Every one of us is teetering on the edge of health and "sickness" or life and death every day and every minute. I guess I could say that my life has been living on this precarious edge really since I was diagnosed with the "Big C" 17 years ago. Day to day living was more tangible with surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, blood transfusions, etc. Then that ended and life carried on and evolved and there was less thought about this delicate balance. Days went on with some challenges but it wasn't so invasive.
In the past year the tangibility of life has come back in full force. One little "slip up" and my life could-and has-changed dramatically. I feel like things have been especially at a precarious and delicate balance since some time last year. Some days it is inspiring to see what I have overcome already and other days it is somewhat depressing to see how these experiences interrupt what I thought life might look like at this point.
When I think about the delicate balance in my body I think of the fact that now I am relying on one lung (Lucky Lung is what he or she goes by these days). Lucky, while fairly good, still has some permanent damage from the mycobacterium infection and some bronchiectasis. If I were to have more damage to this lung, I do not have any backup. And then there's the antibiotics that I have been on for a year and likely will be on another year and maybe beyond. The medicines seem to be working as far as any medical test will show-for now. The scary part is that the bacteria can become antibiotic-resistant or the antibiotics can stop working and where does that leave me? Some of the alternative medicines come with even more scary side effects and risks than what I already have from my current medications.
I try not to dwell too long on the "what ifs?" and focus on what I do have control over. I focus on doing all I can do to help my body. I am involved in a research study right now for lung issues and see others participants who are on oxygen, homebound, have to use nebulizers often and other things that I do not have to do at this point. I feel grateful for all the blessings of what I can still do and not what I cannot and all the people that are helping me achieve this.
While I live on the edge, each day is truly a blessing and could be so different or not at all.
Thanks for the post Rachel - although I am always concerned about what's happening with you I honestly don't know what you have to go through every single day. All I can do is say prayers that you continue to get better and feel better. You are such an amazing young woman and I feel so blessed that you are a part of my life. You are truly an inspiration to me every single day. Love you lots, Grandma H.
Thank you, Rachel, for putting your reflections out here and sharing these "what life is really all about" thoughts. Life circumstances (and maybe Fall) have prompted a lot of "on the edge of life" reflecting, too, and it was serendipitously inspiring to read yours ... thank you so much, GGF. It really is all about this precious moment, isn't it!
Having just caught up on yr Facebk postings and having seen the amazing photos of you at the style show ... made for an interesting backdrop for your "living life on the edge" reflections.
Sending special "juju" to Lucky Lung! and lots of love to you oxo
I came across Gabe's post on EQ yesterday and chanced upon his article 'Rachel's Story' dated a year ago. I held my breath furiously search the net for a follow up and stumbled across your blog where here you are still sharing, forever inspiring.
Your love and appreciation for one another and for the miracle that is life is God sent. As a father of three children and married the last 23 years to an exceptional woman, I respect your journey and Gabe's support.
From the Fiji Islands, here's to keeping your eyes above the waves.
Thank you so much for your kind message and words! We really appreciate. I'd love to visit Fiji one day!
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