It's been almost a year since Chris and I got a message stating that his first round of chemo would start the next day. We were sitting at the bar at Lupe's waiting for a to-go order, and I cried because I just couldn't believe that my young, strong husband really needed chemo, and I was so scared because I had no idea what it would mean for all of us. Would he throw up all the time? Would he be able to get out of bed? Would he have eyebrows in a week? The reality has been slower and more relentless than I expected - less like climbing a mountain and more like walking from Maine to California.
Chris has been on a chemo break. The last round was terrible, and he needed a break. Slowly he's returned to us. The last few weeks have been almost normal, and that's been so good for all of us. He got to go on a trip with friends. We all got to enjoy Thanksgiving. We went out on a date, played games with the boys, and talked a lot. There's such blessing in normal life.
Chris has about six more months of chemo to go, and tomorrow morning we start another round. It's Chemo Eve again. This time I know more of what we're facing, so its a better-informed, deeper, quieter sadness. We'll lose something indefinable tomorrow - I can't quite put words around it, but it's a part of Chris we need for a normal, family life. It feels like a terrible preview of what could be coming. But now I know he'll come back. We're not going to lose Chris to chemo. The real battle is with cancer and nobody knows how that's going to end. Cancer is a much cagier beast. Living with that kind of uncertainty is... impossible. But the impossibility of it is a blessing. I know I can't manage it, and so I'm spared a lot of pointless effort.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30