December 12, 2011
Keith is having his first chemo session and HE sends ME an e-card. What a guy! He is so used to caring about how things affect me that even during HIS health crisis he thinks of me. I've always known he was unselfish and now it is even more obvious. I am a fortunate woman.
We arrived at The Weinberg Cancer Institute at 8:00, registered and were taken back for Keith to begin the first of six treatments. The schedule, at this time, is one treatment every three weeks. According to how his body reacts to the chemicals this could change. Hopefully, there will be no set backs and he will finish sometime near the end of March.
As usual, he started joking with the nurse, exhibiting his typical persona, the minute we were shown into the chemo area. His particular nurse was pleasant enough but it seemed she was not one to appreciate his sense of humor. Perhaps it's because of the seriousness of her job but if I had to work with people who were fighting for their lives I would think a sense of humor would be a very good asset. Laughter is contagious and in an atmosphere where one's immune system is not functioning at its highest level, it is the only thing you would want to catch. I don't mean to sound like I'm judging her, after all chemo is serious business, I guess I need laughter so much right now that I figure everyone else does also. Any way, after Keith was seated in his chair the nurse proceeded to ask him the standard plethora of questions one is asked while being prepared for a procedure, have you ever had this, are you allergic to that, do you have a cold, did you ever......yada, yada, yada? After the third degree was over she attached the line to his Port and gave him the anti-nausea medicine that is supposed to head off any bouts of the heaves. He then told me, in so many words, to get out...lol. I was ready to camp out for a while but he insisted I leave, so with my feelings crushed (just kidding) I kissed him good bye and left to run some errands. Around 1:30pm after some shopping and a stop at Panera for a cup of coffee and a bear claw (yum) I called to see how he was holding up. He answered in his typical cheery voice and said he was good but would still be a couple of hours. So, off I went to try to get a little more accomplished while the opportunity presented itself. Christmas presents may not be high on my list of priorities this year but there are some things that need to be done and I decided to take advantage of the moment. When three thirty rolled around I found myself back at the Weinberg Cancer Institute where Keith was finishing up his last round of chemo for the day. He seemed fine, but tired, and ready to go home, which is exactly what we did. The remaining hours of 'Chemo- Day One' are a blur but suffice it to say much of the evening, aside from preparing the meal provided by one of the caring ladies from church (Carol Williams we thank you) was spent doing as little as possible and that felt very good, very good indeed.
Oddly enough the whole day seemed fairly normal, at least from my perspective, partly due, I'm sure, to Keith's ability to treat the day like any other. I was almost able to forget that this day was only the beginning of this journey and that it will have to be repeated five more times.
I am grateful for the tiniest of blessings these days. Things that would have rattled me two weeks ago are, today, not even worth mentioning. God has a way of clarifying what is and is not important. There were moments, over the past few years, when my problems seemed to loom like Mt. Everest, plunging me into total darkness, but now those same issues cast a much smaller shadow. No more looming Mt. Everest for me the mountain has turned into the proverbial mole hill. How great is our God!
Winter will turn into Spring, by the time Keith's treatments are finished. That seems, somehow, very appropriate. Out with the old in the new. Each year I reach a point where I am sick of shivering and get antsy for the promise of Spring. I look forward to seeing the trees and the grass turning green and the flowers popping up from their winter slumber. The idea of throwing open the windows and breathing in the fresh Spring air thrills me down to my shivering toes. Witnessing new life, in all its forms, is a miracle. This year I am hoping to witness our own miracle, the new life Keith and I get to begin when he is free of this thing called cancer.