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Knowing what crazy looks like doesn’t make it any easier to avoid

A cough in the middle of the night.

Followed by another.

Then a soft moan of discomfort.

That’s all it takes.

I’m transported to a night over two years ago when I woke up to hear Peyton crying in her sleep.

“I hurt, mommy.”

Those three words foreshadowed pain and sickness and disease.

I didn’t know it at the time.

It would be the last nights I would ever be able to listen to her cough without wondering “Is it now?”

Is now the night that cancer will creep back in her body?

Is now the moment that we start over again?

Is now the beginning?

Or the end?

The days between blood tests will stretch into eternity.

I know that we have a lifetime of coughs and aches and midnight awakenings to fevers and sicknesses.

I hope we do.

The leap from a simple cold to cancer seems far-fetched.

Except we’ve done it before.

I lived with my daughter going to sleep with a random illness and woke up to cancer.

Yeah, I go there.

Sometimes its days between the thoughts.

Others it’s minutes.

It never really leaves.

It makes me feel crazy.

I don’t want to be crazy like this.

Seriously, I don’t chose to be consumed by my fears.

I just am.

No amount of pep talks about how it’s over keeps every fear from crowding in when I lay awake listening to her cough, sniffle, hurt.

It’s a cold. I know it is. Just a cold.

It doesn’t stop me from visualizing every white cell her body is producing to fight off this cold.

Please grow normal!

It only takes one microscopic cell to grow wrong.

PLEASE be normal!

To spread throughout her body and try to take her away.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t mutate and become a cancer cell.

It started with just one the last time.

please don’t do this to us again

I feel ashamed because I’ve watched it happen to so many others.

Why not us?

We talk about the survivor guilt…oh, I have it…I hug my friends who have lost a child, who are dealing with a relapse, who are my worst nightmares walking…and I do feel guilty.

How can we feel confident it won’t be us?

How DARE I feel relieved that it’s not Peyton?

If we say we prayed so hard and THAT’s why Peyton’s still in remission, am I saying that they didn’t pray enough?

If I say that we are so blessed to have her healthy and whole, are we saying that God chose NOT to bless them?

Is it easier for me to drown in the anxiety that it will happen to us than to try to find a way to express how relieved I am that it’s not?

Peyton has a cold.

And the crazy starts, just that fast.

20 Comments on “Knowing what crazy looks like doesn’t make it any easier to avoid”

  1. #1 Chrissi
    on Dec 28th, 2008 at 11:11 am

    I wish I could give you a great big hug right now.

    So much I want to say, just am unable to put the words together.

    Just never feel guilty. Ever.

  2. #2 Beverly
    on Dec 28th, 2008 at 11:23 am

    The anxiety never leaves…never.

    But it does abade, tempered a bit with time, so that you’re able to re-live something horrible and not become a sweaty mess. And sometimes the perspective of this fear really makes a difference in your life.

    Does that make sense?

    I’m sorry that Peyton has this nasty cold going around, but I’m really sorry that you’ve been so effected.

  3. #3 Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas
    on Dec 28th, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Oh Sweetie! I wish I could take the fear away. I wish I could make it better. (hugs)

  4. #4 Redneck Mommy
    on Dec 28th, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    The anxiety never leaves me either.

    It clings to me along with the ghost of the little boy lost.

    Smooches my friend. Go kiss your kid for me.

  5. #5 Karalyn
    on Dec 28th, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Hugs to you.
    Hope Peyton feels better soon.

  6. #6 Shelley
    on Dec 28th, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    I hope Peyton feels better soon. I too wonder when I will just get to enjoy Katie’s good health and stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. The fear of the unknown makes me crazy!

    Hugs to you and Peyton!

  7. #7 Karen Sugarpants
    on Dec 28th, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    Oh Anissa…huge hugs to you. It’s hard to relate totally but when Dylan shows any sign of chest pain, breathlessness, whatever – I’m immediately terrified it’s his aneurysm (in his heart). My heart goes out to you and this post really resonated over here. xoxo

  8. #8 The Mom Jen
    on Dec 29th, 2008 at 12:03 am

    Hugs, I know I would feel the same thing as you do. I already fear the worst when my kids get sick and I haven’t been in your shoes.

    Hope the cold ends quickly and without further incident!!

  9. #9 Jen W
    on Dec 29th, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Oh- hugs to you!!! And hoping that Peyton is over her cold soon.

  10. #10 brittany
    on Dec 29th, 2008 at 9:50 am

    I can’t imagine the fear you must live with. I am sending you tons and tons of hugs, and tissues…and lysol…gotta beat that cold once and for all.

  11. #11 Average Girl
    on Dec 29th, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Having never been through the issues you have/had/will experience, I can only imagine what you have been going through and the amount of anxiety associated with it. My wish for you in 2009 is peace.

    Lots of love and I hope Peyton gets better.

  12. #12 Lisa
    on Dec 29th, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    I love you Anissa. Your feelings are not whacked out…they are tragically “normal” for what you have experienced. I ache for you, and pray that you will know peace and Peyton will feel better FAST!

  13. #13 Musing
    on Dec 29th, 2008 at 7:07 pm


  14. #14 Melissa
    on Dec 29th, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Wow, this gave me goosebumps. Sending ((hugs)) your way hon.

  15. #15 Angela
    on Dec 30th, 2008 at 12:29 am

    Coping, …you are normal with your fears. All the fresh memories are still there, most likely for life. However, maybe with each “normal illness” it will fade just a little. You will still be on guard, always careful, but maybe will be able to get a little sleep too. Praying this is one of those normal colds .

  16. #16 threeundertwo
    on Dec 30th, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    (((Hugs))). On my list of crazy people, you’re nowhere near the top hon, if that makes you feel better.

  17. #17 BlapherMJ
    on Jan 1st, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    I feel exactly what you’re saying. Keep the faith.

  18. #18 It's hard work being this crazy | Hope4Peyton
    on Jan 22nd, 2009 at 1:46 am

    […] can talk about my crazy.  I can divulge some of the surface crazy.  But this is the down-to-the-bone crazy that sneaks up […]

  19. #19 michael
    on Feb 28th, 2009 at 7:57 am

    I really liked your blog! LOL! 😀

  20. #20 bianca
    on Jan 8th, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    roman 12:12 is my favorite verse thanks you for your sharing