” Relief flows through me yet the horizon harbors a different storm”
It seems that I feared my biggest fear when I thought that I was pregnant. I was taken aback to learn that I didn’t know what my biggest fear really was until it knocked on my door one day….
I was done with nappis and bottles and dummy’s and diapers and I didn’t want to dig them out from archives, blowing off years of dust which had blanketed them! I guess I was selfish! I was a bad mother and an awful person! I wanted my time for me! Yet today I realize that not even a second belongs to me…..
The doctor assured me that I was NOT pregnant! Phew!!!!!!! R. E. L. I. E. F escaped my tensed lips and nostrils as I released the breath that I didn’t even realize I was holding! I could sense liberation settle over the room as I let escape that last pent up and tensed breath. ” Get dressed and come have a seat” she said. I thought I was home free! I was smiling, in fact, I couldn’t stop smiling as I kept silently saying ; “thank you thank you thank you!” I’m not pregnant! Shukar! And what a relief it was! I buttoned my blouse still smiling, still sighing absent mindedly, still silently thanking Allah. I sat in front of the doc thinking what to cook for supper. Spaghetti bolognaise or lasagnia. I was still writing a mental shopping note when she said ” we need to run some tests Mrs Adam”….
It turns out that I was not home and away. It turns out that I was only at the beginning, about to open the door to a new world, the page to a new chapter and one that I didn’t expect to read….
It’s cancer. The cause of my love affair with sleep was cancer. The cause of my inability to now sleep, its the dreaded “C” word….. Blood cancer to be specific. Cancer of the myeloid line of blood cells, Myeloid cancer to be even MORE specific… Who would have thought! Certainly not me! No one in my family has ever had cancer!
I sat in front of another doctor just ten days later, still having no one know about my recent spurt of doctors visits and tests and as I sat there looking at him, I somehow knew that what he would say to me would change my world and my life forever. My mind drifted off again. Once again I reached the picturesque sight of messy floors, a crying Zakiyya laying helpless waiting for pancakes, spilled milk dries on the table top, I hear the drip of the kitchen tap as it drips into a pile of dirty dishes, Muaaz attempts tying his shoe lace alone as frustration brims on his brow and I see a piece of gum stuck in Zakiyya’s un-combed hair. This time I smile instead of a feeling a shudder wash over me. I wish and I pray and I hope for and I envision experiencing many a sight like this beautiful one….
At first I didn’t register what the physician said. How could I ? All that I heard was acute, myeloid and white cells. When he repeated himself and said leukemia my ears shut off. I was deaf! I stared at him as I watched his lips move, unable to hear his words. My focus was on his every letter. My face expressionless. “His teeth seriously need some whitening” I thought. My eyes were dead almost, unreadable. “My, but how crooked are his bottom teeth!”
My mind tried to focus on something other than the delivery of his news, something other than the meaning of his words…. My inner fear, my conscience whispered, “You’re going to die”.
Suddenly I think back to being pregnant. How wonderful wouldn’t it be to have been pregnant I think…..
” Are you okay! ” ” Mrs Adam!!?” He asks. And then I blacked out…..