Just A Day..

In the cancer world, the day of diagnosis is sometimes referred to as the “crapiversary” June 20th will always be our “crapiversary”, but the amazing thing is that this year, I got to the day without thinking about the date. Our lives are so new, and that is a blessing. Last year, and the years before, I relived that day as the hours passed, cried and reviewed it with Dave. While painful, it also was therapeutic, because it made me so very thankful that my son is still alive, while so many other children are not here. I always hold Matthew close, say prayers of thanks all day and pray /barter with God to keep him here with me for as long as possible. My ritual was broken this year- I work now, busy on that day, a weekend last month, at my job, and the day came and went.

A month after Matthew joined the cancer club, July 19th, he had a headache in the morning. Dave and Ryan were out, and M was playing cars on the floor, when all of a sudden he couldn’t move his head, closed his eyes and comlained of pain. He had doubled his weight by then from the steroids. I called the on call onc and he told us to give him some Tylenol. He looked horrible to me, so I put him in the car, but had this “feeling” that if I drove all of the way to Hopkins, that he as going to get worse. We went to our local hospital, they did a CT scan, read it as negative, and tried to send him home. He could not open his eyes, talk, move his head, and I watched his vital signs get worse. They would not listen to me that he was sick, so I demanded he be moved to Hopkins. A notulant attitude was had by all, they finally told us to just take him ourselves, six hours later. All day, I sat at his side, thinking, he was going to die, and feeling utterly helpless and powerless. I begged God for forgiveness, that I had been so upset about just cancer. We tried to take him ourselves, but he projectile vommited, which is a sign of increased intracranial pressure. They called for transport, and once the PICU nurse got there, she looked at me with knowing eyes, and said that he would need to be intubated in the abulance. She knew how sick he was, like I did. Once at Hopkins, eight hours later, the attending MD finally confirmed what I knew all day- my son might not live. He had either a big bleed or blood clots in his brain. July 19th-20th, 2008 was the worst day of my life thus far.

Words can not express that day…Whenever Matthew gets a severe migraine, my pulse gets quicker, I start to shake, and I become  a mama bear. That night, many other events took place, and someday I I’ll talk about them, but I learned a lesson this year.  Cancer mom’s joke that most of us have PTSD, and I do believe this is true. In Ecclesiastes 3, it talks about a time for everything. This year, it occured to me what the date was on Sunday. Dave and I are in this new place, and try not to dwell on the past. We looked knowingly at each other, dismissed it, and did not give it another thought. But our subconcious is an amazing, crazy part of us. All day on the 19th-20th, everything just went wrong. I did not sleep all night last night, and I was down both days. To be honest, I had pushed the date so far away, that I didn’t think about it until tonight, as I write this and my tears are finally coming, as they should have three days ago. There is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to tear down and a time to build up. The lesson that I have learned is to allow myself to feel- I should have not tried to run from it, because it was getting out somehow. I haven’t been myself in a few days, and I realized tonight why..many times well meaning people told me to smile through the pain, fake it until I feel it, that I need to live in the present not the past.  Pain, anger, fear- these are emotions that are a part of me, and on dates of these milestones, they win. So my advice is to feel them , ride them, get them out, share them ith safe people, in a healthy way. By the way, Dave has said for two days that he feels sick but isn’t sick- he’ll be happy to know why in the morning…


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