I have a confession to make

I haven’t been completely upfront with everyone.

Since announcing my diagnosis last Saturday, I’ve been commended on staying so happy and positive by hundreds of people. For the most part, I do truly feel happy. In fact, I was feeling so great at the beginning of this week that just last night I started a blog post about why I’m so happy despite my diagnosis. After reading through some of the comments on my first blog post, I decided to put that “happy” post on hold, especially after having a rough day. The comment below really stuck out to me:

I hope you write about all your feelings and emotions as well as what is going on in your life at the time so that you will be able to help others get through their rough and troubling times.”

This process isn’t going to be all sunshine and rainbows and I have to stop pretending it is. I guess if I’m going to share my experience with everyone, I have to be brutally honest. Here goes…

Today was a bad day for me. I mean, a really, really bad day. It started while I was at work editing one of the best interviews I’ve ever done. I thought it was going to be a great morning and it was until I realized that in just a few weeks I won’t be sitting at that desk anymore. Instead, in exactly 4 weeks I’ll be sitting in a chair getting pumped with chemicals while I begin my battle against cancer. My entire life is about to be turned upside down and I’m not ready for that. I don’t think the reality of my situation has completely sunk in yet. The more I thought about my near future, the more upset I got.

All of a sudden, tears started pouring out of my eyes. I went into the bathroom and wasn’t able to do anything except wait until the tears stopped flowing. It was like I had no control over my own face. When I finally felt like I could walk out, my vision in my right eye was blurred and I could hardly see. I had no idea what was going on. This lasted about 30 minutes and I’m guessing it was all stress related. Once I could see normally again, I continued to edit my interview and got all of my work done for the day by 10 AM.

I had to leave work early to go to an appointment. This was my first oncology appointment alone since my mom left last week and that was a bit intimidating. I’m 25 years old, yet at that moment, I had wished more than anything that my mom could be there with me. I was immediately handed a packet full of potential side effects from chemo when I walked into the office. We’re talking 3 full pages with almost anything you can imagine listed. I was told my hair will most likely start falling out around three weeks after my first chemo treatment. I’ll lose my eyebrows and even my eyelashes, my skin may get very dry, my nails will be brittle, I’ll likely feel fatigued and nauseous and those symptoms are just a few of the more common ones. I left that appointment feeling down and once again, couldn’t stop the tears from rolling down my face. I sat in my car for about 15 minutes before I felt like I could drive.

Last week I learned about another side effect of chemo that had never before crossed my mind. There’s a good chance that these treatments will make me infertile. I’ve been meeting with specialists to talk about getting some of my eggs harvested and stored so that I may be able to use them some day if I choose to do so. This has been such an emotional experience all by itself. There are so many decisions that I’ve had to make recently that I thought I’d never have to think twice about and being told I may never be able to have children hit me way harder than I would have expected. I’m not even sure if having children is something I want because I’m far from that point in my life, but being told I can’t puts it into a whole new perspective.

I think the hardest part about this is feeling like I have to be happy to avoid pity. It’s easier to force a smile sometimes than to talk about what’s bothering me. I want to be that positive, happy person all the time because that’s who I am, but I have bad days too. I feel like I need to be strong to avoid other people being affected by my situation. The last thing I want to do is be a bother to someone else or have anyone worry about me. I am a strong person, but I have my fair share of moments of weakness and I’m finally learning that it’s ok. The truth is, no matter what’s going on in your life, you’re going to have good days and bad days. You’re allowed to be sad sometimes, but try not to let the sadness linger, even if it means doing something silly.

Yesterday on my facebook page, I asked you all to share some cheesy jokes with me. First of all, thank you to everyone who did. I promise it helped to cheer me up! I find ways to make myself smile even when it’s not easy, and that was something I really appreciated yesterday. I wanted to share a few of the jokes here with everyone. I hope you all find a reason to smile today!

Q: How does NASA organize a party?

A: They planet!

-Courtesy of Kevin Kennerson

Q: What do you call a fake noodle?

A: An impasta!

-Courtesy of Jonathon Knight

Q: Why did the hipster burn his tongue?

