Update – Drivers Test

I didn’t pass my drivers test but I am not too upset about it. Considering I have only been driving for not even 3 months, I did good. I passed all the hard stuff like parallel parking which I barely practiced the night before my test. I missed a few “simple” things like being close to the curb when making a right turn, going proper speed in a parking lot (parking lots are 5-10mph and I was doing 15), and better recognition of 4 way stops. I take the test again at the end of August.

Like I said I’m not mad I have only been driving for 3 months. Considering the things I’ve been through and overcome, I have come super far! I never even though I would be able to drive and here I am. Constantly proving myself and everyone else wrong.

It’s So Much More

August 1st I have an appointment to take my drivers test. I don’t think people or my parents really understand why I stress over it the way I do. Yes every teen wants to get there license super badly but for me it’s more than just being able to drive myself around “whenever” I want.

To be honest, I never thought I would be able to get a license and drive myself places. My shoulder had collapsed due to my cancer treatments leaving it pretty much useless to me until I could get surgery. Now even after surgery I don’t have much outward rotation which discouraged me when thinking of driving. I also had AVN in both of my legs. I was in and out of a wheelchair for a good portion of the last 5 years. Being in those states made me feel helpless like I was never gonna be able to do things for myself that I would always need assistance in some way or another. Since this last surgery in December, I have slowly working my way into doing things for myself and being independent. It all boils down to me wanting to be able to do things for myself. And a part of it is also not feeling like a burden. I struggled with that numerous times throughout treatment. Although, I have been told numerous times that I am no where near a burden, I still struggle.

Working Woman

I think have been working for about a month now and I absolutely love it. The people I work for are absolutely amazing and have been a huge part of my cancer journey. I am very grateful to them for giving me a job. This is my first real job and I am very grateful for this experience.

I am on my feet for a good part of my shift and I am always doing very active arm movements. I have had very little strengthening through physical therapy so, my body is still getting used to it. When my body does begin to ache, I do have my DoTerra essential oils that I apply. For the most part, I am great! A little a bit of aching here and there after my shift but with my oils I wake up the next day feeling brand new.

I absolutely love working, it’s teaching me how to save and how to have good work ethic.

I Got Accepted to College!!!!

For the past few months I have been working on doing early admissions as a junior to get into college. I was first introduced to this college in my freshman year when a representative came to my fashion class. Fashion has always been a passion of mine and I knew I wanted to pursue it as a career. I started researching the college after that and by the end of my junior year I was working with an adviser to do early admissions. I worked hard on my entrance project which was to create a line of 8-12 designs that represented me and my design style. Once I submitted that, an interview was in order and at the end of the call they would tell me whether I was accepted or not. I was super nervous for this interview but I worked hard an knew that I put my best foot forward. The interview went amazing and at the end I ended up being accepted!! I was and still am beyond excited about this. This college is my dream college and it offers so much.

Camp Independent Firefly ’18

My last year as camper was absolutely amazing and the best yet! I love all the amazing people I go to camp with, they are like a second family to me. Because of them, my camp experience has been truly amazing. So thankful for the people who help put this whole thing together for us year after year. This was my fourth year at camp and I have enjoyed every bit of it. I will cherish all the memories I have made over the years. And I can’t wait to come back as an LIT!

Driver’s Edge

Yesterday, I got the opportunity to experience an amazing driver’s education unlike any other. Driver’s Edge is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to teaching young drivers what we aren’t being taught in traditional drivers school. I got to learn things like accident avoidance, how to respond to situations (like if my car went into a skid), and driving safely in general.  I only started driving a few months ago but this course gave me a lot of confidence being a young driver. It also taught me how to react in situations and how to be more aware of my surroundings when driving.                                                                                            There was one module where we were taught how to react if our car went into a skid. Each person in attendance got a chance to go out and try. I am my own worst critic and enemy, but without a doubt, I struggled. Before it was even my turn I was already overthinking it. My first couple rounds were terrible, but they let me redeem myself and I got to try again. I was so focused on how to steer and what to do instead of focusing on where I wanted to go and letting my hands follow. My second set of laps was so much better and I am honestly so proud of myself. I felt extremely defeated after my first set but the instructors took the time to really teach me how to do it. I even got an award for ‘Most Improved’. I would most definitely recommend this program to my friends and peers. I definitely plan on taking the course again and when my sister starts driving I think this course would be beneficial for her too.

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Yesterday, June 10th, also marked three years in remission from leukemia. I never thought I’d make it past treatment or even be here to experience something like Driver’s Edge.

3 Years Marks the Spot

Junior year has come to a close and it’s crazy to think that I am now a senior. I never thought I would make it passed my diagnosis if I’m being quite honest. I am not only coming up on my senior year but Sunday, June 10th marks 3 years cancer free. I want to thank everyone for supporting me along this journey. And thank God for bringing me this far.

Who Am I?

For the past 5 years my life has been all about cancer, from age 12 to 17. Not saying that is a bad thing, I am grateful to those I have met along this journey. An to be able to stand here today, at almost 18 years old and tell my story. But, I never got a chance to sit down and figure out I was and what I wanted. Cancer was apart of my life, but my life shouldn’t and will NOT revolve around it. Now it is time to sit down and figure who Alyssa Marie is. I am not Alyssa the cancer patient or Alyssa the girl who had cancer. I am Alyssa, the girl with high hopes for herself. The girl who is reaching for the stars. The girl with amazing dreams and goals. Now its time to figure out who I truly am. I can’t wait to see what this chapter holds and where it’ll take me.

Survivor

The word survivor, a word I can’t stand. To me it has a negative connotation added to it. People always say, “oh you are a survivor, you beat this monster” or “you made it”. But all I can think about is all of those who didn’t “survive”. To me the word survivor implies that I accomplished something that those who lost their fight couldn’t. I am very fortunate to be here and to have “won” my fight but lets not forget those who didn’t make it. I am one of those who or fortunate to be here, and I thank God for that everyday. But I didn’t fight any more or less than those who aren’t here with us did.

I Will Not Be a Slave to these Drugs Anymore

Okay, so I have decided in the past week to make a very important decision: i am stopping my medication, ALL OF THEM (the last few pain meds). I have done this many times before on my own accord with previous heavy medications I have been on. What prompted this decision is the fact that I already don’t take them the way that I should because I forget and we have weened me down pretty low as is. It seems like this weening process has been taking forever and I am over it. I didn’t want to continue with that, so my only other option was to go ‘cold turkey’ and just stop and that ended up being the decision I made. I felt as if  with God by my side I am strong enough to do it. Now it isn’t easy, let me tell ya. I have woken up with shakes every morning for the past week, my breathing feels uneasy and I have the worst sensation of pain running through my body. You have no idea how this is for me, how many times I just wanted to reach for the morphine for relief. But I decided to stick with it because that is my only way to get off of it since we having some issues with getting a prescription written and I was running out of medication.

I felt so dependent on them. Even when I didn’t necessarily need them I felt as I had to have them. I hated the fact that they changed my mood and how I acted, as soon as I took a morphine, everything changed. An being in school made it even harder, I walk through halls half present and half out of it. It made it hard to focus on my school work and be present/participant in school. I decided enough was enough, I control my life. Changes needed to be made and I needed to do it on my own accord. If I was forced into this then I would not have been able to do it, the motivation and determination wouldn’t be there and i’d slip back into that cycle of “i need, i need, i need”. Ultimately this was my choice and I feel like it was something that needed to be done.