Friday, September 11, 2009


I'm telling myself that waiting more than ten days to post scan results is a sign that our lives our returning to normal.

I don't think myself believes that. I can hear it's taunting voice whispering, "Lazy, lazy, lazy . . ."

Scans were clear. Let the wild rumpus start.

It was an odd day for me. I wasn't nervous. I didn't spend any time pondering the possibility that they wouldn't be clear. And when we were told all clear, I thought, "Yes, now what's the next thing?"

I spent last Monday pondering the meaning of my matter-of-factness. Did I know all was well without having to be told? Did I assume that I would cope when and if I had to with a relapse? Has childhood cancer become simply a minor irritation in the fabric of my real life?

Then on Tuesday, the day after scans, Jacob had to return to Primary Children's for a follow-up eye exam. He hasn't been seen for his eyes since last September when he was nearing the end of treatment. We got the same news last week that we did last year--near enough 20/20 vision as makes no difference, slight peripheral issues with the left eye, no significant impairment from the beginning of treatment.

And an odd thing happened when Dr. Hoffman said to Jake, "You've had an absolutely amazing outcome."

When he said that, I remembered sitting with Dr. Hoffman the first week Jake was in the hospital and being told that the tumor was wrapped around his optic nerve. It hadn't invaded the nerve, but radiation to the site could cause significant damage to the left eye, including blindness.

Instead, we have no significant impairment.

And that's when my glass cracked a little. I sometimes think I carry around much of last year in a glass vase--I can see and recall the events and emotions, but with a clear wall between me and them. But last Tuesday that glass cracked slightly, just enough for me to feel the full memory of what was a small moment from the beginning. Just enough for me to feel an overwhelming gratitude for the smallest blessings Jake's been granted. Would it matter if he were blind in his left eye? Not materially, certainly not compared to his life.

But he's not.

The glass vase is necessary for me to not walk around a constant mess of tears and panic, but that doesn't mean I don't remember. And I give thanks. For all of it.