“False hopes are more dangerous than fears.”
- from Tolkien's Children of Hurin
The phlebotomist struggled to find a vein willing to give up any blood. Under normal conditions, they need not even use the tourniquet. I just pump my fist and arm a few times, the vein pops right up, the needle quickly glides in, and that symbol of life pours out into the tube. But now, it is different. A tourniquet. Both arms. Multiple veins. Bruises from all the repeated sticks. She queries, "are you dehydrated???"
No. I am not. As soon as she hits a vein, I can tell that something is wrong with the life flowing through my veins. It is thick and oozes into the tube as if it were molasses syrup. And at that moment, I know the abnormal blood result seen three weeks earlier is a true result. I do not need to see the lab report to know that both the red and white cells are elevated. Again. I tell my wife that the result repeated as we got into the car. She refuses to go down that road. Wait for the results. Even then, you don't know what it IS, so don't start saying everything it COULD be. But after so many battles, I am a weary, war torn soldier and I refuse to acknowledge hope. Again. Instead, fear remains.