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, January 1, 2010

It’s a New Year!!

I woke up this morning feeling my usual mix of emotions- apprehension, anxiety, pain but with some new ones I barely recognized that have come back since steroids gave me a “new breath on life.”

I feel relief, relaxed, and happy that I made it to 2010.

I think, maybe, this year, I can see the battle I’ve been fighting as an accomplishment in itself with the ultimate goal to gain peace with what’s out of my control.

I’ve finally regained the clarity of thought to realize what I’m going through is a major life experience, and not one everybody gets to go through.

Despite the pain, the sadness, and the fear I’m happy I’ve been given the opportunity to feel and experience it all.

These last couple months have been difficult to articulate.

I’ve been at an impasse wanting to tell everybody the true day-to-day, minute-to-minute feelings, but thinking I’d finally crossed the line where my veracity would just be scary.

It’s an isolating feeling to know you’ve reached a point at 27 years old that some won’t see in a lifetime, and very few will be able to share and articulate with a degree of acceptance.

That’s where I finally find myself this morning- accepting, again.

That’s going to be my goal for the year, to live in the moment, to laugh, love, and enjoy all the hardships that are thrown at me.

I’ve tried the flip side, to mourn my losses over and over again, only to be met with the same reality that nothing external has changed.

It’s time to change myself, and love the now.

My last week of events have been spent probably the opposite of what you have all been guessing- I’ve been busy.

Yes, busy, busy, busy and busy some more.

All I want to do is walk for the simple reason that I can.

I’d walk back and forth to and fro from my car just for the fun of it, for the experience, because it’s been so long since I could do it without fear of my body failing.

I’ve been moving house to house, trying to spend quality time with my sister’s family who is in for the week, as well as my grandparents, ad Jon and Xander, who both have the week off.

I wish I could stretch and separate all the people out over the weeks so I could be their own personal assistant, having them al here, all at once, has been difficult.

It’s been especially difficult for me since I’ve spent months relatively isolated.

I’ve been thrust into serious social time in the span of two weeks.

I haven’t quite found the balance that’s going to keep me healthy, happy, and fun all at once.

After Christmas I tried to erase my daily nap since the steroids no longer allowed me to sleep, but I’ve found I need the couple hours just to close my eyes or my brain doesn’t quite organize itself.

The goal of taking these couple hours in the afternoon is always to try to stay up to have some “adult time” at night, but that never seems to happen.

Jon and I have always been on opposite ends of the sleep-wake spectrum.

I’m perfectly happy with an 8 or 9 pm bedtime and waking at 6 or 7 (well, when I was healthy, now it’s 6:30-7 when X drags me out of bed).

Jon likes to sleep until 10 or so but stay up late into the night.

Of course, what happens? X gets to hang out all day long, nonstop.

That child can go, go, go from 7 am until 9 pm at night.

Last night the events of the week before, the three day long family Christmas, the friends in from out of town, the “date night” on Weds. That led to Heather and I polishing off a bottle of wine ourselves, kicked my ass.

I’d gotten up to play with Heather and the kids before doing some emergency grocery shopping (when the house is out of honey nut cheerios, juice, and turkey it’s an emergency) only then to drag myself to the upper valley to pick up some CT scans for my second opinion with the pulmonologist at Dana Farber on Tues.

Not having the scans ready and on hand is something the Hillary of the past never would have accepted.

I had scheduled to pick them up on Monday, when I was actually scheduled to be at the hospital, only to run out of the hospital and forget them after my appointment trying to get some couple time in before family dinner.

Oopsy, that means we fit in one emergency run to the hospital yesterday.

Except, my body revolted. It screamed enough.

Twenty minutes into the trip I’d fallen fast asleep in the car.

Even a stop at gamestop and another fifteen minutes in the car didn’t wake me.

Jon thought I’d drugged myself into oblivion when he wasn’t looking.

I was just experiencing some good old fashion exhaustion.

That good old fashion exhaustion led to the canceling of all partying plans for the night. Snuggling and watching the hang over was too much for me.

J had to set about being sole parent to X and his friend who’d come to spend the night.

It all worked out though, because this morning I am feeling restful and happy, and the boys are in video game heaven.


Anonymous said...

Living in the present moment I think all of us cancer fighters/survivors are thrust into whether we want to or not. Easy to say, hard to do. When fear tries to creep in, I turn often to this poem I came across in the midst of my own battle. I hope you don't mind my sharing it with you. It was written by St. Faustina:

"When I look into the future, I am frightened, Only the present moment is precious to me, as the future may never enter my soul at all.

It is no longer in my power to change, correct or add to the past; For neither sages nor prophets could do that. And so, what the past has embraced I must entrust to God.

O present moment, you belong to me, whole and entire. I desire to use you as best I can. And although I am weak and small, You grant me the grace of your omnipotence.

And so, trusting in your mercy, I walk through life like a little child, Offering you each day this heart, Burning with love for Your greater glory."

May you and your family experience the peace of living in the present moment...Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Hillary....I look for and ready your blog every day and am thrilled to see you back.......I wish you joy in the present moment, and peace for the New Year!

Anonymous said...

I'm sooooo amazed!! Yet again, you show more strength, courage & class than anyone I ever saw. You are an inspiration to us all Hillary.

Living for the moment ain't all bad. You go girl!!


DebA said...

You rock girl! It is almost impossible that someone at your age is so bright and real. You have given so much to all of us who have come to know you. Thank you and LIVE this year, every moment of it. I gave up cheer leading after only one year but I still have the sweater some thirty plus years and I am a huge fan. Go girl.