It’s early morning New Year’s day, and I can’t fall back asleep after walking Otis in the pouring rain for the third time since last night. The poor little fella has a bad case of the runs, and the last two nights have been mostly sleepless for me, anticipating him jumping on the bed, staring at me and panting loudly to let me know he has to go out NOW.
The New Year tends to be a sentimental time, a feeling made more pronounced by the extraordinary highs and lows of the last year. Jacqui and I have such mixed feelings about 2006. It was certainly a difficult year. Delymphomatization scared us at first, and then tested our mettle individually and as a couple–a test I am happy to report we passed with flying colors. Jacqui, Otis, and I (and now Sophia) are strong, we found new ways to work together as a family, and are more in love today than we were when this nonsense started. But it is not a process I would wish even on my worst enemy. The uncertainties of cancer are haunting, and even with the hope that we now know the future holds for us, lymphoma will be our companion for many years to come. It will probably be a decade until we can rest easy, knowing that we have slain this beast forever.
Despite all of this, 2006 is the year that gave us the miracle Sophia. And when we look at her– adorable, innocent, and constantly filling diapers–we know that no matter what went wrong in 2006, so much went right. The cycles of life have a way of balancing themselves out, and Sophia reminds us of that every day.
The next few months will again be difficult, made more complicated by the arrival of Sophia. But if the last chemo cycle is any indication of what is to come, it won’t be that bad. Neutropenic fevers are more bark than bite, and I’ve discovered the magical powers of zofran and compazine.
Finally, I have all of you out there to thank for helping to make all of this so much easier than it could have been–you, my family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, who have followed my progress on these pages, checking in periodically with me personally to let me know that you are out there thinking of us, visiting me in the hospital, helping out Jacqui, coming to take care of me while I am recovering at home, sending get well cards, etc. That has made such a difference in all of this. And for that I can only say thank you. Happy. Healthy. Peaceful. New. Year.
I want to share with you a few of the New Year’s resolutions I’ve been cooking up the last few days. I hope to hold to as many of these as I can, most especially the first one.
I resolve to be lymphoma-free in 2007.
I resolve not to call Otis derogatory names and threaten to ship him off to the nearest ASPCA when he has the runs and I am forced to walk him repeatedly in the middle of the night.
I resolve to do my part–write letters, make phone calls, support progressive candidates any way I can, etc.–in holding our political leaders accountable for their misdeeds which include lying to the American public, war profiteering, ignoring Supreme Court rulings, trampling the Constitution, etc. etc. etc.
I resolve not to refer to Sophia as Squirmin’ Merman when she is 17 years old and her boyfriend shows up at the house.
I resolve to do everything I can to repay Jacqui, Sophia, and Otis for the heartache I put them through in 2006 and early 2007 because of being treated for the aforementioned lymphoma. This includes but is not limited to extra clean-up duties around the house, being personal chef to aforementioned parties, making sure to schmear Jacqui’s cream cheese properly on her bagels each morning and never making fun of her for the (bizarre) way in which she prepares her bagels, being the person-in-charge of changing poopy diapers, making sure to sing songs, play music, dance, make funny faces so that the changing of poopy diapers can be as pleasant as possible (this, of course, excludes all music written and/or recorded by The Wiggles whom Sophia has banned from this house), taking Otis on long hikes, etc., etc., etc.