Monday, May 2, 2011

Throughout this whole cancer experience my daughter, Kylynn, has remained pretty unflappable and amazingly strong. She has, for the most part, not been overly plagued by fear and worry and for that I am so grateful. Sure she has had some rough patches, but in the grand scheme of things, Kylynn has weathered all of this cancer crap very well. One might think that she has done well because she isn't really aware of my whole situation, but that isn't the case. Kylynn is a very intelligent and inquisitive little girl and there isn't much about my cancer that we have kept from her or could keep from her even if we wanted to. She, from the beginning, has wanted to know everything right down to what color tumors are, saying that she feels more confident about the situation if she knows what is going on. So we have done our best to keep Kylynn informed as best we can while trying to stress our confidence in God and in my doctors. And, overall, it has worked well for us all. But every now and then I think reality catches up with Kylynn, as it does with me sometimes, and for such a young girl it must seem even more monstrous and overwhelming than it does for me.

On Friday this week I will be back up at Mayo having a surgery to burn three tumors out of my liver. I have had this procedure done at least four other times in the past and Kylynn has barely batted an eyelash. Tonight, however, she was all questions and worry. She wanted to know everything about how the procedure was done and was very concerned about exactly how the doctors knew where the tumors were and how they knew they were burning the right parts of my liver. I explained how good my doctors are and how they are the same doctors that have done this procedure on me four times before with excellent results and I explained about the equipment that the doctors use. I thought we were doing okay but then Kylynn looked up at me with her lip trembling and her eyes full of tears and said, "But it's hard to trust those doctors, Mommy, I just don't know them." And so we had a tearful discussion about faith and trust but I do not feel at all like I reassured my baby much. I wanted so much to just tell her that it was all going to be okay because I so much want that to be true, but I know how empty and not reassuring that sounds when I am told that. I don't know if everything is going to be okay, I, myself, worry all the time that things are not going to be okay. So the best I could do was hold my crying child and tell her how very much I love her. And though that is a lot, it feels woefully inadequate in the enormity of the situation.

Kylynn's second worry of the evening was her overwhelming worry. She wanted to know what she should do if she started crying tomorrow at school because she was so worried. She asked if other kids cried because they were worried about stuff like this. She worried that her friends wouldn't understand why she was so upset and worried. We addressed all these concerns but what breaks my heart is that she should have to have these concerns at all. She's not even seven years old yet, this is a lot to ask a child to carry.

It has been a long evening with my little girl but she is finally curled up asleep next to me as I type this. Our prayers tonight have been for trust and understanding, for courage and faith, and for peace in the belief that love is forever, even beyond our rainiest day.