On April 12 I had a surgery to remove a mass from my right testicle. Our focus immediately following that was of recovering from that surgery, but that soon enough turned into a mad dash. On the day it was confirmed to be cancer, it launched us into a barrage of pre-chemo checkups, notifying family and close friends, and preparing ourselves as best we could with our jobs, volunteer activities, and side hustles. This carried over into the first week of chemo, getting to the hospital first thing every morning, and trying to have some semblance of normal in the evening. Then we got to last week.
Things Slowed Down
Last week we only had to visit Sanford on Monday. That suddenly opened the rest of the week to realize what was going on in our lives and those around us. Cancer is happening. Work is happening. People are graduating. School is wrapping up. Summer plans are being made. Cancer is happening.
We had been driving forward pretty hard, doing what the doctors told us, heeding the advice of fellow cancer fighters, preparing for all of the things that could happen but hopefully wouldn’t. Suddenly, there was a little more time in the day to process. Last week there were lots of tears. Last week there were lots of long hugs. Last week there was lots of mindlessly staring into nothing. Last week reality visited in a new way.
Tiah and I are both creative people and stay busy with a variety of things. We get into projects we believe in, helping people take their next steps, and get so much joy when the projects are successful and we get to see the results of the hours of work put in. We also appreciate the projects that bring fair compensation for our efforts. For those of you working on the creative side of projects, you already know there is a lot of frustration in the middle of the process. Repeated changes to information that could’ve have been delivered ready to go the first time. Sudden changes to timelines that were put in place weeks ago. Last minute visions that are incredible and we want to make happen, but would get done so much better if used for the same event a year later. I have spent a lot of time in my life pleading with people to tell me what they need sooner than the day before they need it. Or worse, having to tell them what they need, because they have no clue what is required to make it happen. Most people don’t realize that EU regulations for websites can apply in America (hence, the cookie notice). It’s a globalized world we live in.
So for Tiah, this is a tough time. I am so proud of her for pursuing her fitness goals, but it’s been more of a challenge the past few weeks as our ‘normal’ blew up. She has some creative deadlines to hit this week, which would be easier during a full chemo week, as the surprisingly distraction free Infusion Center at Sanford helps her be productive. This is on top of her regular work duties, a few things she is working on for me (more on this soon!), and whatever unexpected things pop up. She also worries about things, which affects her sleep. I think she’s slept better the last few days, but hasn’t really had a good night of rest in several weeks. Please pray that she gets some deep REM cycles in.
Love What You Do
Don’t take this as a ‘woe is me’ post. People don’t understand the time and effort that may be required for something they see as simple, and while frustrating, we get it. We’re the people that make things happen. Sometimes it has meant I’m mopping a floor at 2 am before I reset a stage. Sometimes it means Tiah is searching for the perfect image or font while we’re driving down the interstate. We can be incredibly frustrated and still love what we do (but really, try to help us out).
So this week is busier again. Tiah has all of her stuff, and I’m working on things as I can (please let the nausea continue to not be a problem). Next week will be another full week of chemo. But somewhere in our future lies another slow period. There will be more tears, more long hugs, more processing. It’s all part of the journey. Because life doesn’t stop when you have cancer. It looks different, but things still have to get done. As a sales guy it makes me nervous, the last 8 months of work come to fruition in the next 4, and I am not able to carry some things to the end zone in the way I desire. But life goes on. This is a season. I intend to sit in a tractor and pull a grain cart again (farm kid blood never dies). I plan to enjoy a S’mores Blizzard before the summer is over. I want to set up and operate all the tech for many events, many years down the road. But right now it’s tough. And last week it felt very real.