I choose…

Well, as it goes a lot has happen since I last posted.

Turns out that this last round of chemo didn’t do the trick and I still have blasts.

Fuck.  Fuckin’ FUCK! Fuck. FUCK! FUCK! 

So that’s pretty shitty. This was the hard-hitting chemo that was supposed to work. That was supposed to kick ass and get me back into remission and it didn’t FUCKING WORK. So yeah, that’s pretty damn fucked up. Fucking hell.

So yeah. I guess we’re working on the next plan of action, then. Which seems to be the alternate option I was initially given– the outpatient oral chemo that will happen over a couple of months.

But it’s okay. It really is.

I was pissed off and angry initially– and definitely devastated– but it’s okay now. I’m at peace with the idea. I trust my gut and my gut says that everything is going to be okay and that everything is going to work out.

It’s a relief, really. I decided that instead of dreading all of this, and being afraid of what’s to come, I’ll take it all in stride.

I choose to be okay with this. I choose to accept what’s going on. And holy shit let me tell you it makes such a god damn difference to just take a deep breath and decide that, yknow what? It’s all good. It is. It’s okay. That’s not to say that there won’t still be tears of frustration, anger, or sadnesss, but I’m so much more at peace with everything that’s going on.

It will all be okay. Because I believe that. I choose to believe it, and so it will be. I just gave to be patient and let everything work itself out.

So anyway, that’s kind of what’s going on. I’m not in remission. The two rounds of chemo didn’t work like they were supposed to. So now we will be trying the oral stuff , I guess. Which, as I understand, will be partially outpatient which is nice. I also think that it will be “easier” in a couple senses that maybe my hair won’t fall out, and that I can be at home and have a little more freedom which would be nice. As for CHOP and transplant, I’m not sure where I’m at with that. But again, I’m okay with that. I’ll figure it out as I go and everything will be okay. Just have to take a deep breath and let everything fall into place, which I’m sure that it will.

Life’s good. Everything is good. Just have to give it some time.

Also, it’s like 3AM so if there are more typos than usual that’s probably why.

I do feel okay with all of this. I really do. My gut tells me that everything is going to work out how it’s supposed to, and I trust that. Deciding not to be scared is a big decision, and I’m so much happier having decided to take it all in stride and not be fearful if what is to come. Life is too short for that shit!

In other news, I’ve been started on insulin and have been having my blood sugar checked like five times a day. That’s whatever, too. I guess the steroids that I’m on fuck with my sugar levels and so they have to monitor them and all that. They don’t think that I’m diabetic (yet?) but they need to keep an eye on it regardless. It’s a bit annoying, but hell it’s really not that big of a deal.

See? I choose to not be overly worried.

God damn it’s so nice just being at peace with all of this shit. It makes life so much easier. I wish I had chosen to do this sooner.

Fuckin’ hell, though. As OK as I am with all of this, I’d sure as hell be ok being done with it all, yknow? Like, shit, man. Lemme be normal!

And that’s that for now, I’ve been pretty swept up with things. Oh! Also I have a nasty fungal infection that has presented itself as these grody lesions on my skin. The dermatologist man took a biopsy of one on my leg and determined it was Fusarium(?) so now I have three cute stitches in my thigh. ID (infectious disease) stopped by to check it out and I had like six people poke and prod at it so they could learn about it (being a guinea pig is just the the best) especially when they’re like “does it hurt??” And I reply “only if you really poke at it” and then they proceed to poke it a fuckton. Like wtf?? I am not going to be working in the medical field, if you didn’t already pick up on that. I’ve done my time with medical shit, I ain’t gonna be having anything to do with it when this is all over. Fuck that.

What else? I know I said that was about it, but let’s be real there’s probably totally more.

Oh! I think I mentioned the pooling of blood/spinal fluid in my upper back? Maybe? I could check but hell where’s the fun in that when I can just relive it and tell it again.

As as result of the LP’s (lumbar punctures) and intrathecal chemo there was pooling of blood/spinal fluid between my shoulder blades. As a result, my back spasmed a lot and it was pretty much one of the worst pains I have ever felt. When it flaired up all I could do was just writhe in pain. It shot down my arms and into the palms of my hands, and there was nothing that could really be done about it.

