Thursday, February 6th, 2020

When Rey arrives at her house, Sharon informs that she’s prepared several entrees – in case she doesn’t feel like cooking after she starts chemo tomorrow. As she prattles on nervously, a supportive Rey gives her a hug.

Phone in hand, Sharon smiles at the numerous text messages of support she’s received from women on her online support group (who know tomorrow’s the big day) Rey wants to hear more about these cheerleaders. They’ve been through chemo and say it’s not so bad, Sharon informs. Rey’s pleased – between the online support and real life support we’ve got you covered. When he goes to the kitchen for ice cream, Sharon looks worried.

Over ice cream, Rey gives Sharon vague details about a case – have you ever felt like something’s coming and you’re powerless to stop it? Sharon jokes – yes, she has. I’m fine, she claims – but then unleashes some of her tears and all of her fear. Listing what she’s packed, Sharon thinks it similar to packing a bag to go to the hospital when you have a baby. But this is the opposite. She’s terrified. This is a lot – if you want to bail. Rey won’t be pushed away – he has a request to make.

Rey’s request is to sleep on Sharon’s couch – in case she needs something. After tucking her into bed he puts her phone on the nightstand and promises to come upstairs in she needs anything. I love you. I love you too. The clock ticks as Sharon tosses and turns – then tries to read a book. ‘Mom’ she awakens to hear a familiar voice. Mariah? No, it’s me. Cassie? Sharon weeps – you always know when I need you. I need you to come with me, Cassie smiles.

There’s nothing to be afraid of, Cassie extends her hand. I can’t, my kids need me and I have so much to do, Sharon whimpers. Faith’s stronger than you think and so are you – let me show you, Cassie implore. Sharon won’t – no, please – just go away – I’m not ready for this. When Cassie vanishes, Sharon gets out of bed and puts a robe on to run downstairs. Rey! Where are you?! You promised you’d stay. Running out the door, she finds herself walking into CL’s – wearing a hospital gown. Where’s Rey? she asks Mariah. He’s gone – he moved back to Miami. Poor Sharon, living in the past, Phyllis appears to taunt her – no man wants to be with a woman riddled with cancer. Rey’s not gonna hold your hair while you puke up your guts. Rey would never leave without saying good bye, Sharon’s sure. And I have Mariah. I’m going on tour with Tessa, she announces – I thought you’d be happy for me. I’d say I’d call but I have my whole life ahead of me, she ignores her Mom’s pleas and exits. That leaves Phyllis to taunt Sharon by saying she has a hot date and a body that’ll never betray her. She then pushes Sharon into a chair. Nick appears wearing a tux – he and Phyllis are going on a date. You don’t need me, he tells Sharon – I’d just go overboard. You’ve got this, right? You look incredible, Nick whisks Phyllis off for a night on the town. Cassie appears dressed as a nurse. The chemo dispenser(?) is beside the chair. You don’t have to be afraid – you will never be alone, she reassures. A terrified Sharon awakens gasping for breath.

Ready to spend the night on the couch, Rey’s making his way to turn on a light when Mariah bursts into the dark room shouting ‘I have pepper spray and know how to use it’. Yeah, because I taught you, Rey explains that Sharon asked him to sleep on the sofa because she worried that she’d keep him awake all night (though he hasn’t been able to sleep anyway) Both hope Sharon’s fast asleep and having good dreams.

Hearing a persistent beep Sharon again gets out of bed and puts on her robe. She comes downstairs to find a team of doctors performing surgery in her living room. Mariah’s hosting an episode of GC Buzz. This is the day Sharon Newman’s life changed forever. Who could guess it would go so terribly wrong? I’m here today with the people who knew Sharon best. Taking a seat, she talks to her guests; Nick, Phyllis and Rey. They all agree that it was Sharon’s choice to let a surgeon butcher her body. I didn’t have a choice – I didn’t want to die! Sharon’s frantic – what else was I supposed to do!? She was so different – she didn’t want to be touched, Rey says – I had to sleep on the couch. It wasn’t the physical changes, he describes how Sharon went from fun loving to needy and sad. Nick’s sure Rey did what he could – we were all suffering. The chemo changed her – it hit the kids the hardest. He hopes Faith remembers the good Mother Sharon was before. She’s in therapy now. Faith’s fine! Sharon’s full of questions – how can I change this? Did the treatment fail? Did I make a mistake? As surgery continues in the background, Phyllis has one hand on Nick’s knee, the other on Rey’s – let this be a lesson to us all, she gloats. Mariah thanks her guests and hopes they can all move on with their lives. When the intermittent beep becomes one long beep, the surgeons pack it up. Save me! Fight dammit! Sharon cries over the body on the operating table – don’t leave me alone!!! Sharon again awakens from her nightmare.

A nicely dressed Sharon’s welcomed to TGP by Phyllis – why am I hear? You have an appointment for radiation therapy, she again pushes Sharon into a chair – beneath a glaring light. An IV stand beside it. Rey appears with pain meds. Mariah’s brought Sharon a cane – the chemo’s made your bones brittle. Why are you all treating me like I’m on death’s door? Sharon’s confused. See for yourself, Mariah hands Sharon a mirror. As she’s shocked by her reflection, Faith runs in to hug her – I love you! Nick pulls Faith back. Mom, it’s time, Cassie’s back to say. Are you telling me that all the treatment, the medications, the prayers didn’t work? Sharon’s devastated – I’m supposed to win; they told me I could beat this! Don’t be afraid, you’re not alone – we’re all here for you – come and see, Cassie coaxes. Now awake, Sharon gets of bed and dons her robe to tip toe downstairs to eavesdrop as Mariah and Rey praise the way she’s handled all this. Both wish she wouldn’t shut them out. ‘Wish granted’, Sharon appears to tell them all about her dream – Cassie wanted to take me home. What home? This one – with everyone I love. She knew that’s what I needed. Sharon’s felt separated from everyone since her diagnosis. Rey and Mariah hug her – we’re with you every step of the way.

Yes, Rey and Mariah would like Sharon to be a diva – the more she asks of them the happier they’ll be. Now that you mention it I am kinda hungry, Sharon admits. Next thing you know she’s wondering why Rey and Mariah set the table for five – then thrilled with Nick and Faith arrive. Mid way through filling their plates, Sharon has all hold hands. She doesn’t know what tomorrow will bring but she’s the luckiest woman alive. Afterwards, since Rey and Mariah cooked, Nick and Faith are on clear-up duty. It’s still dark outside and yes, Sharon thinks she might be able to get some sleep before her appointment – with the right ingredients. Cassie sits in a chair smiling as she watches Sharon asleep in bed, Faith on one side, Mariah on the other.