Dec 16, 2010 - 10:16 am
If you do, I just wanted to give you a pre-Christmas ((((((HUG))))))). This is my 3rd Christmas in treatment for cancer. I've always LOVED Christmas and never understood why so many people feel blue overthe holidays. Until cancer...
In 2008 I was half-way through my initial 6 rounds of carbo/taxol chemo. I remember how isolated and cheated I felt because my immunity was too compromised to go out Christmas shopping or to my grandkid's Xmas programs at school; and then everyone had non-stop colds and the flu and my son kept my grandkids away for me for my own safety. My blood counts were too low for me to safely drive. I'd think about the gingerbread houses we'd made together the year before, and how we rode the Polar Express train, and how DIFFERENT this Christmas was. Everyone was so busy with parties and Xmas preparations, and I would phone to talk, and as soon as I said "I miss you" I would start crying and shame myself with this display of self-pity. So I stopped phoning.
In 2009 I was 4 rounds into dense dose taxol chemo for my 1st recurrence. I was getting 3 weekly Nuepogen shots so I refused to stay away from the grandkids and their Christmas programs. I even took them out of school one day to bake with me, playing the 'cancer card' and my bald head to get them sprung from class. When I look at the photos I can see how sick I look. But I remember it as a wonderful Christmas. I spent $$ like I thought it was my last Christmas. (Why make a contribution to my IRA when I have no old age to save for?! HA!) When I took down my tree, I packed away the family heirloom ornaments I want my grandkids to have in the big storage box I have for them after I'm gone.
And now it's Christmas 2010. I started carboplatin last week for my 3rd recurrence, this time mets to the liver. I smiled as I crawled under the bed and secretly took out the ornaments from the kid's 'inheritance' and let them hang them on the tree. I will pack them away once again when I take down the tree, just in case THIS is my last Christmas.
I am filled with joy at the holidays this year. I've made my peace with this journey. I've learned that you can never know what is ahead for the new year. So I live in the moment. & I encourage you each to look for the small moments of joy and beauty, acknowledge them deep in your heart, and smile at the blessing of each tiny moment of happiness. Hug these golden memories in your mind as you ride through the scanners or nap on the chemo loungers. Life on earth is beautiful, especially when it is clearly finite. Take it in and feel the rich joy of it. Merry Christmas to you all!