Thursday, August 4, 2011

Survival of the Fittest

I made it. It’s the two-year mark, finally. Happy birthday to me. It couldn’t already be two years. But the time has come. Every test has returned normal. Every exam has come back clean. What more can be done but to remove this machine from my body, and hang up the towel. We have won.

The battle is over, but the doctor wants just one more scan. This is a little favor considering all that he has done.

What’s this? It cannot be. And yet, there it is. Precisely where it once was. Like the moon in a midnight sky, my neck glows on the page. Could it be? My tonsils are likewise illuminated. There is even a star to set the scene in my chest.

What has happened? The chances of anything happening after two years is supposed to be almost nil. But this…no, no. I recognize you, foe. I’ve felt your shadow creep upon me. How could I have been so blind, basking in the sunshine. I could not sense my own shadow approaching. You who I fought for too long, have decided to welcome yourself back in. The others refuse to believe, but I know it is the truth.

Just you wait. The curtain shall rise, and all will know it is you who wishes to claim me. And it is then that my trap will be set, and I will have you. You cannot take me. You will not take me. I will destroy you. I will survive.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Is It Over?

Life had begun anew. On my twenty-first birthday, I received the news that I had been cured. No, I knew the moment the first dose of treatment hit my bloodstream, I had won. It was merely required that I survive the ordeal. Time was lost to me. I had heard that treatment lasted 6 months, but it seemed only a day, and yet…a lifetime. I felt as though I had woken up after a long dark sleep.

My senses returned to me. The world seemed brighter, more vibrant than I could remember. Scents hung in the air, colors leapt out at me. Memories etched themselves into my mind. I felt renewed. My mountain had not claimed me. Proudly I stood at its peak, the conquerer and not the conquered. No more would I struggle. No more would I wonder if I could survive the night. My life was my own.

Every test proved my life was back in my hands. Every scan looked normal, every doctor visit returned positive results. Slowly, surely, I made the trips less and less. It was hard at first, not having anything to do every other week. Some times I would look at the clock and think that I had better get ready, it was almost time for treatment. And then I would remember that those days were over. I no longer needed those training wheels. I no longer needed that weapon to keep me alive. I WAS the weapon.

Some things, however, had to change. There were parts of me that would never go back to the way they were. I was irrevocably changed by this chain of events. For better or worse, there was no turning back. I could only go forward each day, as the man I had become.

I had danced with death and lived. That fact had rooted itself in my very core. I slowly began to realize the truth of what had happened. Colors were more vibrant because I had lived in darkness.  Sounds were more distinct because I suffered in silence. I saw life for the value it held. This one life I have, became the greatest treasure imaginable.

It was at that moment that I had truly awaken. When all other lights had faded, mine burned even brighter.