Once you receive a Leukemia diagnosis, you start remembering things…
… that didn’t seem normal, but that you brushed off as no big deal at the time.
The very human defense mechanism of denial perhaps?
And so, I thought back on the progressive loss of energy that creeped in over the years… something I attributed to just getting older.
And so, I flashed back to that shower in 2015. Rubbery, painless, grape-sized lump in the left side of my neck. Just a lymph node doing its job, right? I just moved on with the rest of my day and put it out of mind.
I suspect now that these were the early signs that my body was fighting a war against the millions, billions, trillions of abnormal cells multiplying and spreading in my bone marrow, blood stream, lymphatic system, and who knows where.
Does knowing any of this matter now? Would knowing I had CLL and being able to do something about it back then have made me healthier today? Perhaps it would have made things worse. For one, I would have carried around three extra years of anxiety. For two, I might have been hit with a harsher and less effective treatment than is available today (more on this in subsequent posts).