|Two of Josh's favorite nurses, Sherrel from Coon Mem. Hosp and Lori from BSA|
This morning I awoke with many conflicting emotions racing through my mind. We have eagerly anticipated this last round of chemo. It marks a potential end to a long and wearying journey. So much has happened in what feels like the longest six months of our lives.
This last round of chemo has been unusual in that it is in two parts. Last week we checked Josh into BSA, the day after Christmas, for the first three days of chemo. Then, they sent us home for four days of rest for Josh. Today he will return for the final three days of chemo.
He has felt very good the last couple of days. We are seeing signs of the, “Old Josh”, the “Pre-cancer”, Josh. He has been full of life, even, at times ornery. He is ready to get past this part of his life, to close this chapter and get on to the next. We are even beginning to tentatively plan an, “End of Chemo/18th Birthday” party for him.
Yet, before we jump too far ahead, we must get through these last three days of chemo and all that entails. He will, once again, loose his hair that has just begun to come in. His energy will disappear along with the nearly constant mischievous look in his eyes. The, “yucky feeling”, will return along with the threat of fever and infection. The ever-present fear of the past dark valleys will wake us with a jolt in the early morning hours.
As we enter this final faze, we know we do not enter alone. Even if we must enter the dark valley, we know that others will faithfully walk it with us. We are so aware that this has not been just, “Josh’s journey”, or even, “the Walton’s journey”. We know that it has been a journey that our dear friends and family, our church and our community have walked as well. Our existing friendships have grown deeper and we have made some new friends along the way. Our eyes have been opened to things and people we have not known before.
While we are anxious to, “get on with our lives”, we never want to go back to where we were. Our knowledge and understanding of our Heavenly Father has grown richer than we ever thought possible. We have also found a preciousness to life we did not know existed prior to this journey. We want never to take this life we have been given for granted. Each day is a gift granted to us by our Creator. We feel an urgency to live each day to it’s fullest for we are not guaranteed another.