Wednesday, June 13, 2012

It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times

I've gone back and forth as to whether I was going to share on this blog what happened in my life to keep me away from it for so long.  After a lot of thinking while gazing out of a commuter bus window, I decided that I wanted to do it for me.  No offense, I love the people who read my blog and my blog is definitely a life lesson for me in accepting myself and sharing myself with the world, but my instinct isn't to open up to people when I'm going through hard times.  At the end of the day this blog is a recording of the memories that occurred while I was choosing to live life and live it like the adventure it is and it wouldn't truly be that without writing about the last 6 or so months.

The Monday after Thanksgiving I got a call at work from my mom saying that she wanted to meet me at where I catch my commuter bus.  I knew something was wrong.  I can read my mom like a book, it's a skill that I've had since childhood and I knew something was up.  After pressing for a few minutes my mom just simply said that she didn't want to discuss it over the phone.  I immediately told my husband that I knew something was wrong.

When my mom arrived she told me that her doctor had called her with test results and that she had uterine cancer.  My stomach dropped.  I had been through cancer before.  My mother in law fought a valiant and epic battle against the cancer demon and in 2006 cancer took her from this world to watch us from another.  I immediately asked her if she was okay and how she was coping with it.  I should have immediately hugged her, but I couldn't move. I was anchored to the asphalt by a sense of overwhelming fear and a need to hold it together for my mom.  This was a time to comfort her, not for her to comfort me.  We discussed the plan to have surgery soon and that we wouldn't know if it had spread or how far along the evil beast was in its attack of my mom until after surgery.  My mom asked us not to talk about it on facebook or to mention it to family because she was afraid that it would get back to my grandma and my mom just wasn't ready for that conversation yet.  She told me she loved me and got teary eyed when she talked about how the cancer was where she had first loved and took care of me. 

I almost lost it.

We said our goodbyes and I asked her again to please take care of herself and to let me know of any updates. 

Driving home I kept trying to figure out how I was going to tell Derek about this.  How was I going to tell him that the cancer demon was once again in our lives and we would have to battle it emotionally, mentally, and physically once again.  I came up with so many ways to say it softly, desperately trying to figure out the way to say it that would cause him the least amount of painful memories.  I walked up the stairs, through the doors and saw him standing in the kitchen. 

"My mom has uterine cancer."

Finally breaking down into tears, I couldn't move past the entryway of our apartment and just hugged my cat Lucy blurting out everything my mom had told me and what the next steps were.  I felt him hug me and tell me it was going to be okay, that we would be okay and get through this.  Later that evening while Derek was in the tub, we talked about it again and I made him promise me that if he was having a hard time at any point that he would talk to someone about it.  I told him that I knew that he wouldn't talk to me because he would view me as already having too much to deal with, that's just how he is and he promised he would take care of himself. 

I walked out of the bathroom feeling numb.  The words uterine cancer and my memories of what my mother in law went through in her battle just kept repeating in my mind.  I couldn't cry anymore.  I just kept petting my cats, not sure how I was supposed to feel.  There was something in my mom's body trying to kill her.  I could lose my mom.  I'm not ready to lose my mom.

The next morning I woke up numb, but also constantly on the verge of tears.  I just tried to keep moving, telling myself that now was not the time.  I offered to drop my husband off at work and didn't seem to care that time was going by, time didn't seem to matter.  I drove to the station fully aware that I was running late for the last bus and telling myself now was not the time to cry, just keep moving.  I emerged from the parking lot to push the button for the crosswalk just as the final bus was leaving.

I lost it.

I started crying so hard I couldn't breathe.  Walking back to the car with blurred vision from the tears every possibility of what might happen flew through my head. 

I'm only 30 I don't want to lose my mom
There's still so much I need to know, who will teach me if I don't have a mom?
How can I have kids if my mom wouldn't watch them?
My kids wouldn't have a grandma on either side
Why is this happening?
Who will take care of my dad and his medical needs
Who will take care of my brother, he still lives at home
I don't want to lose my mom
I can't handle this, I can't handle any of this

I finally reached my car and called Derek at work.  "I don't want to lose my mom, I can't handle this, this is too much, why is this happening?"  He told me to breathe and asked me where I was.  I told him I missed the bus, that I was in the car and needed a hug.  He told me to drive to his work and to call my boss to let him know what was going on.  After trying to get in touch with my boss I started driving towards my safe haven that is my husband.  He met me at the car, told me that everything would be okay and said that he had told his boss what was going on and was taking the rest of the day off.

For the rest of the day I watched bad reality TV with glazed eyes while laying in a fetal position on the couch.  I knew I had to go through this overwhelming shock and sadness caused by this terrifying diagnosis.  I clung to the fact that there was hope that we caught it early and that things would be okay.  I braced myself for the idea that we might have to deal with chemo and radiation.  I desperately prayed for the strength and courage to take this all one day at a time.  Cancer didn't have to be a death sentence and I wasn't going to live my life waiting for my mom to die.  I had to find a way to live my life no matter what happened with my mom.  We were either going to beat this or it was going to beat us and either way I had to be okay.

I hope you don't mind, but this is obviously emotional to write and this post is already quite long, so I think I'll do a part two tomorrow.  Thanks for coming along on the journey...

1 comment:

  1. Hug for you Michelle (which isn't enough) but that's what I would do if I could climb through my screen - give you a hug.