- Lori Micheli
How I discovered I had Leukemia
Updated: May 28, 2019
I am sure like many of you, I was going at a very fast pace. A fast pace with a real shitty attitude. It was never enough. I felt like I was not giving enough to my family, I wasn't loved enough, I wasn't skinny enough, I wasn't smart enough and I was drinking way too much. The list goes on and on. I woke up mentally beating myself to the time I went to bed. At night I kept asking God, Is this it? What is my purpose? What am I supposed to be doing? I felt hopeless, utterly hopeless. My life did not suck, but they way that I looked at my life did.
My mom had a stroke and I was feeling really tired. I thought it had to do with my thyroid so I went to the doctor and got my blood checked. I was in the hospital when my doctor called me and told me to admit myself in the emergency room, YOU HAVE CANCER. I was having an out of body experience. I left my mom with no explanation and checked myself in. As you can imagine I was completely freaking out. What kind of cancer? Doctors were rushing in and out, I had leukemia. I was shaking uncontrollably asking am i going to die? No one would answer the question except for one doctor standing in the back, Dr. Martin. He was shaking his head, no. That was my first blessing.
That night I was admitted into the hospital and started Chemo. I could not believe what was happening to me. I kept on asking my husband, why me? why me? We cried and cried together, baffled. I was assigned to Dr. Olin. Second blessing. Dr. Olin is smart as a whip straight shooter and exactly who I needed. She explained that I had B-ALL and explained my options. Depending on my test results, option one - come in for chemo three weeks out of the month for six months. If my tests showed something different than I would need three weeks of chemo for three months then full body radiation and a bone marrow transplant. Holy shit, this was a lot to process. Thank God for my husband to retain all the information for me because I was losing it. I was still in the why me phase. After my tests came back the doctors determined that I would need to get a bone marrow transplant. Now the question was who?
Next was how do I tell my children. I learned this from a story my daughter, Nicole, wrote in one of her classes. I have no recollection and was in complete shock when I read her paper. Nicole wrote that we needed to go to the hospital. Nicole thought we were going to visit my mom who was also in the same hospital recovering from her stroke. Nicole walked in and saw me laying in the bed with a big smile on my face. I asked everyone everyone to sit down. I told them that I had cancer and I was going to be ok but It would take time and I needed everyone's support. My children's lives were forever changed and there was nothing I could do about it. Again the question of why me? why us? I had to survive. That was my final decision, period. I realized we could not swim up stream against the current and fight the turbulent water. We would all drown, instead we had to let go and have faith that the current one day would be calm again.
Love is healing. I could not believe the love and support I received from my friends and family. People sent me cards, emails and prayers. My company that I was working for, MadisonReed.com, was so good to me and my family. My co workers sent me cards and videos. Meals were sent to my house. Madison Reed also kept me as an employee so I could use my laptop in the hospital and was able to keep my stocks so they would vest. So good to me. The same with my husband's company, Broadly.com. They sent meals a couple of times a week as well. I was diagnosed on September of 27, 2017 and Bob was going to start his position on October 1, 2017. I looked at him and said I need you. How can you start a new position. Bob called up Josh the CEO and told him the situation and said that he could not take the position. Josh said that he understood and to take the month off and start on November 1st. Another MAJOR BLESSING. People are good. Companies are good. I will be forever grateful to both these fabulous companies with amazing leaders. I had close friends sit with me while I cried and they comforted me. They cried with me and they laughed with me. My friend Jenny whom I worked with for many years came in to cut my hair. I told her to shave it off. Jenny said nope I am going to give you a cute pixie even if you can only wear it for one day. I wore it for three and then she came again to shave my head. There were so many things that were difficult in the hospital but losing my hair SUCKED! I loved my hair and it was such a part of who I am. I know that sounds ego driven but for me it was true. When people asked me what they could do for me I said PRAY! My friends were lighting candles for my in Italy, Turkey, New York, Colorado and of course San Francisco. My friend Pattilyn knitted my hats, my friend Ti started a group prayer text. If I was really down or scared I would text her for prayers. God answered one of my questions. I was loved there was no denying it.