This is a long and kind of serious one, but almost dying is pretty formative and if I didn't almost die, I would be a completely different person. Maybe an ungrateful one. Who knows. But I am both alive and grateful now. Inspired by @tombatten
  1. I was 18 and working for City Year, a non-profit community service program
    I made a $182 government stipend a week and lived in a three bedroom basement apartment with four other girls. It was a nightmare/dreamland.
  2. I was dating a maniac anarcho-vegan who lived next door
    We used to have screaming matches and break up all the time and then he would show up to my doorstep crying with flowers or whatever and I'd take him back, blah blah blah
  3. I was working my ass off 50+ hours a week, and didn't realize that I had developed several strange bruises that came out of nowhere
    I always attributed it to too-much-whiskey-again, or must've-fallen-down-while-peeing-behind-the-dumpster-again. This is Boston, after all.
  4. One time my boyfriend accidentally elbowed me on the shoulder
    The next day it had developed into a full color-spectrum bruise spanned across my whole shoulder
  5. People thought he was beating me
    He was an asshole, but not physically abusive. My team at work had a sort of mini-intervention with me about it and it was very awkward.
  6. My mom came to visit. When she walked in the door, she looked at me and started crying.
    Bruise count was at 43.
  7. So we went to the emergency room
    Where they tested me for a slew of diseases, including HIV. That was the one where I realized I really like life and would prefer it not to be over.
  8. The average person has 250,000-500,000 platelets in their blood stream. I was chilling with a cool 4,000
    So they gave me some platelets. Some didn't take and I got really itchy. Did you know if your body doesn't like the blood it's being given you get itchy? Isn't that such a cute little signifier for something completely fucking terrifying?
  9. I had three blood transfusions in 12 hours
    And a bone marrow biopsy in case I had Hodgkins. I was moved to the cancer ward. I got my own room and it was really quiet in there, which was comforting, but it was because they put me on the floor with the terminal cases. So they could die in peace I guess.
  10. I was in the hospital for nine days
    My then best friend/kind of the love of my life took an overnight bus from New York my first night in the hospital to bring me a mix tape and a yellow Walkman. He also cried when he walked in.
  11. I was actually dying, which no one told me
    Except for the best friend with the Walkman. He was the one who told me.
  12. They finally figured out that I have a super rare auto-immune disease
    It's associated with a hyper-active immune system that if isn't kept busy, it will destroy the important things you need, like blood cells. Which totally makes sense, because I never really got sick growing up. Except for this one little time.
  13. After I was released from the hospital, I did a year and a half of chemotherapy
    First everyday, then twice a week, then once a week, then back to twice a week, then once a week again, then once a month, then three times a month, then back to once a month, then once every two months, then 'as needed.'
  14. Even while I was supposed to be getting better, I wasn't fully convinced I was going to make it
    Everything made me think I would have another serious relapse. I would get a paper cut and and think that would be the end. My PTSD was through the fucking roof.
  15. But I did get better
    And stayed better, and have been in remission for several years.
  16. And you know, life is pretty great.
    Especially when you once thought you might not have it anymore.