A woman talking to a friend and stopping them mid conversation

I'm Serious. Blood Cancer Is Serious

For many years, I’ve been a follower of all things British. My favorite author was British. Some of my favorite movies and TV shows are British, and I visited Great Britain many times back in my healthier days.

Therefore, when the current King (Charles III) announced he was battling cancer, I went on YouTube to watch some of the UK talk shows and news broadcasts to hear what people were saying about it.

Aggravating news coverage of cancer

The more I listened, the more aggravated I got. I started talking to the screen and in some cases, listening with my mouth open in disbelief.

Here is why.

One of the most frequent comments these “newscasters,” were saying was: “He has to cut back on public duties? Wow. That must mean this is a serious type of cancer.”

Or, “We don’t know what type of cancer he has or if it is even a serious kind.”

When is cancer not serious?

Answer me this. When is cancer not serious?

I know I’m touchy on the topic after nine years of struggling with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). And, certainly, there are various stages of some types of cancers so earlier diagnosis can sometimes, but not always, lead to a better outcome.

However, as these commentators began questioning why the king could not shake hands in large crowds of people and travel day after day, I started feeling again that people who don’t have cancer, including blood cancer, don’t have a clue what it takes out of a person.

For me, it drains me of my energy almost daily—both physical and mental.

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A depletion of energy

As I write this, one foot is completely numb, my ears are ringing, my back aches and most of all, I’m so fatigued I feel like I’m going to pass out.

This is one of my “bad” days and yesterday was grim too.

On “not as bad days,” maybe a couple of these symptoms or side effects are not as severe but the overwhelming, abnormal feeling fatigue is ever present.

I can’t imagine how anyone would wonder about why a person with cancer and an immune compromised system might not flourish in large crowds of people making contact. Or, why it would be unwise to make long trips to places like New Zealand and Australia.

So much speculation

A few days later, the speculation continued.

Here is King Charles walking out of church a few days after reportedly receiving treatment.

Some news anchors speculated that perhaps his condition was not as serious as originally thought and as he had “treatment,” he might be good to go months earlier than anyone anticipated. If he had one round of treatment, was he okay now?

Others wondered if he was “giving in,” to the idea of being sick rather than putting on a stiff upper lip, staying calm and carrying on.

When leukemia wins the day

Take it from me, the queen of trying to stay calm and carry on, sometimes you just have to give in to, my case,CML, and tell the leukemia it is the winner on certain days.

Yesterday, though I tried to fight through the overall fatigue and aches and pains, I couldn’t.

I ended up, for the first time in quite a long time, just going to bed, putting the blankets over me and getting some much-needed extra sleep. Everything else on my `to do' list had to be set aside.

In a roundabout way, I’m saying that with blood cancer, any cancer, what may seem like an inconvenience, a blip on the screen or even an excuse to the uninformed, is much more than that for those in the know.

If you are reading this, it is likely you or someone else you know is battling blood cancer right now. You get it.

And though none of us wants to feel like a burden or a whiner, sometimes we just have to tell it like it is. Let others know what is going on.  Sometimes we have to cut back on activities or say no to things. It is self-preservation and about conserving energy.

Blood cancer takes a toll.

I am serious.

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