As I was cruising up the 5 freeway in Orange County to visit my friend and her new baby girl (swoon), I was jamming with my headphones on while I was happily enjoying the moment of not having another body in my car, which has the ability to seat 8. And trust me, there are many times when every seat in that car is taken. So you can imagine how I felt when I had a full hour to listen to grown up music, to think, and to not pass sippy cups and snacks to the littles behind me.
Suddenly I was jolted out of my peaceful drive when I passed this...
UCI Medical Center. The place where Kevin was treated for his Melanoma.
And if you were on the 5 freeway at 10:35 a.m, I am the crazy lady you passed who was taking pictures of buildings while driving. Guilty. At least I wasn't texting.
Although I have driven past the hospital several times since his surgeries and treatments, I've always been distracted by the noise of 3 crazy boys in the back.
This time was different. I felt my stomach tighten. My heart sank. Instantly images came flashing through my head.
I saw Kevin in his hospital bed recovering after one of his surgeries.
I saw my tears streaming down my face.
I saw the young dad with a 2 year old daughter and wife sitting next to us in the waiting room while he waited to see his oncologist regarding his colon cancer. He was in his twenties.
He seemed so young, even though Kevin was just a couple of years older.
I saw Kevin's oncologist point blank telling me that he doesn't have a crystal ball even though I was tempted to scream at him that he better invent one because I wanted to know...
Will my boys have their dad around for big milestones: turning 16, graduating from high school, college, and weddings? Will he be there to see the boys follow their dreams?
I saw my weak husband, minus 20 pounds, sitting on a stool in the kitchen with a beanie on his head as he poked himself with a drug to boost his immune system. On some days it just seemed routine. It knocked the wind out me on others.
I saw my dad, brother-in-law, and a dear friend take shifts in driving Kevin to UCI for his awful IV treatments. I watched the heartache of these strong men as they took care of my wasted husband.
I saw the stage 3 melanoma written on every medical form as I tried to untangle myself from the web of disbelief.
Melanoma. UCI Medical Center. It is never far from our minds and hearts no matter how distracted we get.
And yet, we choose to move forward. We choose to believe. We choose to hope.
P.S. As it starts to warm up, please, please, please remember your sunscreen. It only takes one bad sunburn. That's it. 1 in 5 will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Don't be that 1. Skin cancer can be prevented. Take care of yourself and your littles.