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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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sharing or Scaring?

I have a tendency to sugar coat my problems.
I really don’t want anybody freaking out.
Also, I really wanted to be home for Thanksgiving to hang out with the family.
This time last year, I was just old I was in remission.
I thought I was cancer-free for good.
Happy holidays to me!
I was able to enjoy every second.
I could shop and wrap the presents.
I relished every moment. I never complained about the crowds, the stress, the cleaning, or wrapping.
I never complained because I knew I could have NOT had that Christmas.
Everything changes when you know you’ve walked a fine line between life and death and lived through it. I’m not talking about a little accident. I’m talking about struggling and fighting for years and having a severe fear that your time is up. I’m talking staring mortality in the face and understanding just how fragile life is.
Congratulations to me, I was a survivor last holiday season.
I’m still a survivor. I’ve survived my past. Go me.
The holiday season before was TERRIBLE. I don’t think it get worse. I was holding by my nails to hope. I’d take chemotherapies, take a break to get well enough for a transplant, then the cancer would come back when we weren’t looking.
I live in fear my cancer will sneak back in while my providers are looking in the wrong direction.
Let’s name my cancer. It’s time this nasty illness got an appropriate name. Lymphoma just does not sound mean enough.
Let’s call it Lucifer, because I know good always overcomes evil. I have the devil in me, trying to succeed in taking me down. He won’t. End of discussion.
I think this name is appropriate for the holidays.
This past week I’ve been struggling with a hacking, productive cough. It’s the type of cough that makes everybody in the room stop and stare and ends with me running for privacy to spit out whatever comes up.
EEewwww. It is nasty. It’s nasty to watch, but put yourself in my position. It’s even worse to have. I’d be willing to bet most 26 year olds haven’t dealt with this.
Lucky me, I have, and I’ve dealt with far worse.
I thought this was so inconsequential I’d stay home and deal with it. Then it started to hurt and effect my eating and drinking. Maybe it was time to get it checked.
Melissa and Beth got voted to work the Friday after Thanksgiving. Sucks for them, but good for me. I had NPs that knew me!
I wish I was in their position, and got paid to go to the hospital as much as I do, especially around holidays.
Beth does one damn thorough assessment. She asked enough questions that she got everything out of me! Especially, the important things I had forgotten, like I’d run out of Valtrex and started taking my Acyclovir until I could get a refill, and that I’d been taking Tussionex but nobody had prescribed it. I was using a script from May.
I wasn’t hiding these things, I had forgotten.
I got the standard Chest X-ray and sputum culture.
My X-ray was clear. Go me, except, sometimes I get so angry at negative tests.
I rely heavily on gut instincts. If I know I have something wrong, I want my tests to prove it. They didn’t. I look fabulous. This is good.
My cough is viral and maybe the lugies are coming from my sinuses. I’m getting a CT on Monday.
I have always had some problems with both my lungs and my sinuses, especially during the holidays. This is a yearly occurrence. It’s like tradition. I get sick the week before Christmas every year.
The sickness has just been multiplied in severity due to my co-morbidities.
So with a little fluids, and some more rest, I was out of there! My husband got to take the time I was holed up to go shopping in the madness. Life’s good, and I’m going to recover from my suffering sometime.

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