I feel like I am BROKEN. My eyes have no tears, my thyroid no longer functions efficiently. I have chronic dry mouth and receding gums, every inch of my skin is dry. For three winters in a row, I had the "attack of warts" all over my hands. Without prescriptions, and my daily routines my body would rebel and break down. Faith needs to be at the very top of my priority list each and everyday. Being broken is extremely exhausting! When I look at old picture of my family and me, it is almost like I do not recognize the old me. The twinkle in her eyes and her innocent smile is long gone. As I tried to explain to my husband when it was finally just the two of us one evening- that girl in the picture died. I may still be technically still alive but that Tracy Lynn Kearcher in the photo died the day my family and I received the AML Leukemia diagnosis. I will never be emotionally, physically, or mentally the same. I have gone through a personal war. A war against cancer and chemotherapies, a war against aging naturally, a war against time, a war against innocence. I had many allies along the way. My friends, family, doctors, and nurses were a dream team but, in the end, I had to fight my battle alone. No one in the entire world has ever had the exact same experience as me. At times it was and is a very lonely and scary journey. There was an invisible line that had been created along with the diagnosis. I (the infected) and then there was everyone else in land of the living. They could eat fresh vegetables and smell the fresh crisp air outside of the hospital walls. Without a miracle my breaths would be numbered!
For the last few months with my doctors order I have been going to physical therapy. I was having constant back and neck pain. My muscles were also extremely tight throughout my entire body. Instead of feeling better than ever three years out post-transplant, I physically felt worse. According to the therapist after chemotherapy my bones were weak, so they moved around. At the same time, I had a spinal compression fracture that had to just heal on its own after a coughing fit. So, my bodies alignment was a disaster. The therapist told me to stop stretching, stop doing all the exercises I have done for my entire life. It was time to start a new program. It was time to rebuild my body.
I think, overall, for the last four years my attitude has been positive. I am constantly trying to be on the go. Helping my kids, keeping up with housework, building my cookie and salon businesses, helping my kids with their special needs, forming a support group for special needs children here in town, and starting the St. Luke Women’s Guild back up with a bunch of fellow members and friends and teaching Sunday school. All the routines and weekly appointments are exhausting. However, I find relief in decorating the sugar cookies, reading with Alyssa and Matthew before bed each and every night, and the feeling of the sun shining down on me as I walked Quincy today! One Day, One Dozen and one Doctors appointment at a time!