In December of last year, I’m as sick as I’ve ever been, laying in bed and scrolling through Facebook. As I’m scrolling, two bands that I adore post that they are playing a show in New York in July. Holy smokes, my two favs, in one arena, to benefit hunger, we gotta go. But here’s the kicker… I’ve got cancer and I’m just starting chemo and I have no idea what July 2015 is going to look like. At that point, I knew I would have finished chemo, had surgery, but had no idea about radiation or how I would be feeling.
I share with Jason and pretty sure the word “epic” was thrown in. And we talked about how cool it would be to be there. We trudge through the rest of December and the first of January while the Red Devil flowed through my veins hopeful that it was making my cancer shrink and disappear. There wasn’t a lot of light at the end of the tunnel at this point. Hell, I couldn’t see the end of the tunnel.
January 16th rolls around and Jason comes downstairs from working and says, “I bought the tickets. And baby, if we can go then we’ll go. But if not, don’t worry about it. But we have them if you feel like going.” I just sat there and cried. Oh my god, I love this man. And he’s doing all he can to bring a smile to my face.
Fellow survivors told me to find things to look forward to. And I did along the way. I found little things and big things. But I didn’t want much planned, because I never knew how I was going to be feeling from day to day. But this, we planned.
At the end of chemo, Jason bought our train tickets to New York. They were refundable, just in case.
So we were finally on our way this past Friday. We boarded the train, found some seats and I looked out the window and cried just a few tears. Those tears of relief again. I’m overwhelmed that I’m here and that we made it through this whole unbelievable process. That we are actually going to New York, that we are going to this concert.
For me this was a big milestone. This was our first planned fun event. Jason and I absolutely love live music. It’s good for your soul. To listen, to dance, to sing along, to enjoy and to watch those creative souls creating beautiful music on stage, doing what they love and sharing it with us.
A couple months prior to this trip, Jason was in touch with my favorite band, The John Butler Trio, who was opening on Saturday night. They were lovely and gracious and arranged for some time for us to meet John. I’ve listened to and loved his music for a long time. There is one song, “Spring to Come”, however, that I couldn’t bring myself to listen to during treatment. Because literally, that’s what I was doing. Waiting, for what seemed like an eternity, for spring to come. But it finally did and here we are and I can listen to that song again.
We’ve seen them live whenever we can and he is an insanely talented artist. Meeting him was really great, such a nice person. But knowing that I was meeting him, because I had cancer, made me tear up a few times beforehand. It was a lovely moment and such a sweet gift from Jason to me.
We bought last minute tickets and went to the show Friday night, as well as Saturday night. We danced. We sang. We laughed. And we smiled. When I was tired and needed to rest, I sat, bobbed my head and sang along. My legs hurt Saturday night, but I kept on dancing. I Kept. On. Dancing. I haven’t danced since last November. And I was hell bent that cancer and fatigue after treatment wasn’t going to keep me from enjoying that moment. And it didn’t. Small steps to happiness in this post-cancer-treatment world we are in now.
While boarding our train home, I briefly saw my wonderful oncologist boarding the same train. With quick hellos, we headed to different train cars and I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. I didn’t see her in her office, I saw her after a wonderful weekend in NYC, with my wonderful husband, where we actually had fun.
From this moment, I plan to keep on dancing, not really giving a shit what I look like or if I’m in rhythm to the music or not. To continue to listen and be inspired. To revel in my own creativity and not let fear hold me back anymore. And I hope you do the same. I really, really, really hope you do the same.