We wake up at 6:00 am in order to be in the ballroom by 8:00. This is the first struggle, as I have been sleeping a minimum of twelve hours a night since I was diagnosed with leukemia. I am feeling pretty good as I believe that the Neupogen is kicking in, but along with having a bit more energy, the bone pain begins. My understanding is that the Neupogen encourages your bone marrow to produce more white cells; this production can cause you bones to ache. It feels as if you have a toothache deep inside your bones; a boneache. I am counting on the adrenaline of competing to take care of this pain while I am dancing!
I think that the most difficult part of this day is going to be figuring out just what to do with the little bit of hair that I have left on my head. Joe and I have joked over and over that we should just put me out of my misery, shave my head and then stone it for the competition. Since we never got around to doing that, I am left to wrap a teeny, tiny elastic around what is left, plaster the new tiny hairs that are starting to regrow and like to stand up straight all over my head, down nice and tight, and throw a few shiny clips in it. Totally depressing, but what are you going to do?
We finally head down to the ballroom to warm up; greeting well-wishers along the way. I cannot tell you just how much the dance community has meant to me during the past eight weeks. It has been their overwhelming love and support that has gotten me here today. Thank you!
As I step onto the dance floor to warm up, I realize just how nervous that I am. I am actually shaking. We make it through warm ups and the next thing I know, I am walking onto the dance floor; ready to dance that very first dance that I have been envisioning for the past eight weeks. It doesn’t matter where I place, it only matters that I am there! I smile at Joe, and we dance; walking off of that floor I felt my heart swell with joy. Leukemia may have set up shop in my bloodstream, but it is not going to take over my life. It is not going to steal my joy or my will to live. It is going to find itself hard pressed to continue to try and take me down, but I intend to fight it every step of the way!