I just drove off the ferry from Edgartown to Chappy, my sister in the passenger seat and my husband in back with the boys. It’s our first trip since last summer.
My younger son, blessed with a steel trap memory, says “Mommy.” I know what’s coming before it gets out of his mouth. He points. “That’s the place last year where you had to throw up while we were waiting for the ferry.” Yes, I reply, you’re right. “Why did you have to throw up?” I pause for a moment. Casting a sidelong glance at my sister, I say I got some startling news last summer. “Oh yeah. Isn’t that when you found out Aunt C. was sick again?” Yes, honey. That’s it exactly.
It felt like a full body blow when I got the call. C’s cancer was back, nine years later.
It was around her vena cava this time, she was in the hospital, and the prognosis was not good. Waiting in line at the Chappy ferry, the retching began when I got the call and heard it was also near her clavicle. It would still be a few months before we all learned the worst news possible: it was also in her brain.
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