The Other Things On My Mind

Just a heads up to all The Crazy Edamommy followers…

This blog is mainly for me to chronicle my health journey, and what that looks like in combination with life and motherhood.  Thankfully, there are lulls in that chronic journey, which allow me to write about the other things that are On My Mind.

So, I wanted to invite you all to follow my other blog, that sometimes crosses over with my health journey, but more often expands into my other passions, related to language, culture, neighbors, song lyrics, and other word processes: www.onmymindbygeorgia.wordpress.com 

Check out my most recent 2020 posts: 

NY202: Feeling Small

NY2020: Dear Disappointment…What’s the Point of You?

I appreciate you who choose to read and follow my blog(s). 🙂

Grateful,

~Georgia

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Chronic Hope: the Video is Out!

On My Mind

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I feel incredibly grateful. I feel like I’ve been given a second lease on life. If not this time in history, if not this diagnosis, if not so many things along the way, I may not be here. I may not been able to live 20 years with this cancer diagnosis.

It has been a full circle year for me.

This year, my husband and I celebrated 20 years of marriage.

This year, I also have had the privilege to reflect back over my cancer journey from a healthy place. To cultivate gratitude. To set goals for the future. To be amazed by the grace and power of God along the way.

I’m thankful for my amazing husband, Stephen Coats, who produced this 7-minute summary of our 20-year cancer journey:

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This video was produced alongside a series of Chronic Hope articles for the Yemeni American News, 2019:

Georgia Coats is a…

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CHRONIC HOPE #6: The Luxury of Looking Forward

On My Mind

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

When I was first diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in my 20s I stopped looking too far forward.  Planning for the future felt presumptuous, so I learned to live more fully in the present.

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September 2019 marked 19 years since my cancer diagnosis.

I’ve had the privilege of reflecting back on 2 decades of living alongside a cancer diagnosis while continuously being treated for it.

4 different cancer treatments.

12+ bone marrow biopsies.

2 cutting edge miracle meds.

3 miracle babies. 

3 times achieving medicated remissions.

2 relapses.

1 Master’s Degree.  

Tens of thousands of dollars invested.

This journey is chronic.

Chronic struggles.

Chronic tears.

Chronic persistence.

Eventually forging a resilient chronic hope that…

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CHRONIC HOPE #5: From Battling Fatigue to Balancing an Energy Budget

On My Mind

I knew the call would come, like the expectation of a winter storm.

My oncologist forecasted that my body would eventually build up a resistance to my medication for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) after going off of it 3 times to have 3 miracle babies.

That dreaded call came the day after Christmas in the middle of a family movie.  The nurse dictated dates for blood tests and biopsies.  It was clear as I fumbled for a pen while running out of the darkened theatre that she didn’t care which dates worked for my grad school class schedule, my teaching hours, or my family life.

Bottom line, I needed to rewrite my priority list—ASAP!

I was thankful for a short commute between hospital and university in the heart of Detroit.  I naively thought I could change medications and not skip a beat in class.  I didn’t account for the unexpected…

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CHRONIC HOPE #4: A Potential Risk of Fighting Cancer

On My Mind

“How dare you be so irresponsible with your wife’s health?  Don’t you understand the risks you’re putting her through by getting her pregnant in her condition?”

I watched my husband’s face change from shock to anger as the nurse unleashed her stern lecture on him.

Five years into marriage and four years into my cancer diagnosis, I was nearing my 30th birthday.  We had given up on making long-term life goals.  I let go of the dream of living abroad for language and cultural studies, and I quit graduate school.

But the dream of being a mom got stronger.

My super-effective miracle medication for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) extended both my quality and quantity of life.  Aside from 3-month check ups, an annual bone marrow biopsy, and my daily meds, I lived a normal life.  But normal life made me hope for normal things, like a family…

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CHRONIC HOPE #3: Cancer Complicates My Identity Issues

On My Mind

The life of a creature is in their blood.  Blood is the essence of who a person is.

By blood I am Greek.  By nationality I am a U.S. citizen.  By education I am a Spanish speaker.  By cultural experiences I resonate with my Middle Eastern neighbors of Dearborn, MI.  By faith I am a follower of Jesus the Messiah.

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My whole life I have dabbled in multiple worlds, cultures, languages, and social groupings.  I hover on borders, struggling to figure out where I fit in.  That’s why I became a Language and Culture Learning Coach.

That’s why I have identity issues.

Enter Cancer.

By blood I have a cancer diagnosis.  More specifically, chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is cancer in my blood cells.  Ironically, the white blood cells that function to fight off disease have become diseased.

Someone advised early on,

Don’t let your…

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CHRONIC HOPE #2: Learning to be healthy and have cancer

On My Mind

“Wow!  You look great. Did you lose weight?”

In my late 20s and newly married, I enjoyed the positive feedback on an otherwise bleak situation. I joked to myself, Yeah, it’s this great new plan… the CANCER DIET.  But in real life, I awkwardly responded, “Thanks,” with no explanation of the dark secret to my weight loss success.

Then there were the people who knew I had recently been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). They said things differently.

“Awww, you look really good,” which was accompanied by a sympathetic head tilt and a hint of relief. They were glad I wasn’t bald, pale, and gaunt like the poster child for the Leukemia Society.

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I felt overwhelmed by these new life circumstances out of my control.  I needed to manage something.  This was stirring in me a passion for healthy living.

But, what is healthy?

Before my diagnosis,

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