Saving Becca, continued

But this is not a movie. Becca is a teenager, not an actress, and the Piccininis aren’t demonstrative people. They are simply a small family from Doylestown who have experienced in one raw year how fragile life can be, how fortunes can turn on a dime, how life is really a series of precious moments that they’ll do anything to keep stringing together, one at a time. Sue and Bob aren’t able to say this in a pat TV-movie way.

“You’re all here because you helped us in some way, and we wanted to thank you,” Bob says simply. Sue stands by his side, looking happy and relaxed. “This was a very, very hard year for us, and we couldn’t have gotten through it without you. So thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.” He says a few final worlds about the dinner, about Meghan’s support for Becca, and everyone applauds, happy to be here, happy the family made it, happy to believe that yes, their children can be saved from something as evil as cancer. “Okay, that’s enough of my talking,” Bob concludes self-consciously. “Now go party!”

Becca and her friends race to the dance floor to boogie to “Hot, Hot, Hot.” Before the night is over, Becca will strip off her cardigan and dip and roll to the macarena. She will disappear outside with a boy and return a few minutes later, trembling with excitement, wearing his ring on her thumb. She will dance and party way too late, and she will yawn repeatedly during tomorrow’s Halloween-costumed halftime show at the school football game, where her flirty French maid outfit will set Bob to worrying about her all over again.

This next year will be filled with uncertainties. Once a month, the family will lose sleep waiting for test results that could change their lives yet again. As Sue says, their ordeal is not over yet.

But for now, neither is Becca.


AUTHOR’S NOTE: At the end of this month, Becca undergoes another round of tests. If the results are negative, she will have reached her crucial one-year anniversary free of cancer.