Today I completed all the paperwork needed to begin my long term medical leave. Now, I know when you look at me it's hard to believe that I'm even sick... it's hard for me too, but it's time for me to get my priorities straight. When Dr. Eaton sent the letter for the District Office to start the process, his words jumped off the page to explain it all. "Doreen Schmitt is a patient of mine. She has a diagnosis of metastatic lung cancer and will need a leave of absence from work from the current time until the foreseeable future". It doesn't get much clearer than that. My friend was standing by me when the letter arrived over the fax and she began to cry. I said, "what are you crying about?" (in a very loving voice) and she said "that stupid letter". I reminded her I've known about it for a long time. She said reading the words...made it real. I guess I can understand that. I don't like the way they sound either.
Now about my days. They will be filled, probably overflowing. For the next couple of weeks, I'll be working with my boss and the person they will eventually fill my position with. I will not be in the office everyday, and I certainly won't be keeping the same kind of hours I was working. I hope to hand the torch over to the next "keeper of the Spartans" with the light still burning bright.
I will make a gradual move out of the department into a world that is full of hope and naps and knitting. I know that this time around I may have to get sick before I can get well. There is a chance I will lose my hair. Feel nauseous. Sleep a lot. But the possibility that I will be laughing in the middle of this storm is almost a sure thing.
Here comes a random thought:
I hope someday I can get tickets to the Ellen show. I've been sending e-mails (reminding her that we will both be 50 next year) but she hasn't responded. I'll give her time. I don't need to be on the show as a guest, I just want to dance in the isles and LAUGH. Ellen is my laugh prescription. I take her every night. I TIVO the show, then watch it before I fall asleep. Try it. You'd be surprised how good it is for the soul. My friend Sandy told me yesterday that I was like fudge. "Always good, just not always healthy". Shh, what she doesn't know, won't hurt her.
In the past week since the girls went to Reno for the ACS convention, we have received over 50 letters or e-mails from strangers (just friends we haven't met yet) telling us how proud we should be of our children. Well duh? Welcome to our world. This amazing stuff didn't happen with cancer...it happened with drive, determination and passion. Whether it was school, sports or cleaning their room, they have given EVERYTHING, EVERY TIME, EVERYWHERE. Great things will continue to come out of these children of ours. Watch for them to make a change in our world.
Have a fabulous weekend.