Day +947: You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine…

“Just own the night like the 4th of July

“‘Cause baby you’re a firework
Come on, show ’em what you’re worth
Make ’em go, oh, oh, oh
As you shoot across the sky

“Baby, you’re a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make ’em go, oh, oh, oh
You’re gonna leave ’em falling down

“Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It’s always been inside of you, you, you
And now it’s time to let it through.

Happy 4th of July!

7/4/2013: We just returned from a very enjoyable family cookout at my niece’s. Her husband and sons made the annual trek with Michael Sunday to buy fireworks. They really outdid themselves this year. Even the weather cooperated. Earlier, it was cloudy, hot, and muggy but a cooling breeze reduced the humidity and cleared the skies just in time for the spectacular display. Great job, boys!

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4 Comments:

  1. Katy Perry, Firework. Another one I didn’t have to look up! Sounds like you had fun.

  2. So glad you had fun and I LOVE the picture!! You look beautiful!

  3. Just dropping by to say “hello” and wish you both well. I think of you often, but never seem to take the time to let you know that, so here I am letting you know that. 🙂 Great photo of both of you! Karen looks very healthy and happy—a great sign. Y’all take care. Cindy

  4. Just thought you might want to know, I’m back to buying green bananas. Think about that for a minute.

    On July 3rd, I celebrated my first “birthday” post transplant. My husband and I flew to Newport, RI, to attend his family reunion and enjoy the 4th of July festivities there. Several people told me how good it was to see me. I thought it was very good to be seen, and not “viewed.” Of all the guests, my attendance was perhaps the least expected just a short year ago.

    Prior to the trip, I had my one-year bone marrow biopsy and check up. Since the tests take a while to be processed, I didn’t get the final report until July 9th, when I contacted my doc to inquire about my status. My email found him vacationing in China, but he took time to reply that I am 100% leukemia free and 100% donor cells. Goody goody for me.

    Leukemia, like all cancers, leaves its victims in constant fear of recurrence: like the ultimate “bad penny,” that keeps trying to turn up. Remission is not cure. Waiting to be cured, often defined as 5-year survival, is like waiting for Santa on Dec. 26th.

    With 4 years to go, I have plenty to distract me from the waiting. Like all transplant patients, I have a few physical issues to remind me that I’m not me anymore. In spite of my new self, I feel 100% when it comes to physical activities and overall stamina. Our social calendar is filled with the usual fun and frivolity. A strong immune system affords me the opportunity to resume travel plans. No longer exempt from yard work or other mundane duties, I stay busy. Life has returned to a new normal, and it is exceedingly good.

    So what’s your point, Sherry? What great revelation or epiphany can you share here with others? Any near death experience light at the end of the tunnel? Wha…wha?????

    First, it’s about a shift in PERSPECTIVE. As Socrates reminds us, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Having a potentially fatal disease has made me reassess my priorities. I can let go of old patterns of behavior. Suddenly, I can choose what I will and won’t do, without guilt or angst. Hey, I’m dyin’ here, and I’m not wasting any of my time. I should have figured this out years ago, because I was dyin’ all along…as we all are…maybe one part at a time, but definitely dyin’. In 2004, Tim McGraw crooned in his country hit, “Live Like You Were Dyin’.” I should have listened better.

    Secondly, it’s about the STRENGTH of the human spirit to survive against poor odds. I never let the odds or statistics get me down. I expected to survive and thrive. I feel confident I could do it again if I had to. I may be dyin’, but I’m not goin’ down easy. Knowing I possess the strength to endure a physical crisis empowers me.

    Point number three: ATTITUDE. Chuck Swindol said it best:

    “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our ATTITUDES.”

    4th Dimension: GRATITUDE

    Surviving any life-threatening situation requires support from friends, family, professionals, acquaintances, and well-intentioned strangers. More importantly, it requires divine intervention, from whatever source you might choose to attribute that to. I have been blessed with so many prayers from so many people. I feel almost unworthy, albeit grateful to all. I can’t help but believe some higher power had a hand in providing me with a 10/10 matched sibling, and a devoted husband to see me through the journey.

    So, now I can live dangerously. I buy the green bananas because I know I’ll be around when they ripen. Life may be measured in 6-month increments as I await the next bone marrow biopsy, but in between I feel free to forget about all this leukemia crap. Really, who wants to hear it anyway?

    Lately, my husband has been approached by several people, asking about me and how it’s going for us. He told me I should write a letter. I told him it seemed self-serving, but the part of me that enjoys writing and reaching out to the people who matter to me decided it was okay. Thank you for being on my distribution list of love ;0)

    Your comrade in arms,
    Sherry, 61+ years old…AML-6, prior MDS…BMT 7/3/12
    __________________

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