We live by the numbers. We magically are able to drive when we get a certain age, we can imbibe alcohol at another age, and we can vote in our elections. There is no proof that we are truly qualified for any of this, we simply have reached a number that tells us that we can do them.

Of course these numbers are actually measuring time. Numbers can also be used in other ways. I am a size 12 for my shoes, a size 44 in a suit jacket. My pants have gone from a 46 down to a 40 (yay!)

People around the world are divided and categorized by numbers tied to mental acuity. Mensa requires that you have scored 132 or 148, depending. Mensa is a club for smartys. I’m probably sarcastic because I don’t belong. Wait a minute, I’m sarcastic because it’s my gift!

I’m focusing on numbers because of the implications towards life or death. Some numbers are life, some numbers are death. Eventually.

Every three months my blood is tested. When numbers rise it is a bad thing. There is not much to do about the rising numbers, there is no procedure, no cure. It just a measure of things getting worse.

I’ve been living with this process for about two years. For nine months the number was “zero”, that is called a win or remission. Then after the next three months it rose to .015. Not much difference, but enough to throw remission in the toilet.

So for about a year and a half the three month wait has been a fixture. In my better moments I have focused upon concept that life occurs during the waiting. It is a worthy thought, and it has helped for several months, until the next measurement when the numbers doubled.

It’s concept is still true but the numbers have a way of taking charge.

So, I just finished another three month wait and the numbers went down, went down a lot. What does this mean? No one is certain about the reason. Bad things sometimes takes a vacation? They weren’t bad things in the first place? The blood technician is drunk most of the time and unreliable?

In the end, I will live or die by the numbers. For the next three months I will live.