November 26, 2015
Today before my appointment with the oncologist, I helped Jose and my sister Yoly get the kids ready for school. The kids woke up in good form, no whining or crying. Because of that, I took it as a sign that the day was going to be a good one. Unlike the day before, when my youngest decided to whine in the highest pitch he could possibly force out. Nevertheless, it was a good day for them. I put their little jackets and hats on and with the two saying “Goodbye mama” then giving me a kiss, they were off to nursery school and the hubby and I went to my appointment.
We reached Sloan Kettering, thankfully on time, but there was a bit of a wait. It looked busier than any other day that I’ve been there, but after twenty minutes, I was called in to see my doctor. As Jose a I waited for her to come into the exam room I felt nervous. I think Jose saw it in me because he held my hand strong and its warmth helped to calm me down. By the way, his hugs have a way of doing that to me as well. When the doctor came in, as usual, she came in with a smile. She has an awesome bedside manner. She asked me about my surgery and how I was feeling. We chatted a while about that, then the topic turned to my chemo regimen. I won’t go into it now, because there are way too many acronyms to talk about and honestly it's still a bit upsetting to me. However, what I will say is that it won’t be a picnic in the park. As I kept listening to the doctor talk about all the side effects and drugs that will be pumped into me I started feeling more and more upset. So much so that I just wanted her to stop. At one point I interrupted her and I asked, “We’re positive this is going to work, right?” She looked at me straight in the eye and replied, “We are optimistic this is going to work, to be positive is to guarantee something, and in medicine, nothing is a guarantee.” She said this as nicely as she possibly could, but it still felt harsh and at that moment my eyes got teary. After that, my brain just shut down. I didn’t hear any more of her words. I was getting angry, not at her, but at God. I wondered in silence as she continued speaking, “why is this happening and what is the purpose behind it? Is there a lesson that I need to learn? And if there is one, why not point me to the right book? Why does cancer have to be my teacher?” I was angry for me, for my kids who at the very moment were at nursery school not knowing their mommy is in a fight for her life, for my sisters who have taken days off from work to be with me, for my friends and family who now worry and finally for my husband who must also feel so scared as he is sitting next to me listening to how sick his wife has to get in order to get better. It all just sucks!!!!! I wanted to scream at God and find a way for him to talk to me and explain what was happening. On the drive back home, as I sat there just looking out the window upset, I took a moment to check my blog messages on my phone. Message after message had inspiring words, basically virtual hugs. I kept reading and saw that some were on my Facebook page, which by the way I hardly log into anymore, the words posted were just beautiful. Some made me laugh, others just simply took my breath away. It all made me feel at peace and I felt no more anger. As I kept reading something hit me. I realized that God was talking to me. He was talking to me through all of you. You who are all slowly becoming my little angels of strength. For that, I was no longer upset, rather humbled and thankful.
As I sit tomorrow with my family to celebrate Thanksgiving, I will be thinking of all of you and thanking God for blessing me with you in my life. Thanking Him for the amazing women and men that have become my sisters and brothers from another mother, for the survivors that I have met along my journey and have embraced me, for the people that have helped me with the kids and show them so much love, for my sisters who have sacrificed so much to come and help with everything, and for my incredible husband who has held my hand since the beginning of this journey and whose strength I admire. God knows I would be terrified if the tables were turned. I thank God for you all, and I pray that you have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends. Hug them tight and before its too late share what they mean to you. Live for today, because like with medicine, there is no guaranteed.
I wrote this entry late at night. By the time you read it it will be Thanksgiving day. Gobble Gobble.
Written by One Tough Cookie Founder Marie Camacho