Monday, December 04, 2006

A Source of Strength

I have resumed visiting the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society bulletin board on the net, and upon doing so found this post. It summarizes beautifully not only the nature of potentially fatal diseases, but how we should look at life in general. I don't know who this person is, but I owe them much thanksgiving. Here is the post:

It will be ten years in January since I was diagnosed with APL--I was one of the few--and really it is few--who relapse HOWEVER, that was seven years ago and I had a BMT, am doing great, and ran a marathon last year. I know the "R" (relapse) can have as much power as the "c" word but really, the thing about APL relapse--should it happen and most likely, it won't--is that you have options. Knowing you have options is great. You pretty much can leave it at that and then focus to living today as joyfully and gratefully as possible. I also found that for my husband and I, the 'after" part of treatment was almost as hard as the physical part--emotional roller-coaster for us--but eventually--on your own timetable--you will integrate the experience into your life. I was 39 when i was diagnosed and it just seemed way too early in life to be dealing with the whole death and dying topic. It is a powerful, blindsiding experience and integrating it can take time--be easy on yourself, acknowledge the anxiety and then try to lay it down. Fear doesn't help one bit and just holds a person back from living fully--but just because you know something intellectually doesn't mean that you are at the same spot emotionally. hang in there, it's a process and we get through it in our unique way (s). This experience will be part of you forever--like eye color-- but it won't dictate your future and believe it or not, will likely have some positive effects that you can't imagine at this moment.

"APL" is the same type of Acute Leukemia I am suffering from, and "BMT" means "Bone marrow transplant."


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