“So what am I supposed to do? How do I get rid of cancer?”
I asked these questions of Laura when she called me with the news, however she’d already uttered the word, so the rest of the conversation was an echo. She might as well have not even continued talking because nothing was registering.
“We need to determine what kind it is. You’re going to need to have a bone marrow biopsy as soon as possible.”
She also might as well have been talking in Japanese because I had no idea the cancer lingo. Prior to that, I had always thought biopsies were for tumors. The only lump I had was the one in my throat every time I tried to say something in return.
I didn’t care about any of it in that moment. I left and immediately drove to Liv’s Montessori school.
When I arrived, nothing was said. The teachers there knew me well enough to know that something was wrong but they shouldn’t ask. They should just let me walk like a zombie back to the brightly-painted toddler room where Liv played every day.
The drive from our apartment to the Chesterton Montessori School was approximately 8 minutes. I used those minutes to dry my tears, collect my thoughts, and gather every ounce of strength I could muster in order to pick up my child and hold her, yet not frighten her with my own fear. Yep, I was going to do this. I had to do this.
And I almost did. Before I turned the last corner and made the walk down the hallway where teeny-tiny little winter coats and matching snow boots lined the walls, I sucked in a deep breath. But as soon as I made eye contact with Liv’s teacher my composure started to shake. It was then that my 22 month old turned around and ran towards me – and then that I totally lost it.
She was all I thought about the moment I heard the word. Who was going to be her mother? I AM HER MOTHER! Will she get this? Is it hereditary? Why do I have to leave her? No. No, no, no. Make it stop! Somebody tell me what to do, who to say sorry to for any past wrongdoings I have done. Is this why I’m sick? Is it punishment for something? Liv. She needs a mother. I AM HER MOTHER.
Mercifully, this mother got to hug her sixteen-year-old today. What a sweet day it was.
62 Days to the party.