Long time, no blog!
For once, it’s not been solely because I’ve been lazy. I mean, I have been a bit lazy at times, but since my last blog post in October, things have legitimately been really busy.
So, without further ado, a riveting life update!
Drugs and Health
Since we last spoke, (okay, since I last wrote and since my mom and maybe 5 of you last read), I had just started taking a new drug called Humira and was still hating every second of being on Prednisone. I’m happy to share that I’m pretty sure that the Humira is working! Yay. How do I know? I’ve actually been able to taper down to a pretty low dose of prednisone since late October without getting sick. I’m obviously super stoked about this and can’t wait to get off of Prednisone entirely. I’m currently on only 10 mgs of Prednisone per day (I was taking 20 mgs per day for several months) and am holding steady on that dose while traveling to hopefully avoid getting sick while away from home. More on the travel side of things in a bit.
I’ve been doing my Humira injections on myself at home every two weeks and it’s really not too bad. I’m using auto-injector pens and they make the process pretty fool-proof. The injections are very painful BUT the pain only lasts about 10 seconds while the drug is going in and the residual tenderness is not an issue because I always do the injection right before I know I’m going to be sitting still watching TV for a while. All in all, I’m feeling healthier, happier, and altogether better than I have in a very long time. I’m soaking up every second of feeling like I’m in remission because I know that inevitably, one day, (hopefully a long way off from now) I’ll be sick again.
In the new year, the plan is for me to come off of Prednisone entirely. I’m so looking forward to less frequent mood swings, a face I can recognize, and hopefully feeling much less anxious.
Why were you in Europe?
K, so random right???
It doesn’t sound real (believe me, I had to do a sh*tton of googling to make sure I wasn’t going to be a victim of human trafficking) but a friend of mine recommended me to a PR firm that organizes Patient Advisory Boards for a MAJOR drug company. Only two days after doing one phone interview, I was invited to fly to Amsterdam less than two weeks later to sit on a panel of other Ulcerative Colitis patients to give feedback on educational materials about UC and to share my perspective and experience as a Canadian with Irritable Bowel Disease.
In between the actual work we did, I got to wander around Amsterdam, duck in and out of Museums, take a day trip to Utrecht to visit a childhood friend, and then I hopped on a train to Paris to live my best life.
It was one of the coolest, most amazing experiences I’ve ever had.
I’m probably going to do a whole post on my long weekend in Europe (you know I love a good travel post) and I’ll be sure to share lots more deets, but that’s why I was randomly abroad for 5 days.
I quit my job!
…And I’m starting my dream career in the new year. While I was in Amsterdam, I received a job offer from a digital marketing firm in Halifax working with travel brands from all over the world. In addition to doing content writing, blogging, and social media, I’ll be a social media influencer manager! All of my biggest interests and passions wrapped up into a job! It still doesn’t feel real. It is L I T E R A L L Y my dream job and I can’t explain how happy I am.
I’ve worked in Academic Advising for more than 4 years and it’s been the only field I’ve worked in as an adult. While it was great work, and I was good at it, it was something I fell into and it never really felt a like a choice. I know that it’s not realistic to think that everyone will always love their job wholeheartedly or have the luxury of being choosy about their work, but it was getting to the point where I felt like I was staying in that world because it was the convenient choice for me. I don’t want convenient. I am thrilled at the new challenge ahead and for everything I will learn. Eventually, I will write about how this came to be, but for now, just know that I’m so excited for 2018 and this new adventure.
Oh yeah, and I got to celebrate this new phase by popping champagne under the Eiffel Tower. That’s something I’ll never, ever forget.
Where in the world is Katie Bray-Diego?
Ok, that sounded better in my head. Just go with it.
I’m writing this blog post from a very authentic, local, coffee shop called “Starbucks” (hehe) in Sydney, Australia with my good friend Lauren (from laurenmeisner.com GO CHECK HER OUT) from university!
I’ve wanted to visit Australia for as long as I can remember. After meeting several Aussies on a my Contiki trip through Europe a few years ago (read ALLLL about that tour here) at age 21, I set a goal that I’d visit Australia by age 26. I’m so happy that I beat my goal and made it here at age 25.
I booked this trip in February or March of this year but didn’t mention it until right before I left because I was worried something would happen (like I’d get sick) and I wouldn’t be able to go. Australia is (obviously) just SO FAR AWAY and SO EXPENSIVE that I couldn’t really make myself believe I was really doing this trip until the plane touched down in Sydney.
I’m spending this first week in Sydney with Lauren, then I’m meeting up with my Contiki friends, doing a road trip to visit more friends in Brisbane, spending the week over Christmas in New Zealand, and then I’ll be back in Aus again before heading home on December 30th. So far, I love it here. I can see why so many people move to and love Australia. It’s incredibly tempting and if I didn’t have a boyfriend I love and a job I can’t wait to start, I’d FOR SURE be applying for a working holiday visa.
While I miss Alex and my family tons already, and I’m sure I’ll shed a few tears being away from everyone over Christmas, I’m really happy to have travelled solo so much this year and to be #livingmybestlife. I’m not taking a second of any of this for granted because I know it could all change drastically at any moment. Such is life with a chronic illness.
Ok, I think we’re all caught up! Thanks for reading, friends!