Saturday, March 13, 2010

Painted Black

Today is the day! The day I get the tattoo I have dreamed of for years. I'm so excited I even dreamed about it last night. For me tattoo's are beautiful and can be works of art if done correctly. Of course I have my fears and doubts about this one, considering its not the smallest tattoo in the world, but if its done right I will be so thrilled.

The tattoo is a gorgeous mixture of my personality. A work with of course my favorite flower, a daisy, along with the treble clef, to remember my high school days and love for music. I am also going to have a string of stars, since I am always dreaming. The newest addition is a leukemia awareness ribbon.

My ex has been battling leukemia since last June, and two months ago this disease almost took his life. I lived at the hospital for four months by his side day and night. The hospital setting really took a toll on me as a person. I saw pain and despair everyday. I try to be a optimistic person generally, so I did the best I could to keep his spirits up. Of course this failed. In the beginning it was easy to push all the sadness away but after awhile it consumes you.

That experience opened my eyes to a whole new world. Cancer is everywhere. It has touched so many lives and destroyed so much. It is so unexplained and interesting. Billy's cancer, when first diagnosed was found by him going into the doctor with pains in his upper back. Within two weeks he had lost all feeling in his legs. The CT showed a mass growing between his shoulder blades. This mass baffled doctors for almost a month.

I remember the day the doctor came in the room to tell us what they had found. I held Billy's hand praying they would say it was a non-malignant tumor. As he begin to speak it was bad news. Not only was it bad news it was terrible news. They had never seen this type of species of leukemia. They kept calling him a special case. I now hate the word special.

So, they began a series of different treatments trying to find something that worked, but the cancer was winning. Billy's case was special because he is a young healthy twenty year old male. The kind of cancer he obtained was only found in small children and elders. Also this form of leukemia when finally diagnosed mutated in a matter of months from Chronic Mylogenous Leukemia to Acute Lymphatic Leukemia. This meant Billy was in what they called a blast cell crisis. He was fighting for his life. He was hospitalized and given some of the worst doses of Chemotherapy imagined. I remember one they brought in called "the red dragon". The nurses were covered head to toe in coats and gloves to their arm pits. When I asked why they had to take such extreme measures they told us that if any of the liquid were to hit someones skin or the floor it would burn through. Keep in mind this drug was being put into Billy's port that led directly to his heart and into his blood. Then they proceed to tell us the risks involved with this "red dragon". They said their have been cases where people have went insane while on the drug, but don't worry the nurse says, its very rare for this to happen. I was floored and terrified for Billy. I couldn't even imagine how he felt in that moment.

During my time on the cancer floor at UT Hospital, I realized that cancer is something to be recognized. I am so proud not only of Billy but all the other survivors. This phenomenon is a scary reality. We are living in a scary world that equals an even scarier truth. Life is precious and it can be taken away at any moment. No matter what your story is life can never be so bad that you want to give up its amazing gift.

1 comment:

  1. i feel for you.. i do hope you are feeling quite better now and less terrified.. i think that no matter what is happening, Billy is always loving you, always grateful for what you did, for loving him while he was battling with cancer..

    i guess, you were one of the reasons he hold on tightly =)it's good he has battled his way through it =)