5 years

I just read this post by Maura Foley on The Hairpin while waiting for water to boil for my coffee.

She writes about struggling to get to that 5 year mark– the famous one in Cancer World, the one that if reached means the cancer is way less likely to come back. My mom was so close too. At about four and a half years, just about 3 months after her annual mammogram that declared her cancer free, it came back.

I hope this girl’s dad makes it, and I hope he gets to live a lot longer. I lived with that worry about the cancer coming back for so long, telling myself that my mom was okay, that she was “better.” But as Maura writes, there is no “cure,” only windows. Somehow my body knew that Mama wasn’t “all better,” and my mind fought with this instinct for four years. And then it came back, or was never really gone. And then she got a year longer than any doctor thought she would. And then she started dying. And then she died. Now I live with a different feeling in the back of my mind all the time: a huge hole, a constant reminder, Mama is not here.

The water’s ready, I’ve steeped the coffee in the french press. Now I’m going to sit on my little porch and draw some flowers.