The "C" Word

This particular blog is in honor of another.
Another person whom I have never met that has cancer. I think in every family cancer has touched each one of us in one way or another. Please see this link, and send along a note if you can.

This might not be your typical cancer story. It is one of me dealing with things the best I knew how. The little girl that lived in her own mind that did not know how to express herself..I wish I had.

When I was 14 my mother was diagnosed with cancer. I can say that I fully did not understand it. I was not sure what cancer was, but when you said the “C” word, people stepped back almost in fear. I had used this to my advantage one day in English class as I forgot my most important essay..so I decided to use the C word , since it held so much power. I wrote my teacher a note and gave it to her.

“Dear Mrs Jackson. Im sorry I do not have my assignment. My mom is in the hospital with cancer. I can turn in the assignment tomorrow.”

My teacher tearfully walked me into the hallway, held my hand and said
“You take as much time as you need..in fact don’t worry about this assignment. I will let your other teachers know what is going on”

Ok, this *rocks* I thought to myself.

From then on, I had sympathy from all my teachers and extended homework times.

My mom in fact was in the hospital, and by the third day I was able to see her…and it was not until then, and only then, that I started to understand this cancer.
This cancer thing made my moms skin pale white.
She had tubes, lots of tubes going in and out of her body.
It made my head spin.

Mom wanted me to come over and sit on the bed
but my throat was choked up with tears
I knew if i sat on the bed I would break down...
I was in fear of all of the tubes, so I refused.
I felt bad but, I was also angry, but I could not figure out all the emotions in my head...
I was trying to hold onto a dot on the floor,
the only thing that did not seem to be moving,
the only thing I could hold onto..
the only thing that made any kind of distraction from my internal conflict
was a stupid dot on the floor.

My father sat and talked with her awhile, my brother and I were uncomfortably pacing, and then my mom said, Heidi..can you do me one favor before you leave?

Before I could answer she said,

“Can you shave my legs?”

She had several days of stubble on her legs that she could not reach that was driving her nuts under her hospital gown…

but all I could blurt out in my own stupid teenagerish voice was,
“No..Im not gonna shave your legs that is so totally gross"

Oh how I regret that moment. It was not about shaving her legs, it was that.."Well damn it, you are going to have to get better and do it on your own... You will not be too sick to do this yourself..."

All it was to my mom was.."Im stubbly"
...it was not giving up...
even though thats what I felt.

It was fear.
My ugly little teenage attitude was pure fear.

It was at that time I started not blowing off my homework…almost trying to please the homework gods so as not to punish my mother for me using her as an excuse.
I worked real hard.

To make it worse I found a note from my mom, leaving behind some tapes, just in case she would die.
It pissed me off so bad,
that I took the tapes, and broke them all in half.
How dare her even think of leaving us.
Thank goodness she didn’t leave us.Thank goodness she is still living today.
I would have gone my whole life wondering what were on the tapes.

Years later I ended up in the trauma unit at a local hospital. After the 5th day of critical care and my back being fused, I could not bend.
My best friend sat with me and brushed my hair. I felt so gross because I could not get up to take a shower.
I love Mary for that, I always will.
My mother reached over the tubes, and pillows and started to shave my super prickly legs.
I cried.
I told her this story, and she did not even remember...my attitude or not wanting to shave her legs..the story I remembered my whole life...
this was my mom.
Her and Mary had shown me love...love in the simplest ways that will always be in my heart forever.



terri said...

i am sittin' here cryin' and cryin'.
i love you for posting that. you honored my friend, you honored me, you honored you. you are so real.
ms. heidi...you truly are almighty.

sending you so much love.........

Cat said...

Wow. This is so touching and amazing... thank you for posting it... for sharing about your life

AlmightyHeidi said...

Thank you both, I had no idea it had..power of emotion.

:O) Blessings to you both.

Sorrow said...

Oh man,
I came via terri,
and I am with her on this.
COMPLETE puddle on the floor.
sniff sniff
Thanks for sharing this!

Merry ME said...

I'm not crying but my heart is feeling too big for my chest.

Thanks Terri for sending me this way. And thanks Heidi for the beautiful post.

MaQuade said...

Always something new to learn about you... I *LOVE* that you have so much in you!