November 30, 2020
The shining sun I am seeing is in sharp contrast to the nausea I feel as I watch a construction crane out the window of my infusion cubicle. Today I am getting a liter of fluids and a bit of steroids to help with the nausea that is presently persistent but which does ease the farther out from treatment I get. The red arm of the crane is swinging too and fro, the bucket it is transporting disappearing from view as it reaches the roof of the hospital building in the distance. There is work going on and I’m enjoying the show and hopeful in the metaphor of some normalcy.
My scans on the 20th showed stable disease. Some decreases in tumor size were noted, some stayed the same, one perhaps a bit larger but perhaps unclear. A solid stable and we like stable, it means the drugs are working. I can tell the drugs are working as I feel less discomfort, albeit the side effects of nausea have been challenging. On a good note, we did find a drug that is working on the vomiting. I hate throwing up as nothing makes me feel more sick than running to the bathroom to empty my stomach of it’s last meal.
Treatment last Tuesday and Turkey for two on Thursday with our favorite trimmings followed by a dessert exchange with the neighbors was the highlight of our week. We met on the sidewalk and exchanged pie and cake, wished each other a distanced Happy Thanksgiving, our eyes and voices doing their best to express our feelings. We then returned to our twosomes and ZOOM’s and FaceTime’s with family filling in the loneliness gaps.
In contemplating what I am thankful for this year, I found myself stuck. Ever the optimist, I was struck by the friends and loved ones we lost this year and wondering how I could spin the losses. I will miss Liz and her bigger than life personality and love of laughter, shopping and family. The hole she has left in our lives is very-very deep. I will miss Marly and her sweet countenance. I wish we could have spent more time together. I will miss Rebecca’s quick, sharp and brilliant wit. I find myself giggling remembering the swiftness of her retorts but I will miss her devoted friendship the most. I will miss Carol and her optimism and friendship over the past many years. She gave life her all, well done my friend. I will miss Patti and her exemplary example of fortitude and drive second only to her endless empathy. I will miss Bob and his love and support, his music and the gifts he blessed us all with. I’m beyond grateful to have the tangible examples of your master guitar and musicianship represented in recordings, videos and photos. Thank you for including me in the magic.
I miss them all. Every one of these dear one’s died this year from cancer except for one and their passings have left a depth of sadness. But I am also so very grateful for the time I was gifted with them. We laughed, we cried, we played, we shared our joys and our sorrows. We created music and we created beautiful memories.
There is a balm that has eased the sometimes overwhelming loneliness and sadness of this year. We are going to be grandparents and our joy knows no bounds. Our daughter and son-in-law will be expanding their twosome to include one beautiful and loved being in the Spring. We couldn’t be more thrilled or more cognizant of the circle that is life. As we say farewell, we also say hello. The whispers of those who have moved on are ever present in our hearts and shared experiences and the joy of welcoming a little one into the circle is profoundly poignant.
Around and around we go.