A couple weeks ago I wrote about making it through a calendar year without needing to go on IVs for the first time in close to 15 years. Well… that streak was snapped a few days later. No, I didn’t jinx it and no I didn’t bring it upon myself. I had been fighting a cold for the entire latter half of January, and between spending way too much time at the rink for hockey practices and games, I don’t think I gave my body a chance to recover. So, the decision was made in the days following that blog post that I needed to go on IV.

It was a decision that I made with my doctor. It had been a discussion point for a little while leading up to the decision. Believe it or not, my PFT was actually at its highest since 2011-2012, but I was dealing with the kind of mucus production and other symptoms that I hadn’t had to deal with since this time last year, and that’s when I had to find it within myself to lean on my care mantra… “Aggressive care is the only kind of care.”

My doctor’s willingness to listen to my needs and short-term plans while also balancing the larger scope of my long-term health is why I think it’s so important for our entire patient community to feel like they can work with their care teams. I know I’ve been able to put myself in the position to go a year free of IV for the first in close to a decade and a half not only because of my mental fortitude, but also because I am able to have complex, in depth conversation with my care providers. Together they lead to near perfect treatment compliance – I know why I have to do these things, and I have to self-motivation to see them through.

Now I have a new goal. That goal is 1 year and 3 days, and I’m going to do whatever I can to achieve it. Electively having to go on IV sucks. It’s not fun, but as much as it’s a chance to heal, it is also a chance to learn. I thrive amidst failures and incomplete opportunities. Sure I am disappointed and frustrated, but I am also pissed. I am pissed at myself more than anything. Now I have to learn to be better, and if I’m going to achieve 1 year and 3 days, I am going to look at myself in the mirror and learn how to be better. That’s the challenge I am holding against myself, and the challenge I am going to hold against you, too. Be better.