Cancer Break

YYCOonaghThe Mister and I were sitting around the school playground last weekend when we had our “Fuck it” moment. That was the moment we decided that we needed to get away. Now.

We needed to pull the girls out of school and get away NOW.

It has been a week since that moment and we leave tomorrow morning for a month-long road trip.

This is not our usual behaviour.

I would say as parents we like to keep things pretty simple and comfortable. We have never been the type to pick up and take off, emergency and since having children we have found it much easier to stay at home. I know some people drag their kids everywhere but I’ve never really wanted to do that. I’ve always thought it would be nice to travel with the kids… someday. But not today, pestilence and probably not tomorrow.

However, bronchi as cliche as it is, cancer changes you – or at least it speeds up your timeline.

(Being done with daytime diapers helps a lot too.)

There is a really fantastic doctor at the Breast Cancer Supportive Care here in town who told me that I need to take cancer breaks. Even if it meant just trying to get out and go on a date night or watching a movie with the girls. Many times during the last couple months I’ve turned to the Mister and said, “I would really like to not have cancer for a little while. Even if it is just for today.” Obviously that isn’t a realistic option but I’m feeling so much better than I was a couple months ago that I can consider taking a break. I know it is still there, inside of me, doing whatever it is it is doing, but I don’t have to focus on it ALL THE TIME right now.

What really hit home when I spoke to that doctor was that is isn’t just me who needs a break from cancer. Our girls need a break too. They need to see that I’m more than someone whose bones break from the slightest hug. They need to see that I can do other things than lay in bed all day, or that our lives are now ruled by endless doctor’s appointments. It was heartbreaking having Fionnuala come into my room to check up on me and ask, “Mummy, are you going to die?” I would always say no but sometimes I was worried that I was lying to her. I might have been.

But not today.

Today I’m not lying to her.

Today I am exhausted from packing, and rushing around and still finding time to take Moira to a play – but I’m not dying.

Tomorrow when I wake up I’m going on a road trip for a month.

And it is going to be awesome.

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