The Chemo Shot Nearly Killed Her

Last Friday I had a closing with an old high school friend.

Not a super close friend, but a friend. A great dude.

If you’re like me, I have a special affinity for the people I shared the high school with.

So he and I meet at Starbucks before the 10 am closing. We talked. A deep talk. Touching on the meaning of life. What’s really important. How family and friends and experiences are everything.

At one moment in the conversation I say to Scot, “Right now I’m nowhere else. I’m here with you. Talking with you. Right now, at this moment, nothing else matters.

I can tell he felt what I said. I can tell he believed me.

I wasn’t checking my phone. I wasn’t eye darting the room to see who else was there. I was talking to and focused on Scot.

At the closing, Lisa the title rep explained to Scot exactly how he had to sign for Jennifer as her power of attorney.

Jennifer is Scot’s wife. They’ve been married for as long as Stacey and I have been married, twenty plus years. High school sweethearts.

We were closing on a duplex that Scot and Jennifer have owned as a rental since 2002.

Scot had power of attorney for Jennifer.

Scot had power of attorney for Jennifer because Jennifer couldn’t make it to the closing.

Jennifer has cancer.

This past Monday, at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, Jennifer began treatment. A new treatment.

She’s already been through 22 rounds of radiation and 16 treatments of chemotherapy.

At the closing, Scot told me the doctors will inject Jennifer with a shot of chemotherapy that will nearly kill her. By design.

Her red and white blood cell counts will be reduced to zero. They will then give her a stem cell transplant.

Jennifer will be hospitalized throughout the treatment.

Scot will be living out of the hotel across the street.

Scot’s brother and sister-in-law took a leave from their jobs to come stay with Scot and Jennifer’s 16 year old daughter.

Scot’s white collar brother will make every attempt to run Scot’s blue collar concrete business during this month long attempt to save Jennifer’s life.

These are the moments when it’s not easy being Scot.

These are the moments when its not easy being human.

Recently, I’ve discovered a secret to deploy in these moments. A secret that is changing the way I feel each and every day.

Sometimes it’s hard to be Bart.

Just like it’s hard to be you.

I can go down a rabbit hole, and chase a shiny object, and I can also go dark.

I can take a wrong turn from time to time – throw my hands in the air and ask, “What’s the point?”

What’s the point to all of this?

If it all ends tragically in death, this life. Why am I trying so hard. Why do I care so much?

I used to turn to the booze from time to time to quiet the noise. To distract the Monster from leading me the down tunnel.

Now that I’ve kicked all but social boozing to the curb – I’m bringing in tactics, developing new skills. To get me back on track. To get me smiling. Sometimes through tears.

What I’ve found to be extraordinarily helpful, useful, as a secret weapon.

A weapon to be utilized each and every day – is… gratitude.

Scot does a lot of thinking.

Sitting next to his wife as she fights for her life.

“Life comes down to two things, Bart. Friends and family. I’m so grateful for my brother and sister-in-law. I mean who would do that? I’m so thankful for you. I didn’t have to worry whether or not I was getting a good price for the duplex or if I was paying too much in commission. I didn’t have to worry because I had you.”

So as you begin this day. Whatever it is you need or must face. An uncooperative seller. A tough home inspection. A suspect appraisal.

Whatever it is.

Say to yourself, “I get to __________.”

Thanks for reading my friend.

I am over the moon grateful for you.

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