This is what went on two weeks ago, after I learned about my brain mets.
Saturday night, I felt pulled in all different directions. Some last minute issues came up about my son's end of the year play and I had to call the drama teacher to try and resolve them. At the same time, my eldest was anxious to get me out of the house -- I had promised to take her to the mall before she went away the next week. We made it to the mall, but only had about half an hour before the mall closed. Crazy.
I did not have the time, or enough information, to think everything through.
The end of the year play is so all-encompassing, not to mention stressful, that I really hoped to tell the kids afterwards. I forgot that, by then, my eldest would not be home for another several days. I also did not realize how fast things would be moving.
Early Sunday morning, my daughter left for a week-long seminar of "MaShaTzim" (Madrichei Shelach Tze'irim -- a training course for young tour guides).
Sunday afternoon, my oncologist called to tell me he made an appointment for me to begin radiation on Tuesday morning. He could not make it earlier, because the radiation ward was not operating that Sunday or Monday.
I did not expect to begin so soon!
I started reading up on radiation for brain mets. I realized that I really should talk with my kids before I started. But my eldest already left for a week! Aack!
OK, I would stick to my plan of waiting until after the play.
Sunday night, we ended up having a real sit-down dinner. (Unfortunately, It is unusual for us all to be home and eating at the same time.) After dinner, the kids and I sat around the table talking and I knew the time was right.
Over the past few days, I figured out how I wanted to frame the news. From the moment we learned of the diagnosis, Moshe reassured me that this was just "more of the same." That was how I wanted to present it to the kids.
So, as we sat around talking, I told them that the MRI showed progression, that the cancer spread to the brain, that I needed radiation (like I had before) and that I would be changing chemotherapies (again). It felt surprisingly straightforward.
The kids listened, did not really have many questions, and switched topics shortly thereafter.
It seemed so simple.
I wondered if I was missing something.
How could they be so nonchalant about something that sent me into a tailspin?
I had to remind myself that I wanted them to absorb the news without fanfare.
After much deliberation, I had successfully packaged the news so that it was not scary.
So, why was I unsettled?
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,