As time is moving on, we are beginning to venture again into unknown territory and spontaneous happenings. Since Felix’s diagnosis we have enjoyed the safety of home and familiar surroundings where people know our back story and explanations are unnecessary. We have gone out of our way to ensure that everyone is well-informed and up to date with where we are at so that people feel comfortable and at ease with the situation. As we start to ruffle our wings again and get out into the real world, we are meeting people who do not know our back story or where we are currently at. I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing.
Felix has asked that if we meet new people we do not mention his diagnosis, he doesn’t see any need for it and I get that. At the moment it’s hard because I do not want people speculating as to why he looks as he does. I know I shouldn’t care but I want people to know where he is at to protect him but out of respect to Felix I don’t. So, to the man in the shop who asked why he wasn’t in school or to the barber who questioned why he wasn’t getting his hair cut, I apologise for my rather vague response – he just didn’t want me to say!
This is something I need to get used to. There are our wonderful friends, family and virtual friends who know so much about our last six months and leukaemia. Yet, there will be new encounters and friends who will one day find out but do not need to know in the first instance. This is what Felix wants. As he said right from the beginning, “I may have cancer but I am still me”. His diagnosis will always be part of us but as we reach the less intensive phase of maintenance we need to re-address the prominence that leukaemia has in our daily lives. Yes, it will continue to play a huge part in our life story but not necessarily in our daily encounters and utterances.
It is a truly exciting time for us at the moment. This week signifies Felix’s last IV chemotherapy and the end of the delayed intensification phase. Once his blood counts recover he will start the maintenance phase of chemotherapy which will continue until 2019. It is hoped that this phase will be far less intense and intrusive. Felix will be able to attend school regularly again, I can return to work, we can look to the future. There are some things that we still won’t be able to do like we used to but we are happily making plans to compensate for this.
So, as we embark on our new phase and start venturing into pastures new, we hope that that you will some with us and we can continue to meet new people and make more memories without having to introduce the intruder. I can’t wait!