I am blood-boiling, gut-wrenching, kicking dirt angry.
As some of you may already know, I found out on Monday that my mom has breast cancer. She called me, as I had expected her to since we missed our normal Sunday call since I was traveling, and told me she had some bad news. Actually she called, told me she had bad news, asked if I was home (which I was not) and then asked me to call her back when I was, she didn’t want me driving when she told me. Luckily I was close by but those 10 minutes it took me to get there were pure torture.
My first thought was it was my uncle who is battling cancer and undergoing chemo. I thought it was more bad news about him.
Then my mind leapt to my cousin. She is currently hospitalized. Struggling. Life has been rough for her.
Then I thought about my father who has already had two heart attacks and then just 2 years ago gave us a hell of a scare when he suffered complications during neck surgery that we didn’t think he would survive.
Then I thought about my grandparents, both in their 80s. I thought maybe it was something with one of them.
I never, not even for a minute, thought it was my mom.
And when I finally made it home and called her back she asked me to have a seat. I knew it wasn’t going to be good.
When she said breast cancer I started bawling.
I could barely hear what she was trying to tell me.
Two biopsies, surgery, double mastectomy…in a few weeks…
What the fuck….
How was this happening? I couldn’t even process it. Paul was there, sitting beside me, holding me but I just wanted to run away.
I wanted to drive straight to the airport and get on the first flight to Philly. I wanted to be by her side.
I was scared.
I am scared.
And I will be going home to be with her for the procedure. As soon as we have a date (waiting on some blood work and CT scan results before the surgery is schedule) I will book my flight and head home.
And it sucks that that is the best I can do.
It sucks that I live so far away that I can’t just drop in and spend time with her whenever I want. This is actually the hardest thing about moving and military life- these moments when it’s really tough (more than the normal amount) to be so far from family.
I should tell you though how positive my mom is that the mastectomy and the hormone treatment (which is just taking a pill daily) will be enough. The biopsy of the lymph nodes during the procedure will tell us more but we are all really positive that she won’t need chemo, that there isn’t cancer elsewhere, that this will be one simple (yet painful) procedure and we will wipe our hands of this and be done.
And yes, cancer sucks. I hate that my mom has cancer. But it isn’t really why I’m pissed.
I’m pissed because she doesn’t deserve this.
Not that I think anyone deserves cancer. I don’t.
But my mom, she really doesn’t deserve cancer.
I’m pissed because she spent over 25 years of her life battling bipolar disorder. Hasn’t she suffered enough?
She spent years of her life misdiagnosed, on the wrong meds, dealing with shitty doctors, in and out of hospitals, missing out on her life.
Wasn’t that enough?
Doesn’t 25 years of hell earn you a free pass on cancer?
It’s been about 5 years since her doctors found the right combination of meds that work for her. They all have weird side effects and it isn’t easy for her on those meds but on them she can live a pretty normal life.
The past few years, especially since my dad took an early retirement due to health issues, my parents have finally been able to live the life they always wanted. They go to concerts, hang out in Chinatown, spend time with friends, visit family, take vacations and are really, finally, enjoying their life. It only took 60 years but they made it.
So, now for this to happen; I just have to say what the fuck. Really? Cancer, really?
It just doesn’t seem fair. How can someone who has endured so much be slated with another hellacious illness. How the fuck is that right?
Yep. I’m pissed. I think that’s pretty clear.
If I could take the cancer from her I would, in a heartbeat. No doubt about it.
Because that’s my mom, and she doesn’t deserve this.
She’s been through enough, life, didn’t you get the memo?
But here’s the thing. I may be really angry about this but she isn’t.
I may be anxious and nervous and sad but she isn’t.
Because she is a rock, my rock, which is probably why I’m the one freaking out.
And these feelings come in waves. Trust me, I am not spending my day filled with anger, sadness, or despair. For the most part I am pretty positive. My mom is, too. But then again she is the most positive person on the face of the planet. I learned from the master.
But I am still human, so some times my positivity gets pushed aside by that damn feeling of how unfair this all is.
But then I hear my mom’s voice telling me this will all be ok. She will be ok. And I know she is right. Because mom’s know everything.