|My Father's Garden - Summer 2006|
Here I was on the eve before starting my first chemo treatment. Clearly this was something I’d never imagined happening in my life. However, it was here and it was now and I had to deal with it.
My Dad and Sheila arrived a day early so that they would be there for my first treatment and to help out with the kids and around the house. They are an amazing couple and you couldn’t ask for better grandparents! My kids will certainly vouch for that! My Dad wanted to be there for every treatment. I told him he didn’t have to but he refused to hear about it. I must tell you that my Dad and Sheila live about an eight hour drive from our house! Not a big deal for him though it seems. Mike had made arrangements at work to be with me in the chemo room for every treatment and to be at home with me the day after.
So, the day of the treatment, I did that thing that I was getting good at. I took a few deep breaths, swallowed back the lump in my throat, and made some decisions. I decided to move one foot in front of the other and get myself out the door, down the driveway and into the truck. But first I had to say goodbye to my Dad. I had no idea what to expect when I got home that day. None of us did. All I could envision was me all weak and white and dragging myself up the driveway and into the house with Mike half-carrying me. Oh yeah and in my mind I was wearing all black and looking like death warmed over. I would make it in the front door and then collapse in a heap on the floor. Okay so maybe that’s a bit dramatic but that is really what was going through my head at the time.
|Me & My Dad - Summer 2011|
I said goodbye to my Dad and he gave me a big hug and then I cried like a baby and got myself into the truck. When Mike and I left for the hospital I couldn’t stop crying but I finally pulled myself together. On the way there Mike and I talked about how although it felt like we were on our way to the end of something (life before cancer/chemo) it was actually the start of something. It was the first steps on the road to get rid of the cancer and that is a good thing. We were on our way.
You will notice, by the way, that I will NEVER refer to it as “my cancer”. It is always “the cancer” because it is not mine. I didn’t ask for it and it wasn’t invited. It is not mine because I feel no sense of ownership nor do I wish to keep it. It is “the”. Period.
When I got to the Cancer Centre I first had to get the required blood work done. They took a few vials from my arm. I knew that this would happen before every treatment. Then I headed down to the chemo room. I sat in the waiting room for what seemed an eternity and sneaked a few glances at the other people that were there. I couldn’t just outright stare at them but I wanted to see what they looked like. I guess I still didn’t think that I was “one of them”. I mean one of those sick people you see sometimes here and there or on TV or something. Actually, they looked fairly normal. Some more pale than others. Some bald, some with thinning hair, some not. Others looked very tired and worn down and others were still smiling. Everyone had someone with them though. Nobody was there alone. Not that day anyway.
Finally I got called to go into the chemo room. Not that I was in a rush. Well I kinda was because I knew the sooner I started then the sooner I would be finished. I couldn’t pretend it would just go away by itself.
Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' - Michael Jackson