If you’ve read any of my blogs, you’ve probably happened upon one about my cancer, Multiple Myeloma. I don’t’ want to get into the details of this disease here; however, I do want to share a little bit of my personal experience, of late.
This has been a challenging year for me. Viruses and bacteria have been waiting on every corner, positioned to pounce on my immune-suppressed body. It hasn’t been all bad, I’ve continued my exercise regimen, long bicycle rides early in the morning; regularly sculpting my yard to keep it in good appearance; along with a few other physically and mentally challenging activities to keep mind and body aligned. God has blessed me to continue moving forward despite what has been before me. Then came July and August.
I turned sixty-eight in July. The highlight of that month was my wife and I taking a trip to Saint Louis to see my favorite recording artist, Anita Baker, at the Fabulous Foxy Theatre. I’ve been an Anita Baker fan for as long as I can remember. So, as you can imagine, my anticipation of seeing her in her farewell concert tour, was a “1,000-feet” experience for sure.
The concert was scheduled for July 21, on Saturday, my birthday. Chris and I arose early Friday morning before sunrise to start our trip to Saint Louis. Our plan was to leisurely drive up to Saint Louis, rest once there, have dinner at a nice place, and spend Saturday taking in some sites. We would return to the Airbnb to get plenty of rest, so we could enjoy the concert. Just as we were leaving our driveway Friday morning, I started to feel a bit of a scratchy throat. I’ve experienced this condition enough to know that something was brewing. I immediately boarded my raft for a healing trip down the “river of denial.” I was certain a smattering of cough drops, and lots of prayer would heal all approaching ills.
Once in Saint Louis, we enjoyed the rest of the day, scratchy throat and all. I was ecstatically flying at 1,000 feet. I wasn’t about to let a virus, which had my name on it, ruin my birthday treat. Friday night brought peaceful rest. Saturday morning, not so much. I was able to move about; however, nothing was operating within normal parameters. We dressed and stepped out early, planning to spend the better part of the day hanging out around the Gateway Arch area. My body had other plans; it was quickly descending from the 1,000 feet marker. I felt bad to have to tell Chris that I needed to return to the Airbnb to rest. I figured we had driven all this way to see Anita, and I wasn’t about to expend what little strength I had walking and gawking with other out-of-towners in downtown Saint Louis. At this point, I felt like I was flying at about 500 feet, with the ground fast approaching.
Saturday night came, and I felt fine. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday. I felt as though Anita was singing all her signature melodies to me. She even sang happy birthday for all in the room, who were born in July. My level of enjoyment wasn’t unique, demonstrated by the uncanny ability of us all to force Anita to sing a few of her famous ballads twice, since we robbed her of her first effort by singing them for her. This happens regularly at her concerts. She complimented us on our ability to sing perfectly in tune. Coming from her, that meant a great deal. Both Chris and I were flying in tandem at 1,000 feet.
As I write this piece, I just came off of a week’s stay in the hospital. Ever since I returned home from Saint Louis, I’ve been flying at 300 to 600 feet, always positive minded, always confident that I would be above the clouds soon. I won’t share a lot of detail here, but I will say that the bacteria squadron sent me crashing for a hard landing. To get back to my desired cruising speed and altitude, I’ve spent the last week being intravenously infused with various broad-spectrum antibiotics. I’ll continue these repairs, outside the hanger for the next nine days. God will have me back at 1,000 feet shortly.
Flying high has been a blessed state of existence for me, especially with my chronic illness. One thousand feet must be where God wants me to be. Who am I to argue with Him?
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.