#6 The Ugly Truth Diaries – Finding light in the darkness

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that something is wrong; when everything seems fine and we are able to smile. It’s that moment when we believe everything will be fine and we can conquer the world. It’s a time of laughter and happiness and for a moment, all’s forgotten, even if that moment only lasts one entire second.

Then, something little and insignificant can crush that feeling and it feels like a fist gripping your heart, pulling at it. It becomes difficult to breathe and when I look at her there’s that dark thought. It’s a whisper first but the more I try to ignore it, the louder it becomes. It makes my heart beat faster and tears to well up in my eyes and it’s stupid, so very stupid to let this thought rule me for that moment but I can’t help it. It’s consuming me. I have to look away. I have to do something.

But it won’t go away.

It’s that fear that if I don’t look enough at her now, I will regret it for the rest of my life. If I don’t talk to her now, I’ll miss all my conversations we could have held. What if I don’t hug her now, it could have been my hundredth hug before I get to ninety-nine? As if, for that entire thought, my mind has come up with the idea that even though everything seems fine now, who can honestly say that she’ll get through this? What if she’s secretly dying in reality but we can’t see it yet?

She starts coughing and my eyes are immediately drawn to the sound and if I were a cat, my ears would twitch with the sound while I determine the severity of this cough. It doesn’t stop. Should we call a doctor? Are we over reacting? So we call, the conversation lasts ten minutes. That’s all but we feel better, comforted and the next day, the cough is gone.

The fear isn’t.

I can see it in the way her eyes don’t shine and how her smile doesn’t reach it’s natural height. I see it in the way she holds her head down and how weak her voice sounds. She’s giving up today and it scares me. It makes me want to hold her, makes me want to comfort her and tell her everything will be fine. I’d do anything so I talk to her, ask her what’s on her mind but she doesn’t say. Not really. But I know it’s that consuming thought I’ve had the previous day so I try to cheer her up.

I’m quickly learning to enjoy each moment while it lasts. When she’s feeling good, we enjoy it to the max and when she’s feeling down or ill, I try to find that twinkle in her eyes, reminding her that up until now, it could have been worse. She’s here with us, with my hand soothing her back while I talk about silly insignificant things that has made me happy in the past twenty-four hours and I see her relax.

This journey is all about finding the positivity in the tiniest things. If it’s not throwing up, then so be it. If it’s her being able to get outside for a few minutes to enjoy the nice weather, then that’s great. It’s not always easy to find those moments and acknowledge them for what they are but it’s important to find them now because it can all change within the hour.

I started writing this at 6am in the morning after I couldn’t sleep and in the meantime, my mum’s woken up and the cough is back. Yesterday was amazing (morning and evening, afternoon not so much) but now we’re back to reality, hoping that this cough won’t turn into a cold.

I hug her and think: hug one hundred-and-one or hug ninety-nine?

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3 thoughts on “#6 The Ugly Truth Diaries – Finding light in the darkness”

  1. Wow, the fear you describe is terrible, and I know exactly what you mean. My mom’s lung cancer diagnosis has made me worry about everything; like she slept more today than usual and right away I was thinking, is that normal? Is she just normal-tired or is this a sign of a progression? I so get what you mean and I wish there was something we could say and do to make this all get better but I guess we just have to take it bit by bit, and as you said, look for good moments amongst all of this. Also, know that you have been a great help to your mom, and that will do wonders for her. I have been keeping you and your mom and your family overall in my thoughts and prayers.

    1. Sleeping is normal. At least, I think it is because my mum’s done a lot of that during the past month. It’s a bit better at the moment, now that the medication and chemo are slowly leaving her body again. But I think during the first weeks, your mum’s tired because of the emotions and the worry cancer brings. Also, she’s been ill before the diagnosis right? So she probably didn’t sleep much then either but it’s definitely a sign of cancer too. Your kind words always make me smile 🙂 I thought a lot about you and your mum today. I hope you’re both as okay as you can be.

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