These are the hands that held me, wiped away my tears, held on to me tight as I walked across busy streets. These hands helped me into my wedding dress and cradled my babies. Now these hands hold on to me for strength, to help steady and guide her. I love these hands and cancer is a thief robbing me of my time with these hands.
This is so hard. On Friday, we took my mom to the Emergency Room to get some fluids in her dehydrated body. We pulled up to the ambulance entrance and I ran ahead of my brother and father while they wheeled her in. I ran up to the desk, and said, "My mom has Stage Four Metastatic Breast Cancer and.... " The woman's kind face fell into a look of sorrow at those words. This is a woman who sees people at their worst state, bleeding and broken; yet those are the words that instantly soften her face to say, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry."
My mom is brought in right away and we are put into a special room to wait. We don't have to wait in the waiting room with all the sick and injured, we are put into one of the family rooms used to tell people the bad news about their loved ones. We are not there to hear life changing news, the staff knows we already received the bad news in November. It seems as though all their actions say, "It's the least we can do, offer you comfort and privacy, your life is hard enough." My mom is given fluids, assessed, and tended to with one of us at her side. The nurses all comment on her beauty, and treat her with compassion and great care. The doctor respects her wishes to go home into her own bed once she is deemed to be no longer critical. My mom's nurse gives me a hug and says, "I am so sorry, you are going to be okay at the end of this, I promise." I hope she is right. In the waiting room I learn my brother, nearly identical in appearance also pinches the bridge of his nose when he is stressed. Similar looks, similar quirks.
In the early hours of the morning, Mom is settled back at home and I drive home to my own bed. Mr. Man waits up, but I don't want to talk. The next evening I mention I feel a migraine coming on. As I climb into bed, he massages my shoulders, my neck, sensing that this is what I need most of all. It is as though all my grief has been stored in those muscles. With each rub, all the stress, the anger, the sadness begins to release. A massage therapist friend told me once that massages tend to release pent up emotion. It is not uncommon for her to have people come and just sob the entire time as she soothes their body. I thought that was weird and had never experienced that until now. Uncontrollable sobs are muffled by my pillow and I can't stop. I don't want to do this. It is so hard.
I feel stuck in this middle awful place in so many ways. My dad is still my dad, and still so very stubborn. I still listen to him and he is the boss. However, he and I have different philosophies on my mother's needs and care. I am just as stubborn as he is, after all she is my mom, shouldn't my opinion count?
My mom needs me, or do I just need my mom? My kids need me. My husband while so incredibly understanding he needs me, although he is willing and eager to let me do what I need and want. He has been down this road before. My client's need me. The house needs me and even the Juan's need me. I have this desire to be everywhere at once, yet I'm failing and feeling like I am getting nowhere. This is so hard. I don't want to do this.