I stood in the hospital lobby with my ear pressed against the handle of the phone as my husband, Rob, held it to his ear to hear the news the doctor had to deliver.
“Tumor,” the doctor said.
I looked at Zach, our fourteen year old son, who waited, patient but miserable, in a chair across the room. The dye injection into his hip had been painful and an hour in the MRI tube had been no picnic either. My mind raced as I formulated what to tell him. How do you tell your child he has a monster growing inside of him?
I wanted to guard Zach from this nameless beast. I wanted to keep him safe. But as I sat down next to him, I knew I couldn’t protect him.
“The MRI showed a tumor,” I said. He needed the truth in order to prepare for the battle.
It was agony as I watched Zach forced from carefree childhood into this scary place where grown men fear to tread.
My heart shattered as I watched him close his eyes and turn his head away.
He knew I couldn’t save him. He knew this was his battle, and I wondered how he would choose to fight it.
When we got home that night I wanted to curl up into a ball and mourn. Then, Zach came upstairs with is guitar slung over his shoulder.
“I’m going to my guitar lesson,” he said as he walked out the door with his brother.
I watched as they pulled out of the driveway and into the darkness and I smiled. He would lead the way on how to battle this monster. He had chosen his weapon. And his weapon was Hope.
Written by Laura Sobiech
Laura Sobiech is the mother of Zach Sobiech, an 18-year-old who battled osteosarcoma from November 2009 to May 20,2013. She is also the author of Fly a Little Higher, a memoir about her son’s battle with cancer.