Monday, February 6, 2012

Leukemia and the Super Bowl; I Plan to Stay in the Game!

Yup, the hair came back curly!

I suppose that the Super Bowl will forever mark the first telltale signs that I was living, without knowing, that I had leukemia. It was one Super Bowl ago, in February of 2010 that I really began to be affected by my symptoms of leukemia.

Last February, in a rush to complete yard work, before settling in to “Super Bowl Party Mode”, I struggled to mow the front yard. I was so aggravated with myself for having to really push through and get the front yard mowed. It was something that normally only took about forty five minutes to complete, yet this time, it had taken me over an hour. I just could not understand why it was so difficult, and why I had to push so hard, just to mow the front lawn.

Next came the Super Bowl meal; I just could not eat it. And I certainly could not even slug down one Bud-Light! Did it occur to me that something was seriously wrong? Nope, not even an inkling; despite the fact that I could not even go to bed before midnight, due to feeling so stuffed, that I felt as though I was going to burst.
Fast forward one year, to this Super Bowl. I have now been living with the knowledge that I have chronic myelogenous leukemia, for almost one year. Looking back, the year has flown by, and been filled with many ups and downs. The “ups” include that fact that I am still here, and responding well to my medication. The “downs” are that the medication often makes me feel like crap! I am not complaining, and I am very glad to be here, but I do hope that someday, there will come a time, when I can either reduce my meds, or they will come up with a new one, with fewer side effects.

So, it is a bittersweet day for me; the Super Bowl. I suppose that it really is quite poignant; watching a football game, where two teams are battling, to the best of their ability to “win”. I am no different; I battle my battle, every day; planning and strategizing on how best, to conquer the enemy. It is my very own Super Bowl, a game that I will play for the rest of my life. A game that depends upon me to take my medication every single day, at the exact same time, to continue to have my blood tested regularly, get an appropriate amount of sleep and exercise, and to eat in a healthy manner. I must always be on guard for symptoms and side effects that may arise, and continue to read the play book, always in search of the newest and greatest treatment available.

I need to keep my head in the game, and to stay positive and focused at all times. I need to see myself crossing the goal line, over and over, and remember, that when I fumble, or my pass is intercepted, that I need to shake it off, get right back out there on the field, and to keep on fighting. There will be many Super Bowls to come, and there are many, many of us, that must fight their very own personal Super Bowl every day, but as a part of that team, I promise to continue, to fight that fight, every single day!

Happy Super Bowl, to you all!


  1. Hi my fellow team mate,
    I personally would like to thank you for your blogs,as I find them hitting very close to home. I too am fighting my own superbowl daily battling the ugly side effects that make me feel 90,and have so much compassion for the elderly. I then realize yes my life has changed dratiscally,but thank God I'm here to complain about the tiredness and pain that comes from the very meds we take daily to stay alive and keep fighting the fight.
    Your fellow warrior,

  2. Thanks for stopping by Peggy, it is always so nice to hear that I am not in the game alone!

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. Bless you from the Director of Legos for Leukemia VA, Giana Miller

  4. I want to add our Grandson at age 11 was diagnosed with AML Leukemia Feb 2011 and was admitted to the Childrens Hospital, Denver and released the end of July and is currently in remission. Dane Pearce has 1 brother and 3 sisters. The family has been forever changed... As grandparents my husband and I have a greater awareness and compassion for those challenged with leukemia and other cancers.

    I will follow you and pray for you .Hope to see another beatiful pic of you Next Super Bowl. Cheers to your positive attitude.

  5. Hi Gigi,
    It is people like you that give me so much encouragement and strength!
    Could you please send me information on just how I could collect, and deliver Legos to kids with leukemia in my area? I am close to both City of Hope and UCLA.


Bricks for the Brave!!