Cancer keeps on coming.
My mom’s chemo is working. It makes her feel like crap 24/7 but it is working; shrinking the tumor that caused this whole commotion.
My family is thrilled. Blessed by such wonderful results. We’re still waiting to see where this cancer road leads us. We know these things take time. We know that we have to keep fighting. We have to keep dealing with this thing called cancer.
As I learned early this week, a friend (co-worker) has to travel this road, too. A different form of cancer, but scary, real, and dangerous nonetheless.
Cancer is cancer.
So, last week when she, my-younger-than-me co-worker was waiting, I couldn’t help but remember what that was like. The unknowing. The hoping that maybe the initial tests were wrong but thinking they probably weren’t. The how do I act normal when I am scared to death feelings. All those emotions I felt back in October were real and part of my life again.
Because once you’ve set foot on the cancer road, you sympathize and empathize with everyone else who travels with you, ahead of you, or behind you. You get it. Of course, people in the exact same race as you are the ones you connect with the most. Like the hockey mom I’ve known for years who told me that her mom had cancer at the same age as my mom.
In the months since October, months full of cancer and chemo, I’ve thought about a place I loved as a kid. A place that always melted my problems away.
That place. Grandma’s house. Bordering the Great White North, it was a place of comfort, safety, and love. A place where I knew I’d find the love of an entire family to sort through my sorrows and a Grandma who knew how to listen.
As I’ve shared before, that wonderful place no longer exists. Physically, it still stands. Mail still arrives in the box by the front door. The floor still squeaks in that certain spot. And I hope that the house is full of love. Like the love I felt whenever I walked around the house to the back door and found my Grandma waiting with a hug.
It was a house that saw many Christmases. A house where too many cooks in the kitchen was a scary sight. The basement saw wrestling matches and doll dress ups. The bench in the back entry was always covered with jackets; the floor full of shoes.
And it is that place that I wish I could escape to. That house where I wish I could go.
Going there then. When life was simple. When I was young. When cancer hadn’t pulled my mom down its path.
Though I cannot go there, I can remember. That fact brings some comfort from this cancer confusion. The memories and love of that place, the place I want to be, is what I’m drawing on right now. Because those memories and feelings were built on a Love stronger than cancer.
And that Love is what is going to see my mom and young friend through. Because no one beats this thing called cancer without it. Even if you’re a bystander on a cancer track, cheering someone on as they make the first turn, know that your love is all they need.
Love. That’s the only place you need to go.