A: Because he drank his coffee before it was cool!

-Courtesy of Aaron J Lawn

Q: What do you call a guy with a rubber toe?

A: Roberto

-Courtesy of Dennis Scully

Q: Why did the football coach need to get change for a dollar ?

A: He needed a quarterback! 

-Courtesy of Jon Williams

Q: Why did the duck go to rehab?

A: He was addicted to quack!

-Courtesy of Kevin Dailey

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43 thoughts on “I have a confession to make

  1. Crystal. You will get through this. Keep your head up and know that everyone will be here to support you. My father in law had chemo and did not lose his hair. It happens to some and if it happens to you, it seems by your attitude you make the best out of any situation. Which makes you a extremely strong person. You can do this and remember if you get down talk to all your supporters and we will help pick you back up. I hope this helps! You got this!

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  2. I found your blog to be very brave and real!! You’re right, it’s not always going to be rainbows and sunshine and it’s ok to have bad days. You are human after all. I think that blogging will be very therapeutic for you and also something you can reflect on once you’re over the hump and in remission. Failure is not an option and your strength will get you through. One day at a time. God bless and sending you healing thoughts and prayers.

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  3. Crystal. This will be a tough battle no lies there. But with your friends your family and is that just know you from watching the Weather. You shall over come. You are a United States Sailor as well and nothing holds us back. If you want I’ll sit next to while you do your treatments. You deserve the support. Anytime you need a shoulder email me I’ll come get you a cup of coffee or tea and we can talk

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  4. Crystal I was devastated the morning you came forward with your news. I want to let you know that you are not alone on this journey, that I too have walked in your shoes with a somewhat similar diagnoses, have Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. I can tell you that you feel like your on a roller coaster ride with every bit of information you receive, some good and some not so good. I have explained it as feeling your highest “highs” and at times your lowest “lows”. The amount of uncertainty and the fear of the unknown is no doubt the worse part! I put my faith in God, my support team, and my doctors at VOA. I know how your feeling and can offer a support group that’s on Facebook that answered a lot of questions for me from others that “have been there and done that” and now have some friends that I would never have meet without the disease. Keep your chin up, if you ever need to to talk or vent just drop me a line. Best wishes!!!!

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  5. One day at a time Crystal! Your positive attitude will serve you well through the tough days. And I would be happy to sit with you during chemo treatments if you ever need company. As the mom of 5 adult sons I can understand how hard it has to be not to have your own mom with you every moment. I will keep you in my daily prayers.

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  6. It’s tough, I know it is. Before I met my current doctor I wondered to myself would I need Chemo? Would radiation be an option? Will they surgically remove the melanoma growth and nearby lymph node? Would I be in the hospital from time to time? But to my surprise he told me I could do Immuno-Therapy. It would specifically target my genetic marker for the growth and enable me to kill it with my immune system. It began to shrink within 72 hours. It sounded pretty easy. But in the beginning it had some brutal side effects. I lost my appetite, I felt like I was gagging, and I passed out a few times in the house. But that lasted just a few days and never happened again. I can totally understand being scared when you go to the appointment alone. I won’t do it. My girlfriend goes with me every other week to my appointment. I have an incredible doctor and an incredible Nurse Practioner who make it brief and simple……but it can still be scary. I had to get an infusion of iron this past visit and was so worked up. My blood pressure was through the roof and my heart rate was high. It’s scary, even when it’s not a major procedure. But my nurse calmed me down and told me what I could expect and I was ok. But I wasn’t alone, which made it easier to handle. I get another infusion this coming week and I am now ok with it. The doctors will lead you in the best way for you, just know that. Sending prayers and positive vibes your way!!

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  7. Crystal, I will be praying for you throughout your journey. God is in control. You are beautiful and your inner beauty has been apparent since you came on with News 13.

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  8. You will have good and bad days. It’s ok to cry and let those emotions out, it is way worse to keep them bottled up. I can tell by your positive attitude you got this. You are in my prayers.

