We were dropping off Girl Scout Cookies for The Husband’s favorite Aunt. She said something that I think I unconciously knew, but hadn’t completely considered. As hard as it is for me to go through the doctor’s appointments, the surgery, the chemotherapy, the radiation (all yet to come) and the physical manifestations of my cancer and it’s treatment – it is probably much, much harder on the people who must watch me go through it all, and knowing there is really nothing they can do.
Our daughter has been pretty quiet with us about the cancer, but I can see she’s worried. She had her first sleep-over on Saturday, and had really been looking forward to it. But about midnight, we got a call saying she wanted to come home. When my baby is crying and saying she wants to come home, I don’t ask questions, I get her home. However, I suspected it was more than just homesickness. Last night she confessed, she “wanted to see me one more time, just in case I ‘went’.” I asked her where I was going – Mexico, Paris, London? She says “You know?” then looks towards heaven before she makes a face like “dead”. I told her “I’m not going to die.” She says “Don’t say that word!” So clearly, she’s majorly worried about this, about the possiblity that I might die. No matter how much I try to reassure her, she worries about this, and mostly she worries alone. I hate this, seeing this fear steal her peace of mind, and there are just no words I can say to make the scared go away.
I’ve seen this show up elsewhere, in people’s discomfort in being around me. Much of the time, I just stop talking about myself and my cancer, or if I do, I feel a little guilty about dominating the conversation. I know other people are dealing with their own problems, which I’m sorry, they ARE just as important as I think mine are.
My boss is moving cross country, basically by herself. It’s the same job, and some of the same people, all of whom she likes – but her family is here. Who is an advocate for her there while I am out dealing with my shit? She is strong, she is capable, and she is a no-nonsense professional. She’s a big girl, and she can stick up for herself, and very often for me. She’s no weakling. But I still worry – who will be watching her back, who will be monitoring the little details, so she can go out an slay the dragons? All I’ve got is a little cancer in my breast, and I’ve got The Husband sharpening my swords and taking care of my amour so I can slay my beast. Who’s going to take care of my boss’s armour while I’m doing my own battle? She’d tell me not to worry about it, but I still do.