Welcome to the RealTime Cancer Challenge, I would like to congratulate you on taking the Challenge. Whatever your reasons for joining the My Friends email group, whether it be curiosity, a want to understand more about Cancer/Leukemia, or a desire to learn about the Patien’s Perspective, whatever the reason I can assure you, that I am comfortable with all of them. It will be my pleasure to share some of the most significant time of my life with you. I encourage you to think about what it is you are interested to learn and why you are taking the Challenge, and to then make the effort to learn what you are interested to learn.
The original My Friends email group was a very interactive group for some, and not so much for others. If you have questions relating to a physical, intellectual/medical or emotional aspect of my experience, please write to me directly. I will post questions on the “Q&A” section of the RealTime Cancer website. As we progress through my experience you will notice that I am very open, and to date I have never been asked a question I didn’t want to answer. I encourage you to listen, to learn, and to share as you wish.
At this time, 5:30 p.m. on November 6, 1998, I was a 22 year old young Entrepreneur, building a business and loving my work. My priorities were very focused on the professional side of life, as I was working long hours and sleeping very little. Rest and my health fell much further down on the priority list. That all changed, and the start of that change came about 6:00 p.m. on that day, on this day 2 years ago.
While attending a business reception I passed out mid-sentence. As I fell I hit my head. I woke to a new world, that world was the world of a Patient, as an ambulance was on it’s way to take me to the Health Science Center (St. John’s, NF) for “observation” and routine testing.
Those routine tests included blood tests. Those blood tests lead to more blood tests, and those tests lead to Doctors visits, then more Doctors visits, and I began to see a trend building. It is usually a pretty solid sign that if there are more Doctors standing outside your curtain than inside it, there is probably something wrong. I got a visit from one of two Dr. Patel’s at which time I explained to him that I had a big work week ahead of me and that I really couldn’t afford to be in hospital for much longer than a couple of days. What he knew about my condition at that time, I don’t know, and to this point I haven’t asked him, but he did take my hand, very gently, and looking me directly in the eye he said, “you’re not going to be at work next week.” And with those words I made my first “adjustment of the bar”, the reality I now faced was I would no longer be in hospital for “observation”, I was in for 3-5 days. That is the extent of what I knew at that point. After spending about 5 hours in Emergency I made the move to the Hematology/Oncology floor of the hospital (the Cancer floor) 4 North A.
With those events, the biggest challenge of my life began.
“A bend in the road isn’t the end, unless you fail to make the turn”
My challenge was to make the turn.
Live life. Love life.