Wednesday, April 9, 2014

22. It's all "process". No need to fear it.

"Man cannot possess anything as long as he fears death. But to him who does not fear it, everything belongs. If there was no suffering, man would not know his limits, would not know himself."                                                                

                                                                  Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

My son, Brett, posted today "My Mom is tough as nails". 

I have to say that I'm not tough as nails, but perhaps he thinks so because I don't have much fear. I think that is my greater strength. I mean, what's the worst that can happen?  And once you've been through a few "the worst that can happen", you know you will pretty much make it through anything. And if you don't - it's only death.  

We might as well talk about it:  Death.

There it is. We'll all get there. Not a single one of us won't. It's the one sure thing looming. You can count on it. And the choice you have is pretty much whether to fear it or not to fear it. Isn't it? That's all.

There is a 1% chance of death in the procedure I am about to undertake. There is a 100% chance of death by complications of CIDP if I don't take it. I figure my odds are fantastic here. Am I reading it wrong?  (smile)

Oh sure, eventually I'll die either way. And the choice for me is to gamble a little, wagering that I'll get a whole lot more years that are healthy and better without CIDP than I will with it. And should I turn out to be the 1% - well, let me say right here, I have had a truly wonderful life! It's had a few bumps, that's true enough. But whose hasn't. And for the most part, it's been far far more awesome than I ever would have imagined. So I'm good with whatever, whenever.  

I love my kids! I love my grandkids! I love my husband! I love my friends! AND I know who all of those people are. Not so many can say that, truly. Can they. 

I've seen many of the world's finest works of art, in many of the world's most beautiful cities.  

I've put lots of people through college, including myself, and I've worked for major corporations, built up my own small business. Who gets to do all that? Not many!  

So when the issue of 'death' comes up, it's not something I fear. Therefore, without fear, I'm free to go and do and reach for things. I know that failure is inherent in success, not the antithesis of it. These are valuable things to know in life. And I hope I've taught my sons and that they'll teach their kids that fear is the enemy, not failure and not death. Fear!

Okay, enough of that. 

Just wanted to get it out of the way before I say that I truly feel no fear about this process - HSCT. I do feel some fear, or dread is more accurate, about NOT having it done, and living with CIDP and an autoimmune system that will work at killing me for the rest of my miserable life if I don't go through HSCT.  No brainer, right? I agree.

BUT, if by "tough as nails", Brett meant that I would suit up and walk around an aging post-communist suburb of Moscow, knowing only 3 words in Russian, really, in pursuit of an ATM machine and something edible - well, yes, I'm nails. 

I finished the testing phase of my stay today, and decided to go for a walk, get some cash, something edible (I like so many things about this place, and the food is not one of those). Made my way through the hospital complex to the ATM Dr. F. told me was by the Kacca (Cashier's desk), but it's not working. 

First off, most of the world doesn't even say "ATM", they say "Bankomat". Two guards and a security checkpoint, 5 blocks down the street with the cable buses - Bankomat city! Inside the market there were 5 or 6 of them lined up like Las Vegas slot machines. First one I picked gave me the option for English. DING DING DING! I'm always lucky on slot machines!  

Wandered the store, looking up words on a language app because yesterday I bought cream for my coffee, only to learn this morning it was 1. goat cream, and 2. one month past expiration date and sour goat curds, instead. NOTE:  PLUG FOR iPHONE here: No one need fear anything now that we have apps!. 

In case of emergency, they also have fois gras at that market (so noted): 

Before I left home I updated my Family Trust, wrote the Transfer of Business Operations Documents, told everyone how much I love them - so I think all that's left, in the event it's not looking good for me, is to be sure someone runs to that market in my final moments and gets fois gras for me. Deal?

For those who are thinking HSCT is in their future (MS, CIDP, Lupus, Sjogren's, Crohn's Disease and other autoimmune illnesses), I wanted to give you an idea of what my 3 days of testing pre-HSCT was comprised of. Testing to be sure my body systems can withstand the chemo process, and that there is every possible hope that I won't be that 1%. Here is the list, though yours may vary somewhat depending on your own medical condition and Dx., remember. 

Только добро погибает юным.                               Only the good die young.

Too late for me. I'm way past young, therefore must be bad to the bone.

I do not fear death - to me, everything belongs!

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