Monday, March 24, 2014

It Was Just One of Those Days

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.



Sue said...

It was a Friday. It was a bent pinkie. It was a trip to see you at Roger Williams Hospital in a hospital bed in shorts and a tank top looking fit and definitely not sick. It was 8 years ago that I saw my friend handle this diagnosis with grit, determination, and grace. Here's to you Patricia!

Ronni Gordon said...

Oy. That is lots of stuff. Well I still beat you on the dental front. I have had 11 out! I wrote this to Ann too: When other things are hard to do, I really recommend chair yoga. Then you don't have to worry about your balance and you still get the benefits of yoga. That is actually how I started. The one I got is by Rodney Yee.