This weekend was crazy and almost a week later, I’m trying to recover. Between Halloween and my husband running the NYC marathon (which meant I ran my own marathon making sure to see him), I’m wiped. Seriously wiped. But throughout this weekend, I was forced to remember what life was like just one year ago and it’s crazy to me how far I’ve come.
Just one year ago, I completed my second chemotherapy treatment. Just two days later it was Halloween, Oliver’s second and I was starting to feel yucky. I was still doing ok but I put on a brave face because I wanted Oliver to have a great Halloween. I wanted to go trick or treating. I wanted candy. I wanted the fantasy that the day provided. I wanted to pretend that my life, as I was living it, was not real. So we walked for hours and maybe miles. I pushed my body.
Then, just two days later was the NYC Marathon and Ken was running it for the second year in a row. He very much wanted me to come and see him, at least in one spot along the trail, if not two. I woke up that morning feeling that indescribable fatigue that comes with cancer treatment. That feeling like your body has been filled with led but your head is floating. Your tongue is swollen and your lips are dry. I got out of bed, got into the shower but barely made it out. Actually, I crawled out. I tried to get dressed, still determined to leave. But when I could barely get myself dressed, I knew I wasn’t going to make it out. I knew that if I pushed myself to try to see him I could literally be killing myself. So I stayed home and watched his progress on the NYC Marathon app on my phone. And cried.
This year, I am starting to feel more like myself again. Well, as much as I can be with still experiencing fatigue and the problems with the cording and lymphedema. But I didn’t have to pretend I was happy or healthy during trick or treating this year. I just was. I was able to focus on the joy of the holiday and watching Oliver as he mastered saying, “trick or treat” and walk up to people as they gave him candy. He had his serious face on. He was going to fill his bag with as much candy as possible. “We’re going to the next house, mommy?” And we did. Because we could. Because I could.
And we got to watch Ken run his third marathon. We stopped in two spots, one in Brooklyn and then we got the VIP treatment by getting Grandstand passes to see him at the finish line. It was stressful trying to get to him on time. The trains were running horribly that day and I thought we were going to miss him both times. But we made it!!! And Ken finished in just over 4 hours. Amazing!!!!
It’s hard for me to remember the pain I was in just one year ago and how helpless I felt. But life is moving on. Not how I expected it to, necessarily. But it’s continuing. I’m continuing. And I won’t look back.