I just finished my annual checkup for multiple myeloma. As it is an incurable cancer it is certain to rear its ugly head again at some point. My checkup involved blood samples and a PET Scan. As I am writing this I don’t know the results. The gap of time between taking tests and knowing the results is ripe for stress. Waiting, one feels slightly in limbo. I feel good so I’m going with that but one can’t help having lingering doubts until the results are in.
Currently I am two years out from my bone marrow transplant and pending these new test still in remission. The nature of multiple myeloma is so unpredictable its ability to spring up and take over is an ever present fact. I could live another year, five years, ten, maybe more it’s all up in the air. The uncertainty I live under welds me to the present. I rarely look far into the future.
Aside from the usual worries this uncertainty helps keep me focused in the present. I don’t assume there will be a tomorrow like I used to. Furthermore I’ve come to realize that this uncertainty in reality has always been true for me and it is true for everyone else for that matter. How many friends, loved ones, acquaintances have we known who were suddenly whisked out of the world by some tragic accident or sudden illness? Sure we can go along banking on the probability we will live many years without any major problems. But these examples should alert us to the fact that we don’t know how much time we have and we should act accordingly.
There is a game we often play together where someone asks what would you do if you only had a week to live. Of course as healthy humans this question invokes much talk of the adventures we would go on. The wild and unabridged actions we would take, But let me tell you if you really believed you only had a week to live it’s more likely you would turn to your loved ones, embrace, give and sponge up as much of them as possible. That’s what I did when I thought I had little time left. I lost all interest in extraneous adventure and wanted only to be with and look into the eyes of my loved ones. Love is what I wanted to give and it is all I wanted to receive.
I will find out the result of my tests any day now and what impact it will have on my future and the time I have left. Meanwhile, I will continue to live in the moment as best I can while trying to help others who are going through difficult confrontations to emphasis healing that is spiritual, emotional and hopefully physical as well so we can all go on loving each other a little while longer.