I know, I know … this is that time of year for resolutions, for goals, for breaking away from habits and all. But for me, this time around, it’s a time to slip BACK into an old habit I once had.
It was almost two years ago, now, that I had enough of people commenting upon my appearance, and finally went to see the family doctor. I felt fine, really, but I decided to get a professional opinion.
Little did I know that I was stepping into the ring for the first round of my Texas Cancer Smackdown.
But that’s what it was. It’s an ongoing thing … starting with the initial problems that were fixed – and led to my cancer diagnosis. Then there was the surgery, the chemotherapy and many, MANY tests to check my progress – or lack thereof.
As an e-acquaintance of mine has noted on another forum, there’s a lot more to it than that as you – and everyone close to you – has to embrace a new normal. That was the case for me, as well, as I embraced a variety of changes to my normal … some of which I really hated.
One of those was blood donation. I had been a regular donor for more than 35 years, and it was important to me. And it became more important as people fell prey to fabricated scares of the process, and blood donations dropped. Another factor … I have blood type O-, the ‘universal blood type’ which can be transfused to almost anyone in need, regardless of their blood type.
All that came to an end two years ago, though. And it bugged the hell out of me, especially when the news would carry special pleas for donations from the Red Cross and the blood banks.
But now …
I finished my final chemotherapy infusion on January 1, 2017. Because of the type of cancer I had, I was not allowed to donate blood for one year … but I would be able to donate once again (with some types of cancer, you can’t, ever). The local donor center for United Blood Service is closed today. I could go in tomorrow, but one of the UBS staffers asked if I might come in when she’s there, on Wednesday … you got it!
This week, as others are resolving to break old habits, I’m going to embrace one … and I feel pretty damn good about that. I’m winning another round of my Texas Cancer Smackdown!