Today, our 15-year-old couch was picked up by the local furniture bank who will repurpose it for their clients. It has been replaced by a new couch, free of bad (or at least mixed) memories.
Not only had that couch been through two children (and a variety of friends sleeping over), and two dogs (I swear I could still smell our old dog when the weather was damp), but it also saw me through a year of treatment, and was my go-to spot for naps — aka “the couch nest.” Saying goodbye to this couch brought back so many reminders of cancer — wrapped in blankets and recuperating from two surgeries; lying there staring at the ceiling when chemo had wiped me out, but I was too sick to sleep, was unable read, and even closing my eyes hurt; resting there surrounded by my children and their partners who were doing a jigsaw puzzle last Thanksgiving, one week after my final infusion, too sick to cook, let alone eat, and trying to stop myself from retching from the smell of the turkey; tucking myself in there most mornings toward the end of radiation when the fatigue had wiped me out. Memories that will stay with me, but not necessarily ones for which I need a daily physical reminder.
More than most other physical reminders (except maybe for my compression bra) that couch became synonymous with cancer and I knew that when I was done with treatment and starting to feel better, I wanted it gone. Most of those “cancer talismans” have now either been burned (in a rather enjoyable bonfire this spring) or given away or sent to the dump. Good riddance.
The cancer may come back someday, but I’m clearing the decks of the reminders of this round. Onward and upward, or at least onward.