Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Year in the Life

I just wrapped up the fall semester, and it occurred to me that it was very different from my previous two semesters of teaching.

Mainly because I felt like me.

One year and two months ago, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. I had surgery in October of 2013 and then began twelve weeks of chemotherapy that stretched from November, 2013, through January, 2014. In March of 2014 I had another surgery--this one pretty major--and a complication developed that didn't resolve itself until late May.

The chemo and that second surgery really kicked my ass. I lost my hair and bloated up through chemo, and then I started to waste away gradually and then rapidly after my surgery and as I dealt with my compromised lymph system. At one point, I weighed a little over 150 pounds, which I haven't weighed since I was about fifteen. I told my classes last fall and last spring that they only had about 80% of me on those days that I was able to make it in. Eighty percent at best, which wasn't very often.

The worst part of those eight months was not feeling like myself. My body--and mind, at times--had been hijacked and replaced with a lesser, confused, infirm version. Rocco negative 2.0.

During that whole time, I took a selfie a day. Sometimes more than one (like when I shaved my rapidly balding head). When I was nauseated and tired, it was hard to do; I didn't really want to look at myself any more than I had to.

I stopped taking the pictures a while ago, roughly around the time that I started to feel as close to normal as I'm going to get. So now I finally got around to putting all of those pictures together into a short video chronicle of a very tough year.


video