An Ode to My Beloved Afro

Diana Ross Look A like.jpgShall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Though art more lovely… Continue reading “An Ode to My Beloved Afro”

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Keeping Up with the Complications

Second verse, same as the first…

Just like the first round of chemo, the waiting while my counts recovered was the most “exciting” part of my time in the hospital. The amount of days that I needed to have a chemo infusion was only five this time, so I started the mutation oral chemo drug earlier than before, which provided plenty of time for my body to get up to its usual “post-chemo” shenanigans. Continue reading “Keeping Up with the Complications”

The Numbers Game

At 19-years-old I was on the cusp of full-blown adulthood, something I’d been looking forward to for as long as I can remember. My whole life had been spent looking ahead, counting down the days until the next big milestone that came with getting older. Continue reading “The Numbers Game”

A Letter to My Surgeon

Dear Mr. Surgeon,

You probably don’t remember me.

Actually, strike that. I know you don’t remember me because I’ve seen you multiple times since I first laid unconscious under your scalpel, and each and every time you’ve looked right through me as if I’m a new window installation. But, I remember you. Continue reading “A Letter to My Surgeon”

One Flew Over the Hopkins’ Nest

Henry: Yo, I’m Henry.

Carl: Carl. Whaddup?

Henry: Not my red blood cell count.

Shameless (US) season 3: Ep. 4 “The Helpful Gallaghers”

On July 5th, it finally happened. After weeks of bouncing up and down like a yo-yo, my counts were holding solid and the all-knowing “team” gave me the green-light to go home for a few days before the second round of chemo started.

Hallelujah, amen. Continue reading “One Flew Over the Hopkins’ Nest”

Medical Distractions

Round one of the endless waiting game began shortly after I received my beloved pain pump. My round of chemotherapy was finished and I had moved on to a brief stint taking an oral chemo drug. This drug was not part of the typical chemo regimen for Acute Myeloid Leukemia, but there were trials being held around the country that showed promise to combat the FLT-3 mutation with an oral drug. The oral drug in question is mostly used for liver cancer currently, and can be taken in the comfort of my own home, but I was still confined within the beige walls of 11 South because my immune system was still firmly in zero territories (at least my liver won’t get cancer). The doctors informed me that I would be released on my own recognizance (I use legal terms because I was being held against my will much like a prison sentence and was soon facing a court date to receive bail) once my counts reached the two hundred zone. Although they predicted that it would take a while, there were many little blips that arose to keep things interesting. Continue reading “Medical Distractions”

Summer Camp Blues

*cue the jazzy harmonica*

“This isn’t summer camp; I’m not here to make friends.”  – Jillian Procope circa June 2015 Continue reading “Summer Camp Blues”

Speed = Distance Over Time

Okay class, pencils down. I’m going to hit you with the truth really quick – the truth that your teachers probably never taught you in your classes. I’m talking about the real equation for calculating speed. Sure, technically yes speed can be calculated with the distance between two set points divided by the amount of time taken to travel from point A to point B. But, as I learned in the hospital, speed can easily be summed up with two letters: IV. Continue reading “Speed = Distance Over Time”

The One With the Drama

To sum up my personality, I am a music theatre nerd. #varsitymusicaltheatre as we used to say in high school. Whatever this means to you is fine, but for me it means that I have moments where I am particularly melodramatic in my reactions to things. Apparently, cancer was no exception. Continue reading “The One With the Drama”

And BINGO Was My Hell-Oh!

As I’ve learned during my now eleven months of being treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital, it is so much better being seen under the Pediatrics side of the hospital rather than the adult side. However, in June of 2015 I was a nineteen year old young-adult who was in no mood to interact with anyone, especially when the word pediatric was involved. As I frequently reminded people: I was in a hospital, not summer camp; I wasn’t there to make friends. Continue reading “And BINGO Was My Hell-Oh!”