Six Little Words

After his last treatment dose.

I thought I was over it. In fact, I was sure of it. We’ve been living with impending doom hanging over our heads for a little over a year now. To the point that I thought it had no power anymore. But with those six words….

“Hey I got a call from….” and then he paused.

And in that millisecond pause I saw it all. I saw the bad results. I saw the next round of chemo. I saw the long road down. I even saw his funeral. I saw myself struggling to raise our 3 children as a widow. I saw it all.

“The credit card company- there’s a fraud alert on our card can you call them?”

And I almost collapsed in relief. I had no idea that I had all these thoughts and emotions pent up inside until he paused. You see we leave a lot of things unspoken. Things that don’t deserve to see the light of day. Thoughts and images that could quickly become our reality but that are so awful no one wants to say them out loud. But they’re there.

We have found our new normal and are getting by just fine. We just finished out the treatment phase of his immunotherapy and have entered the maintenance phase. But he had scans last week and so right now we are waiting for the call. The call that in a single moment can turn my life upside down. The anxiety is so thick it makes it hard to move- like I’m in quicksand. I’ve been struggling with my depression lately and I keep thinking “Why? There’s no trigger, no change.” That’s so silly really because as if living with this dark cloud looming on my horizon isn’t enough now I have the week of waiting to hear the scan results. Of course there’s a trigger, a change- whether I choose to acknowledge it or not.

But here’s the thing…

Anyone’s life can change with a single phone call and a few words. It’s not just me dangling on the precipice between happiness and demise. It’s all of us. It might feel a little closer to me than others but truly we are all there.

So what can we do? We can take this moment for all we have and live it to the fullest. We can take the extra vacation over winter break to do nothing but play with the kids. We can read them the extra story, sing them the extra song, stay up the extra 30 minutes. Because when it all comes down to it all you really have in this world is the present.



Read more about living with cancer in Living with the white noise or What I didn’t expect to get from cancer

4 thoughts on “Six Little Words

  1. Amen. One call can change your life! Good or bad! But you have to enjoy one day at a time!!!!otherwise you waste your life worrying. I know!

  2. Thank you for the reminder; yes life changes in a moment. We had a home invasion last week, and I spent days praising God that I wasn’t home, that more things weren’t stolen, that after a few trips to the store we are almost normal again. Praying for your journey; you are a brave woman, and are blessed beyond measure with grace from above.

  3. I am humbled by the way you explain these complicated emotions. I think of both of you often, and I am grateful for your reminder about taking time to relish the small precious moments in life.

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