Into the Depths: ANYTHING ELSE?

Friday, May 26, 2006


Before yesterday, I had never looked at my mother and thought of her as old. As I walked into her hospital room following her surgery, my mind flashed back to my grandmothers room thirteen years ago. I saw this frail old woman who looked as though life had gotten the best of her through the years. The doctors said that her uterine cavity was engulfed with cancer, and that it had spread to her cervix and ovaries. They took all of those things out, and we just have to sit and wait on the pathology reports to see if it has spread any further. Statistically speaking, uterine cancer has one of the highest cure rates of any cancer. This is because the main symptom is abnormal bleeding. Most woman would get that checked right away, thus the cancer is detected early and typically, cured. My mother had abnormal bleeding for two years. She tends to live in denial most of the time. Last night I had to stay the night with her at the hospital because they said it best that she not be alone. She, not knowing that the doctor had talked to us kids after her surgery, was telling me that she made up her mind that it wasn't cancer and that was that. I just bit my lip. When the doctor came in this morning and said "It was cancer, like we thought" I saw the color drain from her face and the fear envelop her eyes. Usually her denial is just an annoying habit, this time it may have cost her her life. We will just have to wait and see.

My older sister, eighteen months my senior (and I never let her forget it) is currently undergoing tests to find out what is wrong with her health. She has been having some problems for about a year now, but the doctors are just now beginning to take her seriously and they are running test after test, anywhere from hepatitis (because of strange liver functions) to chronic fatigue syndrome to lupus. She has five children ages ten and under, so of course we are hoping against hope that it be something simple and of course, non-life threatening.

I was speaking to a friend today about my mom and sister, and obviously it wasn't a real "peppy" conversation. So, I asked if she had any good news. Sadly, no. She informed me that she just had a miscarriage. She and her husband have two daughters, ages five and three, but this was a pretty devastating blow. She actually hasn't technically miscarried yet, but the baby has died, and the doctor says that since she isn't too far along that she will just pass it soon. My heart aches to think of knowingly walking around with my deceased child inside of me, just waiting for it to be pushed from my body into nothingness.

This is one of those times that I feel like I am in the middle of one of God's sick jokes. Don't preach at me, I know better, I am just expressing the way I feel at the moment. I mean seriously? Seriously?? Who can deal with this crap. I just want to look up to Him and say, "Can't we at least just go one at a time??" Does it have to be a hurricane of grief and fear and death and sadness all at once. Can't we get a breather in here somewhere. I am the "strong" one in our family. Not because I am strong by any means, but because I don't let my emotions show because I don't want to be seen as weak. So I bite my lip and fight the urges to break down when I am with everyone. Then, in the car or at home, I just start feeling completely overwhelmed. Right now, though, I feel like I can't even break down while I am alone. I am afraid that once the floodgates open, I won't be able to get them shut. I feel like the only way to keep from breaking indefinitely is to remain composed completely. I wonder how long until I implode?


Blogger SuperMom said...

Sometimes it does feel like we are in the middle of a sick joke. I completely relate.

Let the floodgates open. You're not weak. But you cannot deal with any of this if you don't. In some ways, your holding it in is akin to your mother's denial. Thinking you can ignore the feelings.

If you really want to be there for others, you have to give yourself permission to feel and be honest about what's going on inside.

Sometimes I think to say, "I'm praying for you" sounds so hollow and trite. Sometimes I'm not sure what good it does. But I am praying for you, hoping God will hear and be swayed.

May 27, 2006 7:58 AM  
Blogger Bttrfly1976 said...

ouch...truth hurts I guess. I feel so overwhelmed though, I'm not sure how to feel it without being consumed I guess. I appreciate your candor and your prayers. I know exactly what you mean in feeling like the words don't seem to mean as much as you want them to, but I know you are sincere, and I truly am thankful.

May 27, 2006 11:59 PM  
Blogger LiteratureLover said...

Oh girl, I am sorry. That IS a lot to handle at once. Please just know that you are not alone.

May 29, 2006 12:53 AM  

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