No joker

I have neglected my desire to write of late. The Christmas holiday with two rambunctious boys was as expected entertaining and at times quite loud. I had a week off to enjoy them but I will admit returning to work today I felt more tired than had I just kept working. I wouldn’t trade the time with my family though for anything. Even coping with the post Christmas breakdown both the boys had was tolerable and even a bit entertaining. We had a wonderful time with Brooke’s family and although I didn’t get to see or hang out with any of my family we were in touch multiple times. Christmas day was a big day for the Dudley side as Mark, whom we thought was our eternal bachelor, got engaged to Samantha whom we are all thankful to for taming him.

The real reason though I didn’t write which is sort of tough to admit though is that I didn’t know what to say. My last post was a tough one. The loss of Lars Spurkland to our community was bigger than he ever was, and he was a big guy. That post I had to write because I couldn’t stop thinking about his family and friends. I needed a bit of a way to clear my mind before going into work in an acute hospital setting again. I was  bit more mentally clear but it was a tough night. Since then though I have had a block on wanting to write. I just can’t seem to compose my thoughts about our askew connection with AML. I have spent some time talking with his brother and sister-in-law about leukemia. I have not stopped thinking about how lucky I was to have caught some of the very early signs. I can’t stop thinking about what if I hadn’t have got an abscessed tooth, or been kicked playing soccer and developed a little leg compartment syndrome. Would I have caught this in time. Those thoughts I just can’t get out of my head right now. They sort of haunt me everyday making my interactions with my world and especially my family even more precious.

I have thought much about the day I wrote the last two posts. I had mentioned I had much to say and as I think back I really did. The day I heard about Lars was a pretty wonderful day. I became and Uncle. Joe and Ashley (my sister in law) had a wonderfully cute little boy who will undoubtedly be a cherished little cousin by my boys. I was out skiing when I heard about little Levi’s arrival. I thought about how excited Joe and Ash must have been. I thought back to greatest days of my life, meeting Brooke, our wedding, and the birth of Liam and then of Finn. I kept running through in my head how those four days were like the aces in my hand of life. I wondered how anything, any other hand could beat that. As I am not poker player I did look it up to see what else could beat four aces. There are hands which could but I didn’t care. Somewhere in that thought process I wanted to say that even with the Joker of Leukemia I was happy.

The problem was that night AML showed me it was no joker. I have felt pretty shitty at times since my diagnosis. I have been mad and angry at what life can puke on your plate but something about that night seemed extra tough to stomach. The chances of getting AML are pretty slim. But at that moment and to this day I still don’t think it calculates that two guys who enjoyed so much of the same stuff and ran in such similar circles could have the same horrible disease. It makes my hair tingle to even think about it now.

I have felt hopeless at so many points in this journey. I have searched for ways to buoy my spirit. This has been tougher than it should of because I thought those in my circles learned so much about enjoying life from my crappy situation. We didn’t need to be reminded again. But at this point we have been. We will carry on with heavy hearts and we will take this horrible reminder of how fragile life is and build strength. I have been reminded that I was really lucky and continue to be so. I think we should all take a moment to remember that.

Head Up, Heart Strong. I need a cure.

If you didn’t spend all your Christmas money yet think about giving, I am giving to Be The Match, The Leukemia, Lymphoma society. They both help tremendously in coping with these diseases. Be the Match on the marrow donation and patient side, LLS on the research and patient side.


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