Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cancer Sucks

A few quick updates.

Last (uh, two Fridays ago, I guess) Friday my mom was officially diagnosed with breast cancer. We're still awaiting details and staging. It sucks. Anyway, I kept it pretty quiet for a while. I told my room mate and one friend, Christy (Italy Christy). In her genuine and real way Christy gave condolences and asked if I wanted a distraction. Sure. Low key and simple, to stick it to the universe and all it's stupid, petty rules of mortality.

We headed to the movie theater to see Disney Pixar's "UP". I thought I it would be a safe. You know, light fluffy and no need to get all emotionally involved. Uh, great movie, not so safe :). Christy had seen it before but we both leaked a little something from our lacrimal glands. Whatev.

After the movie, to stick it to the man (the man in this case being cancer and all people every where who take themselves and life and it's silly rules too seriously) in behalf of my mother I did something. Something I don't think is right, I don't necessarily agree with but that just had to be done.

I movie hopped. That's right world. TAKE THAT! THAT'S FOR MY MAMA! We played secret agent Hard Core and snuck around corners covering each other and then waving the other past. I think there was a slow summersalt (sp) thrown in there some where as well. And he watched Star Trek. That night and the references ("I can fix that!") from those movies have entertwined to become a reminder to laugh and live it up. And we do laugh. Mostly about dead squirrels.

My mom is, of course, a trooper. I ache for her and this situation. Her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer around the same age and it presented in a very similar manner. The good news is and hopefully will follow suit, is that my grandmother only underwent one round of treatment: just radiation I think.

I hate that this happening but I don't worry about my mom. I love her and don't feel a need to protect her. Although, I will any way I can if she ever does need/want it. But she is strong and she is smart. I don't think she needs or would want to be babied. Spoiled, perhaps. Babied, definately not. Not this mama. I know she will get through this wisely and with both feet on the ground and doesn't need my pity or walking on eggshells. I trust her to do what she needs to do deal with this in a way that will work for her. I hope she's able to allow herself to hurt and be pissed when she needs to, though too. (Sometimes I think she forgets it's okay to feel, espeically if it's about herself. Go ahead, Mom: kick, cry, scream if you need to. Ask for and accept the hugs you need and feel free to decline the ones you don't want. I know I did all of the above. But then again, you don't need any advice from me.)

On a side note, I have always been interested directing my career toward cancer care and have worked on pediatric cancer floors some. For the parents of all the kids who brought their kids to the E.D. with a sore throat and were freaking out all we could think, after working with the cancer kids (or otherwise seriously ill, injured children) was, "Sheesh, it's not cancer." Now I can't say that to my patients, or my mother, because it is.

The week before all this went down I accepted a permanant position at a cancer clinic in Concord, Ca. That's right no more travel nursing for me, not for a year or two at least. I didn't know what to do after I finished my last assignment here in the bay area. I had made quite the list of things I wanted in a job if I were to accept a permanant postion and someone upstairs was listening-and I'm sure laughing at my attempts to be pushy when had a very merciful and lovely plan just waiting for me to follow through. I very much enjoy my new job and the people I work with, staff and patients alike. I love that it gives me the chance to geek out and goof off.
I geek out on all the science and information I'm learning and goof off with the great population I work with.

I also now have access to all the information I could ever need and I think being able to learn and study cancer in general and breast cancer specifically (Heavely Father is awesome in his blessing but sometime's has a strange sense of humor/timing) helps me to deal with this.

Many of the people that come in I very much worry about and their ability to deal with/get through something like this. But I trust my mother very much. She is stronger than any one person I think I know and I think she'll appropriatley and rationally (rationally meaning remembering to add just enough unorthodox and irrationality for balace-my mom's great at this) get herself through this and inspire the rest of us along the way.

But it still sucks.

Love you, Mom. No one knows better what you need or what will help, even if it's not helping, than you. Just let me know what it is that you'd like and I've totally got your back. Now and always. Through this and everything.


Darin DeVore said...

I am so sorry to hear about your mom. I hope everything is okay.

ai said...

Thanks, D. We'll know more in a few weeks when she has her surgery (if it's spread at all or not).