bad news bears. my little sister - gifted thespian and prime comedian - was told on friday that she's in chronic rejection.
chronic. not accute like we've been dealing with. accute you can throw medicine at and keep on moving. accute you hook up a home IV and drink some ensure.
no, chronic is not accute. chronic says this body no longer wants these lungs in its presence and so we will begin to kill them off. slowly. and you - little girl who inhabits this body - you will die slowly too. one pound dropped at a time.
and my sister, three years post-transplant on the 15th, is so fucking brave. i can't say whether it's fair or not because she was supposed to die years ago. cheated death even by not dying on the operating table, by breathing through someone else's lungs no less than 12 hours later.
is it fair to me? i don't know. i've had my sister in my life for almost 24 years. that's damned long time when you consider she was supposed to die at 10, then at 12, then at 16, etc. her life keeps getting an extension.
i hear the word chronic and it's like all the doors and windows slam shut at the same time and i'm suffocating. my lungs are dying right along with hers. my body is disappearing just as hers is. i hear the word chronic and i'm reminded that three years ago she finally got to see life from outside the 'chronic illness' umbrella. from a window not streaked with 'terminal'.
so i'm going to be selfish and irrational. i'm going to wail and scream and hurtle objects into the atmosphere. i'm going to plead and demand that my sister's lungs stay right where they are. that modern medicine finds a way to fix this. that someone, god even, takes pity on this woman - places a hand on her chest and whispers 'life'.
and she lives.