Journey from 2016

Last updated: January 2023

The year I was diagnosed with AML. Scared to death. The chemo turned water into rust and the metal smell came out of my skin. Hair loss, vomiting, bowels like water, sores, and ulcers. I couldn't eat.

Alone most of the time

I was alone most of the time except for the nurses who are now family. Air compression rooms. The sound of the helicopter coming in frequently knowing someone is about to die. That was my first bout with cancer. AML returned in 2018. Same song, a different tune except for this time a stem cell transplant. Same with the chemo, no hair, etc. Did well for an older lady. The GVHD got me, 80mg of prednisone a day and put on 30lbs.

Stay active they say when all you want is to curl into a tight ball and die. 30 days in the hospital then another 60 days at a local motel so you could be at infusion at 6 am. Finally home to feel the grass on my feet and the wind and sun on my face. Small things are more critical than ever.

Cancer made me feel small

In 2020, damn cancer came back. Will it ever go away?? It has forced me into retirement at 59. Taking my joy of living away, I must not die before my 90yo mother. My partner is my caregiver and my rock. I was given the option of daily chemo and live maybe a few years or risk a 2nd transplant. This time donor blood and not cord as the 1st time. GVHD, CMV virus, and lunch cancer are my side effects. You dam Devil. I'll spit in your eye and praise the Lord in front of you.

In June, I will be 2yo on my 3rd birthday. Life is the best it's ever been. Retired. Drink my coffee on the deck and listen to the birds singing. Sitting on the porch listening to the rain. Loving my fur babies. Cancer has made me feel small, but I'm big enough to conquer the world. And loving every day and everything in it.

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