She Has Cancer
Updated: Aug 12, 2019
Post 2, Series 1 She Has Cancer: Attitude
I've always said that the first hour was the worst. There's a sort of disassociative reality at the moment you hear "It's cancer," like looking over a fifty story ledge and feeling like you are going to pitch over any minute, like when I was four years old, fell off the forbidden top of the station wagon, and fractured my skull. I could clearly hear everyone talking but my vision was blurred and wavy. Then it's the first day, when you you wait an eternity in the hospital with a 7 year old who is not allowed to eat or drink because they were added to the surgical list to get a CVL (central venous line) and has to stay contained in one room and she wants to know why, why, why can't I eat? Go to school? Is it like getting a shot and then I can go to soccer today? When can I play with my friends? The absolute trust in her eyes was crushing. We waited till 9 PM for her surgery-over 12 hours because she was an add on. It wasn't until 3 years later and multiple surgeries that I found out she could've chewed gum while waiting all those times. Who the hell was supposed to be in charge of telling me that?
We never contemplated why; we were knocked around by life enough to know that bad things just happen, so it was "soldier boots on." The social worker had another mom come and talk to us, who assured me "it will age you." "It will take its toll and be a huge source of stress, it will wreak havoc." It was at that moment that I decided it would not. That no matter how bad it got, it would be a touch point for building strength, resiliency, relationships, gratitude, and above all, Faith. Little did I know how much that resolve would be tested! But we always have a choice, and that makes all the difference.