I’d imagine he was nervous when he asked me, though I don’t remember the exact moment. Was it in person? No… it must’ve been in a note. I would’ve felt obligated to answer immediately if he’d asked me to my face. But I can imagine the note. His paper was smoother than mine. I still have stacks of notes we exchanged in high school, tucked away in a little wooden box. Selfishly. His handwriting stoic – can handwriting be stoic? All capitol letters, but the corner of his E is rounded. He would’ve handed it to me, like we did several times a day, in the hallway as we headed our own ways. I’d save it for the bus ride.
By the time I got home I felt jittery. It came out of nowhere. Why would… who… what would make him think I wanted to go to prom with him? I decided it would be best to nip it in the bud, and typed up a quick e-mail. I mean, prom is serious business and I didn’t want to send the wrong message. Three minutes and a mouse click later I’d told Brandan that I liked him as friends but that I couldn’t go to prom with him.
Phew. I could feel my heart racing though. Maybe I should call him? I must’ve looked weird, because my mom confronted me.
“Brandan asked me to prom.”
She was busy in the kitchen, and didn’t turn to look at my mess of teenage angst. “That’s nice, are you going with him?”
“I… no… I didn’t think I should.”
Glancing over her shoulder I can see her smile. “It’s just prom, and it’s fun to go with some one. Why wouldn’t you want to go with him?”
Valid points. Except… “just prom”? What do mothers know?! But she was right – it would be more fun to go with a date. After dinner I got back on the family computer, my Dad sitting at the desk to my left. Brandan has already responded to my e-mail with an ever polite “I understand, I hope this doesn’t make things awkward.”.
So I typed up another e-mail.
“I’ve been thinking about it, and if you’re still interested, I think I would like to go to prom with you. Sorry for making things awkward.”
And then I waited.
And then the next day I panicked. When I saw him at school he confirmed receipt of the most recent e-mail. He hugged me. It felt too comfortable. This is my best fried – literally the nicest person I’ve ever met – I can’t lose this. “I can’t go to prom with you.”
He stepped back and looked me over. “Oh… okay.” I could feel the heat rising in my cheeks.
“We can still… hang out… I just don’t want to go together.”
“Can I ask why?”
The panic. I didn’t have a good reason. I mean… I had reasons… just none that really warranted the emotional whiplash I was putting him through. I think, though my brain seems to conveniently block it out, that I blamed my mom. The irony is not lost on me.
He was naturally gracious about it, and really I saved him having to pay for my ticket, dinner, and a corsage. (You’re welcome honey).
We spent most of the night hanging out together, and I kick myself thinking about how dumb I was. But my sweet husband has never broached the subject. It’s a blip, gone, a small bit of humor from another lifetime. We’re so different now. Still perfect, still compliments to the other, but so different. I like to think I’ve made him into something – but in reality he’s changed me. He’s calmed me, he’s taught me to have a sense of humor, to relax, to let go of what doesn’t matter, and only hold onto what does. He’s taught me to be happy.
Cycle 1 Days 1-5
My week was uneventful. Tuesday I had the chemo, Wednesday the Rituxan – with no reactions, then Thursday was IV fluids to help flush my kidneys and a white-blood-cell booster shot, then Friday was just IV fluids.
My side effects have been minimal thus far. My intestines have complained a little, heartburn is my new best friend, and I occasionally get aching pains in my abdomen. The weirdest side effects have been some occasional numbness in my arm. Being a sign language interpreter lead to a small amount of nerve damage in my right arm, and the treatment is known to agitate nerves. So that’s explained. My only other weird side effect is that sometimes my eyes get fuzzy. It doesn’t last for more than an hour, but when it happens I can’t focus my eyes enough to read things at a distance. As some one with 20/20 vision… this is unsettling to say the least.
Today was my last day of prednisone – the steroid part of my treatment.
I have a feeling this are about to get worse. Today I was at about 70%, and we got a lot of tidying up done around the house. Tomorrow I will not have the drug-induced energy to propel me through the day.
I’m hoping it’s not a long day.
I’m not sleeping well. Drug induced sleep is never as refreshing, but my body is convinced that three hours of sleep sounds “juuuust right” and I wake up more awake than I’ve ever awoken.
I’m not a morning person. That’s just a PSA.
I am spending purposeful time with people. I love it. I keep reminding myself that all of the good things in my life still exist, there is just a little more bad involved now. I can’t lose sight of that.
For a while I was feeling depressed, or robbed, like things had been taken from me. And surely I will lose things. Things like the way Ginny reads books with Brandan – she just listens when I read them. Or being able to take care of Brandan when he’s sick too because I love him and just want him to be healthy. I’m missing out on my errands, Ginny’s tumble time, and craft projects, and just washing the dishes without feeling tired. I’m missing out on every day life, but thankfully my life still exists. It’s waiting for me, and willing to take what I can offer.
I’m anxious to feel something. Not that I want to feel miserable, but at least if I felt miserable I’d feel like my body was accomplishing something. Instead I just feel crummy, with the nagging idea that maybe if I don’t have symptoms that means it’s not working (this is apparently not true, but my brain still thinks it’s worth stressing over).
I’m loved. I keep falling back on this. I am overwhelmed everyday by the amount of love I’m getting. My family has been fed, though I’ve not had the energy to do it, and my phone is often flashing at me to tell me some one is thinking of me.
I hate cancer, but I still love my life.