My mother has cancer.
My mother has cancer.
I guess I wrote that twice in the hopes that maybe it’d sink in…but it hasn’t yet. I dread the day that it does. We found out a week ago today, exactly. I found out over the phone which to be perfectly frank…wasn’t the greatest way to find out. Though, I guess there really is no easy way to find out something like that, but yeah. It was a normal Wednesday with the boys when my brother-in-law called me from work to say that he was coming to pick me and the boys up to drive out to my grams’ because apparently my sister had called my mother on her break at work to find out how my mother’s doctor’s appointment that morning had gone and it was “not good”… and she wanted us all out there. Since I’m not the real patient-type—at all—I—naturally—called my grams to find out what was up. That’s when she told me. Well, technically, I guessed. She said that the results of the biopsy from the tests that were sent out–from when my mother had had her surgery to remove some large cysts on her ovaries the week before—had come back and they “weren’t good”. Those two words again…yeah. So I asked her what that meant and she said, I think you know what it means. So I said cancer and she said yeah. That’s how I found out. After my grams asked if I wanted to talk to my mother then, who was sitting there next to her, and I said no and hung up…and literally burst into tears.
Honestly, all I could think in that moment was You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. I mean seriously. After everything with my Uncle’s cancer and just recently finding out about them bringing Hospice in for him—and now this…right on the heels of that…seriously…what gives? My family doesn’t need this…and as screwed up and dysfunctional as we are sometimes—we don’t deserve it. It’s just not fair. It’s not fair at all.
My mother’s only 53 years old. Only. Comparatively…that’s way too young to die. And I know, I know…I talk way too lightly about the subject of death…but this is different. This is my mother. My mother. The person who gave birth to me. The woman who gave me life. Granted, she and I haven’t always had the best mother/daughter relationship…but she’s still my mother. I still love her and care about what happens to her. And I know this sounds really selfish, but I’m only 26. I’m not ready for my mother to die. I mean, I know there’s no good age to lose a parent, but you know what I mean. I’m just not ready. And she’s not ready. She’s got grandkids to see grow up. The two little guys that I spend nearly every waking minute and hour with these days—she needs to be there for their little league and pop warner games and be the annoying grandma cheering loud and embarrassingly from the sidelines. She needs to be there to see Angelina become a teenager and go to her prom and graduate high school. I need her there when I finally decide to settle down and get married and have my own family. All our differences and the past aside, I need her.
I’m not going to lie, it was horrible driving out there and being there…knowing. She was sitting on the porch with my grams when we got there and I just busied myself with getting the boys stuff unpacked and everything because facing her right then…just wasn’t an option. Not if I wanted to keep my composure, anyhow. It sucked even more when her and my brother-in-law started talking about it and what the doctor at the appointment that morning had said—discussing it so matter-of-factly that I just wanted to be a five-year-old in that moment and cover my ears and shut it and them all out. I didn’t want to hear about it. I didn’t want to face it or accept it. Hell, I still don’t. I still haven’t, to tell you the truth. I’d say the worst part though was when my sister got home from work and Angelina got home from school…and my mother sat them down in the dining room and told them the news. That was the worst. I literally walked in from the porch and there was my 11-year-old niece sobbing on my mother’s lap that she didn’t want her to die…and my sister sobbing in the chair next to her. I just sat down and stared at my hands in my lap, lucky my tears were concealed by my sunglasses and the dim lighting in the room. Later, on the porch, Angelina crawled into my lap and cried some more…asking me what happens now. I just sat there and shook my head…telling her I had absolutely no idea. I know I should have told her that everything was going to be okay…that it was what she probably needed to hear right then…but call me jaded or cynical, whatever—I just couldn’t lie to her. Not when I’m just as confused and scared as she is right now. The truth is, we don’t know what’s going to happen. No one does. And I think that’s the scariest part. Not knowing.
We still don’t know what kind of cancer it is exactly. Or what stage it’s in. Or anything, really. She has an appointment this Friday with an oncologist out here and hopefully we’ll know more after that. We do know that either way, she’ll have to have chemotherapy. Other than that…we’re still kind of in the dark on everything. And I’ll be perfectly honest…it sucks. It all just sucks. But mostly…cancer sucks. It really, really does.
So fuck you Cancer. Seriously… Fuck you.