Bronze Age ReduxIt was Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at about 9:00 AM, when I received a call at my workstation. I was working on a project for the Keweenaw National Historical Park under one of those federal programs that train seniors for jobs that don’t really exist. A few hours earlier, I’d stopped by Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital for a serious blood test, to determine if I had type II diabetes. The symptoms were all there...had been since January...and the fatigue was overwhelming.
I was worried. When blood began to appear in my eyes and distorted my vision, it seemed prudent to get a diagnosis and deal with it. So, it was with trepidation I accepted the call.
The nurse practitioner told me to get my butt over to the hospital immediately. They had an ambulance waiting for me...I had leukemia. Thus began my now eight-year journey.
Tomorrow is the Bronze Anniversary of my diagnosis and marks eight years surviving Philadelphia chromosome positive, chronic myeloid leukemia. I have entered my Bronze Age.
Betwixt and BetweenAs I enter my bronze age, I leave my stoned age behind. I am taking no regular pain killers now, and fewer drugs that leave me dizzy or wobbly. I begin the long wait for my iron age, when once again I will have the strength to lift and wield a cast iron frying pan. However, despite the Sumerians, Gilgamesh, and the Amorite Code of Hammurabi, I find it most ironic to have my bronze age in the Copper Country.
All really bad jokes aside, I am pleased to note in passing that tomorrow I will be an eight-year cancer survivor. I shall celebrate with a cup of Earl Grey and a toasted English muffin with homemade blueberry jam.
The above commentary came about as I was pondering the Code of Hammurabi, known for its harsh punishments, wherein literally an-eye-for-an-eye edicts appear, that are literally carved in stone -- a four-ton stele of diorite. However, the code incorporates, for one of the very first times, the idea that a person is innocent until proven guilty. It’s a precept often abandoned by our own court of social media.
One Final ThoughtAlthough the age will be bronze, alas, I will remain pale as fresh milk. Like the vampires of old, I cannot long tolerate the touch of old Sol and must remain in the shadows, or bring my own shadows with me.
I am thankful for all who sent thoughts and prayers. Your thoughts reassured me and your prayers convinced God to let me go on complaining and kvetching. Thank you.