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Great Times > Reflecting
Being confronted with the diagnosis of serious illness, at first one may find him- or herself in a state of disbelief. Then the new reality kicks in. Sometimes the bread lands butter-side down, as they say. Good old Murphy's Law states: When things go wrong, they go completely wrong.
At the crossroads: Which way to go next?
Fight – A Difficult Period in Life
State of Shock. Things happen that one doesn't expect. And so autumn brought a sudden change in priorities. In disbelief I listened to my doctor's announcement. After bone marrow biopsy, he explained to me the acute illness as well as that it had good chances for healing, which however would take its time. The new situation had to be digested at first, although there wasn't much time for doing that. The treatment had to start immediately! A nurse explained that now everything would change.

Oh My God. Subsequently, I received encouraging reactions from many people. They appealed to my strength and fighting instincts to also surpass this challenge. Some openly shared their shock, mentioning that they couldn't really sort their thoughts now. Then again, "OMG, will you get well again?" was among deeply honest emotional reactions, which express questions that not many people dare to openly ask in such cases. It addressed the invisible elephant in the room.
New Daily Routine. Again it was time for chemical infusions. The silence of the day ward was repeatedly interrupted by a loud beeping noise. It indicated the completion of an infusion or just that a bubble of air had formed in the tube. Most patients silently sat in their grey treatment chairs. Without saying much, they endured their fate. A fellow patient happily shared that the therapy had shrunk his tumor. An older comrad-in-arms let us know that he had envisioned his retirement differently. A younger adult started to cry at the beginning of his treatment. Soon the situation was under control again. We all probably felt somewhat similar.
Compliments and Assurance. In a different environment, other compliments are exchanged. While in other circumstances we like to praise beautiful eyes, in hospital I overheard a new form of praise: "You have beautiful veins, has anyone already told you?" When I asked, how long it would take for the cell poison to get out of my system again, the doctor promptly corrected me. He pointed out that the same poison, as I called it, to me was a life-sustaining juice. Once and again I asked myself, whether, when, and how I would get out of this? "We'll get you through this," another physician comforted me.
Changes... life's full of them.
Is the Boat Leaving Yet? Then there was a dream of a lakeview place. Someone was getting a boat ready to leave. Saying goodbye, just like in a sad movie, one wishes to wake up from. Tomorrow is just a dream away, as the saying goes – a future that is worth focusing on. Then back to reality and onto a way out thanks to modern medical treatment. Following induction therapy to achieve a remission of the illness, a number of consolidation cycles were meant to ensure stabilization and purge the life-endangering threat entirely from the system. One day, I'd be finished one way or another.
Fighting for a Comeback. Especially the beginning and the end of four-week long therapy cycles with daily infusions and medication to prevent nausea were difficult. The first week, because the body needed to adapt anew to the treatment, and the last one, as the amount that was inside the veins now led to sleep disorder next to skin reactions. By then, one was "tired like a plum tree – miad wia a Zwetschgenbam," to make as statement that I had picked up in hospital. "Often felt, but never heard before," if I may quote a friend here. Finally, with a fellow Austrian it would be: "I'll be back."
If this page didn't sound Greek to you, the next page definitely may.
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