Twenty Eight Thousand Six Hundred
572 hours spent in the car.
It's about a hundred miles...a two hour drive...from the Pink Door House in Moses Lake to Spokane. Give or take, depending on what part of town you're landing at. And in the last three and a half years, this little family has made approximately 143 of those trips for Inflammatory Breast Cancer.
How did it add up to so many?
For the first eight months after my diagnosis...during chemo...the kids and I lived with my folks. They got plenty of grandparent love while I was at the doctor or feeling sick from treatment. During those months, Jason drove the miles between us. Spending his days off in Spokane by our side, and later taking us back to Moses Lake for a "weekend" whenever I was well and strong enough. Then I moved to Houston, Texas for three months of surgery, recovery, and radiation. And each week, Jason drove to Spokane, picked up the kids, brought them to the Pink Door House to spend his days off with him, and returned them to Grammy's care at the end of his weekend.
One year after diagnosis was our sweet homecoming. But the miles kept adding up. Trips for Infusions. Oncology visits. Scans. Later the care of a cardiologist. And in the most recent months, counseling. Sometimes I go alone. Sometimes I bring the kids. But it's always the same 100 miles across the sage brush dotted hills.
In the last three and a half years, we've learned that cancer is hard. And while it gets easier after that first clear scan, it's still far from simple. And those extra miles aren't helping.
If only there was something within our control to simplify our life, just a little bit.........
Which is how we have arrived at this moment.
Tomorrow morning, the Pink Door House goes on the market. It is time.
We are moving to Spokane.
I'll call it a leap of faith, for now. We're not sure where we are going to live. Sure, we have some favorite neighborhoods. But the housing market there is super competitive right now. And there's no job. Yet. Jason is in the application/interview phase right now. But there are houses. And there are jobs. So, we're simply choosing to believe that we are going to find both.
Change is hard. Even when you know it is the right choice. We've worked hard making this house a place we love to live. Harder still to make it a place someone else might want to live. The last month has been filled with purging and organizing, tiling and painting. Sweat and tears and are we taking too big a risk? 's.... . I'm leaning in on the encouragement from friends. Reminders that change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and sweet at the end (thanks Kiki!). Reminders that this is a temporary inconvenience with a worthy reward (thanks Katie!).
I remember a year or so ago, a friend from my Bunco group announced that her little family was moving across the country. Our conversation went something like this...
Do you have new jobs?
A house picked out?
(Insert my expression of risk-adverse dumb-foundedness here.)
They were taking a leap of faith. They were confident it was the right move for their family. And you know what guys? By all accounts, they look pretty darn happy and settled these days.
I will leave a little part of my heart in the Pink Door House in Moses Lake. It was a place to call our own when our world was an uncertain, stormy sea. It was a homecoming when I desperately needed one. There were strangers who brought meals and kindness, many who later became friends.
But if we can make life even a little less hard for our family, then it is time.