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  • Emily

it's been a while

I didn't realize I hadn't updated my blog since January. The reality is that there's just regular life going on these days. Sure, every month I cart off to the Cancer Center for my monthly infusion of Nivolumab (and occasionally indulge in some Oreos from their snack room), but beyond that, I barely even think about cancer anymore. That itself is pretty rad.


My Adrenal Insufficiency is stable, I'm feeling fine, and my skin is clear (apart from the vitiligo that I wear proudly because it's my damn badge of honor). I feel just fine. My visits to the doctor are, dare I say, boring? I think they're as stoked as I am with the fact that it's the same old thing every time. I was once a very interesting patient, but no longer! Now I go in and I crack jokes and make them laugh but never have much to update on my health. Oh, and they lifted the mask mandate at the Cancer Center, so I have been able to actually see the faces of the folks who've taken such good care of me. It's been really nice.


So I guess what else have I been up to? I suppose I could give you the highlights. I sang in several concerts in March and April and put a lot of miles on my car driving to Boston and back (thank goodness I have a Prius). I've engaged in some mild fighting with my health insurance about what they cover and what they don't and why (this led to me paying out of pocket and receiving too many bottles of the injectible steroid that I need but probably will never use -- it's like how it never rains if you have your umbrella). In May I took a trip out to Michigan to see my family, where I got to eat ice cream, sing at an elementary school, and jump on a trampoline. Since then, I have spent many days working, playing silly video games, and cuddling my cat.


Beyond work and singing, there's really nothing much to update. But the countdown is going! I have only six months left of treatment and only six more treatments before I shift over to maintenance (PET scans occasionally, skin checks with my dermatologist, and being extremely vigilant about checking my skin and body for changes). I will be 40 years old when this is done, and I'm so super excited about that. One's perspective on turning 40 is quite different post-cancer, I think. And I celebrate every white hair that shows up in my curls. I've got a couple of cute little streaks going already.


So that's kind of it, I don't really have anything specific to report, but I wanted to at least give an update on how I'm doing. And I'm doing great!


If you're interested in any of the music I'm making: I put four videos on my YouTube channel in the last six months:

  • A version of MSU Shadows I recorded after the shooting at Michigan State (my heart lived well outside my body in late February and early March, it was in Michigan with my family)

  • A meditative exploration I sang and titled a prayer (faith without works is dead) using the prayer my sister Kelly wrote for church following those events at Michigan State

  • Four songs by Daniel Pinkham, recorded at the solo Pinkham anniversary concert we gave at King's Chapel in February with the incredible Heinrich Christensen on organ

  • A ridiculous cover of a choral version of Vienna Teng's Hymn of Acxiom, where I stubbornly sang all voice parts including what I could manage of the bass part -- it's massively imperfect but boy is it complicated and I'm still proud of myself for putting it together

I also appeared in these recordings that I will link to the timestamps of my singing should you be interested in hearing more:

  • I had the privilege of singing Mozart's Laudate Dominum in Michigan to celebrate my dad's retirement from directing the church choir at Edgewood in East Lansing (I had to sing this solo after some incredible speeches about my dad, my mom, and my family -- I did my best to keep it together but you should probably know that I burst into tears at the end of the service)

  • Then I also got to sing an entirely different Mozart Laudate Dominum at my church this past weekend, and it was so much fun!


Finally, I've been running up a storm. Just this morning I hit halfway to my goal for the year. I have run over 330 miles in 2023, and I think I'm gonna make it to my goal before the year is over! I am proud of the strength I have these days.

Take care, friends!

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3 Comments


jewel.hainer
Jun 22, 2023

Everything about this post makes me happy, from your beautiful music, to your being healthy and running, to your "life being boring in a good way."


I love you and I'm just so g-darn happy for you. 😘

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canarydoor
Jun 20, 2023

Such a great update! Thank you. So happy for you. ❤️ But now I'm all teary from listening to your MSU Shadows. 🥹💚

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Guest
Jun 19, 2023

Such good news, all around. Boring is a Good Thing!

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