This is Hope

9:14 PM

Today I got the results of my first CT-scan since starting chemo in early May. I received hopeful news, yet with the hope I faced my own unrealistic wishes, the disappointment and mortality again. Emotionally it was like a thick iron door being slammed calmly in my face while giving me (verbal) hope. So I thought about it all tonight and came up with four incidents where I find it.


An out-of-breath-singer shaking internally already prior to the show at Provinssi. Because the four- hour-drive has made her feel like she has flown to Austin, TX with two lay-overs. She gets up on stage anyway, because that's what she came here to do, to sing in the screaming pink wig.

For a fleeting nanosecond in between a sentence and chord she wonders if this is worth it. She feels the burden on her lungs. But it is so worth it. Even when the stage is not ideal, when there has been a rush that has compromised her sound. Even with the tiredness that makes her cranky, short-sentenced and sleepy. Even when she has to remain backstage all evening and leave wandering in the crowds to others. Hope is present in the meeting between the band and the audience. Hope is in the drive to the summer cottage in the middle of the night and in the drive home the next day. Hope is in the lake. Hope is in the laughter and the tired jokes of friends on the road. It's in doing the music.


Hope is in the room on the fourth floor of the cancer hospital. It's there even though the room is sterile, the weather outside is solid gray and cold and the doctor refuses to speak English and thus leaves translating everything to my husband up to the patient (me). Hope is cautiously measured in the doctor's words as she delivers the news that the tumours have responded to treatment and are shrinking (and some even disappearing). Hope lightens my translations to my partner. In front of the door to this little expressionless space, I sit on the edge of my chair and ask a million questions, stopping the doctor on her tracks too many times (this annoys her) wearing my magician's turban over my demur real-hair wig. I want to know about my future, I want her to give me more, to promise me more. She is careful to distribute her message so that I cannot miss the problems, so that I know where the risks lie. She books more appointments and writes prescriptions. I sign up for more of the same chemo that makes me lose myself and language in addition to my hair, memory and my happiness – because hope is in that medicine. If I can struggle through three more courses, then maybe I can extract another hopeful meeting with a doctor at the end of summer.


Hope is in a song that I write for my son. It's the song he has asked me to write for him in May when our life became colored by my illness. Or did it drain the colors out? At that moment he needed a song. One that would be like my other songs, "a real song, not a children's song" he instructed.
The song that I am writing will carry him always. It is my love wrapped in hope. No illness can take away this song.
Now he is talking about being on stage while I perform his song. He will be dancing.
Hope will be in our tears. It will be in the salt I can taste while I watch him dance to this song.


Nothing can take away my hope.  

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