It fucking sucked ass. But the good news is that I got morphine which worked fucking WONDERS and it was only maybe a week that I had to deal with the discomfort which was nice, and the pain has since gone away.

I did have to sit through a 2 hour MRI though, and that was pretty exciting. Thank god for Benadryl, morphine and Ativan! That lovely little concoction made the time pass more easily than it would have otherwise.

And yeah! That’s kind of where I’m at with things. This was a sort of sleepy-half-assed post but I figured it was about time for an update on things. Stay tuned for more updates, they’ll hopefully be more frequent since I have already started a couple. Also, I’m open for suggestions and question! So if there is anything you want me to address or are curious about just let me know and I’ll be happy to talk about anything!

Love to all of you!

Slacker’s Update

So the past couple of days have been pretty shitty to be completely honest.

The lumbar punctures pack a punch, When they take out the fluid and inset the chemo there’s often a period of time where your spinal cord/fluid is all wacky and they’re like “what the fuck? We lost our mojo.” And then it’s a whole lovely process of having shit figure out how to return to equilibrium.

In the past it hasn’t been too terrible; usually just a throbbing headache that goes away with the help of the Almighty Tylenol. But the past few– fuck– they were real sons of bitches lemme tell you.

So the worst of it started like four days ago, and my neck and shoulders were fucking killing me. It was so bad that I was literally on the floor sobbing, writhing in pain. There was no position I could find that could alleviate the excruciating pain that was spasming in electric pulses along my upper spine. The pain shot down through my arms, and right to the center of my palms.

At some point around this particular incident, I had a float nurse come to take care of me. Since I’m not getting any chemo, really, my primary nurses are tending to the kids needing chemo, so I get these float nurses. Which is all fine and dandy. Until I have to do their fucking job for them! Like what the actual hell??

This one night, my back flaired up and I was again writhing in pain, trying desperately to find any source of relief, and this nurse comes in and just fucking STANDS there and watches as I shrivel into a ball of agony and tears. Like… who the fuck does that?? I get feeling helpless, but do a bitch a favor and offer at least some pain meds or get the fuck out because pitiful eyes and awkward glances sure as hell aren’t doing me any good! FUCK!

Oh, on another note, the same lady didn’t know how to give platelets.

Let me repeat that for you: SHE DID NOT KNOW HOW TO GIVE PLATELETS.

I’m trusting this lady with my fucking life and it’s fucking THREE IN THE GOD DAMN MORNING and there are THREE– THREE nurses in my fucking room trying to teach her how to give me platelets. Good news: I’m still alive. Bad News: I’m still a bit bitter.

Annnnnyway, where were we? Ah yes the back spasms and the pain of a billion suns.

I ended up getting an MRI of my spine to see if they could locate the source of the pain, and it was found that I had some hematoma-y pockets of fluid around the top of my spine that was potentially causing the nerve endings to be stretched in uncomfortable ways. As a result, they decided to hold off on any more LP’s until the issue is resolved (thank God!).

So in the mean time, I have this lovely cocktail of meds on top of what I already get that seems to be working well. The only down side is that I’m usually coming off one type of pain killer/muscle relaxer before the next bout kicks in.

Anyway. Yeah. So that’s pretty much where we’re at currently, day 51 or 52 maybe? Time flies when you’re having fun I suppose.

Also, celebrated my 23rd birthday in the hospital– the first one since I was born! I’m looking forward to the years to come, though, when I can look back at all this shit and laugh, knowing that I finally beat this mother fucker once and for all.

There are still those down days where I’m sad, but in general, I think I’m even more of a bad ass bitch warrior this time around. I’m not taking any shit. And honestly, compared to all my other times of having been in the hospital, this time it quite a bit of fun (well, in general). I’m pals with the nurses and docs, I look forward to rounds in the morning because we exchange fun facts for the day, the people who clean the room are absolute delights… everyone is so wonderful. And as much as I dislike being in the hospital, and as much as I feel like a crabby bitch some days, these people are my people and I love them. They look out for me and that’s a feeling that, even when I’m feeling like my spine is being ripped from my body by the razored talons of some hell-beast, gives me an extra push to man up and face this wild ride.

