Not since November 4th, 2010 has there been the prospect of the fourth week. That is, the week that follows the three week cycle of chemotherapy. Life rotates around a tiny little world of three weeks - constantly returning to the starting point. Like le petit prince on his tiny planet, rotating. Weeks one and two are hideous, and entirely forgettable; week three in the cycle might be better, with normalcy returning somewhat - but the longed for fourth week does not arrive - the planet is back on its three week track, to week 1, again and again and again.
So now we are faced with the mysterious week four. What will it bring? Will it be like the day after Christmas? Grey, sort of a let down, boring? How will we fill it? Will normal things - phone calls unreturned, emails unwritten, the news unwatched, chit chat about the future unspoken - fill in the cracks, crevices and negative space left behind by the first leg of this journey? Or will the week spring forth, ever cheerful towards week five, with the possibility of health, robust shiny health, looming closer? As it turns out, week four is March Break - the time when students pause, break free from their bonds, and relax. The kids will most likely be going to Ottawa for some friend visiting with Dad, and Michael and me will be going to the country to hang out in a remote farm house by ourselves.
Very unlike any week post November 4th. Probably unlike any week of our entire marriage, or even - our lives. We will have solitude, room to breathe - and be there solely for each other - with the absence of physical or emotional threat; cancer will not be at our throats, gnawing away at some part of us. Between now and week 4 there will be one minor procedure - the removal of the godforsaken portacath. However, we both know this is minor. We have been taken down by worse. So, here’s to the possibility of week four, of the quietude it will bring, and the time to allow the healing to begin, on this the next leg of our journey.