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.
I just wanted to ask them a few questions to try to prove a point. I was totally unprepared for the responses I received, and especially the answers I didn’t receive. In my ignorance, I believed that people would be as eager to share their experience as I am. It didn’t occur to me right away that this would be a complex investigation that may be triggering and painful to people for a number of reasons…but it’s not my story to tell. I typed the words, but it’s their story and you need to hear it.
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.
I’ve met so many people over the last 3 years, since my diagnosis of Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia. So many people with their own stories – whether they be as patients, survivors, caregivers, medical professionals – some of which are patients also. I’ve come to realize that everyone has their own way of celebrating their winsContinue reading “What Does Remission Really Mean (To Me)?”
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.