My mother-in-law S is OK.
I don't mean in the sense that she's OK - like an OK person, OK personality, OK looks...
I mean...she's OK in that she is apparently cancer-free.
The good news came this evening via the phone.
Chris gets on the phone and not two minutes later tells me to pick up. S is on the other end of the phone.
My heart rate goes up with my first thoughts being, "Omigod, what's wrong? Who's in the hospital? Are The Girls OK? Something happened to P."
It's amazing the terrible, fearful thoughts one's mind can conjure up in the space of just a second or two.
"We saw the surgeon today," says a tearful S, "and they did the full scan and there's no cancer. The chemo did its job."
I can hear Chris sniffling and crying upstairs. My eyes fill with tears, too.
S isn't totally out of the woods yet. There is still a surgery to be gone through, healing time and then radiation...all just to make certain that damn cancer is good and gone.
But according to the surgeon...today's result is simply spectacular.
The best result that could be hoped for.
S's struggle with breast cancer isn't something that I've addressed in this blog...and not because I was worried about her privacy or worried about sharing her story. She has certainly been very open with everyone about her experience of cancer.
The truth is that I haven't wanted to deal with it for very selfish reasons.
Writing about S's cancer on the blog somehow made it too real.
Not that it wasn't ever real for her or for our family - we all certainly noticed her missing hair and how tired she was when we'd see her these last six months. She talked about the chemo and how she was doing. We asked about the chemo and how she was feeling. There were long discussions about white blood cell counts and having to hold off on chemo because those white counts were too low. S's cancer had become a daily part of reality. We talked about it. It was there in the room all of the time.
...by not addressing it here on the blog - here where I've been working through so many issues - somehow...in a way... I could sort of pretend that it wasn't happening.
Because quite frankly I didn't want to - wouldn't - couldn't - admit to myself the possibility of a world without S in it.
I can't even imagine how relieved S must feel today. And her wonderful husband J and their son P. And the rest of the family.
Such sweet relief.
And for perfectly and completely selfish reasons - I'm so incredibly relieved for Chris and me and our Little One.
To put it quite simply, S must be here along with all of our Little One's other fantastic grandparents to help us navigate the waters of parenthood and to guide our Little One through her life...for a very, very, very long time.