Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I'm in a bit of a mood tonight.

The past few weeks have been utterly gorgeous here in Seattle. Every single day has delivered fun, in one form or another. Beach time. Friends. Creeks. Ripe tomatoes and peaches. Sprinklers. Hammocks. Barbeques. Forts. Naps.

To put it another way, it's felt like a NORMAL LIFE in summertime. Not the life of a chemo patient. It's simply been happy. Blissfully, unremarkably happy.

And now it's the eve of yet another chemo session. The clock soon strikes 12. I will turn into a pumpkin again. As I lie here in bed, curtains blowing in the night breeze, I'm steeling myself for the next 3-4 days of the same old hell. Of long hours in darkened, Purell-scented rooms, monitors beeping, while they pile bag after bag of medicine to my stand. The pain. The vomiting. I won't eat or drink. I simply have to endure that plasticky, inorganic feeling of being poisoned for 72 hours.

It's a stark contrast to the normal summer life I've been leading. The hammock- and barbeque- and ripe tomato-life.

It's difficult to express what a luxury it would be to pass through this night and wake up, laze around in bed with my sleepy kids, and spend another regular day here. To not have to wave goodbye to my daughter as she stands, waving, from the driveway in her jammies saying, "Bye, Mommy! Have fun at chemo. I love you! Come home soon." (She really does tell me to have fun at chemo. Every time. Her heart is so generous.) If I had a normal Thursday headed my way tomorrow, I would not take a minute of it for granted. I so badly want to end this 11+ month cycle of bi-weekly chemical interruptions.

I feel like I should declare a lesson here, something along the lines of, "SO, GET OUT THERE AND LIVE THIS DAY TO THE FULLEST, FRIENDS!" But, no--that's the sublime thing about NOT being sick. Of not having this perspective I have. You get the lovely luxury of taking it all for granted. And I don't begrudge you that one bit. It's truly a wonderful thing. I miss it.


  1. Shel, what a post. thank you. you have traveled to Nepal and back, and spent time with the monks...your wisdom is remarkable (although I know you'd trade it gladly for ignorant bliss). And your wisdom is only paralleled by your strength, even in getting from last night to today, to tomorrow, to monday again, when the ripe tomatoes will still be there, waiting for you.

  2. It is very sweet that Betty tells you to have fun at chemo ... and very brave of you to let her think that this is within the realm of possibility. She comes by her generous heart honestly. I'm thinking of you today & wishing you peaches & hammocks.

  3. You deserve to be done with your biweekly chemical interruptions. With chemo so effective, your wish should come true any day. We all appreciate your endurance.

  4. Shelly, I'm just seeing this now and it's Saturday afternoon here in Vermont. I hope this means that the horrid inorganic plasticky, poisoned feelings are leaving your body and that you're beginning to feel like your ol' self again. I agree with Ashley that you're simply amazing for letting Betty think that chemo could possibly be fun. That ability to keep the hell of all this from her is a sign of how unbelievably strong you are and just why you're going to kick this thing. Much love and wishes for many more lazy, healthy summer days to you. xoxo