I look back at my blogs from 3 years ago and scoff. I was so naive to think that we would know one way or another about Mary’s cancer and the outcome of it. And I’ve come to discover over these three years that the waiting is the hardest part.
I wish I could describe how helpless it feels. I wish I could describe how I’ve never really adjusted to the waiting on results of the scans and bloodwork. The inner turmoil I feel as I wait. These sunny spring mornings in early April have been some of the hardest moments in my life.
You hear the news. Then you wait.
And you don’t just wait for chemo to start, or for it to be over. It seems as though it’s never really over. And being in a perpetual state of waiting gets really tiring.
That’s the part I scoff at when I look at my old blogs. I knew it was all uncertain. I guess I didn’t know it would look like it does. I didn’t realize cancer came in this form, most of the time. I thought it worked really fast, or it went away. I guess I didn’t remember stories of people living with it for years and years.
When my sister texted me 2 weeks ago, saying it back, I was alone. John was very sick and didn’t find out until the next day. I was folding laundry. The most extraordinary news seems to come to us when we are doing the most ordinary things. It was back. Again. Three times now. I cried a lot that day.
And while the relief of waiting may be over, it’s only for that part of it. There is much more waiting to do. I feel like my heart is stuck in this place. It doesn’t move forward. It doesn’t begin to heal for good. It’s a wounded muscle that just keeps beating. It keeps beating.
People always ask me “how is your sister? How is your dad?” And the answer varies on which day you ask me. Because most of the time, I have no idea. I just know today there was no bad news. Or maybe there was. Today, no one seems to be sick. Or maybe they were. Today there was no treatment. Or maybe radiation or chemo coursed through their bodies. It all depends on the day. I don’t have solid answers.
While I want to be done waiting, I know that isn’t the path I’m on. While I want to close my heart and not talk about it, I know my heart will keep on beating and people will continue to ask me because they love me.
And while my heart may not have a solid answer for a long time, I have to keep moving. I don’t have a choice. I’ll continue living, enjoying the many good things and letting my heart grieve when it needs to. I’ll continue to give my heart the tools it needs to find some peace. And on the days I’m angry, I have to let my heart feel that, too.
It’s simple, but complicated at the same time. I write it, but there is an action that has to follow. Because life goes on. Life always wins, even if it doesn’t. And in the most simplest of ways, that brings me so much peace.
First round of chemo starts tomorrow at 2:15 MST.