Day 48: Last Night in Boston!
Tonight (Sunday) is my last night in Boston, and I’ve never been more excited in my life to head back to New Jersey.
The Hope Lodge has been very good to me, but I can’t say I’m gonna miss it. I’ve had a lot of very good experiences these past seven weeks. I’ve met people from all over the country, I’ve been to Red Sox games and a Bruce Springsteen concert, and I’ve had more cups of “chowdah” than I care to admit, but I can’t say I’ll miss those things. I received great care by my doctor, nurses and proton technician team, but I’m not going to miss any of them either. And I certainly won’t miss the abundance of salmon-colored shorts paired with boat shoes.
There is one thing I will miss though. On a daily basis, I was reminded in a very tangible way of how strong people can be in the face of adversity. I know what I have is rare and in a scary place (my head) and I’m young and all, but what I’ve gone here is a mere cancer appetizer compared to the four-course prix fixe course that some people here have been force fed. These are people going through the toughest situation they have ever dealt with, yet the majority of people here that I’ve met have chosen to focus on the positive. They’re not in denial either. No one’s coming off all twitchy and chanting, “Nope. Don’t know why I’m here. Everything’s a-ok with my bod, yes sirree!” It seems to be a tacit rule: we can’t control the bad but we can choose to focus on what’s still good. It’s something that we all know we should do, but it’s one thing to have that idea in your head and a completely different thing to witness it in action day after day.
Tomorrow is my last treatment. I have 99% odds of never having to deal with this again. Those are very good odds. I feel like I’m getting my life back tomorrow when I leave the proton center for the last time. I can’t begin to describe how pumped I am to be normal again (well, normal by my standards). I know as time goes on, the memories of this place will fade and fade. I also know that I’ll inevitably come across hard times again. As much as I want to forget so much about this place, I hope that when hard times fall again, the memory of this place will remind me that I can deal with anything life throws my way.
Thirty-four treatments down, ONE. MORE. TO. GO.