When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

~ Kahlil Gibran, from"The Prophet"

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I Worried About...

(in no order of importance or chronology, and there are many more that I'll think of in the middle of the night tonight)

-what in heaven's name was wrong with my child, before the diagnosis
-the diagnosis...CANCER
-whether my child would die
-whether I would be able to go on living if she did
-insurance coverage
-living on one income
-all the tests and biopsies to determine the most effective treatment
-what the chemotherapy drugs would do to her
-whether they would actually work
-whether they would make her sick
-whether she would ever eat anything other than clementines again because she had lost her appetite and so much weight
-how she would feel each time her hair fell out, each of the three times it did
-whether the wig tape would hold so that her hair wouldn't fly off in a big wind and embarrass her
-what the drugs would do to her heart, kidneys, etc. due to the toxicity
-whether she would ever be able to have children because of drug toxicity
-how strictly she should follow the prescribed low bacteria diet
-how she would ever make it through 10 months of 14 in-patient cycles of chemo
-how she would handle going to chemo 5 days a week, every 3rd week during the first semester of senior year after school and get up and go to school again the next day
-how home care could work, getting chemo after school at the house
-coordinating everything every day
-whether we would have good nurses
-whether we had the best doctors
-whether I was a good mother
-how I could keep getting up each day
-how to function on less sleep
-lab results
-low hemoglobin
-low platelets
-germs everywhere
-whether we should get a dog
-whether she would get germs from the dog
-the leg surgery
-the lung surgery
-the brain tumor surgery
-whether they would try to drag me out of adult ICU after the brain tumor surgery
-the unexplained cough she continued to have for months, even before there were tumors in her lungs
-how she would stay caught up in school
-how she would get her drivers license
-whether her friends would remember she existed
-whether people would make fun of her limp or lack of hair or scars
-whether all the radiation would blow a hole in her somewhere
-how she would cope with never being able to play volleyball again
-whether I would faint when I saw the size of the chest tubes when they pulled them out of her after her lung surgery
-whether she would fall down the stairs at school while wearing her stupid flip flops or birks instead of sensible shoes
-whether she would slip and fall on the ice and snow
-whether she would dislocate her hip
-whether her muscles would adhere properly to her new "femur"
-whether she was doing her PT properly so her muscles would become stronger
-whether I would be able to give her a shot properly
-whether I would be able to run her IV properly
-whether we should take an out-of-town vacation, what if something happened?
-whether I should work while she was sick
-bone scan results, many times
-chest CT results, many times
-MRI results, many times
-PET scan results, not as many times
-whether we should change hospitals for treatment
-whether she would graduate from high school on time
-whether she would go to prom
-whether her friends would call her after all the graduation parties were over
-whether her chemo schedule was going to conflict with important events in her life
-whether the bottom would drop out before she started college
-whether she should start college in spite of the bottom dropping out
-whether she could manage college and really wicked chemo
-whether she should move into college with a fever of 101
-whether she could continue to commute from home after moving back
-whether she would make new friends in college
-whether she would have pain
-once she did have pain, how we would control it quickly
-whether she would get into a car accident with low platelet counts
-whether we should go to the state volleyball final when we had a pretty good idea she had a brain tumor
-my sanity
-whether we were making the best decisions
-whether I could settle her if she became afraid
-not having the answers to her questions
-whether I was doing everything I possibly could to make things better or easier for her
-SO MANY things during the final three weeks of her life that I will not list here
-whether the whole family would be with her when she died

On December 18, 2009 at 4:40PM I stopped worrying. Every ounce of my being KNEW she went straight to heaven.

Now, I really don't worry about much of anything, and I wonder a lot about the things other people do worry about.


  1. how bittersweet that you have stopped worrying...a relief, yet at such a dreadful cost.


  2. I get this; it's interesting to read it all written out. It takes my breath away to go back into those details. Good for you, for being able to recall and face them.
    Amazing, what one human heart can expand to contain.
    I am also convinced that our girls are in heaven, whatever that means. God bless you.

  3. While difficult to read at times, it's beautiful to see what love really is. Thanks for writing this.

  4. Mary: As has so often been the case over the three years of Erin's fight and now again as you put words of wisdom and experience to the page, I'm blown away and in awe of the girl I grew up with! I love you. Jim Gearen