I think it’s the uncertainty about cancer that kills me the most.
I’m pretty good most days. I manage to push the worry to the back of my mind and just get through the day. I don’t dwell… too much. I cope as best I can and try to keep the household and the family running.
But then it catches up to me. It might be a phone call, it might be some particularly hard news or it might even be a stupid TV show, but when it does catch up to me it’s hard to shake.
I can’t plan for cancer. I can do my best to be prepared for the path ahead but the cancer is always one step ahead, and usually turning in a direction I didn’t expect. Where will it pop up next? Will chemo be a waste of precious time and energy? Will it be long and painful or far quicker than any of us are ready for?
Then there’s the future… with six cases of cancer in my direct family, am I next? Are my kids?
This is a cruel, cruel disease and I can’t understand or justify its existence. My mother deserves better than this… my father did too. Before my sons even start school they will be left with one grandparent and a mother terrified that anything the put in their mouths or on their body will cause cancer.
I don’t know if I blame God, or if I blame this screwed up society that spews toxins into the air and into our water at a terrifying rate, or whether I have some toxic gene pool I should not be allowed to pass onto the next generation.
I just know I’m awake, sitting in the dark, dwelling. A fertile imagination is a useful tool for a writer but not for someone with a mother fighting a losing battle with cancer.
I started writing hoping I’d bring myself to some kind of conclusion… something that might bring at least a momentary peace. It eludes me tonight… but maybe that is an answer in itself. The reality of cancer IS uncertainty. There is no peace in cancer. I can’t ignore it and I can’t pretend it doesn’t exist. Perhaps tonight I embrace the darkness. Perhaps I let myself dwell and just pray I have the strength to face whatever comes next. Perhaps I’ll only make the situation worse – but I have no other answers. So, tonight, the fears will come out of hiding like monsters coming out of the closet. Tonight I will cry and tomorrow I will pick myself up and try again. Tonight the cancer wins.
(God help the kids tomorrow – anxiety and lack of sleep make for a very grumpy mommy!)