Monday, June 11, 2012

Questions and waves...

A couple of weeks ago, E asked me, "Mom, are you gonna die?"

And after swallowing hard, I responded, "No E, remember Momma told you, I am going to be fine!  My cancer is gone because I had surgery and now the medicine I take is to make sure it doesn't come back."

And then came the questions about other people that have died and what did they die from and if they died from cancer, how come you're not going to die from it.  

And then a week later he said, "Mom, why didn't you go to the doctor's right away and get that blob taken out of you before it was big?"

And again, after swallowing hard, I responded, "I went to the doctor's as soon as I found the lump buddy."

"How did you find it?"  

Ugh, my curious, concerned thinker.  The words he speaks and the questions he asks are often what we all the think, but never say or ask.  They are fears we all have but rarely allow to the surface or utter beyond that of a whisper.  My little man thinks about them too and he inquires, making us deal with this tangible reality whether we want to or not.

There is such a dilemma with what to say to much is too much to say, will it just lead to more anxiety?  I've never done this and sometimes, as I've mentioned before, I don't feel fit to play the part.  We have been completely honest with the kids since the beginning, of course trying to give the facts without the scary details.  I believe this is why there is such a comfort with the open dialogue between us and our kids.

The thing is, when we're talking to the kids, we too have to be convinced of what we're saying to them.  When I say, "Momma is going to be fine!", I need to be convinced of this myself and well, honestly, sometimes I struggle with it.  Today is one of those days...the sea waves are rough today and I'm struggling to keep the ship on course.

This past Friday I went for blood work. I was due for my 5th cleansing today at 9:00.  I didn't receive a phone call about the blood work on Friday night, so I assumed I was in the clear....this assuming got me into some trouble.  After waiting for over 30 minutes in the chemo waiting room, they told me I had to go downstairs to see my oncologist...are you kidding me?  

We walked downstairs and 10 minutes later the nurse came out and said Dr. S wanted us to come back tomorrow to see him....she fielded our questions and concerns in a guarded manner, of course trained NOT to say too much.  We returned to the chemo ward to speak with the nurse....she was more empathetic and helpful and took it upon herself to have me get some more blood work...this will at least give me peace of mind to see that my high liver function levels continue to trend downward.

With all these unknowns, my mind spirals into a state of anxiety.  What next?  Will chemo be stopped at this point? If that is the case, the treatment is less effective. But the liver can only be beat up so many times.....  Oh, oh, oh...the questions, the anticipation, the unknowns....not fun!

However, even when things don't turn out as planned, this is the reality and what we know for sure right now in this moment.

-The cancer is G-O-N-E
-The chemo is precautionary
-I've had 3 cleansings at recommended doses
-I've had 1 additional cleanse at a lower dose
-I feel great
-I have amazing friends and family who pick me up when I stumble.
-The cancer is G-O-N-E
-The cancer is G-O-N-E
-The cancer is G-O-N-E

This list of known facts is what I will focus on today.

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” 
― Henry David Thoreau

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