I thought we would beat the odds. I had no clue when we were at the playground just over a month ago I would eat my words. ” You know. We are so blessed to have healthy kids. They may drive us crazy from time to time but we are very lucky”. This was said to one of my best friends, K. Now, not even 4 weeks later her world was rocked with what very well may be the worst news she will ever receive. Ks daughter P ( 5) has Ewings sarcoma. It is a very, very, very rare form of bone cancer. P has already started chemotherapy. P will be not be going to kindergarten that starts tomorrow. P is no longer doing gymnastics. Just overnight, their world has been flipped upside down. Playdates have now turned into doctors appointments. Sleeping and eating is not happening very often. Tears, screaming and more tears have taken the place of joking and making plans of getting the band back together (that is what we call getting all of us out for a date night).
Of course we have other friends and acquaintances that we see but in the “band” there is 6 of us. Each has claimed their role in the friendship and we all play our part very well. The 6 of us is made up of me, K and S and then our husbands. Our kids is everyones kids. You see my kid acting a fool.. feel free to correct their behavior. Husband working late or going out of town… come over for dinner. Sad, Angry, Happy, Blah, Sick, Tired- whatever… lets get together to talk about it. The band is not just friends- The band is my family. My core. My support.
P’s diagnosis has stopped us all in our tracks. Of course we are doing everything we possibly can to help but we can not take this away from them. This nightmare that keeps reoccurring daily. Waking up knowing the truth and the long road that lies ahead. Praying, talking, crying, yelling and praying some more.
Why is it that in life it takes something like this. Truly life changing to make you dig in and dig deep. Things that used to over take life ( laundry, mowing the lawn, and dusting) is now replaced by ice cream for dinner, board games at night and that one extra story during bedtime. Getting up to run at 4am is now seen as a privilege not a chore. I now thank my body after every run. Thank you for holding me up and propelling me forward.Thank you for making me feel alive. Thank you for my heart beating out of my chest. Thank you for my legs pushing and pounding the pavement away. Thank you lungs for helping me breath hard and deep. Thank you God for another day that I am alive and healthy.
When its quiet, I cry and lose faith and then pray to get it back. When I am having a good time with my kids, my heart aches for K who is in the hospital with P. This never leaves me. Its always in the background. The fear of what will be and the mourning of what was.
P is not my child but she is. K is not my biological sister but she is.
I keep reminding myself that God has a reason for this. A silver lining. Something that we can all look back at have a ” Ahhh. Thats why”. I am not there yet. I am trying to believe and to not question. But I am not anywhere near here. I am trying and I will keep trying. Praying. Mediating. Crying. Yelling. Repeat…
But for now- I give myself permission to cry, scream, to be angry and to still pray for hope and understanding and guidance. Life can be ugly and beautiful. Life can be filled with joy and sorrow. Adulting fucking sucks. Being a parent is harder than hard. My heart can not even imagine having a sick child. How this is now your new life that you never planned on having. Never would wish on your worst enemy. Why God? Why children? Why P? Why them?
I will walk every step of this nightmare with my best friends. I will show up everytime even if it is hard and emotional. I will say inappropriate things to get laughs. I will cry with you. I will have one too many glasses of anything with you. I will rally the troops when needed . I will guard you and your family like a momma bear. I will keep asking you daily what I can do for you or your family. I will worry deeply about you when I am supposed to be sleeping. I will dedicate my runs and mediation to you. This is my role in the band.
And I will play harder and better and more amazing for all of you and all of us.