Thursday, July 09, 2015

Back and Forth

In and Out
Over and Under
Up and Down
Happy and Sad
Joy and Sadness
Fear and Bravery
Determination and Capitulation
Despair and Faith
Agreeable and Recalcitrant
Healthy and Sick
Life and Dead
Obstreperous and Tractable

This list is much much longer.  The one that we focus on is

Remission and Recurrence or NED and Recurrence.
I thought it was bad that we don't ever get to know if "Recurrence is going to happen or Remission Sticks.  It is such a roller coaster and so much happens in between.   We are close to the four-year Relapse mark.  We have passed the 11th Anniversary of being in Cancer World.  I am finally starting to breath again.  AND THEN.

She gets a stomachache, or she is really tried or her back hurts or there is a small weird bump or her eyes keep getting conjunctivitis or ____________ fill in the blank. I don't like to be a constant complainer or worrier but I at my core I am worried.  I am worried.  That little voice sits on my shoulder and keeps telling me to not let my guard down.  I am not out of the woods.  There is no exit to this genuinely secret glen.

I visit with families that have just entered Cancer World.  I spend time with them imparting secrets about hospital living and Cancer World survival.  I go to kid's funerals.  Those that Cancer destroyed.
On one day, I visited with a mom who's 4-month little girl was born with a tumor the size of an orange and the funeral of a fourteen-year-old.  Needless to say, I had ice cream for dinner.  It was all too much.

Many think I am just crazy to keep visiting and going.  I don't want to be one of those people that walk away from family and friends when it is tough.  I have seen that happen with many.  It is too much most of the time but in reality it is impossible to do it alone.  I could never have done it without those that stepped up and lent a hand and gave at the perfect moment.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Been Dragging My Feet

For reasons unknown, I have not been able to make myself go to Children's Hospital with Wishing Rock Bags.  I have them packed, I have sorted, I have great new People Magazines, but I have not been able to go.  I plan it and then when it is time to leave, I take to my bed to watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians.  Yes, it is bad.  It can be very very bad.  

I had a million and one reasons for not going.  I was tired, I might have the bubonic plague, there is a terror alert, and I am on the top of the list. They won't let me in. The Seattle Guild Society was right, these silly little bags are meaningless. 
Then I had to go.  I made myself go.  I told someone I was going.  I had to do it.  And I did.
I went.  And I remembered why I do this.  I let someone tell me their story.  I listened to them, told them hospital survival secrets and let them know about Midnight Bacon. 

Something about the act of giving back and listening and just being there is so potent. We don't even have to know each other's names we just know.  We know the deep-seated fear, the questioning of everything that might have caused the issue. The wondering "WHY" no one found it earlier. The realization that no matter what you do or what you let them do to your children, it might not be enough. It might not work.  It does not work sometimes.  It might come back. The treatment might bring more cancer and an endless list of long-term side effects.  Knowing the fear never goes away.  Knowing the future is something other's can focus upon because we have just this moment in time.  

Life is so much more than what we had planned and more about what we can do this moment.  It's okay to watch your friend's lives continue.  Plans being made.  It is part of your stepping off the path.  

When I was in highschool, I read a Ray Bradbury short story about a man that returned to Dinosaur times to hunt.  There was required path, and you were only to kill the appointed Dinosaur.  It had been determined it would die soon and not affect the timeline.  This man stepped off the path and upon return he found a small glistening blue butterfly on his boot.  When the doors opened to return him after the hunt,
everything seemed familiar but were slightly off.  It was not the same.  It is never going to be the same.  No matter how hard we try and no matter how hard we pretend and no matter how hard everyone wants it to be the same, We stepped off the path.  

The only thing we can do is help those behind us.  
So.... I will consider myself cured of the plague, be kind to security and keep at it.  Besides, I'm almost caught up with the Kardashians.