cancer sucks (updated)

Back in mid-August, I asked for some virtual wishes for my mom, who up until a few months ago appeared to be a healthy vibrant woman enjoying retirement with her soul mate.

That day she was undergoing surgery to remove two tumors at a world class facility in the Lonestar State. During the procedure to remove the smaller one from the primary site, the doctors discovered that she suffered from some unusual clotting factor that had gone undetected after two days of testing. In short, she started to bleed out and they had to get the hell out of there, or she would have died.

Thankfully, they were able to manage the hemorrhage and safely remove the tumor from the primary site. But they never got to the bigger tumor and the more complicated part of the procedure. Even under the best scenario, operating on the liver is a dicey proposition.

An extremely rare type of tumor apparently found its way to my mother’s liver some years ago, making itself at home, silently taking over critical space in her abdomen, spewing toxins into her bloodstream affecting her heart, and impeding her liver’s ability to function normally. Making her really sick in a matter of months.

My mother has never been one to show weakness or vulnerability, or fear for that matter. She has always been a bundle of energy, a strong force to be reckoned with. Truth be told, I’ve had a hard time keeping up with her on many occasions.

Now that energy has been sapped by the toxic mess in her liver. She is tired and sick, weak and scared. She is anxious. She feels way beyond her 71 years. She is thinking of her own mother, my nana, who died just 11 years ago at age 79. My mother doesn’t look or feel that old. And yet suddenly she is facing her mortality.

This week my mom traveled back to the Lonestar State to the best facility in the world for this type of cancer. They have a team of specialists studying her case. (With her rare tumor and clotting factor, she may end up in a medical review journal.) She met again with her top surgeon. After two days of diagnostics, they determined they cannot operate because she is in such bad shape that her liver would probably fail during the procedure.

This morning they will meet again to re-evaluate whether there is any scenario that could result in a positive outcome. It certainly does not look good right now.

I have been down this road before, and it’s hard. I lost my dad and my nana to cancer, among others. I know my mom is getting the best care possible. I encourage her to express her frustration, sadness, and rage, to breathe through her anxiety, to ask questions and question the answers. Yet aside from talking with her often and simply abiding with her, there is nothing more I can do.

There’s a certain helplessness in watching your loved ones suffer.

Yet I feel a strange sense of detachment from the whole awful situation. People ask me how I am, and what am I supposed to say? It fucking sucks, that’s how I am. Yet I’ve allowed some kind of buffer to exist between my heart and the sad reality of losing my last parent. As if not thinking too hard about it will somehow protect me when the bad news just keeps on coming.

Updated: Cancer still sucks. But the news this morning is that they will put her on a two week protocol of drugs and try surgery again in early-mid November. So maybe there still is some hope to be had.


~ by luna on October 15, 2009.

28 Responses to “cancer sucks (updated)”

  1. Oh, Luna, I’m so, so terribly sorry. I hope and pray that there is *something* that the doctors will be able to do. I’m terrified of reaching this point in my life…for me there is only Mom and I can hardly stand to think of a point in the future without her.

    Surrounding you in warmth and light.

  2. you said it right it fucking sucks!

  3. It really, really sucks. Thinking of you and your family, Luna

  4. I’m so so very sorry. I’m thinking good thoughts for you and your mom.

  5. I’m so sorry your mom (and you) and your family are dealing with this. Sometimes I want to ask the universe: Haven’t we gone through enough?

    Thinking of you, Luna.

  6. It really does suck and it isn’t fair at all in any way shape or form.

  7. Cancer totally sucks. It’s really hard to see your parent going through that (at least that was my experience). My mom was treated at what sounds like the same hospital and they fought like he.ll for her. Hopefully your mom will respond well to the new therapy.

  8. Oh, my friend. I am sitting with you, holding you and your mom in my thoughts and prayers. If you haven’t already, you might want to look into Louise Hay’s book, “You Can Heal Your Life” to see if the energy healing principles resonate with you.


  9. Oh, Luna. I’m so sorry. It truly fucking sucks and I am listening and abiding with you. I am sending love and light to your mom and to you, and will keep you both in my prayers and thoughts.

  10. I am so so sorry, my thoughts are with you and your mom and family.

  11. I hate cancer. You are so right. It sucks so very much. I’m sorry your mom is having to deal with this. I hope that the meds they are going to try help and that they are able to do the surgery and help make things better. Thinking of you and your mom and sending hugs.

  12. So sorry Luna. It must be hard and kinda confusing feeling emotionally detached.

    My thoughts are with you

  13. I am so sorry, but I will be praying that the drugs do their job and that they will be able to perform that surgery for her in November. Hang in there!

  14. Luna – hoping something positive comes out in the next eval and the surgery can go ahead without risk to your mom’s liver. This sure sucks.

  15. Cancer absolutely does suck. I amthinking of you and your mom, sending you hope and peace and always, love.

  16. I think there is a detached feeling because you know this is a battle that you cannot win for her. That’s it’s out of your control; there isn’t a letter you can write, a phone call you could make to make it all go away. It’s just so big, isn’t it – so big – your mum, her life, what she has to face. And now you have a little girl who keeps you grounded in the moment – her moment. They each have a hold on your heart. Praying for you and your mum.

  17. Cancer bites it man, bad. Super S’s brother is battling cancer now, they cannot operate and he cannot take chemo. He has it in his liver and on his sternum now too. He is doing radiation, but there is not much hope. We have it of course but in reality it is very touch and go. I totally feel you and know I am thinking of your mom and wishing for the best for all of us. xoxooxoxoxo

  18. I wish there were words to bring you comfort, Luna. Cancer sucks and I hate that you are going through this. Thinking of you and your mom and hoping for only the best. Hugs.

  19. It does suck and M.D. Anderson is a top notch facility.

  20. Cancer totally sucks. The word itself holds so much power and emits so much fear … but it can be beaten, and it sounds like your mother is in the best hands out there. Still, I recognize that doesn’t bring peace or reassurance. My thoughts are with you and your family. Huge giant hugs ((and a nice warm virtual blanket)) coming your way!!

  21. Cancer sucks big time. I’ve had too many people in my family have to face it.

    Thinking of you.

  22. I’m sorry to hear this latest news about your mother’s health and I hope the new protocol will work so that she can go on enjoying retirement and her granddaughter!

  23. Thinking of both you and your mom and wishing you both strength.

  24. Soooo behind on my blog reading & commenting (again). Just wanted to say I’m thinking of you & your family, & hoping your mom gets to spend lots more time with you & Baby J.

  25. […] My mother is dying. […]

  26. […] I had been there before. I knew where this road leads. Since then the bad news has just kept on […]

  27. […] Just before our daughter was born — before she was ours — my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. My 40th birthday was days away. The baby we had been asked to parent was due at the end of the […]

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