Thursday, February 9, 2017

Six Year Cancer-versary!

Today marks six years since I heard the words, "Michele, I do not know how to tell you this; but you have leukemia." Needless to say, I was shocked beyond belief and scared, almost to death!

I admit that it has been a roller coaster of a ride, with many ups and downs, but I am happy to report, that I am still here; enjoying life, family and friends.

Looking back on my journey I realize how far I have come, and am so grateful for the medical advances that have kept me alive.

I find it ironic that I am in Palm Springs, as I now live in Boise, Idaho, on the day, in the same town that I was diagnosed. It is bittersweet. Joe and I are staying at the same resort that we came to, on Valentine's Day, when I was released from the hospital.

As far as, how I am "doing" now, I can tell you that last year was my very best year since diagnosis. All of my PCR's were below the magical .0 number and my side effects were minimal. I still deal with the typical nerve and bone pain, fatigue, headaches and nausea, but they were more of a nuisance this year, than debilitating.

I also still deal with pleural effusion from the Sprycel, but have found that a thorocentesis does wonders!

So how did I spend my day? Having a head CT. As far as I know, I have no rocks, or holes in my head! It was precautionary due to the headaches I have; likely a side effect from my medication.
Living life with cancer is definitely an inconvenience; we spend much of our "vacation" time traveling to see my oncologist, having blood drawn and scans taken, but I just accept that this is part of the deal, in keeping me alive.

There is a small amount of stress, every three months, waiting for test results, but that is a small price to pay for the privilege of being around to enjoy my life.

Tonight I will spend with my youngest son and tomorrow morning we will travel to see my middle son, and his family. The joy that my grandchildren bring to my heart is like no other and I feel blessed to still be alive!

This year, with any luck, will be filled with travel to places I have never been, so if you are just beginning this journey of living with CML, try not to despair. Take each day, one day at a time and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Reach out to others for support and be kind to yourself; accept your new normal and learn to roll with the punches.

And remember, that someday, there may actually be a cure for chronic mylogenous leukemia! I intend to be here when it happens!

Bricks for the Brave!!