This is hard. I don't want to do this. Those are the phrases that cross my mind daily when thinking about my mom's cancer. Her breast cancer returned after 3 years and now she has Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer. The cancer is everywhere, bones, brain, lung, liver. My vibrant mom is withering away and this week she just looks so.... so... so very beaten down. That is not the mother I know. Cancer is a thief, robbing my mother of her spunk. I don't want to do this. This is so hard.
Growing up, my mom was ALWAYS in our corner. She was the ultimate "Mama Bear." Today was a Yellow Day at our house. Both of the kids got in trouble in school and got their colors changed and moved down from Green (good) to Yellow (warning). It reminded me of when I was in 2nd grade, and got my color changed.
When I finally got well enough to go back to school, I was excited to be out of the hospital, back with my friends. Even better my older brother had my second grade teacher before and loved her. Mrs. Kuss (rhymes with goose) made no big deal of my arrival back in school. I found my desk, sat down, and started in with the day. At some point she asked the class to 'quietly pull out our Compucat Charts and prepare for a test." I had no clue what a Compucat Chart was and so after a quick glance around the class, I turned to ask my neighbor.
Suddenly, I heard, "Wendy, No TALKING, pull out your chart."
Mrs. Kuss interupting: I said NO talking. Go change your color.
I sat silent as I have no idea what a Compucat Chart is or how to change my color.
Mrs. .Kuss: Change your color TWICE for not being obedient.
The kids behind me are hissing, "Go to the wall in the corner"
Mrs. Kuss yells and points to a wall: Go do it now or else you will be in the prinicpals office.
At this point, I think hanging out in the principals office would be a vacation. Who knew my second grade teacher would be such an ogre, my brother totally lied. I go over to a wall of blue smiling faces, find my name and quickly realize behind it are frowny faces with other colors. I guessed what changing your colors twice would be, and sat down. The kid next to me had pulled out my Compucat Chart and put it on my desk in an act of compassion. I carried on with my day, biting my lip, trying to hold back the tears.
During recess, I had to lie down in the nurses office so she could check my temperature and give me a once over. I cried to the nurse and told her all about how my teacher was terrible, and she said, "Don't worry, I know your mom, she'll fix it."
As soon as I got home, I told my mom all about my day and the colored happy faces. I wailed that I had an orange frowny face above my name. Her smile faded and I could see fire in her eyes. She looked at the big clock in the family room and said, "She's probably still there. Go get a drink and lie down, let me make a phone call."
I stood outside my parent's door listening to my mother talk to Mrs. Kuss. She was livid and used phrases like, "How dare you.... The child misses the first few weeks of school and you can't take 2 minutes to explain the classroom procedures? I expect this will be fixed tomorrow... Wendy will be awaiting your apology. "
I heard her hang up the phone and I sprinted to my bed and acted like I wasn't eavesdropping. She walked in, calmly pulled the blanket up to my chin, and said, "Don't worry, Mrs. Kuss made a mistake. She will apologize and fix it."
Unfortunately, Mrs. Kuss would have to deal with my mother's wrath again, but she totally deserved it and it wasn't like I didn't warn her. That's another story for another day.
Now, my Mama Bear is in the fight of her life, and I'm all grown up. I feel like I'm the Mama Bear, pacing around my wounded cub. I just don't know what I can do to help her fight. I don't want to lose her, but I don't want her to suffer. This is so hard.