A New Bucket List

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  • See the Northern Lights
  • See a Broadway Play
  • Have a romantic date under the stars
  • Visit Australia
  • Spend the night in a tree house
  • Put a secret in a balloon and let it fly
  • Go to a drive-in movie
  • Grow old with someone
  • Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower
  • Go somewhere no one knows your name
  • Visit Ireland
  • Name a star
  • Slow dance in the rain
  • Have a pillow-filled, truck and stars date
  • Make a call from a London booth
  • Say ‘yes’ for one whole day
  • Travel to Italy
  • Get tickets to Ellen
  • Visit the Walk of Fame
  • Stomp grapes
  • See the Grand Canyon
  • Change someone’s life
  • Eat at Hell’s Kitchen
  • Own a classic car
  • Slow dance in the rain
  • Ride a gondola
  • Explore a castle
  • Eat at places featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives
  • Trace my family history
  • Go to the airport and buy a random flight ticket
  • Let go of a floating lantern
  • Leave a note in a library book
  • Ride or pet an elephant
  • Learn sign language
  • Ride in a hot air balloon
  • Ride a helicopter
  • Throw a dart at a map and go there
  • Visit Paris
  • Go on a no-destination-road trip
  • Write a book
  • Ride in a horse and carriage
  • Go zip-lining
  • Finish a scrapbook
  • Learn self-defense
  • Watch a meteor shower
  • Send a message in a bottle
  • Marry the love of my life
  • Go on a breakfast date
  • Become more flexible
  • Kiss at the top of a ferris wheel
  • Dedicate my life to helping others
  • Learn the tango
  • Create a time capsule and open it years later
  • Ride a double decker bus
  • Write a song
  • Pay for a stranger’s groceries
  • Travel first class
  • LIVE AND NOT JUST SURVIVE

World Cancer Day

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Tomorrow marks two years since my first diagnosis.  Tomorrow is World Cancer Day.  I sit here looking back at the last two years and what I’ve been through.  Today, I had my follow up scan and I have to wait until Monday or Tuesday to get my results.  I’m nervous as hell, I’m not going to lie.  In order to keep my mind off of things I’ve been doing homework, watching Netflix, and pondering making a new bucket list.  Regardless of the outcome, I will go forth and I will conquer anything that falls in my path and that is a promise!

More Odds & Ends

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This post isn’t here to boast about myself, it’s more of an awareness of what I’ve accomplished while being sick.  Right before I was diagnosed I had decided to go back to school for social work because in September of 2014 I was diagnosed after years of struggling with anxiety and depression.  This was a really defining moment in my life because up until that point I was always so dependent on others to go out and enjoy things.  I was basing what I wanted to do on others.  I started going to therapy and was able to branch out by myself.

This ignited a passion behind mental illness.  I started volunteering at Orchard Place to be a mentor.  I am beyond grateful that I was able to do this.  I learned a lot about myself, how others succeed while suffering, and it reassured me that I was going into the right field.  When I started chemotherapy, I gave up the volunteer work to really focus on my health.  I wanted to get better in order to be able to continue on the path of social work.  I must confess, I haven’t been back because I haven’t been well enough.  It’s taken a great chunk of my time in order to battle this disease.  It’s so frustrating!

During my first round I read a book called “Cancer Schmancer” by Fran Drescher.  This book helped me more than you can imagine!  I remember growing up and watching “The Nanny” reruns and I loved Fran!  I had NO idea she fought ovarian cancer.  Her memoir was so beautifully written and it had the perfect balance of seriousness and hilariousness!  Maybe that’s why I’m able to talk about it so openly.  She showed how much of a human being she was.  She talks about being terrified, her doctor’s appointments, her relationship with her husband, her dating life, family life, etc.  It truly amazes me and I highly recommend it.  When you’re reading it you can just hear her words in her voice!

I was a full time student while receiving chemotherapy and radiation in my first round with cancer.  I never once gave up my student status.  I had some pretty amazing instructors at DMACC that worked with me when I needed it the most.  I maintained a really great GPA except my last semester at DMACC when I had to take statistics (haha…we all know how much I LOVED that class).

