Posted on January 21, 2015
The last four times I have heard those words, they have been pregnant – literally – with promise.
It took a long time for me to surrender myself to love. Life has always shown me that great love bought the potential for great pain, and quite frankly, I didn’t want a bar of it. Every person along the road that gave me a glimpse of it, well, I peeked around corners, tempted to come out where it was all open, and raw, and throw caution to the wind, but in the end, I always ran for them there hills. It was safer that way.
Until I saw the two lines on the pregnancy stick. And then, all of a sudden I knew. That I would round that corner, on a racehorse, and I’d sit in that open field, exposed, and, by golly, I’d wait for all the love, and all that pain, and I’d do it with the greatest of joy, and anticipation. And hills? What hills? Because, in nine months, NINE MONTHS, I’d hold a piece of me. All of a sudden it didn’t matter that i would wear a part of my heart, that I had protected so fiercely, outside me, forever. It was all of a sudden so very worth it. Nine months.
Pregnancy. My god, I thought it would never end. The heartburn, the restless legs, the cumbersome stomach. I don’t think I whinged about it much, but I admit to wishing it was over, and thinking how endless it was…that nine months.
It can’t have been so bad though, because I did it another 3 times. 36 months, I was pregnant. 36 months I waited for love to open me wider, and expose me even more. Sometimes it felt like the field was kilometres wide, and there were trees, and someone was sitting behind them with a gun, but love was worth it. LOVE WAS WORTH IT.
Today, i am pregnant with cancer. Today, a number was put on my days left on earth. Nine months. Could I have thought at one stage that it was forever? When it was pregnant with promise, it was. Now that it is pregnant with death, I know I’ll never be able to slow it down as much as I want to. I’m back in the middle of that field, surrounded by the hounds of death, and no love can save me now. But because I risked it once, and because of the four people I risked it for, I must now fight those hounds with my bare hands. I have nothing much in the way of a weapon.
And so, against the clinical opinion of my oncologist, and my liver surgeon, who think I would do better taking my chances with the nine months, instead of the 4 weeks or so that I have a 50% of getting, next week I will lay down in that field. And I can only hope I’ll get out alive.
Time means different things to different people. To me, to have value, it has to be good. I told this to my oncologist today, when I informed him of my opinion to go through with very risky surgery. We have been through a lot together, him and I. When he diagnosed me with cancer in December 2013, he gave me two chances of beating it – Buckleys, and none. I fought him on that, every step of the way, never prepared to give up. And one by one, surgeons came on board, and took me on, and fought for me, and to his credit, my oncologist was delighted. I had to jump so many hurdles, and I DID. As of last week, it seems I have fallen at the final one – but I won’t let that happen. As I left his office today, he said he wished very much that one day he would see me again. And, as what felt like a grudging nod to my personality, and my sheer tenacity to beat this, he said “most people would take the time on offer, but, to your credit, you have never been most people”. And we parted with the sad sort of smile that is exchanged by two people who kind of went into battle together, but acknowleged that I am now pretty much on my own.
There is no time for Dreamworld. We won’t be the family who is in the paper giving mum one last hurrah, and making precious memories. I’ll go into hospital next week, and either I will come out, or I won’t. No time to prepare. No time to tell my husband what size school uniforms to get, what shoes, who likes velcro, and who prefers laces. He’ll have to find out for himself what time the school bus picks up Georgia, and the phone number of the chaperone.
I know for sure why I will lay in that field. Because no matter how hungry the hounds are, Dakota wants a guinea pig called Hazel, and a guinea pig called Abbie. And Tana wants to know if any make up artist in the world could ever make her as beautiful as me. Indi wants to know when My Restaurant Rules starts, and whether we will snuggle together like last year, and then after that, can we watch The Bachelor this year too? And Georgia, well, she doesn’t say much, but tonight she sat on my lap, and pulled my hair, and said “mama’, and she gave me something that was very much like a kiss.
36 months pregnant with promise – surely that is worth fighting for?