I just said to my husband, "I'm really sad that I have cancer, honey."
"I am too," he said.
No, I'm really sad because I'm sad for everyone else in my life who has to watch me go through this. For my husband who loves me and has to helplessly see me suffer. For my Mom who lost a daughter already to cancer. For my son who loves me and doesn't know what to say. For my daughter who needs me right now; who was counting on me to be there for her; lend a hand as she adjusts to the new baby.
I'm especially sad for Ava. We stopped in to see them briefly yesterday. I covered my shaved head with a navy blue puffy cap I bought at the Dana Farber 9th Floor Boutique on Wednesday. I think at 2 1/2 Ava understands more than any of us give her credit for. She always checks me out, my earrings, "I like your earrings, NeeLee," or necklace. She always studies my face and gives me big hugs and kisses. Yesterday she kept her distance. She wasn't at all curious about my new, navy blue hat. When I took it off so her mother could inspect the shaved head, see the scar from when I fell off the swing when I was six, Ava was in the room, she never even looked at me. She wasn't curious. Not one bit.
I think she knows something is wrong. I think she has been listening to her mother on the phone with me, or updating someone about the latest news and that Ava doesn't know if she should ask questions or not. Ava wasn't herself with me yesterday. I sensed it. She and I have a connection and it wasn't there yesterday. I can't shake the image of her not even glancing my way when her mom exclaimed, "Seeing you with your head shaved, it's amazing how much Brian does look like you, Mom!"
I'm also sad for my extended family who live near and far. Everyone is so worried about me, about us, about the future. Cancer, it's such a question mark isn't it? Once you have it, you never know if you'll have to deal with it for the rest of your life, however long that ends up being. Like, did my sister ever guess that she had lived half her life at age 22?
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