I remember sitting in the chemo chair for the first time and envisioning the day when I’d be at the halfway point in my treament rounds. I couldn’t quite mentally jump to the finish line then, because the end seemed so far away. So, I set my sights on finishing my first four rounds of chemo. I knew the completion of the fourth round meant that baby #2 was right around the corner and I would be given a few weeks of “vacation” post baby before starting my second half of chemo. I am now looking back over my shoulder at those rounds with a sense of accomplishment and pride. I made it this far! The baby has made it this far! My family has made it this far! There are many, many things to be grateful for. I’ve realized that by setting manageable goals, I get to feel that more often. I can check half my treatments off my list. I can cross off organizing the baby’s closet and learning how to use the ‘Bentley’ of all double strollers (thanks to some incredible girlfriends!). I have a “honey do” list which hopefully keeps my husband feeling goal-oriented. All in all, I think we’re ready for this next stage. My goals have become somewhat smaller after chemo.
One goal was to make it to the pumpkin patch. It seemed simple and something fun to do with our baby girl. Using the word simple seemed to jinx the plan. We apparently picked the hottest heat wave in October and I dressed as if we lived in Canada. It turns out that my daughter could care less for pumpkins and was more interested in the little pieces of trash that lined the walkways. After surviving a few near-fainting spells in the patch, we attempted the corn maze. It felt like a safe place to be in case I needed to throw up my breakfast. I trudged along while my husband chased his nieces and nephews around the heat death trap. After that excitement ended, we left. I think maybe we clocked about 20 minutes there. I sat in the car and felt a sincere disappointment at my pumpkin patch goal. It turned out nothing like I had anticipated and we didn’t even end up buying one of the incredibly expensive pumpkins.
But here is where the real beauty of the goal is. It rarely turns out perfect, but when you’re open to new experiences, there will always be something to take away from it. I didn’t realize what I was gifted with until I loaded the pictures from my camera onto my computer. I realized that we have fantastic family pictures, a unique story of Alabama’s first trip to the pumpkin patch and a list of what not to do next time. That sounds like a goal I can feel good about crossing off my list!