Thursday I endured one of my medical work ups. Since being diagnosed with a bone marrow cancer called Multiple Myeloma 3 years ago this week, this appointment along with a few others is something that have become part of my life every month. Being examined this often prevents the boat from drifting to far off course before corrective action can take place. It is very expensive but most of all emotionally draining. The days leading up to an appointment slowly soak up anxiety and fear…a celery stick split in two for a 6th grade science project, one half in water and the other in red dye.
This months results reveled a slight elevation in my “numbers” (blood work). Not good but still staggering around in a safe bandwidth. To quote my doctor “You are enduring this well”.
You would think I would be thrilled by this. But it sometimes takes days for the keel to right the boat. Being there in the waiting room, staring into the faces of all the others who are there for the same reason. Thinking about what a profound and permanent stain cancer has made on the t-shirt of their life. It’s indescribably painful to really, really think about. You try not to but you do.
During the summer I typically go for a run first thing in the morning when the world is fresh, moist and quite. At 5:30, when the sun has not yet baked the sod to stone. When the work day has not depleated all my energy and my savings account for hope has not yet been over-drawn.
Friday it took me three tries to peel the shuck from the corn and roll out of bed and get into my running shoes. It was about an hour later than when I typically go and I was struggling physically and more so emotionally. Saddened by the weight of my world, unable to shake the shackles. But I did it…I strapped on my Asics and stepped outside. It was a beautiful morning. The air smelled fresh, there was dew on the grass, the squirrels and I took turns watching each other stretch out. I started to feel better. At the corner of our front yard, I turned to look at our house, just to try and anchor myself in the moment and retract from what the future might or might not hold.
There are several facets to my recover plan…my doctors, my family, my diet, exercise and prayer. Sometimes I doubt any of them are working and sometimes if feels like everyone has forgotten. But Friday morning when I turned to look at the house I was blatantly reminded that I am not alone, there is a chance I will survive and I cannot give up hope. I went back in the house, grabbed my camera and took this picture.
The rest of my day was similar. Strange occurences and events just seem to keep unfolding in front of me…begaining with running into an old friend at Starbuck’s who was also on his way to work at the library for the day where we sat together at a bench and proceeded to pursue our own endeavors but occasionally shared some of recent speed bumps, insights, memories, tears and joys.
I can’t thank any of you enough for the support you have provided my family during this endless endurance challenge of pushing a chain. With your help to pull it once in a while we can make it.