I sometimes think about what was happening a year ago from whatever day it is. For the next few months, that's probably not wise. But today, I gave in to temptation and looked back on last year's calendar.
Nov 21, 2014 was Rudy's first chemo. It was at Piedmont, before we transferred to CTCA. We thought it would be a treatment that might extend Rudy's life. It turned out to be the treatment that would make his life a living hell. He would spend the next week sick as a dog, unable to keep anything down and weak beyond belief. He would go to Piedmont over and over during the next week to get fluids. No doctor would see him. The nurses did the best they could. He would be over-medicated to the point that he thought he was installing glass, even though he was sitting in a chair getting fluids.
At this same time, our dog Teddy was losing his hair and scratching like mad. They first thought he might have mange. He did not. Life was a rollercoaster of cancer doctors and vets and worry and misery, with a dash of hope that this was all temporary and things would improve.
If I could go back in time, even if it meant seeing Rudy once more, I would not go back to November 21, 2014. Thank God, Rudy isn't going through that hell anymore.
Back to the present - I find I am not dreading Thanksgiving (or Christmas) quite as much as I was a month or so ago. I've been working on focusing on the positives and playing around with how I think of the day.
My dread of these first holidays without Rudy is all in my head, as is all dread. I'm pretty good at head games. I can master this. I will not be the widow crying at Thanksgiving dinner over what she's lost. I will be the widow who is grateful for what she had (and for so many years of having it) and thankful for all the loved ones she still has. I will have a genuine smile on my face. I will enjoy all the people I'm with. Seriously. I will master this.
PS - To all my family reading this - Please stay positive and happy and funny. If anyone starts talking sad things or giving me sorrowful looks, my head game positive attitude may completely dissolve. I'm looking forward to lots of hugs, but please let them be happy hugs rather than sorrowful ones. Please, let's find the joy in the day and fully enjoy those still with us. We are not promised tomorrow with any of the people still here. Make the most of it! Let's have some laughs and make some memories! I sure hope I can do it.