Last Friday began round 3 of chemotherapy. This one we went into prepared. She drank the water. She took the pills. She ate the small meals and snacks. All of the above still make it hell. That really is the only way I can describe what someone goes through as they fight for their lives by enduring hours of toxins pumped into their bodies.
Now, nine weeks into chemo, the treatments are really taking their toll physically. Her legs hurt. She equates it to the feeling of walking a five mile walk - only her walk is only halfway across her living room. Our trips out have decreased, as she doesn't have the strength or energy to walk through a store or go out to lunch. She is tired, yet, the chemo makes it so she has many sleepless nights. Often, I too, have sleepless nights, so we find ourselves texting one another, making fun of the sales people on QVC at 3am. However, they have had a lot of really neat Christmas decorations on around 5am. . .yes, we know the schedule well.
By Tuesday, mom's spirits were waning. So, amidst meals, meds and pep talks, we decided she really did need a little Christmas on Wednesday. It was November 2nd after all, Halloween has passed and while we normally wouldn't dream of decorating for Christmas so soon any other year. . .this year it feels most appropriate! She made the comment that having her tree up would make her feel like we are closer to the end of chemotherapy, since her last round is on December 30th. So, with Christmas music cranked, my brother, my mom and I put up her Christmas tree.
Unfortunately, the magic of those few moments soon wore off and she was back to feeling pretty miserable soon after, but at least her tree stands tall in her living room, beautifully lit and a reminder that soon the season of joy will bring her much reprieve from the doctors, IV's, nausea, vomiting, aches, pain, weakness, baldness and surgeries. Soon, life will return to a new normal. She will be a survivor. Her hair will grow back. Her breasts will be reconstructed and she will be able to do all the things she once did - and more!
Yes, Christmas really is right around the corner and this Christmas brings with it even stronger promises of new life, mercy and peace.