I’d like to think we’ve created a new norm. Prior to diagnosis, we were more than comfortable with life and, as mentioned in our previous post, it was sad to realize those dreams and plans were altered significantly. But, true to our Smith style, we took a day (or seven) to be sad and then declared that we need to move on and create a new normal. Though our aspirations will continuously shift through various phases of our lives, cancer centers and Dr. Birhiray will always be constants. But we are learning, we are pushing, and we are believing that we are going to have an amazing life together beyond this.
I am so happy to be able to share how well treatments are going for Andrew. His body is responding excellently to the chemotherapy, and our doctor couldn’t be more pleased with how “remarkably well” he is doing. But his body’s positive response certainly comes with ugly days. It is a double-edged sword. As the chemotherapy kills all of the bad, it also takes with it the good leaving Andrew with very little to get through the day with. We spend at least four days in the hospital each week and every evening resting in preparation for the next day full of nurses and needles. I won’t lie; it hasn’t been pretty & Andrew is taking a beating. But you know what? Things could be worse & we are incredibly, incredibly blessed.
Last Thursday, Andrew and I were going through the motions of our routine- blood work, wait for two hours for results, office visits, chemotherapy for five hours. I cringe to admit my fatigue that day and Andrew’s concern for me and my lack of sleep and restlessness. In short, it wasn’t our best day. Feeling worn down, we settled into the infusion room with a handful of other chemo patients and began our many glances at the clock to see how much longer this day was going to go on. I couldn’t help but notice that we were sitting across from an older lady sitting through chemotherapy treatment by herself which, naturally, broke my heart. As the afternoon hours went by, we learned that not only was she battling cancer herself, her husband has Parkinson’s disease and the little family she had left lived far away. She went on to discuss difficulty in her day-to-day life with general functions, but not just her own, her husband’s as well. She was carrying this burden alone. After asking if there was anything we could do but learning that she lived too far away for us to help and assist her, she left. I cried. Things could be worse. We are so blessed.
It has been weighing heavy on my heart to challenge readers to take a moment and recognize blessings. We are living and breathing, given another day on this earth! So many are struggling to make it through the days that we so casually wish to pass quickly. Our days and lives are temporary and fleeting, but we are so blessed to have them in the first place.
“The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for.”