I’ve written this three times now.
The first was right after we got the news, when emotion and adrenaline fuelled my writing, when grammar and syntax took backstage to the emotion and fear that guided my pen. The second time was similar, late at night when I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t close my eyes against the fear and stress I felt about the unknown journey we were embarking on, unwillingly.
This time is different, in a way. Again, I’m fuelled by emotion—well, that depends if we consider optimism an emotion. Let’s say it is. Today my writing is driven by this feeling of optimism, of contentment. It’s something I’ve been feeling for some time now, and yesterday cemented it.
I’ll back up. Some of you know, and many don’t, that my mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer back in December. She was diagnosed on the first and had surgery on Christmas Eve—in all, a three week span. I’ve been told, many times, that the quick surgery was a very good sign and by all accounts, it went well. Only a few weeks later, she started chemo.
Yesterday marked the midway point of chemo.
Anyone who knows her knows that my mum is a fighter. So it won’t surprise many people to know that at this point, at a time when most would say “slow down, you need to rest,” she’s still going at full speed. She’s working more, even. She hasn’t even lost all of her hair yet. (The wig lady said this was very inconvenient, because the wig fits much better on a hairless head, which I find hilarious). But that’s my mum.
We’re very, very lucky that they caught it when they did, before the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. For that, I’m so grateful. There are a million other littles things for me to be grateful for as well, and I am.
I reread those words from the first few weeks, and I remember the pain I was in. The fear and the helplessness and the anger. I remember those feelings, but they’re with me no longer. Instead, I feel optimistic.
It helped, I think, to have the halfway point coincide with the first day of Spring. The warm and beautiful day felt like the perfect way to commemorate this moment.
The second half of chemo will be harder; the drugs will start to affect her more and it’s likely that she will actually have to start resting more. But, again, I’m optimistic and confident that we’ll get through the second half of this treatment much like the first: with laughter, and a good amount of ice cream.