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About More Voices

Every month More Voices invites readers to contribute short nonfiction prose pieces of 40 to 400 words on a healthcare theme.

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My name is Tamara, and I have a blood cancer, Polycythemia Vera, which means in my bone marrow, the essence of my being, I have a mutation. Like the X-Men, only I have yet to discover my super power.

You see it is freaking rush hour up in here. Too many red blood cells and platelets and not enough neurotransmitters or oxygen, and what this means is I feel like the life and the person I want to be have been hijacked.

It means there will be times when my synapses stare blankly and awkwardly at each other and don’t know what to say. It means that though I may want to be at your party, instead I may be in bed asleep. It means that though I want to work more, I may work less. It means that instead of being proud of my accomplishments, I will be proud to get out of bed and do anything.

No more box jumps or sprints or heavy weights. More walking slowly, napping and staring off into space. It means accepting all that is dying so that my spirit can live.

So if I let you down today, I am sorry. I let myself down too. I will do my best but it may not even be close to enough.

I will tantrum, and I will accept. I will cry and be depressed. I will be happy and joyful.

There may be weeks of more energy and you will think, “she does not seem sick and all." The thing is we must not be tricked by these times. For just as better is coming, worse will be coming too. This is the way of it.

I wish I could find some beautiful shiny metaphor for this. The truth though is this really does suck. The name of my mutation is Janus Kinase 2. After Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings. Who looks both to the past and future. He is the god of doors, passages, transitions.

My name is Tamara, and I am searching for my super power.

Tamara Jones-Childs
Portland, Oregon

Comments   

# Tamara Jones-Childs 2017-01-03 01:39
What super powers have others with chronic diseases found?
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# Warren Holleman 2017-01-22 11:02
Tamara, I loved your story and also your question here in the comments--it has me thinking! Your question prodded me to realize something about myself. I have chronic depression, and because of it I think I've developed a super power to live a meaningful life and get some good things done even when I don't feel like getting things done. If I hadn't had this depression, I don't think I would have developed this super power! And when I'm not feeling depressed and I invoke the super power anyway, I can be downright awesome. You say in your story that you are yet to discover your super power, and pulling for that to happen. But meanwhile I wanted to let you know that you do have super powers in terms of helping others, like me, discover things about ourselves we didn't realize. You're an awesome writer.
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