Saturday, April 7, 2012

"You Have Leukemia."

A year ago today, a nurse in the ER told me there was something wrong with my blood and they were relocating me to another wing of the hospital. Six hours later, Dr. Sharma told Ryan that I had acute leukemia. Then she told my parents over the phone.

A year later, I am in remission. This morning, Katelyn and I participated in an egg hunt (or as Katelyn calls it, an "egg plant"). Last year, I was in the hospital during Easter. Ryan had set up our laptop, with Skype, in the backyard, so I could watch Katelyn and my mom hunt for eggs. He also recorded the hunt on video. It's Katelyn's favorite clip. At least once a week for the past few months, she has requested to watch it. So I've been hearing my shaky voice commenting on the locations of the eggs, and seeing glimpses of my bald head and sick complexion when the laptop happened to appear in the video.

This morning, my voice wasn't shakey, and my complexion didn't look sick (just pale). As we gathered at the gate of the playground for the start of the egg hunt, my mom was crying. I told her, "No time for tears now. We need to be focused." When the whistle blew, Katelyn and I sprinted to the far side of the playground (less competition since most of the children go for the closest eggs). Once we filled her basket, we began helping another little girl, who was overwhelmed, fill her basket.

Now that the hunt is over, and we are done enjoying the moment, there is time for tears. Thinking about the past year is difficult. We feel so happy I am getting better, but at least I (and maybe secretly others) still have so much fear. And my grandma, who was diagnosed with kidney cancer within weeks of my AML diagnosis last year, is very ill. She is ready to go to heaven. We do not want her to be in pain, but we will never be ready for her to go. I have not been posting much on this blog in recent weeks because anything I could write seems inconsequential to her battle.

So it is a mixed day. I swam competitively for 15 years, and a swim right now seems like just the thing a doctor would order.