You know, I thought I would be much ‘happier’ writing my report from the doctor today but for some reason I had quite the opposite reaction. Well, it’s not for some reason, it’s actually perfectly explained. I was so focused on getting myself through next week, I forgot to account for the recovery time after. Making it through one week and making it through one month are two very different things, especially when it’s been five months of this nightmare.
At least it is home stretch.
The game plan: chemo obviously starts Tuesday. Fluids Friday & Saturday. I will go back to the doctor three weeks after for my “baseline” exam. Body scans will be after that. NED, y’all. No evidence of disease. These will become the four most important words in our lives moving forward. Pray now, pray often. I have a brain scan also scheduled for March 20th, which will be part of monitoring moving forward. Sure hope they find one up there.
If all looks well, all goes well & my counts rebound, one month post-chemo I should get the all-clear for a full,”no restrictions” life. My first thought is how fast can I get to a Hawks game?! My second thought, “find me a beach!” A “no restrictions” life means the obvious of returning back to the office, not needing to freak out about germs, getting to go out in public again, etc. It also means the non obvious that I, among other things, can travel (!!!), go to the dentist again (maybe I’ll use the excuse for a few more months, I hate the dentist), and perhaps most importantly, I can get manicures and pedicures again (!!). I will be getting bright orange on both hands & feet of course. Who is coming with me?! I currently still have the gold on my toes from December when Hilary & I went before Round 1. Insert monkey-covering-eyes-emoji here.
So yes. See? There’s a lot too look forward too. It’s finally closer than it is further away. And yet, I walked out feeling pretty deflated. Why? One month seems like forever. I’m trying to remember how far I’ve come instead of looking ahead on how far I, we, have to go. We are so far from done. Done with cancer means the start of rebuilding our new normal lives. It’s clear I’m in denial towards accepting that. I admit it fully!
It’s hard to describe but I know I speak for Kevin too, none of this feels real. Don’t get me wrong, the physical pain & struggles are very real but this reality seems so impossible to believe. Our lives have been so scheduled since treatment started that we haven’t had time to think for ourselves. We are forever working towards the next appointment, the next round, or what’s this side effect and how do you champion it. That keeps us plenty busy, physically & mentally. You don’t have to think of what’s next when you get a calendar printed out for you at every appointment that tells you what’s next. But what’s next, by definition, changes soon. What’s next when “all clear” happens is an empty guest room that was supposed to be Hallie’s room that we walk by every morning and night. What’s next is a box of baby stuff that is sitting in the corner of our room. I look through it on my bravest of days. What’s next is the absence of a million plans we had for and with our daughter that’ll never happen. All because of cancer. She was a perfectly healthy girl with 10 perfect fingers and toes. It’s overwhelming. It’s sad. It just plain sucks.
Fight that urge to borrow troubles Beef. Cross that bridge when you get there. For now, I force myself one last time to focus solely on the fight. One day at a time. Finish strong, for Hallie.
And there is a lot to look forward to next week.
Kevin’s birthday is tomorrow. Our best friend Hilary is flying in Monday to help us close out the fight, as we started it – with her. Laughter is the best medicine & Hilary provides us so much of that. My old boss but really my dear friend, cheerleader and mentor, Jami is flying in Tuesday night to be with me Wednesday & Thursday. I am so excited to see her. She has been such a huge influence in my life since baby Beef started at Yelp seven years ago. The fact that she’s coming in to cross the finish line with me means the absolute world. We will also be joined by our families & friends here too. Stay tuned for some guest blog appearances next week!
As with any hard day, I remind myself to just get through it, tomorrow is a new day. I promise I’ll find a good attitude. How can you not when you’re surrounded by such incredible love!? Andddd, the added bonus I forgot to mention, I’ll be getting my hair back soon. I’m really ready for that. Current state of the nation: Fuzz Head Beef.
Thanks for the continued support, Team Beef. We have so much love and appreciation for all of you.