It’s 3 AM. The house is quiet. I am the only one awake. Even the teenagers, who keep vampire hours, are sleeping. Today was my first chemo day in four weeks. I had a little “chemo vacation” because of a bad skin reaction. Chemo days are not painful, but the steroids keep me awake and I spend the afternoon and evening fighting the “chemo hangover”. Today was especially depressing because it is the first treatment in over 2 years that my husband wasn’t allowed to come in with me. I thought I was okay with it, but it was hard. Really hard. I was lonely. He sat out in the parking lot outside my window, waved at me, we texted, but it wasn’t quite the same. So I am awake and trying to dispel the dark thoughts that creep in every so often…especially on chemo nights.
So I did what I always try to do…repeat my mantra. “My blessings outweigh my burdens, my blessings outweigh my burdens, my blessings outweigh my burdens…” then I begin to make a list.
My family is here with me and we can afford food.
I have a home and a place where I can sit in the sunshine.
I have a beautiful garden where I can grow fresh herbs and vegetables.
I live down the road from a world class cancer facility, The Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital.
I have an amazing doctor and caring nurses. Although the wait can be long to get into my appointments, I am never rushed. I am always listened to and made to feel like a valued human being, and they are ALL trying to give me the best quality of life possible.
I have a dear friend who has sent me a card EVERY SINGLE WEEK since I have been diagnosed.
I have too many prayer warriors to count.
In the last two weeks, a neighbor dropped warm chocolate cookies on my porch. Another neighbor left chocolate-covered pretzels, and when I asked for puzzles, half of the neighborhood complied. I realized I’m not very good at puzzles, but we will see what happens!
I have my shitty club of survivors that prop me up and make me laugh.
So my friends, chemo sucks, this pandemic sucks, but my blessings outweigh my burdens. I love you all and hope yours do too. Gratitude makes the party better my friends. Stay safe out there, the light is coming.