The first rule about Cancer Club is, you do not talk about Cancer Club. The second rule of Cancer Club is, you DO NOT talk about Cancer Club!
Cancer is annoying and obnoxious. Cancer is depressing and more depressing. Cancer takes a bite out of your social life and a bigger bite out of your wallet. I am Jack's raging bile duct. It is important for me to just face those facts every once in a while and then get on with life. (Well, my new life.) I hear a lot of, "I don't know what I would do if I were in your shoes!" But honestly, what else COULD you do? If there was another choice, no one clued me in on it.
I'm gonna go completely cliche' on you, so advanced apologies. If you let cancer suck you in and you don't take the time to flip it the bird, it might as well win. It feels good to give Eve that chemo cocktail, like shouting "Eff ewe!" to any shady cells that dare look in her direction. I am Jack's smirking revenge. You have to find some kind of warped pleasure in it all or else you'll A) have mascara running down your face or B) be committed.
If this is your first time at Cancer Club, you have to fight.
And I'm not under any delusions that Eve is the only person affected by Wilms; Natalie and Daniel suffer, too. They haven't had any friends over since October. They sense our suspicions that they are hosting some horrible contagious disease each time they come through the door as they are hosed down with sanitizer. They beg for me to hold them as much as I hold the little bald one. They deserve a break from this madness as much as Eve.
Luckily, we have a great network of friends who are supporting our family during this bad dream. We are in debt to the people who take Natalie and Daniel into their homes and show them the affection that they aren't sensing from us at times. Not that it's not there, but at the end of the day, when you put in twelve hours at Cancer Club, it might not be as obvious to a three- and four-year-old just how much you love them.
If you were to ask the worst thing about Eve being sick to Daniel, he would probably tell you it's the constant handwashing that is the kicker. If you were to ask him what the best part is, it would be the Grandmas.
We have been more than lucky to have our moms spend the majority of their free time here. Nat and Dan have come to expect that Mimaw will bring gummy snacks and do crafts with them, and Nana will bring toys and take them to the movie store. Matt and I have even snuck out a few times at night when a Grandma is in town and slept in the next morning. To them, we are eternally grateful.
(And to my dad, thanks for not having any abandonment issues. Mom will be home soon!)
Our friends, neighbors, and people we don't even know have stocked our freezer full of food. I can count the number of times I've had to cook in the past month on one hand. We had fourteen containers of baked ziti at last count. That's a lot of cheesy love right there.
We have secret angels who leave gifts on our doorstep. Some little, some big, but all restore your faith in humanity. It's amazing how generous people can be when the crap hits the fan.
Some bring by money for hospital parking. Some bring by gifts for Nat and Dan. Some leave a bottle of wine at your door and give you permission to hang up the white coat and relax a little bit.
I say all this to let you know that while Cancer Club loses major points for the suckage factor, it also opens your eyes to the goodness in others. It truly feels like we're all in this together, except we are the ones with the hair in our food.
Thank you for all the good vibes that you continue to send our way. I don't get a chance to respond to messages in a timely manner, if I even get a chance to respond at all, but I do read all the emails, comments, cards, and letters, and go to bed happy. All is well in the universe sometimes, even when it's clearly not.
If you are on Facebook (and if you're NOT, come on! It's 2010!), you can join Team Eve. It was started by two close friends of ours who have a BBQ fundraiser in the works for us in May. http//www.facebook.com/pages/Team-Eve/308434913681?v=wall#!/pages/Team-Eve/308434913681?ref=ts
And the coolest part? There are shirts being printed! A friend of ours designed a cool "Team Eve" logo that will be on them, perhaps to the disappointment of some of you who were hoping for a "Cuck Fancer" design. (But I did get a Cuck Fancer shirt from Gwyn's momma last weekend, and it is teh awesome.) If you want to order one or find out more about the fundraiser, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's late and I have Cancer in the morning.
"You met me at a very strange time in my life."