Thursday, May 3



My mom called yesterday. Which was almost an event in itself as she rarely initiates a call. But my older sister was out of town and she needed to talk to one of her kids. The news she had needed to be shared and shared with someone who loves her.

In the midst of her husband's treatment for prostate cancer, Mom discovered that her cancer of 2o years ago has returned. She hasn't been properly diagnosed but her symptoms are identical and she seems fairly certain. She also seemed pretty (read: uncharacteristically) calm - though very concerned. And, on top of the fear she has for her own health, she really seemed overwhelmed by the thought of having to deal with both cancers simultaneously.

I did my best to listen and not inflame her anxiety. I asked questions. She had very few answers. I let her tell me what she could and offered to help her navigate the nightmare health care system.

Later that night Dave and I talked about it and I gave him all the details. The few that I had anyway. He asked me how I felt about it and I said, "Fine. I'm assuming that she'll be OK. She went through this 20 years ago and was ok. It sounds like she's caught it early and all will be fine again." I confidently added, "You know, it's not like it used to be. Cancer isn't automatically a death sentence."

We talked a bit more about how we thought my mom would handle it and what help we could offer and then it was time to get the kids off for bed and take care of other things before we went off to bed ourselves.

By about 11:30 I was still wide awake and in the midst of a mild anxiety attack. Yeah! Who was I kidding. You don't get news like that and have NO reaction. I'm scared for my mom and, honestly (selfishly) for myself and the possibility (however small) of losing her. Whatever ups and downs we've had, I love her. She's been with me since the day I was born, a wonderful, sometimes rocky, constant I can't imagine my life without.


No comments: