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, November 7, 2008

Adventures in Cancerland

Weight- 114lbs. Temp: 99.6, 99.2; 99.4 Meds- 20 Pain Meds- 35mg Vials of Blood drawn- 7 Hours Driven- 6.5 Lquids- 2 bottled H20, 1 cp coffee, 2 cps tea, Food- 5 honey buns (;) Some of us just can’t get enough of our weaknesses), turkey, cheese, mustard sandwich on whole wheat, 3 snickers bars, ½ a bag of chips, frozen pizza & breadsticks with marinara sauce
I had another adventure in cancerland today. It took 4 hours in the pouring rain to get to my appointment. Apparently, that had been the theme for the day, since I called in advance and I was told EVERYBODY was late.
I met three new people who amused me (it really doesn’t take much). One is a creative coordinator in the Bloom Library. Her picture and some of the goodies she has to play with are in the picture. I think we could have some fun to ease my boredom.
The other two were a mother and daughter pair, the daughter had leukemia and underwent a transplant in August.
Her mother, like the “she bear” my mother is, peppered me with questions once K had gone to get her blood drawn.
I hope I could answer them. I understand where her fears are coming from, and I hope I could alleviate some of them.
K, on the other hand, has the potential to be my new girl. She was put together well with a blond messy wig and glassy eyes. She is nineteen. I just wanted to wrap her up and tell her the worst is over.
I don’t even know if it is.
We bonded over Crazy Sexy Cancer and I told her stories about nursing school.
I wonder what it’s like to freeze your eggs at 18 and wonder if you’ll ever get to college.
I didn’t freeze my eggs. There is a world of difference between 19 and 23, I guess.
It’s called college. I had a son, and the long standing opinion that I did not want to bring more children into the world when there are all ready adoptable ones available.
The great tragedy about being diagnosed with cancer as a teen is that you are still a teenager, just one with more significant problems.
You have shallow friends who do not understand, who you will never expose your bald head to. You’re trying to verify your attractiveness. You are trying to find your niche and your relationship to the world and your space within the world.
You are dinally becoming comfortable in your body. I know, if I’m having issues with my war wounds, I’m sure she is. My chest is like a map through hell. Some women get Dante’s peaks, I get the inferno.
These basic accomplishments of being a teenagers will not go away due to a major life crisis.
On the contrary, they will intensify. The loneliness could be overwhelming. Who understands teenagers anyway?
Who would they vent to in the language they want to use?
I know I talk differently, and I’m a twenty-something. I call it “Ameribonics” and I find myself translating. It tends to get worse under stress or if I cop an attitude.
I call the flare ups my “bronxitis,” and whoa, watch out now, if you’re the target of my anger.
How can teens relay their fears when they are mature enough to understand their actions and its effect on those who surround them? Parents are not safe, venting to them will only intensify their fears. Their topics with their friends include make-up and boys. Delving into anything else would risk the loss of friends, many of who have all ready bailed due to the adolescent intolerance for prolonged suffering.
Nobody wants to stare mortality in the face, especially when that face is so young.
As for boys, teens are still exploring, dangerously, with their sexuality. They may not take the necessary mature steps to protect themselves. Pregnancy and diseases are problems multiplied to the Nth degree in cancer patients.
I hope this reality is starting to be understood in the world of our providers. Treating cancer is a science, a defined, precise science, which has hopefully been mastered to the best of everybody’s ability. However, the time has passed when the underlying psychology or the art of care can be ignored.

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