The reasoning I, Bobby Mason, have created this blog is not only to promote an organization that strives to create a substantial impact on children who are fighting pediatric cancer, but to create a blog that gives an inside perspective of what it is like to be a patient fighting against a serious illness. I am not going to pretend that the way I viewed being ill is the same way everyone else views it, but I do believe many children, young adults, and older adults who are sick can relate to what I will explain over the next several blog posts.
Let me start with a little background. As January approached during my junior year of high school in 2011, I started to develop periodic episodes of nausea and vomiting. I was under the impression that it was either from something I ate or it was just my body being affected by flu like symptoms. The episodes started to become more and more frequent until I eventually was no longer able to attend school for weeks at time. These symptoms were not disappearing as I had once hoped and prayed. Therefore, I would have to endure days upon days of tests that involved MRI’s, X-rays, blood work, and tissue samples. By the time March had rolled around, I was no longer attending school; I was months behind in my classes and I missed my friends beyond belief. I needed some relief, but to my disbelief that relief did not come. I had hoped to get my “sickness” under control over the following months so I could go back to being a normal student and continue to maintain a regular life as senior year approached.
During these summer months of preparation for senior year, I would still have continuous setbacks that drove me insane. But I still managed to carry a sense of hope as these setbacks continued to occur. This optimism continued to supply relief in my daily life until one unpleasant day in July. On this particular day I had the unfortunate pleasure of vomiting over 25 times. My body hurt, my throat ached, and I couldn’t imagine myself recovering anytime soon. This new realization that this was going to be an ongoing process hit me like a train. I new that the road ahead was going to be long and agonizing, filled with high points and low points that would forever change my way of life in the future.
As time progressed, I regressed. Over the next year I would lose my hearing for weeks at a time, I’d black out for no apparent reason finding myself at the bottom of the stairs with a gash in my head, and I would lay in bed hopelessly as I waited for my next visit to the Mayo Clinic to have more tests and procedures done. Although this seems like a turn for the worst, this has helped me find myself and overcome difficult times with the help of family, friends, and faith.
Over the next several blogs I will explain what it felt like to go from normalcy to a constant state of illness. I will try to give a first hand experience of what it felt like to be in the shoes of someone with a serious illness. I will be open and honest about my highs and lows. I will set out guidelines of what I believe is most important for the child or adult who is going through the illness themselves and a set of guidelines for the loved ones around them who do not know how to best handle the situation. This blog is for those who need some words of wisdom as they strive to overcome the hardest fight of their lives.