Monday, October 31, 2016


The leaves are still hanging on around here - several weeks past the time they'd normally be gone. A welcome side effect of the unseasonably warm autumn we've had.

I'm grateful they hung around. I get to stay home for three whole weeks in a row - I didn't make my reservations on time and the plane tickets got real expensive and it's the end of the year with travel budget, and so my trip for this week was canceled. Darn the luck.

That meant I got a whole weekend at home where I wasn't trying to adjust to the two hour time difference. It was lovely.

And it means I get an extra week to enjoy the changing colors. The trees are obviously a bit confused about the season - the leaves on a single tree range in color from deep green to brilliant orange. The colors glow against the gray autumn sky; warm, rich, a brilliant display to end the season.

Libby's first chemo went as well as these things go. She didn't get real nauseous though her stomach has definitive opinions about food; she had one day of flu-like symptoms, but those faded. The most annoying part thus far seems to have been the dude who kept stuffing metallic flavored cotton balls in her mouth. Her hair was still hanging in there, last I heard - she was delaying cutting it off until the last minute. Rather than the major chemo truck that knocked Kate flat, she seems to be on the street with the one that just keeps bumping her off balance. It's too soon to know how she'll respond in the long run, but every day that she's feeling OK is one less day she'll feel awful, and for this all who love her are grateful.

It still seems like a bad dream; the part of me that's into denial keeps hoping she'll call me up and let me know it was all a deranged and elaborate plot for attention. The part of me that's rejected denial just sits with it, fingers crossed and candles lit, hoping and praying the chemo will work to shrink the tumor, the surgery will cut it cleanly out, her lymph nodes will be clear and that ten years from now, we'll be sitting around sharing cancer stories.

Hope. It glows brilliant yellow and orange against the gray of the cancer sky. Its afterglow lasts in the mind long after the leaves have faded, leaving memories of beauty to help bolster the soul through the hard days ahead.

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