind is constantly going a way that my body doesn't want to go. Which is total bullshit, because I WANT to do all these little stupid things I could do before without any complications. It gets so frustrating, trying to do something as simple as writing my name on a piece of paper. I have to get help to do that.

Lately, the way I deal with it is just to show people my problem and then say, "Isn't that fucking crazy?" and laugh about it for a while. I won't say to stay continuously optimistic because I don't think anyone should roll like that. But I think if you can laugh at cancer's annoying side effects, especially when they are at their worst physically and mentally, you can laugh at ANYTHING. Which is awesome. And it will make it easier when things really stress or bum you out.

Thanks for writing. It's been and continues to be a big help to me.

Kris L.

Sarah said...

I am a young hip cancer babe and a fashion addict, and I just discovered your FABLULOUS blog. I've added you to my blogroll.

And can I just say that that muslin is GORGEOUS. I covet.

Stay well-

-the Carcinista

Applecart T. said...

that top is awesome.