Monday, February 21, 2011

Till furthur notice celebrate everything.

Breast Cancer.  Those two little ugly words have been a part of my families lives now for the past 3 years.  My son was about 3 months old when my mother called to tell me casually that the other morning she happened to feel a "pretty big lump" under her armpit.  Well the first thing you do is go completely numb and your ears start to ring, and then you start to give the "oh it is probably just a cyst" story even though deep inside you are starting to panick.  Well about three weeks later I got the call while in the middle of whole foods with my son and a carriage full of flax seed and organic food, because I knew today was the day that we were going to get our lives disassembled and rearranged even before the doctor called.  "It's cancer Michelle."  That is all I remember from that conversation.  I can't remember what I did really except that I went to the check out counter and then walked out without a single grocery and had to be chased down by the bagger as I tried to remember how to buckle a baby into a carseat.  I drove to my mothers house and I started to clean.  I cleaned for about 3-4 hours straight while the family started to show up.  I didn't know what the hell else to do.  I couldn't make the cancer go away but at least I could make the house look nice for all the company that was showing up.  The real kicker was that she hadn't even told my dad yet.  He had gone to the cape to get their boat out of the water being that it was late October.  I can still remember watching him get out of the truck that day and wanting him to stay outside so that his life could stay perfect for another 30 seconds.
Well that was three years ago and mom has beat the cancer for now but you can't help but remember that it was there and could always decide it wants to fuck everything up again.  I think that besides tear down a person that you love, cancer also tears down the family of that person.  You can not do a thing to make it go away, feel better, or in general make it any less shitty.  You are helpless, exhausted and trying to stay POSITIVE in the face of something so negative.  You worry about the what ifs...what if she dies, what if I get breast cancer, what if this, what if that...It consumes your life for a while and then it just sits in the background taunting you after the initial shock and pain wear off.  For the rest of my life I will be afraid.  I will try to remain positive but I can't help but let my head slip into the darkness once in a while when she calls to tell me that her neck hurts, or she has been nauseous for a couple of days.  I will try to not let my fear of getting cancer affect my life as much as it sometimes does, but when I catch myself afraid of touching my own breast in fear that I might stumble upon a lump I know that it is still there.  My rose colored glasses have been replaced with pink ribbons and Save the ta tas bumper stickers and life as I knew it is over. 
For now everyone is healthy and we can only hope that it stays that way.  Life is short and until further notice we should celebrate everything.
Dad, me and mom October 2006.  One year before diagnosis
The day they took out the cancer...the beginning of the long journey.

Cancer free at Noah's first birthday.  August 2008

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