He’s back

He’s back

I wasn’t sure if I was going to see my Brian again. I wondered what this treatment was doing. 

But today, my Brian was back. The sparkle in his eye. The cadence of voice. Robust sarcasm. 

He’s still tired and spending more time in bed, but he’s here. 

When you’ve never seen someone go through cancer treatment up close, much less chemoradiation therapy, you don’t know what getting better looks like. 

Death. It looks like steps towards death, not healing. It’s cruel and has a ferocious bite to it, thwarting the opportunity to do much other than survive. The days after treatment can be horrible to watch. 

The only thing I can modestly compare it to is when my son fractured his wrist in 7th grade. We were at the hospital the week after the incident and they were applying his cast. I took a picture. He had a huge smile. The second after I snapped the shot, this technician took the fractured area with both of his hands and quickly twisted the wrist back into place. It was such a shock to us both. No one told us it needed to be reset or what that meant. 

It was better not to know. There was no dread. No anxiety over something that must be done. 

Cancer treatment is the same. If you had any inclination how horrific it would be, it wouldn’t help. Treatment begins too quickly to train for it, build up your body.

Brian called it the quadruple flu. That might be the best explanation. And it’s not the vomit type flu. It’s the one that you think might be a cold and then there’s fever and next is bedridden for days. That flu, times four.

After radiation Thursday we saw Brian’s radiation oncologist. While there is no normal reaction to treatment, all of the symptoms Brian had during the week related back to chemo. Which was good news, sort of. 

Chemo was just 24 hours away. So today, we enjoy normality, content not knowing what tomorrow will bring. 

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