Going through chemotherapy wasn’t like it is in the movies – it wasn’t some endless stream of vomiting and feeling terrible 24/7, it was more of a frustrating back and forth where some days you feel like you’re so close to living your normal life and other days you may be too nauseous or just plain tired to get out of bed. Through the first half of my treatment, what I really found myself in search of was as much normalcy as I could muster.
When I was feeling up to it, much of that normalcy came in the form of cooking for my girlfriend and our two roommates (which I used to do often), but chances to do so were few and far between. Then during my treatment an Internet sensation exploded and completely changed the way I saw my life between cycles of chemo. “Pokemon Go” came out.
On July 6th, Niantic and the Pokemon company came out with an AR (augmented reality) game called “Pokemon Go”. On that day I found something that could drive me to get out of bed and out of the apartment more often. Something fun to keep me active throughout my treatment, which before then had been very hard to do.
Now I find myself looking forward to walking in the park, or discovering new areas around town – even connecting with friends near and far in completely new ways. My drive to be physically active has risen back up to an acceptable level, and I can spend my good days having fun with friends and community in a way I never have before.
Being diagnosed with cancer as a young adult is a bizarre situation to find yourself in – cancer always seems like a disease so far removed from your own life, no matter how many lives around you it touches. Well, in April of 2016, cancer became my reality; it was a roller coaster as the first three days went from diagnosis to beginning my first round of treatment all the way to the ups and downs of each cycle of chemo. It has been one of the most surreal feelings of my life, but as time has gone on, I’ve found little steps along the way, like Pokemon Go, to make it a little more normal.
Dustin (age 22)