Tuesday, September 7, 2010

5 years since diagnosis

Tomorrow is the Jewish New Year, a time of renewal and new hope.

This week, it has been 5 full years since leukemia came to our happy house. My life has become bigger, better, more full of love and friends than it ever was before D day (diagnosis day).

I have given up meat and eggs and dairy and found organic and raw and local and home grown in their stead.

I still miss my strong cup of joe but I have discovered the tender uplift of a cup of green tea. Kyoto instead of Manhattan. Though I love them both.

I have worse knees, more fatigue, so many more pills to swallow, but I also have more muscle, less fat and way more discipline. I work out now, never did before.

I still don't sleep enough, but I rest more.

I have traveled all over the world, worked less, earned a lot less but had more fun and felt more connected when I do work. I am teaching more, but missing the intensity of when I was full time caring for patients. I love being a doctor.

I have flown 4000 feet high in the air on a kite and dove 100 feet deep in the ocean off Australia on a tank of compressed air, tramped in prehistoric jungles and ice age glaciers, seen the ancient and uber modern. Tasted great foods, heard amazing music, seen life changing art. I have met and befriended a few of my heros.

I have read and joyfully written more (but not nearly enough), and learned volumes more. About way more than leukemia.

My life has been enriched by new friends and deeper connections with old ones. I have cherished the recharging of long neglected relationships, some of which stretch back to grade school. Very special.

My family has grown so much closer and stronger. And more loving. I have watched all my children become young adults, each one uniquely full of wisdom and kindness and strength. I have witnessed my wife rise to overcome challenge after challenge with amazing love and grace and humor.

I have try to veer away from the lowdown trap of the trivial, but still have a long way to go to avoid its drag into the depth of waste. I have dug with hunger deep into the mountain of the profound but am still looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.

The internet has opened up my world and gobbled up too much of my time. Yet through that invisible ether, I have gained critical sometimes life saving information and met and renewed friendships that I count among my most valuable possessions. I have this blog and Facebook friends. Who would have thought?

I have prayed more, but felt less and less certain about its power and the role of the divine in the universe. I have been torn up by too many good people hurting and dying, for no reason. None. Yet my world is more meaningful, more human, more connected than ever, with or without the touch of HaShem.

I have grown into places, real and imagined, that I didn't know existed.

My life is better in nearly ever way, except for this stinking cancer.

OK, it is time for the leukemia to go now. Its work is done.

Thank you and good bye.

Now would be good, I have work to do.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

We just love reading your blogs. Your outlook on life is inspriational! We are glad you are feeling good, but wish your cancer was gone as well.

Very Sincerely,
Dave and Ronda Rhodes

September 8, 2010 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger Randy Shannon said...

Congratulations Brian... It is amazing and odd to others when someone like you and me can see the blessings in such a scary diagnosis... I have had to ask my dear sister to please stop watching me as if on a "death watch"... My wife and I sometimes laugh when we speak of how fortunate we have been. I don't think I embraced the living thing as quickly as you have... but after six years, and being beyond my shelf life- I believe I have come to a decision to "live" with it, instead of die from it.

God Bless,

September 8, 2010 at 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And to think if you'd only veered off course a little bit, there I would have been to catch you - oz calling! Alison.

September 9, 2010 at 9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Time for leukemia to go."

If only.

September 12, 2010 at 7:59 PM  

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