A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with AML. At the time I had heard of people having Leukemia but I lacked the knowledge of what that meant. At that time I thought it was cancer that was treated as needed over time and something that was very treatable. I was concerned but not scared of what was to come when the ER doctor gave me her diagnosis. Maybe even in denial a bit.
After being sent to James Cancer Clinic in OSU in Columbus to receive their diagnosis and the game plan for treatment from the cancer team I was so confused. I was told I would spend the next four to six weeks in the hospital on chemotherapy. That wasn’t just hard to hear, it was something that didn’t make any sense to me whatsoever.
Everyone I have known who had cancer had time to prepare, call family, make arrangements with work, meet the team, have all kinds of tests or procedures and literally allow the information to sink in.
I had three days and I wasn’t going anywhere.
When the doctors left the room with only my nurse present I told her I just don’t understand and I’m so confused. She told me well maybe I can help. What don’t you understand? I filled her in on the time to prepare for chemo that the others had and here I am starting chemo in three days. The urgency wasn’t sinking in. I literally wasn’t putting things together very well. I also wasn’t feeling well due to fevers and fatigue but still, I just was mentally struggling with what was happening to me. It was like going in one ear and out the other without really absorbing the information.
My nurse told me there isn’t time, time is not on my side. You need treatment now.
Those words shook my soul.
I grabbed my laptop and started researching AML and joined a few groups on Facebook. That is when I found out there is more than one type of Leukemia and the one I had was deadly. The odds were not good and I didn’t have much time as stated by my nurse.
I was blown away.
When my daughter was a year old she was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis. I assure you I spent endless hours researching the internet to learn all I could about her diagnosis. I read every site I possibly could. I wanted to know everything I could to treat, diagnose, and help her live with her condition. I wanted to know what to expect to make the best decisions for her care. I couldn’t get enough.
At this time I hadn’t googled a thing, I hadn’t looked anything up to understand the severity of my diagnosis. That was so unlike me. I spent thousands of hours reading over and over about my daughter’s condition but spent nothing on mine.
Maybe it was denial or I just didn’t want to deal with anything mentally.
That all changed that day. I began looking into treatments and what my odds are to survive this horrible disease. How can I beat this? How do I keep going?
I find comfort in knowing and reading other people’s stories. I would rather know what my chances are than not know.
I decided to share my story not only with family and friends but with the world. I would love to write a book but for now, I will just share my story via this blog in hopes to help someone just like me. Someone who wants to know what I’ve dealt with and how I survived.
I want to connect with people just like me that want to share their stories, their struggles, and accomplishments with this disease. So they know they’re not alone. I’m here trying to survive this horrible cancer just like they are.
Thank you for sticking around while I ramble on.
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