On my desk on Wednesday, directly after third period sat a box. The top was covered in orange construction paper and colored pocka-dotted bulletin board borders. This box could only be from one group of people…teachers. When I opened it, hand-cut construction hearts surrounded goodies to take with me to chemo. My beautiful colleagues and friends had read my first chemo blog post. They took the list of things I bring to chemo and made sure I would never run out of things to do and play with.
The thing is, I can say thank you for this all day long. I can hug them and tell them how much this meant to me. But words are not sufficient in relating how much this touched me. Cancer is isolating. Even with the outpouring of love and support, I am the only one going through this in this moment. And chemo is boring. I, like my mother, don’t sit still well. I like to be up and active and doing something. Having puzzles and games and coloring books not only made it feel like all of these people were in the room with me, but made the chemo go by in an instant. And then I got to come home and make a cup of South African tea, a gift from our receptionist.
These gift made me laugh and think and ponder and appreciate. They made the process feel normal. They made me feel normal and silly and challenged (especially trying out the books in Spanish). It was exactly what I needed at exact time I needed it.
I was nervous this time around. I had had minimal reactions to the last chemo and the back of my mind said, “this is going to be the one that destroys you. You ain’t seen nothing yet.” But this box made that dark cloud vanish. I was going to do some puzzles, learn some Spanish, wear some silly sock, and kick cancer’s ass!
So thank you, from the bottom of my heart, my friends. Thank you for loving me and helping me through this. You are fairies on earth touching my heart and healing my wounds. Vamo’ Arriba!