I just got home from a week-long trip to Maine. I grew up in Maine and love so many things about it, and so many of the people that live there. Although, for some reason, Maine has never really felt like home. I’m very happy to be back in Austin, Texas. Which has felt like home since the moment my plane landed here 6 years ago. It was also 7 degrees when I left Maine and 70 degrees when I landed in Austin. That might have something to do with it. 🙂
When I booked my flights for this trip a few months ago (pre-diagnosis) my plan was to do a show with my brother on New Year’s Eve (which went great btw!) and visit family for the holidays. Y’know – give a few gifts, give a few hugs, see you next year. But when I got my diagnosis, my plans for joyful holiday travel became a more somber homecoming. I made the most of my one week in Maine and visited with as many people as I could.
Dinner with my Dad and brothers, a late (tardy) Christmas party with close family (Tardys), sledding with the littler family members, DnD with my bros, lunch with friends, getting smothered with delicious comfort food, watching football with the funniest people I know, and getting filled to the brim with love from Maine.
I spent just about every free moment visiting someone. Sorry to those of you that I didn’t get to see this trip. And thank you to those who managed to say hello. Many of you put in a lot of effort and driving to see me and I appreciate it so much.
Most of the time it felt sort-of normal. But it also felt like I was on my last tour of planet earth. I had a lot of fun making cancer jokes and seeing people squirm — and laugh. At one point at a family gathering, I made an announcement that there is no such thing as a joke in bad taste when it comes to my cancer or possible death (which I thought was hilarious). Some people laughed, but then my nephew piped up and said “You mean like weekend at Bernies?” And I said, “YES! This kid gets it!”
But there were many moments when I found myself looking around the room and holding my gaze on each person a little longer than I would normally. And when I said goodbye I would hold that hug a little longer than normal. And maybe a brief “Love you” or a firm “Take care” from the other person. So many things unspoken in those moments but very well understood.
If it’s possible to cure cancer solely with hugs, cookies, and love from your friends and family, then I’m cured! Thank you all so much. It was great to see your faces. 🙂
How’s Matt Today?
Doing ok. Still feeling dizzy multiple times a day. And some of the times have been the worst I’ve experienced so far and almost vomited (yay). Also, my skin has been breaking out like I’m going through puberty all over again (thanks Cometriq..). I feel a painful kind of ache, and sometimes a sharp stab in the areas where the cancer has spread in my neck. On the plus side, my stomach is feeling a little better and, I might be imagining it, but my neck looks a little less puffy/swollen. Despite the mix of good and bad, I actually feel cautiously optimistic. Looking forward to seeing what the doctors say on Wednesday.
Music to Cancer to
This Time Tomorrow – The Kinks
Getting labs done today (Jan 7). Appointment with my cancer aficionados tomorrow (Jan 8) to find out if the Cometriq is doing the things it’s supposed to do.