Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Giving credit

Why is it that I am giving credit to everyone else but myself? It just isn't me to take the full credit, but I guess that it is time for me to take the credit. I should realize that I had to find it within myself to beat this cancer and that no one else was going to do it for me. I am trying to still understand all that I have gone through. It is hard to realize a year ago that I was in a hospital and really just beginning my journey.  So how do I take credit, I guess by enjoying my life everyday. Most people say that they couldn't have done what I have done. Was I really given a choice? I don't feel like I was but I guess that I was.
I sit and think a lot about the past, present and future. I wonder what is going to happen in the next couple of years. Where did I find the strength to beat this? When something happens to me, how can I continue to only let it get to me a little bit? These aren't what if kind of questions, the answers are inside of me but I don't know what they are. From day one when I found out, I really didn't even cry that much. One of my co-workers reminded me that when I told her that night, that I was easy going about it and wasn't telling her the truth. I wish I hadn't been telling her the truth and it wasn't really happening. It's funny how a person's mind can handle so much if you are strong enough to handle it.
I was looking in my year book today for someone that works with my mom and decided to read the comments. I might be strong, but man do I have a soft heart. Because I promised myself that I would put it all out there, I will share with what I read, but not word for word. My ex-boyfriend Colin wrote that he is was sorry for all the sh** his then girlfriend put me through and to not hold it against forever. It struck me, forever! That is a really long time, and it made me start to cry. No matter what happened in the past, believe me he was forgiven and I never held it against him. When he did pass away we were still friends and that was 5 years after all the drama had happened. I wish he would have fought for his life like I did. I would love to pick up the phone and call him. Maybe that is part of why I have taken this so easily and been so determained. I wasn't going to be the same!!! I can't tell you how many times after he passed away that I would go out and get drunk out of my mind, then lose it and cry for hours on end. I am not a perfect person that has been happy all the time with a great attitude. I am happy now because of what I have gone through to get me to this point in my life. Feeling that heartache is nothing like I had felt before. I literally could feel the pain in my heart and that is why so many times in the last year that I have told myself, you can't give up because you can't hurt the people that know you. I couldn't let anyone else feel that heartache that I did. I have taken that pain and turned it into something positive. I have looked at leukemia as a lesson and not as a cancer. I was given this cancer because I can handle what it brings and I won't let it knock me down. I refuse to let it have a handle on my life. I control what happens to me. I give speeches to people now, because the more that are aware of cancer and what it does to your life the better. I hope for a big impact on their lives. If I can show one person that life is short, take risks, and enjoy all the small things then I have succeeded. I want to take his death and me getting the same awful cancer and make good of it. The people that knew Colin knew what a great guy he was and that he was taken too young, but he has given me the strength to fight for my life because I refused to have his outcome. There was not a chance that I was going to die. I only had like a 30% chance of beating this. I think that even might be a little high on the percentage. I give my 100% into everything that I do and since this was my life on the line, it was going to give my 200%. So, why don't I take the credit for what I have gone through, because I truely believe that I have gotten my strength from others that have passed. They are my angels.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The What If's??

What if none of this had happened, where would my life be today?

It has only be a year since I was diagnosed with Leukemia and so much has changed in a way that I never saw coming. First, most of you don't know this but Ross and I broke up the night before I was diagnosed. When I was diagnosed he was given the option to leave by both of my parents. So, what would have happened with Ross and I if I hadn't got diagnosed?
Where would everyone lives be?
The change that was forced upon us, did I take it with grace or fall flat on my face?
The chain reaction that I caused, will I always feel guilty for messing up my family and friends lives?
Am I stronger person for fighting for my life or was it luck that things landed the way that they did?
Do you know what it is like to be in a relationship and not be able to kiss them, because he had to wear a mask, gown, and gloves? It SUCKS! No direct contact with anyone, gives me a very lonely state of mind. Do you know what it like to be worried all the time that you are going to catch some one's cough or flu? How about the sun? Everyone loves to be out in the sun! If I am in the sun, certain medications will have a bad reaction and I could possibly get GVHD again.
What if the cancer comes back or I get a new form of cancer? Will I ever be able to travel abroad without having anxiety of catching something on the plane?
Will I always have to wear a mask on the plane?
What would my attitude be? My outlook on life has changed so much. I don't see getting cancer as a blessing but rather just a challenge that I had to overcome to give me a real chace at living. I am sure that I will still have anxiety problems.
Would I still be letting my co-workers walk all over me?
Did I really get a backbone to stand up to people while I was in the hospital?
How could this one thing change me so much?
Did I let the leukemia change me on purpose?
The biggest question is: why did it happen to me? I will never know the answer and I am fine with it.
Why is it whenever I am watching TV and they are talking about a relative of someone, the person has been diagnosed with leukemia? I already was aware of the cancer, but it seems to be out in the media much more.

