East Of Eden

"A curious mix of the relevant and reverential"

Lent- Day 26: Congratulations.

FullSizeRender 12

In Thomas Edison's workshop. (Picture, my own.)


Today, I took Zoe to the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange (N.J.- um, if you aren't aware by now, I live in Dirty Jerz). While I found the place fascinating, full of actual history (a kinetoscope!), Zoe was much less interested. In fact, she doesn't want to go back. While she liked dressing up in old tyme clothes and playing with Tinker Toy blocks, she was sorely disappointed to be the only child there. A museum with ancient artifacts is one thing, but with ancient people, too? Nope, fail.


One of the park rangers there, Gage (true story, that's his actual first name... Ranger Gage is a superhero-in the making, just wait for it), spoke to us about Edison's inventions, legacy, and rivals (ahem, Tesla, ahem). After I mentioned a "Bob's Burgers" episode about Edison and Topsy (fair warning, the real-life story is hella grim, Guys. If you want to check it out, start here, but you were warned!), he even discussed the history behind that. I thought he may try to give me P.R.-approved answers to such non-flattering questions, but Ranger Gage kept it real.

IMG 8177

Ranger Gage, Zoe, and Thomas Edison, the standee. (Picture, my own.)


As we were leaving, Ranger Gage said he was happy to have met us and hoped we would return... and then, "Congratulations on coming through that stem cell transplant last year. That was a lot, but you did it!" Those words surprised me, and I told him as much. "Well, I'm glad to have said it even more!" I smiled at his kind words. About 20 minutes earlier, I had mentioned that I went through the transplant in a midst of a conversation about hair (his kind-of a faux hawk-fade, my teeny weeny afro), but I didn't go into details of it. Yet, he still managed a parting word on it... and he congratulated me.


This touched my heart. Everyone close to me, and I do mean EVERYONE, speaks about the HSCT in either a resigned, not-so-optimistic-anymore, or even downright negative way. It's been 10 months and I have experienced no positive changes in my health. My sensory neuropathy is still awful, as is my gait and balance. I'm actually more dependent on the rollator outside of home than I was before (I don't think my nerves are further damaged, but the extended hospital stays and convalescing worsened my mobility; or, don't use it and you lose it). I've personally come to feel it probably didn't "take" and am planning on other treatments soon. 

In thinking over Gage's "Congratulations", I realized how in my planning for "next", or pushing onward in my present, I haven't taken time to fully appreciate the very recent past. I went five rounds of intensive chemotherapy in a matter of weeks, had three additional ports surgically placed and then pulled, millions of stem cells pulled from my blood, went through several blood transfusions, caught c.diff... well, I went through a lot. Yet, I'm here. Cue "Survivor", throw on the "Nevertheless, she persisted" tee. 

Yesterday, I thanked God for My Loves. Today, I thank God for my life. 


Recent Blog Posts

Popular Blog Posts

Alisha DeFreitas
25 August 2017
John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Dick Gregory. (Image Source: Yoko Ono's Twitter account)   Dick Gregory, comedian, entertainer, and civil rights activist, died last Saturday, August 19th, at the age o...
Alisha DeFreitas
17 September 2016
September 2016, and I have (some) hair.     ... to get better, but haven't. Yet.  It's been four months since I had the Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) at Northwestern ...
Alisha DeFreitas
09 November 2013
  Happy Saturday, Folks! Pretty good week for me. Cooked almost every day (except yesterday when I had plasmapheresis which usually leaves me feeling wiped; it didn't though-woohoo!- but we stil...


"... the awesomely gifted Alisha DeFreitas... tells her story of  her brush with the Culture of Death and her refusal to play the world’s game. I love that she gives two well-aimed upraised middle fingers: one to the abortion culture of the Left, and one to the Randian Makers vs. Takers class warriors of the Right. She’s one of my heros."

Mark Shea, author and blogger

"While reading your blog I often sense a certain amount of conviction on your behalf, which makes me wonder why isn’t everyone reading the blogs of a woman who actually “gets it.”

Don, at Minus The Bars

"A curious mix of the sacred and profane...too nice for a run of the mill blog? "

Joe, my brother, author of The Blog of Blogs

"Are you really bored or something?"

Joscelyne, my sister

"Pretty f****ing intense."

Reader Brooke Farmer, on this entry.

"A great outlet for such a prolific mind and an entertaining mix of spirituality and current events."

Keiron, my husband, also known on here as K, or my Knight & Sunshine

East of Eden on Facebook

Drop Me A Message

Fields with (*) are required.
Please prove you are human!