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  9. Crystal I have been a fan since your cheyenne days and I just wanted to tell you that I know you will beat this. You have so many people pulling for you and praying for the best possible outcome. Godspeed young lady!

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  10. Crystal my heart goes out to you! I’ve been fighting breast cancer for almost 21 years I’m now stage four but moving right along. Sometimes your mind just takes over and you feel so sad and helpless. All days aren’t like that. The fear of the unknown can be overwhelming. My sister just gor diagnosed and I wish I could do it for her, but we all have our battles to fight. I will keep you in my prayers🙏 Laugh all you can it is the best medicine. Sue Midgett

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  11. Crystal, you are such a fighter and you will beat this! If you need anything please don’t hesitate to ask. I will find a way out there to help you. You’re going to kick hodgkins’ ass! Xoxo

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  12. crystal, words cannot describe the many choices you are making at such quick and young age. You are brave and will pull through this stronger than ever emotionally and physically we are all pulling for you and if you ever need anything just give me a shout.

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  13. Hi Crystal, I wanted you to know there is the possibility to have kids after Chemo. I am living proof. My mother was also diagnosed with Hodgkins when she was 25 and had me at the age of 30. Keep your head up, you’ve got this!! I will be praying for you and all of your doctors. ❤️
    -Samantha

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  14. This too will be another chapter in your life but know that people are praying for you and waking through this journey with you. There definitely will be good days and bad days but your friends and family will be there right along with you seeing you through. My husband was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and he has been cancer free 10 years this summer. You are strong and remember just take one day at a time. I love your blog and want you to know we are praying for you and what to share this journey with you. 🙂

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  15. This too will be another chapter in your life but know that we are praying for you and walking through this journey with you. There definitely will be good days and bad days but your friends and family will be there right along with you seeing you through. My husband was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and he has been cancer free 10 years this summer. You are strong and remember to just take one day at a time. I love your blog and want you to know we are praying for you and want to share this journey with you. 🙂

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  16. Crystal you have many friends in Virginia and we will all be praying for you on your journey. You are young, strong and believe in God. YOU CAN DO THIS WITH ALL OF YOUR LOCAL FRIENDS! WHATEVER YOU NEED JUST ASK US!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  17. Miss Crystal I am so sorry that you’re having to go through this alone as someone who’s going through being legally blind I’m not having anyone to help them I know all about the good days and bad days by no means am I saying that it’s a rough is what you’re going through but anyway what I was trying to get around to saying is it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks if you’re having a bad day then so be it you’re entitled not only for what you’re going through but as a human being it’s hard to be positive and happy all the time no matter what kind of personality you have and what I see when you’re on air you have a very upbeat and positive personality But when you were telling us last Saturday I could see the pain in your face but it’s OK because as I said you’re entitled. It was a comedian that I used to love the list to but in but George carlin who once said he got tired one day of somebody saying have a nice day have a nice day so I said he broke out with my God I think I’m going to have a crappy day because that’s just how I feel and the rest of his day was perfect so as I said you’re entitled and I know you feel like you’re alone but as I’ve said before you have a lot of prayer warrior With you I have added you to my prayers since you made the announcement Saturday and I will continue to do so until you BEAT this thing which I firmly believe you will God is the great position he will help.

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  18. We are praying for you. In the Bible it says “his eye is on the sparrow and I know he’s watching you”You are going to be an overcomer! Lots of love!

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  19. Crystal, you are being very real in your blog and that’s what its about. We all know that cancer is not all rainbows.. it’s ok to pour out your heart here.. keep up the positive thoughts and you will come through this being the strong woman that you have shown us you are. Good luck and my prayers are with you.

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  20. You are such a genuine person, Crystal. I hate the fact that you have to go through this. We watched our go through all of that at age 43. His hair, all of it, did fall out, and then there was the nausea, fatigue, and weakness. Fertility wasn’t an issue, but he did need drastic surgery. All very scary for him, and the rest of us. But the hair all grew back, albeit with a slightly different color, and the nausea goes away, and your strength comes back. Many of us who are reading your words have either been through it themselves or know someone who has. You will get through this! You are loved in this community, and we are all pulling for you and praying for you. Please keep the blog going. It is therapeutic to put your thoughts in writing and yes it will help others. Keep up the positive attitude, Crystal. Better days are coming! God Bless!

