Furled up

I am a flag on a still night; the dead oak leaves, curled and rusty, whose deafening rustle penetrates my storm windows on winter nights; a fern in the sweltering sun. Curled up; spent; exhausted; brittle and small. This latest illness has completely tapped whatever reserve I have left after a winter of rampant sickness in our home. I found myself deep in a "pity party" last night, blaming my current illness on cancer and my subsequent lack of functional lymph nodes, which mobilize the immune system. I have four left up under my ears, and they are the size of half-dollars, working so hard to make up for the team they've lost. My dear husband stayed home to tend hearth and humanity yesterday, and I spent the majority of the day in bed. It is never my wish to do so, as I know there will be a mountain to do the next day, feeling better or not, if I leave my work for 24 hours. This was no exception...and it dawned on me in the evening that I had fallen far behind on schoolwork. So, aching and arthritic, I dragged myself upstairs to spend two hours studying. In doing so, found an article in a medical journal that snapped my bad attitude back into a right perspective. There is so much deeper suffering happening all over this country, every day. Shame, shame for lamenting a few lost lymph nodes and bad head cold!

So, that is cleared up. As usual, I have no right to feel sorry for myself - and why waste time doing it, whether or not I'm in the right? That being said, I am left with the very visceral, physical, real truth that I am less now than I was last March: 8 lymph nodes and 2 parathyroid glands less, not to mention the dear, butterfly-shaped thyroid gland whose presence I miss daily! The latest pathology report from the University of Chicago showed that there were 2 parathyroid glands in the section of thyroid removed. This was news. Previous pathologists did not find them. This would explain my difficulty regulating calcium since the surgery, and confirms that I need to be on daily calcium supplementation. To learn more about the parathyroid glands, click here.