It's Chemo Eve. Not as festive as Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve, but it's in the forefront of my mind. And unlike other festive occasions, where I turn down offers of the traditional cocktail (good thing, since I need all the good brain cells that I can keep), this time I will be having a cocktail - a mixture of special chemotherapy drugs that sound like a stark contrast to the "easy" Temodar that I was taking before. So... tomorrow I'll raise my IV bag and make a toast to the new chapter in this scary story.
We continued my husband's birthday celebration over the weekend. Part of it included some shopping, where I found a cute little "tooth fairy" box for my son. He'll be six in March, and he is excited about the possibility that he might soon start to get wiggly teeth that fall out.
And of course, since everything is a life analogy when I have my cancer glasses on, it occurred to me that our earthly existence is like having baby teeth.
I received a body when I was born, and I leave it behind when I die. This whole cancer thing is just about my body. It's not about ME. And besides, I already knew that this isn't even supposed to be my permanent body. It's like the baby teeth that we knew would eventually fall out. My body is the temporary, trial model that I get to use for a little while here until it wears out/gets flattened by a truck/chokes on something/whatever. I may get a little wiggly at first, and then -- out. Jared won't have to put me under his pillow, but he will get a settlement from the life insurance fairy.
And when all that happens, I'll still be ME - just waiting for my permanent body and hanging out in a different place and looking forward to being reunited with my family someday. My permanent, resurrected body will never get cancer, it will never die, and we'll just hope that it will also be cellulite-free. As Job said, "though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God."
Even so, I don't exactly view my demise with the same enthusiasm that my son gives to his "tooth fairy" box. As much as we recognize the necessarily temporary nature of life, and how it fits into the permanent plan, we still reverence and respect and try to protect life. We don't try to wiggle out of it early, like a kid will do with a loose tooth. I have a good life, and I want it to last as long as possible. But since we all must face our mortality at some point, it is comforting to realize how it fits into the grand scheme of things. It's just temporary, like baby teeth. It's just a body that is programmed to wear out, break, and die. It's just my body that is in danger. It's not ME.