Three years now…
It has been three years since my bone marrow transplant, and even though it seems like a long time ago, I remember it as if it were yesterday. Etched in my memory are: the smell of the hospital room, Karen waltzing into the room right as the doctor was getting ready to infuse the marrow into me, the intense scratchy feeling in my throat caused by the preservatives in the blood, and Karen and Karen B sitting next to me, supporting me, willing my body to accept Barbara’s stem cells.
It was a scary time; it was a sad time; but mostly it was a time of hope. Those four weeks (after I’d already spent a week in the hospital) were the longest weeks of my life. And at least one week’s memories have been lost due to all the medications given to me the second week to alleviate my physical pain.
Three years later, I have just been cast in the lead female role in an independent film, Twists of Fate, which begins filming in July, I have shot two commercials, am actively auditioning, taking acting classes, working at the NFL as a long-term temp (since June 2005), have completed my first fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (exceeding my goal by 251%!), ready to publish Rebirth: A Leukemia Journal, may have a piece published in a feminist anthology my friend Adele is working on, and my friends and family are well and healthy. But probably the most joy I’ve experienced over the past three years involve my kids—my nephews and nieces. Aidan is four, Andrew is almost three, Grace is two, and Alexa is one. Another nephew, Nate, will arrive in October.
When I am around the children I never stop laughing – well, okay sometimes when Aidan and Andrew are kicking the crap out of each other I’m not so jovial. But overall they bring so much joy to my life. I see Aidan, Andrew, and Alexa every two to three weeks – I just can’t stay away. It is sad that Grace lives so far away, so I only see her on rare occasions, and we don’t have the opportunity to really build a bond (like I have with Barbara’s children). That doesn’t mean I love her any less though.
Falling in love—or at least dating someone I am really attracted to—remains the most elusive dream for me to realize. I still can’t seem to connect with anyone. It is the same story: they’re attracted to me, I’m not to them; I’m attracted to them, they’re not to me. I am trying to keep visualizing what I want as opposed to what I don’t want in a relationship. I tried match.com for six months and was going to cancel after my six months, but then thought it was pretty silly not to take advantage of the guarantee (if you don’t find someone within six months, you get six months free). So I’m retaining my membership for six more months, and afterwards will probably not renew it. This is really not the ideal medium for me to meet quality men, and I’ve been skeptical from the start. I need to be out living my life and meeting people doing the things I love—dancing, volunteering, acting.
Life is good, but I must admit that I do worry about little aches and pains, especially those that linger for a while. For instance, I had pretty severe pain in my upper left thigh last winter for about five months, but it eventually went away. I’ve had some minor throat pain for about a month now (not a sore throat, but pain in my upper throat area under my chin). I have been saying affirmations and prayers and using positive thinking to help alleviate the pain, and if it is something more severe, to eradicate it from my system. I’m not ready to see a doctor about it just yet. However, if it continues to persist, I will need to make a doctor’s appointment.
Well, it is a summer Friday at the NFL, it is about 2:00 pm and I’m hoping to leave soon. I have a go-see for a print job for Chartered Accountants and then I’m meeting Joe. He has been in New York for a conference this past week and is staying with me this evening. He will be my first overnight guest since I moved into my apartment last June.
I have much to celebrate – it is another birthday. Biologically I’m forty-one, but blood-wise I’m three!