Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Psychic Load

When I go for bloodwork, one thing that's measured is the viral load. This test assesses the activity of latent viruses lurking in my body. So far, these bad boys have been behaving themselves, which is part of the reason I've been feeling so good. But they're there, ready to wreak havoc if given half a chance.

Which definitely affects my psychic load, a measure of how much mental stess/pain a person can handle. As you know from reading my transplant chronicles, there's fear and anxiety to spare when staring down a disease that odds are will kill you. My faithful readers have perhaps suffered psychic stress from following my story, which is one of the reasons I've sprinkled air light and daffodils over many posts and made a stab at humor. The last thing I want is for you to flee in despair.

Just as I've added to your psychic load, the misfortunes and suffering of others have ramped mine up to new levels. How can an observer process and understand these tragic pile-ups? Right now, I'm worried about a number of people burdened with daunting physical and emotional challenges. Some of these people are fellow members of an on-line community of blood cancer warriors. One woman, undergoing a stem cell transplant, learned that her only brother died in a hit-and-run accident. She can't even go to his funeral. Her mother just lost one child, and the other's in the battle of her life. Two weeks ago, I learned that a dear friend, one of my caretakers post-transplant, was in a horseback riding accident that left her partially paralyzed. On the same day, a friend told me about an acquaintance of mine who was just diagnosed with colon cancer. It probably doesn't help that I'm reading a book in which tragedy after tragedy unfolds. Some days, it seems Hemingway had it right: we are all bitched from the start.

The weight is heavy right now, the negative energy replicating at viral speed. Is there meaning in it? It's nice to think that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, that good can come from bad, that there's a reason behind suffering we just can't fathom, blah blah blah. You'll never read in of any of my posts that there's a plus side to having leukemia. Any "good" that comes of this bad comes at great cost.

I do have hope that there are better, less psychically caustic days ahead for us all.


Ann said...

Amen to that.


Kunal said...

True. Although I am just the caregiver, and cannot experience as you all are, the load is overwhelming and relentless, even to me. The only thing that I think this journey has perhaps given us, is wisdom. That does come across in your musings, but perhaps you were always wise.