When Jen was finished at the doctor's office on Tuesday and the nurse pulled the IV needle out and bandaged her up, she also presented Jen with a certificate, her Purple Heart for the 6 rounds of chemo she completed so beautifully. I took a photo, then proceeded to cry. This is my job in my family, I cry. I used to be embarrassed by it and try to hide it but not so much anymore.
What startled me more than crying (I would have been surprised had I not cried) was the feeling behind it that reminded me of when Kurt and I ran the Honolulu Marathon in 2001. We trained with the Aids Marathon group and it took six long months of short runs and long runs and much team bonding. (Guess who was team leader....I know, big surprise.) But when we got to that last 1/4 mile, sloping down Diamond Head toward the finish lines, I just couldn't stop the tears. All that work over the months (and we got married the month before) and all the money raised (I raised over $6400 for Aids research, I rule, as do all my sponsors) and all the excitement of being in Honolulu and FINALLY DOING IT and now it was about to end. Then we stepped over the line, arms raised as a team, and hugged each other.
I had that same feeling on Tuesday leaving Jen's doctor's office. This had been almost six months of hard scary news, then better news, then better news, then chemo starting and my trips up here every 3 weeks to hang and help out. I figured my job was easy, all I had to do was sit there and distract Jen and hand out lollipops to everyone in the room and then hang out at the house and help with whatever needed doing. But then Jen did so well, having not so brutal side effects, that it seemed even easier. I guess I didn't realize that it can be hard work to just be supportive. I wasn't completely oblivious to this fact along the way, but that "end of the marathon" feeling snuck up on me.
Jen has crossed one finish line and crossed it well, she gets a medal and a t-shirt and all the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches she can eat in the finish tent (god nothing tasted better after training than a PB&J!) I didn't have to do the chemo part, but I'm happy to wave my arms at the finish line behind her. Way to go Jen! You did it!
Can't wait to see how her hair grows back in...