It wasn’t the first group of people to support and work with me.  There are so many of you out there that I can’t name you all.  It’s overwhelming how much support I got during treatment and even to this day I’m still feeling it.  I would not be where I am without the support of each and every one of you!

I worked as much as I could (when I wasn’t ill).  It was hard to face people the first time around.  People knew I wasn’t feeling good but didn’t know what I was going through.  The first round was something that I could hide because I got to keep my hair.  The second time around was a rude awakening.  I started losing my hair, then my eyebrows, and my eyelashes.  I was bald and when I couldn’t stand the cold I would wear headscarves, caps, etc.  I was drawing on my eyebrows…people could tell.  They would ask me and at first it was so hard to be open about.  I kept asking myself, “Why are you making this so hard on yourself?  Why are you so ashamed?”  That’s when it really hit me.  I should never feel ashamed for being ill.  I was fighting a deadly disease, what was there to be sorry for?  This was my chance to spread awareness.

I became a little bad-ass.  I kicked cancer’s ass once…I’ll do it again, right?  To be completely honest, I was terrified what was going to happen to me when the recurrence took place.  All I could think of was the people cancer already took from my life.  It hadn’t been kind, after all, my aunt had passed away just days before I was diagnosed the first time around.  That was a tough pill to swallow.  I kept thinking death was at my doorstep.  I kept seeing those magnificent red, sometimes brown birds and I knew everything was going to be alright.

It was the little victories like waking up and facing the same battle every single day mainly to prove to myself that I could do it that i’ll never forget.  It was the mental game I had to fight and figure out how to release so many emotions that kept building up time after time.  I feel so blessed to still be on this Earth, my work isn’t done.  I promised that to myself, the friends I have lost to the disease, and the big man upstairs looking over me.  I think this is it for tonight, thanks for reading guys!

XOXO,

Morgan

A Day in My Life

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Awaken from a restless sleep,

Force my body to get up.

The coffee is on,

Pills have been swallowed.

Hot shower water trying to wash away yesterday’s negativity.

Hope is released for a brand new day.

Broken

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Intimacy is nonexistent when you’re broken.

Spent a better part of a year recovering from all the damage done to my fragile body and it’s still craving…more time. 

Heal.

I yearn to feel the love he once gave me. 
Intimacy is nonexistent when you’re broken.

Kisses to the forehead, sneaking hugs from behind while cooking or cleaning….

Intimacy is nonexistent when you’re broken.
The slight rejection of tried time getting us in our fortress, time to unwind, undress, and explore each other…

Heal faster.

Intimacy is nonexistent when you’re broken.
Nights are spent crying myself to sleep, feeling unwanted and ashamed of the body I’ve been dealt.

Heal faster.

Please.

Intimacy is nonexistent when you’re broken.
I don’t want to worry that cancer has destroyed everything we’ve built.

I never lost the feeling I had from the moment I saw you, and I don’t ever think I will.

But I can’t help feeling lately that..

Intimacy is nonexistent when you’re broken.

Cancer

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Another machine

Used for another test

Hoping for this one

To be the last.

They bring out a marker 

And brush it upon my skin

They also put a needle

With black ink for it to sink in

These markings are not a beginning 

To a will,

They are my battle wounds 

To show my journey from afar.

Strength comes in many forms 

Strong and mighty will forever be my roar.

Never, never giving up until

I…am…the winner. 

Love

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I can’t help but cry lately

It won’t turn off. 

I love him so much,

But does he feel the same?

There are days I just can’t tell

If he is just as happy 

Or just living in my little hell.

I just need to feel the love we had before…

The illness was diagnosed,

Before it took control of my body

And it brought me to my knees.

I love you, baby…

But do you love me?

I’m pleading that if the answer is yes,

Please tell me, tell me

For my anxiety is toxic and 

My depression is hiding around the corner

Ready to pounce in hopes I run out of air.

Suffocating me slowly to ensure the pain is surely felt.