Well, I’m finally going to start a new treatment. There were a few hitches (as usual), but Kim and I are on our way to Nashville for a long weekend to begin the new trial. The first day will be 12 hours, and then I have to come in on Saturday and Monday. We’ll go home on Tuesday. Though we’ll be away from home frequently for the next couple of months, including, we think, Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, Kim and I are just ready to start treatment again. It could be that we’ll bring the family with us for New Years in Nashville.
As I sit and think, I don’t seem to have much to say. There’s a lot going on right now, but I can’t put it all together. I think I’m struggling with the juggling of work, family, and cancer, more than usual (well, I know I am). Maybe it’s stress. I can best describe the way I feel as an absent panic, meaning I don’t feel immediately aware of any anxiety but it is manifested in my behavior, increased forgetfulness, impulsivity, and mild disorientation. For example, I have a bad Amazon Prime habit. Random stuff appears at our doorstep. Like a lime tree (ok, that wasn’t Amazon, but still, it raised a few eyebrows in the house when the box was opened). And I recently rubbed a curb with my car, damaging the wheels. I’ve been babying the car, being very careful, but I spaced out and veered into a parking lot curb. I don’t think I’ve ever done something like that before. I’m like an 80-year old in a mid-life crisis. Or maybe I just take after my dad (ha-ha, kidding, kidding).
Speaking of 80-year olds, Kim and I have been visiting a retirement home in Athens on Sunday evenings with some other friends from our church. We sing and talk with a group with ages ranging from 80 to 101, and it is very rewarding. Some of these folks have memory issues, but it’s amazing to watch them come alive when they hear an old hymn from their youth and sing with no help from a music sheet. The last meeting was before Thanksgiving, and we naturally went around the circle telling others what we’re thankful for. Kim and I don’t talk about cancer or treatment in this setting, so we didn’t say anything deeply personal, but a gentleman there, Roy, the only man in the group by the way, said he was simply thankful “for today.” Every day he gets out of bed he is thankful for it because he doesn’t know how many he has left. Amen, Roy.
Then came our Thanksgiving dinner with my whole family, and we went around the table with the same question. This time, Kim said something very personal and provocative. She said she was thankful for our struggles, our suffering, for cancer, basically….because of how it has changed us, how it has brought our family together, and how it has grown our faith. She amazes me, too. Amen, Kim.
When it came to me, I said I was thankful for today. (See, I’m learning)
To be sure, we’re very thankful for our opportunity tomorrow.
(Note, I removed a previous picture of my daughter Caroline. Instead, here is a photo of the colors of my children on Thanksgiving)