I have had the chance to spend Mom's second week of treatment with her.
Tomorrow is the last day of radiation this week.Then we go home.
A couple of things that I have seen in week two.
I have seen too much of these 4 walls around us in this room. We don't leave unless we are going to treatment or if we are in desperate need of food. I have watched more TV in the last week than I have in the last month.
I have seen Michelle come and love. She has brought numerous goodies, a beautiful handmade quilt and a microwave. Such a blessing to not have to walk out to the main lobby to use the shared one. That was often too. One of the side effects of the chemo is cold sensitivity. It is EXTREME. Water that is room temperature is painful for her to drink. It's strange to hear her say that she has to hurry and drink her water before it gets cold. Michelle also gave me the chance to go out for a quick shopping break. Thank you for being an amazing sister.
I have seen the terrible effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Don't get me wrong...I have never been more grateful for anything. The ability to cure this disease is a blessing. The effects that come along with that on the other hand, are awful. It is not a good feeling being helpless. I can do nothing for her except tell her that she can do it. She has to. She is tired, nauseous, claims to have "chemo brain", is cold, but hot, has not much desire to eat..but has to...then that starts a cycle of intense pain. But...with that being said ...
I have seen a brave and strong person. This is no surprise really. She has always been that way. She won't take crap from anyone. She isn't taking crap from cancer.She is enduring it well. She isn't complaining. Just enduring.I have seen her cell phone ring off the hook.She gets call after call. People checking in. Letting her know they care.So many people care. This is a tribute to the kind of influence she has. SO MANY PEOPLE!Thank you if you have been one of those.One of the most important lessons I believe I have learned from this so far is this...When something that is uncomfortable or unfamiliar, especially an illness or the like, happens to someone you know...the absolute best thing to do is something...anything.I'm not talking flowers and gifts.Just a call.No matter how much you care for or love a person, they cannot know that unless you tell them.Nothing is more awkward than when nothing is said.I should say that this is not at all coming from my mom.Just me and what I have personally experienced.
One phone call in particular brings this point home.
A phone call from a concerned acquaintance.Not really knowing Mom, just knowing that she could talk her through some stuff.She called when Mom was asleep, but I got the opportunity to talk with her for a while.She had almost an exact replica of Mom's cancer.Same age, same treatment, etc.
This happened to her 19 YEARS ago!
That is one good call to get!
This lady may have thought she would be bothering Mom. She may have not thought it was her place to call.She didn't hesitate.
She gives us so much hope!
I have seen many people with cancer. In the clinic where she gets radiation. Cancer knows no limits. There is just way too much of it!The nurse gave us both a pin that says "CANCER SUCKS".I have to agree...I have seen it with my own two eyes!
I have seen one of the most compassionate doctors ever. He dropped everything and rearranged a schedule to help her get through a really hard day.He even went and found a wheelchair for her...not asking the nurse to do it. He waited in the lobby for her. So cool.This was just so refreshing to see.
I have seen service. Haley and Grandma and Mark. I'm pretty sure my kid's had it better with me gone than with me there. I have a husband who doesn't complain. He just does it.Grandma is so impressed with him..she told me I better be good to him. I agree.I will do better.
I have seen the week go. Slowly but surely.One week closer to being done with this monster.One week closer to a normal, happy life for her.I think my compassion grew this week..actually I know it did.