Under the surface...

Life is a funny thing in a lot of ways. There is always a surface to it, if you ask me. Like a door or something that covers up the realities in life. It's like when you meet a new family and they seem like the perfect, happy family but you don't really know what goes on behind closed doors (Hello, Tiger Woods). We all have our burdens, our crosses to bear, but most of us don't walk around with them tattooed on our forehead or on a t-shirt across our chest.

Coming home this weekend, I experienced some of this. My sister had a great weekend, she was feeling really good, she looked really good and she seemed, well... normal. Normal is a funny word, because what exactly is normal? Just because she still looks the same and acts mostly the same, the truth is she still has cancer. On the surface, she looks like the average sixteen year old, just going on about her daily life. But underneath the surface are the tell-tale signs of someone whose fighting an ugly disease. The scar from her surgery; The port her chemo goes into. And inside, her body is full of stupid cancer cells.

It's hard sometimes to look at her and think how normal she looks. It's almost like a trick. You know like the game you play when you're young "made you look, haha!" You almost let yourself forget because she seems fine, so she must be fine right? If only it were that simple...

This week will be one big wake up call for me as I have yet to witness my sister "looking" sick. She went in yesterday for her second round of treatment, and I'll be there for her this week, which I am glad about, but the side effects might not be pretty. More than likely, she's gonna be feeling crappy and this is the first time I'll have witnessed that. I know it's all just part of the process, but it just makes it all seem more real and a lot less "normal".

Sometimes I think it's better her than me, if anyone, and I mean that in a completely selfish way. I would take it away from her and have it be me in a second, but I don't know if I could do it. She is so strong, stronger than me I think sometimes, and that amazes me. One of my favorite sayings is "you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." So far throughout this journey, our strength is definitely being put to the test, but we are ready for the test. We don't have any choice but to be strong, so we are doing our best to be strong. Sometimes, though, it's hard.

Last night, visiting her at the hospital for the first time, was the first time it really started hitting me, she is sick. She has cancer, and it sucks. I guess just being in the hospital seeing her hooked up to those drugs it was kind of a wake up call, like this is real and I'm not gonna wake up and have it be over.

I hate all of this. Just being home not even a week I'm tired of hearing the word cancer. I'm tired of talking about it. I'm tired of not knowing what's going to happen next. I hate that I am already learning my way around the hospital just as well as I know my way around my house. I hate being home & her not being here because she's at the hospital. I hate cancer.

And still, even with all of this, I still look at her and think she seems so normal. If only there was nothing under the surface and everything was back to normal...

*Note- The last 2 days with Anna being in the hospital have been rough, so I'm venting a little. Positive post coming soon! :) *

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The OmniCouple said...

Bless her heart. Cancer is awful, but especially for children I would think. I consider 16 a child. I am praying for her and you! I am sorry you are going through this pain and these emotions.


Jenny said...

It has been a long time since I have checked out your blog and definitely was not expecting this. Just know your sister and your family are in my thoughts and prayers! My mother had cancer and I found that writing about it was the best thing I could do for myself and for her.
Smile..and smile for your sister.

Krystyn said...

Oh, I so feel for you guys. I know how hard it is and I can't imagine.

And, I wouldn't consider your post winey, either. I think it is very thoughtful and well stated.

I'm thinking about you all!

Chelle said...

Oh, Patrice, I've been thinking and praying for you guys.

Cancer sucks. Period. It effects everyone...and it's so hard. Vent away, honey. We're hear to listen and support you in any way that we can.

Give your sister a hug for me and just let her know there are 100's of people that are praying for y'all. xoxo

Rebecca Louise. said...

I loved that quote and it is so true! We never know our strength until it is put to the test. Just this strength will kick cancer in the butt! x

Sues2u2 said...

Oh, Patrice. My heart aches for all of you. Cancer is such a horrible thing. Working in hospitals & being around sick people I know though, that the best thing you can do is be positive for her. As awful & hard as it is to see someone you love so utterly sick, you be up. That means you vent here all you need to.

I'm honored to be able to help you & in turn Anna, w/ a virtual shoulder to lean on. You sob, throw a tantrum if you need to, or anything else here. I promise that I will give you only love & support so that you in turn can do the same for Anna. Please, my arms are around you in a big bloggy hug. And fyi? You didn't even come close to whining. If anything I am so impressed w/ your strength & resolve. All my prayers are w/ y'all!!!!

pdkamath said...

Hey Patrice, I am from India and blog as a hobby. Happened to be landed on your blog during browsing the net and I am really sorry for your sister who suffers from bone cancer.My family is also a victim of this killer disease where my elder brother diagnosed positive for a malignant tumor in one of his kidneys. I always wonder, unlike other diseases which are one way or the other originated from our unscientific food habits and unhealthy life styles or hereditary, cancer is one such disease which appears all of a sudden even on a person who lives even a ideal life like a saint. I think, my brother who lost his kidney or your sister who is still battling are examples. We in India, practice yoga which is an ancient form of breathing exercise and herbal treatment called Ayurveda which are found effective in treating cancer.I pray Lord Almighty to show you a path to get your sister cured from cancer.Hi friend you may be surprised to know that, urine of cow is used as a medicine for cancer and other smaller diseases and it is already an established fact that thousands of people are cured using this. I will keep in touch with you to discuss this topic further and I am becoming your 100th follower.All the best.
Regards and Merry Christmas and happy new year to all of you.

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Twin XL said...

Your poor sis. One thing that's in your sister's favor, though, is her youth...she's definitely more resilient than someone with more years on them.

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