She told me what I hoped to hear –
that I’m healthy and recovered and doing well.
But I realized
I always have been, as much as I am now. I don’t
know if I have something else going on – hemoglobin will paint another corner of the picture –
but in this uncertainty I am as certain as every person alive
that I’m dying
slower or faster or more consciously than some, I do not know.
This consciousness of mortality leads to gratitude for joy, gratitude for laughter, gratitude for all of it
And I’m grateful for this reality occurring on a non-terminally ill body.
I didn’t realize a side effect of having cancer would be loose-leaf gratitude
steeping in my soul,
pouring out from every pore.