It is Funny How Things Work

At work after my haircut and the new color.

Friday I had a couple people at work (in different departments, the ones in mine are used to me being around and annoying, haha) tell me how genuinely happy they were to see me back. I guess I forget that everyone worries about people under these kinds of circumstances and it is touching to know that so many people care (and like me enough to want to see me wandering the halls of work). It did take a little longer for people to know that I was fully back (with hair).  What they said brought tears to my eyes. I don’t know why it impacted me so much, but I have always felt important in my organization, but I really had the moment of realization that my life is a bit more back to normal after fussing over my life being different).

I have a really stressful job. Part of me makes it stressful (I function best under pressure), but part of it is the reality of what I do and who I do it for. I try to keep the specifics of work and my cancer treatment a bit more separate on this blog. I don’t want this experience to halt my opportunities in the future and the opinion of me, but I also know that if someone looks down upon me for having had this journey, they can screw off.

I work for an unusual and amazing company and I have been able to play a big part in the growth of this non-profit organization for the last 5+ years of my life. It has been an exciting and emotional journey. What adds to this is that I have a great team of individuals under me. Seriously, they are the best team ever so much fun, sharp learners who are also passionate about what they do. I have watched the company grow from under 300 employees to over 1,500 employees. 30% growth year over year (which is kind of cool if you work in the advertising/marketing department). All of that, with minimal price increases over the price over the last 5 years.

Close up after my first haircut and dye.

On top of work I have been involved with a few local organizations related to my industry and Utah in general. Today I put my hand out to volunteer to take on additional responsibilities I used to have in one of the organizations. Two months ago I would not have been able to comprehend taking on more responsibilities on top of work. Work took all energy, if I had a teensy bit left I would accomplish a thing or two around the house and that was about it. Taking life back on has been an emotional journey every way you look at it. The ups of when “I can do it” the downs of when “I need to go home and vegetate” have haunted me from the day my treatment began.

Working with cancer is a topic that I don’t really seem to see out there as much. Let alone 31 years old with an established career and cancer. There were moments questioning why I spent so much time in school (I have a master’s degree) only to face death shortly after (not that I am dying, but the reality of death is something that comes with cancer treatment and after treatment when you face the fear of it coming back). I really feel like I have been in school since I was four. Which is almost true (I had this crazy idea that I HAD to finish my master’s before I turned thirty, and then after that I have tossed around the concept of a PhD – I think I am a glutton for punishment). The good part in this is that my education is paid for (mostly by me) so I don’t owe two pennies for getting to where I am (just a lot of time, studying and sleepless nights).

As each day passes I am finding more energy and more clarity..

Author: Mandi

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