So, epic faux pas on my part… my last blog post was all about the anxiety I was feeling going into my scans, and I failed to follow up with the results. According to my doctor, even my radiologist has called my scan results a ‘true’ complete response. My tumors are actually gone. Gone. It’s crazy.
I’m writing from Chicago, where I’ve journeyed with my best friend and her husband to attend the Grateful Dead’s three-day ‘Fare Thee Well’ concerts… the last they will play together as a full band. When the shows were first announced in January, I started decorating my mail order envelopes, and the usual little voice in my head stream of consciousness inner monologue commenced… ‘Can I even afford this, I mean, I don’t have a job. And what if I do get a job – will I be able to take the days off? I hope my parents are cool with taking care of Oscar. Are we gonna drive or fly? What are they gonna play? Are we even gonna get tickets?…’ And then there was the addendum that punctuated every thought, a much bigger little voice saying, ‘You HAVE to go, Jen. Now, more than ever, is the time to embrace life… but. BUT. Am I going to be healthy enough to go? Am I even going to be alive?‘
And, indeed I AM healthy(ish) and I AM alive. And despite the fact that after two days of walking, singing, dancing, laughing, reuniting, partying and some more walking, my forty-year-old body feels a little bit broken, I feel more alive than I have felt in so, so long. Most of the people we’ve been spending our time with are old friends, people from waaaaaaay back in the day, some who I haven’t seen in twenty years, and a lot of our banter about setlist predictions, reminiscence about the roads we traveled together and Jerry licks that were life-altering has been laced with jokes about our gray hair and how now, when we dance our faces off we have to be careful not to pee ourselves. Because of the facebookiverse, most of them are aware of what the last six months have held for me, and as a result, there have been a lot of really deep hugs with whispers in my ear saying… ‘I’m so glad you’re ok… I’m so happy you’re HERE for this.’ And by HERE, they don’t just mean Chicago.
Gotta go git on down now. This has been one of the most intense emotional experiences I’ve ever had. The words ‘I need a miracle’ have taken on a whole new meaning. It is both the end of an era and a beautiful, rainbow colored gateway to what’s to come. Tonight, I predict a lot of tears. Aaaaaaand a China–>Rider.