Here is the beginning of a story I started writing last summer. Maybe I should continue, I don't know, you guys tell me what you think about it..
Sky was diagnosed of cancer when she was 3 years old. And only a couple of months later her sister, Hope, too. As a mother of 3 children at that time I'm going to tell you how my life turned upside down. And at that time it seemed like god or whoever is up there just didn't want to put it back the right way or the way it was supposed to be. Or was this the way it was supposed to be? It just wasn't possible, no, this just wasn't right. But this is how my life, and my whole family's life went on for a good while. Please don't miss understand me with a good while I mean a long while.
* * *
Mike's big day : Catherine
First I had a wonderful first child with my husband Alex. Mike was a very healthy baby who had no problems at all. We had been very lucky, though at that moment neither Alex nor me realized that. Only 3 years later we had our twins Sky and Hope. When they were born they had no problems either. "They were as good as new."Alex would always say. But when Mike was six years old and the big day of entering in 1st grade arrived, it was one of my worst days in my intire life. It all happened like this: "Mike and Sky!" I cried from downstairs "What are you still doing in your room?" "You should be down here eating with your sister!" "But moooom" Mike screamed back "I think Sky's sick again, she's throwing up all over my new school bag!" "Hold on, I'm coming in a minute" I said after sighing and putting Alex in charge of Hope. At that moment I wasn't scared at all of what I would find upstairs. Sky had already been sick for a couple of days, but knowing Mike who liked to joke about being sick just not to have to go to school I surely wasn't one of those mothers who would go see a doctor just because their son or daughter has a stomach ache. But the minute I entered Mike's room where Sky lay crouched over his bed, I knew that this was absolutely not a joke. Her face was purple and the way she was vomiting while her whole little body trembled on the ground was more than a horrible sight. Especially when the child that is on the ground is your own daughter. Of course my first reaction was to scream. But I quickly realized that this would be of no help at all and that at that moment if there's one thing you shouldn't do is scare the sick child off. I hurried over to her and bent down to touch her cheek. It was hot and felt like it was on fire. "This is bad" I thought " this is really bad!"
"Mike, go get your dad and a plastic bag" I said trying to sound as calm as possible although I think I was still half screaming. From the corner of my right eye I saw Mike leave the room and run down the stairs. With a lot of courage I bent down once more and took Sky in my arms. I was no doctor, I worked as a Latin teacher in a school nearby and in my free time I also gave violin lessons and held an orchestra. That was my passion which I had received from my own father. He was a pianist but played violin too, when I was young. So of course I knew nothing about wether I should have taken Sky in my arms or not, the only thing I had on my mind was: "We have to get her to the hospital!" I was almost at the door when Alex came bursting in. "What happened?"he asked way calmer than I thought would ever have been possible. I felt dazed with all the blood coming out of Sky's mouth and didn't answer. I only found out later by Alex that apparently I had been repeating over and over the same sentence: "We have to get her to the hospital!"
* * *
Mike never arrived at school that day. We drove straight to the hospital with our 3 kids. I was still scared of what we would find out and my mind just didn't seem to work properly. I think I could hear everyone but twice as loud and it felt like everyone was screaming in my ears. When we arrived at the hospital I gave Sky to Alex so he could run of faster. And I tried to follow with Hope in my arms and Mike at my side. When we entered the doctors obviously knew directly who we were because they led us to a room where I saw Alex siting and talking to a man with a long white vest and dark brown shoes who I supposed was another doctor.
"Where's Sky?" I asked realising that she wasn't in Alex's arms anymore.
"Mrs.Stace, please calm down",the doctor to whom Alex had been talking a minute ago said,"We are taking a bloodtest on Sky to see in which part of the hospital we will make further researches." I had already been married for 7 years, but that name still felt weird. Somehow I just wasn’t used to it. Even at work they all called me Mrs.Carey.
"Thank you" I answered not knowing if this answer fitted in the circumstances.
We waited for 10 minutes in complete silence except for Mike's sobbing in the back of the room because his new school bag was ruined. Then a doctor came in holding a little bottle of blood which I supposed was Sky's. Just the sight of it made me wince. Alex and I both got up and shook hands with the doctor.
" hello,"the doctor said,"I'm doctor Behnert and I have just taken the blood test on your daughter Sky.
"Hello" Alex and I both answered at the same time.
"I would like to ask you a couple of questions about Sky."the doctor continued.
"First of all we have just concluded that she is of the blood type A. Does anyone else in the family have the same bloodtype?"
I was pretty sure Alex wouldn't know so I answered myself:"I'm of the bloodtype B, I think, and Alex is..AB he filled in but I don't know about Hope nor Mike.
