I’m sitting in the “Healing Garden” writing today’s blog entry. I can’t heal yet from something that hasn’t happened. For two and a half days I’ve been staying in the hospital room with Mom. She’s been sick for more than a month. I knew when the second or third week passed and she was still weak and groaning that the illness wasn’t your garden variety cold or flu. I think she knew it too.
Lately I’ve been making it a point to not get nasty with people. Sometimes I do well with practicing stepping back and not reacting. Sometimes I do well stepping back from a person and their issue or attitude or their reaction but not so well with forming an opinion and/or my own attitude about their problems or challenges and having them play over in my mind as I reenact what I woulda, coulda, shoulda said to them. It’s a major problem of mine. I like to analyze with the intent of using the data to change what I say and do the next time I’m in the same position. But it never works. The way I was taught, my personality the things I’ve been through have formed me into who I am. I do the same things over and over like a knee jerk reaction. I know it isn’t going to change but I just can’t seem to change. I usually freeze in the face of action.
There are some exceptions to the rule. I can change when threatened and I feel justified. It’s temporary. So is the Crisis Mode where I can do courageous and heroic and hard work when I’m faced with an issue I believe needs to be addressed. Like abuse. I left abusive situations under very poor circumstances with dependents to go alone to a strange place to be (what I thought was,) safe. I stayed with my Mother through my father’s dementia, nursing home and death putting up with flashbacks and my father’s abuse so that my Mother would be safe.
Now it’s her turn.
The cancer came back. It’s a rare form that only 5% of people who get cancer have. Clear cancer cells treated with chemo after being removed with an operating procedure come back. There is a study that Mom is being tested for to see if she qualifies for it. The chemo is in pill form. She can stay at home. Her hair won’t fall out. The cancer is expected to never be cured, only maintained. And if the tumor that they removed last year shows that she is not qualified she will be placed on a stronger chemotherapy regiment. Or radiation may be used.
I don’t know. She signed the study papers yesterday and handed them to the Oncology team. All day Tuesday I cried when the team told her and I and my sister. I felt like I was to be punished by having the sky, the ocean and all the land but the desert removed from my life. Thinking about it makes my throat clog up. I had nasty nightmares about people I hate. Life seems not worth living.
So I tell myself that I have some time with her (“How much ritlingit, how much?” “Hush don’t ask questions that will lead you into madness. Enjoy the time you have with her. She needs to see you stable. The mental chaos will drag her down.”) I try to think of things we can do with her potentially limited energy. I think of warding off the people who are ignorant and will tell me lame quotes that will only irritate me. I will practice smiling softly and saying thank you and turning away fast so I don’t sock them in the gut.
Because I am the lucky one. I get to spend time with her see. The last days.
And that ends this because I can’t sleep so I can’t go back to the hospital room and I won’t wander around the hospital crying.