"... None but ourselves can free our minds."
Bob Marley, Redemption Song
It's the first Wednesday of the month and I don't have to drive up to Boston for my appointment at the Dana-Farber clinic. My next appointment isn't until the first Wednesday in November. That means I'll go two months without a needle being stuck in my arm, blood extracted and tested for signs of problems. This is a milestone. Even after my first remission was firmly established I had to have labs done once a month. This feels a lot like freedom.
Freedom has been on display in other ways in the past couple of weeks. I'm free to be around more people, free to eat just about anything besides undercooked hamburger, free to commune more with my dogs and with nature. But the true freedom is what you're thinking and feeling. When anxiety feeds on your thoughts, it's as though you're chained to the floor of a dark dank cell. The "my counts are good and I feel fine and the doc says I'm doing well but I could relapse tomorrow" line of thinking weighs you down, dulls your senses and throws away the key.
I've realized that there have been entire days in the past two weeks in which I haven't thought about leukemia even once. I'm starting to feel someone else had that disease, not me. Instead of being perpetually stuck in the now, I'm beginning to look to the future, thinking I just might be in it.