Brave You Are


You are so brave and quiet I forget you are suffering.

Ernest Hemingway

Feature Image Photo by Josh Hemsley

Five am cold, dark, and rainy outside. Thursday is the three-week chemo treatment day, and we prepare for the drive to the hospital. Two sleepyheads are fumbling around in the room, a queue for the loo, trouble for those that linger. Make the bed, lay out clothes, queue for a shower—a bowl of cereal for breakfast, dress and ready to roll. Week eighteen, last of the chemo’s, it’s been a rough ride.

Next is the blocker treatment, probably for life. How will the after-treatment effects of this be?

You suffered like no human should be asked to suffer, left wondering if it was all worth the pain, loss of taste, hair shaved off, ulcerated mouth, to name a few.

I recall that day at the hospital, some months ago when you were told by the medical professional that you had second-stage cancer in your breast, lymph glands (and later lungs too.) A mastectomy was almost inevitable. Even with her reassuring words, full recovery was possible with modern and progressive technology; did you, just for a second, wonder how long you had left on this earth?

But you responded with a strong voice, brave and determined, even though inside you were suffering. It was me who was shattered to a place of tears – my only relief.

Blocker treatment, three done, with each three weeks more to come, no end in sight. Complications set in from the womb; is it spreading? No, we state with strong affirmation! Yet you take it in your stride; medical professionals are amazed at your resilience. How you still have such a fantastic sense of humor, laughing often.

Even after all the treatment, you are as brave as ever, but I know you suffer silently; forgive me for the times I forget this…

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