Tonight I will begin my last cycle of Chemotherapy. We did it! My family and my doctors, My friends and my body, DID IT. I know what it will feel like physically on days 1-4 and then on days 8-29. I know what it will feel like physically on day 42 at the end of the cycle. But I don't know what Life will feel like after that. Doing something (treatment) feels really good even when it is nauseating, draining, lonely, and scary.
As per Goal 5 (https://www.ourcommonthread.org/post/big-goals-little-steps) I set our to complete 6 cycles of PCV chemotherapy the day after my 39th birthday and thus complete 2 years of treatments. I entered this phase of my treatment knowing that this is not a cure for Oligodendroglioma. My sixth cycle does not mark an end to doctors appoointments and scans nor even the last dose of chemotherapy. I will be honest about not knowing exactly how to feel about this day 42 approaching. Congratulatory? Proud? Scared?
I am not just a little bit scared of transitioning to just living my life without actively being on a treatment plan or having a next step lined up and in our back pockets ready to use when needed. It will be a transition requiring a LOT of hard work on my part and on the part of those supporting me! It will mean a lot of facing uncertainty and a lot of acceptance over what I can and cant control. It will take honesty with my family and friends and vulnerability when they ask me (for real), How I am doing." It will take patience and forgiveness, and breathing and exercise and focus, and connection.
I make no claim to have the answers in these uncertain times. I know that today I feel uncertainty on a very deep personal level and also on the most basic human level in the midst of this pandemic.
But, it is when I must look forward into an uncertain future that I find myself looking back into the past for certainty and reassurance.
As I reflect on the last two years, I am certain that my family loves me beyond the limits of the universe. I am loved and never ever alone.I am certain that I am strong enough even when I feel scared and weak. I am certain that people are supportive and generous in ways that I have yet to imagine or dream of. I am certain that I have made a difference in other people’s lives.
And as I reflect on this new journey that the whole of the world is navigating together separately, It feels to me like a blessing to believe that we will be able to look back at this time of uncertainty and see with absolute certainty how we got through it. It will be together.
Tonight at Bedtime, Eva chose for us to read Dr. Seuss' Oh, the Places You'll Go. She has NO idea how happy I was to read that book aloud tonight! Remember it's description of "the waiting place". Where "Everyone is just waiting..... "
I never would have predicted nor wished for how relevant Our Common Thread seems today in the midst of this pandemic. But this is what it is all about. This is the life we have to live today, with obstacles and anxieties and moments of just waiting. But I think tonight as I start my last cycle and bleach the house again, I am totally tuned into my need to move forward into tomorrow with a commitment to live my best life in the ways that I know how. and ground myself in the absolute certainty that I have never been very good at just waiting around...so off I go!