I am thankful to have made it this far. It's now been thirteen years since my hemochromatosis diagnosis and more than twelve since the resulting cirrhosis was identified. The latter came with a bonus diagnosis of "probable" hepatocellular carcinoma. At that time, I got rerouted to a liver cancer specialist. Multiple biopsies did not turn up any cancer cells, but "that doesn't mean the cancer isn't there," said the specialist. Although he told me I might go one to ten years before a transplant was needed, I was immediately turned over to the transplant center for a full medical and wallet workup. It was distressing to hear my husband . . . complain to the one transplant doctor . . . uh, Recalculating, recalculating. . . .
Well, it looks like I got lost there. What I meant to say was that I'm thankful to still be cancer free twelve years later and to have been passed back to the liver clinic for care. The transplant center, though world famous and named after the surgeon who was the first to do a liver transplant, has some issues that disturbed me then and scare me now. When they scheduled me for a followup, to which I dragged my parents from their home 1,500 miles away, I was floored to discover my doctor was out . . . of the country and . . . Recalculating, recalculating. . . .
I guess I'm still feeling sort of disoriented with this attempt to shift to the cup-runneth-over perspective. It's amazingly difficult to beat down the beast of insecurity and fear-of-the-future, which seldom let me enjoy the relatively quiescent present. I regret having focused so intensely on the comments my spouse made during that premature transplant "interview," but I'm thankful we have not had to revisit that discussion. The longer we can ignore the inevitable crisis of whatever sort, the happier he will be, so I should be thankful for that, too.
It's been a gorgeous autumn here, with a blazing glory of leaves, and I've had a few opportunities to drive through the rural countryside and marvel in the beauty. At home, I can shut myself in, do my freelance work, and try to forget about elections, my asthma, my aging parent, and my anosmia (loss of the sense of smell/flavor). And I'm thinking, okay, are we there yet? Have I made it to thanksgiving?