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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Monday, December 15, 2008


I realized, sometimes, I’m medicated and left alone
This doesn’t happen much, but sometimes, when I’m heavily medicated, for some reason the DOCTOR comes to see me.
I don’t see these men so much.
A lot of times, I’m surprised to see them walk into my room.
It may be bad timing, and I try not to be dubbed an idiot, but those medications are so strong, and I am so tired.
A couple times, I have two examples, the man in charge has walked in and I’ve managed to say a couple words. We always start having a serious conversation, then I make some decision and then. . . .
For all I know, I fall asleep.
I’ve never been able to get the question, “Hey, when we were talking about bowel surgery, did I say ‘no way in hell’ and fall asleep?” Since I really don’t remember what happened after this point.
For example, I think a doctor from DHMC DID mention bowel surgery at one point in my suffering.
My abdomen was bloated. I could barely move. I hurt so badly. I don’t even know what was going on except I was in excruciating pain.
When Doc came around to talk about “options” (Really, two ideas that are bad and worse), I remember him walking in, sitting down in a chair, and talking for a couple minutes.
Then he came out with “bowel surgery,” and that’s the last I remember saying.
I DO remember thinking, “This man has lost his MIND. Who would recommend a surgery like that to a patient like me. That sounds like a quick way to end up DEAD or worse, up in the ICU unable to move and in need of REHAB with lung infections. I thought he was looking out for me. How could he suggest this craziness.”
Then I think I crawled under my covers and fell asleep.
Again, this happened. Apparently, my disease and fatigue DO NOT CARE if you’re in charge of my life.
I’d really like to reprogram myself to think differently. I don’t want to be disrespectful.
But whoa, I’ve answered all the questions SIX TIMES before seeing the big men: my family, the Doc on call, my NP, my clinic nurse, the hematologist/fellow/resident whoever who came in first, my intake nurse, and then him.
By this point, I just want to chill. If I’m awake, I’d rather tell jokes, but if I try to answer questions before they get asked, I get shut down.
This last time, Doc walked in, mask, gloves, and yellow robe, waking me up, and in my blind/drugged haze he looked a hell of a lot like Shrek.
“Oh, you didn’t even recognize me?” He joked.
If you only knew what I thought you were, I thought, but instead reached for my glasses.
I really just wanted to take his picture, since he is adorable, and I think he needs to be “humanized a little.”
I think he might have allowed a mass posting, but not so much if he knew I was comparing him to Shrek.
He may have if I promoted his perfectly placed comments and alpha professional façade he has. He is damn good at what he does.
He didn’t really look so much like Shrek, it’s just my interpretation.
But Really, charmer used to make me nervous. His “I know what’s best” attitude didn’t sit well with me at first. He probably does know what’s best. He’s a charmer.
Still a little scary, I think I may know the type: too smart, too handsome, and too charming for his own good.
I think we could be friends.
Anyway, I don’t remember a THING after he sat down. I certainly hope I behaved. I hope I don’t give him a complex for admitting this. I don’t think I will.
I feel like Drew Barrymore in “50 First Dates.” I don’t remember much. Somedays, I feel like the guy in the movie with a 10 second memory. All he does is repeat “Hi, I’m Tom,” and introduces himself over and over.
I don’t know if this is a “normal” part of the recovery process. I always forget to ask. It happened last transplant too.
I think it’s important to understand how easily severe memory loss can be hidden from providers. Listen to loved ones on this issue. The patient will compensate and pretend like nothing is wrong, mostly, because they do not know something is.

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