I’ve always had big dreams or maybe I should say expectations.
My maternal grandfather, a self made man who worked hard and lived big, and who still looms large in my memory, used to frequently quote the verse from Luke chapter 12, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked”. I suspect this verse has permeated my mother and her sisters’ psyches and been passed on to me. Anyway, in adulthood, my anxious temperament and critical spirit paired with my reasonably quick brain found a happy home in the public service. I thought I would have a big career in government and public policy. I thought I would make some difference.
And then came cancer. My stage 4 diagnosis at age 34, eleven weeks after the birth of my long awaited daughter, Violet. The world as I knew it fell out from under me. I cannot imagine ever being able to describe that first month. I was in the abyss.
My dreams now are little.
I want to stay alive – “just give me till she’s twenty”, I beg God, knowing that I will only be 55 then which is still too young and Dave will be only 50 – too young to lose a partner. I hope I live longer than my parents, so they don’t have to lose a child.
I dream of an old house in the country with a wide central hallway and leadlights framing the front door. Dark wooden floors, open fire places and a huge white kitchen to cook in. Room for my friends to stay, and a comforting, beautiful environment for my little family.
Sometime I dare to hope that I can be completely cured – that SIRT treatment will be my miracle. But more often I simply hope that the doctors can continue to pat down my metastases as they pop up – sort of like a game of hungry hippos but with chemotherapy drugs and ugly tumours.
“At every moment of our lives, we all have one foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss.”
― Paulo Coelho