Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Yesterday and today: November 2010 to April 2011
Life as it is today, April 18, 2011
On November 29, 2010, I was diagnosed with Leukemia - ALL - acute lymphoblastic leukemia. My life from that time to today has changed 100%. The focused artist I once was is now focused on getting through each of my chemo blasts at UCSF, enduring some of the side effects and dealing with the snail pace of continuing with my treatment. I have had five varying series of chemo treatments since my initial diagnosis in November.
Last night I returned from my latest series. Side effects were minimal and it was only a week visit. I am grateful for these short visits. I now question the doctors frequently with requests to go home. Sound childish? Amazing how you revert when being kept inside for too long. I welcome my escapes / break-outs from U.C.: I can sleep in my own bed,, no 2am vitals, no 5am weigh-ins, no connection to pumps or the “ball and chain “ pole thingy you are connected to and privacy! Being home is heavenly!!
I am trying to live by the 12 Step Credo, “One Day at a Time.” Unfortunately when you’ve been poked, prodded, pumped more times than you’d like to say, it is not so easy. Bad days mixed in with good days are common. I am incredibly anxious, impatient about finishing my chemo regimen. I believe I have 4 more treatments to go. The way I feel today, the day after returning from treatment, I might as well have 40 treatments.
I am a strong woman. I will get through this. I want to have many. many years left to enjoy my children, grandchildren and my husband. I want to buy a second home in New Orleans. I want my artwork to thrive and grow. I am grateful now for what I have in my life but I want more of it. This is what propels me through these chemo treatments. Am I frightened by all of this? Of course. I’m terrified the chemo won’t work. I’m living with these fears in the hope that my determination, love of my family and friends will steer me to a healthy life. Time will tell. I remain hopeful and forever impatient to see where this takes me. Through this all, life is very good.