Last Christmas I was still hopeful for a cure. We were ending my first line of incredibly aggressive treatment which was very strong chemo, internal and external radiation. By time Christmas approached I was an absolute shell of a person. Completely ravaged by the poison we were trying to use to save me. Unable to really walk, plagued but such incredible pain and weakness I ended up being admitted to the hospital a few days before Christmas with neutropenia/fever/severely low blood pressure and lets call it the most intense diarrhea/intestinal pain I’d ever experienced.
I did have private room while they ruled out c-diff, but once that was off the table they stuck me with a room mate. A thin curtain separating me, and her beautiful family that was visiting…. all day. Which was lovely, but 3 ft away I had a commode that I was literally using every 3 mins as I was not able to make it to a bathroom (and to be honest half the time to the commode!). My insides were on literal fire and I was in so much pain, and my bowels were loud and I found it hard to hold back the cries/moans! SO EMBARRASSING! (And I don’t embarrass easily folks.) That room mate ended having the FLU so she was transferred and I got another older gentlemen with less family so slightly less embarrassing.
Christmas Eve, after my loved ones had left I just pictured getting drugged and falling asleep the best I could. Trying to forget the heartache of my kids waking up without Mama on Christmas. Ryersyn devastated by this development. I had finally been given a pain killer that was not making me puke and giving real relief. Everything went quiet on the floor. It was kinda eerie actually. But I could hear someone inquiring about a good place to “set something up”. About an hour later, I’m sitting on my “throne” and a solo violinist starts playing Silent Night right outside my room. So I sit, on a commode with the most depressing solo violinist playing a half hr long concert and I’m weirdly high from the magic injection they gave me and it’s kinda just the most surreal memory. I can chuckle at it now. But wow, it was a very very low place in my journey.
Now as I awake on Christmas Eve. My most very favourite day of the year. I’m home. Taking it in. Knowing I’ll be here for Christmas. The drastic chasm between this and the last. The steroids I’m taking are starting to wain a bit, my energy levels are dropping, digestion issues are creeping back in and I’m starting to have some pain that in interfering a bit with quality of life a bit- but I’m well enough to be up. I’m well enough to laugh and enjoy this time with my family. Although the cancer is far worse than it was a year ago at Christmas, my practical physical and mental health are just in a better place. Despite the loss of hope, my heart and mind are lighter. Happier. Fuller. Just taking in my family and friends this holiday season could quite literally make my heart explode with pure joy. I have such contentment. Beside my health, I have everything a girl could ask for.
Oh…. and my kids may also have everything they ever wanted and more because although Mommy is never about the material side of Christmas I may have thrown a bit “fuck it” up and the air and just maybe went over board with the online shopping during my insomnia hours of 2am every night?! The kids are at the absolute perfect age right now. Ry doesn’t seem to be “questioning” anything yet at 9.5, and the twins are just hilariously into all things Elfie and Santa. It’s truly a magical place in our house right now.
I will spend the better part of the day basking in the glory of wrapping paper being strewn around for hours, giggles of delight of my kids getting spoiled.
I hope that within the craziness of the next few days you’re all able to find contentment in the gift that is togetherness.
So much love and a very Merry Christmas!!
My guardian photographer angel showed up to take these stunning shots at my home days before Christmas. Words cannot express how very thankful I am to Anita Windsor from Creative Inspitarions for so genreoulsy giving her time and talent to help perserve my legacy.