Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Something Fishy About This Weekend

There's nothing like a blizzard to take your mind off cancer.

The lead-up to the Blizzard of 2013 (aka, Nemo) filled us with anticipatory boredom as I worked from home Friday and watched the flakes fall. The after-effects of Nemo, on the other hand, left us with no power for 24 hours and piles of snow to be cleared.

Saturday was filled with neighborhood-ness. As often happens in the clean-up after storms such as these, it brought out the best in neighborly kindness - from snow clearing assistance to communal sledding, to a warming and coffee station from the one powered house on the street. As it got dark - outside and inside -- we made do - grilling out what we could for supper, reading and playing games by candle and flashlight, and bundling up under blankets and sleeping bags.

And then at 9:22 pm... power. And, eventually, heat.

The view from the living room, Saturday morning 
Sunday, then, brought a restoration of normalcy, along with more shoveling and visitors - those waiting for power to be restored. By 3 pm, I was beat. As we caught up with one friend (and a reader of this blog), she commented something to the effect of: "If my timing is right, you're about returning to normal this weekend."

I paused. She was right. This was my first full weekend post chemo, which always has some residue of fatigue and passing nausea. No wonder I was beat, with the combination of five or so hours of shoveling, not to mention trudging through three-foot snow drifts to a sledding hill, and the lingering side effects. The intensity of Nemo preparations and reparations had packed the last 48 hours with so much focus that it had seemed to stretch out the distance from my last chemo, and create a little mental separation as well. With the exception of some well wishes from a neighbor who had just learned of my status, cancer had been on the back burner all weekend (and, the back burner, as we know, didn't even have any electricity).

I'm not hoping for any more blizzards - or hurricanes, tornadoes or other major weather events for that matter -- but I think there's a good lesson in this. If one week out from chemo, I can push cancer out of my brain for the better part of a weekend, there's hope. Hope that, if my scans do confirm a transition back to watch-and-wait mode, I can live without being preoccupied with cancer and its inevitable return.

As I said as I entered round six, no one knows if the time to next treatment will be six months from now or six years... or longer. But this weekend gave me a taste of what a post-treatment world could be.