Every six hours I awaken to a schedule of medications designed to help my recovery from surgery. Pain meds. Anti-seizure meds. Steroids to prevent swelling. Vitamins. All that good stuff to help me heal. But as I sit up to take those medicines, the thought occurs to me that while these help the healing from surgery, they do nothing to change the reality of the cancer.
Yesterday was a day of great reflection and communication with those I love. In some ways, it was just sweet to tell family members and friends how much they meant to me, and to feel their love. In other ways, I felt like I had my own personal "Make-A-Wish Foundation". I wept as my mother described a plan hatched among relatives to ensure that there will be some amazing family trips in the coming year. Disneyworld with the kids. Manhattan at Thanksgiving. Things we would love to do to build happy, lasting memories together, because memories matter. I am so excited! Additional promises were given to help support the children and make sure they have the care they will need in my absence. A cousin called with a promise of Lance Armstrong's book, because it is an inspiring account of someone who beat the odds. And my brother called from New York to announce that he will be coming to visit during the week before Christmas! As I shared my excitement with him, a friend dropped off two heavenly plates of candy, and the scouts came by with caroling and cookies. This was after the typical day of extraordinary help with meals and childcare and driving from kind friends from our church. We are so blessed. Kinda makes the whole brain cancer thing somewhat fun!
I begged one of my dear friends from high school for a copy of a poem she read when her grandfather died. I remembered a few snippets from it, but she was kind enough to send me the whole thing. Here it is:
So let me live that when I die,
A tear will come to every eye.
In every heart there'll be a spot,
An empty place where I am not.
So let me live that when I’m gone,
Kind thoughts of me will linger on.
And folks will say, with grief inside,
I sort of wish she hadn’t died.
I pulled up another quote from Benjamin Franklin - one that is displayed at Twelve Oaks in my favorite movie, "Gone With the Wind":
"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of."