Sorry for the delay. I am okay. HERE I AM AGAIN!
I spent the day at Dana Farber today with Brynn and Nicole, having some bonding girl time.
Being me, I decided a LONG time ago that if I had to get treated, if I was choosing to FIGHT, FIGHT, and FIGHT SOME MORE, and if I was OBLIGATED to be in the waiting area, infusion room, doctor’s office, etc., I might as well have a good time while I was there.
This is how treatment is going to go down Hillary style.
If I can’t change my situation, I will change my attitude; and thereby, I will positively affect the people and my surroundings (See Emotional Contagion by Elaine Hatfield and Cacioppo).
Cancer and illness does not always have to be all fears and tears.
If you have to be treated, you have a couple options: you can pout , cry, get angry, and complain, you can grin and bear it, or you can roll with the punches and take it like a woman (or man).
The employees at your treatment center are PEOPLE, why not chat them up and treat them like friends?
It has been proven expressing your anger and venting unnecessarily is NOT EFFECTIVE in making yourself feel better. If anything, it makes you and the people in your surrounds feel worse. Just like happiness can be contagious, so can’t tension, anxiety, sadness, and anger. The waiting, infusion rooms, and offices are so full of these emotions I could just about karate chop through them with my hand.
But I don’t, I laugh, smile, and joke instead. I relax and spread the cheer. We who are facing our mortality are vulnerable. We are scared, anxious, or angry, and there is no manual telling us how to behave.
I won’t be going down or out like that. I won’t allow what may be the last years, months, weeks, days, or minutes of my life to be plagued with sadness and fear.
That I can change. I can always change me.
This idea was based in part on the serenity prayer. If you don’t know what this is, it goes like this:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can;and wisdom to know the difference. --Reinhold Niebuhr
You would be surprised how difficult it is for type A control freak (now reformed, thank you, through what I like to call “cancer diversion therapy”).
I cannot change my situation. I cannot control my disease. I cannot change the progression of my cancer or the course of necessary treatment.
I can do the best I can with the knowledge I have, the rest is not up to me.
As far as my health, I look as good as I could. My labs are all fabulous. Previously, my eosonophils (if you don’t know just go with it) were elevated, which is a sign of graft v. host disease, but today, guess who has a normal eosinophil count?
Noooo, just kidding, that would be me.
My magnesium is low (1.6 when 1.8 is normal). I’ll confess, this is because I keep on choking on those pills and spitting them out.
My BUN is high, which means I have to hit the bottle (as in water) a little bit more.
I have appointments. I’m scheduled for a PET SCAN on Jan. 12 at 2:30. I need to show up by 1pm. After this I see Alyea, and if the scan is clean, I WILL LEAVE WEARING A RED SOX HAT.
Yes, I said it. Yes, I went there. I’ll smile and post the picture too. A negative scan will put me in remission!
I won’t be celebrating to loudly though, restrictions and caution need to extend for 6 months post transplant and I have had many negative PET scans, but never a remission that has remained more than 3 months. I’m just warning you upfront.
I was told visitors need to be limited to “a couple.”
I sounded a little like former Pres. Clinton when I asked what, exactly, a couple was. FYI, it is two or three at a time, not because I didn’t know, but now you’ll hold me to it.
I also have an appointment with Melissa on Jan 6 at 11am (happy new year to me) and an appointment on the 28th with a dermatologist (have to keep my skin looking as good as it does).
That’s a wrap for my immediate health update.
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."