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."
Monday, September 29, 2008
Hill's Hiding in Harlem
Thought you lost me for the weekend? You may have. Hill was hiding in Harlem again, my favorite get-a-away spot when I need to escape my responsibilities, or my entire life.
Why Harlem or the BX borough? Mostly because even if you knew exactly where I was, you wouldn’t come find me. I can hide in plain site. I can hide amid lights, music, and laughter. There are even some friends like me. I know you thought I was the only one. I know you thought more of me didn’t exist aside from Heather, but I do have some friends who could rival me in the rowdy department.
And if we decide not to be rowdy, we still have a good time. I pretend I don’t have problems. They don’t bring them up, and everybody else has no idea. This isn’t small town NH where people recognize my face, they’ve heard my situation, and even if we have a conversation that does not include the C word, I can see the sadness (or is it pity) in their eyes.
I had to get away. Far, Far, Far away so I could hear what it’s like to be a twenty-something manhattanite. I get to pretend I belong.
My girls lifestyles may not be as glamorous as the books or magazines present them to be, but they are damn close and ions away from mine.
“Did you see the colors at the shows?”
“I heard peach, metallics, silvers, and purples are in, but for next season watch out for the gradient blues and jewel tones.”
I thought peaches were for eating.
Speaking of eating, if you ever decide to patronize Jadis and have these conversations be prepared to starve. French as I am, I do not believe crackers, mini deli meats, cheese, and bottles and bottles and bottles of wine qualifies as dinner. But maybe crackers and wine are all these fabulously happy stylists, marketing executives, journalists, etc. get to eat to keep up with the vogue weight in NYC. Thanks Samneang for dragging me down the street to introduce me to authentic Cambodian cuisine.
Why am I hiding? I do have some problems I should be facing, like my impending transplant. I feel like I got a stay of execution after my rejection due to shingles earlier this month. I was able to take some time for myself and attempt to regain my perspective. Or I now have time to simply pretend I have the life I thought I would have at twenty-six.
I want to be in Manhattan discussing whether I should get this seasons purse, next seasons purse or both and by who. Chanel, Fendi, or Dolce & Gabanna can be my most difficult decision for the afternoon.
I do not have to think about the choice between having an allo or a chord transplant by who in what city at what hospital. But to compare, these treatments are the “now” procedures of hematological diseases and the doctors are the rock star celebrities of their scene.
In NY, I can get dressed up and look pretty and not hear how SURPRISINGLY good I look because nobody knows how much my insides suck and are ravaged by cancer. They just think I look good because I’m a New Yorker, and all New Yorkers know those sidewalks are actually cat walks for the next fashion week. It’s a very simple, shallow fantasy world I like to play in for a while.
Now that I’m back to reality, aka home, where people recognize me everywhere I go for the sickling I am, where I have to look around the house and determine what takes precedent because I only have FOUR DAYS to prepare for my transplant, and must pack while having the energy of a ninety year old. The hotel is booked (Nadia at DF in housing coordination is a rock star!). My clothes are washed and packed (mostly). I’ve typed the instructions for the people who will be helping my family with daycare, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning. Hopefully, the second try will be a charm. But now that I think about it, maybe I should have stayed hiding in New York.
Either way, I’m laying in the gutter, but at least I’m staring at the stars.