I suppose if I were to pick a time of year to be diagnosed and starting cancer treatment, it would have to be now. The air is crisp and the leaves are beautiful regardless, and I’m thankful for the distraction.
The world is slowing down. The leaves are falling along with my hair. The responsibilities and expectations of work are dwindling. Cold, rainy nights bring blankets and bowls of soup or chili and the occasional pot roast while watching a game or a movie.
Living states away from family, Christmas shopping is usually done and shipped either by Thanksgiving or shortly after. This year was no different, thank God. I am now free to watch the lights on the patio, the dance of the candles and take naps without guilt.
I was happy and lucky to be able to have my sister and her kids here for Thanksgiving. I was able to show them why I love Washington State even though my mountain refused to come out. My sister made me cookies and cinnamon rolls before she left. My parents will be here right after Christmas, and there will be spaghetti with meatballs, pork carnitas and lots of chicken made 100 ways. My dad has a honey-do list waiting, which he will happily tackle just for me.
The New Year will bring change and new expectations all the way around. The first couple months of chemo will be behind me and I will be grateful for that. I’m already tired of cancer and treatment and this is still just the beginning. There are still 9 months of this left to go.
I am resolving already to find new ways to be present despite chemo eating my brain like a Halloween zombie. While I can sit and mind my breathing when I choose to, this isn’t what I want to do all day every day. I need useful things to do. While big and complicated things are usually my bread and butter, I need something beyond being able to put my laundry away. Not that there aren’t days that doing that is enough and okay. I’m sure you know what I mean. I am praying that I will be able to take on more again at work. Not too much, but just enough that I can feel like I accomplished something.
So, dear Ebenezer, I won’t look too far into the spring. The tulips and daffodils popping out of the ground will be enough to make me restless when the time comes. I’m going to try to be content with here and now and do what I can to make myself comfortable. There are many long winter nights ahead.