Tuesday, February 03, 2009


"What are YOU doing?" chuckled The Husband. I popped my head into the kitchen to see Little Warrior virtually hanging from our vegetable baskets, her other hand holding a bunch of bananas. She smiled, canary feathers dropping from the corners of her grin. Full of energy, she is rosy, plump, and healthy-looking. And I know it doesn't mean anything.

I lost my brother right before my 10th birthday. I have a friend who lost her dad when she was in high school. We agree that along with the loss of the person, another big thing you lose is that feeling of "It can't happen to me."

We often have bulging pockets full of what we perceive of as protection. Karmic condoms, we think.

Slowly, I am being stripped of all of them. I've learned that having one big tragedy in your life doesn't protect you from more. I've learned that no matter how much you appreciate your family and are grateful for your life, it doesn't mean heartbreak isn't looming.

And in 2008, I learned that looking healthy doesn't mean much. Every scan after that first cancer, The Husband and I would say, "Look at how healthy she is. Look at her energy. Surely there can't be cancer inside ..."

But there was.

So, we don't have that to give us hope. We know that for a while, cancer can hide inside a blooming flower.

But we have hope. Hope is not faith. Hope is tremulous, uncertain. But it is hope.

Right now, we have friends whose hold on hope is tenuous ... or fast fading. One's daughter has something "suspicious" in her lungs. But they are having to wait 6 weeks to scan again. Another just came back from their Make-A-Wish trip, expedited by medical circumstance, and can feel a 10 cm lump in her abdomen. They knew her cancer was aggressive, but they didn't know it would be ... so very. And the one I just. can't. think. about. ... her parents were advised to contact the funeral home and make arrangements.

We have hope. Tremulous, uncertain, based on no false promises, no "surely since she ..."

But it is hope. And it is real. And we are grateful.

And Feb. 17, we have scans.


ms. kitty said...

Oh, honey...You're all in my heart.

Kari said...

Sharing your story is such a gift, it makes my whole messy beautiful life seem so much more, so-- sacred, I guess is the word. Terrible things can happen to people I love. Terrible things do happen to people I love. So, we hold each other up and we keep on living our sweet, goofy sometimes tragic lives.

Holding Hope for you all.

jbgrinch said...

I am with you, I will keep you all in my prayers, please add my friend jen to yours she was just told she has bone cancer 1 year after she thought she had beat brest cancer. We all have hope but we also have fear so real we can taste it. with much love

Lizard Eater said...

JB -- I'm really, really sorry. She is in my prayers. As are her friends and loved ones. Sending you strength, LE.