Posted on January 27, 2015
Like Groundhog Day, every morning is the same for me now. I stretch out of sleep, reach for whatever baby has crawled into bed next to me over the course of the morning, and pull them into a snuggly spoon. A smile starts to form on my lips, at what a perfect way this is to start the day.
And then I remember.
Every.single.morning I have to relive this horror over and over again now. It’s like learning of it all again, anew, but the words are all jumbled. Fifty percent. Liver failure. You’ll die. Four to six weeks. Multi organ failure. Dementia. It’s not a pleasant way to go. How about you try nine months on for size? At least it’s something. Time to make some memories. No? Well, it’s probably going to be your funeral. Literally.
I’ve always been willing to fight a million battles to win this war. There has always been going to be a day when I could say I USED to have cancer. In the meantime, I’ve lived between treatments and operations and chemo’s and radiation treatments, and most of all between scans, in as regular a fashion as I possibly can. There have been times when I haven’t been able to manage it, and I’ve had to call on help, but there has always been a promise of normal days again.
This morning I went to sleep at 7.10, and woke up at 7.20. I stretched, I turned, I looked at the clock, I got slapped in the face by the horror that is now my life, and for the first time since December 11, 2013, I realised that I couldn’t rally – not today, anyway. Because along with the realisation of what I am facing, came another even worse epiphany.
There are no more normal days.
I’ve hardly cried in 13 months. Sure, there has been the odd teary moment, but nothing much in the way of a full scale howl, because always in the back of my mind I wondered if I let myself start, how in the name of all things would I EVER stop?
Crisis management. That is what we went into this morning. I had a friend arrive early with coffee and muffins and a lovely baby to cuddle. As I snuggled her, and smelled her sweet baby smell, I felt myself really starting to lose it. I thought about how I snuggled my own four darling baby girls to my chest, in another life time, in a dream time, when my biggest problem was sleep deprivation, and how I’d get the washing dry in the winter.
When my friend left, I left my girls playing minecraft and went back to bed. The dam burst, and I panicked that the girls would hear me, so I stuffed the pillow into my face and screamed into it in almost mute terror. I went on like that for a while, barely able to breathe. And then the phone rang. As luck would have it, it was the palliative care nurse, but I was unable to make myself understood. She said someone would come, and like magic, someone appeared at the door. We sat opposite each other, and she asked me what I needed to get through this day this terrible day. I was tempted to say a shotgun, but I settled on drugs. Drugs and sleep. Was it reasonable to get something to knock me out, so I didn’t have to think about this for a while? She agreed that it definitely was, and I made a doctors appointment and rang Gaz to make the mercy dash home. As I sat in the chemist and waited for the sedatives that would knock me out like a sucker punch, I realised there was a flaw in my plan. Because if I went to sleep in the afternoon, I’d wake in the evening, and have to face it again another fucking time in the SAME DAY.
Before I went home, I thought I should get some lunch for my family. So, with sunglasses firmly attached to my face, I visited that monument to normality, Coles. As I walked around, howling under my glasses and throwing random things into the trolley, I took in the sights and sounds of what used to be my reality. Mothers squabbling with children, gathering school supplies, lunchbox snacks, salad items for dinner, new drink bottles. Harassed people wishing school went back a couple of days sooner….wishing their lives away. And me? All I wished was that I was them. Any of them. And right then, I made my deal with the devil. He could have my soul.
For one more normal day.