I’m 41 years young, and there’s something liberating about getting older.
Honesty. With yourself, about yourself …. comes easier.
I quit. I’m a quitter. I give up on things when they become unpleasant or difficult. Piano lessons when I was 12, dance team in high school, most of my jobs, most of my friendships. The list goes on. But recently I’m confronted by something I badly want to bow out of but can’t. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever had to handle and my instinct is to walk away and in doing so it’ll go away. In this case, I have to stay and face it. I have to stand up, stand strong. Not for me, but for my sister.
She has very rare, very aggressive glassy cell adenocarcinoma of the cervix. So cervical cancer. My heart is broken, my body hurts from sorrow and sadness. For months, she went through consecutive rounds of chemo and radiation. Our lives centered around the Pet Scan that would follow. Because her cancer would be so diminished if not gone and we’d go about our lives, leaving this vicious foe behind.
That’s not how things went. More lymph node spread. This cancer did not back down with all of that treatment, which ravaged her beautiful being and gave us such hope.
Nope, this bitch persevered and took further hold within my sisters body. How dare it. If it were a person I’d end up on the news for the ways I’d kill it. I wish it were something I could deal with and fix. But because it isn’t I feel every day the words “I can’t do this”. I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to watch this. It’s too hard. What she must be going through and thinking keeps me up all night until my body has no choice but to give up and give in to something sleep adjacent. I would give anything and everything to make her better. I’d make shady deals with God, the devil, whoever wanted my currency more.
Overwhelmingly I’m learning that there are things I can’t give up on or walk away from. Is this a good lesson? Probably. Do I want to learn it this way? Hell no. But I am certain that no matter what, I will show up every day for my sister. And though my anxiety is high, I refuse to indulge in fear. There is no if in this journey, there is only when. I’d do it for her if I could, but hopefully she can rest easier knowing she’s surrounded by fiercely loving family. We are here. I’m not running for once.
Fuck you cancer.