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11 Down, 1 More Big One to Go

The first alarm went off at 4:15 in the morning. That is too early for alarms. Even my dog reached over and hit snooze. The second one went off at 4:30. I forced myself to stay awake until the 4:45 and forced myself to throw off the blankets at 4:47.

Twenty minutes later we were out the door. The move from Atlanta to Greenville has added a drive to my treatment days. The first part of part of the drive is easy. But the last 20 miles take over an hour with Atlanta traffic. Hence the alarms that start at 4:15 in the morning.

It feels ominous, being up that early. The only coffee option is the gas station. And I don’t know about you but I’m not a huge fan of how BP roasts their beans. At least their strategy is clear: scald the tongue so you can’t tell how bad it tastes. I got a large, because the only thing worse than how gas station coffee tastes is not having enough of it. Jaimie leaned back in the passenger seat, I pulled onto 85 South and off we went.

This is number 11. I’m sitting here in the chair now. I thought it would get easier the closer I got to the end. It would be second hand. Old hat. But it’s gotten harder. I blamed myself at first: I wasn’t being positive enough, I wasn’t being grateful enough. The truth is this is just hard. It’s hard giving up the time, it’s hard waking up that early, it’s hard sitting in the chair and waiting for the medicine. The medicine itself is hard. A few days before treatment I feel my body flinch. It knows what’s coming and it’s getting itself ready to handle it. The fact that there are only two left is little consolation. It’s like saying you only have two more slaps to the face or only three more years of a Trump presidency. That’s still a lot of pain and suffering to get through.

And the HGTV has just gotten so insufferable. The couple today had a budget of 2.1 million dollars? How is that a thing? Am I so far out of touch that spending 2.1 million on a house is somehow just run of the mill? And the weird thing is this couple looked like normal people. I mean they were Canadian, but other then that there was nothing out of the ordinary. And yet they were spending 2.1 million dollars on a house?? The wife said, “This is the hardest decision we’ve ever had to make,” at the very moment they called me back to get my blood drawn. The doctor was like, “The Avastin is making your blood pressure high” and I was like, “No, it’s just my hatred this couple.”

But the news keeps being good through. My oncologist said that if the tests are good they’ll soon start weening me off chemotherapy. I’ve never wanted to be weened so badly in my life. And people in my life continue to be amazing. They continue to humble me and make me realize that even with three alarms going off before 5am, I’m much luckier than I deserve to be.

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