You lose a family member and you think that is the hardest thing you will go through together--death is scary and death is the ultimate end. I lost my dad and I lost myself in the same day. Scott was there to hold me together, he was there when I was hysterical, when there wasn't enough sleeping pills in the world to give me a good nights rest, when I couldn't walk two steps without feeling like I was going to faint, when I thought it would be easier if I just was numb all the time and forget that bad things happened in the world. That was it, that was our pain, our pain before we even got married. And that crazy ass dog was there too, he witnessed the pain, he licked the tears off my face and pooped on the floor to give me something to do.
My dad was incredible, he was stubborn and stern as hell, but I wouldn't have the fight I have inside me without him. We are all stronger now because of him--we were forced to break and heal--together. My sisters, mom and I have a unspoken bond that happened when we were forced to grieve. Scott is joined with us because he was forced to step into a role and protect all of us. Death can come with unbelievable pain that you can't see--there are no visible wounds on those who are grieving...except the inevitable puffy eyes and swollen red nose. I am "fixed" but am missing a piece of me--the same piece that makes me who I am........
So we had a few battles, but apparently the war wasn't over. We bought a house, I went to grad school, we were adults and had plans and were good. We fought over stupid stuff, just like you all do, like the garbage, money, cleaning the bathrooms, vacuuming........pointless arguments that at the time seem so real and heated and the most important thing in the world...............but really, pointless.
We wanted to have a baby. Babies are what I do--pregnant women and babies are my passion, I embrace every aspect of pregnancy and I am damn good at what I do.......damn good. I wanted to be that good with my own baby, I wanted a baby. We were trying to have a baby. Now, I won't be able to have sex to make a baby with my partner.....it won't happen. Now I am a lactation educator that will never, ever be able to breastfeed. I am unsure if I will be able to carry them embryos we worked to hard to freeze prior to surgery and chemo. And if I do, I will be a high risk pregnancy, with no probable option of a vaginal delivery. For most people this isn't such a big deal, people don't dream of breastfeeding and most people want drugs for birth and c-section seems like a perfect option. I am not that woman. In fact, I am opposite of that woman--I try to change that woman's mind and show her the importance of what her body can do, and how her baby needs her body to do such things. Now I am a woman with limited options and when I let myself think about it I feel the pieces of me fall to the floor......so I accept the inevitable, put it in a box, tie it with a pretty bow and place it to the back of my head. I peak into it every once in awhile hoping it has changed.......but it hasn't.
Each day isn't a gift. It is an option. Some days fucking suck, they do. I am not a rosy, kittens and rainbows, type of lady. I am a realist. I am a mama bear when it comes to those I love and would do anything to stop them from hurting or from others hurting them. I am gritty, raw, and sometimes too much for people to handle. I am passionate and persuasive and can carry quite a wallop. I was taught to hit once and make it count, so you don't have to hit again. I am married to someone with more patience and understanding in his little finger than I can muster throughout my entire body. I cuss like a sailor, I am a damn good therapist, and I will do anything to preserve a woman's right to chose their health care...even if I can't chose mine.
So our lives had a few rough bumps, we were 26 and on our way to our cross of our checklist of life to-do's.
Stage 3 Cancer.
Our lives changed, we adjusted, we rallied the troops and we are putting on one hell of a fight. But it is still cancer, stage 3, and that fact doesn't escape either of us. We don't talk about it, because it is too scary. We take one day at a time, because planning ahead seems futile when you aren't sure if tomorrow will be one of my "good" days. I would give anything if our only concern was whose turn it was to take out the fucking garbage. Or I was miserable and swollen because I was in my third trimester rather than going through chemo. We are the sinner and saint mix that works.
I sometimes sit on the floor and cry, I go through boxes of kleenex while Scott is at work so by the time he gets home I am out of tears. I can't dance in the shower as much as I used to because my body hurts to stand that long. I have mini-panic attacks when I get a mild-grade fever and am afraid of blood work because I don't want to have to be admitted to the hospital. My body has turned against me, even my implants are making my life hell. I am not the person I was before and I don't really know how to feel about this new person I have been forced to become. I guess I have the rest of my life to get to know her.......