"Strength, sometimes, is listening to the small defeated voice in your head saying, "I will try again tomorrow.'"
About a month ago, I reached a crossroads in my health, in my treatment, and in my life.
I was weak.
I was short of breath.
I could barely do anything.
I was afraid of doing small errands like getting gas or running to the grocery store.
I was feeling sick.
I was constantly taking a wheelchair. I'd get short of breath and suck on oxygen.
I was at a fork in the road and I took it!
I went to see my pulmonologist.
Who kept scolding me, telling me I needed to get off the oxygen and it needed to be now.
I didn't even have my tank with me.
There was a tank attached to the chair I hopped in at the hospital.
But you would have thought I brought my crack pipe in and asked him if I was cleared to smoke it the way he kept referring to the oxygen.
Then he took me out with an oximiter to monitor my blood oxygen while I walked and surprisingly, even when I feel severely short of breath, my O2 saturation was only low 90s.
I only dropped below 90 after going up and down a flight of stairs.
Not so bad. A little relieving.
After I went back to the room and sat down, Dr. Weinhouse went into n excited talk about how excercise would improve my quality of life. He was waving his hands and talking excitedly.
So I ditched the wheelchair before I saw Dr. Alyea and he just couldn't stop gushing about how great I look and fabulous my lungs sounded and his advice was "Keep up what your doing!"
But I'd ditched my wheelchair in anticipation of the lecture, and my mom wasn't with me to bring it back.
I decided I still wanted a wheelchair so I called up Dr. Gautier to get one ordered, you know, for big trips, like the mall, airport, etc. He didn't say no, but I could see his face fall through the phone. I don't even remember what he said. I just remembered he wasn't excited and I ended up reneging my request.
And That's the thing, neither doctor told me exactly what to do. I was at a crossroads. They could suggest. It was their emotional reactions to what I was saying that told me so clearly the direction I could head in.
I wasn't really failing. My numbers looked good, but I felt like I was.
Sometimes, the evidence is not in the symptoms or the blood work.
Sometimes, it's a feeling or a hunch or a message read between the lines.
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."