I have a feeling that many of you have found your way here from the column on Cycling Illustrated, from a TNT email, or other newsletter / link. My blog is (aside from one post) arranged in reverse dated order, so it might be a little difficult to find the stories that make the most sense to read in a row. So, I’ll provide links and a recap.
First up, if you never thought you would laugh at a cancer patient, and not feel bad at all, Think Again. This post details one of the absolutely most embarrassing things to ever happen to me, in my entire life. I think it’s also the most popular story that I’ve ever told my friends about myself. Family members, strangers, friends, friends of friends, have all told me how this story/post has made them laugh. Generally at my expense. Go ahead, you have my full permission.
Next up, after a while of writing just general posts about what I was going through, I realized, it might be helpful if people knew my back story. Or maybe people were curious about it. Or maybe not, I’m not really sure. Either way, you can see where I was heading before leukemia gave me a bit of a side tracking, right here. If you’re finding me from Cycling Illustrated, this post has a heavy focus on training, weight loss, working out, and doing things that you love. So it might be right up your alley, as it were.
Additional Funny or Awkward stories
If you want some light(er) reading, you can read any of the following. They’re all among some of the most popular posts on the site, though do be mindful of the disclaimers:
- Think you know awkard? Think again.
- Less Obvious Things I missed in my month in the hospital.
- Er…GI issues related to chemo and drugs. [This one talks about poop. Be fore warned.]
- Adventures in Bowel Movements part deux [Yep, poop again.]
Reaction to the News
One of the posts that I keep stickied up at the top of the page (I’ll probably swap it out with this one, though), is the post that talks about my initial reaction to the first diagnosis. It’s pretty raw, though I’m proud of the writing. It’s here. You can also find more reactions and dealing with the implications here and here.
If you want to know a WHOLE LOT about what it means to be diagnosed with leukemia, or if someone you know/love was recently diagnosed, feel free to point them to this [Warning: very long!] post.
One of the most common things that people ask me is “is there anything I can do to help?”. Unfortunately, most of these people are talking about me specifically. And for me, no, there’s not really much you can do to help me specifically out. If you’re a friend or family member, visiting me when I’m stuck in the hospital is absolutely AWESOME and I love each and every visitor that I get. If you can’t make it (totally understood), even just a few messages from time to time to let me know that you’re thinking about me generally brings a huge, silly smile to my face. And for those of you out there that I only know because of this blog and because of my cancer – you ladies and gentlemen all rock too, and thank you for liking and commenting my posts.
However, in the bigger picture, there are lots of things that people can do to help the overall “leukemia scene”, as it were. The first, most important, and potentially most impactful, way is to sign up for the bone marrow registry, at Be The Match. For most leukemia patients (and several other blood related disorders), a stem cell transplant is the only thing that can provide them with a cure. Unfortunately, finding a match is REALLY difficult. Only 25% of people, overall, get matched with a sibling. Outside of a direct sibling, it’s actually less likely to be matched up with a family member more distantly related than that, than it is to be matched with a random stranger. There are some really scary numbers here, especially if you belong to any of the minority groups. More than 70% of minority patients needing a transplant die before finding a match. Considering that a match probably does exist for these people, this REALLY sucks.
If you want to find out more about the process, what’s involved, and all that jazz, well you’re in luck. I wrote about it, here, so click it and find out!
Additionally, if you want to just donate, you can do so at the aforementioned Be the Match link, or you can give in my name to the same organization, right here. I don’t get this money – it’s just a way to see that I’m making a difference for BtM. Besides, of course, all the wonderful people who are getting swabbed in my name.
If you want to know more, or donate in other places, I talk about my friend running the Boston Marathon for Dana Farber (and me!) in this post, and I’ll have another post about a Facebook stranger, and now friend, who asked to put me on their banner for their light the night event coming up soon on Long Island. So stay tuned, more fund raising and general do-gooding posts will be coming up.
There’s a ton more stuff on here. I hope that you’re sucked into a time vortex, forced by your brain and curiosity to read each and every post on here, fascinated by my absolutely amazing writing talents. This will likely not be the case. However, even if you’re just stopping by to say hi, feel free to comment, or email. The most anonymous way to reach me is by leaving a comment here. The easiest is probably to like my facebook page (commenting here requires a minor bit of signing up), and send a message (or write on the wall) there. Either way, thanks for stopping by, and I hope that you enjoyed the visit.
Lastly, if you want to follow the blog, and don’t want to have to check it from time to time to see when I update, on the right hand side is a box you can put your email in. WordPress will then send you an email (one) each time I post something brand new to the blog. I try to space out my postings, so it won’t result in spam cluttering the inbox. Alternatively, I also put up a post on my facebook any time I put a new post here (with small smaller posts from time to time on the FB page that don’t warrant a full post), so if you don’t want your email out there, you can also follow this blog by using the facebook page. It’s totally useful, people, I promise.