Unpacking That Suitcase

It is fair to say that every blood cancer patient and their experiences are not the same. The process and steps can be a unique experience, whether good, bad, or worse. Every face that walks into a hospital, clinic, or other holds a trip like no other. The expressions of uncertainty...well, that can be shared as we just don’t know what will be entailed. So, I wanted to discuss unpacking those necessities we count on.

 Shoes, anyone?

There’ll probably be at least 2 pairs of shoes that will need to be unpacked.

Why two? Well, we can’t just show up one way all the time, and the shoe will prep for what we’ve completed or what we’re still enduring.

The first shoe to take out that bag, however, not put away too far is that sneaker- aka running shoe. Though there may not be a sports appearance needed to use these, showing up for treatment is the new sport and new court. The balance it provides to get us from point A to Point B, we rely heavily on.

The dress shoe or the “look at me” is part of the experience. This trip only has room for flexibility and sometimes looking the opposite from how you feel is a thing for some folks. The dress shoe helps in being hopeful in the new day, and the strength that is needed to perhaps give the face that maybe this will be a better day, even if you’re not feeling that way.

Don’t forget toiletries

Yes, feeling like crap is a thing, however, when around other people you may want to make an effort...or not. I’m not quite sure fully unpacking the toiletries should be considered, or perhaps having these options all around us.

Treatment day is not a glam day; however it takes a lot of effort to physically and mentally regroup. However, for those that may develop thrush and wish to brush and rinse having your own on hand items can help you feel better when away from home for short stays.

Fear of travel

Well, now that you’re in the mix of treatment you now have a heads up with what it’s all about. The fear you may have initially felt in time may have subsided. I know for myself my biggest fear with myeloma was the needles and how often I would have to deal with that.

Guess what? I still have this fear and it’s a thing so many years on this very long journey. It seems to be just that... "This Thing.” Fear of this travel can be a variety of thoughts and emotions. I suppose in time you learn to adjust and keep it moving.

Wipes anyone?

Now that most of those items are put away; you may still be on edge of everything connected with this luggage, like did you bring anything nasty from those trips to and from treatment.

I use to believe that a hospital was the cleanest place for all of those sick people, and it was way later in life that I got the rude awakening from my team and with my own eyes, that wasn't the case.

You may not want to totally discard that pack of Lysol or Clorox wipes just yet. The fear of catching something that will onset an already comprised immune system is always a consideration.

The way it’s looking... maybe it’s a good idea to have that luggage on hand, stock and intact.

The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile….when you feel like it


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