May 11, 2017: Tightropes

In my last few life after Avastin posts there’s been a glaring omission. What about the kids? How were G and H doing now that Matt was back to himself? Were they confused? Did they have questions? They’d just witnessed a wild plummet and breathtakingly fast upswing, what did they make of it all?

The answer is: I don’t know.

On May 11, 2017, H had a class field trip and, as class mom, I had the joy (joy? chore?) of being one of the chaperones on the trip. It probably wasn’t the most exciting way to spend a day, but it did afford me an opportunity to see H in his school environment, around his friends. If he was showing any red flags, signs of behavioral or emotional issues, I was sure I’d spot them on the field trip. But I saw nothing. No signs of distress, no acting out. He seemed like the average, carefree kid on a field trip.

G also went right back to snuggling in to her daddy’s side as soon as he returned to reading the bedtime stories. No questions asked. By them or by me. They seemed content with the earlier explanation (Daddy had headaches) and I was content not to answer questions that could only lead down a dark, hopeless road.

Some might calling that lying. Some might say that’s lying by omission and a lie, is a lie, is a lie. But I don’t think it was that simple, at least not for us, not about this. Because…what if? What if we never fell into another down cycle? What if the next MRI was clear? What if he was cured and G and H didn’t have to hear the truth until the harsh lines of those bad days were nothing but hazy blurs in our past?

When friends brought up the idea of therapy for the kids, I’d dismiss the well-meaning suggestion. G and H were fine. No red flags, no signs of distress. Only now, in looking back, am I realizing that in May we never asked the other questions, the what if questions on the other side of the coin. What if the MRI wasn’t clear? What if the bad days weren’t behind us, but ahead of us?

There’s a fine line between truth and untruth. And we balanced that tightrope suspended in the space between what if questions the best we could, skewed, as always, by hope.

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