Saturday, October 25, 2014
Run/ Walk/ Bike/ Elliptical (Today: 3.28 miles; Running Total: 15.91 miles)
Day 106 of *Another* 100 Days of Good Karma.
I received a very special gift from my friend Erica the other day.
Inside my mailbox was card full of encouragement. Along with the card was a small brown envelope containing the note above and a small key with the word COURAGE printed on it.
Erica sent me her Giving Key.
I know Erica sees me as courageous. I don’t feel particularly courageous.
Most of the time I feel like a bundle of nerves trying to hold on for one more day.
I don’t feel like I’m facing this with much self-possession, confidence or bravery either.
Some days, sure.
If I know what to expect, like with Taxol (the drug I just finished last week), I hold it together pretty well.
When I know what to expect, I look like a champ.
It is with the unknown that I fall apart. Like starting the new drug, FAC, on Tuesday.
I know it will be harder than Taxol. I don’t know how much harder and it is the not knowing that I dread.
It is in the moments before the unknown happens when I most need Erica’s COURAGE key.
Because I dread those moments.
I used to ‘dread’ Mondays and a return to work. Or I’d ‘dread’ grocery shopping. Or I’d ‘dread’ the rush of the holidays.
I know the real meaning of dread now.
Dread is the feeling that lives in the unhappy middle ground between the urge to fight or run away.
It is that sinking in my stomach as I force my feet to walk up to the doctor’s office or hospital. Dread is taking a deep breath before going through the doors.
Before a biopsy or a surgery, dread is waiting patiently in an uncomfortable chair knowing soon I will be cut into. And, in the case of a biopsy, knowing I will be awake for it.
Dread is cooperating with an oncology nurse wearing special protective gear so she can safely handle bags of fluid so potent they require a biohazard marker.
Dread is knowing that same biohazardous material is about drip into my veins.
Dread is knowing that I have to do this not once, but again and again and again.
So, no, I don’t feel particularly courageous.
This is when Erica’s key will be most important. Because the real horror of cancer treatment is the voluntary nature of it.
Today’s silver lining: Holding that little key, I can feel Erica propping me up. Even from 1,300 miles away.
I hope someday I can pass this key on to someone who needs it as much as I do.
What’s your silver lining today? I love comments!
Don’t want to leave a comment, but have something you want to share? Send me an email at gettingthewordswrong(at)gmail(dot)com.