That Week

The power of perspective. You may see this picture and think, “ugh, chemo, the worst!” And well, you’re right, but I see this picture pop up on my timehop and I’m like what. a. week. that was. I vividly remember how happy I was to be in that chair.

Do you guys remember this week, last year?! The lead up to that picture?! The three day stay in the hospital, quarantined from germs that could’ve killed me, all while Paisley took on a skunk and lost mightily, making our home inhabitable upon my release. Every carpet & piece of furniture had to be professionally cleaned, while every piece of clothing we owned was dipped in vinegar and also washed. I was released from the hospital, stayed in a hotel until Tuesday morning, and we drove from there to chemo.

Anytime I’m frustrated, angry or having a bad day, that’s the weekend I think of as a barometer to gauge how bad my current circumstances really are. Spoiler alert, it rarely compares! It is comical now, but what a wild ride that was. A wild, wild ride. Anyone that doesn’t believe in miracles needs to understand Paisley still being loved & cared for in our family is the greatest miracle ever recorded. 😂

But. I’ve turned the tables on what this week means for us this year. I’ve conquered some big milestones!

One, I returned back to that very chair for the first time Tuesday to get my port flushed. (For all you nurses out there, my port was flushed at my scans so I’m not that bad of a patient!!) I had neglected it for a variety of reasons, all of which fall under the PTSD umbrella towards that place, the memories, cancer, that life. I’m not saying it was rational but for once, something needed to be on my terms. Long story short (and some good advice from a close friend!), I made the appointment & conquered the PTSD on Tuesday. I got to see my chemo nurse Patty for the first time in a year! She took care of me as if I were her daughter, she fought alongside me! That hug is one I’ll never forget! Do you know that she had no idea that I had red hair, just like her?! That stopped me in my tracks. She only knew me as bald! We chatted, she had tears in her eyes. She asked me about Kevin, about adoption, about everything. She remembered every detail of my life. What a saint. My hero! I felt like I made her proud and apparently that is quite a love language of mine.

I walked out with my head held high. I felt a sense of peace. That was progress in healing.

That night, I felt led to continue to push myself. I tackled the box in the corner of my room – yes, the one filled with every card, every gift, everything we’ve been given since this all started. It has the jersey I gave Kevin to tell him we were pregnant, the elephant blanket my parents bought for Hallie the day we told them they were going to be grandparents. The Hawks bib my brother & sister in law bought for their niece at a farmers market. Every physical thing we had for Hallie. I started with the smaller cards and created a scrapbook as I never want to part ways with any card. I re-read every word of every card and while it’s infinitely difficult, I was blown away again by the incredible care people showed for us & how loved Hallie is. I only got about a fourth of the way through the box, but there was such peace in that. I don’t think that’s going to be a process I speed through with as emotional as it is but in a weird way I felt like we honored Hallie a bit that night by starting to find a home for all the physical pieces of her life that mean so much to us. She sure doesn’t belong in a box!

I like this idea of wiping out awful memories with actions that conquer the control cancer had over our lives for too long. I find a lot of hope in that as we look towards the next few months and what they mean for us now vs. what they were last year and ultimately what they should’ve been. Slowly finding my way back to being a control freak – in a way that heals!

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