Morrigan and I are lying in my bed. Kevin sat her down and had a talk with her, and she’s been very sweet since then. I mean, she’s my little girl, she’s always sweet, but things have been unstable since I got pregnant with the twins. So far, she’s dealt with life like… a three-year-old. But today she’s been cuddly and asked to play a lot, and earlier, when I got tired and wanted to go lie down, she asked me to stay in her room and snuggle in her bed.
Now, though, we’re just chilling in the master bedroom. She was rubbing the top of my head and commenting on my lack of hair, when she interrupts herself. “Mommom, look, the sky! There’s a bird in the sky!”
“Is that right?” I say. “You can’t see the sky! The wall is in the way.”
“Mommom, it’s a bird.” She points to where the ceiling joins the outside wall of the house. “A bird is flying in the sky.”
“Mmhm. A bird is flying in the sky.”
“A bird, Mommom. It looks like a bird. It’s next to the wall now, Mommom.”
“Is it? That’s fun. A bird. What kind of bird?”
“A bird, Mommom.”
It dawns on me, and I give the empty wall a shifty-eyed look. Herman? “How big is this bird, darling?”
“It’s huge, Mommom! It’s a huge, huge bird!”
My mouth tastes so salty. Yes, more than usual. Actually, it doesn’t usually taste salty. It’s so weird.
Friday afternoon, I see my oncologist for a routine visit. My blood work comes back “excellent.”
When I inquire about the worries over my teeth, Dr. Freedman tells me that, first of all, I need to stop worrying about it (me, worry? never!); second of all, my teeth might not fall out; and third of all, we’re not doing anything until after chemotherapy. “It would shower your body full of bacteria, and we don’t need that right now.”
Kevin and I go to the Hearth Place, which is a cancer support center that has group therapy, classes, and other such resources. I’m going to start going to a breast cancer group starting in January.
To learn about their programs, we meet with a diminutive Scottish woman who seems very sweet and kind and also swears up a blue streak when she gets going.
She says, “Don’t listen to anyone who tells you this is a journey. This isn’t a fookin’ journey. If it was, we’d all take our backpacks and climb off this fookin’ mountain. I prefer to think of it as another chapter in your book of life.”
“Or a roller coaster,” says Kevin. “You’re on the ride. There’s ups and downs. And you’re on it until you’re done, whether you want to be or not.”