Day 9: First Goodbye

Today, I said my first goodbye to someone here that I had connected with.  Having gone away to college and traveled quite a bit, I’ve said plenty of goodbyes to friends that I now see rarely, if ever.  They’ve all been bittersweet, of course.  Here, however, the bitter part is a bit harder to ignore.

She finished her treatment yesterday, and we were all nothing short of excited for her.  When she entered the communal kitchen, everyone applauded and welcomed her with hugs and Oreo ice cream cake.

Fact: Oreos cure cancer

On the one hand, it was a joyous moment.  After all, she had finished a grueling five weeks of twice-daily treatments.  She would get to leave the Hope Lodge and return to friends and family. And she would hopefully have the rest of her life to look forward to.

As I said my goodbyes with her, I realized in a lot of ways it was like many goodbyes I had said before.  There were talks of future visiting and sincere wishes for good luck and all that sentimental stuff.  But something was very different this time.  Underneath my optimistic exterior, I couldn’t help but feel worried underneath it all.  Would this be the last time she had to go through all this torment?  Would she adjust okay at home?

None of us asked those questions, though.  How could we?  What good would it do?  All we could offer was our love and support, large reminders of why life is worth fighting for.

Seven Treatments down, twenty-eight to go.

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