Forget Christmas and even Thanksgiving, despite the latter’s delicious stuffing (quite possibly one of my favorite foods in the world). Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day are my favorite holidays. I love summer days when I’m expected to do nothing but enjoy myself. No pressure to buy gifts, no snowy commutes over long distances.
My love of summer holidays started when I was about 10, and I created my own little rock garden in our yard. Since then, I treasured these gifts of a day off from work or school. Often, I don’t even have plans, but just let the day dictate what I’m going to do.
Today is a gloomy, gray and rainy—the perfect day to stay in and catch up on the blog. I’ve had a flurry of good news lately.
More freelance work. I may have some more steady freelance work! I can’t tell you how much having some more work and something steady to do has done to lighten my stress levels. Gone is the gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach that nagged me every second of the day to hustle, to look for work to do something and to never take it easy. I felt as if I were spinning my wheels. I’ve been exhausted and depressed, and I’m so happy to have some productive things to do for a change.
Possible (probable?) health insurance. According to United Healthcare, I’ve been approved for insurance for September. I’ll believe it when I receive my new ID number in the mail. I realize this sounds cynical but had I not called to check up on Anthem, who told me I was all set to receive COBRA, I would not have had insurance in August.
Care packages and kind thoughts. I received three care packages in the mail this week, full of yoga goodies, biscuit mix (and jam) and clothes and accessories—plus a gift card. But what means more than anything are the thoughtful notes and cards. And I’ve received emails from others who have been through cancer or grappled with insurance woes, offering their own stories and an ear to listen. I have a great support system in place.
Veins are holding up. I have two more treatments to go, but the veins in my arms are hardening. My oncologist and I discussed a PIIC line over a port for the last treatments, but it seems as if my veins may hold up for the rest of treatment. I just need two more!
I have a Halloween costume. Heisenberg, of course. I want to order blue rock candy for my meth, but I’m afraid I’ll eat it all before the end of October.
The meh news? My last PET scan haunts me. The doctors like to see the cancer gone or mostly gone after eight treatments. While it’s going away, it’s not going away very fast anymore. So instead of the end of treatment at the end of September, I could be looking at more treatment. Either more ABVD, the stronger escalated BEACOPP, radiation or just waiting to see if it comes back stronger. I’m told not to worry, and I know worrying won’t help.
I have a rash again on my chest, where it all started. But I try not to think about what this all might mean: I might not be very close to being finished with cancer after all. Either way, I can’t even get another PET scan or see the doctor until my new insurance number arrives.
But even if I have more treatment ahead of me, I know at least I will get better. My prognosis is good. Sure, I miss working out. I miss not having to avoid people who might possibly have the slightest bit of illness. I miss ordering salad instead of fries. I miss not having cancer.
I actually don’t miss my hair. I don’t like wearing a wig. I do it more to make others comfortable, but usually I let my bald head go uncovered if I’m not in direct sun. Except for yesterday, when I wore my skull scarf to match my skull shirt, and I looked a little like a summery, deranged pirate as I took in two Pacino films at the Museum of the Moving Image. I wanted to punctuate my pirate themed day with a tropical drink at the cheesy palm tree bar, but that will have to wait.
Only a few things are on hold, not my entire life. Until I feel whole again, I have plenty to be thankful for, as the summer winds to a close.