- We are still very much in this fight: I think back in February we thought we were close to “done” because the heart of the fight was over. Boy were we wrong. The path back to post-cancer life has been very tough. Don’t get me wrong, there is a happiness undertone to it all, but we still have lots of bad days, we are still trying to come to grips with everything that happened. I will say some of these days have been as bad, if not worse, than our “in-the-fight” cancer phase. For that reason, I wish I had continued to blog about it – and part of the reason I wanted to re-close out the blog.
- Good things are happening: Lots of great things have happened too and we randomly get emotional about silly things! For example, we went to a Blackhawks game and both choked up during the National Anthem – it was one of our first big “outings” and something we had talked about doing when he beat cancer. We went to a movie theater – something we couldn’t do during his fight with the risk of germs, etc. We’ve taken a small weekend trip…we are slowly but surely getting back to our lives. It’s funny how some of the simplest things mean the most to us now.
Speaking of good things, we had a HUGE celebration on Saturday. It was a Cancer Celebration Party for Tom and it was quite the feat. We had so much love around us – and we definitely needed all the energy and love around us to remind us that we can do this and that we have the support around us that we need. Tom wanted a cake with his scar so he could cut into his own incision (see picture) and we had tons of food and drink to toast to Tom's success. So many people traveled and came to celebrate and I just cannot put into words how much we appreciate everyone making the time to celebrate with us.
I made a pseudo-speech at the party, but I don’t feel like I really said what I wanted to say. We tossed back and forth having this party and ultimately had it for three reasons:
- To surround ourselves with the love and support to help keep good momentum around us into the next few months
- To toast to all our loved ones that didn’t get their cancer survivor party and lost their fight with the disease
- To celebrate Tom – it’s AMAZING what he did, and how far he has come, and that deserved to be celebrated.
That said…I’m still processing the whole party, and trying to come to grips with it all. I’m glad we had the party, but a lot definitely came to the surface as a result. We can add that to the list of things we still need to work through. ;-)
So what else have we been doing? What’s next? I’ve been working with Immerman’s Angels, and have been an mentor angel for a couple that is going through what we went through. The husband has the same thing Tom did, except the tumor is in his abdomen. It’s a great organization, and we are very happy that we feel like we are starting to be able to pay it forward. If you know anyone dealing with cancer, I highly recommend Immerman’s Angels. As you can see from one of the photos, I also donated 8.5 inches of my hair for cancer wigs too. I was glad to see it all go!
And then of course…there is the book. Things are progressing well and I’ve made some connections to get things moving and get an editor/publisher. The book is almost 250 pages right now, with a good chunk to go. Some days, I can sit and write a lot, and other days I literally can’t get myself to go back to those dark days and write. Tom has been my first round editor and it has been quite the learning and bonding experience for him to read everything I'm writing. So all in good time, but I’m hopeful to get things in a good spot by mid-summer. Stay tuned for more on that!
Lastly, and most importantly, Tom’s three month scans were all clear and he is bouncing back well. He still has a ways to go with his lung and general fatigue, but he is really pushing himself. Our next scans are in August and based on how well he has been doing, I am confident that we will have another successful report in August! Also, you can see in the photo that his hair is back - and actually came back curly! It's a whole new Tom ;-)
So to officially end (until I hopefully post about my book!) – I will leave you with something Tom said leading up to the party, and after the party that I thought summed things up perfectly. Ultimately, 1 terrible terrible thing happened but hundreds and hundreds of amazing things happened as a result, and for all of that, we are incredibly thankful.