I have cancer.
I found out about a week ago. It feels unreal, and I do not understand what it means yet. So here are the facts that I can grasp:
- I have Essential Thrombocythemia, a type of blood cancer.
- Basically, my bone marrow makes too many platelets. I have three to four times the amount of platelets a normal person has.
- Normally people my age do not have this type of cancer.
- Essential Thrombocythemia is treatable. I will start chemotherapy soon.
- Essential Thrombocythemia is incurable.
It is hard to learn that you have incurable cancer a few months after your 21st birthday, even if it may be decades before it gets very serious. I will likely be taking chemo for the rest of my life. I’m blessed: the type of chemo I need can be taken as pills. There are other factors that I have not fully processed.
I hope this blog will help me as I try to make sense of this life change. It’s a bit of a relief to talk about it, because keeping it a secret makes things feel even less real. I find myself saying “I have cancer” to myself several times a day. I get overwhelmed at inconvenient times: in the middle of a shift at work or a dear friend’s birthday celebration. I have no idea how things will change over the next months.
I wish that none of this had happened. I wish the Ring…oh wait.
I wish I didn’t have cancer. I wish I could predict what will happen in the next few weeks. Maybe I’ll get sick from the chemo, maybe there’s been a crazy mistake and the doctors are wrong, maybe this won’t be as easy as I hope or as difficult as I fear. But I can’t control much of anything right now.
I do know this, in the midst of all the fear and confusion and uncertainty: God is faithful. I’ve dealt with illness for a large part of my life. Through it all God has given me grace, strength, and courage, and He has surrounded me with people who love and support me. Honestly, I am humbled and blessed by the number of friends and family members who have offered to donate bone marrow to me in the past two weeks. Also, I have the most gracious and supportive employers in the world. As hard as this is, I can’t imagine doing it alone. Whatever happens in the upcoming months, I’ll be using this blog to keep people updated. Please be praying for my family and me when you think of us.
Please bear with me.