October 29th was one-year from the day I had surgery last year. Rachel and I went out for ice cream sodas to celebrate, and I couldn’t help thinking what this year has been like for her. Most of last year Jamie was immersed in her first year of college; she did come home often to visit and was helpful when she did…but she was not here on a day in and out basis. Jon was here, but still tried to keep to his usual work schedule which is in at 11:30A and home at 8:30P, Sundays through Thursdays. Rachel was here most of the day when she wasn’t at school. She was here to see me in all my not so great ways. She brought me ice packs, and tea, and sat with me when I could barely get out of bed. Rachel is 12.
When I started to feel better, it was Rachel who started to schlep around town with me, and it was she who was there when I had my radiation consultation at Mass General Hospital, and she was there when I got the good news that I was a candidate for Proton Therapy. She knew what an important meeting this was, and both of us did a small jig in the middle of the street right outside the hospital.
This day on this year was a celebration for both of us…a celebration about where I had been, and how far I had come in one year.
Then there was the Election to celebrate. I was relatively confident that Obama would win, but by no means did I feel it was a sure thing. This election had been like no other I can recall…partly because it was like no other election anyone could recall, and the other part was because I spent so much of my time recuperating in front of the TV watching it unfold all year long. I felt completely immersed in the day in and day out of the election, its ups, its downs; and so accordingly my ups and downs. I have never wanted a candidate to win so badly…despite all that I have been through this year, I think that if Obama were to have lost, it would have brought me to an unbelievable depth of despair. But he won, and so we celebrated. In my mind, I’m still celebrating.
On November 16th, Jon and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary. We went out to dinner, just the two of us…it had been probably over a year since we had done that, and it felt quite special. I couldn’t help thinking what this year has been like for Jon. Jon wasn’t able to be home with me as much as he wanted to; he had to work. When he was home, he had to deal with all my physical and emotional patient details; he more than anyone else rode the emotional storm with me. One day I felt useless, another day I felt hopeless, another day I would feel better, the next day I would feel worse, sick, sad, ugly. This 23rd Anniversary seemed more than a celebration of our being married 23 years, but more a celebration of all that we have been through and are still married.
And to Jamie, who may read this blog, and say “what about me, don’t you wonder what this last year has meant to me?” To this I say, “of course I do, but I haven’t had dinner or an ice cream soda with you yet…but I look forward to either or both and blogging about it afterward”. Jamie is 19.