A year ago, we were happy. We were in a place of ecstasy. The sky shone like a brilliant sapphire. The sun’s radiance was abundant. Nothing could go wrong. My sister had got the results of her scans following six months of Opdivo. Everything looked good. The medication was holding the cancer back.
I felt relief. My heart relaxed a little. There was a serenity to life.
My sister slipped into being her typical self again. She actually got mad at me a couple of times . She didn’t talk to me for a few days here and there. It wasn’t a horrible thing. It was normal. And, normal was great! We hadn’t had “normal” for a while. Life had been full of doctors appointments, scans, blood work, treatments. She was enjoying time with her boys, me with my girls. For a few moments in time it was easier to breathe. It was easier to find the joy in the world.
Then, the world came crashing down.
For as amazing as those scans looked, the next ones were that much worse. Her blood work looked nothing like it had. This was definitely NOT what we had expected. Her oncologist sent us to another specialist. A couple of my brothers came along for this trip.
Up until this point in our voyage, I had thought I had felt heart-break. I thought I knew what heartache felt like. But I had no idea. I could never fathom the depth of despair my heart could plunge to.
My sister sat there with her boyfriend. I was off to the side. The doctor said she had 6 – 12 months if either of the next two options even worked. My sister laughed. She literally sat there laughing. The doctor pulled me to the side and said it was closer to six months. The next medications would be lucky to get us to that. All the meds would do is hold back the cancer that was raging until the gate broke. There would come a point very soon that nothing was going to hold it back.
There. Right there. That moment. All time froze. I’m sure if I would have listened close enough, I would have actually heard my heart shatter. I looked up at the wall. I don’t know why. I was drawn to it. There was a mural. I only remember the words.
Be strong and courageous.
I looked at my sister. The fear flowed from her eyes to mine. She was slumped. Her hands shaking. I took her hand, squeezed it.
“I got you Krys. Whatever you need, you have it. Always”
She took a deep breath. Wiped away her tears. Nodded her head.
“I could use some chicken.”
We went out to our brothers waiting. Filled them in. And went to get her some chicken.
The drive home, I rode shot-gun while one of our brothers drove. He and I joked the whole way home. I needed that. I needed to keep it together. He knew it. He kept up the conversation. I am still grateful for that to this day. I don’t know if I could have held it together on my own. Actually, I know I couldn’t have.
Once I got home, I lost it.
My world crashed.
My heart would never be the same.