I Don’t often post things that aren’t positive but that’s not a fair representation of what I’m really feeling all the time and I think it’s important to let other people know it’s OK to feel that way.
My Blood Counts were up a bit as of my last check up which is a sign that hopefully this lower dose is a better match for me. My Immune system is working much better now and I no longer look like I just left a UFC match all the time!
Now that my levels have stabilized a bit, We are currently waiting on PCR test results to see whether the treatment is actually working to combat the Leukaemia.
From the beginning I knew in my heart that everything would be fine. While this process has been more challenging then I expected, I still know in my heart that everything will be the way that it is meant to, and I try very hard to take solace in that. I understand that positivity and strength is the best approach to dealing with a life with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia and I have tried to approach it in that way, whenever possible.
That being said- Not every day is Joy and Rainbows and positivity. I struggled with depression for a large part of my life and while therapy and naturopathic assistance helped me get my life back and avoid medication for the last 6 years, this ‘bump in the road’ sometimes feels like an impossible mountain that has triggered an almost ‘Early Life Crisis’. Sometimes it feels like I am surrounded by darkness, even on brightest of days. I’ve been through this cycle enough times to recognize that I am withdrawing, hiding and disconnecting. Sometimes I find it hard to look people in the eyes because I’m afraid they will see the deep emptiness inside that I feel is there. That the positivity on my face and attitude is not matched by the feeling in my soul.
The biggest struggle for me has been addressing the idea of children. As a female musician I understood the complications that having a family can present, and intentionally pushed back the idea of having children many times to focus on my career and give myself the best chance to achieve my biggest dreams. This year my husband and I finally decided we would try to have children, only for me to be diagnosed weeks later and find out that that may never happen for us now.
It’s a confusing topic because CML behaves differently than most cancers. It cannot be treated with traditional chemo, and there currently is no cure. Lifelong TKI Treatment is the only option. While the lifelong TKI treatment for CML does not affect fertility itself, You cannot carry children while in treatment. This means I would need to reach a certain level of response in treatment in order to switch to a temporary pregnancy safe treatment method and try. For many people, achieving this response can take years, and due to my own fertility issues that existed before my diagnosis, I don’t have that much time. We have taken an aggressive approach in the hopes I will reach that response level sooner, but the uncertainty of it all eats away at me sometimes.
All my husband has ever wanted is to have a family with me. All I’ve ever wanted is to sing my music and have a career doing something I love. Sometimes I’m tormented by the thought that I made the wrong choice to wait, that my laser focus on my career has cost me the chance to give my husband his biggest dreams too. While I understand adoption and surrogacy are options, it doesn’t take away from the shame and guilt I feel many days.
Maybe this is too personal to post on social media… but the truth is thats what’s really going on with me. I apologize if anyone feels put off by this level of sharing. It’s hard to act like you’re 100% great all of the time. I’m feeling scared, and uncertain and sometimes really freaking sad. But I also know I’ll be OK. This too shall Pass. Life goes on and you just change your course, right?
To anyone else struggling with illness, depression, fertility issues… anything that you feel like the weight of is sometimes crushing. I understand. I hear you. It’s heavy. It’s hard. You’re not alone. You can do this. If you need someone to talk to- Message me anytime. The support of other people has helped me move forward on even the hardest days and I will always repay that support back to others whenever I can.
Here’s to Raw Truth and Honesty.
*Originally Posted on Facebook