We got to spend a full week out of UAMS. At the same time, our dry little community got a drink, a long-needed and much-anticipated gush of hydration. We all needed a break. It is good to feel a soul refreshed.
Spending time at home made cancer seem not-so-big. At home, we are surrounded by the things and people we love, the things we have to look forward to. It makes such a difference to actually be with, to embrace the people who are in our corner. Cancer is an invisible enemy. He is not someone I can yell at, punch, kick, or cuss. I cannot sue him, report him to the authorities, or request a restraining order. There is absolutely nothing I can do on my own to make him go away. (Were I able, I definitely would have already strapped “Cancer’s” limbs to horses, each facing a different corner of the earth, and given a loud “h’yah!”…) What I can do, though, is keep going. I can keep loving, hugging, and believing. I can keep living.
I need to remind myself of this occasionally.
The first few months of our diagnosis were spent crying or in a hazy cloud of confusion. I became quite squeamish at the thought or mention of pain or death. Commercials, sitcoms, anything that even remotely hinted at the idea of suffering caused my insides to knot. You see, as a general rule, I have tried to avoid pain…But I have decided that I can not live this way – it is imperative that we are aware of the world around us, the hurt that happens. Not only must we be aware, but we have to let it in. It has to affect us; we have to feel it. Otherwise, we don’t want to do anything about it. We must do something about it. I am still coming to terms with the fact that I have to allow others to live this out as well…I have to completely let go. I have to let you be affected by our needs and allow you to act upon your convictions. I apologize if I haven’t given you that opportunity so far.
We still need you. While we have come a very long way, a hefty mountain awaits us. Remission is a glorious place to be, but it is not the end. Essentially, we will be required to move to St. Louis for approximately three months. Mitchell’s recovery will require patience and sheer will power – we need to know you will be with us. As of what we know now, the needs we will have (outside of obvious prayer for his recovery and our spirits) begin with where we will stay. The American Cancer Society sponsors the Hope Lodge in which we could stay for free. It, however, is a first-come-first-served sort of community living situation and is a little farther from the hospital – we aren’t sure how that will affect his healing/low immune system. The other option we’re exploring is a fully furnished loft that is directly across the street from the hospital. This is more expensive, but would offer privacy and proximity.
Additionally, our little house will need to be cared for while we’re away. We’ve had gracious offers to mow the lawn, check on the house, etc. We would love to let you do that for us. So, if you want or can do any of the following, please let me know! (You can message me thru Facebook or by tweet on Twitter.)
- care for our flower beds
- tame the hedges (they’re getting pretty rowdy!)
- tweak the mailbox (It doesn’t like to stay shut…this will be a problem if bills come in and we are away.)
- tell us you love us (We can’t hear it too many times…)
- drop us a note, a card, a text message, a call – anything that let’s us know you’re there.
- visit/share our GiveForward site: http://www.giveforward.com/joiedevivre (you can give too!)
- keep asking me for ways to help – I can’t always think of something for you to do on the spot…but something will come up, I promise.
I will try to post other ways that you can help, too, as this process moves along.
HUGS to every single one of you.