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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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Did I really say that?

There comes a point after every acute illness when I start to recover that I begin to decompress and process what happened.
Usually, my process goes a little like this:
“Oh my goodness, did I really. . . . . .
Try to give Dr. Meehan a high five because I decided he was going to fix me and wanted to celebrate in advance?
Lift up my shirt coming scarily close to “flashing” my providers because I decided EVERYBODY had to know what a GVHD rash looked like?
Laugh at my doctor for putting the pulse oximeter on my finger upside down? (FYI, there isn’t really an “upside down” it works both ways, it just takes longer)
Refuse to take off my mask because in my feverishness I determined I was contagious, all the health care workers around me could get it, and I could solely infect thousands causing an illness epidemic?
Then, I have to take a second, take a breath, and realize, YES, I did do all these things, and probably many more I don’t even remember.
Sometimes, I think, that every person who has ever met me has at some point heard me make a statement and thought, “WHOA, did she really just say that?”
The answer: Yes, I did.
This only gets worse when I’m sick.
Sickness, as a general rule, intensifies the worst traits within an individual.
People become exceedingly needy if they were needy in relationships before. They become more depressed if they were ever previously disposed to depression.
Traits get exploited in illness.
One of my traits is that I can be honest to a fault.
Then, I think it’s funny. I’m sick. I’m talking with no edit button, and it’s all incoherent fun and jokes.
Illness, fever, narcotics, alcohol, desperation to be better- all these add to a lack of judgment.
The safeguard, the line that won’t be socially crossed when a person is functioning at their best, does not exist when I get sick.
It ceases to exist for many. It takes all the energy possible to SURVIVE, nobody cares at this point about social savior faire.
Fortunately, I eventually recover.
And with this recovery, I start to come around, I come to, and I think “Dammit, I did it again.”
I should really get around to getting that disclaimer tattoed on my chest saying, “Statements made in sickness are not as truthful as they seem.”
It’s just me exercising poor judgment. It’s me losing the internal edit button I generally have a poor grasp on anyway.
I liken it to a person having too much to drink, losing a good handle on their judgment, only to wake up, partially sober, and think “Did I really. . . . . get up on the wedding party’s table and do the Macarena? ……. Try to tongue kiss my friend’s step mother?” or “I can’t believe I. . . . .threw up in the elevator? Tried to tackle the 7 foot, 400 lb. body guard?”
Maybe, looking back, it was a bad decision, but at the time it seemed like a good idea, and as long as nobody gets hurt, it makes a good story.
Cheers to many more recoveries where I wake up laughing at myself.


brynn said...

haha...did someone see your pole dancing video and decide to make it a comic??? :)
and let me say...i love your sense of humor when you're sick! :)

Anonymous said...

Your sense of humor is apropos no matter what your physical or mental state! I'm a believer that laughter is the best medicine. Here's a factoid for ya...10 or 15 minutes of chuckling burns up to 50 calories. Keep on truckin' Hillary and stay positive!

Anonymous said...

Telling it like it is... that's one of the things I love best about you Hil :)


camilynn said...


Good one on Did I really say that?.I recently found out 1 million children are accidentally poisoned in their homes each year.And also I did find the toxins we use in our home here think it's time we all know about the toxins we use.