Well, it's official. One more chemo to go. I want to do something to mark the occasion. I've made up my mind to drive across the state to Allentown to see Dylan. He's been kind of left out of the loop on this, and I have been feeling bad about it. The girls have questions, and we talk about the situation freely. It's important that they be informed on this. Because I have breast cancer, this raises their risk. They'll begin having mammograms at 35. We discuss this, and they ask questions, and I answer them. Cara called from college tonight, to ask me to set aside April 17th or 18th, to come speak at Clarion University at a Relay for Life rally. I said yes. Our daughters need to hear about breast cancer, and I find it easy to discuss this with them. They seem to find it easy to talk to me, in return.
It's different for Dylan, though. I've had a harder time talking to him. He's a little embarrassed about all of this. He asks halting questions. 'How's treatment going?' 'Do they think you're going to be okay?' 'When will they know?' General stuff. God knows a 22 year man does not find it easy to talk about his mother's breasts. He lives on the other side of the state, so he doesn't get the reassurance of assessing my situation with his own eyes. Our phone calls have become halting conversations that dance around his unspoken concerns about me, my unspoken concerns about him. I assure him I'm doing fine, and he assures me that he's doing fine. I've decided that I want time with my son. I have never seen his little house in Fleetwood. I want to be some place else for just a little while. I want to think about other things for a while. I want to comfort my son. I want to fill his freezer with home cooking. I want to look at him.
I was afraid that maybe I couldn't go, because I have a very small window of time to work it. I have a job, and training begins in March. There are the shots of neupogen to worry about. I talked to the oncologist about it, and was amazed to find out that it is do-able. They'll teach me to give myself shots. I want to go so badly that this is not a deterrent. I can do this.
I marvel over the change that this makes in my mood. I could scarcely force my cowardly ass out of bed this morning. I was ashamed of myself, because, really, I only had two treatments left. I should be looking at the light at the end of the tunnel but I wasn't. I'm just unutterably weary of playing 'cancer'. I want to put this particular game back on the shelf and play something else for awhile, like maybe 'World Traveler' or something.Tim told me the game was not over and to get myself out of bed. I did. I plodded into the Cancer Center with my 'Cancer Sucks!' pin, and I got my chemo. For the second time I had a reaction. Simultaneously, two other people in two other chairs had reactions.
The poor staff.
As usual, my reaction was comparatively mild. I've always said that I'm in remarkably good condition, except for the darn cancer, and really it seems to be true. This body of mine keeps right on trucking no matter what they're throwing at it. I had to stay for an extra IV of fluids, and then I was out of there, clutching the oncologist's words like a prize.
"Yes, I think this trip is do-able," she said.
You know, February 19th, it will be a lot easier to get out of bed and march myself to the Cancer Center. That final chemo has become something that I've got to check off my list before I head out of town. I've got things to do, places to see, and my boy to hug. I'm so excited to go, that the final chemo is almost the anticlimax.
While I fight this fight as gracefully as I can, while I try to make lemonade from my lemons, I continue to see hopeful signs with Brianna. Cara just called to ask if she can bring a college friend home with her when she comes to visit next weekend. My aunt came for coffee and a visit. I got a very lovely letter from Tim's cousin, Donna that touched my heart. I got a card from two of my clients. They are retired, but they are sending Tim and I out to the local Pizza Hut. We decided to save this treat for Valentine's Day. What they cannot realize is that when Tim finally got around to asking me out, our first date was with our five kids at the local Pizza Hut. It was a fun night, and it went so well, he asked if we wanted to join them to watch the 4th of July parade the next morning. Thus began the story of us. We were no longer just two coworkers at the local factory. I have become so aware that it is these bright hot sparks of life and love and living that get us through our dark times, and I am grateful for these things. Oh. And that includes you folks as well. Thank you.