Diagnosed March 28th and weeks went by for confirmation and the phone call for markers and prognosis! That was a tough couple weeks not knowing but I had family and friends praying and standing tall with me.
I've only told a handful of friends that I consider my prayer warriors, my husband (who was with me at diagnosis), my children, my brothers and my father(with parkinsons and memory loss). I felt at the time that I had to be strong and only think of the positive and what life still had in store for me! My positivity and my outlook for living this life every day and finding the joy in each moment has helped my family immensely. It is helped them so much it is no longer an issue or topic of conversation. They ask, as in passing, how I am feeling and conversation moves on as if nothing has changed. My world has changed but life goes on!
However, let me take you into a glimpse of my world prior to diagnosis! I don't really know where that positivity came from. I am a great encourager to my family and friends but I am my own worse critic and have always allowed the negative talk in my head to overwhelm me. I have had a pity party in my head for the last few years since my girls graduated and moved on with their lives. I have been bored and felt alone! I work full time and also care for both my parents, one in a nursing home and one trying to live alone at home. My husband has never been a nurturing type of man and doesn't really know how to help when I am sick or injured and getting a Cancer diagnosis simply scared me hell out of me.
In the moment of diagnosis the only thoughts that went through my head was that I couldn't be sick as I am the one taking care of everyone. Who would take care of them? Who would love on my mom and dad in their last days? Who would be there for those late night talks when my girls needed their mom? How would my husband survive without his business partner, his wife, his mother of his children? Heck!, if this diagnosis turns out to be aggressive, Who will take care of me?
Then it dawned on me, I will!!!! I'm not sick! I feel good, I'm healthy, I'm strong, I'm the voice of reason, I'm the nurturer, and I am going to live each of everyday from here on out with purpose, intention and with reason! It was in that moment that it seemed all negativity and pity left my brain!!!!
I have never been afraid of change, of adventure, or of crossing bridges that I came upon!! This is a change that I never expected but it is a change that needs to be accepted! This is an adventure of finding my strength and my endurance which is even far greater than any mountain I have climbed or 1/2 marathon I have ran! I always have been excited when finding a bridge on a hike and excited to cross over to explore what lays beyond that bridge and CLL is now the bridge between the old me and the new me!!!!
The only one thinking about this diagnosis now is me and not talking about it ok for the time being because I know when I need my family and friends they will be there for me in a heartbeat! They all embraced me while waiting for the confirmation of diagnosis and when and if CLL progresses to the next stage they will be there for me!
The new me is the new me that acknowledges my world has changed but my life will go on day by day, year by year, and hopefully decade by decade!!!