I mean, shit. I’ve kind of been dealt a shitty hand (if you couldn’t already tell), but it is what it is and I’m so fortunate to have some many people behind me. Not a single day goes by where I am not thankful and deeply humbled. Now I really have to beat this whole cancer thing or else I’ll feel like a total asshole! Hahaha, but really though. You all are the best. I don’t know where I’d be without a single one of you!

Wait, okay, so yeah I guess the update was that we’re waiting for my shit to figure its shit out so that we can proceed with another MRI and LPs. Not out of the woods quite yet, my dear readers! But ya gotta take it one day at a time, or even one step at a time as the case may be.

But there will be an end in sight. And I’ll be victorious!

The Power of Positivity And Prayer

I’ve though about writing this post many times now, but it never really felt like the right time, or I was too angry/sad/whatever to really not sound like a total asshole. So I decided that today I will try and get at least some of these thoughts out, hopefully in the most respectful way possible. As always, there’s no offense intended, just the honest and undeniably raw emotions of a girl again fighting for her life.

Growing up, my house was never particularly religious. We didn’t really go to church unless it was maybe for a funeral or a Christmas gathering with family. We didn’t say Grace before meals, or do anything like that. My parents were (and are) incredibly accepting of whatever we wish to believe in, and just because we didn’t practice a relgion as a family didn’t mean that we ourselves couldn’t pursue what felt right to us, or at least explore the world of religion around us.

Like many, we, or at least I, was aware of the concept of God and Jesus and all that. But it seemed to strange to me to have so much faith and belief in people/powers like that. Honestly, I’m still incredibly ignorant to a lot of this stuff, which is pretty embarassing especially because so many of you, my supporters, send up countless prayers for me on a daily basis.

I don’t really even know where to go from here– there’s so much I want to say but don’t know how or in what order. So be prepared for a potentially even more scatter-brained post than usual!

Just because I’ve never directly believed in the common belief of God, doesn’t mean that I haven’t believed in something. Sometimes my beliefs fluctuate… I think there very well could be a “higher power” if you will, I think that maybe it’s not a person, but an energy or a… life force, maybe? I’m not entirely sure. But I don’t think it’s crazy to think that there’s something bigger than us out there. When things are going well for me, I think that’s usually how I choose to see things. Either that, or maybe I just roll along through life not really putting much thought into the matter. But when things really get shitty, that’s when I really start delving into the possibilities of who or what could be “behind” the situations I’m going through. It’s almost like I go from not really believing in anything to believing in everything– every religious figure from every religion, every higher power that might influence what situation I’m in. I go from not praying at all to catching myself sending up prayers to Gods that I don’t usually believe in, in the hopes that they’ll hear my pleas and find it within themselves to answer my prayers even though I only send them my prayers when I’m in need. Does that make me a selfish douche? So be it. But the way I see it is that these figures, or powers, are there to help us. To give us something to believe in, and they will help us when we’re in need… even if that’s the only real time we turn to them.

When I think of religion, I usually associate it with God and Jesus and, forgive my ignorance, but all those sorts of figures, but mostly those two. When I found out I relapsed back in February, I was pretty pissed. I was pissed, I was terrified, I was confused. Instead of asking “why? Why me? Why again?” I was more angry. Furious, really. Furious at these figures that I never really believed in until shit went south of me. I had a bone to pick with this God, with this Jesus. What kind of fucked up game were they playing with my life? Lulling me into a false sense of security for 10 months only to surprise me with a relapse after I’d fought so hard and gone through so much.

They were the first ones I turned to. Like, what the fuck?! Who does that to a person?! I knew I wasn’t the only one going through hardships, but for me, this was my life that “they” were fucking around with. This was my family “they” were impacting. How dare they?? 

That was a weird place for me to be. Stuck wrestling with how and why this shitty event could have happened. I’d already been calling myself a survivor, planning for my one year re-birthday. Planning trips and gatherings, applying to schools again. Returning to normal. And then WHAM! (little Deadpool reference there 😉 ) the air was taken right out of my sails again, throwing my life into a spiral of what ifs and what to dos all over again. But after the initial shock and fear wore off, I went from being resentful of whatever had “caused” this shittastic event to asking for help from the powers I had been so quick to despise. Maybe that’s human nature, but I’d be lying if I didn’t feel sort of shitty about that. Like, “fuck you! … oh, but also please help me?”

