Monday, March 16, 2009


Life goes on, and with it comes great conversations about our religion, calling, classism. I go to class, tend to my kids, work on my church. Preach, in our pulpit, or others.

Read, read, read. I am brimming with ideas, spilling over with enthusiasm. I am mad for progress now ... ready to Get This Show On The Road.

When my children fall and bleed, I tell them about how great blood is, how wonderful scabs are -- nature's band aids -- because once you have a scab, you can go back to running, climbing, having fun. Your body is healing itself and protecting itself.

Of course, the wound is still beneath. I am grateful for the thick scab -- it came quicker this time. I worried that I needed to "take off" time to heal from LW's last bout with cancer. I worried that I was going back to school too soon. Actually, I've been frustrated at not taking more classes.

But all in good time. We're going on LW's Make-a-Wish trip in April ... more classes would have made that more complicated. As it is, I'll need to turn in a paper a week early, arrange for review notes, as I'll return from Disney and have to take a final exam 4 days later.

Life goes on. And CancerWorld also goes on. I haven't posted it all here, but my heart has broken a few more times, as we lost three of our Wilms' Warriors in one week. One, so fast! how could it happen so fast? And another so heartbreakingly slow. I never knew that a young child could rage, rage, against the dying of the light, but this one did. Just a couple of days before she died, whenever she would wake from her drug and pain induced unconsciousness, she would talk to her siblings about how next year, she would start kindergarten and they would walk to school together.

Oh ... God ...

Hope, too, in our Warriors' struggles. One experimental drug, Sorafenib, seems to be working for a while for some, slowing the progress of tumors. And one of our strongest fighters, who has fought with wisdom and spirit for five years, is now trying out a brand new drug, so brand new, it has no name and only goes by a set of letters and numbers.

In addition to caring for these other children, each drug that possibly works gives us another future chess move. If LW were to relapse (oh, God, if you knew how it hurts to write that word) again, she would probably do a protocol called ICE. If she were to relapse again, then maybe sorafenib or this new drug.

To think of having to go back to CancerWorld is excruciating. But to know that there would be something they could do gives a bit of balm. A bit.

So, every once in a while, I spill it all out on the floor, shuffle through it a bit, then rake it all up into a corner. Because sometimes the woods aren't lovely, they're just dark and deep.

And I have miles to go.


ms. kitty said...

Oh, man, what you have to live with. And I thought seminary was hard with a live-in adult son. Jeez. I knew nothing, nothing. And he wasn't even bad company.

Kristina said...

The other thing about scabs is that the bigger they are, the bigger the scar they leave behind. They change us, sometimes permanently, even when we're fully healed.

Miles to go....yes. I am three years, nine months, and 16 days from my diagnosis, and I still can't rest. I know that it can change in a heartbeat. It's easier than it was two years ago, certainly, but it's not easy. I envy those souls who are able to put this kind of thing sincerely in the past, because I haven't figured that out. I see we are not alone in that.

I do like to believe that those feelings will change one day. I know it's diferent person to person, but I would like to think that the woods do not go on forever. I do know that sometimes, in the woods, I stumble on a flower meadow, and I can rest there, and sometimes, that is enough. I am not really even trying to get out of the woods any more, just holding on until I can rest in the next meadow.

I cried when I read about your lost warriors. I have lost warriors, too.

And I know how I am lucky, because it was me, and not my Tessa. And I am so sorry and angry for you that it was your LW fighting, but take comfort that maybe you can do her worrying and she can just move forward, in the fearless way that children have. That while you are trudging through the dark woods, she's playing in open sunlight on the seashores, unconcerned, happy.