Friday, June 20, 2008

Loving life

A few weeks ago, as I crept into Coady's room to administer the midnight feeding, I caught a glimpse of his golden head through the bars of his crib. His little mouth was slightly parted and forming a tiny pucker and his bum was sticking up in the air making him look as if he fell asleep while attempting to crawl. He was absolutely the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and it sent me into a tailspin. Panic spread through my body like a wildfire.

Damn it. Losing control and perspective at three o’clock in the morning is a bad scene.

I crawled back into bed beside Dave, tears streaming down my face. As I buried my head in my pillow I felt his familiar warmth mimic the line of my body, tucking his knees behind mine he whispered, “You’re okay, you’re just scared. The choice is yours, you can be scared or you can be inspired”.

Wow, where did this guy come from? Who has this kind of conversation at three in the morning? Why can’t he stay awake long enough for me to dispute the simplicity of his logic? Have I mentioned how much I love my husband?

To be scared or inspired, that is the question.

From the very beginning, for me, coping with cancer has been a very dichotomous situation. It has been a nightmare but at the same time such a blessing. I have felt incredibly sick, and yet healthier than ever before. I have been terrified while experiencing the most overwhelming sense of bravery imaginable. I have been scared but deeply motivated to live my life, love my family and be incredibly grateful for all of the indulgences I have been granted.

I have been INSPIRED.

I had my second last chemo treatment this morning and I am on cloud nine, ONE MORE to go!! My last treatment is scheduled for July 11th and then…drumroll, we are hitting the road on the 12th for five weeks and driving to Prince Edward Island to see my family. Crazy? Yes. For the record I am usually the one to balk at ideas like this-generally because they are Dave’s and truth be told that when he first mentioned the idea of driving I had a million reasons why we should fly instead, but then it occurred to me that I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the closing of this small chapter in my life than spending five weeks with the two most important people in my world.

We went to Victoria last week for a check up with the oncologist, who says that my tumor has shrunk to approximately a third of its original size and that everything is moving in the right direction. My radiation is slated to begin the week of August 18th and I have an appointment with the surgeon next week to discuss my options.

I am happy. I feel healthy.

My baby is a bundle of laughter, who just started giving real hugs, crawling up stairs, pulling books off my bookshelf and SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!!!

My husband is amazing. I am so genuinely thrilled to wake up beside him every morning knowing that he loves me and all of my drama unconditionally.

My hair is growing back, oddly enough attracting the attention of a lot of good old boys in their early to late 50’s. I think they are impressed to see that someone is appreciating their “look”.

On our daily walks I make a conscious effort to stop and smell the wild roses and to instill in Coady the importance of being grateful for the moments.

That’s where it is folks,

Celebrate we will,
For life is short but sweet for certain
We climb on two by two
To be sure these days continue
Things we cannot change

-Dave Matthews


lisalou said...

Life IS inspiring isn't it? Wonderful and complex...
We love you Jen. We really do.
Who knew that Dave was a 3 am guru of inner peace and wisdom?

Sandy and Allison said...

Hi Jen,

It's wonderful to read such a positive update. We are so glad to hear that you are feeling healthy and living your life so vibrantly. We wish you, Dave, and Coady the absolute best. Have a GREAT time on your trip to PEI ... what a great idea!

Sandy and Allison :)

Tracy said...

I crave reading your writing Jenn! Beautiful!
So glad for all the good that is happening and may it continue :-)

Reesh said...

Fear is one of the hardest things to conquer, even harder than cancer. You are an amazing woman and I am so glad that you have such loving support from Dave and Coady.

I did a road trip to PEI back in 1999. I didn't have a child with me then, but it was awesome and you guys are going to have so much fun!