We did this whole stem cell transplant once before with limited success (but I am still alive… so “limited” is relative.) This time
instead of using my own stem cells, the new me will be a product of healthy stem cells from my very generous and loving sister, Rebecca.
Last time around, I felt the whole “happy birthday” concept was pretty hokey. This time, I do not. All the options have pretty well run out and and Rebecca and this process is very literally a life saver. SO… happy birthday to me. And to celebrate, I am going to encourage you to send me a Re-Birthday Present! Actually, a present to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light the Night, Team Might Myeloma Fighters. This is our walking team made up of the support group that has met so much to keeping me sane and positive. And, of course, LLS has been critical to the research and support that has allowed me to celebrate this new birthday.
It’s been storming. “A dark and stormy night,” famed author Snoopy would say. There are, of course, varying degrees of darkness and in
all sorts of ways we have been experiencing them of late, whether in the political arena, tragedies in Haiti, or the more mundane almost comprehensible tragedies that just spur resilience and creativity.
The past weekend left few opportunities for sunrises on the east coast and presented more than a few challenges. I think that one of the reasons I like runners is that whether it is the morning training run, a race, or – really – just any daily activity there is something about challenges that they find inviting or maybe invigorating.
We are, in regards to the weather, now in the mop up stage and whether contributing to the relief efforts in Haiti or waiting for the power to come back on or cleaning up back yards, we keep going and even make the best of it, I suppose.
The skill of being centered and living in the moment as I understand it is not about ignoring the past or the future. The past is gone, but is felt and experienced in how it shapes today, shapes this moment. And actions taken now lead to the next. A capitol letter leads off the sentence and punctuation ends it. Whatever standard or convenience for communication we have, each moment is a prelude to another. Time “passes.” And it leads somewhere.
Tomorrow is all day of medical tests, starting at 9:30 a.m. and at 2:30 p.m. (or thereabouts) I meet with my doc and some of the team to go over the procedures one more time and I sign the informed consent. “Nestled in bed with visions of … ”
As childish as it seems to me, I still have visions of sugar plums the night before Christmas, even on the Christmases I have spent alone. I know “better” and some years it has led to some pretty nasty depression and in others the acknowledgement of “it is what it is” just leads to a “beginners mind” exploration of the thoughts – meaning that one separates oneself from the thought and explores it with fresh, non judgmental perspective. Anyway… whether one looks at this as just a cognitive process to deal with emotions or thinks of it as “mindfulness” with Buddhists underpinnings, it does not change that those silly wintergreen, spearmint and anise sugar plums are not doing the Texas two-step in my head.
It’s impossible to know the outcome of this procedure. A myleoblative allogeneic stem cell transplant after years of ongoing chemo is a risk. There’s as much a chance things end badly (with badly ranging from BAD to “ah shoot”) and they are to ending well (with “well” ranging from growing old with my sweetie to remaining active for a few more years.) Wintergreen sugar plums equal the licorice and anise.
So, it is with a beginners mind that I write this, knowing that it is a beautiful day and nothing done to today will change yesterday or change the unfolding of the future. Socks (my kitty) sits beside me, intent on a beautifully singing bird just outside the window. It’s a safe bet she is not admiring the song.
Beautiful day. Cool, with hints of Autumn that are greatly influenced by a horrendous hurricane devastating Haitians… people who seem to suffer horrors one after another.
Chasing Every Sun Rise Virtual 4 mile run started out with tracking the beautiful rising sun from South Africa to USA east coast and on to Huntington Beach CA. And in the process, this wonderful bunch of runners have raised in excess of $2000 for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The sun rises that those contributions will help create are the most beautiful part of this one month endeavor.
Today was the kick off, but the run goes on for a month, so there is still plenty of time to add your sun rise.
This is just a small faction of the sunrise pics that have come in. I can’t keep up, so there will be more posted over the coming days… along with some amazing stories… Like Lisa Skier who has, over the years done 15 marathons and lots of other events to raise over $40K for LLS.
So very, very many more pictures to come. All are images of greeting the new day. All the same sun.