Thursday, February 03, 2011

Cancer is a thief.

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.

10 comments:

EllJayPea said...

I love you, Wendy. I don't love that you've made me weep, but I love you.

Brooke said...

Wish I could be there to just hang out together - two more weeks. I know there's nothing I can really say to make it better - just know I'm thinking of you!

Noelle Reese said...

I wish I could hug your neck and make everything better. Even your Mom's hands are beautiful!

gena said...

I hate this post because I hate that you have to live this and that your precious mom is so ill. I hate this disease. I pray for your comfort and for your strength.

Sending positive energy from nj,

gena

stacy said...

I cry because this sucks and I'm sorry. I love you.

Mindy Smith said...

I don't know your mom personally but know that she must be amazing, because she has raised such an amazing daughter. My heart hurts for you and the experience you are dealing with all too suddenly. Lots of love.

Erin said...

I know you only through this post, but you have me crying, and tears are permission to share, in my book. Tomorrow I will go to visit my friend who was diagnosed with terminal cancer in December. I won't be allowed to hug her fragile body, and that hurts me in my heart. So, I will make her laugh and do my best not to cry. She, too, has beautiful hands...

Hillary said...

I'm so sorry and wish that I could help and that you and your family wouldn't have to go through this.

Please know that I'm always happy to help with school pick-up or host play dates or drop off meals and/or treats if you need some time to catch your breath.

Mary said...

I wish I knew what to say. I can't imagine what you are going through. I wish I knew how to help.

Melanie Shult said...

Lots of love and prayers your way!