The honeymoon is over. Back from our California road trip. Back to reality.
Don’t get me wrong, Tash and I couldn’t be happier, and our trip couldn’t have been better. I wrote earlier this week in my journal that if our road trip had been the last week of my life, I would’ve died a happy man.
It was as close to absolute perfection as I could imagine.
The sunny beaches and scenic valleys of Santa Barbara; red woods towering above and craggy cliffs plunging below Big Sur; getting lost in the sights and sounds and tastes and smells of The City; the vine covered hills and quiet roads of Sonoma. I couldn’t have asked for more. And to be able to do it all with my best friend, and to come home with a fiancee to top it off…icing on the cake.
No, our honeymoon continues, and yet it’s back to reality. Friday was day one of maintenance chemotherapy. Granted, the intensity of this regimen is no where near the level of earlier rounds of chemo. But it’s still chemo, and as such I will admit that I was feeling a bit heavy when they stuck me with that IV line on Friday. Fortunately, of the four prescribed drugs for this course, three can be taken orally. The fourth, Vincristine, will be infused through a peripheral vein once a month–every 28 days to be exact.
It’s a relief to know that extended hospital stays are not in the plans at this point. I can handle a breakfast of pills and monthly injections. Seems like a cake walk compared to where we’ve come from. Of course, I knock on wood as I say that, because complications can arise. But if things go according to plan, I may never have to spend another night in Three West. Here’s hoping…
So I guess I’m feeling a mix of emotions. Happy to be here, at this point, entering the next phase of treatment; anxious for the unknown; ecstatic to be engaged to the love of my life; discouraged that cancer treatment continues to play a central theme in our lives. I suppose that is the human experience, or at least it has been my human experience lately. Emotions are fleeting. Happiness comes and goes, sadness the same, and everything in between.
But c’est la vie right? There are no guarantees in this life. Nothing is promised, and nothing is owed. Each new day is an opportunity to experience the full range of emotions, to enjoy the company of loved ones, to accomplish our tasks and to sit and be still.
In San Francisco we visited the Rapha Cycle Club. On the wall, there is a quote by a writer named Graeme Fife, from an essay he wrote about cycling titled Glory Through Suffering:
The great battle is not physical but psychological. The demons telling us to give up when we push ourselves to the limit can never be silenced for good. They must always be answered by the quiet, the steady dignity that simply refuses to give in. Courage, We all suffer. Keep going.
Keep going. That is our mantra. If the road goes on, so can we.
The entire essay is fantastic, and speaks to me on many levels. And, you don’t have to ride a bike to appreciate the sentiment. Here’s the link for anyone who wants to read it in it’s entirety: http://www.rapha.cc/glory-through-suffering
Thanks for your continued love and support, and for the outpouring of well wishes for our engagement! It was so fun to check and re-check the blog for new comments as we made our way up the coast.
Lots of love,