It has been a week of startling discoveries.
Last Thursday, while I was feeling bad about not going to work, my mother was being driven to get an MRI of her head; the CT scan to check for reasons she might be fainting showed a bit of an abnormality that had to be followed up on.
Late in the night, around 7 or 8pm, my father called to say they had all made it home safe (they had to take a day trip with my aunt and uncle because neither of my parents can drive) but the MRI had shown that my mother has a brain tumour.
The first thing I was asked by the close few I confided in was, “is it serious?”
I was sort of taken aback by the question. Of course what they were really asking was is it cancer and I can thankfully say that the type of tumour she has isn’t considered to be cancerous.
However her tumour is, according to the specialists, 2 inches or so in size – a little bit bigger than a golf ball – and is starting to get dangerously close to some important areas such as the optic nerves, pituitary gland, and is actually the cause of my mother’s inability to smell for the past 2 -3 years.
She has been hurried into everything and will be operated on next Wednesday.
I think my family and I are shocked by this because my mother never gets sick, but I suppose I have noticed a decrease in her energy levels, motivation and pluckiness.
I am not scared for her – I know she’ll be fine and come out of the whole thing better – but what will get to me will be seeing her in pain.
I’m capable of a lot more than I thought I was.
On Sunday I drove over to my parents hometown because on Monday I was driving them both back to the city, and on Tuesday it was my job to take my mother to see the surgeon.
I was able to do everything for them. Be the driver, the helper, the supporter. We found out, after seeing the surgeon, that my mother had to have another, more detailed, scan. So we had to stay in the city for longer to get that done.
After all of that, a full day of driving around, I drove my parents back to their home which is about an hour and a half away.
I was exhausted but I celebrated with a small tub of almond chocolate ice cream.
To think that someone who was a few days earlier struggling with some sort of anxiety/panic tiredness, could do all of that is worth celebrating.
I am tired as all hell now, and haven’t really been eating a lot, but other than that I think I really stood up to the plate on this one. Did you know it is almost impossible to find food that is vegetarian and gluten free when you’re out and about? Well I should say substantial food – not that I was really that hungry.
I think I am proud of myself. I say think because I am honestly so exhausted I can’t tell if I’m glad or mad or sad – which is terrible because I so very much need to clean my apartment after being away for 4-5 days.
After we had arrived back at my parents Tuesday night my father called to check on his mother and father. My pop has been in hospital over the weekend with horrible breathing problems and it wasn’t until the start of the week when all the doctors came back that they could finally test the biopsy they took of his lungs.
I was laying on my bed (my window looks out to the front verandah) and from there I could hear some of the conversation but I knew the news wasn’t good.
After the phone call I could see my father start to cry – probably because he didn’t know he wasn’t alone – and I asked from my room what was going on. He said my pop had cancer of the lungs, the kind you get from asbestos.
There is nothing they can do for him, and he has been told he doesn’t have a lot of time left.
So things have really become quite full on in the family as you can imagine. On top of all this I still need to keep thinking about my life and where I would like to be. I have already made a step in, here’s hoping, the right direction – but more about that later.
Lots of love to everyone out there.