Friday, June 28, 2013

early morning with the birds and gratitude

The weather yesterday was glorious. We sat on the patio as much as possible and we slept with the window open which was wonderful but when the birds start singing at 4 am, it's time to wake up. When I walk out into the living room in the dark, I see my nightlight. A mouse reading a book. Such a soft and comforting light.


Today is my three-month follow-up appointment with my oncologist. My main oncologist. Although I will continue to see them every three months for the next two years, in my mind this signals the end of active treatment. Done with chemo, done with radiation, no lingering cancer cells according to the PET scan. It's bittersweet...I'll miss those folks and now I'm kind of on my own.

I've thought for several months about how to say thank you to them. I know it's their job but I also know that medical care is not always this thoughtful and kind. To go to a place as often as I have in the past nine months and never feel dread is an amazing thing. I always felt cradled in their caring arms. How do you find words for that?

Yesterday I went to the grocery store early and bought ingredients for peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I think I made about four dozen and bagged them up for the radiation folks, the chemotherapy folks, and the nice people at the front desk. I sat at my desk and tried to write notes telling them how much their care meant to me but it was hard. I told Judy I was like a sinking ship and they shored me up and helped me sail through the storm. Haha...boat metaphors.

I wasn't sure cookies were a good idea but my Facebook friends assured me they would be appreciated. I don't like to shove food at people but I guess they can walk the halls with the colorful bag and pass them out to people who are interested in the major food groups that went into this baking...butter, peanut butter, and chocolate. How could we live without it?

I've learned from my cousin (and my mom) that if you like to bake, be prepared to give most of it away. She once brought cookies to a woman she met in Target who lived in a tiny house and didn't have an oven. This winter, she sent me lefse (twice) and a lemon pound cake made from lemons that grow in their back yard. Gifts of food are gifts from the heart.

This is the basket that I keep right next to my leopard chair in the living room. Every card I've gotten since my cancer diagnosis in November is in this basket. I intend to sort through them and attempt to thank each person who sent one. That's my intention and you know how those can go. If you're reading this and you sent one, know how much I appreciated every word.

Also the cyber support...Facebook messages, emails, phone calls, blog comments. I had regular visitors, regulars callers, and regular party participants. So many things to be very grateful for today. Cancer. Not something you would sign up for but certainly a learning experience for life.

My main angel through all of this has been my sweet husband. I couldn't have done it without him. He shared my fears and tears, my rants, my long sleeps. He took me to appointment after appointment, endured the cafeteria food, paid for expensive coffee (haha), and got involved in conversations with people in the waiting room. He remembered things to ask (or tell) the doctor when I couldn't remember what day of the week it was.

It's been quite a year.

1 comment:

tccomments2013 said...

dear Teresa,

so glad the touchdown of your journey has been a gentle one, filled with the sweet taste of gratitude - and those scrumptious sounding cookies!!! even in your darkest hours through the hell of a diagnosis that rocked your world, to surgery, chemo, radiation and all the fatigue and feeling knocked down, you have always found things to be thankful for. it's so inspiring and for you and others of your ilk, a wonderful gift that will see you through the aftermath of all that shit. I love the photo of your darling regis, and as your friend, I thank him, too, for taking such loving and attentive care of you.

much love, XOXO