Last night we were privileged to spend some time with a unique bunch of people. Deena, a friend we’ve made through our common medical situation, hosted a party for people with similar experiences as us. Yes, a cancer party. And it was fabulous!
We met loads of super nice people, some survivors, some caregivers. It was quite an eclectic group of folks including one wonderful woman who, when Maggie said she was Stage IV shouted “Alright!” while pumping her fists in the air in comradic victory. It’s difficult to describe the unspoken unity of the group. Everyone had a story to tell and everyone wanted to listen. It was truly an welcoming environment.
Late in the evening, Maggie was complaining about being hot. First, a little background since I haven’t been writing as much lately because of school: Maggie’s been wearing her wig almost all the time lately. Since she’s now a fancy-pants lawyer she feels that it’s good to not appear “sick.” Apparently being bald equates to appearing sick. I’ll keep that in mind next time I shave my head. That might explain the fear I see in old lady’s and small children’s eyes when they see me. Maybe.
Back to last night, Maggie was complaining about being hot. I suggested for her to go sans wig. Of all places and times I could think of Deena’s party was a safe place. And so she did! It was great. Of course, she’s not quite so bald anymore. Covering her head now is a nice dark cover of soft, short fluff. Ssssslllllooooooowwwwllllllly it’s all growing back.
Also attending the party was Bill Bastas, a gentleman who, in an effort to find meaning in the passing of his wife, Michelle, from breast cancer, published the book The Smile Never Fades: Compelling Essays by Breast Cancer Survivors. He’s now working on a follow-up book about caregivers. He had been recommended to talk to me by a few people at the party, apparently. Oddly enough, when he briefly asked me about my role as caregiver, it really upset me. Actually, it’s upsetting me as I type this and I’m not sure why. One of the things I learned in my Life of Meaning class at Acton was that where there’s discomfort there’s tremendous learning opportunities. While most people run away, the lucky few turn to explore and are rewarded with further insight into their own psyche. So… I guess if I really want a good grade in that class I’ll have to spend some time exploring these unexpected emotions. Maggie, despite my reactions, gave him this web site address and my contact info.
Today’s Spa Visit went smoothly, if not a little long. We arrived at noon and left at 6PM. Yikes. They were running a little behind which is very, very unusual. Maggie’s new FOLFOX treatment takes a while – about 4+ hours depending on the details. She slept. I studied (at least until I fell asleep, too.)
Tonight we dine with friends at our favorite restaurant 3 Forks.