We get so focused...So focused on the goal that sometimes we don't see the big picture.
The big picture is there all the time but being in cancer world deletes your ability to see that picture. You have one set of goals. It starts out big... Cure Cancer. Cure and defeat Leukemia, AML or ALL or , Brain Tumor, Sarcoma...Wilms, the list is endless. Cure, Cure, Cure.
Only later do we face the reality of what the cure means. 80% of the time it means life. Survivorship, a future, a way to return to normal. I told someone a long time ago I was not giving a dime to anyone that wanted to cure Cancer, only to those that wanted to figure out how it happens and make it stop.
I sit here this week and look at the fall out from being in Cancer World twice and now it is damage control. Sort of like the bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. They stopped World War II but then what. At what cost to those sitting around innocently having a morning cup of tea?
Mary-Elizabeth and all of our children have been subjected to a nuclear blast. Many cells and organs and future cells and eggs took one for the cause. Her thyroid died, her eggs are (ready to be served on) toast, she is guaranteed cataracts and skin cancer and a whole list of possible other cancers.
Don't get me wrong, I would make every single decision the same except I would have pushed for egg harvesting when she was about 17 or 18. I didn't think about it then and now it is too late.
We are so singularly focused on a date, a place, an event, a result. Please let my child's body be ready for more Chemo. Please let my child's body be able to 4 days of twice a day total body radiation and high dose chemo so that she will be completely helpless against any sort of bug! Please let them do some more scans or run a scope down into her stomach and take a biopsy. Please let them operate and remove huge parts of her bones and replace them with some foreign metal in a new experimental surgery. Please, we will take anything, just let her live...
If we ever stood back and took a look at what was really happening and thought about it, I don't know what would be the result. I guess our brains know we can't handle too much. So we are able to chop up the ongoing crisis in little bits and pieces to be handled one step at a time. Today we do the biopsy or the scan or the chemo... Tomorrow we evaluate and keep going until we hit CURE. We will take the dead thyroid, the deeply upset kidneys, the brain die-off the massive infection that will not heal, the relapse, the 14 days in ICU, the emotional storm of anxiety and depression and all the rest.
We are focused on a Cure. Nothing more, nothing less.