Leukemia

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    I’m new here!

    Hi, my name is Vorlex. I'm here because I have Acute Myeloid Leukemia in remission after a stem cell transplant. I’ve been suffering from increasing chronic pain that is becoming debilitating and I’m looking for suggestions to cope or similar cases.

    #MightyTogether #Leukemia #MyalgicEncephalomyelitis #Fibromyalgia

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    Hello!

    Hello! I just joined The Mighty! I have A daughter named Riley and another on the way. I joined because Riley was diagnosed with stage 2 Leukemia a few months ago. I really need someone to talk to.

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    I'm new here!

    Hi, my name is Cesur (meaning brave in Turkish language, hoping to carry the name during my journey). I'm here because I need to share my illness with people who understand instead of keeping it to myself.

    #MightyTogether #Leukemia #ChronicIllness #PulmonaryArterialHypertension

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    I’m new here!

    Hi, my name is hopeprayer. I'm here because
    of a family member w leukemia
    #MightyTogether

    Post

    I’m new here!

    Hi, my name is hopeprayer. I'm here because
    of a family member w leukemia
    #MightyTogether

    Post

    I’m new here!

    Hi, my name is hopeprayer. I'm here because
    of a family member w leukemia
    #MightyTogether

    Post
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    Wrecking Ball, Meet Rope: Cancer + Mental Illness

    In my family, we have experience with a variety of conditions. My first-born has a series of mental health diagnoses. My second-born has cancer. And, I have my own experience dealing with Lyme Disease and anxiety.

    As a rule, I do not compare between my children. I equally do not want to compare the pain and hardship of people battling different diseases. Instead, I want to acknowledge that cancer, mental illness, and other lesser known medical conditions all come with loads of pain, suffering, and hardship.

    In my experience, the hardship is distributed differently. I think of one like a wrecking ball and the other as a heavy, unending rope.

    The Wrecking Ball: Cancer hits like a wrecking ball, stopping you in your tracks. If you are a "lucky" cancer patient, you might avoid being taken out entirely by its forceful swing. To all those battling cancer or caring for a loved one with cancer, I am with you. Helping my child navigate this disease has been like nothing else I've experienced.

    The Rope: Mental illness is a heavy load of rope that stretches out forever. You drag this rope with you every. where. you. go. You may trip over it, be slowed by its weight, get tangled up in its grips - or worse.

    As a parent, I’m tired. But, I know that I am not alone. I have met a small handful of parents who are going through similar challenges. And that makes all the difference. Yet, there is one aspect that I was not prepared for.

    While I never compare my children or their struggles, children often compare themselves to others. It has been hard to see my first-born realize that society does not fully understand the pain and hardship of someone battling mental illness. Our first-born watches our second-born receive card after card, gift after gift, emblazoned with: Brave, Strong, Heroic, Amazing, and more. All the while, our first-born wakes up to her own (invisible?) battles each morning, drags them to school with her, and tries to put them to bed each night.

    As parents, we work for our first-born to be seen/understood by insurers, school staff, family members, friends, and even our medical providers. I hope that we can teach our society more about these invisible and lesser-known struggles so that those who come next get more support, less judgment, and less assumptions.

    I truly hope that this post lifts up all who are struggling and does not imply that one battle is harder or worse than another. Cancer is hard. Mental illness is hard. All deserve support, compassion, and empathy.

    To those battling cancer, mental illness, or a lesser known disease, you are all [insert word from inspirational greeting card]. And, not always because you want to be. Sometimes, just because you have to be.

    #Cancer #Leukemia #AcuteLymphoblasticLeukemia #OCD #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder #TouretteSyndrome #tics #Anxiety #PANSPANDAS #LymeDisease

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    Forty-Two Days of Grief

    In October 2021, I finished three-and-a-half years of cancer treatment for leukemia. Three-and-a-half years of feeling unwell. Three-and-a-half years of headaches and fatigue. Three-and-a-half years of joint pain. Three-and-a-half years of medicine-induced body acne. Most importantly, three-and-a-half years of contemplating my own death. One would assume this would be cause for elation. It wasn’t.

    What I did not tell friends and family at the time is that I stopped my treatment six months early. My routine bone marrow biopsy, the test that checks for leukemia in the blood, was a bit off. It implied perhaps the toxicity of my cancer drugs had given me a new blood disorder—a blood disorder that is a precursor for a different type of cancer. What is supposed to be curing me is making me sick?

    Defeated and depressed, I kept a journal over the next forty-two days to deal with my emotions while awaiting a repeat test to confirm or deny if I had the disorder or not. To confirm or deny if my cancer journey, after three-and-a-half years, was really just beginning.

    I will release around one post a day over the next forty-two days in hopes to give insight into the unending, polluted thinking that preoccupies cancer patients. This behavior, anticipating a negative result before knowing the true outcome, is something we all are guilty of. But there is no stopping the mind.

    My hope is that this will help other cancer patients, caretakers, and people grieving anything feel less crazy. And let people who have not experienced such a purgatory understand their loved ones more.

    ***I think it is important to share a SPOILER ALERT: It turns out that I was preemptively grieving something. I did not have the disorder. I am done with treatment. And I am in good health.

    More at charlie razook.substack.com!

    ❤️ Charlie #MentalHealth #Anxiety #Depression #MightyTogether #Cancer #AcuteLymphoblasticLeukemia #Leukemia