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  21. Crystal, you are never alone. Like many have already offered, you don’t have to sit at your treatments alone. Until your family can be here with you, you have us.

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  22. Your transparency really tugs at my heart…my prayer is that you will continue to allow yourself to be this honest about your journey through this season in your life. Yes, you have cancer. Yes, there will be some very difficult days ahead. But thecancer will never define you! Because you have too much life left to live and too much love left to give. You are an amazing young woman, Crystal!

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  23. Crystal i feel for you sweetie if you ever need anything ride someone to talk lunch or dinner buddy im there for you starting family hard going through ny aunt went through it after chemo she had healthy kids call me 757-478-2198 anytime 24/ 7 i get back tomorrow from NYC

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  24. I am a cancer survivor. You will have good days as well as bad. You will not see all of these side effects they tell you about, they are required to tell you that it is possible. You can’t face all of this on your own, you have your support from work, the oncology team, nurses and staff will be there to help you. If you need a helping hand don’t be afraid to reach out for assistance. God bless on your journey.

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  25. I am in tears! I love a good corny jokes. They’re the best part of Laffy Taffy. I’ll be crackin up over “impasta” for days. Thanks for sharing all you do.

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  26. Cancer sucks the big one! I don’t have cancer so I have no idea what it feels like. But I do have ALS. My advice to you is to accept support when it works for you. Say no when it doesn’t. One of my biggest sources of support comes from someone I met online whose daughter died from ALS. We basically just email although she once made the trip so we could meet in person. No one can talk the talk like someone who has walked the walk. Also remember, and this is so important, that you are so much more than your disease. You will always be so much more than your disease. Peace and love! You are kicking ass!

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  27. Sweetie, let yourself feel sad. It’s a normal reaction and emotion. It has nothing to do with being strong. Being strong is doing exactly what you are doing…carrying on the best way you know how. We are all praying for you! Keep up the determination!

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  28. Its cool to have bad days too and to sbow your emotions. I can’t imagine what youre goimg through. My dad went through chemo when he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer and it was a battle. My son has autism and my wife is a type 1 diabetic and they battle everyday. Keep doing these blog posts, i guarantee they will help someone out there that is going through a fight like you are.

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  29. Crystal, it is Paquita Reid-Fuller. Still keeping you in my prayers.We are going to stay positive together. God has great things in store for you.

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  30. Good morning Crystal how are you feeling keep smiling good is watching over you need anything call your a trooper chloe needs her mom happy of sad look at that cute face have a great day

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  31. Crystal I’m about 2 months ahead of you with Stage 4 NHL. Rest assured the side effects of chemo can be very different for each individual. And sometimes they don’t happen every cycle with us young guns. I think I’ll get through the whole side effects list though by the end of this process. My sister started sending me great cancer memes and quotes during my diagnosis and now they are all collected on a Pinterest page for her and my supporters to look at. It can cheer me up or let the tears release, whichever I need on a particular day. Also checkout the Lymphoma Club on Instagram. All the best. I’ll be checking in from New Zealand.

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  32. Good morning Crystal how are you feeling thank you and your mom for your prays other day as im getting ready fir my upcoming mass removal surgery on July 27 have a great day tell mom hi if you want to e mail ne im at crschuck55@ gmail.com

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  33. Hi Crystal, my name is Jordan Cook and I’m 21 years old. I received the same diagnosis as you, stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, at the beginning of this month. I just received my second chemo treatment on Friday, and today is definitely one of my rough days. I have been trying to put all of these feelings into words and you just did such an amazing job. I have been struggling so much with the acting like everything is okay to avoid pity and worrying about infertility because they didn’t have time to freeze my eggs, and some days it just needs to be okay to not be okay. Your blog is so encouraging and I’m so glad to see you are on the road to being better! Thank you for being a light during all of this. If you would like to talk to someone going through the same thing, feel free to reach out!

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