If I were to detail yesterday’s events for you, as I try to when they are relevant to this cancer experience, I would simply break down and cry again, and that would be useful to almost no one. Let me just say that I met with a lawyer, drew up the outline and contents of my will, asked him to stop joking and saying “if you die tomorrow,” named guardians for my children, considered who to give the power of attorney over my medical and financial affairs, and who could make the decision to withdraw life support, sipped a cup of hot and steamy tea that shook in my hand a little as I played the grown-up to a seasoned professional, and then spent the afternoon cuddled up in the big bed with my littlest one and PBS Kids, calming down and gathering my senses about me again until it was time for my oldest to come home from school. (He stood in the sunlight streaming in the window by my bed, and I cannot believe it, but when I looked at his feet, I saw that he was standing in rainbows, broken by the glass.)
After a wonderful and distracting evening event at school, I developed a splitting headache, sensitivity to light, nausea, and dizziness from it all and had to lie down alone in a dark room, listening to my husband read the bedtime stories and wishing it were me. I worried that these were the dreaded side effects and that I couldn’t continue in the trial — and of course that made it worse.
But there were two redeeming moments to the day that I must take a moment to share with you. The first was as I was getting Little Bear all snuggled up with me in the big bed, blankets pulled up around us and a freshly popped bowl of popcorn at our sides. Sherlock Holmes was on the screen, and my baby sighed and said, “Us really lucky, Mommy.” Well, yes, baby, we are.
And this afternoon, my oldest was in my office (when he shouldn’t have been), and he asked me about the lego figure I keep at my computer, the Princess-Who-Can-Defend-Herself, complete with eyeglasses and sword, and he smiled with recognition as he responded, “I know! She’s you! She’s inside you, fighting the cancer!”
And so she is.
And so I will simply say that the rest of the day was a day horriblis and leave it at that, and leave you with the image of a very tiny and very strong lego girl inside me, fighting the cancer with her minature sword, side-by-side with the new medicines that at once starve the cancer cells of estrogen and deprive them of their ability to grow and divide. She is fighting, and I will fight, and my little ones will not crumble, but cheer me on in this new trial. No, we will never be back to normal. But we are finding our way to the path of the new normal, and we will do it together.