And Just Like That…

Hi friends… It has been a minute since I sat down and wrote a proper update on the things going on in my life. If you follow me on the gram then you already know I spend most of my time consuming literature; however, there have been a lot of things I haven’t shared publicly. Yes, I’ve been keeping a few secrets and it’s time for me to share.

March marked my second “New Birthday”, which meant I was finally eligible to meet the human who saved my life. Weeks leading up to the actual day I was emailing my transplant coordinator to make sure I had everything ready to go and shortly after my new birthday I had his information. Over the past nine months we have gotten to know each other through FaceTime and text messages and folks, while I’m not going to tag him here, I will say that he is one incredible guy and is the brother I never had. I’m incredibly lucky.

Now a not-so-secret milestone happened in October, which made it feel appropriate to mention here. In October I had the ultimate privilege of working on my first film since my leukemia diagnosis. It was such a treat to venture out, transform into a witchy character, and transform into a person I couldn’t necessarily identify with. But that’s showoff business, right?? The film is called Abra Cadaver and while you can’t watch the short film in all its glory you can check out its social media profiles on both Facebook and Instagram.

 

While October was a glorious month for me, November wasn’t kind. First a cold began knocking at my door and despite all the hot teas and over the counter medications the cold quickly turned into RSV. To share all the gore, I woke up one morning with my eyes sealed shut from mucus. It was the scariest/strangest thing I’ve encountered and there have been a lot of scary strange things I’ve encountered over the past three years. Because of the RSV my oxygen levels began crashing, which resulted in a trip to the emergency room where I learned that I also had pneumonia. When we arrived at the emergency room I told my mom, “Don’t let them keep me overnight…” I was determined not to stay. Obviously with being in the emergency room I text Jessie, my favorite nurse, to tell her what was going on. After the quick lecture of not telling her I had RSV she asked, “Are they going to admit you into the hospital?” I replied with, “I hope not. I’m on oxygen and fluids so hopefully I’ll be good to go shortly.” Her response, “Oh honey you’re on oxygen? You’re being admitted.” And she was correct. I was there for three nights. But now is the time to praise the good Lord above for all my nurses. When the team of nurses that took care of me during the induction process of my leukemia battle, found out that I was in the emergency room and being admitted into the hospital they made sure I was being taken care of by them. Honestly Lexington Medical Center’s oncology unit is the absolute best. I can’t brag about them enough.

While November was more dramatic than I like, December has begun ushering in a new chapter and thoughts regarding what life after leukemia is going to look like has been more in focus. Earlier this week I had an appointment with my oncology team at MUSC and because of my progress they have decided to release me for a year! I don’t go back until December 2022. On Wednesday I met with my oncology team here at Lexington and we’ve decided that it’s time to finally remove my port! In a way this feels like a graduation.

The date has been officially set!

That said I do have to have a few ultrasounds and tests done to double check things, so friends please keep me in your prayers.

With sharing that incredible news, I want to share one last secret. Over the last year I’ve been keeping a private digital journal via Instagram (@books.and.mischief) sharing the books that I’ve been reading with beautiful locations, primarily in the Carolinas, that reflect the story at hand. I’ve even shared a few here on Facebook from time to time. That experience has been therapeutic, allowing me to create art then place it into the universe without having to worry about “likes” or “follows”. There has been absolutely no pressure, which in turn has cultivated a welcoming community of well-read individuals.

However, yes, I like that word. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was time to push myself out of my comfort zones and create a space where I could talk about the books that inspire me without having to condense my thoughts into an Instagram post. So over the past few months I’ve been building booksandmischief.com! Please feel free to venture over, check it out, see some pretty cool artwork and read my first blog post.

As I conclude this, I’m not exactly sure what this next chapter is going to hold; however, it must be meaningful, it must matter. God has given me a second chance at having an epic life and I can’t squander that. Afterall, he got me through an immensely difficult time.

And with that it’s time for me to sign off.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Hugs,
Michael

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