Karen had her second treatment on Monday and the side effects followed suit with the first week. Nausea and achy, but still in her words, manageable. Still hard for me to be an onlooker with nothing more to do than wait.
Chemo is all about waiting. For each treatment, it’s about a six hour process, with most of that time spent waiting. Waiting on the doctor, waiting on the blood work, waiting on the IV to drip. Seems like I have been in this position many times before.
I remember the process of beginning to plan our restaurant five years ago. Sure there was a lot of work to be done, but there felt an inordinate amount of waiting as well. There was my list of tasks to accomplish, but many times along the way, it was in someone else’s hands. The most dominate memory involved the build out, when construction was delayed several times due to unforeseen setbacks in building code requirements. Nothing to do but wait.
Even further back, to when Karen and I were dating 22 yrs ago. We decided to postpone marriage for a year and a half in order for me to finish school and for her to complete a job commitment. This meant we would be separated by a couple thousand miles for that period of time. Long before email and cheap long distance phone service, we had to arrange our calls before 7am or after 11pm, when the rates adjusted to their inexpensive level. At the time I remember how hard that felt, yet now, it was just a flash on a past horizon.
But the older I get and the more complicated my life becomes; I learn to welcome these moments of waiting a little easier. As a young man, I wanted to hurry up and get on with my life. Now, at my midpoint, I’m not so impatient. The view of the future from my vantage point as a 47 year old man looks different now than when I was young, brash and 18 and eager to grow up to gain all the benefits of being an adult. Unbeknownst to me at the time, those benefits carry a price tag.
The strength of a young man is in his arms and legs, but the strength of a mature man is in his mind, because later in life, this is where most of his battles are fought.