Its 6am and I’m in my hospital bed but I can’t sleep. The hospital never sleeps. There’s a constant stream of shoes squeaking up and down the hall, nurses coming in at all hours of the night to check my vitals and change out my IV bags of chemotherapy. They’re just doing their job but it’s messing with my beauty sleep. The steroids they give me are messing with my body and my sanity. They make me so jittery like I just drank 10 cans of Red Bull and so my mind begins to race with all sorts of nonsense. Some of it is silly like I was contemplating asking for another blanket on the intercom in a British accent. Should I use a cockney accent or something more regal like the Queen of England? Or maybe something like Merry or Pip from Lord of the Rings? I watched it before I came to the hospital so that explains that.
Anyway, there’s also more important things my mind begins to run away with. I can’t stop thinking about this chemo session. It’s the 10th cycle and the most aggressive one I’ve received to date called R-HyperCVAD. Woof! It sounds like a part for Artoo-Deetoo. That’s the little robot from Star Wars and now I’ve made references to not one but two ultra geeky movies so now you know I’m a full-on geek. I’m going to get on with what I’m trying to say now.
Preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.
You’ve heard that expression before, right? That’s me right now. Preparing for the worst but placing hope against hope for the best. You see, doctors are vouching that this session will finally put me into remission which will then allow me to receive my life-saving stem cell transplant at MD Anderson. If I’m not in remission after this, then I don’t get my transplant and God only knows what these doctors have planned for me next. I hate to think about it but its an inevitable possibility staring me right in the face like a snarling, salivating pit bull. I have to clarify something. Just because I’m preparing for the worst doesn’t mean I don’t have faith and hope in God that I’ll be in remission. It only means I’ve learned that I don’t know what God has planned for me. Too many times in this journey have I not prepared for the worst and the worst happened. That can’t be good for anyone’s sanity.
Still, I hope and pray with urgency to God that this be my ticket to the Promised Land of MD Anderson where it floweth with stem cell transplants and world-class doctors. I plead with Him day in and day out that this be one of my final hurdles in this never-ending nightmare they call non-Hodgkins lymphoma. And so I ask: Chemo #10, are you the One? Are you gonna be the one to grant me the news I’ve been waiting for? Will I hear the ever-beautiful word ‘remission’ soon? So many questions but I try to pace myself. I try to remind myself that this is not about me. There is a plan for my life and what it is, I still do not know. My goal right now is just to take all this one day at a time. Like that old PSA said, “The mind is a terrible thing to waste,” and I don’t plan on wasting it on the could have’s and would have’s of life. That’s for chumps.
Instead, like I said, I shall look forward and prepare for the worst but hope for the best. There’s a hurricane a’blowin’ in the gulf of my life and I’m sure as heck gonna board up my house. Hopefully, it’ll pass by my house unscathed.