Me and My Blog

I started this blog in order to find a better format for the emails that I have been sending to my family and friends to keep them updated on my battle with cancer, and, as it has progressed, simply keeping them updated on my life.  The first few posts are only slightly edited versions of what I sent out to the people who know me best on this planet.  They have progressed as my choices and treatment and realization that life isn’t all cancer has progressed, but they are a very real track of a newly diagnosed cancer patient.

However, some of you don’t know me at all.  And I think you deserve to.  Therefore, this is my shot at a description of ME:

A friend of mine wrote this about me on May 10, 2012 — exactly 7 weeks before I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma:

“Lydia is my poised and elegant friend.  She is a fantastic athlete who will soon kick my ass in a Warrior Dash.  She is also a lover of animals (namely Jake and Ellie–her cats that like to walk on her face while she’s sleeping).  She has a quick wit and responds to emails with lightning speed.  She is adventurous and pushes herself to be better.”

All true, I’d like to think.  Some other details: my parents love me and my sister and each other.  I have a couple graduate degrees.  I married to the love of my life in May of 2010.  I live in Chicago.  I love food, wine, travel, animals (not just Ellie and Jake), my husband, my friends, my family, and the Oxford comma.  I was born and raised on the East Coast, but have lived all over this country and the world.

However, by May 10, I was definitely not a fantastic athlete.  By that point, my cancer was beginning to cause shortness of breath and upper body swelling (face, neck, arms), which had affected everything from my yoga to my running to my sleeping to my ability to focus on my work as an attorney.  However, because I’m ridiculously stubborn, and despite the fact that my husband had been practically begging me to get a chest x-ray since late April, I chose not to consult a doctor until my personal trainer sat me down and explained that there is no non-scary reason why I would have deteriorated this quickly.  Sometimes you just need to hear it from someone else.