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In what way has your blood cancer diagnosis changed you the most?

I have changed in that I make stronger attempts at taking care of myself physically, mentally and spiritually. I still am not perfect, but I am so much more aware of the things that make me feel good. I also truly enjoy travel so much more and realize that any new place or event that I experience is truly a blessing.

  1. I think the biggest thing for me is that I'm much more cautious and make myself more aware of things I do and handle. After breaking down and stripping vehicles for the metals for 12 years, I was diagnosed with AML. Come to find out, a lot of the chemicals I was more or less bathing in all day long, has a chemical called Benzine. Benzine is a type of thinner, such as in gasoline it keeps the gas from freezing. Benzine has been proven by leukemia and Lymphoma Society to cause CML and AML, and sometimes Lymphoma of types. If I had known that info sooner, I would have taken the protections and precautions necessary. So now I research everything before messing with anything. I guess you could say it's made me somewhat "gun shy" now. Or maybe a little "paranoid"?

    1. I would say that it has made you very wise in your caution. It's too bad that we aren't told these things before it's too late. Part of advocacy is doing things differently when you know better and sharing your knowledge of these things with others. I appreciate you sharing this!

      1. Oh so true. Now as an advocate for and, it's my opportunity to push the issue, especially for businesses that don't recognize OSHA, to get them to realize and understand the real possibilities of cancer to employees that are allowed to take short cuts while handling toxic chemicals. It's really crazy how many businesses there are out there that just don't care about what happens to their employees in the long term. And as a former Fire Fighter and Paramedic, with the knowledge I have now having AML and what caused it, it really gives me the empowerment to convince the hazards these chemicals create without proper protection.

        1. Wow! It sounds like you are using all you have learned through your struggles to really help others. That's a really big deal! The people you educate are truly gaining from your experience.

        2. Awesome that you're sharing your knowledge. Self-advocacy really is a lifelong movement, and it allows us all to gain knowledge as we move forward in making the best decisions in all facets of our day to day. Best!

      2. I think the biggest change for me is I no longer view "life's unimportant things" as important. An easy example is seeing myself as a perfectionist yet not realizing or refusing to see that all of us live in an imperfect world.

        Because of Blood Cancer (+ other cancers and more) I learned to ask myself 2 questions when i face a challenge :
        (1) "Does It Matter?"
        (2) "Is That True? "

        If you want to go deeper into the "Is It True" method of thinking and gain a deeper understanding on how easily it is for each of us to create a false view of life let me suggest Byron Katie's book "Loving What Is" – 4 questions that can change your life.

        I found the book helpful perhaps you will too . Dennis( TEAM)

        1. it sounds like this has been a positive change for you. I am a fan of Byron Katie, so I appreciate the book recommendation. I'm glad you've found the positive impacts of your diagnosis.

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