I climbed down off the terrible table in the radiation room today, and this “diploma” was laid out for me. Signed by my therapists at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. I first dubbed them “The Radionettes” in this accounting when we began six weeks ago.
They never missed a literal beat, piping in the right music for the right day without a miscue.
To Duke, Jen, Tracy, Kristen, Lisa and Kerry, your words and deeds of encouragement and guidance were unfailing. You’re a class act, and I thank you for helping me to see through the mist. You said be patient, hang in there, steady on, and I’d come out the other side.
Well, I did. Today!
(And it didn’t hurt a bit that you played: “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, your last official act as my radiation therapists and disc jockeys.)
It was unnerving to hear from my inner circle, that at this point (the end of this phase of chemo/radiation), I can expect things to get worse before they get better, for at least two or three weeks. I’m now moving toward restoration of this besieged body, and a reconciliation between me and the occupying force.
Right this minute, I don’t see how this aggravated throat and my chest’s radiation burn could be any worse, but just knowing we made it through, even though there’s more temporary descension ahead, is strangely empowering.
Sure, the idealist side of me thought: last day of chemo and radiation? Presto! Change-O! Healed!
I knew better, of course, but I let my heart do too much of the thinking there, and it beat the crap out of my head.
So, my “diploma” reads:
“… with honors in courage …”
That part belongs to Diane.
More as we go, El
P.S. And, yes, they used “Bradley” in the credits. It’s from another home room assignment long ago, but I’ll still answer to it in a pinch.