Have you ever heard that phrase “you don’t know what you’re missing until its gone?” Well that is what I experienced through my treatments. I missed out on a lot of things. I barely went outside for weeks at a time. I think the longest stint I had of not having any outside fresh air was seven and a half weeks. Fifty-two days to be exact.
Another thing I missed was just being able to feel good. I felt like crap so often that I just got used to feeling like crap. Oh, here is a good one. How about just going out for a burger and fries? Yeah that was something I missed. Just being able to get some good American food in a greasy bar and grill. Kind of makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
I will admit, I even missed going to class, studying and taking tests. That would have been much more fun than sitting in that darn hospital room all the time, taking treatments, get poked and prodded, and being hooked about to a bunch of IVs. But it was what it was.
Something I never knew I was missing was my dreams. I’m not talking cliché here, I’m talking real dreams that you have when you sleep. When I would go to bed at night, who am I kidding I was lying in bed all day long anyway. What I meant to say was when I finally closed my eyes because it was night time, I just slept.
I slept in darkness with no dreams. Just black, cold, stark sleep that most times was probably a result of just being so damned tired from all the treatments. I tell you, chemo and radiation can really knock you down and make you feel like doing absolutely nothing.
But then it happened. I had a dream. I mean a real life, vivid dream that I could see in my mind and remember when I woke up. I was really excited about this. I was dreaming again. To me that was a sign that I was healing and on the road to recovery. That was my sign that said I will make it.
I know it sounds goofy, well maybe not, but that was what gave me a renewed hope in my future. People have asked about the dream and I honestly don’t remember anything about it. I just remember I had one.
That morning when I woke, I was excited about what had happened. Steve, my nurse, was in the room checking on me. Checking my vitals, all my IVs, my output from the night and all those other fun things he needed to do.
I looked at him and told him I had a dream. He just smirked and said good for you. I don’t think he realized how big a deal I found this to be. I had just had a dream and realized that I hadn’t had one since treatments started. It was early December and I had started treatments July 6th. So that was a long time not to dream. That to me was a huge deal.
I didn’t hold anything against Steve for his response. He probably thought I was something else altogether. Or that I had a weird dream or something. He made not have realized that I hadn’t had a dream in months. I didn’t share my revelation about why I was so excited so he just didn’t know.
Since that time, I have paid closer attention to my thoughts, dreams and messages from the world around me. There are so many lessons that exist in this world, we just need to be open to seeing them, hearing them or feeling them. Trust that little voice in your head or that feeling in your gut. It is trying to help you navigate this wonderful life we live. It is letting you know when something is right or if you are on the right path in life. Believe in yourself and follow your path, it will lead you to your destiny.
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