My 21st birthday was the first birthday I celebrated in Florida. I was so excited to go out in April without worrying about the cold – and I was spending the evening at Universal City Walk! What better way to celebrate?! Well, with a hurricane, of course. A lot of them, apparently. So many that the bartender actually gave us hurricane glasses as souvenirs. It was a night filled with fun, dancing and sweet memories. It was awesome.

The next day? Not so awesome. I woke up slightly intoxicated and beginning to feel the side effects of the night before – not the best place to be on your birthday. Dry mouth, upset stomach, heartburn and headache – you name it. Water and food was a necessity but nothing seemed appealing. All I wanted to do all day long was lay in bed and sleep but there is only so much of that that you can handle in one day too. That was a long day.

That. That is what today felt like. Except that I didn’t have the fun, memorable drinks last night to look back on and smile. My body aches but it is fighting off this disease. I’m thirsty but cannot quench my thirst despite the gallons of water I drink. I’ve never really experienced heartburn before but the thought of food brings it on. I may live on grilled cheese for the next few days.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. It is worth it – it will all be worth it. My tumor hurts, which I take as a good sign because it is under attack. I know it won’t be rainbows and butterflies while going through this but you know what helps? Knowing that at the end of this, I will be cured.

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