Saturday, May 28, 2011
They Really Were Serious
As many of you may recall, Craig and I, as well as my other caregivers who were with me during my transplant stay in Seattle, found great humor, irony, and perhaps a extreme version of many of the Hutch-isms we heard. There were a million things that a transplantee must watch out for, or face a range in a spectrum of dire consequences.
The first time or two of a new Hutch-ism, it's usually a little funny. Or eye-rolling provoking. Or if nothing else, one wonders how these legends and lores began and how they have grown through time. And believe me, there are some good ones. But with time, as scary as it was and is, you realize "They really were serious.". Some of this hits you while you are still there and some are only now really hitting home. But, needless to reiterate, they really were serious.
Looking back, I recognize now that nobody told you that you were going to go on and have a great life. Or a good one. There was a lot of preparation for "the new normal". Well, "normal" is rather subjective. And looking back, it was never the good "new normal" or when this would occur. I think by then the damage was done, so to speak. It was too late. As a patient I had already chosen to have the transplant. It did seem a much better choice than dying and certainly a better choice than not trying to not die.
I wonder now. I know I would not do it again. Would I still have chosen to try if I knew then what I know now? I think you probably know my answer. Every single damn day enforces that they really were serious. This is ugly business, with the hopeful outcome being not dying right away from either cancer or the transplant. If one is successful at overcoming these two significant events, the truth is, there is no normal. You are supposed to be utterly ecstatic to wake up each morning.
I have decided to start writing some truths, some of the things that have held me down and squished me under a proverbial thumb. As always, I feel guilt when I don't post, write, phone, email, text, etc., with "happy", but I haven't had "happy" for a really long time. Read it. Leave it. Think I am ungrateful to be alive. I am going to write it (how many times have I promised that?) and you can take it or leave it. But it's time, and my soul needs the unburden. The truth is always hardest, isn't it?