When we first met her, Othergirl was further ahead in her treatment than us. This journey has been a true test — but one made easier by the fact that we were not the only ones around going through it, and we had a reference point to know what to expect moving forward. Othergirl and Vampboy had similar cases in many ways — one tumor found, successfully taken out, and treatment has progressed with equal parts optimism for these two. Othergirl was initially misdiagnosed and started a different treatment regimen before being put on the current one, but since then we have taken comfort in our shared experience, even though Vampboy has dealt with more severe side effects than Othergirl has.
This week was supposed to mark the last treatment week for Othergirl — but that is not to be. Last week, a “spot” was found on her MRI. It looks different than the first tumor, but something is going on in there, and whatever it is it isn’t good. So, tomorrow her family will once again re-visit the horror and confusion of another surgery that may only bring more questions than answers.
And they only had one chemo round left.
I’m sure I don’t need to explain here what ran through our minds as we heard the news. Behind my wife’s emotions as she struggled to share with me the information over the phone, Vampboy’s voice could be heard in the background saying, “Mommy sad. Mommy crying.” And we only have two chemo rounds left. This could be him.
I am not a religious person. Unlike those for whom a horrific tragedy sends them deep into a faith practice, this experience has not opened my eyes and heart to any church or denomination. In fact, the basic premise of my spirituality, that the universe “unfolds as it should”, has been called into question as the insanity of this situation becomes more and more apparent (I mean, one more round left — are you f#$%ing KIDDING ME?!?). However, in the end I believe we all have within us some personal compass that points us toward that which is higher than us.
I’d ask you all to do me a favor and, wherever your compass points, bring your energy/love/reiki/prayers/meditations/interpretive dance to bear for Othergirl and her family.