Monday, November 14, 2011

2010 - 2011 Annual Run Report

With the one year anniversary of my diagnoses of Lymphoma this week, I have decided to compile some statistics from the past year...

  • Chemotherapy Sessions: 11
  • Nuelasta Shots: 10
  • Anaphylactic Shock: 3 due to allergies to chemo drugs
  • Surgeries: 2 due implanting my iv port also pneumonia with an infection outside of my lung
  • Paracentesis: 2 (for a total of approximately ten liters of fluid removed from my stomach)
  • Days in the Hospital: 20 including some in I.C.U.
  • Blood Draws: I lost track, but it is easily over 100+
  • Friends made: hundreds and a heart felt thanks to each and everyone of them
  • Lives touched through the Blog and Social Media: thousands, but still not enough

This concludes a short list of things that have happened to me in the past year and in no way includes every event. My life has been changed and I must say for the better. Having gotten a wake up call about making life changes, diet changes and an overall attitude adjustment is hard thing to do at 48, but it has been accomplished.

What else have I learned this past year and what are some common misconceptions I have heard and some things I want to be heard and or talked about.... Cancer is not a death sentence... you may not lose your hair while going through chemo, but getting older may be a factor..Why can't all patients get equal treatment? Why is your attitude so important? Why do we focus only on breast cancer? This in no way takes away from the Departments that have worn pink or "wrapped" their rigs in pink to acknowledge it...what about the rest of us? Are we any different? What about those that worked the "pile" after 9/11? In the perfect world we all would be treated equally but this is far from being a perfect world. Sorry if any feathers get ruffled, just stating my feelings.

Even though I started this post a few weeks ago, work has been hectic and with the addition of a new granddaughter to the family, I have been a bit busy. Today I am sitting in a chair and receiving a Chemo treatment (add another to the run report), so I have a little free time on my hands. A new facebook page has been started with the same name as this blog and the hope is to continue to help spread the word and also help answer questions. Please stop by and "like" it. Well the Benadryl is starting to kick in so I guess it is time to say bye for now. As always, Take Care, Be Safe and Never Forget!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's Been Awhile, Thank You's and Updates

I would like to apologize to the readers of my blog for not posting in awhile. It's been a crazy couple of months and things for the most part are going good in my life. Let's start with the Thank You's...FF'SGIRL, thanks for the guest post. I was having a hard time expressing the emotions my friends and I were feeling leading up to and on 9/11. I have the honor of being friends with Firefighters from all over the world and am eternally grateful to each and every one of them. Along with the friendship comes the "oneness" that we all feel, whether active, retired, paid or volly. In a past post I made it clear that when a Brother cries, we all cry with him. On 9/11, there were way too many tears shed and way too many of my friends shed them.

I did participate in a Memorial Stair Climb and was able to complete half. This was very important to me and in no way was I going to let my cancer or treatments get in my way. Just putting on my old lid brought back a lot of memories, both good and bad. The other thing I noticed how heavy that old beat-up thing weighed..maybe it's me just getting old. I am not sure if it was the helmet or my shirt that read, "Bin Laden can kiss my royal Irish ass", but I made some new friends that day.

There were many people that participated that day, along with FF were many from the public sector. I was given a bit of hope that the message "Never Forget" was being delivered.The one thing I did do was to inform some of the "climbers" about the names they were carrying. To me the FDNY is the elite of the elite in the battle against fire and those that were lost were some of the best of the best. Each step was a time for reflection and thought and I was honored to participate. I must also thank my kids and their families for coming out and supporting the old man; they know how important this is to me. Next year I plan on giving it another go and completing the whole climb.

As far as the battle against cancer, I am still winning the war with only a few minor setbacks. My white counts have been a little low and I have had to postpone a few treatments to later dates, but now we seem to be back on track again. The draw-back of low white cell counts is the inability to fight off diseases and the possibility of ending up back in the hospital with pnuemonia again. I have had to alter some plans as far as seeing the grandkids and the kiddos and I am grateful they are so understanding during this time. I have gotten the flu shot this year and ouch, that was a pain in the arm, I also am taking mega doses of vitamins c and b12 along with a daily multi-vitamin to try and ward off any sneaky bugs out there. The anniversary of my diagnoses is quickly approaching and my life has changed so much in the last year. I have met and talked to some great people who have helped me in many ways...

As always, Take Care, Be Safe and Never Forget

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