March 21, 2000

I am massively opposed to mass emails, but I felt a real need to send a quick word of note on how I am doing and just give you all you a huge thanks and letter of appreciation. SO many times I have failed and still fail to do that, so I just wanted to give you all that thanks and praise y’all deserve for being there for me.

First, conditionwise, I am going into week 4 of the chemo, with 8 more weeks left. The treatments are very painless, except for the IV (I hate needles! 🙂 ) My mom and the nurses usually chastize me for being such a big wuss and having to bite me other hand as they put the needle in to distract me. Today, as the nurse was putting the needle in I bit my other hand so hard I left a mark that is still here at 3 in the morning. I think by the end I will be over my fear of needles, or at least I hope…

I still have the side effects to deal with, and they are more annoying than painful. The hardest part is falling asleep, which usually takes me an hour or so to do, just laying in bed till I doze off. That is a result of a steriod I am taking to build up my immune system to ward off infections. The steriod acts like a super caffiene pill, so I am usually pretty wired, more than normal 🙂 Scary huh?

Other than that I also get tired really easy when doing strenous activity (like over spring break with two of my best friends chucking along at DisneyLand and powershopping in San Diego) Other than that I have been so blessed to be able to not have very much else. The hair is still in, long and highlited blond and hopefully it will stay that way. Really really praying for that. Otherwise, the other side effects like nausea and constipation and such are really dealable.

ON the mental, emotional and physical side, I am doing absolutely amazing, and like I told the folks at Goldman Sachs and everyone here at school- ain’t no cancer going to hold me down! I am still kickin’ my schedule and staying involved with schoolwork and activities. There is so much work to do and so many people to see before I graduate! Cancer is not going to stop me from doing that, by no means.

Getting this cancer was a major, major blessing that I can only thank God for. I have learned so much, and have seen so many cool things happen in the past month, many of which I can’t put in a single email.

I have learned how loved Iam from family, friends and from God- and it is priceless. the supportand prayers i have received has been amazing, I have like 20some odd church in like 20 some states praying for me!! It is crazy! My grandma keeps telling me she has 400,010 praying for me through her connections, so funny, but I believe her and I am seeing the effects of it 🙂 That’s why I think the symptoms have been so minor and dealable so far and why my attitude is so good, the positive effects of tons o’ prayer. 🙂

On top of that, I just have been so blessed by you all. everynight I get at least 2 phone calls from someone out of state, and at least 1 card a day ( i will show you the picture of the wall of cards that we have put up in my dorm room), and hang out with tons of folks here at school. It is just been so cool to to hear from classmates, family members, future co-workers, old co-workers, ex-girlfriends, etc, I haven’t heard from in years.

SO that’s my story, and if anyone asks about me, don’t be afraid to tell’em or even have them email or call me. I hope that I can be an inspiration and light to you all, just like you have been to me, and if you ever need cheered up, give me a call, OK?

I am so excited to get back to Youngstown and see all the folks at home in Ohio. And I even more excited to start my job in July at Goldman Sachs & Co. and become a part of the “real world” 🙂 You are all DEFINITELY welcome to come anytime to NYC and hang out once I get there in July.

So keep in touch, talk to you soon! thanks for all your support! It truly means more to me than I can EVER EVER say or write in an email.