A call to action. A cry for help. An opportunity for you to realize your power to give strength to someone affected by a blood cancer (Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Myeloma). Get involved. Make someone stronger.
Dedicated to the uber drivers, security guards, nurses, doctors, health aids, police and all those showing up to help others despite the risks.
For every person I saw today who returned my smile hidden under my layered masks.
For everyone who didn’t run in the other direction as they saw me in my double masks, latex gloves and hoody. (although if you had, I would have understood!)
For those who are practicing social distancing when out and about.
For the little things we can do for each other – acknowledgement, appreciation, a glance of understanding or a smile.
For musical escapes to nourish our souls, calm our minds and tickle our hearts.
And most importantly, for what I’ve learned since my last post – Silence, Raw and Unfiltered. You see, I was mistaken. It wasn’t about mind over matter as much as it was heart over matter…and the heart drove the mind.
So, while my body and heart (physical) are more exhausted than ever, I learned my heart still has some fight left! Triggering the mind to make matter, not matter. (throwing up every gang sign there is, cause that’s how gangsta your mind can be)
Grateful. Something I’m feeling right now as I write this, but it’s not the how I started the week…
Unprecedented circumstances in the world with a harsh reality for all. Stepping out of your home came with a consideration that most of us never had to think of before. And for those who are vulnerable, while the consideration or risk may have been there previously, it was never quite like this.
In the days leading up to today, I was also in unchartered territory as far as my emotions – feeling nervous, as many of us are, just thinking about leaving the house.
Last week’s appointment left me unsettled with a close call. Combine that with the weekend’s developments makes for a perfect recipe for worst case scenario possibilities. Precautions I needed to revert to and things I may have never thought of before occupied my mind as I began to lay out my game plan.
Step by step, ensuring I covered myself for each transition – uber to hospital, hospital to room, room to testing, testing back to room, room back in uber and uber to home. Thinking about how to ensure I’m doing my best to keep myself safe as well as those I encounter with each transition.
Dope ass game plan ready! I got this… kinda, sort of. I mean, I considered everything… I think… right?
Woke up this morning and start getting ready. I could feel my heart and lungs needed this, so opting out or deferring to tomorrow didn’t feel like an option…
My family and friends who are family have me on lock – reminding me while I’m alone as I walk out the door, they are by my side as they always have been.
Thank you for offering to run errands, send supplies or make food with extra TLC.
Thank you for the supportive, reassuring messages/calls and all the love.
Thank you to my bestie and sister who tells me she can come to the hospital if I need anything or am feeling uncomfortable. Ride or die.
And so, I prepare to start my adventure…
I called my brother as I’m getting ready cause he always holds me down. We’re chatting and there’s an impromptu video call request from my nephew! Convo full of his sweet voice, animal meet/greet, followed by talks on how he wants to visit me and all the things I should have prepared for when he comes. Ummm, yes please!
My heart and soul feeling a 1000. Don’t think there’s a better key ingredient for me to get my game face on and feel like I can do anything!
I hit play on my favorite reggae playlist as I roll out like Optimus Prime, feeling like I got this.
And what a day it was! I’m grateful and happy for every person I came across, even the clueless blissful people who made me shake my head and laugh at the same time.
Thank you to the person who got on the elevator and decided to stand right next to me. Your clueless blissful demeanor despite me looking like a FEMA worker, sparked me to jump off the elevator. I’ve never done that before! Usually I hold my breath and retract for the 30 seconds it takes to get to the lobby…but not this time homie. I aborted that shit quicker than they could blink as Buju was in my ear reminding me to Walk Like a Champion, Talk Like a Champion and I disappeared from their sight.
It’s often uncomfortable to do things that makes others uncomfortable, especially when it’s doing what’s best for me, but I did it! Thank you for the unplanned drill that showed me I’ve got the mind set to go with my game plan.
Thank you to my uber driver who didn’t speed away when he saw me. Thank you for patiently waiting and understanding as I wiped down the back seat thoroughly before I got in. Thank you for checking if I was ok during our ride through ghost town NYC.
Thank you to the security guard who guided me safely through the small crowd into the building from a far. Thank you for speaking up for me as you saw me trying to figure out how to get to the entrance while keeping my distance.
Thank you to the nurses who spent their day taking care of me and entertained my silliness as I attempted to lighten the mood. Thank you for being openly honest and sharing how you feel. Your strength is in your actions despite your fears and the fears are absolutely founded, natural and understandable. Please know that we understand and are here for you too. If you’re a patient, my guess is you have serious issues if you’re at the doctors, but please remember the state of the world right now is serious as well. If you can, please take a moment to ask your healthcare workers how they’re doing. They may not share, but I hope and imagine the fact that we cared enough to ask will mean something.
Thank you to my fellow patients who joined me in enjoying some good tunes on speaker instead of my headphones. Starting off a little hesitant but it was only a matter of time before they were on their feet too. Heeeyyyy! A little dance never hurt anyone! And although our dance moves may have interfered with our oxygen support and got slower and slower as the day went on, when the day ended, we were still moving.
Dance moves full of good vibes, positive energy and silliness. Something all of us could maybe use a little bit more of. And seeing the look on other nurses face’s as they came by to peek in our room, was confirmation that our music therapy and good vibes were seeping through the door and maybe, just maybe, as contagious as the virus.
Thank you nurses for letting us push our limits for a larger purpose today and ignoring the alleged beeping on our monitors temporarily.
Thank you to the security guard who noticed me moving like a snail and ran ahead to open the car door for me and just as quickly ran away to maintain his distance, only to turnaround just in time to accept my air hug. For someone who’s designated with keeping his eyes on everything to protect those in the building and maintain the peace, he took a moment to notice I could use an assist. I can’t thank you enough.
Grateful. For today.
Grateful for my tribe.
Grateful for dancehall reggae.
Grateful for every person I came across.
Grateful for impromptu dance sessions.
Grateful for those who are there for me and those I could be there for.
Grateful to the healthcare workers who are on the front lines across the world. They are leaving their families everyday so some of us can go home to ours.
Grateful to be back home.
While the world is nothing most of us have seen before, there is silver linings if we look for them. People to be grateful for, things to be grateful for. Hopefully focusing on this will help support us in doing our part to minimize the spread and support the people out here on the front lines.
And if it’s hard to find a silver lining… maybe try turning on your favorite song, bust out your dance moves and hopefully you will feel the good vibes for a moment…and in that you find your silver lining!