Today I told Brad and Eliot that I’d be gone for a few weeks—and why I’d be gone.
We were at the soccer fields (with a ball this time) when Eliot asked me why I seemed really spacey. All I could manage was a mumble about being tired.
At that point, I still wasn’t sure what to tell them. It seemed there was no way to break it to them. But when I ended up getting nailed in the forehead with the soccer ball, I knew I had to tell them sooner or later.
I was lying on the ground after getting smacked in the face with the ball, watching the clouds when they both ran up to me at the same time.
“You okay, man?”
All I could do was shake my head.
Brad glanced away for a moment and bit his lip. “I thought you were open—“
“It isn’t that,” I said as I sat up and tugged nervously at the grass beneath my fingers.
They both stared for a second, and then sat down too. They’re always good at knowing when I really needed to talk about something.
“So what’s up?” Eliot grabbed the ball and balanced it on top of his head while he waited for me to speak. Brad just watched my fingers tug the grass.
“I . . . I’m leaving tomorrow. For chemotherapy.” Right as I said the words, I could have smacked myself. That was no way to say that I had cancer, especially to my friends.
The ball fell from atop Eliot’s head and his mouth fell open. “For what now?”
So I ended up telling them about how I was diagnosed and about mom and I’s fight and all the crazy stuff that’s happened the last few days. All they could do was stare at me like they’d been struck dumb.
After I’d finished telling them everything, I asked, “so?”
Brad was the first to even make a sound. But all it was only a tiny squeak that barely escaped his lips.
Then Eliot said, “You’ve got cancer.”
“Yeah,” I whispered. When I looked at Brad again, he was watching an ant that was crawling around his finger. Then he flicked it away and looked back to me. “31 percent, huh?”
This time, the whisper was even quieter. “Yes.”
And that’s all any of us said for the next ten minutes. Then Eliot said, “I’ll be waiting for you when you get back.” His usual troubled frown was suddenly replaced with a soft smile. And Brad grinned. “Me too, man.”
Their reactions didn’t surprise me. Not really, anyway. It was comforting, to say the least, that they actually listened to me and didn’t say anything stupid to make things worse.
The town I live in isn’t really a “town” at all. It’s hardly big enough to even be listed on the map of Illinois. Population, 276, the sign says when entering “city limits”.
This won’t be only a family, friends, and close relatives matter if I tell others that I’m leaving. This will be big.
The whole town will find out before I even get the chance to tell the Kiddie College or my church.
But I have to tell someone else. If I just leave without telling anyone else besides Brad and Eliot, I’ll go crazy and so will everyone else. No one will know where I went! Then again, if I do, everyone will have their own opinion about what I should do-and most won’t be afraid to say it.
I’m not sure I could deal with that.
No. I’m just being difficult again, like Nikki said. I have to tell someone else.
(Okay, this is about two hours later. I postponed the posting a bit so I could add what happened.)
I ended up calling my youth pastor and telling him to put me on the prayer list for church. Guess what he said?
It was about all he said. But he did say, “I can’t make any promises, but I know that God has more plans in mind for you. All you can do now is pray.”
It’s extremely stupid how I didn’t think of that before. I mean, sure, I asked to be put on the prayer list and all, but I’d never really thought of asking God to help me through this. I had to do a facepalm right there while I was on the phone.
So now, I guess the news is out.
Jove has cancer. Jove is leaving tomorrow for chemo.
And Jove is scared.
I’m not sure if I’ll write again. Maybe, maybe not. It may depend on whether I survive this or not. After chemo, I’m going to try and get my life back together—somewhat normal.
I guess we’ll have to find out if can beat this.
I’m betting on it.