Saturday, October 11, 2014

Light the Night 2014

It's time to Light the Night again!

This year my team and I are walking to raise funds and awareness for blood cancers. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has been a great resource during my cancer treatment and ever since I've been (literally) back on my feet, and they've continued to be a great source of support. 

I was amazed at the turn out last year, and felt so inspired seeing so many survivors, fighters and caregivers all rallying together. Here's some pictures from last year!

Click here to find out more information about LLS's Light the Night, for events near you and how you can donate/volunteer/participate. Check out my team website below if you want to donate to my team, the Walkin' Wendys, or you can even join us on October 25th if you like!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Follow Me On Facebook

I started a Facebook page!

Hopefully this page will help connect more of us cancer patients and survivors, and anyone else who's interested in crappy drawings about bone marrow transplants.

Also, here's something interesting: If I went back in time twenty years and tried to explain "following someone on Facebook" to my 8-year-old self, her 1990s mind would probably imagine the following:

So, follow me on Facebook and let's see what happens!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I'm back! 

No, I'm not dead. I've been balancing my human life with my post-cancer body, and that has left little time in between to really sit down blog. (Is "blogging" the same as "complaining"? I think so...) 

Anyway, now that work and life has slowed I bit I'm able to assess how things are going. I met a fellow BMT survivor recently and we discussed our lasting symptoms from treatment, and how you can be rid of cancer, but cancer will never be rid of you. It is a stain that cannot be washed away. 

She then described cancer with a car and driver metaphor. I loved it, took it and put my spin on it.

The moment you're diagnosed with cancer, the disease carjacks you, bloodies you up and throws you in the trunk. So begins the joyride you enjoy from the cramped, dark space next to the spare tire. 

Then you start treatment.

You break yourself out of the trunk, take the driver's seat, and shove cancer into the passenger seat. For a while you both sit side by side, sometimes the cancer grabs the wheel and steers you into on coming traffic, because let's face it cancer is a sociopath. It's constant nagging and side-seat driving nearly drive you insane (pun intended). 

Finally, you're in remission.

Cancer gets shoved into the backseat. It kicks your seat and continues to backseat drive, but your focus is on the road.

Eventually cancer slinks into the trunk where it will stay with the rest of your emotional (and literal) baggage. Maybe you get a trailer hitch and stow it in that, but in the end it will always be a passenger.

Along the way down this highway, you pick up some hitchhikers. Side-effects of the chemo, emotional and physical trauma. Passengers that, like your cancer, refuse to take a hint and get the hell out of the car. And they will not shut up.

These are some of my most persistent passengers.

They are constant companions in my post-cancer life. Now that I have rejoined the human world and have new passengers: a job, bills and, dare I say, responsibilities, I feel like I'm driving in a clown car of annoyances.

My passengers constantly compete for my attention. Work will scream for its bottle, while Dry Eye begins poking my eyes. Sleep tugs on one leg while Night Cramps tug on the other. Hunger scrapes my insides while Pill Nausea punches me in the gut. Migraine jackhammers into my skull while I chase Student Loan around the house for stealing my wallet. 

How do I manage it all? I'm not sure I do. "Coping" is a better word. "Manage" implies some kind of organization. My approach is to drop one thing to deal with the other. The one that nags and stabs and shrieks the loudest wins - those invariably are my cancer passengers.

I used to get mad that so many of these passengers still dominate so much of my life. I'm over two years out of transplant. Why couldn't I just suck it up and get better already? But then, after a long conversation with other BMTers, I realized that, I am ONLY two years away from transplant. I practically died and came back to life two years ago. Compared to a two-year-old zombie, I think I'm doing pretty good.

At least I'm not a torso on a lawn.