Today was a glorious day. I taught a yoga class and ate a hummus sandwich for lunch. The lettuce was crisp, the pita piping hot and I ate it slowly as I read the newspaper in my sun-drenched kitchen. I laughed with my sister about a story she heard about someone we went to high school with and took my son shopping for a new pair of sneakers. His feet have gotten so big, it takes my breath away when I think about his little baby feet from so long ago. He’s off to college next week, but I’ll never forget his smirk as he strode across the stage to take possession of the diploma he worked so hard to earn. That crooked grin melts my heart.
There was a time when I didn’t think I’d get to see him in cap and gown. No one did. I was 45 and I had acute myeloid leukemia. I was told it was serious. I was told that without a bone marrow donor, my chances of survival were very low.
I was so scared when I was diagnosed, I could barely understand what my doctor was telling me. My power of denial was strong. All I kept thinking was, “I don’t have time for this. I have things to do.” What I did understand was that my life was changing in that moment. Forever. “Can you come in for a bone marrow biopsy?” they asked. “No, I have a yoga class to teach,” was all I could think to answer.
But eventually the reality of what was happening settled in. And I was petrified. And angry. And as I sat isolated in the hospital for months getting my treatment, I swore that if I survived and ever got out of that hospital room, I would never set foot in that hospital again.