The doc said " You are doing amazingly well." That is interesting because overall I feel kind of lousy, and aside from a few decent days here and there, I feel about as well overall as I did weeks ago. Nausea, bouts of indescribable skin irritation, and episodes of intense fatigue. So the details: My chronic viral infection appears to be gone, my blood counts are nearly normal, my bone marrow is clear of disease, and my marrow cells are now 100% donor. After seven months of pain, I will now have the IV port in my chest surgically removed (yet more scars). We are tapering the drugs to zero within the next 8 weeks. The doc is certain that my graft-host disease is gone and that my issues are related to the drugs. He was very happy. OK... but I still feel like crap. I know, I was able to do a slow 5 mile run this morning, and I should be happy with that, but that is chump change, and it was an ugly thing totally devoid of satisfaction. If this is it, the endpoint of all this misery, it was not worth it. And we don't even talk about probabilities of survival anymore. Too depressing. I barely care anyway. His answer is always a party stopper. Apparently that particular number is completely independent of everything else and entirely out of my control.
But now I have another problem. What if I survive longer than I expect? What exactly do I do with my life? Go back into that thankless world of academia? Hell no! Draw a disability check while bicycling across New Mexico or attempting long distance runs and traverses? Philosophically that is fraught with problems. What do I have to offer, and how do I go about doing it?
If all goes fairly well, I will be set free from here in eight weeks, and you can bet that I will be living as large and loud as I can, knowing that I have that little dark bird on my shoulder. I know I will never make it to retirement age. But adventuring without a mission, without being attached to something larger than what I am doing at the moment, that eventually becomes unfulfilling. As Deborah says, "Send your questions out into the universe and it will take care of you." So there it goes: POOF - out into the ether.
Please feel free to share your wisdom!