Behind our house is a pond full of frogs and every night these frogs croak together in a chorus of crescendos and decrescendos as if led by a conductor standing erect at the water’s edge in a tuxedo waving his baton against the moonlit night.
A lovely lullaby to fall asleep by, for sure.
One night I awoke around midnight to hear only one frog croaking by himself. Hmmm, I wondered, he and I might be the only ones awake right now. Why might he be singing his own solo? And is it to anyone in particular? Perhaps he just has a song in his heart, and he has to get it out.
Maybe we had something in common, the frog and I. Since I too seem to be singing a song to no one in particular. A song of quiet contentment that encapsulates the peace and satisfaction accumulated over the last year and a half; with lessons learned and despair mostly overcome.
It has been a year, as of June 20th, since my stem cell transplant when they gave me the deadly Melphalon that burned out my bone marrow like a forest fire in a National Park. And thankfully my own stem cells, which knew where to lodge (in that cinder smoking marrow), restored me back to the life I knew before.
Much ground has been covered since then. I live mostly now in hope. I feel strong and I am back to work doing what I like to do best. I have attempted to put that awful cancer behind me as if it never happened in the first place. I can laugh and my attitude is good. I am riding my bike with my grandkids and I climb the monkey bars with them. I give myself permission to believe in the impossible—that in spite of what they say, this Multiple Myeloma will be cured eventually in me.
But occasionally I lose that self-proclaimed confidence when I visit my Oncology Clinic and there is an echo that bounces off the clinic walls that says, “Beware, the other shoe is about to drop.” Is it back?
This past week I went in for my 1st anniversary checkup. I had my bone marrow biopsy along with my blood work to see where things were at. I had been on pins and needles for a few months, knowing that much of my future would change if any cancer was seen now, even a little bit.
On Thursday, Terry and I went in to see my doctor and he told me that I remained in complete remission. He congratulated me that the bone marrow biopsy was good, and I was doing very well. We were ecstatic. My expiration date that was stamped on my forehead was longer than I thought.
At the same visit, I received all my baby vaccines for the new naïve immune system that I now had. My grandkids were so excited that I could now truly understand the misery they have gone through in getting their own vaccines.
“Did it hurt, Nana?” they asked with excitement.
“Yes!” I exclaimed, “Papa had to hold me down while I screamed.”
And so it is, I croak out my song out in the night, to no one in particular, except the God who has watched so closely over me, and during the day, I know that things are going to be OK.