It's quiet here in the Heidkamp household. Both of the kids are asleep for the night and Kim is getting some much needed rest on the couch. I am sitting in the the comfort of the bedroom thinking over what was a great weekend. Good times with family, friends, and some quality time spent alone. And with a trip to Napa Valley with Kim approaching, and my first MRI coming into sight, I am starting to think about my month off of treatment.
The verdict? It was a good month. Was it perfect? Heck no! Show me someone who has claimed to have a perfect month and I will show you someone who is lying, or at the very least stretching the truth. With a restful weekend spent up north with in-laws, good dinners and concerts, honest conversations between a husband and his wife, and a killer trip to California to cap the month off I would say that it was a successful break from Chemo.
In a previous post I talked about a frank conversation Kim and I had. That I was distant during our trip up north and that I have been a little closed off and distant, which led to a post about wanting to do better. Two weeks later I think I am getting better, but based on a frank conversation with Kim I still have work to do, and to be honest we both do. Turns out being honest and direct about our future in the context of Cancer is not easy.
You see, when your timeline is significantly in question it requires conversations about how we want our kids to grow up, how Kim is going to do life on her own (by on her own I mean without me), or even what I want my funeral to be like. Turns out, those conversations are very easy to avoid, and the lack of those conversations means a lack of connection between a husband and his wife. So we have things to work on, but hey who doesn't.
Looking to future I have to admit that I am nervous about the next round of treatment. I responded well to Chemo this past round, but this next round is stronger doses and while it is one week a month I am nervous that it will put me down for the count. I have heard stories that go either way, and I hope that I don't get the short end of the stick during this round of treatment. I will gladly accept your prayers, good vibes, and thoughts over this next phase.
As the Nyquil starts to kick in I will leave you with this, don't avoid hard conversations. I know, much easier said than done. Think about this though, if you are avoiding the hard conversations are you also avoiding the easy ones? Whether it is a spouse, a friend, or a co-worker if you are avoiding the hard conversations you are most likely avoiding the person in other ways as well. Let's be honest with ourselves, if that is the case we are not living life the way we could and are not experiencing the life we could.
An Assignment: It seems obvious, but have that hard conversation. Take the time to thoughtfully engage with the person you care about. I have a feeling that once the dust settles you will feel better.