Friday, June 27, 2014

Of chemo and cupcakes

We're ending the last week chez Wells before T begins his treatments on Tuesday, July 1.  While I can't speak for T, although I guess I do by way of the blog, I'm feeling a huge rush of emotions while we wait for the chemo/radiation to begin.

I'm ready - MORE than ready- for T to start his treatments at Northwestern.  The sooner we can get this cancer on the run, the better.  This tumor is a constant cloud over everything we do, and I want it gone.  The sooner we can get started, the sooner we can be done.  I find myself trying to cram in every last activity, every last bit of fun we can before T won't feel like doing much.  Dallas has already told me that this summer hasn't been as fun as he thought it would be, so I guess I'm going overboard to try to make things REALLY SUPER FUN so the kids don't remember the summer of 2014 as the summer their dad was sick all the time.  I mean, we have told the kids as much as we think they should know about T's cancer and how it's all going to work, but in the end, they're just little kids who don't understand why we can't travel or go to the beach every day.

I'm relieved that the treatments are beginning because I'm tired of the constant waiting.  As there always is with many facets of life, we have gone through the hurry-up-and-wait phase of this cancer.  T has had test upon test, appointments with various doctors, and filled out enough paperwork to reach to the moon and back.  We're both ready for action because sitting around and waiting is making us crazy.  Although we only got the diagnosis a month ago, it tends to feel like six forevers.  I want to shake everyone and remind them that my husband has cancer, and we need to deal with it NOW.  I know that, unfortunately, he's just one of many cancer patients at NMH, but he's the most important one to me.

Along with the relief and eagerness to get started, there is the fear and the anxiety.  As a general rule, people tend to fear the unknown, and we're no different.  I have avoided researching anything about colorectal cancer because I know that cancer is really such an individual thing.  The way one person reacts to chemo and/or radiation is never exactly the same as how another person reacts.  While that's comforting to know in a way, it's also scary.  Will T be nauseous?  Will he lose his hair?  Will the fatigue drive him to bed at 6 PM every night?  Will he be safe going to and from Chicago every day for twenty-eight days? Will he get to spend any time with the kids?  Will I be able to handle everything while he is healing and recuperating? After all is said and done with the chemo, the radiation, the surgery, and the second round of chemo, will T still be the same?  Will anything ever be the same again?  Because cancer is so individual, there are no hard-and-fast answers to my questions.  I have my own gut feelings, but I have no absolutes.  I'm okay with that, but again, the unknown can be a big, dark place.  I honestly have no worries about the overall outcome: I know in my heart that T is going to be okay.  But sometimes my head and my heart clash, and the what-ifs try to overrule the happily ever after.

When I was explaining this all to T the other night, I didn't get a chance to tell him that I don't want or expect reassurances. It's not like I was kidding with that whole "in sickness and in health" vow. I know it's all going to be okay, but I need to express how overwhelming it all is.  It's like having a bad day at work or at school: Sometimes you just want to come home, get it off your chest without anyone trying to fix it, then eat a cupcake.   There are an infinite number of people who have it so much worse than we do, so I only want to unburden my roiling thoughts and move on.  People have asked why I write publicly about our lives, both the great times and the struggles.  Writing is my cupcake, plain and simple.  Some people play golf or run or actually eat cupcakes, but I write.  To paraphrase the great Lesley Gore, it's my blog, and I'll write what I want to. 


  1. love how you pour your heart out in words, it's the best therapy there is! We are constantly thinking about you guys and will be praying throughout T's chemo. xoxoxoxo

  2. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers for healing and peace while you wait. Hoping that everything goes well so that next summer will truly be the best one ever for your family.