October 13, 2009 at 10:49 am | Posted in milestones, motherhood, S (the cancer chronicles) | 12 Comments

So I may have gotten a little DRUNK on Friday night. (Two glasses of wine pack a bit of a punch.)

And so. I went to bed CERTAIN that I was going to be up multiple times. And it was going to suck.

But I first heard him at 7:30. And he sounded HAPPY. And when I went to get him?

He was nearly fever free – unmedicated he was at 99.8.

So when J called to check in and I relayed the message, he told the others. And within a couple of minutes, he had called me back and told me that everyone said – “Under 100? That’s not a fever. Tell Serenity to come up anyway.”

So I repacked all the stuff, got O into the car, and drove up to New Hampshire.

I have no idea what it was, but he was fever-free for the rest of the weekend.



Seemed like SO much happened. O hit some sort of developmental spurt, watching the older kids. First he started calling J and I “mommy!” and “daddy!”

Then he asked for an apple, bit into it, and ate the whole damn thing without me having to cut it up for him. (Yeah. He’s got teeth!)

Then he decided that he had a choice to listen to J or I when we told him not to do something. (And of course, decided NOT to listen to us. All weekend. Fun!)

He also was completely obsessed with one of the kids’ matchbox cars. So he ended up with his OWN car – a police car. (We chose one which was bigger than a matchbox car.)

Which he has carried around with him, non stop, since the moment I presented it to him.

I also was able to have a couple of long conversations with S.

REAL conversations.

The first night she was just all positive positive positive. Her oncologist is great, she’s lucky her side effects are pretty minimal, the port installation was a little rough but for the most part she’s feeling good about the choice of doctors and treatment.

The second night she admitted that she wakes up every morning shocked that this is her life. Cancer? Her? A few weeks ago she was thinking she was too young to have two kids and a house and all the responsibility. She feels OLD now.

And yesterday, we went for a hike with the kids. Short hike to the waterfalls. As the kids romped all over, I saw S sit down, staring straight ahead.

And though J noticed too, and called it “S’s moment of Zen,” I could tell that she was FAR from Zen.

She looked, to me, like she was trying not to fall apart.

So I went over and gave her a hug.

And she broke down.

And I fought my own tears and hugged her. And said, “I know” when she cried “I’m so fucking scared.” And I told her that she COULD do this, she was doing it.

Told her to just keep breathing through it all.

And then it passed, and she apologized for not being okay, and I told her that it was ridiculous to think that she WOULD be okay all the time. And we rejoined the rest of our families and walked out, and I got in the car and drove home with a sleeping then awake and singing O. And unpacked, and ate dinner, and then went to bed.

We just went about our lives when we left that waterfall.

And S went home. And she’s faced with the fight of her life. And the knowledge that the best she can hope for is that she will live with her cancer for 5-10 years with no progression of the disease.

Buying time.

And all I can think about is that I want to FIX IT. I want to make it all go away.

I don’t want to lose her.

*I* am so fucking scared. For her. For her husband, who has taken it on himself to do EVERYTHING. Because she can’t lift the kids right now because they installed a port for the chemo. Because she’s tired all the time. Because he’s a good stoic New Englander.

And it’s just SO FUCKING UNFAIR. Why them? Why HER?

I don’t know how to reconcile it all. She needs help to fight this thing. She needs us to be positive and tell her she can do it.

And I DO think these things, I do. I think she CAN do it. I mean, why NOT her?

But all I can hear in my head is this chant: “Stage Four Cancer. Stage Four Cancer. Stage Four Cancer.”

All I can do is keep breathing through it. And telling S that she can do it. And SHOWING her that I’m thinking of her, and that she’s loved, and that she can do this.

And in the meantime, I’ll lock that little voice in my head behind a door. Because this isn’t about ME.

It’s about S.

And helping her fight this thing.



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  1. Somebody on a forum I’m on mentioned Methyl Jasmonate as a cancer fighter. She said, “I have a couple of friends with stage 4 who have had fantastic results when they were pretty much written off….” Maybe your friend can have good results with that?

  2. I am glad you were able to go. Especially at those times when she needed you the most. She is going to want to have a strong face towards her kids, etc. She needs someone there to help her deal with the anger, sadness and fear. I am glad you are there for her. I cannot imagine it. I will be thinking of her and of you.

  3. I’m so glad you were able to go. It sounds like S needed you, and that you were able to have some fun moments together, too.

    Don’t feel bad about going back to your own life, either. It doesn’t help S for you to be miserable. It sounds like you ARE helping, by being there to talk to.

  4. “Why not me” can go either way. So it might as well go the good way. There’s hope yet.

    I’m glad you got to visit your friend.

  5. Oh YAY! I’m so glad you got to go and spend time with her.

    Sending Hope.

  6. i’m so glad you were able to go and have a good visit. i know it meant a lot to both of you. xo

  7. So glad you got to go..know that meant a lot to both of you. I’m so sorry for the whole situation..

    Way to go O for all his fun developments-know you looooved hearing mommy and daddy 🙂

  8. I’m glad you ended up getting to go and have such a nice time. I’m sure it meant a lot to everyone there!

  9. I’m so glad you got to go. I’m reeling from the emotion of it all, tho. I can’t imagine being in her shoes and hoping to live with cancer, not beat it altogether. It’s just insane serenity. Like you said, how do you reconcile it all? the randomness of cancer. the relentlessness. It’s so scary.
    I prayed for her and her husband and her kids just now. Right in the middle of writing this, I stopped and prayed.
    Hugs to you. You are a wonderful friend.

  10. I’m glad you were able to be there for her.

    It’s ok for you to need support in supporting her too.

  11. I am SO SO SO glad you were able to go and support your friend. Huge hugs.

  12. I’m super glad you got to spend the weekend with everyone after all!

    What you’re doing is exactly what S. needs. You are a wonderful friend!

    I know what you mean about the voice in your head. In the early months after we found out about my mom’s cancer, I heard that voice, too. Just keep silencing it…I’m here to tell you it does quiet down a little.

    I’m keeping you, S. and her family in my thoughts and prayers.


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