Friday, August 22, 2008

Cancer

So, my Mom has cancer.
That statement has only recently started to feel real.
She went for a colonoscopy back in April, and they found a polyp, which they biopsied. After the longest week of my life, she got the biopsy results back, and there it was, Mom has cancer.
Awesome timing - right in the middle of exams, just as I'm finishing up my first placement, oh, and I'm about a 4 hour drive away from home.
I think I went numb for a bit. Nobody close to me has ever had cancer before, or any potentially terminal illness for that matter. That sort of stuff happens in other people's families, not mine, right? But there was no denying it. This was real. Mom was always the one to come to my rescue, so what happens when she can't be the strong one anymore? Completely selfish, I know, but what happens to me if Mom can't be there? And how do you take care of someone who always takes care of you?
I cried a lot, but never in front of Mom, or any of the rest of my family. I felt like I had to be strong for them. So my wonderful CYW ladies helped me get by and I made it to the end of the semester.
Mom was supposed to have surgery right away to get rid of that tumor. After that she was supposed to have chemotherapy and radiation and then it would be over. But things don't seem to go according to plans any more.
The tumor had gone through the bowel wall, it was worse than they originally thought. So the surgery had to be postponed. Chemo and radiation had to come first to shrink down the tumor first. That tumor that was discovered and drastically changed our lives.
So I spent the majority of my summer driving to my parents' house to spend as much time with Mom as I could and to help out any way I could. Meanwhile, Mom had to make the hour-and-a-half each way trip to Windsor every day to get her treatments.
The treatments finished mid-summer, and now we wait.
Mom and Dad look more tired than I've ever seen them. It's interesting how priorities change though. For me, friends were put on the backburner in favour of going home whenever I got the chance, and I learned the art of separating home from work, not letting home issues affect my work with the kids. For Mom and Dad, the store used to be their life, and there was no way it could survive without them... and now the store is just fine without them there constantly.
Last week, Mom went to church for the first time since she was diagnosed. Good thing too, because I was so worried. She used to go every week, religiously (excuse the pun), and then to just stop going during a time like this didn't seem healthy for her.
The surgery is scheduled for September 8th in London. After that, she has a more intense bout of chemotherapy, which, thankfully, can be done close to home. Then, it's over.

Hopefully.

1 comment:

LENORENEVERMORE said...

How's your mom now? What you wrote is so true... life prespective definitely changed. My sist had that ugly 'c'... but thank God she is doing well as a survivor now. Life is truly fragile... I have peace now as my family have a savior in Christ... life here is just temporary & continue to seek what is eternal i guess... Hope & pray that your mom is coping well now...