There was a time in my life when vacation looked a certain way. It usually involved a plane, some place warm and if I was lucky, the beach. Last week I got a vacation that looked nothing like that and yet it was, by far, the best vacation I have ever had. It was a vacation to our normal life.
I drove home late Tuesday afternoon following the Stem Cell Harvest to be with Carter the night before Kindergarten. Izzy, being the rock star that she is, got to come home Wednesday because she set a hospital record with her harvest. They have never gotten as many stem cells in one collection as they did from Izzy that day. And rightfully so, she had places to be. She and daddy made it home in time for all of us to surprise Carter and pick him up from school together.
We spent five normal days home like a family. The kids road bikes, played outside in the perfect weather and Izzy got to swing. She didn’t have hair to blow in the wind like the little girls in my picture but I didn’t care. I soaked in each and every moment as I would the sunshine of any vacation. For a moment it was almost as if there was no cancer.
But yesterday I woke up with that feeling you get on your last day of vacation. As I lay in bed watching the ceiling fan spin, I wanted desperately for it to slow down. I feared it would move the day too quickly. I wanted the chain to slow down the speed of the day with the speed of the fan. For the record, the day did feel like it went on forever, I’m just not so sure it was worth it. Like the last day of any vacation it was bittersweet from start to finish. It went from feelings of joy from whatever was happening to feelings of sadness that it was about to end. And that same cycle happened over and over again all day. And then, in that not so perfect way, when everything just falls apart at the same time and the laundry is messed up and everyone is crying…it ended. So here I sit now in a hospital room two hours away from fifty percent of our family again. I don’t know exactly how to do the math on that one, but somehow it adds up to something negative.
Izzy hated the feeding tube in her nose. She wasn’t eating or drinking and screamed when we gave her meds so I requested they remove it. Today they did a surgery to place one directly into her stomach. We’ll wait until Wednesday to start this week’s chemo because it. Hopefully we’ll be headed home by Sunday. This is the start of week seven. Week seven of one hundred. As the weeks go by things will only get harder. I can only hope we get a vacation every now and then.