September 21, 2011


When I first envisioned this blog, I wanted it to become a cozy little corner of the internet where I could go to escape and recharge. A space of honesty, where I could overshare without (too much) fear of judgment, where I could bare my soul and feel at peace, where I could whine a little but avoid the face that Dan gives me when I'm complaining too much. A place to talk about food, running, family, the military, my fiance-now-husband, my Dunkin Donuts addiction, and my dreams... or everything all at once, depending on how I felt. I needed an outlet for triumph alongside tragedy, the banal and the strange, the best and the worst.
Writing with honesty, as I've discovered, isn't easy. Certain topics in this blog have proven infinitely more challenging than the papers I took weeks to research and write for my college seminars. But I spent more sleepless nights than I care to admit over the title of this blog, and I (finally) settled on "Enjoy the Ride" because it captured not just who I am, but who I want to be. It issues a challenge: embrace the highs and the lows of life, confront them head on, ride them out with a smile. It reminds me that terrible as life can be, it can also be twelve kinds of wonderful, and that it's my job to make it through the rough patches intact enough to appreciate the good times. And large part of that, for me, is writing. 
So long story not so short, I know that despite the ache in my heart and the fog in my head, I have to find the words to write about what is happening in my life right now. Because right now, my friends, is a low. A lower low than I've experienced in quite a long time. The worst part, though, is knowing that I'm not yet to the bottom, but still hurtling along a downward track in the dark, hoping like mad that I'm going to hit an upswing soon. Some days, it seems like the past few months have brought nothing but bad news, bad luck, and bad nights of sleep. I'm struggling to keep smiling and stay positive: some days I lose that battle, but some days I win, and that's enough encouragement to keep trying.
For right now, the details are overwhelming in themselves. Last week, my typically healthy father was diagnosed with kidney cancer. By the time it was discovered, on a chest x-ray that seemed more like a formality at the time, it had already spread into his lungs. Thankfully, an MRI today let us know that it has not spread to his brain yet. He goes in for a biopsy tomorrow, and then will start treatment. This particularly awful round of drugs has a 10-15% chance of sending him into complete remission, so for right now all that we can do is hope like heck that he falls into that percentage.

There are really no words to describe how hard this is -- my dad has always been one of the most supportive people in my life, and I honestly never considered that there would come a time when he might not be there. The thought of losing him is incomprehensible, and so many times I've wondered if there's any chance that all of this might be an awful nightmare. I feel helpless and terrified, but I am also determined to stay optimistic. We certainly have an uphill battle ahead, but I'm trying hard to take it one step at a time and believe that everything will work out in the end. Thank goodness for my mom, Dan, a few amazing friends, and several incredible coworkers -- I feel so very lucky to have so many people who I know are there for both me and my dad no matter what. A longtime colleague of my dad's dropped by today to remind me that he was here for anything I needed, and that he had an endless supply of corny jokes just to make me smile. I think he may be surprised when one of these days, I show up at his office door requesting a full dose of terrible humor. Sometimes that's what it takes, right?



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