They say that moving can be just as stressful as planning a wedding. In 2011, I decided to tackle both, like a pro and without much complaint. Fast-forward two years later, and we find that we have to move yet again. Presently, we live in this glorious loft space in Downtown, Phoenix and being that it’s under private ownership, our unit recently sold. Subsequently, that left Steve and I to find a new place.
Fortunately, with the assistance of the best realtor in all the land, we were able to find a condo two blocks north of where we currently live. The condo we found was a pocket listing and hadn’t even been placed on the market before we were able to view it and claim it as our own. We lucked out, being able to stay in our same Downtown neighborhood, dodging the infamous Craigslist for listings and not to mention the view that we are gaining at the new abode. If Phoenix had a Central Park, our view would be overlooking it. We are overlooking the Japanese Friendship Garden, which is plush with trees, greenery, ponds, bridges, and the whole caboodle.
Now the not so fun part is packing. Anyone in his or her right mind loathes packing just as much as I do, I am sure of it. I’ve moved more times than I can count in my early twenties and would consider myself to be quite skilled at this point. However, the one thing that I haven’t had in the equation until now was cancer and chemotherapy treatments, whilst on the move. Moving forward with my third chemo round, the move couldn’t have come at a less convenient time. My motivation and energy is lackluster and the feat of packing up a house seems unmanageable.
Through the many books I’ve read over the last few months, it is my understanding that a lot of young cancer patients become more transient as their prognosis or treatment progresses. The meaning of having an established setup of their own becomes less and less significant. Granted, I am a married woman and the idea of couch surfing on friend’s sofas seems less than appealing, as does the thought of bunking in with family members. For me, I still want a place to call my own but what I am struggling with, as I pack up all of Steve’s belongings, and mine, is that I realize that I don’t want material items.
Having been a material girl for most of my life, tangible items always served a great deal of significance to me. The position in which they held in my life, symbolized that of boundless effort in working hard for something that I wanted, something to call my own and something wonderful. Now I view these items as small reminders of how my once able self was once capable of working to get these nice things, pre-diagnosis. My once budding career is now that of a fulltime sick person. My job is to do what the Doctor’s tell me to do and keep myself alive and kicking.
As I sit here on the couch that I once loved, I am reminded of all of the endless hours that I laid here in recovery after my surgery. All of the agony and pain that I was in, not but just three short months ago. Or when I come home from chemo and I don’t have enough energy to walk from the front door to my bed, this couch has lent itself to swooping me up, as I was about to fall.
So why get rid of such memorable items, you ask? The thing is, everything now is a reminder of cancer in some way, shape or form. All of the objects that I was once so proud to possess, I now want to rid myself of them in their entirety. Live minimally and humbly.
Realistically speaking, I cannot get rid of everything I own. For starters, that would be gravely unfair to my husband, Steve, who has worked equally as hard to attain the things we have. Secondly, starting fresh and anew is a wonderfully wondrous idea, but who has the means to do that? Particularly when you know you’ll be paying off medical bills for the rest of eternity.
My point is, Steve and I can make a home wherever we land. We are just those types of people. He is home to me, so as long as he is there and we are a unit, then the rest is a breeze. It certainly isn’t what you have, but whom you have.
So, as I sit here anxiously and tirelessly waiting for our moving day to arrive this coming Saturday, I realize that I cannot purge my life in it’s entirety. Yes, everything currently surrounding me is a small reminder that I have cancer, but what would I have done without this comfy, cozy couch to lean on after my surgery and my long recovery period.
I look forward to a new space, a new place and somewhere to build new memories. Even perhaps somewhere that doesn’t remind me daily that I am sick and have cancer, as these four walls gently retell me everyday. Moving is a downright drag, but the rewarding part will be that all of the items we possess will look new and fresh in their new atmosphere. Here’s to hoping that the new place will also leave me feeling new and refreshed. Cheers to moving!