Saturday, February 28, 2015

Spring is Coming

It’s March now and that makes me believe that spring is nearby. Today we did a three-mile walk that went up and down some little hills.  We were huffing and puffing while we kept up a pretty good pace. As we made the turn to come back home I said to John, “Do you remember the summer after your first surgery; you could not walk from our front door to the car?” 

And he did remember. It’s a shock still, how that cutting into flesh and being sewn back together took away so much strength so fast. He looked the same but could not walk at all. 

Now we hike and snowshoe and do yoga and dance, and we push each other to do more.

That first summer of chemo changed so many things: no movies, no malls, no grocery stores. Even a tiny bit of air-conditioned air caused excruciating pain, and he would choke when cold air hit his throat. He couldn’t even open the refrigerator door without a jolt of pain from the cold air. I had to learn to cook, and sister Susan had to be my cooking sponsor. 

That turned out to be one of the big gifts of Cancer Land—I learned to cook, and I learned that I liked to cook, and I learned I could be a good cook. Who knew I had that in me?

But that spring when it all began was so shocking and crazy. 

I think about this today as we hike and then dance around the living room and get dressed to go out for dinner. So many things changed. We grew from them and with them. I know that isn’t everyone’s path. Sometimes cancer ends relationships as well. It can be too much. The coping mechanisms don’t mesh, or the fear is paralyzing. No one can be blamed for that. It can be just too hard sometimes. 

So tonight while I feel spring coming, I also feel gratitude and grace.

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