After much consultation and web advice from my wonderful boyfriend, James, who is ironically a Computer Science major (ah, the benefits of dating a nerd!), I decided to try my hand at blogging as an easy to way to keep in touch with everyone.
On August 14, 2009 I received a diagnosis for lymphoblastic lymphoma, a rare form of cancer that originates in the lymphocytes of the immune system. Essentially, this means that my immune system has been compromised, particularly in my bone marrow where the production of blood cells occurs – you name it – red, white, and platelets. While this is no good news at all, it is better than what we had originally feared — another blood disease called myelodysplastic syndrome (bone marrow failure) advancing towards leukemia. Lymphoma is not great, but it is the lesser of these two extraordinary diseases. It is treatable and cure-able. The odds for survival increase with my young age.
More importantly, I don’t intend to be a Debbie-Downer with the course of how I acknowledge my situation. For months now, I have been going in and out of medical clinics getting testing done. True, I am confused and shocked because it is such a rare disease – and I am only beginning to understand it. Yes, it’s something I definitely don’t prefer! But in the end, I realize that importance of the matter at hand is not to dwell on what has happened, but rather to be grateful that I live in a day and age where medical technology and knowledge continues to progress rapidly against the tide of illnesses. I am most appreciative of having the best support system, composed of family and friends like you, and one of the best hematologists at the UCLA Medical Center.
As a result, this blog will, for the most part, chronicle my journey through lymphoma. These are also the beginnings of a memoir as a twenty something year-old, composed of entries and “gems” from my life – similar to the celebrity biographies you find at your local Barnes and Nobles in which they tell you just enough that can be published without sacrificing the integrity of what needs to remain completely private to yourself and even those close to your heart. Sometimes the entries will be out of chronological order. It’s a quick glimpse into certain, extraordinary moments in time that I’d like to remember.
Thank you so much for your prayers and wishes. Hopefully this will be my special medium to communicate with you all! I love getting e-mails (the new snail mail these days), so if you ever want to send me a message, feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And finally, I say to lymphoma … BRING IT ON.