There will be another person wearing a purple “survivor” shirt at next year’s Relay for Life.
It’ll be Mother Mary. During a routine mammogram she had last month, a teeny-tiny spot was found. It was biopsied last week and it is, indeed, cancer. Today she met with a surgeon to discuss treatment—which will be a lumpectomy, most likely followed by radiation. Surgery is August 26.
Getting a cancer diagnosis of your own is completely different than having someone you love get one. I remember spending a lot of time reassuring my friends and family when I was diagnosed; now Mom is doing the same thing. She’s also finding, to my secret delight, how anxiety-inducing it is to have someone call you every five minutes to see if there’s any change, news, or progress. Suddenly my frequently grouchy responses to her many, many calls last year are a bit more understandable.
Mom’s doing alright. She feels confident that the doctors are recommending the right treatment; she’ll be a good protocol-following cancer patient. She said she hasn’t totally lost it yet.
I don’t know if I haven’t totally absorbed the information, or if I’m as confident as Mom’s doctors that this is not a big deal—I mean, they say it’s totally treatable. Either way, I’m not freaking out. I think it’ll happen eventually, though—it’ll be prompted by something small, and I’ll totally lose my marbles because of this just-waiting-to-be-let-loose panic. It will be a bunch of my own cancer anxiety mixed with the thoughts of losing my momma, and I will undoubtedly scare small children; someone will dial “9-1,” just waiting for me to pull a gun to dial the last “1.”
(I don’t own a gun. I do have some pretty scary gardening tools though.)
Fortunately, I still have my cancer-fightin’ pants on. Kim F’n-W and Kathy have their ribbon tattoos. Several friends have scars from their own cancer fights. And we have POP ROCKS! Don’t forget the awesome power of Pop Rocks!!
I asked Mom for permission to blog about this, and she said it was fine but she didn’t want it to seem like she’s looking for sympathy. Well, SHE might not be looking for it, but *I* think it’s totally called for—I’m telling you to FEEL FREE to email Mother Mary (ageless1922-AT-gmail.com) and tell her you’re behind her as she faces this suck-tastic experience.
I love you, Mom. We are soooo kicking cancer’s ass again.