Less than a month and I'll be 19.

I saw the doctor today, and thankfully didn't get a lecture about skipping the last appointment. I brought up to him an itchy rash I have on my body and some back pain. He said the rash is probably viral, and that my back pain is probably related to Evans. He explained what it is but I'm not remembering right now.

I think that now, since I'm keeping a steady journal, would be the time to also begin recording my doctor's appointments and blood counts. It is one year and five months since I was diagnosed. It's gone by very fast.

So much has happened, it's very surreal. I never doubted my survival while being diagnosed and going through treatments but I guess my mom wasn't sure at all. I mean, this was a huge shock to us. We thought chronic fatigue, mono, thyroid issues. We thought those were the causes of me being so tired all the time. I can't believe how stupid and naive we were.

Looking back, it was so obvious something was definitely wrong, but we always blew it off, kind of in denial. The signs were very clear: four very swollen lymph nodes (one underneath each arm, about the size of a kids fist. One a little bit smaller under my right collar bone, and one the size of a grape that stuck out underneath my right ear.) but they weren't painful, just rather annoying.

I also bruised very easily, and I always just thought I was sensitive. Just leaning my forearm against the edge of my desk to use the computer mouse would cause massive green and purple bruises which stuck around for at least a week, sometimes two.

I was always sick and never completely over the last cold I had. I was so exhausted, I could just sleep and sleep. It was really difficult to get out of bed on a lot of days, so I missed a lot of school.

I blame no one. Well, I guess I do think this could have been found sooner through better doctoring. When I first discovered a lump under my arm, the armpit area, I was alarmed. We were learning about breast exams in health class, so I performed one on myself and found a lump - but it was in the pit area, not really that close to my breast. I was only about 14, but it concerned me, so we went to the Community Health Association of Spokane, where they didn't do any blood work. They did an ultrasound on the area (which was pretty damn uncomfortable.) The ultrasound showed nothing, and they prescribed me Penicillin, which also did nothing.