If words could describe my heartbreak right now this post would write itself. It’s easy to define black or white, but grey is a complicated thing. While my own words are faltering I’ll hind behind ambiguous phrases and meaningful quotes.
I’ve finished running across the field of spiders, and have scored.
I finished chemo on May 7.
I had my final scan which came back clean.
I’ve had my port removed.
I’m still exhausted, though the stress, tension, and fear seem to have subsided. I’m trying to focus on the exciting things going on this summer.
B-man and I helped in planning a big surprise party for my neighbor last weekend, which was a blast. I felt sore for two days afterwards. I’ve been anxious about doing too much, worried about over-exhausting myself. But the soreness of over worked muscles is oddly gratifying.
We will be attending a wedding on Brandan’s side of the family, then vacationing in Maine for a week. Traveling will be nice. I love driving. I love listening to Brandan read to me, and Ginny pointing out the things she finds interesting along the way.
We’ll also be attending a wedding on my side of the family. They pull us back to Tennessee, and it’s a nice feeling. Some times I’ll drive down route 17, or all the way out to 29 and I can feel the tug. Just keep driving. My soul yearns, how silly of it to forget that my heart belongs in Virginia now.
My hair is growing back. It’s about half an inch long, and has been noticeably growing for about 2-3 weeks now. I’m curious as to when I’ll feel comfortable going out in public without a hat on. When I look in the mirror I just see a sickly version of myself. Not that a hat makes that much of a difference. Self-esteem is a mercurial emotion. Perfectly fine until a sideways glance at a window force an unwanted reflection on me. The circles under my eyes more pronounced, despite copious amounts of sleep. My eyebrows have thinned, and the expressions I see aren’t mine any more. It’s weird and hard and annoying. But I guess if the most I have to complain about is how uncomfortable I am with my body, I’ll see that as a win. I’m not dying. So I’ve got that going for me.
It only took one needle, and the IV for my surgery was in. That’s a first. It’s because they were able to use a smaller needle, since they didn’t need to use any contrast for the port removal. The nurses all remembered me, all asked about Ginny. I’d forgotten that I had been there twice before. Those early months of doctor visits and procedures have all run together into one nightmare of a memory. This time I remember the tent they put over my head to keep me from breathing on the surgical site. I remember the almost painful pressure on my collarbone as they removed the catheter. I moaned a lot but didn’t ask questions this time. Conscious sedation. I guess it’s less dangerous (because you keep breathing for yourself)… but a strange thing to experience. The port is gone. I now have two lines, like an equal sign, on my chest. One line to put it in, a second to take it out. It is sore and itchy, but I know it will be better in a few months.
Moving forward I will have one scan every 3 months for the first year. Then one scan every 6 months for the second year. Then I will have one scan a year for three years. If I make it that far without a relapse I’ll be labelled “cured” and sent on my merry way. It’s just a label though. I feel good now. My confidence is growing every day. Confidence that my body with strong, that the medicine worked, and that the biggest of my worries is my hair. Perhaps it is a false confidence, but it helps me sleep at night, and when morning comes that’s all that really matters.