August status check… not the status quo

And so…
I had
an Oncology appointment

A week prior, I casually took my “routine” blood tests
Confident in my continuing winning remission status.
Confident… since I had graduated to every-other-month-status-checks!
Confident, as that’s a big dominating-myeloma-milestone.
So confident with my remission, I committed to growing my hair out-
No short chemo hair for me any more, I told myself!

The week moved forward, without too much cancer “status”-dwelling
Life is so busy, other complications complicating my complicated life
Complicated people and things complicating my already complicated life.

Scott had his own recurrence scare!
Was quickly scheduled for a Cytoscopy on Wednesday,
And is thankfully just FINE!
Just a scare! 

Seriously, Kaiser online is so awesome…
Give blood “Stat”
Then boom!
“Good news” NORMAL test results are viewable online
“Bad news” ABNORMAL results, are not viewable.
I know, that which I can see online is not what is worrisome…
It’s what I cannot see that tells the story
And I know enough to know, what I don’t see, is concerning.

So my week of wondering
what story my blood would tell
was over today
and I found out more than I expected
more than I was prepared to hear….

I learned I am not invincible
I learned I have a faster ticking clock than I actually believed
I learned I need to do what I want to do
I learned now is the time for moonlit horseback rides
Now is the time for going where I was planning to go
Now is the time to be and do with those I love
No more waiting 
Now needs to really be real, very real
No more just mouthing the words

No more postponing
No more thinking I have an infinite amount of tomorrows
No more smug thinking that I’m different
That I have my pre-cancer life back
That I beat the Myeloma odds
That I get Remission for a long long long time
That I have plenty of time to make THAT list
and actually DO that list…

I learned
Now I must do THE list!

I asked my wonderful oncologist pointed questions-
I heard I don’t have the (forever) time I naively thought I did
I kind of knew, but today I actually asked how finite my timeline realistically might be
I asked if I we should go to Hawaii now, or can it wait
I learned I shouldn’t wait… go soon… go now… don’t wait, do whatever NOW
I learned that statistics don’t lie

I learned that I really am out of remission
That my June tests didn’t lie
That my August levels are even higher
Double, the high end of normal levels, high
Myeloma has officially actively returned
Almost 3 years to the day
I left City of Hope hospital
Myeloma has returned
1 year to the month, since I have been off chemo
Myeloma has returned, recurred, reoccurred, re-invaded my bubble

I learned my IgA myeloma levels are moving up fast
June was slightly abnormal
August is now officially very abnormal
And I have the dreaded “M-protein spike”

Goodbye pseudo health
Goodbye remission since Stem Cell Transplant 2010
Goodbye one year free of chemo
Goodbye head immersed in the sand, cocky overconfidence

Hello soon, to life saving treatments… again
Coming way too soon…

Hello to the ultimate body betrayal
I just don’t get it…
I was Julie the Invincible!
Am I “allowed” to ask… why me?

Next full moon
look up
picture me
outside hugging my horses
my tiny tears of reality streaming down their manes
as I ride like I’ve never ridden before…
Hoping, that all this must be wrong!
That perhaps, someone will say… “just kidding”, you’re fine, we made a mistake!

This amazing video represents my all time riding dream
that now, honestly… is just a dream
Thank you Stacy 
for this breathtaking ride!

Stacy Westfall stunned her audience competing bareback and
(to  “Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw)

in tribute to her dad, who had just passed away

(2006 Freestyle Reining, All American Quarter Horse Congress)