Friday, January 14, 2011

A Milestone of sorts.

Today marks the end of one year.
One year after I took one too many steps towards the edge of life, one too many away from the oxygen I was being given and one too short to reach a nurse.
I am going to use today to reaffirm my own strength, the benefit of great doctors and nurses and the value of being loved and loving right back.
It seems strange going through this reminiscence without Leslie nearby, as she was the voice for me when I couldn't communicate and the pipeline through whom I received all of your messages of support, love and concern. Although I am currently cancer free now, I can see that my life will always be affected by the nasty disease that took me into a brief death last year, early in the morning on January 15th. This disease has changed the pattern of life that I knew, changed my direction, changed my outlook, and changed nearly everything I thought I knew.
I thought I knew what death was and I was, perhaps, frightened a bit. My experience showed me that there's nothing to worry about, and, as I experienced (or just plain old dreamed up some scenario) that it wasn't my time to go, nor was I anywhere close to my time. So I came back for my things, my friends, my family and for my love.
Take a moment to think about what you thought you knew and throw it out. Just realize that all we have is our connection to each other, our shared experiences and nothing else. The rest of the things that occupy our lives, the TV, the sports, the food, the cars, computers, all the STUFF, don't matter at all. The only thing that matters is our feelings for one another and the time we can spend while we have it. together. When it is gone, this time thing, it's gone. Repairs cannot be made at the rest stop down the road, for all of our roads don't neccesarily follow the same route. Take care in those that matter to you and leave those that don't outside of your mind and hearts.
My heart is currently working pretty well and my blood levels are cooperating with keeping me out of the hospital and away from new blood transfusions. I'm trying to get an approval from the good doctor to return me to work. Think of that; I might just return to work soon! Of course, last fall I kept hearing, "Maybe next month" from my doctor's mouth, so I'm leery of feeling too good about what might happen and I'm trying to concentrate on what is happening. And what is happening is I'm feeling really good. I'm getting sustained good moods, high levels of activity and I can think fairly well without the dreaded 'cancer-brain' swiss cheese effect. Which makes me as good as the average employee. Of course, I fear for an illness setting in and sending me back to the hospital. I have fear about chemicals and fears about hanging out near people that may or may not be sick, I can't tell. Is that a runny nose from the cold weather or a runny nose from a cold? Did they wash their hands? Before or after they shook my hand? Purell never looked so good to me. While I wait for the doctor to give me the 'okay' and while I debate over the next step in my upside-down life, I'm concentrating on making my home neater, brighter and better. This big house is going back on the market in March, as I believe I will be able to handle the weekly showings and the general upkeep that will be needed to keep the curb appeal high. I can also watch the football playoffs with interest because our beloved Bears are involved. And that means there will be group parties with the food, laughter and fun that come along with spending Sunday afternoon with your best peeps...
Now let me tell you, this is not an anniversary to be celebrated, this year after death, no, no, not at all. I could have easily have failed in my attempts to stay alive and not be here writing to you as I am. The true anniversary to be celebrated is the one on which I received my sister Jeanne's stem cells and started life with an entirely new blood system, one that is still in 'baby' mode. (Heck, I've not even gotten a measles or polio shot yet!) That is the day the medical team calls "Day Zero", and my new birthday! Whoo-Hoo, another birthday for me! I don't deserve two, but then, Guy Fiero doesn't deserve to filmed while wielding a knife. So I get two now! This April 27th will mark my new birthday, Year One. I'm thinking a baseball game might be in order. (Big surprise, yeah?) Who knows, maybe I'll have to work that day. Werd.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to see you tonight and I promise to wash my hands before I give you a big old hug!!!! I'm suprised you haven't written a book yet, you sure do know how to turn a phrase Mark. xxoo Jamie