It’s Cancer

Today we got the news that the diagnosis is cancer, for someone I dearly love. How do you think of much else? You do of course, because you have to. I have to do dishes and change diapers and feed hungry bellies and clean up spills before anyone slips and do bath times and drive places and care for the people I work with and send payments and remember to ask about homework and hug and kiss and hold and smile, (because yes there’s still love and even joy) and this is all the minimum to get by because I know I can’t overachieve right now, but really I just want to crawl into a hole and sleep it off for a week or so.

I’m so exhausted from the burden of not knowing. Not knowing is one of the hardest things. These past few weeks of wondering the worst, crying over what could be, pulling it together hoping for the best, trying not to overthink it, or over-google it and always it’s under the surface. So when someone speaks unkindly, or the children I birthed to be friends fight, or I just can’t get the recipe right, I lose it and just want to say “it’s cancer. It’s cancer that’s making me feel like a crazy person right now.” But those words feel too heavy.

So at least now we know, and the not-knowing-waiting is over so that we can now move into the knowing, but not really knowing, phase of treatment. The hardest part of all is their tears, the tempered strength, inconceivable acceptance, and heightened tenderness. We speak truth and weighty words more freely. No time for idle chit chat. This is cancer.


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