Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mick McKellar Update -- Day +1300

My mom died in 1990, and today would have been her 84th birthday. Although she passed over 24 years ago, I still miss her every day.

An Odd Milestone

OK, it's only a little special and a bit odd that the 1,300th day since my blood and marrow stem cell transplant comes on the 13th day of the month and on my mom's birthday. It’s enough for me. When it comes to special, I will take what I can get!

It sounds like a terribly long time, but it has flashed by in three heartbeats.

Lessons Three

When I wake each morning, I still marvel that I’m still here; especially when I consider all that we have been through since my diagnosis on May 26, 2010. Three times we prepared for my imminent departure, always at inconvenient times or during inclement weather. Three times I was brought back by the trifecta of extreme medicine, prayers of friends and family, and a stubborn streak a mile wide. Three times = three lessons about the value of a life.

I complain about the medications and the pain, the weakness and the shortness of breath, but I am happy to be able to complain...and I hope to continue complaining indefinitely! A box full of medications still greets me every morning, with the promise of interesting side-effects throughout the day. My Rip Van Winkle feet (and lower calves, etc.) have been “asleep” so long, I don’t remember what it felt like when they were “awake.” It always feels like someone has added extra steps to our stairway to the second floor and my bedroom.

For someone who always slept from four to five hours a night, graduating to sleeping eight to nine hours makes each day seem much shorter. I walk like I’m racing snails.

I feel cold.

I am also alive, and can communicate with my friends and family. I can (usually) taste food and drink. I enjoy a good book, a great movie, and a long conversation. I love to write poems and share them with friends. And perhaps most important of all, I retain the capacity to be a royal pain in the posterior to my long-suffering caregiver and wife.

Life is good.