Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I have spent the last two months wearing either pajamas, jeans and t-shirts, or any other comfort wear with little concern for looking presentable, so when I went out to lunch today with my mom I decided to step it up a notch and put on a cute little black dress and my favorite black heels – I even made an effort to carefully brush mascara onto my seven or eight eyelashes and powder my nose.

The dress, my favorite hand-me-down from my grandmother, falls just at the knee when I’m standing, and shrinks up to mid thigh while I’m seated, and on the way home I was lazily driving one-handed, resting the other on my knee, when I noticed that if I ran my hand up my leg I could feel the slightest hint of stubble growing. At a stoplight I quickly checked under both arms – stubble. What a thrill…I remembered that the last time I shaved was in April just before my second round of ICE. So, I decided to get some coffee, and when I parked the car at the coffee shop, I carefully examined my face in the rear view mirror to find that if you look very, very closely at what is left of my eyebrows you can see little brown dots of the new baby brows that are about to sprout.

Re-growth, rebirth, renewal, and the prospect of a hairy future made me smile for a moment…how wonderful for things to be trying to normalize…a sign that maybe this cancer nightmare is coming to a close. But then, just as it always does, reason lead me to recognize the déjà vu I am wandering through – I have seen those hairs grow back once before, and sobbed when they lost their will to hang on and left me bald and sickly. I have lived through the joy of “cure” and the wretched return of the enemy. I remember the day I left the doctor’s office – no more chemo, that was it….my mom and I celebrated with greasy Red Robin fare, my husband with seafood dinner and red wine, my girlfriends with champagne and three-buck-chuck…and then we all shared a tear when it came back.

Is it wise to celebrate? I don’t know if I can handle the disappointment again. The first time around I said I’d never go through chemo again…knowing full well that I would, but hoping that my warning would scare it away. Nice logic, but it failed. This time there would be less of a concrete answer as to what to do about a relapse….it would require second, third, and fourth opinions, deep thought and consideration of the options, and shitty odds. It would mean a lot of scary things that I’m afraid to admit that I’m afraid of. “It’s not coming back,” you’ll say…oh but I have heard that before…and I was fooled.

I won’t be fooled again, I won’t be surprised again…I will be cautious and sparing with my celebration dance, and I think you would be too. I don’t know how else to deal with I won’t claim victory until I’m sure, knowing that I may never be.

Still, when I’m alone, my fingertips are tempted, and careful not to be noticed, they gently graze over the stubble with sincere and humble hope.

Durante los últimos dos meses, me la he pasado vestida de pijama, jeans y playeras, o cualquier otra ropa cómoda con poca preocupación por verme presentable, así que cuando salí hoy a comer con mi mamá, decidí romper con eso y me puse un vestidito negro y mis tacones negros favoritos – y hasta hice el esfuerzo de ponerle rímel a mis siete u ocho pestañas y ponerme polvito en la cara.

El vestido, que era de mi abuela hace muchos años, me llega a la rodilla cuando estoy de pie, y se me sube hasta medio muslo cuando estoy sentada, y entonces cuando iba de regreso después de comer, iba con un chingo de güeva, con una mano en el volante y la otra en la rodilla, cuando me di cuenta de que cuando pasaba la mano por la pierna podía apenitas sentir un poquito los inicios de pelitos creciendo allí. En el semáforo chequé los dos sobacos – pelitos. Qué emoción…me acordé que la última vez que me afeité fue en abril justo antes del segundo tratamiento ICE. Así que decidí ir por un café, y cuando me estacioné chequé la cara en el retrovisor y vi que si te acercas mucho y ves mis cejas (o más bien donde deberían de estar mis cejas) se notan unos puntitos cafés donde las cejitas bebés están creciendo.

Re-crecimiento, renacimiento, renovación y la perspectiva de un futuro peludo me hicieron sonreír por un momento…qué maravilla que todo empiece a normalizarse…qué bella señal de que tal vez toda esta pesadilla de cáncer va a llegar a su fin. Y luego, como suele suceder, la razón me hizo reconocer el deja vu en el que ando – ya me tocó ver esos pelitos crecer de nuevo alguna vez, y lloré cuando perdieron su voluntad de aferrarse a mí y me dejaron pelona y enferma. He vivido ya la alegría de “la cura” y el horrible regreso del enemigo. Recuerdo bien el día que salí de la clínica para supuestamente nunca hacer la quimio de nuevo….mi mamá y yo celebramos con hamburguesas, mi esposo y yo con una cena de mariscos y vino, mis amigas con champán…y después todos compartimos las lágrimas cuando regresó.