"It is obvious that Hope and Sky are twins?"doctor Benhert said or asked, it wasn't really clear the way he spoke with his clear French accent. So I just concluded that this was a question and answered it. "Yes they are twins. Identical twins." Wrong. I definitely had no gift in understanding people. It hadn't been a question, this was obvious by the way he didn't even make the effort to answer me. Somehow I felt like this doctor wasn't going to be my best friend.
* * *
After several days of waiting for the results of all the bloodtests and other tests the doctors had made on Sky we got the horrible news. It all went like this.
Sky had stayed at the hospital since the day we brought her there. The first day Alex an I both stayed at the hospital with her hoping we would get fast information and news from the doctors. Hope and Mike were at their grandparents probably having loads of fun with nanny and paddy like they call them, without knowing what was hapenning a good 30 km away in the hospital of Hashville. Alex and I spent the whole day just watching Sky wake up from time to time, but then just drifting off again in her sleep because of all the medication she had already received. The day after Alex had left to go back to work and I was left with the biggest fear I had ever had in my entire life: What is going on?
That same afternoon when Alex had luckily just come back from his work a doctor called Dr.Carter came in. “Mr. and Ms. Stace” he said “how are you?” “We’re… “ Without thinking I was going to say that we were doing very well just out of pure habit, but I stopped myself just in time, thinking that that would be a huge lie. Dr.Carter seemed to realize this and went on as if I hadn’t answered, which I was very grateful of. “So I have received all the results on Sky's tests and I would like to invite you in my office to discuss all this. " My heart started leaping and I felt the way Alex was holding my hand that he was pretty nervous as well. When we arrived in Dr. Carter's office, I was surprised at how empty it was. There was a round table with 3 chairs, a computer and a couple of papers on the table but nothing more. We sat down not Alex nor me daring to start the conversation. Dr. Carter looked at us straight in the eyes again and again. A few months later he would be the doctor I trusted the most, but I had to be honest: His huge eyes, pointy nose and accusing look really creeped me out.
* * *
"I'm sorry." Alex said all of a sudden. We were back home together for the first time.Sky was still at the hospital, but there was nothing we could do for her, so the doctor advised us to get some rest for one night. I was in Alex's arms, long tears running down my face when he said this. It had only been a week since we had found out about Sky's brain cancer. I turned, somehow in the hope of maybe finding just one tear on his face to know that I wasn't the only one beginning to lose the war. Because it was a war. When you have a child or a beloved one that suffers from cancer, it is, as I call it, a constant battle. Every day, you have to fight the sadness. You have to fight the deep fear inside you. You have to fight to keep the hopes high. You have to fight constantly, because it is a war that is ready to kill. Not only your child, but also you. And it isn't only ready to kill you physically but also emotionally. But my hope was quickly drowned when I saw his perfectly dry face. Alex never cried. But his expression always gave away how he felt about things. It is often easy for me to know how he feels or what he prefers, just by looking at his beautiful face. His expression at that moment looked like a mixture of sadness, fear and madness.
"Why" I asked two minutes after he had said he was sorry.
"It's my fault" he said, looking at the half painted ceiling of our bedroom. I was busy repainting it before we found out about Sky's cancer for Alex's birthday, but now, this really wasn't a priority. And I had this feeling that it was't going to become a priority for a long time.
"It's all my fault" he repeated "my aunt had a cancer. I still remember being forced by my parents to go and visit her.
"That doesn't mean anything Alex."
"Yes, of course it does, it fits exactly what doctor Carter told us."
"And..what happened?" Did she die from it?" I asked, anxious to hear the answer. But I never got the answer. Alex just kept staring at the ceiling without saying a word. That's how I knew what the answer was.
"O, Alex, how are we going to survive this?"
"Sky is young, she will survive." and then he added, more silently "She will have to survive."
"And what about Hope? I can't afford to lose two of my three children. I love them.'
"Catherine, what are you talking about? Hope hasn't even been diagnosed with cancer. Like Dr. Carter said, there is only a tiny chance that she will."
"Don't be blind Alex, they have the same DNA."
"But the cancer might not be genetic. Sky might have gotten it a different way."
"You just said so yourself!" I said, raising my voice. "You just said it was your fault because your aunt died from cancer!"
"Oh, so now it's all my fault, isn't it? Well, maybe you should have checked my family before marrying me, shouldn't you have?" he said, raising his voice just the way I had done.
"I never said that, I'm just.."
"Tired, I'm just tired." Alex finished of.
And with a click he turned of the light and left me, still sitting upright in bed, thinking, what the hell just happened to me.
Pretty please, can you tell me what you think about it?
Have a fantastic summer,