This is a question that was posed to all of the bloggers with the challenge to answer it. I am going to attempt to do just that. For those of you who know me, and know how silly and funny my blogs usually are, well, this one is going to be a bit different. Fair Warning in Advance.
I have been fortunate that none of my relatives have had cancer. I’ve only lost one grandparent thus far and my grandpa will be 100 this sept. I have been very blessed and I know this. So, since none of my family have ever been touched by this, why do I relay? Why do I care about some other random people that I have never met and will likely never meet? I think the more important question is, “why wouldn’t I care?” We’re all in this crazy life together. To me, it makes sense to care about the others who are living it with me. So, that’s part of my answer. I relay because it’s the right thing to do.
But that’s only a part of it. I relay because I know what it’s like to have a disease with no cure. I know, I said that I have never had a relative have cancer, and I haven’t. I don’t have cancer myself. I have something else. So now, it’s story time.
Once upon a time there was a woman called Corvi. Corvi was not what you would call an athlete. At All. Corvi’s idea of fun was reading. One year, while in college, Corvi got mono. It happens. Especially if you live in the dorms. Corvi seemed to have a very slow recovery from mono but her doctor didn’t seem worried. She was constantly getting sick with pnemonia’s and bronchitis’ and one day she got a rash on her skin. Her doctor thought she had scarlet fever and treated her accordingly. The rash went away, but Corvi was still getting sick a lot. In fact, Corvi couldn’t go a month without getting sick in some way. Nobody thought there was anything wrong tho, they just put it down to a REALLY slow recovery from mono. Corvi worried about it tho. She felt that there was no way she should be getting this sick all the time and was beginning to think it was all in her head and that there was something mentally wrong with her. 4 years went by and nothing changed. She got married, moved to a new place with her husband, and started working part time. Then she REALLY got sick. She was sent to emergency a few times from her job, once because she went into reflex coughing and couldn’t stop without pure oxygen. The Doctor there told her she had pneumonia and bronchitis at the same time and gave her antibiotics for them. A month later Corvi was at work and her supervisor was very concerned about her. Apparently Corvi looked like shit. Corvi was positive she could get thru the end of her shift but her supervisor called the EMT’s on her who, again, took her to emergency. By fluke, she got the exact same ER doctor who looked at her and asked “Did you take the pills I gave you??” to which she replied that yes she had taken all of them. He responded that the bronchitis was gone, but her pneumonia was worse and had partially collapsed her lung and he was admitting her to the hospital.
So here was Corvi, in the hospital. The doctors came and did a CT scan to see how badly her lung was collapsed and here’s where it gets weird. Nodules of gunk showed up on Corvi’s CT scan. Gunk that wasn’t supposed to be there. The doctors looked at the scans and then sent her doctor to go talk to her. Remember, Corvi has moved, so she has a new doctor now. So her new doctor came into Corvi’s room to talk to her. “Corvi,” she said, “We found some stuff in your CT scan. There are nodules that should not be there. We can’t be certain till we do a bronchial biopsy, but you have either lymphoma or sarcoidosis.” Corvi wanted to know what those were. Lymphoma is a form of cancer, and Sarcoidosis is an auto immune disease that is in the same family as Lupus. Her doctor wanted to schedule the biopsy for as soon as possible, but… PLOT TWIST, it was Easter Weekend and the doctor who does those wouldn’t be in till Monday and it was only Saturday morning. So Corvi got to spend the entire easter holiday not knowing what she had… which I gotta tell ya, TOTALLY SUCKS. She had to call her parents and let them know as well. Corvi was massively freaked out.
Monday finally comes and the doctor performed a bronchial biopsy… if you never have to have one of these BE THANKFUL. They are SO not fun. It didn’t help that Corvi gets panic attacks if she can’t breathe. However, they managed to get bits of the nodules to do the testing on and the results came back. Corvi had Sarcoidosis. There was some relief that it was not cancer, not gonna lie, but then she had to learn just what it was she had. Sarcoidosis, as mentioned, is an auto immune disease. It permanently suppresses your immune system (which is why Corvi was always getting sick) and while active, eats a person’s internal organs. Usually the lungs first, which it had on Corvi. The doctors estimated by the amount of damage that Corvi had had this for about 4 years… about the time she got mono in fact. No one knows how, or why, someone gets Sarcoid. They actually don’t know a whole lot about it and here’s the kicker; There Is No Cure. With aggressive steroid treatment for 2 1/2 years they were able to get Corvi’s sarcoid into remission, but even now, years later, Corvi has to have bloodwork every 4 months to make sure it hasn’t woken up.
Today, Corvi can’t work, cuz if she tries, even part time, she gets sick. Her lungs are as good as they’re gonna get, which is about 75% capacity, and she will never have a normal immune system… ever. That is permanently borked. She has a family that loves her, and understand when she gets sick. Her kids are germ carrying monsters but she loves them anyway, even when she gets a lot of colds from them. Her hubby deserves an award because he totally was there and supportive thru all of that stuff… which happened in their first year of marriage. Talk about a honeymoon buster.
So yeah… that’s why I Relay. I relay cuz I know what it’s like. I relay because while there may not be a chance for a cure for me, there totally is a chance for a cure for a lot of other people out there and I want them to have that chance. We’re all on this ride together and if we don’t help others, who will? So come get on the crazy magic bus with me and let’s beat this thing… oh.. Alia’s driving… you have been warned.