Another five years...

I first posted to Without Leukemia, in the summer of 2006, five years after the start of the chemo treatment for my first illness. Today is another anniversary: This is my fifth birthday since my relapse was diagnosed in 2009.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, such anniversaries are cause for celebration. On the other, while five years seemed like a huge milestone in 2006 in 2014, after having suffered through a relapse after seven and a half years in remission, I am much more reticent in how I celebrate such milestones. Every day I’m alive is significant, and I am skeptical of attaching significance to any particular day.

Of course, my present attitude and mood may be affected by the fact that I woke up this morning fighting something, some illness or bug, that has proceeded to settle in my lungs and rob me of my energy. While I don’t obsess about it, I must admit my mind has gone to thoughts of white blood cell counts, and an immune system trampled by marauding lymphoblasts.

In reality people get sick. And I am a person. And, likely, I am just temporarily sick. But there is always the thought, however brief, however improbable, that perhaps this illness isn’t transitory, that this isn’t just another illness, the kind that afflicts everyone, especially in the winter, especially this winter.

My white cells have gone rogue on me twice before, and it’s hard not to think of them plotting against me again. Although, to be fair, they aren’t really MY white cells anymore, unless there were a few of them that managed to hole up and survive the cytotoxic and radioactive “nuclear winter" that was the preparation for my stem cell transplant. I can only imagine them emerging from their shelter, like rebels emerging from deep within a jungle, keen to overthrow and destroy the foreign power, the invading stem cells, that have occupied their homeland. Oh what a battle that would be…

However that story plays out, for now I am going to drink some juice, take some vitamins and put my feet up and watch the drama that unfolded today on Canada Reads (if CBC gets around to putting up the video…grrr).

Wow, that was really drama!