I feel pressure. And, it’s not the type of pressure that most people deal with on a daily bases. I don’t have to meet any deadlines or chase after a young whippersnapper or anything like that. But, I do feel pressure to be getting healthier and doing better. The pressure builds every time I notice the sadness in my husband’s eyes as they search for the slightest bit of improvement. Or in the longing for optimism I hear when my friends ask me how I am doing. Or in the hushed toned good-byes when I talk with my family. Because, I wish I could be doing better and getting healthier for them, I do. But, the reality is that I’m not sure if I am doing much better. We all hope for my balance, my tremors, my speech, my ability to converse to get better but I not too sure they are. I am also finding it difficult to remember things the way I once did, which makes me anxious and creates even more pressure within. And I long to release this pressure but I not sure how. I try to share with my family and friends how I am doing but it’s too difficult. I also try and talk with my husband but he has a hard enough job taking care of me.

But, I’m not going to blame them. I also don’t like talking about it because it just makes the reality that much more clear. And I don’t want to face that reality yet. I’ve beaten the odds, 5% to live 5 years, and I’m grateful for it. I’ve made the most of this time doing and see things I wasn’t guaranteed to. And, the reality is that my big dreams of wild adventures have to be tempered, which is another huge weight I’m caring on my shoulders. This need to alter my desires for life just adds even more pressure to my life.

But I did get some release recently. January 19, Jon and I celebrated our fourth anniversary together. The day started with a visit from Juan Carlos, my kind physical therapist, so I got in some much needed exercise. I know that the physical therapy won’t improve anything, but the work reminds me of my days getting ready for a big soccer match. Next, Jon took me to see a movie. Since we are getting close to the Academy Awards season, I try to watch all the movies I can. Last, we both got all dressed up and went down into the Centro of Santiago for a nice dinner out. All this made my life almost feel normal for a while, and that normalcy helped take away some of the pressure.

And, I’m happy to say, my parents are buying their tickets to come down and spend time with me. I’ve missed my family greatly and it will be wonderful to have them around again. Hopefully, with them being here some of this pressure will go away and I’ll be okay with where I am in life.





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  1. janet mitchell

    I’m glad you had a fun anniversary! I know it will be nice to have your parents with you they are great parents. Enjoy your time together.


  2. Amanda

    I’m sorry you’re feeling pressured and frustrated. You sound like the same feisty girl I knew in Salamanca 2002. Keep giving them (cancer, naysayers) hell, Eli. Don’t spend too much energy thinking about whether this is your “last” anything — keep making firsts, like you always have. You’re an adventurer.


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