20: Small Talk

Owen and Lucia joke about my poor memory and the state of my hair, but they rarely show any signs that they're upset about me being sick. Every once in a while, I check in with them, but I don't make them talk about it. There's no reason to make them worry about something they're not thinking about. And then there are days when I get to answer all the difficult questions at once.

Two days ago, Owen came into my room. He climbed into bed with me and said, "Mama, I'm scared that you're going to die."
Me: "Right now?"
Owen: "No, from the cancer." 

I told him that all of my treatments are going well, and that I plan on being around for a long, long time - until he's been a grown-up for a long, long time. I told him that my goal is to be around to see him and his sister grow up, meet any kids he has, and to grow to be an old, old woman. 

Owen: "What if the chemo kills you?" 
Me: "It hasn't yet, has it? And I only have 2 more treatments."
Owen: "What if the radiation kills you?"
Me: "The radiation will only be pointed at the part of my body where they think there might still be tumor cells." 
Owen: "What if the people giving you the radiation make a mistake?"
Me: "I know the people who are going to be doing that. Some of them even went to the same graduate school I did. They're very good at what they do, and they'll do a good job with my treatment." 
Owen: "But what if they do make a mistake and it kills you?"

And so it went. These are the difficult conversations. I don't want to lie to them and tell them that I know everything will be okay, but I want to reassure them I'm doing everything I possibly can to get better and that the most likely outcome is that I'll be fine. 

We talked about again about Team Tumor and Team Mama and how Team Tumor is losing. I also asked Owen if he would like to see the equipment that will be used for my radiation treatment and talk to the people who will be taking care of me then. He said yes. (This is another advantage to being in the line of work that I am...I can arrange things like this.) So at some point before I start radiation, I will take him to tour the radiation oncology area.

Lucia was in the room during the conversation between Owen and me. She was mostly listening, but later that morning, she decided to write a story:


"team toomur agenst team mama"

(Team Tumor Against Team Mama)

I have no idea why the tumor blob is calling me names, though. Is it supposed to be some sort of evil Santa? Is it mocking me? I'm not sure...
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