What the actual Fuck?! Never in a million years did I think I would be writing a blog and telling you all that I have Leukemia! Actually, that’s not true. I have always been worried about my cancer returning and having to fight again. Always wondered what it would be to hear those words again “you have cancer.” I don’t know how to explain it to you other than the word Leukemia is 10 times worse than the word cancer. It’s scary!
Wednesday 5th July I presented to the Ballarat Base Hospital with shoulder pain which radiated down my side and arm. I thought I was having a heart attack. So did everyone else!! I was rushed in and before I knew there were wires everywhere, doctors trying to get blood from me and nurses running around like headless chooks. They couldn’t find a vein and in the end had to use an ultrasound machine to find a vein. That should have tipped me off, as my veins are shit but especially crap when I had cancer.
Things had settled a bit, I was told my heart was fine but was waiting on the blood results. I told Bob to go and get a coffee and something to eat, so off he went as I was riding the wave of morphine and not in too much pain. He walked out and then I was faced with three doctors and two nurses. One doctor sat next to me and said “ do you have a support person?” Panic set in and I looked at each and every one of them standing there looking at me and they all had that look of sympathy on their faces. My heart was racing as I picked up my phone to call Bob to tell him to get back to me asap!
The doctor said the bloods have shown something quiet concerning. I said “it’s back isn’t it?” She looked at me with a blank look on her face. I then said “I’ve had breast cancer, and it’s back isn’t it?” Her response was “ you have Leukemia.” WTF! What even is Leukemia?
I’m not going to go into detail of what everything is and means as cancer is a complete mind-blowing cluster of bullshit, big words and unknowns. It is a world of torture, and by that I mean waiting for test results, you try not to let your mind go to dark places, but horrible thoughts do creep in. I have found that the word Leukemia is a real trigger for me, I hate it! I have been referring to it as cancer and I will continue to use cancer as a reference.
I am sick of being scared of it already. I’m four days in and I have hit the “I’m pissed off stage!” Every cancer patient questions “why me?” at some stage. I did that. What the Fuck?! Why has this happened to me again?? How many times can one family hear they have to fight cancer. Seriously, what have I done so bad to deserve this? Then I hit the “hell no!” its not getting me! I’m only 42 … I’m not done yet!
One thing my daughter Bree said to me this morning really hit home for me. “Mum, half of Ballarat is sending
you hugs and love.” I responded with “baby girl, we have created a tribe, and this is what I’m most proud about!” We have so much support that every time I receive a message I burst into tears, I’m so touched by all the love you are throwing in our direction, so keep it coming. I truly do have the best friends and family. Everybody just dropped, ran and picked up the pieces that I left trailing behind me as I was transported to Melbourne.
I’m now in the Olivia Newton John Cancer Centre in the Austin Hospital and this will be my home for the next 4-6 weeks. The Ballarat Base were amazing, the ambo guys that bought me down were fantastic. They even stopped so I could take a selfie with Olivia! God love them, they started laughing, and thought I was crackers but letting me do this one thing really showed how much they cared and they had my back. As soon as I saw her picture, a wave of gratitude and love swept over me. I knew I was in the right place, she's got me!
I have been put through the ringer with a barrage of tests to find out exactly what type of Leukemia (yes it hurt to type that word!) I have. I have had bone marrow biopsies which were far from fun, heart scans, a fancy port inserted into my chest to access my veins which has been a godsend, not to mention the countless blood tests, and blood transfusions. I couldn’t be more grateful to those who have gifted me their blood, it is literally saving my life at the moment. So, to all the rare A- peeps out there who donate blood, thank you! We are waiting for one more piece of the puzzle to work out which chemo I will be having, but what we do know is I have a chance at 100% cure. That’s all I needed to hear to stop feeling sorry for myself, kick into gear and start this fight.
Don’t get me wrong this is going to be far from easy and by the sounds of things, chemo last time seems like a walk in the park to what I am about to face, but I’ve got this! I am going to lose my hair again, so look out for the bad ass bald bitch to return. The girls have asked if they can draw faces on the back of my head with a sharpie. We have come to a compromise with perhaps just a whiteboard marker so we can wipe on and wipe off. LOL This is going to be a tough, it’s going to take every bit of fight I have in me, but I’ve got this!
Thank you to my crew. You know who you are! You’ve dropped everything to pick up my slack and you know I don’t deal well with dropping balls. My workmates at One Life, especially Grant, thank you! You all know you’re my second family and having to just drop and walk away wasn’t sitting right with me, but something I had to do. I’m going to miss you and all my patients like you wouldn’t believe, but I will be back smiling on that front desk and bossing you all around sooner rather than later.
To my immediate crew, thank you will never be enough. I know you all have our back and especially have my little family at arm’s length. Just look after Bob and my babies and I am happy. To everyone else, keep the love coming, it is truly keeping me going. Knowing that you are all behind me is literally holding me up!
Until the next instalment and update. Keep smiling, and never stop Dreaming Big!