Monday, March 16, 2015

The Fear Remains

My ten year old fell asleep in a living room chair yesterday at 5:00. 
Which shouldn't be strange. 
But it was. 
She never does that. 
And when I told my husband, who was fixing our dinner in the kitchen, he stopped what he was doing and stared right into my eyes. 
Because he also knew how odd that was. 
And we try to tell ourselves that it's nothing. 
We say it out loud to one another. 
"Oh, it's probably just a virus.  She has been sick recently. Coughing. Low fever. It's nothing."
But our fear lives very close to the surface. 
Cancer always lives very close to your heart and it takes over your rational thinking. 
And we are very rational thinkers. 
Except when it comes to Zoe's health. 
We may smile and go on with our day, but it's there.
What if the cancer has come back?
She was very tired prior to her diagnosis. 
Headaches take me there as well. 
I've calmed down with the bruises as she doesn't get them as much. 
But if I see one I ask "how long has that been there?  Where did it come from?"
And Zoe takes it all in stride. 
Answering her parents questions with calmness as if it's her job to reassure us. 

It's been 4 1/2 years. 
4 1/2 years since we were told the horrific words *your daughter has leukemia. Blood cancer. 
It seems like an eternity since those words were said. 
And like yesterday.
And I'm sure she just has a virus. 
Instead of leukemia. 
But our fear is present.
It's always hovering no matter how much I shoo it away. 
And no one can tell us to get over it. 
To not let the fear in. 
Because we never invited it in in the first place. 
Cancer brings fear as that proverbial gift that keeps on giving. 
So we watch her. 
Like a hawk. 
Looking at her every move out of the corner of our eyes. 
Not letting on that we are observing everything that she does. 
Because she's fine. 
Just fine.
We have to tell ourselves that. 
Tell our hearts that all is fine...

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