And, frankly, it can’t start too soon. After a day of feeling on the edge after a mix-up with the Marinol prescription, which never seems to go smoothly, a bad blood draw for Thomas where the phlebotomist poked around in his arm, and with Theo pooping in a very dramatic and disgusting way – lots of laundry and bathing – thank God Mark was home, I am so ready to celebrate tomorrow. All of us are heading down to mark the exciting day. The finish line is in sight, the edge of the desert has been reached, and we can taste normality on our lips like a soothing aperitif, whetting our appetites for life and living.
It is hard to believe he is almost there. In January, September seemed like years and ages from where we were. It felt almost suffocating in its remoteness. And now, we are here, standing on the brink of a return to life without hospital visits, without blood draws, without the need for hyper-vigilance towards germs, without THROW-UP! I looked at Thomas today as we left the grocery store and realized I can’t remember him with hair and eyelashes. Oddly, the eyelashes were the hardest thing for me. I realized that is the look of a cancer patient even more than the bald head. Mark has a bald head but Mark has eyelashes. I can’t wait to see him with eyelashes again. And, when the day arrives and Thomas actually pesters me for food, I will get down on me knees and thank the Lord and never complain about finding more food for a hungry boy.
We plan to bring cupcakes and flowers and lots of notes thanking all of the nurses and doctors who have served Thomas so well. It is strange to think we won’t see these people, people we consider friends, ever again or at least, on the regular basis we have been seeing them. It is a loss in another way. These relationships fired in the oven of intensity, have meant so much to us. Their service and care make the whole journey bearable. I will miss many of them even though I am thankful Thomas no longer needs to be in their care. I know we will see them as we come for check-ups and return visits but the acute phase of his care is over and we are hopeful, never to return. Thomas plans to bring his viola and play for his doctor and our favorite nurse, Flori. Maybe I will record it, if I can remember.
Thank you, thank you to this amazing group of friends and family who have supported us through this time. I still have loads of thank you notes to write to all of you for your generosity and love shown to us. We cannot thank you enough, our words are woefully inadequate and our hearts brim to the top with love for all of you. We could never have climbed this peak without you all holding us up, lifting Thomas up, sustaining all of us. I plan to keep writing through his final scan but then Lifting Up Thomas will be quiet as we return to life without cancer, we pray. Writing and keeping a daily log of our life, my thoughts and Thomas’ progress has kept me sane and helped me to process all the Lord has taught me as we have walked through this. Your comments and prayers have lifted our spirits and let us know we were never alone even in the center of deep pain and grief and THROW-UP. Can’t wait for the throw-up to be done! Thank you for reading and faithfully praying. I can’t thank you all enough for your faithfulness to us. I only hope to be such a support when grief comes to those I love.
I feel almost giddy as I think about tomorrow. What a journey, what a trek, what a tale of God’s faithfulness and goodness! Life is beautiful!