One of the side effects of living with cancer is the magnification of experiences.
I see with clearer eyes, hear the noise, the hush and silent voices and feel with a depth that draws tears, laughter and hugs instantly.
I am acutely aware of time, careful to invest in it with heart and mind.
I feel incredibly wealthy, humble, grateful.
But it has not been easy and I am acutely aware of the seriousness of my situation.
It’s been two years since my diagnosis. Eighteen months since my bone marrow transplant. I have spent the last year in transition hibernation. Processing the business of cancer. Adapting to life with a caveat.
A caveat is not a bad thing. It is a motivator. Paul Allen is my hero, a man with a caveat. His, catapulted him to prosperity, generosity and creativity beyond imagination. Of course, he had the means, but more important, he had the caveat…an underlying “warning” to get moving…that life is precious…that every day matters!
Multiple Myeloma is not curable. Even a transplant is an incomplete answer. But it has proven to boost survival rates. It is hoped to restart one’s own stem cell production and function. I am fortunate that my transplant has kept me stable. Eighteen months of hopeful watching. There is routine. Blood tests in tired veins, shots that burn and leave spidery trails to nowhere, sleepless nights and long naps.
I suppose it is remission. But more…it is my caveat.
It is my motivator. Empowers me. It has made me better.
As the new year begins, I reflect back on the last two years. I have made the best of living. Loving on my family and my sweet grand babies, swimming miles and then a special mile for a cure (and raising $2500…thank you friends and family), adoring my friends who pray with me and make me laugh and make me cry and make me better, stitching memories into quilts, using my finest linens and china, walking hand in hand on the beach with the love of my life, finding the heart in each beat of music and the joy in the story it tells, lingering in the stillness of the lake at dusk, marveling at each new garden miracle, strengthening my faith and trusting His plan for me, celebrating the mundane as well as the amazing, sitting still and moving at Mach speed.
And yes, I have those days…but the “why me” doesn’t linger long. I remember my caveat…for the good it is.
Bring on 2019…bring on year three…bring on new surprises and new opportunities…new hope…bring on the next chapter in this new journey!