No gossamer wings on this day 8 years ago. My wings were lead. Out of the blue, I was diagnosed with leukemia. I felt shock, mainly. Fear would soon follow.
It's not so much that I feared the physical act of dying. During chemotherapy I sometimes wished for it. What I feared was not being able to see my kids grow up. Mariel was about to graduate from high school. Would I live that long?
I did. I saw her graduate from high school and college. I saw Mark graduate from high school and college. I saw Harry graduate from high school and will attend his college graduation in two months.
Physically, I've been affected in many ways. I've had three teeth extracted. My tear glands don't function so I have to wear specialty lenses. My thyroid is shot. I have severe neuropathy which makes me quite unsteady so I fall a lot. Chronic skin and liver issues stemming from graft vs. host disease makes my prescription list lengthy. I have sclerderma, a tightening of the ligaments in my body. Getting up off the floor is challenging and would be depressing if it didn't look so ridiculous.
Mentally and emotionally, it's been a roller-coaster ride. Everyone says "hey, you're alive." Some days, that's meaningless to me. These days it's been better. My brain seems relatively okay, although the other day I ran the washing machine without the laundry in it. I see that as a senior moment. I know that with age comes a gradual physical and mental disintegration. I see it in my friends.
C'est la vie.