The Not-So-Gentle Answer: 10. Perceptions of Strength

For many months now, I have been confused when people tell me that I am a strong person. Some people have even described me as the strongest person they know. This is their perception, and I can’t and shouldn’t argue with them. This blog post is the process of me understanding that perception of me by other people. Continue reading

The Not-So-Gentle Answer: 6. Infections

Lately, when people ask me “how are you?” I have to choose between being polite and being accurate. Most people get the polite answer “I’ve been better”. It turns out I may have been too gentle.

One of the effects of my CLL is that my bone marrow now produces almost no neutrophils.  There are still some being made, but far too few, and they get “used up” as fast as they are made. Continue reading

The Not-So-Gentle Answer: 5. Commensals

Lately, when people ask me “how are you?” I have to choose between being polite and being accurate. Most people get the polite answer “I’ve been better”. It turns out I may have been too gentle.

Commensal, n.,  An organism participating in a symbiotic relationship in which one species derives some benefit while the other is unaffected.

The human body is full of, and covered in, commensal bacteria, viruses and fungi.  Our gut flora, which digests our food for us, is one example. Continue reading