I've been starting to feel so much better. I'm finally not in bed all the time and I'm getting stronger every day. It's been two years since my transplant and almost 2 1/2 since I started treatment. Three years since I became ill.
I had plans and a life. Huge glorious plans that were coming along perfectly when I suddenly became sick. I had a casual position at the university library. I had my routines where I saw friends and did things on the weekend. I used to run every morning and sit at the beach listening to the waves lap at the rocks before school. I was wrapping up my bachelors degree and was doing so well I was expecting scholarships to take my masters in New Zealand. I had worked long and hard toward all of my goals, my life was sculpted and exactly where I wanted it to be. I had long term dreams that were finally within reach and money in the bank. I felt so satisfied with life that I thought my feet may just spontaneously float off the ground.
Then things began to unravel a little. Next thing you know, I'm being airlifted to a major hospital.
As I my skin was grey and they were pumping morphine and chemotherapy into me in another city I couldn't help but think I'd be back in a couple of months. I honestly thought I'd roll back into my life and continue as I was. Not for a moment did I think my life was in danger or that I wouldn't get through it all.
I'm a wee bit stubborn and I don't give up. I was actually arguing with my professor from my hospital bed because they wanted to lowball my grade for missing the last two weeks of University and my grad project. I told them I would complete it as soon as I got out. I told them I'd worked too long to give up at the end! They bumped my grade closer to where it should have been.
I went through almost a year of active treatment and patiently waited and waited to get better. My unwavering sense that I would be okay eventually began to fade. Two years is a long time to wait. My GP said I should accept that I have a chronic illness and should speak to a counsellor on how to proceed with my life as such. I had a lot of mental adjusting to do. Sometimes accepting where you are at that moment is the right thing to do.
Now that all the fanfare has faded and my friends have wandered off, now that no one would even recognize me where I used to work, now that almost every piece of my old life is gone, I am feeling the weight of illness leave me. I have periods of elation, mental strength and a stubborn push to move forward. I also have periods of fear and loss.
I am lost.
I feel like an Etch-a-sketch that has been turned upside down and shaken. There is still the faint outline of where my life used to be.
How do I really know if I take a step forward, there will still be ground beneath my feet? How do I know where to go when the dreams and options I had are gone. I am not physically or mentally where I used to be.
I have the most intense feeling of that fear inspired question hovering over me, what now?