It was August, 1997. My daughter, Liv, had been born just 6 months earlier. My husband came home one day and told me he wanted to accept a job promotion. So we moved from Columbus, OH to Chesterton, IN – away from my best friend, our collective friends, and my entire family. With a new baby, a new job, and a new life which I did not know how to handle, I found my 24-year-old self in the middle of a total whirlwind. I thought the whirlwind was coming to a conclusion when Liv’s Dad moved back to Ohio and she and I stayed in Chesterton (see “dirt” – previous post). But I was wrong; it was just beginning. It was then that I was diagnosed with leukemia.
I figured the unexplainable weight loss and constant exhaustion were simply attributable to stress from the obvious situation. After taking Liv to her day-care that morning, I returned to my home office to begin the work week. The phone rang. On the other end was my former Doctor neighbor who still lived in the family-friendly neighborhood we enjoyed for a short while; Liv and I were now in an apartment across town.
“Beth, it’s Laura.”
“Hey, how are you?”
“Can you come back in here this morning?” Her voice was not normal. It was softer and unsteady.
“No, I’m busy and it won’t change anything if I get in the car. Just tell me.”
“Your white blood count is 88,000.”
“So that’s 10 times higher than normal. Something is really wrong.”
“Like your body is fighting a life-threatening infection, but that can’t be it since you’re able to function. Or, or it is…”