Saturday, December 03, 2005

Biopsy results: NO leukemia!!

I got the word late yesterday (Friday) afternoon from Estee, Dr. Tucker’s nurse. I wanted to laugh and cry and jump up and down and hold very still all at the same time. But I just put my cell phone carefully back in its little holster and sat there, not saying anything to anybody because I wanted to tell Anna first and I couldn’t reach her yet (she had flown back from Las Vegas earlier in the afternoon, started working like a fiend the moment she got in the door because she’s leaving again on Monday and had to get stuff ready for that trip, and then gone to the gym). Besides, I was sitting in my office while Jim Rubarth-Laye from IT Services was setting up the new PC that had come in during my absence.

So I held off saying anything to anyone till Anna picked me up a little after 5:00. We went home and fed Dillon and then went to Fino for a celebratory glass of wine and shared some appetizers, then went to Bodychoir, where I danced, actually got on my feet and moved, for the first time in more than five months. It was lovely. I didn’t dance hard, didn’t dance fast, and for that matter I couldn’t seem to coordinate the relationship between my upper and lower body (I almost said “bodies”), but what the hell. I got to dance with a whole bunch of people, both men and women, and I had a wonderful time. Anna and I danced together several times, just holding each other close and swaying a little, and that was really wonderful—I could feel a tension leaving us that we hadn’t even been aware of until it started escaping, and I felt myself laughing and grinning. Everyone was so glad to see me there, so welcoming; the good feeling reminded me yet again of how terrific these folks had been during my time in the hospital in June and July.

I went back to the office this week, too, in the afternoons (I didn’t go on Monday since that was biopsy day, and I ended up working at home all day Thursday, too, so I could focus on writing something to add to a proposal Kay had been working on in my absence, and which was due on Friday—yesterday). It was good to be back there, and I had the same feeling of being welcomed back. It’s a very good feeling. I haven’t ventured far afield yet—I have a lot of people to go and visit! And I’ll start doing some of that next week. Actually I’ll start doing some of it tonight—there’s a Rhetoric faculty gathering tonight, and I’ll get a chance to see a whole bunch of friends all at once. That’ll be a lot of fun.

I started working out with Marc at Hyde Park Gym again, too—on Monday morning, Wednesday afternoon, and again this morning with Anna. Nothing heavy. On Monday I went through my workout with almost no weight on any of the machines, just concentrating on getting the form right and checking with myself to see if it felt OK (it did). We added a little more weight on Wednesday and a little bit more today, and it feels great: I can feel my muscles extending and contracting, blood starting to flow again, just the right amount of muscle soreness and fatigue. And friendly greetings from the people at the gym, most of whom I don’t know by name.

I spent some time visiting with friends this week, too, while Anna was away. I had dinner with Rino on Wednesday evening; breakfast with Jim and Jim on Thursday morning, breakfast with Peg on Friday morning. On Thursday evening I did something I hadn’t done for a really long time (nothing to do with illness): I went to a poetry reading, where I got to hear David Wevill read some of his recent work, small, spare poems that break what he described as a long dry spell. I went because I wanted to connect again with David—he’s one of my oldest friends here, and somehow we’ve fallen out of touch the past few years. It was good to make contact again, to catch up a little awkwardly on what’s been happening in our lives since we saw  each other last, hearing the familiar voice.

Going to the office, going to the gym, going to Bodychoir, seeing good friends, dancing with Anna: I’m very fortunate to have such a good life, and very grateful to be moving back into it. The word “rebirth” tugged at me as I wrote that, but it’s not really the right word: I feel more like a hermit crab moving back into a shell it had occupied before and hadn’t meant to leave. But I’m not a hermit crab, and a hard, borrowed exoskeleton is exactly what I don’t need.

Thanks again to all of you for your love and your concern and your support and your questions about how I’m doing.


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