Today 2 years ago -“I can confirm that, it is in fact Leukaemia” – the first of many terrifying sentences we would hear. In and out the door they went to the next appointment.
I stared out the window, thinking about how hard it is going to be to tell our family, the longer they didn’t know, the longer they will still have hopeful doubt like we had just a mare half hour ago.
Chace came tearing into the little room, pulling at this, tugging at that. I remember thinking how everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. My head was so full of questions, that they had all amalgamated into a big blur of confusion.
My mind tried to recap the events of that day, as if someone pressed the rewind button, I was transported to an earlier moment that day -The elevator door opens, and we are greeted by a familiar face that we met in Waikato Hospital ED room weeks ago. She has a look of shock on her face, “What are you doing here!?” “This is Cancer” as she pointed down to the ward floor.
“yeah I know but we are going to see the Haematologist, baby’s got a blood disorder” – I cant believe my naivety and how easily I brushed off her concern. My mind was irrationally logic; there are two areas of specialties on this floor, oncology and haematology. In my mind that clearly and definitively meant two distinct specialties, cancer – and blood disorders. The “wise” words of the previous doctors had stuck in my mind, my son had ITP – a blood disorder, not cancer! – Oh how I accepted this initial mis-diagnosis as gospel. I guess im not to blame, how else would one interpret the sentence “I can unequivocally say, its not Leukaemia”.
Baby’s first surgery went well; he was the brave little boy I knew he would be. Waiting for him to stir in the recovery room, Ryan got chatting to the lady beside us, all I could hear was murmur. I purposely wasn’t paying attention – looking back, this surely was some sort of subconscious coping mechanism. She was describing her sons diagnosis and the details of what it was like to have a child with cancer. The words were just words; my mind was already packing up our stuff and driving home to Hamilton. Little did I know that this lady could probably see the trembling in our eyes and was trying in some way to make the unknown a little less scary.
I could have never imagined in my worst nightmares, that this was the road we were to travel. I never knew what a false sense of control we had over our lives; we thought it was so well mapped out. We never left the doors open, we were very cautious, yet cancer pounded its way into our lives. It infected us to our hearts. It invaded its way into our entire family and it dragged our friends into its vortex. Once it had a firm grasp on us, it moved on as it does so well.
It left with us, its everlasting by- product – complete brokenness. It runs through every vein we have, it’s now become so intertwined with our bodies, that it has become the fuel that we run on. This is the best way to describe it; it doesn’t work to a continuum. It will always juts be there, our companion forever – the loud and interruptive elephant.