Yesterday I was going to the car to find my needlepoint. Ortho appointments take a very very long time. Shout out to Hem/Onc. They know how to make things flow.
As I was coming and going, I passed a woman on a cell phone. I heard bits of her conversation. I should have stopped but I thought that would be rude. She was talking about how her daughter's back had hurt and she had a sore throat and they had done X-rays and cultures and told her it was nothing and........ RELAPSE.
I just kept walking and I should have stopped. I should have waited until she was done. I should have had a card with me. I should have given her my number. I should have found out her name. I know that she was having the "I should have known conversation in her head". "I should have known, I should have mentioned, I should have seen this coming"
It is not the same as having the first news of cancer delivered. The first time your shock is different. You are able to focus on 'the cure' with more intensity. It is so hard to handle the most basic things and work to understand everything you need to understand that you don't really have the time to comprehend what has happened. You are caught up in the cancer river and it carries you along for the ride. Relapse is in a different Universe all together.
While you are savvy about cancer and what it is and does to your life. You have beaten it. It is over. It is still sort of a bother and worry sits on your shoulder for a very long time but you are done. Your child beat it. You have healed, your family has healed, your life is better for having gone through the process.
Relapse is devastating. Think of it this way.
Cancer #1 is making a volcano in 3rd grade and mixing baking soda and vinegar together. Controlled and manageable.
Relapse is the biggest, longest explosion you can imagine. It takes away all your trust in the doctors and the system and the Universe. It takes your very breath away. You live on the edge of the world hoping to regain some semblance of sanity and your life again.
The thing I know, and I wish I had told the worried mom was there is a tunnel and it does end and you can make it out alive.
Now we are not quite there yet but I see glimpses every now and then. Yesterday was a glimpse. A moment.
So to the Mom that has just had her world destroyed, I will find you. I am pretty good about this sort of thing....