Friday, June 6, 2014
Here's What I Haven't Been Telling You
For the past nine weeks, my life has been in turmoil and I haven't known how to verbalize it to anyone. When I wrote my Recalculating post, I alluded to some detours ahead, but that's all I've been able to say on the subject. I feel like now is the time to come out and inadequately say what has been happening in the past weeks.
On April 11, my mom was diagnosed with recurrent uterine cancer that was inoperable and incurable. At the time, I was 6 months pregnant and faced with losing my mom before my baby was born. Nothing is more heartbreaking or unfair or terrifying than that type of news. I've thought over dozens of different ways to tell this story, but I can finally tell it now because I have a silver lining.
Mom's abdomen was a mass of cancerous tumors. I can't get into the medical-ness of it all right now because I don't totally understand it, but what she has is very rare. It's a type of cancer that is more commonly found in the ovaries, not the uterus. That she had it at all was rare, that is came back is even more so.
Right after her diagnosis, she starting taking a treatment that was meant to slow the progression of the tumors. We weren't given a lot of information at the time because this was a new drug and the doctor did not know if it would be effective. We just found out that it has been effective. Incredibly so. Mom's tumors have shrunk 80-85%. This drug only has a 30% success rate. If it hadn't worked, mom would likely not be here today. But since it has worked, she'll likely meet my daughter, see her baptism and sneak in thousands of kisses.
This is still not a cure. The end result of this disease will still be the same. Mom will never be cured. But, we've been given so much more time. Time that we can use to be together, have more laughs, make more memories, share more stories. It's still hard, but when she told me yesterday that she likely has six months or more, I cried knowing what that will mean for my family.
I still feel like a tangled mass of emotions, pregnancy plus family hardships will do that to you. It's difficult working through this type of anticipatory grief, but I'm not grieving today. I'm rejoicing! This news is so incredible that I can't believe how we've been blessed. I still need to focus on everyday and be happy for every opportunity, but it's great to know that I'll have more opportunities with my mom than I first thought. It's so wonderful to have her with us.
Deep breath. Today is a beautiful day, today we are thankful. Today I know that my mom is doing well, that my daughter is kicking, and that near future is bright. That's good enough for me.