Monday, January 10, 2011

Reflections... Nope. That's a lame title.

In one of my favorite Puff Daddy songs, the last line of his rap states "It's got ta get better because it can't get no worse". That is exactly my sentiment about 2010. 2011 has to be better because it can't possibly be any worse than 2010 was. That' snot to say 2010 was horrible... nah I take that back, it was horrible. It was a terrible, excruciating, at times annoying 12 months that I do not wish to repeat. Here is the year in review so as not to repeat the same mistakes twice.

January: The first, and definitely worst, month of the year should've been a clue to me that things weren't going to to so well for 2010. I has such high hopes: finish out my senior class VP assignment in ASUU, Senior Class Gift, the perfect class schedule, graduation, London study abroad, then, who knows? The world was my figurative oyster. Instead, I went to 2 days of class and got so sick I ended up in the hospital and had to drop my classes. The 30th was my first day of dialysis.

February: I really don't remember much of Februrary because I think a lot of it was spent in the hospital. I remember waking up once in the hospital not knowing how I got thee. (Apparently I had a seizure at home) and then there was the other time my parents were gone and I was becoming ademic. Liz was going to take me to the ER, but it got too bad and we had to call for an ambulance. That was not good. And that's really all I remember about February.

March: Several irritating things happened in March. First, I started the transplant process. You might think this should have been joyful, but it wasn't. Mostly because the transplant process is a pain in the butt, especially when no one seems to know what's happening. Second, there was the blood issue. My hemoglobin kept dropping inexplicably and everyone was freaking out about it but me. After a short hospital stay for a "blood study"- during which some guy performed a bone marrow biopsy with out giving me any anesthesia, not my favorite thing ever- I got a panicked call from the hospital telling me I needed to come up immediately and be checked in, but they wouldn't tell me why. I felt fine, so I ate Sunday dinner with my family and then headed up there, only to wait for an hour and a half until they had a room for me. It turned out I had a mild staph infection (and yes, I understand the severity of staph infections) and needed to be treated for it with intravenous antibiotics.

April: I managed to stay out of the hospital in April. My hemoglobin was still low and no one still could figure out why. I met with Dr. Nelson, a transplant surgeon, because it was time to take out my rejected kidney. He was a great surgeon and I enjoyed working with him. The surgery was scheduled for May 7th. My favorite part of April was when I got called to the transplant office to meet with Dr. Rafael. He came into the patient room wearing jeans and a fitted zip up sweater/jacket. I enjoyed that. Then he proceeded to tell me and my mother that they were afraid I had PTLD, a form of post-transplant lymphatic cancer. I naturally started laughing because I knew I didn't have cancer. I'd been pretty sick, but not cancer sick. So until they ruled PTLD out, I couldn't be put on the transplant list. Dr. Nelson would take out a few lymph nodes when he performed the nephrectomy in May and they'd make sure I was cancer free. The best part of April, though, was the birth of my nephew Zachary Thomas. He's such a cute lil' buddy!

May: May is when things started to get better. After Dr. Nelson removed the rejected kidney, I was on the up and up. It only took me a week to recover from the surgery and I was going out with my friends and shopping with my sister and actually keeping down most of the food I consumed. The results of the lymph node biopsy came back "unremarkable" which means "You were right Sarah, you do not, in fact, have cancer."

June: The wedding month saw my life start on the up and up again. This was when things went from really horrible to not so bad. Mehgan returned from her mission, Jamey got married, I went on a little vacation to Park City- but is it really a vacation when you are going back and forth from Salt Lake to PC every day?- and I went back to work (see blog entry "Returning Home"). I can't remember anything bad about June, at least in my life. I was gaining weight because I was finally eating and not being malnourished. I suppose it was a 2 way street.

July: I finally got transplant listed in July. 4 months after the process started, I was finally on the list. With only 6-12 months as an average waiting time, I had so much to look forward to. I was back at work with 400+ hours of sick time, studying for the GRE, and registered for fall classes. July was not to shabby.

August: It started out great with a vacation with the Alva's in Southern California. A week of beach time and one singular night of pedicures and shopping was a nice relief from the rest of my miserable life. The day we got back I got sick. Really sick. I ended up in the hospital (of course my parents were across the country taking Tim and Corinne to grad school in Boston) and missing an entire week of work. I was having a diabetes related incident, and I'm fairly certain my insulin got too hot on the trip and was therefore bad when I put it in my insulin pump. The hospital stay resulted in me not being able to take the GRE, and not cancelling it 3 days in advance, thereby I have paid $240 for the GRE and not taken it once. I started school on the 23rd only to find I hated all my classes. But they were all necessary so I figured I'd make the best of it. Besides, it was almost my 2 favorite seasons: Football and Fall.

September: 9/2, 2004 Fiesta Bowl rematch. Utah v. Pitt. Utes prevailed once again in an overtime nailbitter. It was awesome and I rode the football revelry all the way until 6:15 the next morning when my mom told me my little brother had testicular cancer. Yep, things just got worse. Tim and his pregnant wife had been in Boston for a month for his combined Masters/Ph/D program. It was his first day of grad school and he was turning 25 in 3 days. I mean, really? Luckily, the cancer was isolated to one side, and he caught it extremely early, so he had surgery to have the infected testicle removed, and opted to have CT scans every three months. He'd moved on in about 3 weeks, so I figured I should too. The rest of September was a blur of classes, homework, and football.

October: This is definitely the best month of the year, no matter what happens. It was my birthday, I turned old, Fall Break, Steph's wedding, more football, and other things I can't really remember. School while on dialysis was harder than I thought it would be but I was surviving. Mallory and I went to the Utah/Air Force game in Colorado which was great fun. I was stuggling through life, and classes, but was making it.

November: Well let's see, there was the horror of the 6th when Utah got killed by TCU, and the repeat horror of the 13th when Utah got creamed by Notre Dame. Then it was the start of the Rivalry Week Food Drive and busy-ness ensued. There was the great "blizzard" of 2010 that closed schools the frenzied people and saw record sales of non-perishable foods and bottled water. The snowpacalypse dropped a total of 3 inches on the Salt Lake Valley. Everything returned to normal the next day. Then it was Thanksgiving and Utah beat BYU by one point. All's well that ends well.

December: I love Christmas time. It's unfortunate that it has to come during finals time so no college student can enjoy the beauty of the season. Finals really weren't that bad. I sold my math book back for less than 1/3 of what I paid for it, and the instant I walked out of my math final I said to myself "I shouldn't have sold my book back". I was right. I failed math. And seeing that E on my transcript really almost ruined Christmas for me. Especially because it came on the heels of Utah beating itself and thereby losing to the Boise State donkeys. But I got over my depression in time for Christmas. which was lovely, and after finals were over, I moved into a house in the Aves with my friends. Then I got a pedicure and flew to Newport Beach for New Years with my family. Like I said, all's well that ends well.

So let's not do that again. I'm happy to report that so far, 2011 is off to a banner start. I have a new nephew already this year, spent a week in California, and have had 3 days of class without getting sick. So far, 2011 is a success. May old acquaintance be forgot....