Well. What a year. And I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone by!
In some ways I don’t feel like I have done much this year, I think that’s because a fair amount of it has been dominated by COVID-19, and a lot of this year and last year merge into one and I can’t quite remember what was this year and what was last year. I also haven’t seen friends as much as I wanted to because of restrictions put in place. And then, of course, I did also move out of London... and I’m about to have a baby. Baby brain has definitely dominated most of this year and an inability to think about, well, pretty much anything in all honesty!
Finally feeling like me again
It’s also been half a year of me being me again. Well apart from pregnancy fatigue, which to be fair is very different from chemo-related fatigue. Much more manageable and it feels lighter, and I didn’t begrudge it or fight it in the same way that I did with the chemo fatigue.
Apparently, to my weird logic, being tired because you are growing a human means you are allowed to have naps in the day and do not much. Awful, debilitating, everything feels heavy like you are walking through treacle up to your knees fatigue because of taking pretty hardcore meds to keep you in a medically managed remission, appears to be not a good enough reason to allow day time naps and to carrying on regardless. And yes, I know I’m insane and that’s completely bonkers. But that’s how I’ve been. I’ve refused to let the fatigue ‘win’, well to some extent. I didn’t let it stop me from working, it did however stop my social life which wasn’t great.
But anyway, being off chemo since the beginning of May has been epic and it’s been even better because my body has managed to keep the leukaemic rate in exactly the same place – 0.004% which is a very good place to be! So clever body, and, I suspect, clever baby as I saw an amazing post about how stem cells circulate in the mother's body to help it heal. I mean that does happen so the baby also stays safe, but, nature is amazing! I have nothing to back up that this is what has happened, and it may be the 2 and a half years on the chemo that got my body and immune system to be able to manage the small number of leukaemic cells. And it’s just taken me this long to find, or rather for an option to be developed by the pharmaceutical company, that suits my body so well.
So much to be grateful for
So there’s so much to be grateful for this year. Work has gone really well. I’ve nearly finished an online course so I can still earn whilst on maternity leave. Just praying that people want to buy it! Whilst I do miss London, there are many pluses to where I am in rural Suffolk. The midwifery care for one. As there are fewer people here, I don’t feel like I’m on a conveyor belt in the same way as in London. The community midwife that I’ve spoken to a few times is amazing and we are definitely on the same page!
She also massively appreciated that I’m a well-informed patient, which is another plus of being a chronic leukaemia patient – I have learned about asking questions and standing up for myself, and saying no if I don’t want to accept what’s offered. In many ways, I’m hoping that I manage to stay away from the hospital for so long that there isn’t enough time to get there and this midwife is at home with me. Or that the baby decides to arrive very quickly so once again there isn’t enough time to get to the hospital and she is here with me. We shall see. Not long to go. Having my cervical stitch removed on the 4th January, so labor could start anytime from then. Hoping the baby hangs on until around the 10th though so it’s further away from Christmas and New Year. And of course, if it stays put until around the due date (24th January) that’s also absolutely fine.
A year unlike any other
So we shall see what 2022 holds. I know it’s going to be unlike any other year. My dream rainbow baby will be here and I am so excited to meet it and for all the cuddles and I will never begrudge the sleep deprivation. Not once. I’ve waited so long for this and it might not have been my reality, and by some miracle it is. And that’s what I will focus on when it gets really tough. This might have never happened.
What type of blood cancer are you or your loved one diagnosed with?