In May 2013, I posted a blog about the flip side of cancer. The side where you’re the supporter, not the fighter. The side where you often feel helpless, not determined. The side where you spend most of your free minutes worrying, not living in the moment. The side where you’re the healthy one and want to give some of that health to your loved one so they don’t have to carry the weight alone. Well–now I am literally living the flip side, trying to navigate being on the outside looking in, to be the support that I felt when I was smack dab in the middle of my own fight.
If I’ve learned one thing, it’s this: no level of experience or knowledge will ever prepare or equip you to fight cancer. It isn’t easy. No matter what side you’re on. And it’s different for everyone and every situation. My mom’s battle looks and feels much different than mine ever did. The notion of “being experienced” and “knowing what it’s like” isn’t as comforting or as useful as I thought it would be. She’s experiencing things that I never did. Chemo is effecting her differently than it did me. I’m learning that it’s not experience that will help us get through this, it’s love, hope, perseverance and patience.
I know you all have been awaiting an update, and who am I to deny the people what they want?? The update is this: we’ve been very busy doing just that–loving each other, remaining hopeful, persevering through the hard days and patiently measuring progress along the way.
My mom is HOME, doing very well and making good progress everyday. She started chemo and will have chemo #2 this Friday. Her oncologist got Herceptin approved and it will be added to her chemo regimen next round. She’s rocking a super hip pre-myhairisgoingtofallout cut and is stocking up on scarves, hats and caps for when it does fall out. She’s figuring out the right balance of medication and what she can (and wants to) eat and drink without getting sick. The whole gang–family, friends, co-workers, neighbors are chipping in to help and support. Everyone is naturally settling into their respective roles–the caregiver, the comforter, the inspirer, the tough-love giver, the cook, the masseuse, the distractor…
In addition to an update, this is also a shout-out to everyone who is on this journey with us. Thank you, thank YOU, THANK YOU for all that you do each and every day. We couldn’t do it with out you. And I would be remiss if I didn’t give an extra special shout out to my Dad and Sister and the rest of our family. You all have been on the flip side of this awful disease too many times. Your strength impresses and inspires me every day. Much love to you all xo!
“The day will come. The sun will shine. And we’ll be fine.”
-The Avett Brothers