Treatment Update: Another birthday has come and gone!

Many will scoff at the idea that 27 is ‘old’ but aging another year starts to feel like a drag once you hit 25. Not sure why that is because aging is something to celebrate, not begrudgingly anticipate! I love celebrating my friends’ birthdays more than my own. You get the festive environment without the pressure. After being diagnosed with cancer, turning another year older truly feels like the gift it is. There’s an excitement in all of the potential the next year can bring. Think about how much happens in a year. Everything can change! And it probably will/should. Life is about progressing forward and growing constantly. There’s a lesson every day whether you choose to see it or not!

On the other hand, the thought of how much can happen in a year scares the shit out of me.  No, I am not going to become some pessimistic, cynical person.  But it is the truth.  I’ve seen firsthand how much can change in a year.  Looking back on past birthday photos, I look at the smiling faces of some beautiful, naive girls.  Would I have ever in 1 million years have thought that I would be diagnosed with leukemia at 26 and still be in the middle of treatment for my 27th birthday?? I’m going to say definitely not.  But guess what, when life throws you lemons, don’t tell me about your cousin’s friend who died of lemons.  Sidenote:  I got that line from a website created by a lymphoma survivor, was diagnosed at 24 and she has been in remission for 14 years, who wanted to create real and honest empathy cards. They’re pretty amazing and perfect for those who just don’t know what to say. Which is okay!! A couple are pictured below.  You can find them here.

empathy card

empathy card 2

I often find myself being bummed around my birthday which makes no sense when you think about it.. It’s the one chance a year to make it about you and have fun with the people you love. If you don’t take 100% advantage of it you are doing yourself a disservice. Annndddd I went completely against my own word.  The day before my birthday, happy.  The day following my birthday, feeling good!  Day of…. not so much.  I did get over myself eventually but it was really tough.  I think it’s because I’m right in the middle of my isolation phase, I’m neutropenic (AKA no immune system) and this was the first day that made it so incredibly apparent how different my life is.  Even though I would always be bummed in the past, I still managed to have a great time!  Surrounded by friends and family, going out to fantastic dinners and enjoying our favorite activities like going to the beach or on the boat.  Rereading this, I did get exactly this for my birthday this year!  Will, my family and friends pampered me (shout out to Will for being the best shopper! I know he’s going to hate me for this but it had to be said!), I got to go to the beach, briefly, but was able to go nonetheless.

Beautiful beach day!

I was able to have a small girls potluck dinner where we, aggressively, played board games.  Things got heated very quickly!! hahaha Let’s just say the rules were up for negotiation.  The outpouring love on social media was so awesome.  But it just feels different.  I know all of the things I can’t do and how frustrating that is!! But I’m still here.  I’m able to fight.  I’m in the worst time of my chemo treatment and I’m going to the beach?!  Not many can say that.  Hell, even I was one of those people last round of chemo… ended up in ICU for 10 days!  Just being home on my birthday was a gift.  I forget sometimes how much of a blessing in itself that is.  Not many people in the past with leukemia could even say that.  My beautiful Aunt Pam was one of the one’s who didn’t make it.  I was young when it happened, but I remember her as a kid and will never forget her smile! I still have a long way to go to see how all of this treatment pans out but I’m confident, I really am!

Currently, I am getting my counts checked a few times a week, if not daily, because they’re still trending down.  I’ve been getting fevers the last couple of days but have been able to make them break and stay down for at least 12 hours!  Have to be on high alert right now but so far so good! Last Monday, I ended up being admitted at the hospital for the night for 2 units of blood and 2 units of platelets.  My platelets got down to 5 (FIVE!!). Normal range is 140-450.  So Dad had to take me and I was discharged at 1pm the next day.

Shout out to Jessi for staying the night and keeping me company!

Yesterday, I received another unit of platelets but was able to do it at the Cancer Center.  The manager told me when she got the orders that she would have to check how long it would be to get the platelets because ‘there’s been a shortage lately.’  My gums were starting to bleed and I’m being told that there’s a shortage?! Scary.  So anyone out there reading this and is able to donate blood/platelets, please do so!!  It takes a few hours of your life and we can all use some good karma! I went to the OneBlood website and you can find a bus in your area and even book an appointment to save time!

Hoping to start getting back on the upward trend by next week.  Final (!!!!!) round of chemo will hopefully be at the end of the month, or early June, but I’m sure I’ll have another post before then.  THANK YOU to everyone who took time to wish me a Happy Birthday!!  You all have no idea how much your support means to me!

I’ve been trying find new ways to pass the time at home so I got this coloring book called Outside the Lines which is fitting for me. LOL

If you need to fill time or are stressed, this should be a go-to!

I love it but coloring can only fill so much time… My mom gave me my grandmother’s sewing machine to try a new hobby.  Any tips/suggestions are welcomed since I’m going to use YouTube videos to teach me!  Let’s see how long this lasts… Maybe I’ll have a sewing guide for dummies in my next post 😉 Hope y’all have a great week!!



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