Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"He runs, wishing he could fly" CSNY

Now I wish I could write you a melody so plain
That could hold you dear lady from going insane
That could ease you and cool you and cease the pain
Of your useless and pointless knowledge

Bob Dylan

This post is a chance to thank the people who wish they didn't know about this blog. They know of this blog not because they know me, but because they have CLL or because a transplant may be part of their past or future.

Fellow voyageurs, know that my journey will not be the same as yours. Can't be, but maybe we will pass some of the same mileposts, hits some of the same bumps, share some of the same thrills and terrors, and hopefully at the end, reach the same goal of a long and healthy and joyful life.

CLLers have more and more options. Transplants are becoming safer and more predictable. One of my goals in starting this blog was to use the eyes of this doctor turned patient to see details others might miss in the hopes that might help others following in my footsteps. Preparation is the key to being lucky. That and the willingness to act.  Not that being a physician transcends being a dad or a husband or even a patient or a child of the 60s, so I shared those perspectives too. It would be impossible not to. And I guess some of my more off beat or transcendent writings were more accessible than my medical posts for even those up to their eyeballs in the sticky medicalese milieu of leukemia.

First I must thank you all for the support and counsel and experience and jokes and prayers and wonderful books and gifts you have send. Most of you don't even know me, and you have been so generous, and tremendously helpful in keeping me in balance with your comments and emails. I reread many of the messages over and over again to help give me perspective and courage to keep going.

I also want to thank you for being there to read what I write. Because of that, it forced me to focus (but sadly not make succinct) my thoughts, and crystalize them into words that made sense. That helped me sort out where I was at and where I was going. Writing does that. Add to that the knowledge that what you write will be read by 1000s of people and you are  forced you to be honest with yourself. Thank you for that. That is huge.

Moreover, your reading and writing in my blog has given me a chance to feel useful and allowed me to give (which is always better that receiving). It has validated me in a time where my usual pillars of self worth (many others can relate to this): work and competence in the outside world were taken from me. 

Many years ago I spent an afternoon at the home of (Baba) Ram Dass.  He said to me that people learn from us not by what we say, and not by what we do, but by who we are. It is a hard lesson for this hard driving guy, but an essential one. 

Your contact, your presence during this voyage, have allowed me to be someone different than I would ever have been without you there. I am in your debt.

Thank you.

G-d Bless.


Blogger E. Kostich said...

Debt? You are to be commended for your altruism for allowing us to join you on your journey. Your candor and brutal honesty have allowed us a glimpse of a fraternity that, sadly, many belong to. You have handled your nonconsensual initiation with the strength of a shaman, and have become our ad hoc teacher of the anthropology of cancer consciousness. That which had sought to destroy you has only made you stronger and wiser. Strength through adversity indeed. We feel fortunate to call you not only our physician, but also an advisor on this voyage called life. That said, carry on! We’ll have some snotty-nosed kids for you to see this winter!

August 7, 2008 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Dragon Slayer said...

You have given all of us with CLL a snapshot into courage and most of all HOPE. I always joke that you could go first and I'd see how you do, but who can follow in YOUR footsteps. You've had me glued to your blog and amazed at your candor and strength. You almost made this dire situation look easy.I pray for your days ahead for you and your family.
You are a blessing to those who know you

August 7, 2008 at 6:55 PM  
Blogger JoeE said...

Dear Dr. K

We love and miss you. Love to follow your journey with you and admire your strength and wisdom. You are truly an inspiration. Our prayers are with you daily.

God Bless
The Valladares

August 19, 2008 at 9:08 PM  

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