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JOURNAL: The good, the bad, the lovely

Randy Billings: Pub Fiction

JOURNAL: The good, the bad, the lovely

Yesterday (May 19) was not a good day.

It all started when I was awoken by the sound of heavy raindrops on my bedroom skylight. Normally, that would have been a soothing sound, but yesterday, it was menacing.

My wife needed to head into town to finish up some work. She would return five hours later to take me to my chemo-class, an introduction to the treatment and coping mechanisms for side-effects. When she kissed me goodbye, I was in bed and I stayed there throughout the morning, unable to summons the strength to face the day.

The second day after chemotherapy for my Hodgkin's Lymphoma proved to be the worst for me.

Eventually, I made it down stairs, and drank a little water. But, despite the two different nausea medications they had given me, I had difficulty fighting off the feeling and subsequently could not drink any great quantity of liquid. I was reduced to small sips. A cup of Jello went down alright, but a piece of toast was a challenge. I eventually heated some chicken noodle soup, but not even that tasted right.

Therefore, I spent much of the day in a haze. On the couch, devouring the few remaining episodes of the Wire. Despite being very tired, I could not sleep, as a restlessness pervaded my body. My moments of hunger vanished in the rolling tides of nausea. Meanwhile, I was trying to figure out how my sickness would affect my employment and the steady paycheck I have come to rely on.

When we returned from chemo class it got worse. I tried to eat a delicious meal of pasta and meat sauce with a side salad. I promptly reintroduced the contents in the next room over.

No, yesterday was not a good day.

Today, however, was much better.

My wife took the day off and called my doctor, who prescribed me new anti-nausea medicine. She made me two thick slices of French bread toast and a hot cup of green tea. I showered and, as the sun broke through the remaining clouds, I felt well enough to take a walk. So we strolled down Colley Hill, drinking in the scenery that we typically fly by at about 35 mph. We noticed the flower gardens and unkempt yards. We saw how our Confederate Flag waving neighbor no longer had a pole for his expression. 

After our walk, we sat on the deck, letting the soft breeze rustle through the leaves and our hair. I picked up my ukulele and strummed a few chords, while my wife dove elbows deep into a raised garden she is building, sadly, without much help from me. She managed to finish removing the sod from the future garden bed and transplanted it to an area that had no grass.

I hauled out the lawn hose and made sure the newly placed sod was well-soaked. I balanced this task by artfully dodging the sun's rays, since the chemo has made my skin more likely to burn.

By the end of the afternoon, we admired a job well-done. She, looking proudly upon the patch of ground where her garden will be. Me, looking proudly at her, appreciating her strength, persistence, humor and love more than ever.

Yes, today was much better.