We are home, sweet home.
It was wonderful to be away. The week couldn’t have been any better. We whooped it up, laughed with friends, loved, shared, played. I felt so terrific that I not only forgot I was a cancer patient for long stretches of time, but at one point, I even wondered if I really was a cancer patient. Just a flicker, the quick savor, of a moment.
It’s wonderful to be back. Theo and I both missed Don a lot. We are complete when the three of us are together. It was good to smother Don with lots of hugs and kisses — Theo’s around Don’s legs, me around Don’s neck, when we greeted him.
I only wish that this past week had been not only a celebration of close friends and good times, but of the final hurrah of my chemo regimen.
Alas, that’s not the case.
It’s hard to go back.
Tomorrow, we begin again. An appointment with my doctor. Blood draws and labs to see where my counts are. Tuesday morning, 10 a.m., the nurse will insert the needle into my port and I will sit there in the infusion center as three separate bags of chemotherapy drugs drip into my veins. By the end, some four or five hours later, the color will have drained from my face and I will feel nauseous, disoriented, sick.
I can do this. I know I can. I just don’t want to.
But I will. Of course I will. The means will justify the eventual end: Remission. There is a date out there somewhere when I will no longer have to do this. I just don’t know what that date is. But I have the fortitude to wait it out.
In the meantime, I look down the road in only brief glimpses, keeping my eyes on the here and now so that I can digest what lies ahead a little at a time. Small bits and pieces. Nothing too large to swallow or to overwhelm.
One day at a time.
Copyright 2011, Amy Rauch Neilson