I guess the point of this post is that, although I’m not sure what I believe in, I’ve started believing in just about everything that can potentially help me. Sending up thoughts to powers beyond my fathoming. And along with that, I wanted to say another thank you to absolutely everyone who is praying for me, sending me positive thoughts and altogether keeping me and my family in mind. The culmination of well wishes works wonders, and I’m not kidding when I say that I can feel the goodness radiating my and my family’s direction. I’ve come to realize, maybe even more so just while writing this post, that above everything, I believe 150% in the power of positivity. Whether that be in the form of prayer, good thoughts, good energy, good company, what ever it is, I can feel it. I can feel it in my heart, I can feel it in my soul. I feel it all around me. It’s a power beyond anything I can describe, and I’m again at a loss for words for how much all these thoughts together are impacting me, and how much I deeply appreciate them. It’s miraculous. The world works in mysterious ways.

I decided to write this post for a couple of reasons. I’m feeling like I’m a little scatterbrained at the moment, but I’ll continue regardless of potential repetition. When I settle down from being angry at the powers that may be about my situation, I become even more open minded to the idea of religion. I have a Rosary that was blessed by the Pope, I have Holy Oil that is supposed to work wonders. I have other trinkets from other religions that I hold onto and try to pull goodness and strength from. I have stones and essential oils that I believe can help me. I have books I read to give me strength and encouragement when I feel I have none. But more than all of that, I have people– and entire army, really– behind me pushing me on and encouraging me. Supporting me. Loving me. Praying for me. Giving, giving giving time from their busy lives to keep me in mind, to come hang out with me.

I also decided to address this topic today because, although I still have a long road ahead of me (that’s a line I’ve used several times before in earlier posts), this morning was a great one. The CBC they drew this morning came back, and the peripheral draw showed that there were NO LEUKEMIC BLASTS! I’m only on day 5 of treatment, but hell fuckin’ yeah! Treatment, I’m sure, played a role, but I think that the continued outpouring of love and positivity worked perhaps even harder. I was told going into this, this “high intensity” chemo that things wouldn’t be easy, and who knows, maybe the hardships are still down the line a ways, but for now, I’ve been doing remarkably well. And that, I entirely attribute to all of you. All the countless people sending their thoughts my way.

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a million times– thank you all, from the absolute bottom of my heart. I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of you behind me. I am beyond humbled, and I have so much love, gratitude and appreciation for every single one of you.

Thank you!!! And here’s to the next leg of this wild ride 🙂

Day ???

Uh yeah so this whole “I’m-gonna-keep-y’all-updated-day-by-day” bullshit obviously didn’t work. I mean, I did day 0, so that was a pretty strong start, eh?

Okay but I guess I’m using too much of my limited brain power on figuring out the days. Like, midnight starts the new day, BUT my chemos are hung at like 10pm and go until 10pm the next night and FUCK I’m just one big ball of WTF. Anyway. Whatever. Here’s some updates on things:

First of all, my armpits smell fuckin’ rank as SHIT. Like, I didn’t realize my body could smell so horrible. Okay, that’s not true, I know that my body can smell a hell of a lot worse, but SHIT my pits have never been this awful. I don’t even know how to explain it. It’s like a haunting combination of BO and burning plastic. Or maybe cheaply made plastic products from China, I don’t know. It smells toxic, but in a different way than my chemo farts, if that’s any indication of the level of toxicity we’re talking about here… like my armpits were hate-fucked by a melting plastic dildo. That’s my final try at accurately portraying the level of “sweet-Jesus-what-is-that-smell” radiating from the hairy crevasses beneath my arms.

Secondly, chemo is a fuckin’ bastard. Fuckin’ hell! All is well, I think, just starting to feel bleh and ready to be done with this garbage. FUCK!

Last night started one of the higher-intensity chemos, so I have four more round of that bad boy to go. It runs over two hours, so physiologically it’s easier for me to deal with than if it was running 24 hours straight like the other chemo– Topetican or some shit like that. This heavy-hitter that runs over two hours has the potential for capillary leakage which is why I have to have an IV steroid beforehand to help limit that. Because yeah I don’t really want the chemo getting outside of my circulartory system. That’s what it’s called, yeah? Yeah. Chemo brain for the win, yo.

