Isabelle (Part 2)

Perhaps one of the most frequent questions I get pertaining to my cancerous condition, after “How are you?”, is “How are the girls doing?” As I’ve written before, Josh and I do not subscribe to the belief that our children are fragile flowers and that they will simply wilt under the weight of my incurable and likely terminal illness. We believe in honesty and that hardship, when confronted with love and support, can only engender strength and resilience. And so my children are very aware that I am sick, that I will likely die. Slowly, as they have grown older, they have understood more and more what “death” means, although of course I doubt they have a true understanding of what my death would mean to them emotionally; that understanding can only come when they experience first-hand the grief of losing their mother. And yet despite their knowledge of my illness, they are amazingly well-adjusted children who are full of joy and love (and well-behaved too, at least for other people if not necessarily for me and Josh all the time; I am told public behavior is what really matters). The school psychologist frequently observes them in the classroom and we chat from time to time; she praises me and Josh for how we have handled the situation and I draw so much reassurance from that praise.

As their mother, I see in so many moments how they are processing the unique reality of their mother being sick and her likely early death. Such moments are truly fascinating and fill me with such pride as I watch them cope with forthrightness, courage and strength.  More

Isabelle (Part 1)

After the longest silence on this blog, hello all, finally. How I’ve missed sitting at my computer and allowing my many thoughts to flow out of me as they so have wanted to do, but life and a life that has been dominated by cancer and its darkness have trapped them inside my exhausted mind. So much has happened that I must break this blog post into two parts.  Part 2 will soon follow.

Life consisted primarily of taking care of my children after our Galapagos trip and all that that entails – cooking, cleaning, shopping, preparing for the new school year, fussing over my many new herb, succulent, flowering and carnivorous plants (the objects of a new obsessive yet unexpectedly very cathartic hobby I’ve adopted over the last few months) and, when I could rise above all the cancer crap, playing. There was no camp for the kids this summer since we are trying to save money in light of our significant capital outlay for the purchase of the neighboring apartment and the planned combination. It simply isn’t possible to think when they’re around, never mind write. (Who knew two little girls could fight so viciously and I have no idea how to fairly referee their battles!) The planned combination itself comes with a fair amount of work as the closing is set to occur at the end of this month and the finalized design is to go to the building’s board and the City for approval soon. I’ve been busy thinking about bathroom tiles and flooring, calculating costs and pondering the finer details of the proposed layout. How I wish sometimes, especially when I wallow in the darkness, my life were limited to all this mundaneness, that it were so simple and normal. But alas, for better or worse – I like to believe better – simplicity and normalcy have never been and will never be my destiny. More