I can’t begin to tell you how many people lately have called me their hero, or said how strong I am. All because of the cancer, and how I am keeping my chin up most days. I am keeping my chin up most days, but dude, what choice do I have? I can lay down and die, or I can get up and keep fighting. I mean, maybe if I was alone and didn’t have a family that needed me, maybe I could just lay down and die. Probably not, though. I’m too mad at the cancer to let it win.
Also, yeah, there are days where I just sit and cry a lot. Where I can’t be useful to my family who needs me, not just because I am physically a wreck from the chemo, but also because I can’t stop crying. On those days, The Hubs tells the kids I am sleeping and I lay in bed and mourn the life I had just a few weeks ago. A life that didn’t involve doctor appointments and medications I can’t pronounce. A life where I didn’t have to figure out what happens to my life insurance through work if I have to stop working.
I don’t show that face to the world much. I did the same when The Boy was in the NICU–although, I think I also didn’t show that face to myself when he was in the NICU. I was in total denial that anything was wrong then. Now? I know. I know my best case scenario is chemo that works, radiation, a radical mastectomy, hormone therapy, and pills for the rest of my life, however long that is. Or, maybe the chemo won’t work. Maybe I feel exhausted and queasy for no good reason and I won’t make it to Christmas. Either way, my future is not what I thought it would be a month ago.
But I get up every morning and I hope, as scary as it is to do. I hope to see my kids graduate and go to college. I hope the medicine works. I guess that’s what makes me brave–it’s being scared, and sad, and going forward anyway. But I still feel like a fraud when someone calls me their hero.