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Harsh reality

The sky over the flyovers and the skyscrapers turns a soft shade of pink,

Lights are turning on and the coolness of the evening is drifting in,

The days are growing shorter as the season changes,

Winter is on its way and soon the days will be cold at least for a while,

The journey we are on in this life has an ebb and flow not unlike nature,

We all experience times of warmth, care-free days, and nights of happiness,

Family celebrations, birthdays, graduations, and wonderful holidays,

Are the highlights we treasure, photograph and map into our memory,

Weddings, a first home, children and grandchildren are precious events,

These invigorating delights punctuate our years bringing rich colour into life,

Yet they are doubly excellent as they contrast with the other seasons that come,

The times when things that are new and exciting become familiar and faded,

Routines of the daily grind at work, the challenges from difficult situations,

The struggles caused by rising costs and the unexpected bills that need to be paid,

Disease and illness strike suddenly and the panorama of life in our sight’s changes,

We pass from summer to autumn and deep winter in the time it takes to gather in our next breath,

Doubt and fear flail about as we struggle to come to terms with our new context for living,

The home with the beautiful garden is left behind for a unit near the hospital,

The vibrant energetic dynamo in the family known as the Energiser Bunny lays ill,

Treatment is given to treat the cancer that has attacked her body and brought lethargy,

With low immunity comes risk of fatal infection requiring isolation from valued relationships,

Children and Grandchildren are not allowed visitation rights and even a husband is excluded,

As Chemotherapy is administered, and the Bone Marrow Transplant proceeds we hear the reports,

High temperature, fevers, nausea, diarrhoea, and endless bags of drip-fed medication flow,

Fighting the disease that threatens life and has already taken away home, family, her abilities,

Leaving a team of highly trained doctors and nurses to engage in battle against the invasion,

Fighting to shut down the old Bone Marrow Cells and allow the newly introduced cells to engraft,

The new cells need to choose to cooperate and accept the body and the body accept the cells,

While the battles rages the patient suffers and the days are filled with an unwellness previously unknown,

After weeks of blood testing, taking medications through tubes into the chest and being incapacitated,

The temperatures and fever disappear,

Engrafting occurs and the blood tests show that healthy new blood cells are being made,

Colour returns to the face, and after more days have passed the feeding tube can be removed that passed from the nose down the throat and into the stomach,

Over the next hundred days there will be two sets of appointments one early and the other late in the week,

Medications will continue to protect the new cells and the well being of all the organs in the body,

Infections are the highest risk as the body has no immunity to germs and childhood illnesses,

Getting well consumes all of life,

The journey will continue until once again the Spring time and then the Summertime sunshine will emerge,

And as that occurs the vibrancy of a full life of events and relationships can once again be enjoyed.

Neil P. Schiller


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