It was overall a really nice weekend with Andy. At times I took a lot of photos, and then others were more private. We ate sushi, enjoyed football at a local brewing company, went for a long walk along the pedestrian parkway, laughed a lot, bought soft towels at Target for my inpatient hospital stay (NIH towels are not soft), didn’t find the Christmas lights I was looking for (because Christmas lights make everything look better), and spent time socially distancing but hanging out with other NIH patients and their families in the giant kitchen.
Illness can be a really lonely journey for all. Having the opportunity to chat with other NIH folks has always made me feel less alone, like I’m not the only one who has really struggled at times during my life. I was so happy that Andy got to meet and listen to the remarkable stories of other people staying at the Lodge, and also share with them his own experience. Having that connection is a wonderful gift.
This is also the time where I am taking a time out from my post, and just acknowledging how wonderful this man is. It takes a lot of courage and strength to be with someone with health complications . When we first met, I told him that I wasn’t a good idea to date because I was waiting for a bone marrow transplant. He said that was for him to decide.
I carry emotional scars from my marriage and ex; so many of us do. I was hesitant to let Andy in, but he’s shown me what it truly means to love and trust. We share values of kindness, compassion and empathy, and I don’t feel judged. Every day I wake up and choose him, and each day I’m happy, thankful to be on this new journey with him.
OK, enough of that.
I was nervous before my hair appointment – who wouldn’t be? But I also felt very strongly about donating my hair to Wigs for Kids. If I can’t have long hair, or any hair (in the near future) then maybe someone else can. Besides, it’s only a few more days until I loose it all anyway.
In the end, it was OK. My hair is shorter than I like, but temporary. When he saw me, Andy’s eyes lit up. There was a salty kiss with tears mixed in, and then we ate sushi at an outdoor cafe, so it wasn’t all bad. Sushi makes everything better.
Sunday came and went just as quickly as Saturday. The brewery and football game date was fun. It’s just the little stuff that I’m going to miss – those every day moments that paint the picture of our lives. I will cherish these times.
And now it’s Monday. I dropped Andy off at Baltimore-Washington Airport and was back at the Lodge before 6:20 am. Yeah, it was an early morning. Actually, the past two mornings have been early, as I’ve awoken with a jolt of pain. Apparently the line going into my heart does not mix with certain sleeping positions. I’ve kissed stomach sleeping good-bye, but I guess when I tried to roll on my side, the line pulled painfully at my neck…? All I know is when I raise my arms over my head, I can feel my jugular vein move. And taking a full, deep breath of air puts a bit of pressure on the very top part of my lungs.
It’s going to be OK, in the end, this is the right choice for me.
Anyway – I cried again when I said goodbye to Andy. I asked if there was anything I could do to support him – I know it will be hard for him, too – but he said that I just need to, “have a kick ass recovery!” If he can be jazzed about it, then so can I. I was still teary-eyed the entire 40 minutes back to the NIH – love hurts at times, what can I say.
But I’ll leave with this photo – one of those moments that meant a lot to me.