Speaking of chemo brain, though, that shit is real life! I’ve experienced it before (yknow, since I’ve undergone four previous rounds of chemo– cheers!) but never to the extent that I have been feeling it this time around. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that since I was taken on as a pediatric patient (thank you thank you thank you to the doc who took me on to get me down to 7E!) I now have to be treated as such. Peds patients undergoing chemo for blood cancers (I’m totally guess at that, but it makes sense to me, cause, yknow, that’s what I’m undergoing and I’m basically a peds patient– back to the story, though!) also require IT (introthecal) chemo. So it’s a lumbar puncture with chemo put into your spinal fluid; yknow, casual stuff. I guess it’s like a spinal tap or something? Sure, sounds good to me.

Anyway, I’m knocked out on my Jackson Juice (propofol) so it doesn’t really matter to me what they do when I’m under. And when I come to, I actually don’t feel the injection site which is a nice little bonus. But what I do feel is the chemo brain. And holy shit fuck does that hit hard and fast! It starts out as a sort of haziness of the mind, almost like I’m dreaming and can’t tell if the things that I am experiencing are real life or a dream. It becomes difficult for my mouth to keep up with the words my brain is producing while I talk, so I trip over my words more often than usual (which, let’s be honest, is a good deal of the time) but then as I struggle to keep up I can lose my train of thought. That bitch leaves the station and doesn’t look back! Bitch. I also am much more forgetful than I would be otherwise. Not to say I always remember everything, but with chemo brain I tend to ask a lot of the same questions over a short period of time which I’m not sure is more obnoxious to me or the people that I’m asking.

So it’s a pretty fun time, as you can imagine. I mean, if you didn’t already think this wild ride was a fun time 😉

Other things that have happened regarding chemo over the past few days that I totally DROPPED THE FUCKING BALL is that I was on one type of chemo that required me to shower, have my PICC dressing changed, have my bedding/clothing changed every six hours for 24 hours. Thank Jesus that this was just a one-dose ordeal because that shit was fucking annoying. As shitty as I sometimes feel my situation is, I know that it could always be worse. Little annoyances like the every-six-hour deal can be something that some people undergo for days on end. And here I am, with one little dose (I didn’t even have to finish the last bath/change thing because they talked to a bunch of people who decided the dose was low enough that I wasn’t at risk for the skin irritation they were looking for) and shit mad respect for the kids that can do that shit for days. I was a puss about it, gonna be totally honest. Started out strong, there, for a little bit… but that midnight and 6am shower were straight from Hell. And the dressing changes?? Fuck! As great as I’ve been with my PICC line this time around, dressing changes remain the highest stressor. I would gladly take three nupogen shots a day if it meant I never had to have my dressing changed ever again. Ugh. Anxiety through the fucking roof! But again, I only had to do undergo like five changes– and most of them were just gauze and tape, not the actual dressing. I swear, as badass as I feel sometimes, I can totally pussy out at some weak ass shit.

I think today is technically day 4 (gonna try to not hurt my head too much with figuring those specifics out), but I guess what matters is that this show is on the road! Every day that passes is one closer to returning to normal– and this time, for fuckin’ REAL. ‘Cause you know you’ve been in the hospital for far too long when 1) you know just about all the names of all the drugs for different purposes, which ones work and which ones don’t so you just straight up ask/sort of tell the nurses or docs what you want. 2) you become so comfortable with the routine of hospital living that more often than not you can sleep relatively well through the night, trusting your subconscious mind to stick out an arm when it’s time for late night/early morning vitals/lab draws/etc 3) you’re basically bff’s with a lot of the nurses/docs/staff 4) the days cloud together so much that what feels like three weeks turns out to have actually been over five or six.

Fuck.

Oh, also, 5) you know the code to get into the tub room. Have I talked about the tub room yet?? It’s a fucking magical place, with a huge ass recliner bathtub that goes up to 109 degrees… throw in some bubble bath, turn the lights off, and shit, man. That room makes the whole living in the hospital thing a bit more bearable. Bareable? Gonna claim chemo brain and laziness on that one. Sorry not sorry.

Alright, I need to go clean these pits… the smell is making my foggy chemo brain even worse… dear God.

