Sunday, January 27, 2008

Finding My Way Back

I need to begin this with an apology. 

While my absence could be justified, the guilt I feel over my lapse in communication is palpable and embarrassing, therefor stunting my actions. Of course, the longer I wait, the more my guilt becomes a burden. Well, it's time to move beyond that and risk being banal and shallow, engaging in reportage, data and prognosis. 

A warm-up if you will.   

After escaping the surreally bonds of UCH's 6NW on the 19th of December, I was re-admitted on the 21st for fever and other unspeakable bodily irregularities. However, it seemed to me that by the time I actually was assigned a bed, I was better, but it took two days to prove it to my Dr.'s. I've had some low periods in this passage, but none have reached the level of disappointment I felt on that Friday afternoon when my clinic Dr looked me in the eye and said he was re-admitting me. I was released very late on the following Monday- and went home and slept.

So, I arrived home on the 23rd, had my kids over on Christmas eve and sent them home by 9- PM,  with Erica feeling very sick. It turned out she was having an appendicitis attack, was admitted to St Francis very early on Christmas morning for surgery. I spent Christmas day at St Francis seeing her through the recovery room. She's fine and most likely forgotten the experience by now, but it simple put the cap on 2007's medical saga. There was some poetry in my New Years Eve post, because there seemed to be medical-dramas right up to the end of the year- and all I could really think about at the time was that all were safe for the moment.

Next we travel into January and the beginning of the real challenges brought to bare by this disease; doubt, fear, anger, intolerance, envy, acceptance, release, laughter, latitude, insight. There are more, but I'm sure you get the point. If my feelings and emotions were articulated as a map, it would detail the nooks and crannies of a varied and unstable landscape. I can't deny that it's been tough and I can't deny that I've risen beyond my doubts and fears a lot of the time, especially when I've been with friends. Of course, the down side of that strategy is that MJ gets to see and deal with the brunt of my darker moments which doesn't seem fare or honest.

Moving On To The Medical 

I'm doing wonderful, according to my Dr.'s, despite all the emotional/physical ups and downs, my blood work and the engraphment of my sisters platelets are progressing wonderfully. There's a gleeful tone in my Drs. voices as they review my blood work and bone marrow pathology. So, the news is good for this time in my recovery. My combination of emotional melt downs seems to be expected by them as well, just not me - I don't accept them very well.

So, there you have it, my month in review. I'll try and break this down more as I begin to come to terms with who I might be at the end of this-- the one thing is clear- I will be different- this changes a person in profound ways physically and emotionally. So, it becomes a challenge to accept the short comings and weaknesses being exploited by the disease and its treatment. I'm not there yet, I don't know where this ends and what physical attributes return to me after the long healing process is over. It's a lesson in patience and gratitude and acceptance and trust and finding ways to forgive yourself for the weaknesses in your humanity, for giving in to fear and seeing darkness not light. 

That's the struggle at this time. Thanks for being out there, I hope I'm  not too late.





Mark Drozd said...

You know, Arn, I can't imagine the changes you've experienced throughout the past many months. But watching and listening to your amazing wonder and openness and courage to face everything with that wonder and openness, sure is changing me.

People need to change their vocabulary in describing a guy like you. The word 'Inspiration' doesn't even cut it . . . not even close. Keep up that amazing fight. Who knows what other wonders await? Thinking of you and praying for you every day–

bill greer said...

Arnie the work "awsome" is usually over and inappropriately used, but it fits you. You were well into this ordeal when I became aware of it and then I was overwhelmed, or didn't know what to say or had too much to say. So add Dee Dee and me to the roles of those that are praying and sending all the positive energy we can muster to you and yours. At least you're not missing any golf weather in Chicago and I'm sure your game will be even better when you do get back on the links!
Love, Bill G

Kathy said...

Arnie, you are a gift of "words". Thank you for sharing your experience. We miss you in 329. Our prayers are with you through this.

Love you,


GageParker said...

I am grateful that Zach set up this blog. I loved the intro. It really had me going, I even went and searched the New Yorker archive...Then I saw the part about your golf game. I guess the New Yorker folks must still be fact checking that article:) You remain in our thoughts and prayers.

Jan said...

Arnie, Thinking of you every day and watching for a new post from you. We're hoping all is good and you are enjoying watching the snow gently fall whilst holding a hot cup of tea. Just thinking of you...Jan and Larry

RJ Sorman said...

Arnie Arnie Arnie,
You don' call, you don't write, you don't send flowers! oops, that was suppposed to say that I haven't called, written or logged in to my 1-800Flowers account.

I've been thinking about you often and am so glad to have read the good things on your blogsite - is that the right term?

Anyway, I see you're really doing well and I'm thrilled for you. Me? Oh, nothing really unusual - just being the 800 pound gorilla -

So, I really have nothing brilliant to impart - just my thoughts and prayers are with you and for you.

Best to you and the family,