Well I know what I was doing this moment last month. Gasping for breath and trying to make sense of what my husband was telling me. Cancer. Cancer. Cancer.
Fast forward one month and I find myself sitting outside enjoying the fresh air on Mother’s Day. I’ve just finished (mostly) cleaning up the yard and I’m sipping on some lemon water. (Good for inflammation, and of course we have a dry house, so wine is only to be had at the neighbours. Susan / Lelita / Connie….save me a glass).
Today I enjoyed sporadic time with my own family…a little Zak after he got off work, a little Jaime before she went to work, and a little bit of Raegan here and there between homework. I enjoyed time with my sisters, parents, niece and a friend, and I got to listen to my true love rock out on his guitar.
All those things make me happy, and yet I sit here right now with my stomach doing somersaults and I feel inclined to vomit on my freshly mowed yard. I will try to refrain, as it looks too nice to ruin it.
In this last month I’ve discovered what it is like to be overwhelmingly, achingly, painfully, physically sad. Sorrowful. More desperate then I ever thought could be possible. It’s not a pleasant feeling. I feel as though I’m being chased 24/7 by something intent on destroying my family. I guess in a way I am. I won’t let it.
On the other hand, I have also discovered true, blissful joy. And I appreciate it. I look at Ben and I am overcome with love and appreciation for him. I watch my children move through their days with strength and grace and my heart is full because we have clearly taught them courage. I look at my family and friends who clearly care so much, and it makes me feel so lucky and so blessed. I don’t think everyone has all that. I know we are really, really lucky.
When I read the comments my kids wrote to me today in a card, I was moved. I also realized they are not as oblivious as we had thought / hoped they were, which strengthens my resolve to ensure they do not overhear discussions.
“My mother is a rose. Strong, protective and beautiful. She is soft and delicate yet provides a solid base that binds our family together. Her caring demeanour draws others towards her, yet will challenge her loved ones with her sharp thorns. Her leaves act as a blanket providing warmth and security. My mother is a rose.”
That is what was written inside my home made card today from my kids, along with this:
“We really appreciate how much you do for us, even with everything going on. We love you.”
“We hope you know how much we love and appreciate you. We are so lucky to get to have you as our Mom. We are blessed to have you in our lives and cherish every minute that we get to spend with you.”
See what I mean? There’s that wonderful joy and aching sadness at the same time. A feeling of being both so lucky and yet life being so unfair. Strange how those polar opposites can coexist.
On Tuesday we see Dr K. The long awaited appointment with the doctor in who’s hands we will place Ben’s life. I am both anxious to get to the appointment and dreading it at the same time.
We will pose the question to Dr K….”if this was your loved one, what is the treatment you would seek with the highest probability of saving their life for the longest time.” Whatever he says…that’s what we do. It has occurred to us we may have to leave the province. Or the country. Maybe we’ll get some of that travel after all. Lol.
I found information online about a treatment (sounds like immunotherapy) that has (allegedly) kept a woman in good health since 2006. The woman (allegedly) had stage IV renal cell carcinoma with metastasis to the bone – so same as Ben. I was excited to read about her good health, but I’m aware that there are people who prey on those who are desperate for cures. We will be cautious. I have printed the information to bring to Dr K. I would assume he will know about it if it’s legit. It looks promising though. It made me feel better.
Tomorrow Ben and I have an appointment at a place called Inspire Health in Vancouver. It is an integrative cancer care Center that provides physicians, counsellors, nutritionists etc to help optimize health. I like one of the phrases they have on their website. “How you can take charge of your life and empower yourself to change the outcome of your diagnosis.” Hell yeah.
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. Psalm 56:3