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, February 12, 2010

My Achilles Heel

An Achilles’ heel is a deadly weakness in spite of overall strength, that can actually or potentially lead to downfall. While the mythological origin refers to a physical vulnerability, metaphorical references to other attributes or qualities that can lead to downfall are common.

The strongest and largest tendon, the Achilles tendon connects muscles in the lower leg with the heel bone. Sports that tighten the calf muscles, such as basketball, running and high-jumping, or a direct blow to the foot, ankle, or calf can overstress this tendon and cause a strain (Achilles tendinitis) or a rupture.

Thank you Wikipedia for it's summary of the "achilles heel" double entrendre.

Don't think the irony of this has

been lost on me.

No worries folks, J's injury will not be our achilles' heel. There will be no tragedy of mythologic proportions suitable for thousand year old texts such as the Iliad. Life has calmed down.

I felt much more relaxed once we canceled our trip to New York. I was really having trouble with the idea of leaving J alone.

I also have all those "responsibilities" I have obligated myself to with the motivation of steroids.

My four Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Block Grants for the Charlestown Police Station are almost complete. I think I may have set a record with writing over 80 pages in 9 days.

I do LOVE grant writing. It is a great feeling to see a project and know that it may not have been completed, or that person may not have had a job, because of something I did.

I also LOVE Valley Orthopedics located right next to Valley Regional Hospital. Dr. John Houde has been a dear friend of mine since we worked together. He and his staff have been incredibly supportive through my battle, and they treated J like family.

They treat all their patients like family.

I called Houde right after J's injury and he had him see his partner, Dr. Weiss, the very next day. An MRI was scheduled for Tuesday night in hopes of having surgery this week, in the ten day window when the procedure is most effective.

Luckily (or unluckily, I haven't decided yet), the MRI showed a 25% tear in the center of his right achilles (the center?) with so much fluid and swelling it was impossible to determine if the benefits outweighed the risk of surgery.

There was no surgery for J this week, just a boot, lots of icing, elevation and pain management. He'll be on crutches for four more weeks, just enough to interfere with our planned trip to FL, which we'll likely cancel, since having him in a boot pushing my wheelchair around doesn't sound like the family dream vacation we'd hoped for.

Then he'll have another MRI and a determination of further treatment will be made then.

Fearing a mental breakdown, I went to pottery class instead of this appointment to learn how to glaze my goods. Aunt Becky, bless her soul, cleaned the house while I was gone so I could return to write in peace. Jon's mom watched X while we ran off to get his MRI.

My head did not explode from the stress.

It may have. It has threatened before.

When J and I were both looking at simultaneous procedures, a bowel reesction for his Crohn's that took out 18" of bowel and me moving to Boston for a clinical trial in preparation for transplant, during J's colonoscopy my eyes started to wiggle.

They jiggled back in forth like nystagmus, an ominous sign of an intracranial bleed or tumor, like my eyeballs were shivering.

I ran to my NP who brought in a neurologist to calm me down.

I thought I may be so stressed Id wind up in a dissociative fugue with complete amnesia or with a conversion disorder that mimicked a stroke.

Seeing my family hurt, without control over the situation, is my achilles heel.

You've heard it now. I would have lost my mind if my son was suffering the way I do.

I combat the stress by thinking

of things I am grateful for.

Study upon study of happiness has shown that being grateful not only adds quality, but years to your life.

Happiness studies are big business right now. There is a whole book entitled, "The Happiness Project" dedicated to finding what makes people happiest on earth.

Studies have also proven that if you put on a smile, grin and bear it, eventually your feelings will follow.

This is not to say if you are clinically depressed or diagnosed with an awful disease put on a smile and everything will be okay.

Try that alongside your anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, and any and all anti-bad feeling solvers you need.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fake it 'till you make it! A good way to live under any circumstances.
Keep up that great attitude.