Somedays I think I may be stuck with Hodge forever, and I imagine no one could fault me for having that frame of mind considering it has been nearly three years now. When all of this first started, I had all the optimism of the world. And that’s not to say I didn’t have my moments, I’m sure my family and closest friends can attest to that but I still rocked my multicolored mohawk and headscarfs like all of this was a passing phase. But it appears that this phase is lasting much longer than I anticipated, it feels like I’m stuck in the thick of it. Like I’m standing still, while life is happening around me. People are taking weekend trips, flying off to Europe to take in the Old World, getting promoted, buying new homes, planning weddings, heaving babies, just living. And yes, I know that I could get away for a weekend but ultimately I’m stuck dealing with my cancer no matter what. I have to make sure my meds are all packed, that I actually have enough energy to actually go otherwise it wouldn’t be worth it, and more importantly if it follows my latest treatments if my counts are high enough to even leave the house. Like this weekend for example. On Thursday, I started to feel sick (I mean not cancer sick, like normal people sick) so I left work early only to discover that my white counts tanked and I was unfit to be around other people (especially children, my high school students, anyone that may sniffle or cough into the air). In other words, no work, no social engagements, no living life as usual. Some may say they enjoy being home and prescribed to do nothing, but the irony is that I am not one of those people. However, I can say this weekend, despite canceling multiple plans already, I’d rather be home so I’m closer to the kleenex and the numbing mouth wash that makes my mouth sores that much more manageable. So I’m stuck on the couch for the most part and I’m bitter about it. I’m bitter about how cancer has infiltrated and disrupted my life. Truly, I have been lucky so far. This is the first treatment out of six that has really knocked me down. And I’ll rally, but for now I’m hoping the referee counts really slow before I have to get up again. Like maybe he could get stuck around 7 so I have three more days to recuperate and getting back into the ‘kick some ass’ mindset.
I have to say that if I am stuck, I’m glad it’s with Josh. My relationship goals have always been to have the type of relationship that Dax Shepherd and Kristen Bell have, you know the kind that is full of love, laughing, hilarious awkwardness, and real. Despite my miserable state since Thursday, Josh has still managed to make it suck less. Last night he came home from work with Ben and Jerry’s vanilla for dinner, because that was something I could actually eat. Now how could you not love a man that brings you ice cream for dinner and even encourages you to eat it for breakfast. He also brought home Panera mac and cheese, soup and and my favorite coffee. I am one lucky girl. While we were catching up on Hulu last night from the couch, which I’m stuck on, he was going to put away the block of cheese he was snacking on and I reminded him to put in the fridge instead of the cabinet like last time. He responded that he was glad to see that no matter how bad I felt, I could still sass him. And sass him I did. That’s the nature of the relationship with the man I’m stuck with and somehow it makes weekends like this seem more doable. It’s also part of why I’m willing to take a chance on the stem cell where I will be stuck for a lot longer than a weekend.
I’m not sure people who have never experienced cancer first hand understand how it feels to be stuck with cancer. Stuck watching everyone else around you move on, stuck worrying about just how much money all of this will actually cost, stuck wondering if it will all turn out to be worth it. My biggest issue this time when I was told I would undergo treatment again was that I was signing up to be sick. And thus far that appears true. But hopefully in the long run this course of chemo works and the stem cell transplant to follow sticks because than and only then will I get to begin a new phase of my life and move on without Hodge in tow.