Thursday, December 3, 2009
It's hard to believe it's almost Christmas. Time sure flies. I know you hear the saying so many times and the older you get the more you say it! It really is true though. My Gabbi is now 2 and my birthday is this month! I will be.....um.....30 something on December 29th. haha Ok fine. 34. I cannot believe I am almost 34. Honestly I don't feel that old. Even with all I have gone through. Actually I feel pretty good. When I was sick and didn't know it I felt awful. It's funny how you remember things later and you realize the cancer explains everything. I am not positive how far back the first symptoms go, but it was at the very least 2004.
I remember standing in the magazine isle at the store. I could not stand there for more than 30 seconds to browse magazines. My body would start to hurt. My whole body. I would start to ache from head to foot. I can't even really explain it. I thought "Man am I getting old or something?" I was around 28-29 at the time. Still I had no other explanation for feeling the instant need to sit down. I thought to myself if I didn't, I would fall down. So, instead of browsing through magazines, or looking through books I would quickly get out of the store. Those feelings are long gone. Now? I could browse for hours. I have no pain. I used to wake up in the morning feeling like my bones were healing from a break or something. It's so hard to explain but it didn't feel like a fresh injury, but rather the type of pain you feel when an injury is healing. It gets sore and tender. My whole body would hurt. I hated waking up in the morning. I knew I'd have a headache. I knew lifting my head off the pillow would feel like a bowling ball. I knew that my eyelids would most likely be swollen. All of these symptoms? Gone.
They can make a list of symptoms for Hodgkin Lymphoma but I can tell you now I didn't have half of them. I never had one single night sweat which is a common symptom. I never felt or saw a swollen lump sticking out of my neck (lymph node) which is also common. I only had difficulty breathing, increasing shortness of breath, wheezing, a little more phlegm than usual, usually rattling in my chest. As it progressed I became more pale (which is bad for me, an already pale woman). It was when a little blood came up when I coughed that I knew without a doubt it was really really bad. I couldn't blame it on allergies or maybe developing asthma any longer. I still stayed in denial regardless. It's funny how we worry about the slightest symptom on our loved ones but when it comes to ourselves we just deny deny deny!
Anyway, I am thankful to be free of those symptoms. There are more. At the time I had no reason to blame my symptoms on cancer. I just didn't know. The things developed over time so I just got used to it. Now I feel so free.
I am looking forward to being 2 years in remission in February. It's like another birthday. It's the day I got my life back. It's when I knew I could look to the future again. I knew I could dream, hope....and live again.