Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Exposed

You may not see things my way; like my methods or my reasons; but you can't tell me that I'm wrong
Bluetonic - The Bluetones

A bit of introspection, about my exposition

Another week passes. I recovered from my fatigue, and I'm feeling pretty chipper. I'm going to write a separate post about the continued diligence needed to put my spine back in shape, but enough of the physical stuff, for today I am mostly in my mind.

At the weekend I had another two social events (quite the whirl, aren't I?). On each occasion I had the unusual experience of conversations with people who were a lot more genned up on me than I was on them. I'll be honest, there were a few moments where I was frantically trying to patch together our shared histories, at a slight disadvantage because the rest of the world hasn't been posting up the finer details of life online. Or if you have, I haven't been reading.

I do wonder - and I know Marisa does more than me - about the merits of having put my balls so firmly on the table (sorry to disabuse those of you with purer minds, but that is not a ping pong metaphor). Writing my myeloma down, and up, was intended to diffuse conversation, and I think it has been successful in that. I guess it's inevitable, now I'm able to get face to face with so many people I haven't seen for a while (and believe me, that's wonderful), that Dial M becomes, for a moment, the trigger of conversation. Such are the perverse consequences of our actions.

Why have I done all this? Because I've learned a lot about honesty, and the perils of sweeping unpalatable topics under the conceptual carpet of euphemism and awkward silences. And I say "Poo!" to that. (Don't worry, I haven't forgotten, I owe you more taboos... a little one now, and two more coming soon.)

Yesterday, I took my sister to the hospital for tissue type tests. We're doing this now because she is in the country, not because there is any plan for me to have any treatment. The tests will tell us if our stem cell types are compatible, should I ever need a stem cell donor. It's a 1 in 4 chance, so we should all be expecting the answer to be no. I felt I needed to say to her now - so that it doesn't go unsaid - that one of the purposes of stem cell donation is to induce a "graft vs host" effect where the donated stem cells would kill off my myeloma. And that the risk is that overzealous donated stem cells get carried away and kill off me. I think that's better said than ignored, because ultimately, we (souls) are not the same thing as the DNA which sustains us. My sister's stem cells are no more her spirit than my myeloma is mine. And she is no more responsible for what they do than I am for the stupid tumours which destroy my bones.

She seemed very calm about the whole thing. I've been surprised by how much it affected me, when I thought about it afterwards. This is all such serious shit, and much of the time now I manage to forget that.

This little exercise of mine in exposition (and I think it is that, rather than exhibitionism, but really, you should be the judges) takes me to surprising places. (But most often, it takes me to hospital.)

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