Truth in Whispers

This is one of those entries that is made in retrospect after an epiphany that went something like this: "Oooh. That's why I did that." So I am choosing to write about it now after it had come to mind last night while I was falling asleep. It happened right after I had gotten home from my surgery. I don't know exactly what afternoon it was, but it was before my father came for Thanksgiving. Anyhow I had taken to having a nap in the mid-afternoons which enabled me to rise just before supper and spend some time with my family in the evening. I napped with the bedroom door open with my mom hanging within earshot just in case I needed her. I had been sleeping a while with the television on for background noise when I awakened to the sound of my daughters voice greeting her grandmother downstairs. I could tell it was definitely past four because the light was waning in the room. I heard her bound up the stairs and peek around the corner. "You up?" she whispered. I answered her yes. She got up on the bed and adjusted the pillows on my husband side of the bed to sit and talk. I heard my mom rustling in the kitchen and knew she was starting dinner. After asking me how I felt (which was not too horrible) my daughter filled me in on her day. "Ellen" was on in the background and occasionally we stop talking and watch until the next commercial break. I don't know what came over me (but I do now because I had that epiphany) but I whispered to her "I have a secret." Immediately interested she asked "What is it?" I directly chickened out in telling her because saying this outloud felt scary and even hurtful on some level. I shake my head no to which she complains how I can't do that...say I have a secret and then not tell. She tried guessing and I laughed right out loud when she asked if Grandma was driving me crazy. I told her no and I laughed again when she said "No offense mom, but if you had to take care of me and I was sick like you, you would make me crazy." It made me chuckle again and I assured her that grandma was doing just right by me including allowing me independence as much as possible. I then changed the subject to steer away from the secret. We talked for 20 or so more minutes and I heard my mom starting to set the table downstairs. "We need to get up and get our act together for dinner." I said. As my daughter started to get up she leaned back quickly and laid her head on her dad's pillow with her face close to mine. "What's your secret?" she whispered. "You can tell me. I won't tell anyone." she continued with mischief in her eyes. I hesitated a minute knowing that what I was going to say would change those eyes then I whispered back "I don't want to die. I'm scared I might and I don't want to." My eyes filled with tears as did those of my child. I hurried on to explain that I had been feeling like this since they found the spot in my lung and I am worried that it is in other places undetected. It was eating at me and I was tired of pretending I wasn't worried and this was no big deal. She just kept nodding after everything I said. I concluded my "secret" with an apology blaming the drugs and telling her I never should have said anything to her and wiping her tears. She shushed me assuring me that I can always talk to her. We both wiped our tears and she said she was glad I told her. She got up and went to help my mom with dinner. "What in God's name are you thinking?" I lament to myself. Why in heavens name would I burden my precious 20 year old daughter with such a sad and depressing secret. That shit needs to be "kept to oneself" I scold myself. Put a freaking happy face on and walk on. There is nothing wrong with pretending (lying) that everything is great and fine. I could have chosen someone else to tell, one of my besties, my sister, my husband, my mom...anybody else. Here's comes the epiphany: I realized that I chose to tell my daughter because I needed her to know I didn't want to leave her, that this would never be my choice. I was scared it might happen and I knew she felt the same. I also knew she was pretending (lying) too. I also suspected that she had most likely not cried yet (like me) about the whole mess. She'd been a strong, demanding and insistent advocate for me during my recovery and took care of me like a champ! But I know those emotions that we put aside sometimes get buried and never addressed. They rear their heads later as anger or unwarranted fears. I had decided that I was her mom always and forever and until the day I die I will be actively "mothering". So, that means telling her that secret was for her catharsis and for mine. It doesn't mean we don't have hope that I will be hanging around on the planet for a very long time. It doesn't mean that we are not having a positive attitude. It just means that sometimes we need to tell the truth in whispers and cry together quietly.
Texas Jeff threw a punch at your cancer.
J Michael sent you a prayer.
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Aww Michele, I am with you..this is life and it is imperfect..I wish I could hug you..no need for regrets...you have a wonderful daughter whichof course you know...this is the irony of our life..our offspring is part of who we are and we sometimes have to let them know..ps..she already knows..you know? Lots of love to you and I thank you for sharing your feelings so eloquently, Lori
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Love this. My daughter would be the one I would whisper to as well. There is just something about the mother/daughter relationship/bond that makes this OK. Linda
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I wish my mother had convided in me more when she was diagnosed with uterine cancer (I think that's what she had, she never said) She never admitted she had cancer until about 8 years later when we were watching tv and they had cancer survivors and she said, I'm one of them! I was proud she finally said it outloud!! She didn't die of her cancer either, she got alzheimers later on in her life. I hope you have many more years, but I think its good to tell your daughter your thoughts. Hope 2013 brings us all good health.
 I wish she had too. It would have been precious for both of you, I know. But, she probably was doing what she thought was best and tried to protect you as well!
Michele, We need to share this thing of ours with others - not everyone, just the ones we intuitively know should hear it. I am blessed with a great wife, wonderful son, daughter and granddaughter who are very supportive. They may not all speak of the seriousness of my cancer, but they are aware of the dangers. I do my best to assure them I'm feeling well. And, I am! We are all going to be around as long as we are supposed to be - a good long time. Happy New Year to you and yours. Ron
Michele, Having both a 22 and 23 year old daughter I complete agree with you choice of confiding your "secret" Sometimes its hard for them to understand the scope of things because I go about my day and "act" like things are always alright. But there are times when I feel it necessary to bring us all down to earth and admit that I have stage 4 cancer and I might not be around forever. I try to impress upon them the importance of spending time together and the diffenence it will make in their lives later on. I lost my mom when I was 33 and it was devastating, I can't imagine being 22 and 23 and not have a mom to go to. I will continue to fight for life for my girls because I need to be with them as much as they need me to be. We can beat his and we will. Love always, Maya
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Michele-- I think it's wonderful that you confided in your daughter. The fact that she handled it so well tells me she is strong and determined just like her mom. As for me, I would love to have had that same conversation with my mother when I found out I had cancer, but she just can't talk about such things. I know you feel blessed that you can be totally real with your precious daughter. Love, Martha
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Michele, it's so wonderful you were able to be so authentic with your loving daughter. That is so meaningful. Your story also tells me you have a sweet mother. I would bet she shares or knows your secret. And, you shared your "secret" with us, and I appreciate that very much. Your writing reads like no others I've read and also makes me feel as if I'm there with you, listening to you. I would guess most of us have that same "secret". But, admittedly, I'm more the foghorn type and once in awhile I blast to all I love, "I don't want to leave you, but most of all, I don't want you to leave me." I want you here, too, for that great family and those true-blue "besties". Believe.
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Vital Info

Posts

October 3, 2011

Click Here

January 31, 1963

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the anus

February 5, 2010

Stage 4

2.1 - 3.0 cm

Grade 3

No

As much as possible

Proceeds from my published blog donated monthly

It is a thief

You have to live every day of your life and stay positive :)

Donate $$ to the anal cancer foundation. Raising awareness saves lives!

Is there anything good about poison?

Bone, lung recurrence 9/20/2012

Cancer Center of Kansas, MD Anderson

Bland diet, sitz baths, take your drugs...nobody gets extra credit for suffering.

Talk, talk, talk to somebody. I chose to write.

April 20, 2010

September 20, 2010

Rectal bleeding, itching, sciatic pain. (thought my hemorhoid was acting up)

My blog has been published and proceeds go to The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation. http://tinyurl.com/72bjjfp

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