So you might be wondering what happened to me… why my blog has been on hold. The thing is… I don’t know what to say. And frankly, this doesn’t happen to me often.
People keep asking (as the well-meaning tend to do in difficult times), ‘How’re you doing?’ But do they really want to know? Or do they just want me to put a smile on it (I’m not a big fan of the inauthentic though sometimes effective ‘fake it till you feel it’ method)?
Because, the truth is (at the moment), I’m far from ok. I don’t mean in a logistical way. That I’ve got covered. So ingrained and woven into my upbringing were lists, flow charts and other organizational tools that I think I could actually beautifully coordinate the implosion of my world.
But really, I’d have to say I’m feeling pretty far from ok.
I don’t know how to talk about what’s going on in my life without divulging too much or veering toward complaining.
Five weeks ago, my mother – my cute little Jewish mother with a passion for life and Venice, Italy – was diagnosed with a brain tumor. This was a huge shock to us since we thought she just had vertigo. We’re now about two weeks into recovery from a 7-hour craniotomy surgery.
Though it’s hard for her to see it, my mom is making huge progress. Some days are more difficult than others. The day we began to understand the pathology results was one of those days. We had been hoping benign results would buoy our spirits in these rough days. Instead of being a meningioma (90-95% of which are benign), it’s an anaplastic hemingiopericytoma (an aggressive, rare tumor that falls between benign and malignant).
I know we will get through this as we’ve had incredible practice overcoming challenges already. My mom chose to be a single working mother long before it was popularized or even accepted. My mom was superwoman in heels with a list or chart for absolutely everything. She made sure I was never short on love from having only one parent (and so I celebrate her both on Mother’s and Father’s Day).
No matter the difficulty, we always bounced back. Even in high school, when every sh*t storm seemed to collide upon us… we were living in a motel room because our house was sliding off of a cliff due to the El Niño rains (ridiculously not covered by Fema) and my mom lost her job and I had an abusive boyfriend (my first and last, I’m proud to say)… we survived all that and more. Like our dear friend Joe M. says, we always land on our feet. Even then, I still managed to graduate high school near the top of my class and with a resume full of extra-curricular activities (something I thought would guarantee my path to a good career, which took some unexpected turns and bumps when media converged and the economy crashed).
Now it is time to focus on the joy in life, on gratitude and prayer. This seems easier said than done as I struggle to talk even to friends, a zombie masquerading as human. I resolve to focus on today, take time to express myself, find enjoyment in life and dream of Italian adventures to come.
Categories: Cancer Caregiver