On December 8th 2020, I published an article called Three Years Later. It was an unplanned release motived by the realization that the next day would be the three year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis; my cancerversary. It was 9:30pm on Monday December 7th and I was trying to will myself to sleep so IContinue reading “Overcoming the Whispers of Self-Doubt”
It was three years ago, right this very moment, I sat on the side of my bed, covered in bruises, blood vessels bursting, hemorrhaging, on the phone with TeleHealth to ask them if they thought I should go to work or not. I intended on going. I had already missed a full week in the office for the muscle I had locked in my hip days before. I didn’t want to miss anymore time at work.
It was easy to pass it off as not a big deal. Like I was being a big baby. I should just suck it up because duty calls.
I allowed the emotions to visit me because it’s healthy to remember from where and how far you’ve come. Not only to pat myself on the back for my progress but also as continued motivation.
I only stayed there for a very short while; a few minutes at best. It’s not healthy to stay there any longer. It’s in the past and serves no great purpose. Instead, I began thinking about what it took to break the anxiety. Not only learning the lessons of how to be healthier mentally but also to begin putting those lessons into practice.
One of the things I promised myself was I would never lead my life with fear again.
When you think of what cancer treatment might be like or even what you’ve witnessed in the past, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Sick people laying in a hospital bed? That’s what I thought of. It’s even an accurate depiction of what I had experienced up to the point I was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia. I’m happy to say, gone are the days of spending all day in a hospital bed during cancer treatment – at least the expectation of. I wore my own clothes in the hospital, cleaned my own body, made my own bed and even used the hospital kitchenette to heat up and eat the home cooked food that others brought for me. All that said, there is nothing that could have prepared me for the day my oncologist told me how much I should be exercising during treatment.
Imagine spending the vast majority of your adult life with an utter disdain for the one thing that may ease your chemotherapy side effects; Cannabis.
In this article, we explore my past relationship with cannabis, getting over biases and explore the medicinal use of CBD oil and all I’ve learned about it so far.
Included are also some links to information related to tax deductions, ‘Compassionate Pricing’, what’s happening with insurance providers and the Michael G. DeGroote Cannabis Research program at McMaster University.
If anyone had suggested, even two years ago, that one day I would stand on a stage talking to 500 women in a cat onesie about my cancer journey, I would have suggested they seek therapy! Yet, on January 18, 2019 that’s exactly what I did. I had the great privilege of guest speaking atContinue reading “Our Sisters In Pink Fundraiser”
As I mentioned in my last article, Cancerversary Turmoil, it’s been a very emotional couple of weeks for me…I’m realizing for my family, people who are very close to me and even some who aren’t always so close too. Christmas now takes on a very different meaning for us all. On Christmas day last year,Continue reading “How Complacency Almost Cost Me My Life”
According to an article written by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, nearly 30% of people diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia die either prior to treatment beginning, within the first 3 days of treatment, proceeding the first 3 days of treatment or in the moderate to high risk group. What it boils down to is, the time from onset to mortality is very short and the symptoms of leukemia can be chalked up to anything from overexertion in day to day life to the flu. Before you know it, it has advanced beyond the point of a body’s ability to handle the treatment or protect itself anymore. I am within the high risk group and can’t help but wonder if my (former) family doctor had taken my concern seriously the first time I called how that would have changed what I had to go through to get well again. Highlighting the urgent need for us, as patients, to advocate for ourselves.
When I received the conclusive diagnosis that indeed, I was suffering from was Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia, I was told repeatedly over the next 4 months of treatment, ‘Of all the leukemias to have, this is the one you want to have!’. I think the intention of such a comment was to make me feel comforted. However, the mind of a newly diagnosed leukemia patient, fighting for their life is a complex one. Initially, I didn’t really have any thoughts about this. I just kind of figured it was what it was. I couldn’t give my leukemia back and I didn’t get to exchange it for another one anyway soooo, there wasn’t a ton of value in such a statement. However, as the weeks and then months rolled by, it crept into my thoughts often and eventually it hit me; I felt guilty.