Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Free at Last
I woke up this morning and I was in my own bed with my own pillows in my own room. It's so good to be home. Of the last 44 days, I was in the hospital 38 of those. I tried to make the whole thing look easy, but I know it didn't. I tried hard to breeze through it just for the sake of not worrying about it, but honestly I can't tell you what it's like to know that I don't have to go back. This whole chemo-tour thing is finally over, the high dose treatments are done, and now I can take the rest of the 11 months at home. It sounds cheesy, but this last month in the hospital has totally changed me- it has made me think about so many things that I took for granted before all of this. We forget so easily the little things that we can do everyday until they're taken away. Today's big deal was just being able to walk outside and go get the mail. I couldn't do that for a month- couldn't just get up and go outside if I wanted to. And when I walked through my house today, it dawned on my how much sunlight there was in every room. You miss that in a hospital- you have a window but the halls and everywhere else is so closed off, all you get is flurescent light. In the midst of it, you don't think much about it, but it makes a huge difference, really. I can't complain so much, because my peeps made the month go by so smoothly- Mandy and Manda and Bobby and Tamara and Mom. I seriously don't know what I would've done without their love and entertainment and support. Especially Bobby- he came through for me on a daily basis, and I know he got tired of hanging out at the hospital everyday. But we really made the best of it and I'm almost shocked how much fun we had. I have been so lucky- SO LUCKY- to have all of you, and so lucky to have had the doctors that I've had. They've all been amazing to me and so kind. But most of all I feel thankful for the 4 million nurses I've come in contact with over the last month. They were all truly amazing. On a cancer floor, attitude is everything, and I can't tell you how many times Bobby and I would be sitting around goofing off and laughing and a nurse would say something about how long it had been since they'd heard laughter on that floor. It blew my mind to think about it, because laughing was sometimes the only thing that kept me from crying. Can you imagine losing your laugh? People lose hope when they hear the word cancer... I guess I always knew that, but seeing those other patients made it so real to me. I've been blessed- so blessed- with all of this. It's given me new vision into what I can do and what I can do for others, what a difference just a simple laugh can make. I encourage everyone to realize that and take action on it, to just be around someone who's lost that ability, just to remind them. It's crazy, this life, and every once in a while we get a chance to see it for what it really is. Today I feel like I woke up and my whole life was waiting for me. Like I have a brand new beginning that I can't wait to get started on. I don't want to waste one single second of it. I don't want to let one tiny piece get away from me without really living it up and enjoying it. And I just can't wait to get started.