I saw him rolling down, down, crashing onto my hurt side just as he loomed large, too big and powerful for me to stop. He fell on me, full force, just as I tried to roll out of the way, and my side split in pain. I couldn’t help but yell, and I scared the dickens out of my three-year-old.
He curled up, crying, terrified that he’d hurt Mommy.
It took quite a few minutes of crying, calming, cuddling each other before either of us was quite okay again. But all the chaos did give us the opportunity to talk about the hurts, and about the cancer itself. I reassured him over and over that it was not his fault. That it was not his fault that Mommy was sick, and not his fault that Mommy hurts and is so tired these days. After a few minutes, I think he believed me.
I think he believed me.
Kids are so self-centered. Thank goodness. I thought that would be our saving grace, that perhaps the boys wouldn’t internalize Mommy’s cancer, and would someday forget that things weren’t perfect when they were little. But I forgot that they kids also tend to (irrationally) think that it is their fault. That they thought something, and it happened. Or just that they did something wrong, and Mommy got sick.
It’s not his fault.
It’s not my fault either. As I explained over and over, in comforting tones, it’s not anyone’s fault that Mommy is sick. It just happened. Mommy’s breast got sick, and we took it off, and Mommy went to the hospital a lot to get special medicine, and now Mommy gets the light shined on her every morning, and now all that’s left is for Mommy to get better. To get stronger. To return to normal. Whatever that is.
We’re starting on that road tomorrow.
For today, this morning, is my very last radiation treatment. Tomorrow I go back to the oncologist to get started on the hormone therapy and determine what tests I’ll need to see if the cancer is gone or just hiding. I’m praying for gone.
But either way, I’m going to keep writing about it. Thanks for coming along on this journey.