This word I like... We architect our life...
A song, a sigh... developing words that linger...
Through fields of green, through open eyes... It's for us to see.
Interanimate: To animate or inspire mutually

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day +730 TWO YEARS

The suspense for me officially ends today.
Thanx to statistics on post stem cell transplantation outcomes, if I kick off from here on out it will not be because of 'transplant complications'. My odds of living to a normal old age are better than 95%.

Today is the day, 2 years ago that I laid in a hospital bed overlooking the beautiful Torrey Pines golf course, dying; poisoned by chemicals dreamed up by some creative geniuses sitting months before in their cubicles in some silicon valley think tank, clicking furiously on their mice to make new and strange combinations of hexogonal carbon-based chains on their CAD/CAM computer software. The jet from Baltimore had arrived the night before spewing ozone-killing gases from its engines, yet carrying various joy-giving very-late Christmas gifts as well as a life-giving small igloo cooler marked 'Biohazard'.
The poisoning had worked to perfection. Because I was a good and well-behaved patient, the hospital staff had decided to postpone my impending exit by administering daily transfusions of bodily fluids one normally doesnt give a second thought about. The poisoning produced no pain, just a deep, deep queezy feeling and dreams of an increasingly bizarre nature. The dreams were becoming less and less an activity associated with sleeping. I'll be writing more about that one day soon.
On this day in 2008 I was to witness some rare events. It started in the early afternoon. First, I was visited by 2 head nurses at the same time. Even one head nurse was a rarity in my room. They brought in a large round bag with an orange colored concoction. This was the first round bag to be hung from my chemo-tree. Every other bag had been rectangular with round edges. Those bags always came in round around the middle but left the room flat in the middle, empty. The orange bag was round and full. It was like a big orange donut. As I watched in stupefied wonderment, the nurses commenced a procedure between themselves that I instinctively knew would be very very bad to interrupt. For instance, a joke to them about orange donuts, and I'm not here today writing this hoo-ha. The nurses read the copious text on each bag to each other, saying "check" this and "correct" that. I drifted off for what seemed hours, woke up to the head-head nurse asking me "Are you James Anderson, birth date October 4, 1954?" I almost said, "Yes, but I know for a fact there is another James Anderson with the same birth date in this hospital." I really dont know why I think such things at the most inopportune times. The orange fluid in the bag seemed to be glowing. "Yes", I said, "I am one and the same person."
As Tiger Woods warmed up his clubs for the Buick Open on the golf course outside my window, and the afternoon sun shown brightly through the January afternoon mist, a concoction of Steve Ever's blood and stem cells was strapped onto my chemo tree and the pump adjusted to 200ml per hour. The thin plastic tube between the bag and the port on my chest turned neon orange. From a slow death, to a quick poisoning to an unimaginable antidote; in fifteen minutes, the mad path my life been taking had come to this fork. The orange bag was empty. I could once again take some control over my future.
On this day Steve flew home to Pensacola from Baltimore. I entered into a twilight zone. A zone of of waiting, of dreams, of existing; waiting for deliverance, hoping and praying for the next 2 years to be kind.

Steve has had good things happening in his life the last couple years; new kind and caring people, new job advancements, new responsibilities. We keep in touch often. I am very happy about this and think he deserves all good things for what he has done for me and my family. Apparently he was able to grow back the stem cells he so graciously gave me 2 years ago today. Stem cells are like love. You can give some of yours away to someone in need and it will grow back thicker than before. Wait, that makes stem cells more like hair.