It is school holidays. I have finished university and am now casual teacher at the school I used to attend. During my time off school, I am going through some documents I wrote on my laptop while in hospital receiving chemotherapy. I am not sure of the date I wrote this. But from the circumstances written, I am guessing it was around April 2009. I am reminded of how grateful I am to be alive and well today.
Man in bed 13: “Hey, you got your hair cut.”
Bed 12: “Yeah, it was all falling out anyway. It doesn’t matter, all mah mates have no hair anyway. I would just be catching up.”
What is it to older men? How can this cancer walk be so much easier for them? The day I lost my hair I lost my femininity. A friend once asked me what my real hair was like under the wig. I described it as granny with a lesbian style. And that’s what it is. Every morning I wake up to look at someone who is not the girl I once saw. Today I see someone with tired eyes, sallow skin, limp cropped hair and a smile that keeps on trying. Tonight as I write, my eyes are fogging. I never cry. I give in. How can this sickness be my reality. My tears have to remain silent because I am sharing a bedroom with four men. I feel if they know I am crying, they will think I have no faith. They will think I know I am dying.
As I look at those words my body shivers. More tears glaze my sight. But my heart is at peace. I know that I will not die. Even though I have been given 50% chance to live. As my doctor says, there are two options to go from this stage given my results from my previous bone marrow biopsy were intermediate. The results of bone marrow biopsies are either positive, meaning a person still has a lot of leukaemia cells, negative, no leukaemia cells, or intermediate, right on the line between these two scores. My doctor has no way of choosing whether to give me a transplant or just finish chemotherapy because of my intermediate result. With a positive or negative result, the choice would be easy. But not with me. So here I am. Sitting in my little room surrounded in curtains, one old man snoring to my left, another drawing his curtains, another reading his book. No one can tell what they are dreaming or thinking. And they do not know I am sitting here swallowing my tears, trying to remain silent so they think I am strong.
I know God is real, but why does he feel so far. How come prayer is surrounding me and results are still negative? How come I always get every single side effect from every drug I receive? Tonight, God will you be with me? Be with my thoughts. I still trust you. I still fall to my knees and worship. I know your grace is enough. It’s more than I need. Please turn this around. Let me live for you for the rest of my life. Let me be alive. Let me be completely well. I will serve you for the long life you give me.