Thursday, October 15

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

It’s taken me a while to get my thoughts together. I’m still not sure I have them all in order! But I think it’s time that I stop focusing on internalizing and let my thoughts flesh out into words.

It’s been a week since we found out that there were no more treatment options for your cancer. It was honestly a slap in the face. We’ve been fighting this battle for a year, and it still shocked me. I knew this news would come eventually and I still wasn’t prepared for it. The instant fear grips your stomach so tightly you can’t breathe.

It took a couple of days to get over that all-encompassing feeling. I know I called you every day. I hope I didn’t bug you too much. I just needed some reassurance that you weren’t gone yet. That’s the thing. As soon as I heard that we were done with treatment, it felt like we had given up.

After those first few days, it started to get a little easier. I gained some perspective. You’re still here, and still fighting. Just because we aren’t letting the chemo poison you anymore, doesn’t mean that we aren’t still fighting. You have a fighter’s spirit.

The idea of you not having to go through chemo started appealing to me. I knew very quickly that this was the right decision (even if it wasn’t mine to make!). I’m glad that you aren’t going through the treatment anymore. I’m glad you aren’t tied to the cancer center every Tuesday at 10. I’m glad you don’t have to drink that awful chalk drink for CT scans every month.

With that new perspective came new thoughts within me. I’ve had to think a lot about what it’s going to be like to lose you. The first thing I realized was that I had so many questions for you. When do you plant tomatoes? What’s the best way to make dressing? How do you hem dress pants? How do I treat morning sickness When should I start potty training my babies? What’s the best cleaner to clean throw-up?

And with this flood of questions came the feeling of freedom. I’m free to ask these questions because we may not get to my first bout with morning sickness. I don’t have to wait for an opportune moment because this is the opportune moment. I don’t know how much time we have left so I’m free to tell you “I love you” eight times in a two minute phone call.

One more realization. We’ve really been free this whole time. The closer we come to separation, the closer we grow together. Cancer hasn’t been killing you, it’s been freeing us.