Dwelling in the Darkness

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!)

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5 Responses to Dwelling in the Darkness

  1. Kaylie says:

    I don't have any wise words. I don't know what you're going through. But I hope for the best for your sake.

  2. Divawrites says:

    Oh honey. Cancer sucks. I have nothing more eloquent than that. I had a breast cancer scare, I've lost 2 aunts, a dear friend and a myriad of other people to cancer, and I know many more who are cancer survivors. My mom has had one huge skin cancer removed from her face and has another that will have to come off in January. Cancer is the great equalizer-it doesn't care how rich you are, how much your family needs you, how important a person you are. It is indiscriminate, ruthless and thrives on the uncertainty. May God's angels bring you comfort and support at this difficult time. Know that the tears in my eyes are genuine, and the cyber-hug I'm sending you is huge. Sometimes, the only way to win is not to play, and giving yourself permission to be fragile and "let cancer win" for that one moment will give you the courage to fight on. Cancer sucks.Hugs.

  3. Cin says:

    Big hugs. Both my uncle and his wife (in their early 40s) have battled cancer in the past few years. He had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, she had breast cancer. Cara and Stephen have two young daughters. For awhile, those poor little girls were terrified both of their parents were going to die and leave them orphaned. Their parents were pretty scared about that, too.Thankfully (and unexpectantly in Steve's case) they have both recovered, and are now focussed on not relapsing — although as we all know, the patient has very little control over that.I know your mom's case is even more serious than that. So my sincerest hopes and prayers for you and your mom, and all your family. Praying for peace, freedom from pain, and even praying for a miracle. Let your friends hope for you when you can't do it any more, Meg. (((((Hugs)))))

  4. Ellen says:

    I just read your words…as I share the same path, you know I also share the same nightmares. The good news is that after every dark night, the good old dawn shows her face! Today my fabulous electrician, Dave, came by the house to find me mired in chaos and 4 kids. He asked about Mum and then he said- "you know, I just heard a flurry of reports that they are only 5- maybe 10 years from curing cancer. Tell your Mum to keep her spirits up. I was just at the house of a guy I have worked for the last 10 years. He was diagnosed with Aids and cancer 15 years ago and given 6 months to live. He's around and doing great- things aren't always as dark as they seem." On top of that, he only charged me $40 for the house call…a pretty good day really!!! Love you.

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