sometimes the mood strikes me to write and let it flow. mom is not doing so well. her chemo is starting to rage through her body and pain and discomfort are becoming more of the norm than not. that is hard to be witness to. i see my parents entering into a different chapter in their lives. one in which they are bound to each other to give care and nurture. my dad gets up with my mom when she cries from the pain and presses her head or puts on new age music on to relax her. it worked the other night. she fell asleep.
i’m not sure how to help my dad though. when i go home, he doesn’t really take a break, though i want him to. i want him to get in the car and drive to the beach and just hang, but he’s not that type. he likes staying at home and watching the indian channels on tv and translating all the tamil movies to my friend bula – she’s assamese.
times like these show you how important family is – chosen or genetic. it also shows me how immediately your life can be put into a tailspin or on temporary hold, depending on how you look at it. time seems suspended in the air right now. it feels like the longest 5 months ahead of us. chemo, radiation.
there are some good things happening too though. many blessings coming down the road. mom will be cancer free. that will be the biggest gift.
this weekend, mom’s spirits were up for the most part. we met with her oncologist for the first time last week – his name is sohail syed and he’s pakistani. he’s the right kind of doctor for mom. he just tells her what to do – as in, let’s start chemo this week. i think she likes her doctors clear and confident in their recommendations. it makes her have to think less. she’s rather not be empowered with the decision, but put her trust in the doctors she aligns with.
so…chemo starts this thursday and goes every three weeks for a total of 4, 3-hour treatments. dad and i will be with her at the sessions playing electronic sudoko and whatever else to distract her from the taxotere and
cycholophosphamide surging through her.
ahila and i took mom to naimies in the valley to find a wig for her. we found her one. she will end up having better hair than me or ahila. she
will have luscious 25-year old hair. we might have to thin it down just a little to keep our jealousies from taking over!
i also got a book called "what to eat if you have cancer." i figure i could pack lunches for all of us for these thursdays since kaiser has posted signs saying that they have stopped their lunch service for chemo patients. they
recommend we bring a packed lunch. easy enough. apparently nutrition can be the difference between low energy and energy enough for a toddler during chemo. i’m aiming for the energy of a insolent teenager. that would
suffice and be funny.
okay…here are the dates so you can light a candle or say a prayer extra:
thursday, may 10
thursday, may 31
thursday, june 21
thursday, july 12 (we’re done!!!!)
sohail the pakistani gave us the go ahead for the wedding and mexico and thought it would be lovely for mom to get to travel. he said if her immune system is a bit knocked down, then they’d give her a shot of neupogen to jump start her white blood cells enough to make the trip.
by god’s grace, we are getting through the days just fine.
thank you for all of your love.
friday morning my mom was diagnosed with first stage breast cancer. thankfully it is early enough that she has all options available and given her age, her prognosis is great. but we are in the middle of this world we never thought we’d visit. here we are though. cancer. chemotherapy. radiation. surgery. and not necessarily in that order. she wants books on health and healing. i am heading to my yoga studio today for practice and to browse the bookshelf there. she told me not to get her anything too smart. she wants to be able to understand it. no talk of metaphysics she says. forget that she’s a doctor. remember that she’s a patient who wants to be filled with hope and positivity. prayers help.
she’s calling the surgeon today to schedule her surgery. after agonizing over what surgery she should do, she called me and asked "do you think it’s okay?" i told her absolutely. she’s going to be so fine after all of this is over and she will have too many other things to look forward to so that cancer will be such a small part of her daytime musings.
i will keep you posted as this goes on. life is fragile, precious and beautiful.