Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Lucky Stars

For Fathers' Day Barbie surprised me with tickets to see Alison Krauss in concert in Lake Tahoe. Years ago, Barbie had me listen to one of her songs called "The Lucky One". Many of the lyrics reminded her of me, (except the line about the 'one night stand') Many have called me lucky or said that I have had a charmed life. This is true. After graduating from high school as a junior, I left for BYU with a few scholarships tucked under my arm when I was 16 (well, almost 17). My Uncle Harold, who lives in Utah, said a man, upon hearing my story, claimed that I was really lucky. My uncle responded, "He makes his own luck."
My life has always been exciting to me. I learn something new every day. I meet new people every day. I feel loved every day. Some, when they hear of my recent conditions will express sincere sorrow on my behalf. Grateful I am for their concern, but I don't feel sorrow. I feel incredibly lucky. This morning I was worried because my labs weren't good. Especially concerning was my creatinine rising. This indicates kidney trouble. immediately, my physician reflexes search for cause and effect. What have I changed in the last 3 months to account for these setbacks. I went to work and soon forgot all this as I spent a very busy day in clinic. Barbie was concerned as well, but ultimately we both let it go as hope returned. I had asked for help, I met with my friend and local oncologist, Dr Sardar. I made an appointment with my Stanford oncologist, Dr Schrier. I cannot be my own doctor.
As I sat under the canopy of stars arising from the canopy of midnight oaks. I felt to thank my lucky stars. Summer arrives as Cassiopeia lifts above the northeastern horizon shaped as a 'W'. My lucky stars. I see Barbie in the center with my four children surrounding. (The twins borrowed from a nearby constellation.) I see the Little Dipper, forever anchored by the constancy of Polaris, as it fills the big dipper to overflowing. Some see luck, some maintain coincidence, while others experience miracles. I feel the Path of God. The journey, unique to me and to us, that He has laid out for me to follow, if I choose. The path that has the lessons that I need to learn and the lives that I need to touch. On that path I have ever only felt true joy and peace. Even sorrows and failure have brought triumph.
My five lucky stars tonight form a 'W'. Wonder, worry, Waiting, whining,Winning, warning, Willing, wilting, Walking, weeping, Wishing. Worship.
I have always known the source of my luck, never coincidence, often miraculous, always teaching and forever learning. I will remain on this Path as long as He needs me to.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Half Full

An eight ounce glass sits in front of me. Four ounces are inside. Is the glass half full or half empty? To this same question, Bill Cosby once observed, "It depends whether you are drinking or pouring." For three years I have maintained that no matter how bad I feel today, I will feel better. Does that also mean that no matter how good I feel today, I will feel worse? It has been a rough few weeks; especially with the constant feeling of fatigue. I have had some good days as well. Monday I drove Caitlin and two of her friends to Yosemite. Everywhere we looked there was water pouring over the canyon walls. It was magnificent. In my desire to prove my strength. I hiked up the mist trail to the top of Vernal falls. I knew it would be hard going up, but didn't realize how painful descending would be. There are about a thousand steps hewn from the granite. They were wet from the mist of the waterfall. I strained all of my muscles just to keep my balance. I was not as prepared (or strong) as I thought I was. I would pay for this later. Then on Tuesday I got a sore throat. For me that means bronchitis and possibly pneumonia which can take three weeks to resolve. I started antibiotics and had a infusion of gamma globulin yesterday. Did I push myself too hard? Yes. I guess I was trying to fill my glass by squeezing it to make it smaller. That only serves to shatter in he effort. It is hard because I still want to do more than my body will let me.
On a more positive note, Caitlin graduates from high school today. We are so proud of her and the beautiful and virtuous young woman that she has become. Three years ago this day was only a wish, and now it has come true. I wish for many more days like today. Every day we both drink and fill. The level of the liquid is meaningless. There will always be bad days, but then how much sweeter are the good ones, as long as we have the insight to recognize them.
My light chain lab report came back last night inexplicably high despite finishing my course of chemotherapy the day before. I have no idea what this means. The future will manifest itself despite any anxiety that I might have. The only path, then, is to stay the course and pray that this miracle that I have been living continues. In the end, I am not the one who fills my cup.