Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"And she shows you where to look among the garbage and the flowers, There are heroes in the seaweed" Leonard Cohen

 There are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love
And they will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds the mirror

Leonard Cohen

It all comes down to where I look. It helps to have someone hold the mirror, but I must be ready and able to see and focus.

Only going to clinic ever two weeks pulls that focus back from CLL most of the time. Not wearing the mask and eating more foods make the disease seem remote. Soon I will be traveling for much needed CME (continuing medical education) to conferences where last year I was the speaker. All of them local, so still no planes. Not flying and not lecturing are reminders of my fragile immunity, as is the shudder I feel when someone coughs or sneezes near me at the library or pharmacy.

Oh yeah, and all those pills I still take morning, noon and night and the central line that my wife flushes daily.

My focus is also pulled back to CLL when I do my "show prep" for my appointments with Dr. Forman and when I wait and worry about the pending results.

Emails and questions from fellow cancer voyageurs are pleasant prompts as they usually call on me to reflect on ground that I have successfully covered.  It adds purpose to my travels. And to be honest, it is never my decision to make or my treatment to plan. When it comes to CLL, each one of must load up on the relevant facts, organize the right team, and then step into the abyss with complete faith in our choice and with no regrets. 

Not working allows me to explore the nearby parks and beaches, but also ironically reminds me of why I am not working.

But mostly I am enjoying my days. More than ever, because of this extra time I have been given. It is all a recursive exercise. The leukemia has created my new reality. And that is just fine with me.

But sadly, because of the risk of aspergillosis from the soil, I still worried about stopping and smelling the roses. 



Blogger Ronni Gordon said...

I think most of us know what you mean about trying to replace fear/anxiety with trust. We need constant reminders from ourselves and others.

I too am enjoying my time off and often wonder how I ever found time to work. But I also know what you mean about being reminded why we are taking this time off. As for aspergillus, it is especially scary for me, because during my first go-round in 2003, I developed a fungal pneumonia and had to have surgery on my lung. The other day I went to a beautiful waterfall but, like you, I was worried about fungus.

On that topic, better safe than sorry.

November 6, 2008 at 6:22 AM  
Blogger Susie Hemingway said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog, my husband who has now completed just over 365 days post transplant, is also enjoying 'smelling the flowers' for the first time in his adult life. To be truthful he could not do otherwise, as his body has taken a toll and he is very weak. We make the best of everyday and take time to "stop and stare" My best wishes to you.
Susie Hemingway Moursi

November 8, 2008 at 4:05 PM  

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