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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Life Is What Happens While You're Busy Making Other Plans

I've had a busy week of appointments, errands, a few utterly joyous events, commitment to my commitments, and precious little time to write for pleasure. This bothered me more than usual, because I had a serendipitous blog post coming along in draft form, but coming too slowly to suit me. Well, actually, I still have that post in draft form, but it will likely have to wait awhile. Here's what I had to say in my first paragraph:

"I have been caught in a downpour of good things, an unpredicted storm that has left a few large gifts in a terrifically truncated period of time. Maybe some would holler "Hallelujah!" and run off to enjoy themselves, but I am a perverse creature. Oh, believe me, I've hoped for some good fortune, but now that a little of that has fallen into my lap, I am unsure how one handles some of it. If I blink, will it go away? Why have some of these things come to me and why now? Will I handle the details differently from my methods in the past? What are the deal-breakers, so I can make certain not to commit any of them? And - oh, the sleep-robber - "am I worthy?"

Jennifer Layne 
Copyright 1994
This afternoon I was showering, blow-drying, seeking out clothes in which I would not roast, pushing the clock just a little, which is unlike me. When the phone rang, I thought, "I have no time for this, whomever it is. Just let it roll to voicemail." But I recognized the telephone number as I've called it a few times in the last few days. "Hi, is this Leslie?" I said it was. "This is Kerry from the clinic." Oh. The Vampire Department just drained me yesterday. This may not be a good phone call. She said that my blood test results were in. There is no anemia. That's great, as I have a chronic problem. My cholesterol is on the "watch list" - for the first time in my life. OK, people deal with that every day. None of the medications I've been prescribed are causing any mischief. Good, good. I thought to myself, "Then why is this woman calling me?" "It's about your white blood cell count. Dr. Q is very concerned. She wants you to see your physician. We have a copy of the lab results for you but we're closed for the holiday weekend until Tuesday morning." I said I'd come Tuesday, then see my doctor. "No. She wants you to see your doctor tomorrow. Tell them it is urgent and what I've just told you about your test results." Well, I didn't scream or faint, but I'm not stupid. I've been down this road before. This call has a sense of deja vu. "Just how bad is the white cell count?" I have .7 when I need 4.0. Oh, that's pretty bad. "We're concerned about your immunity to any infections. It shouldn't be this low. You need to be seen right away." Boy, howdy.

I sat down hard on the bed, forgetting that I was running late. Damn it, what is this? The karmic cost for the good things that have just come along? And how would I deal with it this time, new in sobriety, but a veteran for having gone through it before? "It" is an insidious thing, a precursor to a deadly cancer that few survive for 5 years. The good news: I am not "sick" as it is asymptomatic, almost always revealed in a routine blood test. And many people live with the precursor for years, never developing the end disease. The bad news: This is not my first rodeo. I was closely monitored for 2 years, monitoring including regular bone marrow biopsies. A bone marrow biopsy is not an enjoyable experience. But the physical assault can't hold a candle to what these things do to one's head. And then there is the wait between the biopsy and the appointment to learn the results. And then count 90 more days, with blood testing in between. I can do every every part of that, I feel, tonight. And I must remember to pack all the good things into each and every day that I can. I already have a team in place, just in case one is needed: driver, hand-holder during the procedures, soup maker, prayer givers, well-wishers. OK, I think this will be all right.

At the large AA Club where I attend various meetings, the kudos, grins, hugs, high-fives and questions still flew about the wonderful things so recently fallen upon my head. I've been teased mightily and reminded that such good things happen to those who work their program well and truthfully. I chose not to mention today's news. It's not time. People are joyous for me. There's no good reason to put a damper on the joy others can feel for a fellow. "Hey, meet Les. She is a hard case, but she's worked diligently and after 8 months, good things are happening to her." If the time comes to share information at AA, I have no doubt I'll be fully supported there, too. Given everything I need. I'm no more fully identified by any other disease I may have than I was by alcoholism. A person wants to be both graceful and sturdy. Admirable, like.

In my ears right now, just because:


  1. I will join the prayer givers, well-wishers club. I'm awful at saying the right thing but hang in there.

  2. @ Beach Bum ~ Actually, you said exactly the right thing. You said, "I care." In the short time I have known about you, it has struck me how generous you are. Thank you.

  3. I've had a recent health scare myself. It would be a lot less scary, and less of a nuisance, if we had single-payer health insurance in this country. But I shouldn't get political, should I?

    My best wishes to you, as well.

  4. @ Kirk ~ Ah, you're singing my favorite dirge! Is it political or is it a question of humanity? I am flying without a net. I am not poor enough to be considered poor. Which makes a woman tremble to think how poor "poor" must be. I don't know how to "work the system" as some do. What system? How do I work it? Where do I find it? What do you mean I don't qualify?

    I'll get by, Kirk. I didn't know you'd had a fright. I hope it is over and happily ended.


    "I just read your blog and am sending huge, fluffy, positive thoughts your way."

  6. @ Doozyanner ~ I'll take them! Keep 'em coming, please.

  7. I'm in your circle too. :-)
    WV= mendat. Yes, I mean that.

  8. @ CramCake ~ I surely do thank you for that - you've already helped me tremendously. I mendat, too!

  9. Just read Kirk's message as "single prayer insurance" - really, is that what the world's come to, I thought....
    So, no prayers from me, just company and enough positive energy to blow Vegas out like a birthday cake.

  10. Ok so something we do in my bladder cancer support group. One virtual e-hug comin at ya' stand by 3...2..1. (((((((Leslie)))))))

  11. @ Rachel ~ OH - single prayer insurance is good! In a bad sort of way. Good use of words. I will take that company and energy and send it back with love. Thank you so much.

  12. @ Mike ~ Oh, I like the virtual hug! Mmmmmmwah, right back at ya. Thank you for your email about it, too, my friend. It's going to be all right. ((((((Mike))))))