Será buena idea celebrar? No sé si pueda lidiar con la decepción otra vez. Durante la primera ronda de tratamiento dije que jamás haría más quimio…sabiendo bien que sí lo haría, pero esperando que mi advertencia le asustaría a no regresar. Bonita mi lógica extraña…pero me falló. Esta vez si regresa habría menos repuestas concretas de qué hacer al respeto…significaría opiniones de dos, tres, cuatro, o más doctores, mucha consideración de las opciones, y posibilidades muy pequeñas de una cura. Significaría muchas cosas de las que me da miedo admitir que tengo miedo. “No va a regresar, vas a estar bien,” me dirás…ah pero eso lo he escuchado ya…y terminé engañada.

Ya no me engañará, no me volverá a sorprender….seré cautelosa y prudente con mi baile de celebración, y creo que tú harías lo mismo. No sé otra manera de hacer esto…así que no anunciaré la victoria hasta saber que la tengo, sabiendo que tal vez nunca la tendré.

Pero chingado… vaya que el alma es un soñador, y cuando estoy sola, los puntitos de mis dedos ceden a la tentación, y con mucho cuidado de no ser descubiertos, acarician suavemente los pelitos con sincera y humilde esperanza.


Jolene said...

Ay, ay, ay, Darcy... Ay, ay, ay. Before you get that crazy bikini growth back, come on over for a swim. You might wanna wear that black dress of yours, too. It sounds super sexy!

Thinking of you and hope to see you soon!


Black Star said...

hi darcy,
this is ally, tyler long's wife. i have been reading your blogs and i just have to say you are extremely brave. if i had to go through this i would have just gave up. you are such an amazing writer. lets get together soon and have maybe just a mini celebration, at least a celebration of how strong you are.

La lulú de viaje said...

hola Darcy,

Recuerda siempre que ahora en la paz estan unas personitas que los quieren mucho, que los piensan y estan en sus recuerdos presentes dia a dia...

Te queremos mucho guera y por supuesto que al compita luis tambien

Esperamos verlos pronto

Lula, tito y verne en sus ya 34 semanas... Ya casi vecina, ya casi truena la naranja jejeje...

Bekah said...

Ah, the cautious celebratory dance -- how we SCTers know this one so, so well.

I applaud you Darcy, on being able to recognize what's happening with your emotions and what's going on in your head.

It seems that there is a constant balance between remembering from the past, but trying to place your first foot in the door of the future.

You really seem to be doing an excellent job. My biggest hope, is that with that stubble... and your three month scan, will come more confidence that you can put all of this behind you.

You are a warrior, and although, I know you could probably handle anything that life throws at you -- I think we can both declare enough 'character building' for now.

Congrats on slipping out of the PJ's that, in itself is a huge accomplishment. Slowly, but surely, those little black dress days will happen more often than the PJ's and T-shirts, and we'll both be looking back at this thinking...

God, we are superwomen.

Here's to surviving, little black dresses, small celebrations, and life, my dear.

TONS of Love,


Anonymous said...

Um...that lil black dress sounds super sexy....I can TOTALLY see you in it.....Hooray for the stuble!! I can only imagine the emotions you go through (past vs future), and I know it is hard for you, but you are the strongest woman I know, and don't forget it!!!

Love you!!!

Marci :-)

Melissa said...

Beautiful! We hope with you.

Anonymous said...

You gotta keep that hope honey - I want that light to get brighter and brighter and hope that one day this will all be behind you and you'll (we'll) never have to fear for your health again. Never feel foolish stoking your hope flames! If you need help there's plenty of us hoping right along with you...


carmen eugeneia said...


Un sencillo saludo con besos y abrazos, estoy al pendiente aunque vuelva a hacer algun comentario....te mando lo que tu desees que te llege...con sincero afecto.
Carmen Eugenia

Recibe también los saludos afectuosos de la Mtra. Conchita.