Today is my 7th Birthday (or Chemo-versary)… Happy Chemo Birthday to Me!!

Today marks 7 years of being cancer free and 5 years of being “Liver healthy”.

Looking back on my battle with Advanced Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, it almost seems like it didn’t really happen.  Of course I will always bear the physical reminders in the form of the many scars on my body, but other long term effects do make themselves known in my day to day life.

I occasionally still get headaches that started during treatment, but thankfully, that is the only physical side effect that remains.  After many MUGA scans, my heart is still strong and healthy

It took 2 years after chemo for my liver to regenerate back to a healthy state after starting to fail in Jun 2004.  My liver actually worried me more than the cancer for a while.  If my liver was too far gone to save there was a possibility of needing a transplant and I had no family options to match for a living donor.

Of course Jerry would give me anything if he was a match, but my mother was morbidly obese at around 300 pounds so she was out; my full brother Ken was into alcohol and drugs and my younger half brother Greg was born with underformed kidneys so his liver is already picking up their slack and my father took 2 weeks to decide if my life was even worth a phone call so I could get chemo so I knew he wouldn’t bother getting tested.

It took 2 years of making sure I was properly hydrated every day (carried a liter bottle with me everywhere and drank 2+ a day) so my liver could focus on doing its job and regenerating itself.  That may sound strange but if your not properly hydrated your kidneys can’t function at 100% and your liver has to pick up their slack in addition to it’s regular duties.  Sort of like when you have a slacker co-worker and you constantly have to pick up their slack 😉

I carried bottles around with me so much then, that now if I am in the car and I don’t have a bottle, I freak out a little.

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