Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Cancer: The Journey

As I talked with my son about the New Year, I said, "Well, we made it through another year." He said, "Yes, we did." Words often exchanged in laughter were now from the soul; somehow wishing it really had been a matter for jokes. Time has passed since the time that same son, a young man somewhere on the cusp between youth and man came in and said, "Mom, we need to talk." I, the child of the 70's, imagined all kinds of youthful shenanigans in which he might have landed. My son was a good kid. He's a good man, but he was after all a kid, or so I thought, and I was prepared for anything. Or so I thought.

When he said, "Mom, I have a lump," I was the one who wasn't ready. Before he talked to me, he had already seen a doctor, scheduled a biopsy, and decided what would be done depending on the results. He was also pretty grounded in what he realistically expected of the results.

To me, cancer was one of those things that happened to other people. Even when my own mom dealt with breast cancer, it was still something that happened to other people, or maybe the ones who came before you, your friends as you get older, but certainly not your children. And so we gathered - friends and family, in the waiting room of life, there was not a dry eye among us as the cancer named its course. As I drove home from the hospital that night, I was numb to the core of my soul, I wondered if the earth was still the same earth I had always called home, and in a daze I couldn't quite comprehend that the universe was really still standing. Every atom of my being was in disbelief; each alone, a stranger in the shattered world we now inhabited.

He's stronger now. By all accounts a survivor. A good man, my son - a son any mother would be proud of. The earth is still standing. The sun still shines and the universe is indeed intact. But, no matter how strong my feelings as a mother were, this one was a battle I couldn't fight for him.

This was not about me। Just hearing the word "cancer" sends chills up our spine, thoughts of pending doom. The journey though is personal, and for many, it's a wake up call to begin living differently. The choice is not yours as to what life throws you. How you cope with what you are thrown is indeed your choice.

The MagicStream Blog is here for sharing in the journey.