Throwback Thursday

It has been decided that Thursday’s will now feature a throwback memory relating to my adventure with cancer, so get pumped for some delightful tales. And also, rest assured that I will still be attempting to keep up with monitoring the progression of this round of chemo.

So, today’s throwback memory of choice is one that I am particularly proud of: The Story of My Projectile Vomit.

Way back when I was on 8A during my initial induction round of chemo (October ’15) I had one of the most remarkable and life-defining moments of my entire life. I had just finished nibbling on some hospital food– a hamburger and some lasagna– when I migrated to the bathroom to pee. The chemo had been pretty rough on my body, and I was nauseous a lot of the time and was lucky when I could sneak a couple bites of food. It was also because of these frequent spells of nausea that I had developed an emergency hand gesture for “get me a fucking garbage can pronto ’cause I’m about to vom hardcore”. The gesture was something along the lines of a panicked “come here” that was understood by my parents as “come here– with a fucking garbage can”. Together, we got that whole exchange down to a science.

Anyway, on this particular day, I had made it to the bathroom to take care of business when I was hit with the all-to-familiar sensation of impending doom. I made my emergency hand gesture, and was quickly greeted with the familiar sight of the inside of a trash can. As with many of these situations, all it took was seeing the welcoming opening to push me over the edge. However, instead of the usual short heaves of vomit punctuated by shaking breaths of misery, I opened my mouth and released the most impressive spout of puke I have ever seen in my life.

Truly this was a memorable moment. A life-defining moment. The pinnacle of my vomiting career.

My eyes were clenched shut, much like they always are when I begin to vomit. But as the massive spurt continued, I opened my eyes in stunned wonder.

Sure enough, the gushing stream of vomit was continuing. It was amazing, like a cartoon or something that you’d only ever seen in a movie. It almost seemed like the forceful stream projecting from my face hole was wider than my actual mouth– fucking intense and equally captivating. It reached a point where I started to think that I was going to die– and not from cancer, but from my insane puke. I needed to take a fuckin’ breath, but the vomit just continued. Had the garbage can not been there, I have no doubt that the fire hose of puke would have gone at least five or six feet. It was hitting the side of the trash can with enough force that the splashback was spattering my face– if you haven’t gathered yet, this was like the puke of a lifetime, the puke of the century! I wish I’d have known what was going to go down because you best believe I’d’ve (that’s a new hybrid word I just created) had someone catch it on film. Fuckin’ power puke. No description can do it justice.

I’m totally digging these throwback things! It’ll be a fun way to catch up on things I haven’t discussed while also keeping up with things that are going on now.

Day 0

Because the chemo orders were so complicated, I didn’t start this TVTC treatment until late last night, so the days are all confusing for my chemo-fogged brain, so we will see how long I can keep up and keep the days in order!

Technically today is still day 0.

Fuck, man.

Well, actually less fuck than if I didn’t start this for another week. I’m glad the show is on the road. Especially after the whole finding-blasts-in-the-spinal-fluid ordeal. This all seems much more manageable now, and for that, I’m very thankful. I’m also thankful that we are jumping in headfirst with treatment because it give my stupid shitty cells less time to be stupid idiots and reproduce like rabbits. So that’s where we’re at!

Also, an added bonus is that I don’t restart the nupogen shots until like day 8! What a bargain. I can get behind that fosho.

Oh, but also another update is that my chemo brain is remarkably bad (and this is still only day 0– fuckkkkkk!) so bear with me through the inevitable struggles haha.

So what else, what else? Ah yes, I think I have the start of a sinus infection setting in. Which really sucked this morning because of all the pressure behind my eyes and cheekbones, but I took a bath (in the remarkable bathtub here– complete with bubbles and 109 degree water!) and then napped for close to two hours, and damn that nap really helped me out some. I’ll probably change my outlook on this next statement eventually, but for now, I think it’s pretty funny that I have this on set of a sinus infection. When I was in for transplant I was positive for Influenza A which was super awesome, and now here I am again, preparing to go into this kick-ass treatment with another somethin’ tagging along. I guess I just don’t want to be overly boring. Fuck.

