After the hell that is the week after chemo — and I’m sorry for the language, but I can think of no better description of hell than being fully conscious and eager to think, do, and act, but being confined to bed by an all-encompassing fatigue and near constant pain that sucks it all away — we are ready to play!
Friday was my first day up, and WonderDaddy took me on a date. We had no particular place in mind (the kids were napping, and grandparents encouraging), but he insisted on at least driving me around in the car, so I could see something besides these four walls. Lovely plan. But it got even lovelier. We ended up at The Cheesecake Factory. Yum, yum, yum. Since my weight is dropping, I had full lisence to eat anything I wanted — and lots of it! I chose a piece of banana cream cheesecake. Luscious. I ate THE WHOLE THING. WonderDaddy had Godiva chocolate cheesecake. Also yum, I’m sure, but since my tastebuds have changed and dulled (chemo’s fault, again), I couldn’t taste the chocolate at all. Good thing my banana cream was so yummy. We had a lovely date, just the two of us, cozy in a back booth, laughing by the dim light that seemed so ironic in the middle of the afternoon. But it was wonderful.
Saturday we spent alone, just the four of us, for the first time in weeks. I spent most of it on the hammock, resting, with the baby on my lap, or not, while Widget played in the yard. The weather broke, and it was lovely for all of us to spend time together and with nature.
Then yesterday we ventured out to a party. A good friend had a Labor Day barbecue, no different than the hundreds of thousands that are being held this weekend, and maybe one that you went to too, but for me, it was just about heaven. The children ran and played. The adults sat and talked. Little Bear charmed everyone with his good behavior and easy smiles. The food was incredibly good and the friendships even better. Widget sat at the kids’ table for the first time, and he grinned from ear to ear to be sitting with the pack. He ran after the big girls as they collected cicada shells and made cicada shell soup. He ran with the little boys up and over and down the slide. His laughter could be heard echoing through the early evening air as we packed up to go home. And when I went over to tell him that it was almost time to go, he crossed his arms and frowned, saying, “No! Play lotsa games!” as he went defiantly down the slide. Spirit. I like that in a kid. So we had five more slides, and I counted them down for each child as they ran and leaped down the slide, and then it was time to go.
We all slept well last night.
Last cycle, we took advantage of the good health that is Week 3 with a family trip to Annapolis to window-shop and watch the boats go in and out of the harbor. Then WonderDaddy and I went back for Date Night for a wonderful trip on the Woodwind Schooner, a 2 hour cruise on a 75-foot yacht that coincided with the Annapolis sailboat races. As we watched the racing boats furl and unfurl their spinnakers and sail across the bay, I snuggled into WonderDaddy and said, for the thousandth time, thank you. Thank you for living life with me.
For slowly but surely, we are adjusting to this new life. A week of hell. A week of venturing out, bit by bit, and a week where we pack a lot of living into the days.