Friday, October 8, 2010

Does Leukemia have an awareness color??

Leslie here!! What's up blog readers?? It's FRIDAY!! Let's celebrate!!! :)

So I have a question. DOES our dreaded Leukemia/blood cancer have a color? Like the Susan G. Komen pink for breast cancer awareness that's everywhere?? I mean, I have to say, KUDOS to that campaign...honestly, I see the pink EVERYWHERE!!! The NFL is even wearing it!! It's on our food packaging, on our televisions, on vehicles, it's at the bank, it's all over the internet, it's on television sitcoms, it's on pretty much every piece of massly consumed product you can imagine...and I think it's safe to say...the campaign has worked. Don't we all see that pink and immediately know what's up? THAT is a successful awareness campaign. So...then of course it brings to MY mind..."but what about Leukemia?" "What about T-PLL?" Do we have a color? How many people even actually know that Leukemia is actually a blood cancer and not a tumor cancer? How many of you were already aware of that before our beloved Mark got sick? I know there are many medical professionals that read this blog (my mom is an ER tech at Botsford Hospital in Detroit, and her and her medical-type friends read and talk about this blog a lot at work), so I know you guys and gals of course already knew that Leukemia is a blood cancer, but those of you out there that had really only heard the word "Leukemia" before, did you know already that it was actually cancer of the blood and bone marrow? I'm curious. I personally have this drive and need to want to educate people on this disease, and I feel like more can be done to drive awareness about this illness so that maybe...just maybe...more research can be done about this cancer and maybe...just day...we make even more progress towards a cure.

I've already emailed the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to ask if there's an awareness color, and I'll let ya know what they say. In the meantime, (and I mentioned this in my previous entry), I wanted to more sufficiently explain our awesome "Top Blog of 2010" award. The award was given to various people who have blogs about various medical conditions. There were a handful of awards given to the top Leukemia blogs of 2010, (you can see the nifty "award seal" on the home page of this blog), and I wanted to say "thank you" to the Medical Billing & Coding Organization for the honor. "Curing Vancura" is listed amongst many other blogs about Leukemia, all that outline their own personal journeys through this horrid disease. But what I like most about getting the award, is that it helps with the awareness thing that I've been internally obsessed with since the word "Leukemia" was uttered to us back on Jan. 8, 2010.

I have this need to talk about what happened to my man. I have this desire to tell people exactly what happened and to let them know that if it's happening to them or to someone that they love, not to freak out too much, that things can be done. To trust their doctors enough, but no so much that you're afraid to ask questions. That it's okay to challenge them, it's okay to make them show you exactly what's happening if you're confused. To be brave. I just want to offer a place to go, and a bit of knowledge and hopefully solace to those that are panicking, those that are living in a constant state of fear, those that feel alone. Mark and I both do. He's already talked to a few different people via email and via telephone that have stumbled upon our blog, because they're going through the same thing, and through that, WE can find our peace too because we now find ourselves in the position of support givers because we've been through it (and are truthfully still going through it). And let me tell you, there were many nights in 2010 that I wasn't sure we'd ever get here. Now that we are, I can feel this passion building in me, in us...that we're supposed to reach out and offer up our support and our knowledge and experience and to be advocates. How could we not? After the incredible support bestowed upon both of us, both Mark and I feel an intense need to give back.

At any rate, Mark's still got a ways to go. His white count is still low, but he's so happy and healthy. The (now quarterly I believe), bone marrow biopsy that he gets has been turning up with "zero sign of leukemia", and as long as that stays like that, we're both happy. Now just crossing our fingers for a healthier white count. Of course will keep you all posted on that progress.

In the meantime, check out the list of blogs that we are honored to be mentioned with. I kind of scrolled down looking for "Curing Vancura" and got a lovely sense of pride when I saw it amongst the list. Here's the website: CLICK HERE

And if anyone knows the answer to my question about Leukemia's awareness color...give me a shout...leave a comment.

Love to you all.

(and Mark)