I did survive my first chemo treatment – side effects and all. Yes, I am tired. Yes, I am nauseated. Yes I am cold and feel like I have the never ending flu. It stinks, yet through it all I survived.
My mom keeps saying that I’ve been a trooper. My nephew is a trooper. He spent a year in Afghanistan praying that his unit would be safe. My dad and my father-in-law were troopers. Both served in the US Army and both were in Korea after the war. Actually, their tours were served one right after the other (I can never remember who was there first though). So I have a problem with being called a trooper.
My dad was a trooper. I’ve been thinking alot about him today. The last 9 years of his life, he battled MRSA, pneumonia, congestive heart failure, a heart attack (in Hawaii no less) and a final battle with MRSA that he lost. He never met his youngest grandson. And while I know it, I never got to hear a final “I love you and I’m proud of you.”
So I wonder, would Daddy say I’m a trooper now? Would he be proud of the way I’m handling this ugly mess of an illness? The one that causes my husband sleepless nights, my sons an incredbile stress to see a sick mom, my mom hours of worry, and my fear that I will overtax my friends’ invitations to help us out? Would he say “I’m so very proud of you. Keep fighting. You just need to take it as it comes.” Or would he say, “C’mon daughter. Step it up. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. It doesn’t do you or anyone else any good.”
I’m thinking he would do a little of both, depending on the situation. I was very fortunate that I was a stay at home mom or a student for most of my dad’s illness. I got to spend a lot of time with him once he retired. We were always close, but got closer. He was there to support me and give me a lecture when needed. I will never forget getting home from our flight from Boston with Kyle after leaving Russia. My mom and my sister-in-law ran to greet John and Kyle, while my daddy ran to meet me. It was surreal. He had been waiting so long for a grandson, but his first reaction was to hug me.
So am I a trooper? I guess it depends who you ask. Somedays I feel like a trooper, marching along through this journey called ovarian cancer and others I melt into a puddle of tears. I’ve realized as I’ve written this that there is no normal in my life, there is only right this minute and how I feel. Right now, I feel like a trooper.