After Vegas, we spent two days here before flying down to Florida for a week. I love being home, and being home this time definitely sealed the deal on moving back. I love the familiartiy of it all. I love being 20 mintues away from the beach. I love having family around us. Yes, I will miss Maryland and all that is has to offer. I will miss the snow. I will miss fall. But, I believe Florida has more to offer us. It was always the plan to move back, we just didn't think it would be under these circumstances. Getting this post back on track, we had a fantastic time home! Josh and I made it a point to be total Floridians. We went to Publix and bought a sub and then we to the beach and had a pinic all while wearing our Florida shirts, shorts, and flip flops! In the middle of November! If you looked up Floridians in the dictonary, our pictures would be there..it was that good. We blended in so well, except our severe Northern pale skin might have given us away a time or to.
Thanksgiving was great. My mom and I cooked all day while Josh recovered from a cold. Side note, I would like to state that yes, Josh was sick while we were home. This guy, I swear, can never catch a break. However, he did power through a lot of it. He kept going until he couldn't take it anymore and literally slept for a day and a half! Admittily I was the one who gave him the cold, eek. I was sick the week prior and tried EVERYTHING to keep him from getting it. I felt really bad, not only is Thanksgiving one of his favorite holidays, but he was also trying to keep his body on track for Chemo. Luckily his body fought hard and he was over it within a few days and didn't really miss out much on leave. The Sunday after Thanksgiving we flew back to Maryland so Josh could finish out his last round of chemo.
He had his appointment on that Tuesday where he was cleared to start cycle 12. He made it through this session with a breeze. He only suffered from minor fatigue. But....
JOSH IS NOW DONE WITH CHEMOTHERAPY!
Wow, I never thought this day would come. He did the full 12 rounds (which is kinda like an over kill for the military. A guy we have talked to that has been on the same medicine only made it to round 8, where his body started rejecting it.) I remember his first round like it was yesterday, mainly because out of all the 12 rounds, that was the most scariest, intense moment out of the whole year. Aside from him throwing up, I couldn't fathom having to experience this every month. But lucky for us, we played with his medication and found the right routine to make it as easy as possible.
So...what does this mean? Well, first and foremost, it does not mean the cancer is gone. The harsh reality of it all it just means that chemotherapy extended his life. He is not in remission, he never will be. He has already accepted this. That doesn't mean that we don't pray for miracles. It doesn't mean that we have given up hope. It just means that we live in the reality of the situation. We, more than most people, know that living in the reality of it all is hard, but I believe living in a fantasy world would be worse. Knowing all of this, we appreciate every day we have. We don't look at any holiday as "well this might be his last...lets make the best of it.." NO. I want my husband to look back and say "Well, if this was my last holiday together, it was a fantastic one and for that I am grateful." Chemotherapy is over, so that means we move on with our lives. When we get back from our Christmas leave, we will start the process of medical retirement. This process is a long and lenthy one, but we are so anxious to start it as once it's over, we will be in our house in Florida! The process itself should take 290 days, give or take. Probably longer..it is the military after all! But, we are prepared to wait. The outcome weighs out the struggle we are going to have to go through. Basically in this time, Josh will be filling out paperwork and just waiting. This might be the time he enrolls into college but we will cross that bridge when we get there :)
On another note....We also forced our dog to love us and get family pictures done for Christmas, haha