But in general I feel good for now. Every day that I wake up is a day I am thankful for. It’s interesting how my outlook on life changed once with my initial diagnosis of AML, and now it’s changing all over again with this whole relapse situation. It’s not a bad thing, more like it just makes me appreciate the little things even more than I did before. It’s crazy to think how much is taken for granted in this world, and I wonder how different it would be if people had even the smallest fraction more appreciation for the little things.

Sort of on that same note is that one of the docs here is doing tons of research into AML and treatment for it which is incredible, and I’ve volunteered/agreed to provide her with both blood and bone marrow samples of my shitty cells. I love that I am able to do this, though, because I know that I’m helping advance research to help cure AML, which is pretty much a really shitty kind of leukemia to get. Cheers!

Knowing that I am helping in even the smallest way is a really rewarding feeling. I definitely like to think that this whole shit show is going to turn out well for me and that it’ll be an added bonus knowing that the cells that were previously collected from me will continue to provide helpful information, but at the same time it kind of eases my mind that if things don’t turn out as I plan I’ll still be helping advance research and will potentially be helping others down the line even if I’m not here to see that happen. Holy run-on sentence!

Anyway, this is where I’m at in treatment. Tomorrow sounds like it’ll be exciting because I’m going to be getting this chemo that is excreted through my skin, which means that I’ll have to bathe every six hours and also have my PICC dressing changed just as often. I’m thankful it’s just for 24 hours, because dressing changes are the fucking WORST. Still. After all I’ve been through, having my dressing changed remains one of the most anxiety-producing events of my life. So you can believe I’m pretty excited to have it happen like four times a day, even if it’s just for one day. But it could always, always always be worse.

So here I am– day 0– starting out strong and hoping that it continues this way!

 

Maybe…

There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.

“Maybe,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.

“Maybe,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.

“Maybe,” said the farmer.

***********************************************************

Well, a lot has happened during the last 24 hours.

The plan that we thought was in order was turned on its head after my biopsy and lumbar puncture since it was discovered that there were leukemic blasts in my spinal fluid. So that was a big what the fuck. Really threw me into a tail spin of darkness and, quite frankly, hopelessness.

Now, I keep that Taoist story in mind. But, for the sake of talking about yesterday, I’ll explain what went down and how I felt about it at the time.

There was a lot of vulgarity (no surprise there!) and anger– it feels like when it rains it pours and that I can never catch a fucking break. The discovery of the fucked up spinal fluid put off the chemo regimen that they had planned for me, as they wanted to get a grasp on fixing my spinal fluid before advancing to the rest of my treatment. To do so, I had to undergo a MRI to determine whether or not the fucker cells had gathered in my brain.

You can imagine that was not exactly what I wanted to hear. The idea of having the cancer cells gather in my brain was pretty fucking terrifying, and not really something that I had even considered as a possibility (I mean, having cancer at all is fucked up enough; how much worse could it get? The Answer: pretty much a lot fucking worse. So while having cancer at all sucks complete and total ass, I suppose it could always be worse).

Well, with the dawn of the new day came new information.

The MRI scans came back clear!!!!!!! Fuckin’ HELL YEAH! And, it also turns out that the blast that they found in my spinal fluid were found only after the fluid was spun out completely (you know, when they put stuff in those science-y spinny do-dads to accomplish science-y things with… science). This means that I’m in a good category for killing off those fuckin’ hosers (Canadian term, look it up if you don’t know what that means) before they cause too much of an issue– so that’s a beauty right thurr! On top of that, they decided to move my next lumbar puncture (LP) to Friday as opposed to Thursday and to start my chemo today!! This is great because it will sucker-punch all those shitty-ass cancer punks right in the GOD DAMN face before they have anymore time to flood my system with their tomfoolery.

I’m feeling pretty confident knowing that treatment it going to start up today. I think I’m always going to be an anxious ball of nerves– at least under the surface– but I am feeling good about this. Not excited about how shitty I’ll be feeling in the next few days, but I’d rather feel shitty from chemo than shitty from, you know, having my system flooded with shitty-ass cancer cells AKA DYING. Nothing seems so bad when compared to that alternative; not when you’re as stubborn and as determined to live as I am. I’ve got a lot of life left to live, and I intend to kick this cancer to the CURB. I must have been too gentle with it the last time I beat its ass, so this time… this time I’m taking no prisoners. I’m fucking it up FOR GOOD.

Moral of this portion of the story?

Maybe.