What if I wasn't in the hospital when I had my seizures? That is a pretty easy answer, I would have died just like a friend of my sister's. It is that plain and simple.

What if I hadn't gone into remission and my sister wasn't my match?
Would I still be in the hospital?
Would have I died at this point?
What if I didn't care about having a long life and went out and partied like it was my last day to live?
Who would I be today?
What if my ex-boyfriend hadn't died and given me the strength to fight this battle since he didn't fight for his life?
What if I wasn't diagnosed, would have I wanted children? With that choice taken away, I have a new hole in my heart that makes me not want to be around kids, because it hurts to know that will never be me. I can't relate to new mommies and will always feel left out. Over time I am sure that it will get better, but how long will that take?

I could simply be a memory.
I could have continued live in my bubble with no substance, with no happiness insight.
I would have like to believe that Ross and I would have worked it out but at that point in my life I was ready for change and I wanted him to be apart of it, but he wasn't ready.
If I hadn't been diagnosed I would be in a financial hole still.
I miss my own room and having the time to myself, but now wouldn't change anything. But I know I would still be living by myself.
I would have continued to let people walk over me.
I would have still be intimidated by a lot of people.
I wouldn't have had the passion to get involved with TNT and OYC.

What have I taken from this?
I have true love and full trust with Ross.
I have no problem telling people what I feel and knowing that my mind is made up.
I have learned to put my health as my number one!
I have learned to not take life so seriously.
I have learned to control my stress.
I am able to speak in front of large crowds.
I have made some great friends along the journey and lost some friends.
I feel like I can take on the world, and have no fears.

The leukemia has given me a chance to live again with a whole new body that I don't even recognize when I look in the mirror. Some of me is still the same but most of the new me, is new.

So, what if these things had happened?

There are no what if''s, because we don't look in the past for the answers. I am only moving forward with my life.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Update on Health since the 22nd

I am sure that everyone has been worried about my health. I think that I have been more worried about my health. I was worried that I was going to have to be hospitalized because I came down with GVHD of the stomach again. I was afraid that I was going to miss work for a while. Without even getting GVHD I still missed two weeks of work. I live for my happiness and being able to work and my job really brings me happiness. I feel like a failure when I am not able to work. It has been a really long two weeks and come this Tuesday the 6th will be three weeks since I have tried my hardest to figure out what was wrong with me. There was several different symptoms that could be causing what was wrong with me. Recently, I was slowly taken off of prednisone which is a steroid that does a lot of good and a lot of bad to the body. List of the withdrawals that it may cause; joint pain, muscle pain, fatigue, headache, fever, low blood pressure, nausea and vomiting. Out of the seven symptoms that were possible, I had everyone but the fever. I couldn't believe that I was having to go through this again. The feeling of being so weak, barely able to walk, barely able to breathe, and everything hurting. I wanted answers and I wanted them fast. Like the last post said we went to the ER and they found nothing. I will have to say that ER doctors that have not a lot of experience with cancer patients makes for a much long hospital stay. :-( Not a lot of fun. I was getting sick and not able to keep my fluids down and keep my meds down. I felt like I was at square one for the 20th time. Oh my battle, as many of you know with life, 2 steps forward, 1 step back and so forth. With all the things that I have had to deal with I still, today don't think I am in charge of my health and don't understand why everything keeps happening. It is hard on my body and on my mind. I am always determined to find out what is wrong until I feel well. Almost two weeks after I started with all the issues, we are close but don't have an answer to what is wrong with me. I am worry about my co-workers everyday and feel bad for missing a day. I feel like I am letting down so many people. If I could have gotten out of bed and went to work then I would have. I know that I am going to get to better each and everyday. I haven't lost my positive attitude. I am still thankful everyday to be alive. I think about all the people that have helped me over the past year everyday on my way to work or the clinic. With all that is going on it is the small things that matter to me most. The love that I get from Ross, his hugs, his kisses, the things talking about our future. I love it when it is sunny outside, the flowers are starting to bloom. A good meal at home with my family. Even going out to for a meal with the family and having a great conversation. A stranger smiling at you as you walk down the road. I hope to brighten your day with a smile and not a tear. I will end it with this...Time heals all wounds.