Going Home Again

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The plan is for me to transition home today from hospice to in-home palliative care. I can’t wait to be home! There will be a lot to figure out, but it will be so worth it. We are asking for no visitors today or tomorrow while we get settled (there will be plenty of time for visits later, thankfully.

One of the potentially trickiest bits of this process was explaining this all to Emmie. Since it have not found a great handbook on dealing with this kind of situation with kids her age, this has been a process of trial and error. When I was so sick last week, obviously I couldn’t tell anything to Emmie, but it was also clear she had to know something. It wouldn’t have been fair to her to keep her in the dark (plus, my family has known that this is what I want for her: clear, honest information only when she needs it). So she had of course been told that mommy was very sick and might die, because that was what was happening (hindsight is very different). DH understood this enough that at school recently, a friend said “my daddy is sick” and she said “My mommy is sick and is going to die” (leading to some quick processing by her fast-thinking teachers).

However, by yesterday, it became clearer that death was NOT imminent and plans needed to be changed (hooray!). I set aside special time for just her and I to talk (no mean feat with all the lovely guests I’ve been getting), and within a few moments she understood that mommy was still sick but probably not going to die right now. In fact, mommy was coming home! She had the great idea for a “celebwation,” complete with party hats for everyone, including Jasper. A few moments later and all she cared about was mommy helping her draw some numbers on a worksheet from school. Phew.

I only wish everyone else could adapt so quickly to new circumstances, myself included. It’s strange to be part of an honest-to-God miracle. My aunt jokingly calls me a faker out of extreme relief, my parents and husband are understandably over protective of my every move, and I am trying to grapple with some weird survivor’s guilt mixed with crazy joy at being alive (especially since I don’t remember the scariest moments). I want to do all the things now that I have a new lease on life, but I also know that these moments of well-being could be short-lived. At least I now have most of my memorial planned for when that time comes. Cancer may have fucked with me, but I am more than ready to take it on and get it right back.

Just try and stop me, now that I know what I’m capable of. Love and light will always prevail.