Monday, March 06, 2006

Crust First

Dear Lucy,

I had some other words written for you, but I have to skip those for now. They are in a safe place; the place where I keep words/smiles/movements/general loveliness.
Right now, you are sitting in your rocking chair and eating your favorite snack: spelt toast. I've noticed that you eat the crust first, turning it round and round until it is all gone. I think you save the best part, the middle for last. You are saying "hi, hi!" and laughing as I type and drink my coffee. I hope you always like to eat the crust first, whether real or metaphorical. I know this is kind of cheesy, but that seems to be my theme this month.

Now here I am, avoiding the bad news I need to tell you. It may not be as bad as we think; if that is the case...I will have worried for naught, but my heart tells me otherwise. Julie, your beloved nanny, is sick. She has a disease called cancer. About a month ago, she told me she was having lumps removed from her neck and that the doctor didn't think it was cancer. She did not feel ill and so there was no reason to believe otherwise. The toxology reports came back with the bad news that it is, indeed cancer, and that it is melanoma. The frightening part is that they aren't sure exactly where it came from, since the melanoma was never visible on the outside skin. She will wait for other specialists and doctors to look at her case and, hopefully, there will be good news. In my own research (and from knowing others with cancer), I found that melanoma in lymph glands is not good and when cancer presents itself in this way, the chance of survival is very low.

We are trying to hope for the best -- to picture our lives with her -- but it is very difficult. She loves you so much and has become a part of our family. We were so lucky to find a person so talented and willing to take care of you. I honestly don't know what we would do without her. I feel selfish for worrying about our needs. I feel confused about why I can't just think positively. Julie needs us to approach her illness with hope. I guess I just can't help but think of what I'll need to tell you. Even if she can beat the cancer, she will need treatment. How do I explain illness when you aren't even two years old? You already ask about her. When she was recovering from surgery, you would say her name with a question in your voice.

There is no ending to this entry, there are only questions. Whatever happens, I know that we will get through it, together. If not for you, Lucy, we would not have met Julie -- this must have some cosmic significance.

I love you,


Rachel said...

(((hugs for the lucys)))

Your Dad said...

Lucy --

It is so sweet that Mom is making this epistolary collection for you. Me: your father of many words, runs out of words around this situation. I tried to talk about with close friends twice today -- Lisia & Allison -- and I just broke down; no, not quite. I stopped before I cried. Mom's post did it though. I just cried hard, snot and all.

Damn. I think of losses and how I want to shield you from loss; how, maybe my desire to protect you from loss is a mirror of my attempts to protect myself from loss; how, I just hate loss.

There will be more. Joy, laughter, tears, and sorrow will build our little house of love.

I'm just so messed up over this. We will love you and hug you through it all.

Hugs and Kisses,

Mama M said...

I am sending (((hugs))) as well to all of you.

Pammer said...

Oh, my. I am so very sorry. I am wrestling with the same issue right now. I wish I had something to say that could make this better, but I know it's bigger and harder than words.

Thoughts and prayers from Texas --