This evening Rebecca came up to my computer because I had promised her she could play games on Facebook. She began hugging and kissing me, professing her love, and said, in a happy, light-hearted way, "I hope you never die, and I hope I never die." I laughed, and told her that we'll all die someday, but hopefully not for a long, long time. I was reading email, specifically from my kidney-onc list. She saw what I was reading, and asked me the following:
"Do you like having cancer?"
It was an honest question, asked without any agenda or motive, just simple curiosity. I told her no, I don't like having cancer. I wish I didn't have it, but since I can't "un-have" it, I just deal with it.
Then she asked me,
"Is there anything good about having cancer for you?"
It was on the tip of my tongue to say no, nothing. Then I glanced over at my monitor, where my email program sat open, filled with messages from my kidney-onc friends. I told Rebecca that she had just asked a very good question, and that I wanted to say no, there's nothing good about having cancer. But actually, I have met a lot of really nice, really wonderful people because of my cancer. These people are willing to share information with each other to help all of us. And I am glad I've met them, so that is something good.
I asked her if she is scared about my having cancer. She said, "Nope!" which was an excellent answer. I told her that I was glad to hear that. As she knows, I reminder her, I get treatments when they find something, then I just get to live my life when I don't need treatment. It's just how it is right now, I told her, and she seemed to accept that. I hope that when we tell her and her sister that I'm going into the hospital, that she can be this calm about it. She is maturing, for sure, though.