It’s hard for me to comprehend that it’s actually been 5 years.
It was July 4th, 2014. I was on holiday in Florida, staying with my oldest daughter, when I received a phone call (at 4:50am) from my youngest daughter, in the UK.
My first thought was, “This can’t be good.”
And it wasn’t.
Her first words were (and I will never forget them) “Okay, Mom… promise you won’t freak out.” So naturally, as any mother would, I immediately started to freak out.
Next she said to me, “And don’t go into mommy mode, promise?” So, of course, I reluctantly promised (with my fingers crossed tightly behind my back), even though I had no idea what Mommy Mode was.
I recall hearing the words HOSPITAL and CANCER… and that was pretty much all I heard.
Somehow I managed to hold it together. I don’t think she never knew, how much I was, in fact, “freaking out.” I listened, asked a few questions, made a lot of “uh huh” noises, and tried to be cool.
She had cancer, ovarian cancer.
She was admitted to the hospital within 24 hours of her GP receiving the test results, and she would, the next day, be transferred to a London hospital and put under the care of an oncology specialist.
She hates that I remember that day. Hates that I write about that day. She’d prefer, if we never mentioned or acknowledge it, ever again. She wants us all to pretend that it never happened.
…but it did happen, and God knows it shook me to the core like nothing else ever had.
I’ve never been able to express the feelings I had, hearing that my child had cancer. I doubt I ever will; but I can tell you for sure, it was indeed a mother’s worst nightmare.
It feels like it all took place a million years ago, and yet, if feels like yesterday… we’ve come such a long way, since that day. So many monumental things have happened to us as a family; yet that day remains (at least in my mind) a defining moment in my life.
All my subsequent “bad days,” are subconsciously measured against “that day.” And to tell the truth… nothing has ever come close to being that bad, of a day.
The 4th of July, is supposed to be a day of celebration, for Americans, but for me it’s a day of remembrance… a day of horror, numbness, pain, and fear and it all comes flooding back.
… in 73 days, I will be celebrating the fact that my daughter has been “cancer free,” for 5 years! Woooo Hoooo!
So, yes; September 15th, will be another HUGE defining moment in my life… because on that day, I’ll be able to exhale… finally.
On this day though, 5 years later… I remember and I thank my family and friends for supporting me and seeing me through some very rough times. I thank my husband for his steadfastness and for bringing me back from the brink of insanity. And I especially thank, Professor Michael Seckl for his insight, knowledge, skill, compassion and empathy. I am 100% convinced that without him this may have all ended very differently.
Happy Independence Day everyone…. enjoy and savour your life. Kiss the people you love and tell them how much you love them!