You don’t understand what this means now but it is important so I want to share it with you in some way. Maybe this is more for me then it is for you.
The best thing about being your mom has also been the hardest part. After giving birth to you I was overcome with a love I had never felt. I loved you a million times more than I thought I would or even could.
With that over whelming love came an overwhelming fear. That enormous love meant that there was a risk for enormous loss.
This week I felt that fear more than ever. This week marked my 5 year anniversary of being diagnosed with cancer.
This week was the week I had been fighting for, for 5 years.
This week would decide whether my cancer was in remission or not.
I brought you along to have my blood labs done, I was glad I was the one getting pricked this time and not you!
I had been tested once every 3 months for the first two years after being diagnosed, once every 6 months for the next two years and this was my last test. It had been almost 12 months since my last test. I had been betrayed by my body before and feared that this close to the end of my goal it would betray me again and put me back at the start line.
After the test you and I walked home. The office I go to is just a couple of blocks away and walking helped ease my nerves. We ended up walking a couple of miles instead of the two blocks home. Once we were home, I sat on the floor with you and cried. You saw my tears and started to cry. You seem to understand so much and you are just a baby. I didn’t mean to upset you – I was just so scared.
I was just so afraid I would have to hear those words again, you have cancer. I was so afraid I would have to start another round of radiation. Another round would mean I would have to stop breastfeeding you now. I would have to go back into isolation for treatment. I would not be able to hold you or even be in the same room with you, possibly even the same house with you for a month, maybe even longer. I wouldn’t be able to comfort you when you cry, smell your hair, kiss you or rock you to sleep. Because the radiation would be poisonous to you. I would be poisonous to you.
The thought of going a day let alone a month without you tears me apart. But worse is the thought of you going a lifetime without your mom. The thought that the cancer could come back and take me from you. That I wouldn’t even be a memory to you. I would be a story to you. A stranger in pictures of your childhood. I can’t even speak those words out loud.
The days went by so slowly this week. I was filled with anxiety.
The test takes about a week to get back. But I am impatient and I called 4 days later, to see if I could get the nurse to rush the results. Bless her – she did.
About 8 phone calls later she told me she would call me back in a few moments with the results, she had to get another doctor to confirm the labs.
I was holding you while you slept, your dad had run to the store, just like when I found out I had cancer the first time. He ran out for a moment, the phone rang and my life changed forever. My hands were shaking that all too familiar pit began to form in my gut.
The phone rang and hesitantly I picked it up. She read off my results.
Numbers and medications rolled in one ear and out the other, finally she got to the last test.
She said, “you are officially in remission, congratulations”.
I felt like the world was lifted off of my shoulders. I cried but this time you smiled, somehow you understood.
They say you never forget the day you are diagnosised…I will never forget today.
Noah, I wanted to share this with you because it means so much to me, more than I thought it would or could – because of you – you are my reason to be strong.
I’ll always fight to be here for you.
Love always, always, always..