Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.

He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.

Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."

I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.

I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Cancer my Treatment

I had one rough day today.
I successfully washed all my clothes in hot water, packed them nicely in one garbage bag with my other necessities packed in gallon freezer bags, as specified by the transplant team, and trucked myself down to Boston. I did away with all my eco-friendly projects at home in accordance with the “no-list” which I learned about in the “no session” (the hour long talk I had with the transplant nurse about my restrictions). Some examples of my restrictions until 2009: no crowds, no going to the movies, no restaurants, no animals, no dust, no going in the basement, no people who have been exposed to illness, no fresh fruits, no fresh vegetables, no gardening, no salad bars, no sushi ever, no buffets, no leaving the room or house without gloves and a mask, no mold, no plants, no, no, no, no, no.
I had tossed the compost bin, turned in the recycling, and taken the garbage to the dump. I had made arrangements for Xander. My family had made a schedule of who has going to be with me when. My son was prepared for my absence. Jon had scheduled the professional cleaning that had to be done prior to my safe return.
I was prepared. It was go time. My game face was on.
Then, surprise! The little rash on my chest that I swore, I hoped, I prayed was just an allergic reaction to my amoxicillin, was shingles.
“I really wanted it to be an allergic reaction.” I stammered to my doctor, pouting. “My body hates me.”
I knew it probably wasn’t an allergy somewhere inside my head, but I was in denial.
Denial is a strong coping mechanism I’ve never experienced before. It’s not my style. I’m straight forward, but I couldn’t let anything postpone my treatment. Everything was prepared. I was ready and in remission. I don’t have other therapy options to keep me in remission prior to transplant. Delays could cause a repeat of the problems with my last transplant.
Last time, I went 6 weeks without chemotherapy prior to my transplant, and when the surgeon did an ultrasound of my chest for my hickman line, she found tumors.
We canceled, or cancered, the treatment for three more weeks. Just like I have cancered my education. I have cancered my career. I’ve cancered my future children. I’ve cancered my roles as nurse, wife, and mother.
Punny, isn’t it?
I have three more weeks of anxiety and anticipation or six full weeks without chemotherapy.
This was cause for some major retail therapy. We stopped at the mall on the way home. I wondered aimlessly. A friend offered to buy me an outfit to improve my mood. I couldn’t find anything I wanted. I definitely have problems if I can’t find anything to shop for.
Really, I want a new immune system that is not trying to kill me.
Xander, however, was ecstatic I was home, and I showed up with pizza. Life is good in his world, so life is okay in mine. I get a couple more weeks to have some fun. I get to drive him to school in the morning and walk him in with the other parents.
I’m going to take today to throw myself a pity party, a full throttle pity party, Ben & Jerry’s, Maury Pavich, and Dr. Phil, because those people have problems. Then I’m going to get over it.
I’m going to enjoy my newfound free-time. I might take a trip to New York for some reminiscent girl time. I’ll play with X. I’ll coach some of soccer season. My sister is coming to town. We’ll go to the movies, shopping, and eat out. This could not be so bad. I’ll train my brain again. I cancervive this (you didn’t think I was done with the puns did you?)So watch out now, I’m back.


Meaghan said...

Eat some Ben and Jerry's for me!!! :) You inspire me w/ your strength - enjoy these next couple of weeks. The weather will be beautiful, and also be sure to do everything thats on your "no" list ;) Give me a call, lets grab dinner! Hang tough, Meaghan

Anonymous said...

Here I thought shingles were for roofs, But you girl, you got the proofs, That they ain't just for rain, They sometimes be bringin' da pain! Another black cloud, Another dark shroud, Bring on da light, Go fly a kite <+>~~~----- #:-) Have a bright & beautiful couple of weeks Hillary!!!

The very best of wishes,

David Ewald