Summer is in full swing at the Garnett household, and our days are a near-constant blur of activities and adventures: parks, farms, hikes, picnics, play dates, and a more-than-is-necessary number of trips to Target. It feels so good to engage with my son each way in ways that are special and meaningful, and it is not lost on me that I am very fortunate to have the energy to (try to) keep up with him.
I am on the last week of Ibrance cycle 6, and this cycle has been the first cycle (so far) that has not carried with it any major secondary issue: rashes, sinus infections, headaches, or anything else new and frustrating. I have my third PET scan next week, and I am beginning to feel anxious about it. What if there is progression? Will I lose the quality of life that I am so fortunate to enjoy these days? Am I running myself too ragged trying to keep up with a two year old each day? (Answer to the last question: that is why my house always has lots and lots of coffee.) I’m generally less anxious in the days leading up to the scan, and more so afterward waiting for the results. Time will tell where the chips fall, I suppose.
In some significant ways, we are settling into our new normal. Last summer, we spent hours and hours researching and house-hunting, packing and organizing, anxiously awaiting all of the change that was to come in the next few months. The summer prior to that, we were navigating our first year of Felix’s life, encountering new life as parents and a family of three. The year before that, we were growing a baby, and, upon closer examination, the trend of change continues the further back I look. We have lived in our house for nearly a year. Our son is growing and thriving, and we are finding our way. It can sometimes be more difficult for me to recognize that things are ok, particularly after periods of intensity, challenge, and upheaval. I recognize the transient nature of that okay-ness, and yet, am starting appreciate the gift of a new course. How fortunate are we to have opportunities to travel waters completely uncharted to us, to cast aside expectations and wishes for a completely new course? So much of what has transpired over the past few months has created a life I never would have expected, but, few, if any people, I think, live the lives they expect. In many ways, there is a beauty, and an excitement to be found in that. Yes, even when that life includes a cancer diagnosis.