Lucy, Like No One I've Ever Met

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She loves like no one I’ve ever met. When I say she loves, it’s not just for her Mama, her Bubba and her Daddy. If she has met you, she loves you. She loves to be around people. Staying at home playing with her toys is not what she calls the perfect Saturday. When she loves you, she loves you hard. She remembers your name better than most politicians. If she cannot pull it out of her racing mind, she will wake up at 5 a.m. the next morning and rush into my room to whisper it in my ear and then fall back asleep. She gives the tightest hugs because she wants to make sure you feel the emotions that take over her being. She desperately wants you to be her friend because people are more important to her than any toy or cookie. She rests better when she has spent the day in crowds. She’s never met a stranger and she doesn’t understand the concept as much as I try to teach her “stranger danger.”

She gets frustrated like no one I’ve ever met. She doesn’t understand why things cannot be the way she wants it to be. She doesn’t understand why it rains when we are supposed to play outside. She doesn’t understand why we have to drink prune juice to keep her scarred gut digesting properly. She doesn’t understand why we have to go to the hospital from time-to-time to get her blood tested, to get an ultrasound or to answer a bunch of silly questions. She has yet to comprehend keeping her hands to herself and not to touch other people’s property. She doesn’t fully understand consequences. She gets frustrated.

She has energy like no one I’ve ever met. She goes from one toy to the next. She can play in her bedroom and in ten seconds she’s in the garage getting something out of the van. If we are in a controlled crowd like church or a school function, she asks me, “Can I go meet friends?” Then she makes her way through the crowds talking to whoever will listen and talk back. She does not stop moving until her head hits the pillow for the fifteenth time (because she finds fifteen reasons to get up every night).

She sabotages herself like no one I’ve ever met. She will scribble her name to make me think she doesn’t know how to write her letters. She will tell me seven plus zero equals seven out of the blue because that’s how her mind works. I then ask her what is three plus one. She responds with, “four.” I then ask her what is four plus one. She responds, “Seventy-five, Mom. Can I go play now?” Her focus goes from numbers to the baby dolls in the other room, to the snack in the pantry.

Meet 4-year-old Lucy. This is not the same cancer survivor Lucy you have watched grow. This is a new phase of Lucy who I am still trying to get to know. This Lucy is alive because of chemotherapy. She is growing because of chemotherapy. This Lucy also wears a hearing aid and lives with ADHD because of chemotherapy. This Lucy has a Mama, Daddy, a giant family and support system that is trying so very hard to figure out how to help Lucy thrive in life after cancer.

God’s got this.