The face of Leukemia is slowly starting to smile again. Her radiance glowing from under the shroud of another long stay. Its been another 8 long grueling days of high fevers, infections, blood work with crazy numbers, CT scans, swollen lymph nodes and skin so irritated that touching it or an accidental rub or scratch would leave strange marks.
This week Jacy endured another week long headache from hell, nausea, and a colossal loss of appetite. She lost more weight, became so fatigued that walking from the bed to the bathroom left her exhausted. She hallucinated under the spell of multiple pain medications and tried her best not to throw up when anyone was around. The face of Leukemia has been drug through the trenches, fought the war, wiped the sweat from her brow then laid still wondering if there was more. and there was…
Under the covers on top of the bed, warm or cold, drenched in sweat or so hot and dry the desert looks cool. All this woman can think of is coming home to see her babies, her children, to be normal, a mom like any other. The face of Leukemia is yearning to tell her kids to clean up their rooms, help them with homework, watch them ride their horses or simply walk by an open door at night, only to peek in and watch them sleeping peacefully.
No longer do the simple things in life feel mundane. Nothing is taken for granted; for you see when the better part of 5 months has left you strapped to a hospital bed going through the metabolic changes her body has endured, something so simple as making school lunches for the ones you love feels like striking gold. When you have nothing but time, and are trapped in a room with no hopes of escape the world begins to look different and so by her own admission, it has changed.
As for me. I can’t wait until she comes home. My children are the most awesome individuals I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. They screw up and make mistakes like any other children but they are mine. But no matter how hard I try a child needs it mom. There are only so many things I can do or say to make-believe everything is all right. But children are not stupid, they see the distress upon my face, the furrow in my brow, they feel when my temper has shortened and patience worn thin. They adjust, they try, but stability still needs to reign for normalcy to occur.
It has been a good long stretch since I have seen her million dollar smile; understandably so, yet it is what I long for. To see her strong, to see her laugh, to see her ride a horse again, to see her walk a set of stairs without becoming winded and then saddened for the memory of what she used to be. To see her triumph.
As for me? As for me, I have decided my problems shouldnt matter. My complaints are small, may pains irrelevant, my loss of sleep inconsequential, my stress load manageable. For as for me, I don’t have cancer, I have a healthy body, therefore I have no complaints.
Today she smiled, I surprised her while dropping a patient off at the ER. Popping in for a just a minute! Walking down the corridor I came to her room, slowly turned the handle and walked in, she was propped up, texting. I said in an altered deep voice: Excuse me mam we are going to need to palpate your abdominal area, can you please undress for me. With a startle she jumped, seeing it was me, she smiled. A big giant smile! The most beautiful smile I had seen in a very long time. It made my day, it made her day as she was happy and surprised to see me. It was only for a few minutes as my Engine company needed to go, but she smiled. It was radiant, it was warm, she was beautiful.
The face of Leukemia is smiling…
Which must mean Cancer is losing….
One thought on “The Face of Leukemia”
Thank you for sharing your surprise visit to see Jacy…lump in the throat, tears in the eyes. Great job of expressing everything you share. Hang in there…you are very inspirational!!