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Day 32: Ringing the Bell

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Getting up and out of the house was easy this morning. It was a big day!

As Eddie, Mike, Carl and I made our way to Baltimore, I flashed back to seeing the three of them in my neurological intensive care room three years ago. These amazing men are everything. They’re the ever-present, always strong, caring and supportive. They’re at there of my incredible support network of friends and family who have been there day in and day out. From surprise quiches and gluten-free muffins for quick an easy breakfasts; cartoons, cards, and oodles of magazines to inspiration and humor, to delectably tasty treats; texts, calls and playdates with the twins, I am truly beyond lucky.

I had come to expect the drive up at this early hour to be quick and easy.  Today was no different. We arrived as planned to find Bob and Donna already in the waiting room.  They were in early for Bob’s first treatment of the day–he’s one of the really lucky ones who gets to do this whole radiation thing twice a day. Can you imagine? Anyway, Bob’s treatment was in process, but Donna was their in the waiting room with two smiley-faced happy balloons. She picked them up so the twins would have reason to celebrate today too. How great is that?

My treatment team was running a little late, but I was called on back for treatment number 32 just after 9am.

The entire morning felt ceremonial. It was it as if everything had its moment; its significance. Yet, nothing other then my excitement was really any different from the 31 treatments before. That was until I heard the unlocking of the ninth and final clasp of my mask as I was unlocked from the treatment table. That was the biggest relief. It represented independence. Independence from this schedule, the drive, the treatments, from not knowing how I’d feel or if I would even have the energy to tackle any sort of work task. Or stay awake beyond 7:30pm for that matter.

While the unlocking of that final clasp was freedom, the results of radiation take time. It could be two or three years before the full effects, positive or negative, will truly be known. Progress is measured with quarterly MRIs and routine blood work.

Fear not, my confidence remains high. This will work. This feeling of independence will continue. Until that’s confirmed, we wait.

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