Okay, so I get a lot of texts from people wanting to know how it happened and if they should go to their doctor right away because they had a bruise and were tired last week and OMG THEY HAVE LEUKEMIA.
So I figured I would put together a little FAQ:
March 27th – the day before doomsday, I was having trouble taking a deep breath, feeling tired for the past month and a half, and went to the doctors. I told them about the bruising and the breathing they took my blood, gave me an inhaler and sent me on my way. March 28th – doomsday, I received a frantic call from my doctor at 8 am saying I needed to go to the ER right now, my blood counts were so low I could pass out at any second. So I freaked out, called my mom, found a ride (though I was just going to take an uber and not tell anyone), and ended in the ER. After more blood drawing and concerned looks when my blood counts were mentioned the ER doctor dropped the bomb – literally. Like a nuke. “You possibly have leukemia” – I stopped listening after he said that, I literally thought I just needed blood and would be in and out. I didn’t think that my quick trip to the doctor the day before would end in a cancer diagnosis – does anyone, though?
I cried, a lot. I cried so much they wanted to give me drugs to calm me down. The intern in the ER was so sweet, the doctor sucked – but I’m biased because he gave me the shitty news. My parents just held me, my best friend sat on the bed and reassured me of my fighter status. It’s a talk, word, you just never expect or can be prepared to hear. Movies make it out to be this long drawn out process but instead – you have leukemia, you’re being admitted, the hematologist will know more in a few hours – be prepared for a month stay.
I cried the most that night, I was in shock, it didn’t feel like they were talking about me. How could I have cancer? I’m 25, starting a job (or would’ve been starting a job) in two days, just moved back to Boston – healthy? Why? How did it happen?
So many questions they still don’t have the answer to, and probably won’t for years and hours of more cancer research.
The next morning wasn’t any better, I was greeted at 6 am by nurses there to stick me and steal more blood. I cried then too. It was the awakening that it’s really happening. That the next year is going to really, really suck, and be filled with more hospital and doctors visits than I’ve had in my entire life. So I cried.
How are you?
Relatively speaking? I’m handling it. I’m slowly accepting this new life and trying to figure out what else I want, where I want my life to head next. I’m tired a lot, and get dizzy more frequently, but I’m handling chemo well so far (though just started). I’m not okay, eventually, I will be, but right now I’m just handling things day by day.
What is Leukemia/ What do you have?
So it’s cancer, in your blood – gross right? Here’s a link to more information. Don’t go further than that site or you’ll freak yourself. And fun fact, mine is typically found in children – the childlike girl gets the kids disease – which is working in my favor because I’m not far out of pediatrics and really healthy. Ignore the survival rate crap, it’s different case by case. I have REALLY good odds and have no plans on going anywhere. My age, health otherwise, good white blood counts (cells?) – I have a lot going for me. A lot of the adult statistics are for people much older than me, I’m being treated like a pediatrics patient age – that’s really good in this case.
What do you do in the hospital all day?
Sleep, I sleep a lot. And just rest, and read, and type. I walk laps around the ward – they’re pretty germ cautious here so I can’t leave but I at least can get some kind of workout in.
Can I visit?
Maybe? Are you healthy? Our floor is very visitor friendly so long as you don’t have a cold, a child under 12, flowers, fruits, or veggies. Just please make sure to always ask before coming by, I have a pretty set schedule but some days I’m tired and would rather just hang with my sweet new nurse family.
What do you need?
Nothing, more blood maybe? That’s a joke, please don’t bring in or send me blood. Just lots of love and good vibes – and those postcards – very excited to put those up! But yeah, nothing I need or want – well to get better, but the doctors are taking care of that right now.
And I think that’s it. If I don’t respond to your text please don’t freak out and text me a million times, I’m probably sleeping or talking to a doctor/nurse/social worker – there are so many people that talk to me here, but I will try to eventually text you back – it might be a day or two later – just don’t freak out.
So that’s it. Keep sending your good thoughts and love my way, I’m being greedy and soaking those up.