“I think once I’ve had that Benedryl it’ll be good-night”
“Good night, Irene!” replied my nurse today at chemo.
“How did you know that song?” I asked her feeling rather stunned.
“It just came to me”, she stated. “Why?”
“Just before you came in the room, I focused on my Mom’s Christmas sweater that I was wearing. And then I imagined that she was with me – taking care of me. When you sang that song – I knew she was here because she used to sing that song to me. I will dream about her tonight, I know it.” I explained.
And so went the day today. It was a very unusual day all around. We, my family and I, had initially planned to be in Cuba for Christmas as we had been the year before. But that didn’t happen. My family and I, instead, were in the hospital – together – while I received my chemo. Unusual. I was supposed to be in a chair in the chemo suite. Instead I had a private room and a bed. Unusual. We were supposed to be having racklette (sp?) for dinner. Instead, we had pizza and Chinese food. Unusual. There were many new traditions set today – including the family reading of “The Night Before Christmas” which we were gifted this morning by a very dear friend.
My sister-in-law, Rita, spent the day trying to chase down medication I need for Boxing Day and vacuuming the house. My mother-in-law spent time on her hands and knees scrubbing the floors so they would be clean when we came home from the hospital. Our friends dropped off gifts to the front door, messaged us on facebook, phoned us, dropped by RVH on her day off for a visit… and it went on and on. The magnitude of kindness people showed our family today was humbling.
I made it through the chemo well and, once again, count my blessings.
I didn’t think, when I received my diagnosis in September, that I would even see Christmas. I thought it was a death sentence. Yet – here we are – celebrating Christmas and I feel so much better than I had felt all summer. I feel hopeful and thankful.
The greatest gift anyone could receive this Christmas is the realization of how beautiful life can really be. Kevin and I both purposefully breathed this morning as we walked and really looked at what we were seeing in the moment. It was glorious and time stood still for a while.
Right now, though, Irene awaits in my dreams.