December 29, 2020 – SiriusXM is set to B.B. King’s Bluesville. I’m driving east on Neshoba Road, headed to the Germantown Community Library to return several books. The volume’s slightly low, so I’m not really listening. I’m a bit distracted. As I stop at the traffic light on Germantown Parkway, I catch part of the lyrics to We Deserve a Happy Ending by The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. We Deserve...is basically a love song (in spite of the odd music video), but the song’s title sums up exactly my sentiments about 2020 and – most importantly – about my family.
|Men at work.|
A Nice, Simple Christmas
As I said a few moments ago, I was a bit distracted driving to the library. An hour earlier, Zach, our son, hit the road to return to his apartment in Midtown Atlanta. He’s lived and worked in Atlanta for the last three years. It was an emotional goodbye. Zach had been with us for almost eleven days – the most we’ve been together as a family since before Zach graduated from Georgia Tech (2018).
So Christmas 2020 was nice and simple. The four of us were content to hangout
at home and do nothing. We read a lot, played board games, occasionally watched
football, and baked goodies.
|Lazy days together.|
We were in our own little world, and I love it. Pandemic or not, I love the time we spent together as a family unit. It reinforced how special our being together truly is and how fortunate we are.
‘Tis the Season
The holidays always bring out a little melancholy in me, but this year was different. Maybe it was having both Emily and Zach at home for an extended period of time. Maybe it was the realization that every holiday season the four of us spend together is a gift and I should cherish it. Maybe it’s also the reality that as our kids get older, eventually, our time spent together will change or diminish. Who knows?
|‘Tis the Season|
What I do know is that I wouldn’t trade spending the past several weeks – going back to Thanksgiving – with Vicki and the kids for anything.
You can have your Caribbean cruises, your Disney World excursions, your time at the beach, et al. I’ll take my family time…all the time. My family deserves everything I can give them…and time is the one thing I can still give them. I wish I could give them more of it.
We Deserve a Happy Ending
Everyone deserves a happy ending after everything we’ve endured in 2020. Vicki and the kids are no exception. Frankly, dealing with cancer is tiresome – physically, mentally, and emotionally. It’s draining. It’s draining for everyone involved, especially family and loved ones.
We’ve been through a lot, and 2020 presented us with new challenges and new worries (see The Verdict Is In). I simply want a happy ending for Vicki, Emily, and Zach.
Health Update: Immunotherapy Blues
It’s 7:15 Christmas Eve morning. I’m waiting on the third floor of the West Cancer Center for my lab work. My three-week infusion schedule landed on December 24th. It’s quiet in here. Empty. Kind of eerie. I’ve never seen it so empty.
But I’m not alone. Emily is here with me. I’m thankful for that.
This is my fifth infusion of Keytruda. While my December 3rd lab results showed that my internal organs are tolerating this immunotherapy treatment (see ‘Some Pretty Good News‘), the side effects are getting the better of me.
Fatigue, tiredness, sore and weary muscles, aches and pains, constant itchiness, and neuropathy in my hands and joints. Not fun. Not fun at all. Like I mentioned a moment ago, having cancer is a drain – not only on the patient, but on those around him.
|Ready for 2020 to end.|
But if it keeps me going…allows me to spend more time with my family…then I’ll put up with it.
Maybe someday I’ll have a happy ending.
Happy New Year to everyone. Thanks, as always, for listening.
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