20 Aug

Stalled is a good word for this.

Although perhaps it has a negative connotation that I’m not really feeling at this point.

For chemo to proceed, the minimum threshold for my white blood cell count is 1.2-1.3. 1.5 would be wonderful. Last week I was 1.0. This week it’s down to .03. So it’s another reprieve with this week off, feeling fine but highly susceptible to infection, viruses and bugs. Next week we’ll recheck the counts, and whether they are high or low, I’ll commence seven days of shots (neupogen?) to help stimulate my bones to produce more white blood cells – which will bring the count up if it’s low or hopefully keep this from recurring if it’s high.

Which this morning left me all dressed for a party but unable to dance. And what do you do when you can’t enter the dance? You find another dance.

It’s a bit cliched to say, “It’s all in God’s hands” or even “Have thine own way.” It’s also extremely easy to say – especially to others going through such journeys; which is why our words should always be few.

But the fact is to say “It’s all in God’s hands” is not cliched for me at all. It is my experienced reality. Once again, I find myself right in the middle of The Terminal with Viktor Navorski – and there are certainly worse places to be. I understand that The Terminal was at least unofficially inspired by the story of  Mehran Karimi Nasseri who ended up stranded in the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris for seventeen years (from 1988 to 2006). Let’s hope the layover doesn’t last that long.

I love the patient spirit of Navorski – learning a new language, making do with catsup and mustard packets put on saltines, bathing in airport bathrooms, improvising his own sleeping quarters. And every day trying again for the green stamp in the face of countless “unacceptables.” As the movie poster for The Terminal says, “Life is waiting.” I would change it to “Life is in the waiting,” for it most surely is.

We wait so poorly.

We anxiously wish away the present with its perceived inconveniences, annoyances and delays so we can move on to – what? the next set of inconveniences, annoyances and delays.

Waiting is something of an art, when you think about it. It’s the art of making the most of each season, each opportunity as well as each hindrance; each closed door and each open door; each clear road and each roadblock. It’s somewhat like trying to get around these city streets during the summer months with all the resurfacing and roadwork. The moment you impatiently try to turn out of it to the right or to the left, the sooner you find yourself facing more road construction and more delays. It’s almost like they planned it that way.

And so I wait.


And I look for life in the waiting.


Posted by on August 20, 2012 in musings, Suffering


Tags: , , , ,

3 responses to “stalled

  1. gordon

    August 21, 2012 at 3:58 am

    Love the way you write mr. Freeman.

  2. wordhaver

    August 21, 2012 at 4:42 am


  3. jillinois

    August 28, 2012 at 5:43 am

    Praying your counts come up, or at least that the Neupogen isn’t horrendously painful. I’ve been off of the one year of maintenance chemo for nearly one year. (AML- subtype M-3).


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