Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Let me explain "It's a perfect day"...

Now that I have 'caught you up to date' on some of the facts, I can go back and talk about some of the experience.

When I was waiting to hear the results of the first 'FISH' test to confirm the CML, I decided to take the day off because I was using all my energy to stay sane (relatively anyway). The 'FISH' test is a fancy DNA test that would 'prove' the translocation (swapping) of some of my DNA. If my DNA showed that 'swap' I would have CML, if it didn't... well who knows they really didn't give me any options.

Up until that day, I had been working and even met a deadline or two. But, that day I was just in slow motion being deliberate about 'not losing my mind' while waiting. The first hemo doc said they would have the results on Monday or Tuesday. It was Tuesday so there should be no reason the results wouldn't be in (or so said the nurse).

All day I kept staring at the phone and willing it to ring. I imagined someone on the other line saying something like this, "Ms. Radcliff (because they always get my name wrong), we are calling to tell you that your doctors are crazy and you don't have CML." They would then explain that I ate some strange fruit when I was in Brazil and that is what causes these 'false positives.' That was just one of about... a million different scenarios that I developed each hour while waiting on the doctor to call me.

Around noon I was driving to meet my friend Kenneth at a coffee shop for some lunch. On the way over I noticed that the rainy cold gray morning had given way to a cloudless crystal blue sky. I thought of something I said years ago when another friend asked me to describe 'a perfect day.' My reply was 'a day that unfolds as it is meant to unfold, with some rain and some shine, but each moment appreciated and experienced to the fullest.' At that point I just reminded myself that whatever the test results are, my wanting it to be different wasn't going to change anything. My day was going to be perfect, if I chose to see it that way.

When I say 'perfect' I don't mean 'good' or 'what I want.' My results could (and did) say I have CML and that is consdered a bad result. However, without the test I would still have CML. I just wouldn't have known about it. The test is a reflection of the reality that already exists. Many many things in my life have not been according to my choosing. It's the same for each of us. My only 'control' if you will, is my response to what actually happens. I don't have to like it but I damn sure better have the facts to deal with it.

If I chose to have a 'perfect day' perhaps I could get it! I can't change the results, but I can change how I cope with it, how I choose to share the sacred story, and how I spend my only unrenewable resource... my time. I was going to have a perfect day. Period.

Kenneth and I had a great lunch. We shared stories of adoption, great love and great loss. I had a HUGE glass of red wine and Kenneth shared in the festivities with some fab lemonade (foreshadowing my current obsession with lemonade). The laptop made an appearance and we talking about the documentary possibilities. At some point, Kenneth asked me what I was telling myself to keep sane. I replied and said, "I tell myself it's a perfect day already. All I need to do is live it."

The day progressed without a call from the doctor. I had to really 'push' to get some results. Lili had her FIRST high school basketball game. She got a basket (of course that made the day perfect for sure). After the game on the way to a celebration dinner, the doctor called with the news. He immediately said he would refer me to MDA since it was an 'atypical' form of CML and he wanted MDA to confirm the diagnosis and the right course of treatment.

And so the sacred story continues.

Wishing you lots of perfect days with health, happiness, love, and a bit of rain now and then for good measure and green grass.


PS. Please comment if you have a chance. Lili and I read them all and enjoy hearing from each of you!
PSS. The photo is one Lili took on our vacation to San Franciso. It's her first time to be in the Pacific ocean. It was a 'rainy... yet sunny' perfect day we treasure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Finally able to read your eloquent blog! I am so proud of you for the strength and discipline you've displayed by sharing your experience with others. Thank you also for your powerful reminder that we all have the opportunity to share in each perfect day...each a gift. Your strong spirit shines in these wise entries. Many hugs and kisses to both you and Lili. Love, CJ