One Conversation

by Carilyn on April 4, 2012

A loved one has cancer.
It’s been 5 days and 16 hours since she told me, but I can’t make sense of it.  I can’t understand.
I sit down.
I stand up.
What am I doing?  I sit again.
How can this be?
I walk around the room.  
I get distracted by something on the counter, something I should clean.  But then I remember, and I stop.
Each time, I feel like someone has taken the breath out of me and I crumple like I have no bones to hold me up.  
I feel like I’m five years old – no ability to comprehend, no adequate words to express what I’m feeling.
I go to sleep.  But I wake again and again, each time feeling I’ve just been told.  I’m afraid to go to sleep, and afraid not to.
I call a doctor friend who asks, “What stage?”
“I don’t know.”
“What procedures are lined up?”
“I don’t know”
I feel worse for my ignorance, more out of control than before I called.
“You have to get more information.”
I know.
I know.
I cry some more.  For her.  For myself.  For my fear that I will lose her.
Life goes forward and then something changes.
And then everything changes.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

SteveQ April 4, 2012 at 8:23 am

I am so sorry. Yet, sometimes you get good surprises as well. I heard my cousin had pancreatic cancer and I immediately thought he was a goner – that’s the one they don’t find until it’s much too late – but they removed it and he was fine, complaining that he missed a week of work! Hope things work out surprisingly well for you, too.

olga April 4, 2012 at 8:46 am

My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer last week. My sister had a surgery for colon cancer 6 years ago. Both of my in-laws died of cancer. It is something that will never be understood when it comes. Take a deep breath. I am sorry for your loved one, and wishing power and patience to overcome.

Carilyn April 4, 2012 at 9:28 am

Thank you, Steve. I hope all will be well, too. And I’m so glad your cousin is okay.

Carilyn April 4, 2012 at 9:29 am

Thank you, Olga. I hope the same for you. I’m so sorry about your dad. It is so hard, and you’re right, we will never understand, but just have to get through it.

Kate April 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm

I’m so sorry that your loved one has to go through this, and that you have to as well. I think often it’s worse watching someone else be sick than it is when you’re the one going through it. Best wishes to them. Saying a prayer for healing.

Carilyn April 6, 2012 at 8:12 am

Thank you, Kate.

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