First, we officially own a home! We move this Saturday, after my last treatment of Taxol. I'll have a month break from treatment until surgery.
Originally, this post was about how I planned on decorating the place. But that didn't cut it. I feel I should give some background on how this house came to be.
A little over a year ago, Mike and I moved to the Cape to save for a house and to help my mother, whose bone mets (cancer spread) had meandered their way to her spinal column, causing her excruciating pain. It meant a 2-hour Boston commute for me, but no rent in Mike's parents' Cape house, which was — luckily — just 5 minutes from my mom's.
It was late July, and I was also finishing my last elective for grad school, writing in a memoir class on both my parents' respective cancers. I wrote and wrote and wrote, it spilled out, and this resulted in a profile on my dad (Mouse!) alongside embarrassing crying jags as I discussed what I wrote in class. The prospect of cancer's tentacles reaching me 7 months later was so far from the realm of possibility it’s not even funny. No, it would have been funny. I would have laughed.
We planned on spending a few months on the Cape, but it turned into 8 months after we realized the town we wished to live in was a hard entry point for our initial price range. (Read: too expensive.) We spent little and saved much; I think Mike's wardrobe consisted of like 4 shirts and 1 pair of pants at one point (he's a minimalist, but this was just ridiculous), and in December we went to take a gander at a house in the flesh. We had no idea what we were doing, what to say, what to look for, or how to make conversation with the realtor, Nancy, whom we had contacted blindly online. And we definitely couldn't afford what we thought we could afford.
Nancy ended up remaining our patient, but dogged, realtor for 8 months. We offered on, and lost, 3 houses - the last of which occurred a week after my diagnosis. We thought we had it in the bag; this was a beacon of light, a positive in a sea of negatives. We'd had enough shit happen to us, this was going to be where I got well.
We went 6K over asking, and I spent the evening picturing the huge tree in the side yard and in the adorable reading nook upstairs...when Nancy called. Just hours after signing the insane number of documents we'd feverishly assembled (for the third time), we found out someone else swooped in and we lost that house too. Mike and I both broke down and cried in the kitchen.
We were close to giving up for a while, when in early June, on my second week of treatment - my hair falling out and rampant teen-horror acne from the meds on my face - a charming Cape slipped on to the MLS. It wasn't on Zillow as a 'coming soon' (guaranteeing a bidding war); the owners seemed busy with their 3 little kids and had listed it themselves.
When we went to see it during a private appointment, my face was in pain and I felt sick. The realtor and Mike misconstrued this as disinterest and thought I hated it. I loved it; I just wanted to lay down.
By the way, on that particular day, we should have been in Tennessee. But due to a dangerous fever a day before, we had cancelled our flights and were forced to experience my friends 30th through Instagram posts and texts.
So, on the day I would have been riding on a Pedal bar through downtown Nashville, we took a 20-minute look at the house we'd live in forever and offered that night. A couple hiccups made me leery it would work out, especially after all our crushing disappointments, but it did. It worked out. We move Saturday. Can't wait to decorate and all that.
What a year it's been.
Unrelated: I got sick of scouring the Internet for all things Taxol, the drug I'm on. So this won't be relatable for friends and family, it's more for anyone going through what I'm going through, specifically this regimen. It's a whole page on Taxol and what I experienced week by week, put together as a guide. Enjoy?