Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

I have been busy, but it's manageable chaos right now. My gifts are wrapped, cookies are baked, and I braved the supermarket for what I need for brunch on Saturday.

I have the next five days off and there will be lots of family, food, and basketball. And at least a little wine.

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the phone call from the doctor who had done my first biopsy. Not happy memories. After googling "invasive lobular carcinoma" that day, I read a phrase something like "x percent of patients live five years" and sobbed. It's not long enough. I wouldn't be able to see my kids graduate from college or get married or have THEIR kids, if that's all I had. So I crumbled, alone in my house. A whole state away, my sister woke from a sound sleep after her night shift and called me.

Last Christmas eve I cried while I sang at mass. I was frightened and I could see people I know holding their new grandson down below me in the pews, which broke my heart. I was trying to keep anyone from noticing me because I didn't want to ruin anyone else's holiday, which seems silly but how do you answer "merry Christmas" with "I have cancer" ?

While I was sick my children grew taller but also much more independent. Cooking. Arranging rides to their sports and other activities. So much has changed over the past year, and it's almost like some of it happened to somebody else. I try to shake the ghosts of last December off, and I do pretty well, except for at lunchtime yesterday when I was telling a couple of people I eat with now about the whole phone call and the days that followed.

I'm kind of exhausted right now, so I am going to finish up this post, but let me assure you that I will be SO happy to hang a new calendar on the wall.

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