Helen watched the brother and sister as they talked. Both showed remarkable strength, in her opinion. There were no outbursts of woefulness, nor was there the flooding of tears as she thought that there might be. There was, however the comfort of a hand placed on his arm and meaningful looks passed between them along with a very definitive promise that she would see him through to recovery. He made her promise to stay in school and keep doing well with her studies before giving her a full account of everything that the doctor said that he had to do as well as wat to expect. Helen didn't go back in the room until she knew that they were done and when she entered it was with the tray laden with various crackers and water bottles and ginger ale. The duo smiled gratefully at the older woman that they had almost forgotten was there.
"I take it Daria doesn't know." Jane stated to them both.
"I don't want her to know…not yet," Trent spoke adamantly.
"She's my best friend Trent."
"I'm your brother Jane."
The two looked at each other.
"What about Jesse, Max, and Nick?"
Jane looked to Helen helplessly.
"I'm not trying to bust your balls here brother, but from my knowledge about dealing with this kind of situation, it is best to have as much support around you as possible. Granted, my knowledge is limited but-"
"Is that what you would do?" Trent asked her.
"I believe that I would," She replied confidently.
"Really? You'd want the people that you love to watch you waste away? Or worse, watch them put their lives on the back burner, relying on some obscure hope that may or may not work out. You would be cool with looking into their eyes and seeing the hopeless despair that they struggle to hide from you because they think that you aren't strong enough to handle it?" Trent stood and paced the room as anger filled him and gave uncharacteristic rise to his voice. "I don't want that. I don't want it for anyone near me. This shit- SUCKS!" he dropped into the nearest chair feeling suddenly deflated from such a strong emotional outburst.
"It does suck Trent," Helen said the word even though it left an awful taste on her tongue. "Cancer- the whole situation does," she went to kneel in front of him so that she could look him in the eye, "but if you use that fire that you just had as weapon in this battle then you have more than a fighting chance."
"No, there can be no wavering in this. There can be no wait and see what happens and neither of us," she looked back at Jane then at Trent again, "can do it for you. You have to decide that you want to beat it or all the treatments in the world won't help you."
Trent still felt the fire in him and realized that he did want it to work out. No, not just work out, but he wanted to live every part of his life to the very fullest that he could.
"Thanks Mrs. M. Guess I needed that."
"Anytime Trent and since I'm on a role, I would like to encourage you to do as your sister suggested and utilize the resources that you have. Gather your strength from your friends and family. They would want to be there for you… let them."
"I'll… think about it."
"What's the 'sitch' guys?" Nick asked of the impromptu meeting that Trent had called at the Lane household. Jesse and Max were already there seated on the couch and chair.
"I just wanted to let you guys in on what's been happening with me lately."
All eyes turned to Trent sharply. His voice was different…serious.
"I don't want anyone to make a big thing out of it, cause I've got it under control but… I have cancer."
Jesse just stared at him while Max and Nick looked at each other first, then him.
"Damn…" Nick muttered. "Sorry 'bout that man."
"Well… you're doing like chemo and stuff right?" Max asked hopefully. "The doctors can fix this can't they?"
"I'm doing what the doctors tell me and hopefully it works."
"…hopefully…" Max looked more than a little deflated.
"Don't worry Max; I'm giving it a good fight." Trent assured the clearly worried young man sitting across from him.
"He shouldn't be comforting you dumbass. You should be helping him out." Nick punched Max in the shoulder nearest to him and then turned back to Trent. "Appointments and shit, we got you there and back whenever and whatever time."
"Thanks, but I've been managing pretty well."
"The treatments can take a lot out of you sometimes though," Nick countered, "my Aunt Carol would be a mess, even when she tried to hide it. It would just leave her drained, so we'll take turns and stuff. Right guys?"
"Yeah," Max agreed readily.
"Jesse?" Nick snapped his fingers.
Jesse nodded looking off to the distance.
"Okay then, where's that appointment calendar that they give you?" Nick asked.
"My room, top drawer," Trent replied and watched as Nick and Max both went to make plans for getting him to and from his appointments. They needed to feel productive, he supposed with a smile on his lips.
"How long have you known?" Jesse's voice was somber and solemn.
"Any particular reason you didn't tell me sooner?"
The two friends didn't look at each other as they spoke.
"I didn't want to deal with it myself. Easier to do if no one else knows."
"I'll get my stuff. I can stay in Penney's old room."
"See, that's what I don't want, people changing their entire life for me."
"You're my brother Trent."
Trent looked at his best friend's profile. Jesse turned so that he could look at Trent.
"I know man…"