Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The C Word

My family has been wrestling with the C word for two weeks. Yesterday it became absolutely real and true. My mom has cancer. The name of the vile monster is extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. It started in her gall bladder and has moved into her liver. Mom is really good at seeming well, but she hasn't been well for quite a while. At this point, she's home and is feeling better.

Amazingly, we're in a calm period right now. At first, we were all panic-stricken, but we're in some kind of place where we're all adjusting and assimilating and working it out. My sister-in-law and niece are here (a little earlier than had been planned a while back), and my brother will be here later this week. Our family gets along really well, so it's always incredibly nice when we're all together. We give each other all kinds of crap all the time and laugh and act silly. Sounds like pretty good medicine, huh?

Mom is especially funny. We have a mental collection of Mom-isms. Mom has a tendency to state the obvious (or obvious to us). Our favorites include, "Brain tumors can be dangerous" and "You know, Michael Jackson looks like a girl". When my folks returned from a tour of Italy, during which they were often treated at lunch and dinner to "regional wines", Mom said at lunch one day, "I really miss my regional wines." So when Mom comes up with one some funny one-liner, we laugh hysterically and repeat it often. What's really funny is that all of us (my brother, my sister and I) inadvertently come up with our own Mom-isms. Apparently, it's genetic!

So this is my big discussion of my mom's illness. She reads this (silly girl), and she isn't comfortable having everyone know all the details of her life or having anyone worry about her. Because I care about her comfort, I'll refrain from writing too much here about what's happening. I will absolutely keep you posted if there is good news to report or good stitching news! My mom is a firm believer in prayer. I am a firm believer in positive thoughts and goodwill. If you have a prayer circle at your church, I hope you will include my mom, Estelle, in that circle. If you are a positive thinker, please think of her name and good health. I'm asking for your help in whatever form it comes. Mom will begin chemotherapy soon, and we're all thinking only the best thoughts. Thank you so much for your sweet comments and kind words.

I finished with packing today at school. Tomorrow I'm joining my sister-in-law (Barb) and my niece (Kelly) on a hike way up in the mountains. With all that's been happening, I've sorely neglected my blog and your blogs. Hopefully, that will improve as my schedule loosens up a little. My next post will include some stitchy talk and pics. I'll leave you today with a picture of my parents, Don and Estelle, just so you can see what all the fuss is about. It was taken when Nikki, my daughter, graduated from college a year ago. I'm using it because it's a particularly good picture of all of them.

Can you believe these people have children in their 50's? They also have a six-year-old great-grandchild! Shocking, isn't it?

Make some fun.

21 comments:

valerie said...

Sorry to hear about your mom but hopefully it's totally treatable in time. I will keep your mom in my thoughts and will send good vibes your way. I hope for the best! Enjoy the hike and time with family.

Doris said...

send you positives thoughts for you and your mother.

mainely stitching said...

Your Mom not only sounds amazing, she looks fabulous, too! I'd have honestly guessed that this was YOUR college graduation picture with your parents - she doesn't look old enough to have adult grandchildren!

I really appreciate (and respect) the way you've raised this issue - so thoughtfully & respectfully, but with humor as well. Your mom will certainly be in my positive thoughts. Best wishes to your entire wonderful family.

dianemi said...

Doris, my heart and positive thoughts are with you, your Mom and family. I'll definitely be thinking about all of you and wishing you the best.

That is a wonderful picture of your parents and daughter. I really *was* shocked when you mentioned that they have children in their fifties. They look so young (and fabulous)! :)

VALIE said...

Plenty of positive thoughts going your Mom's way. Like Mainely Stitching, I would have thought it was you on the picture... It's good you are a tight-knit family, because it does help. There will be uncomfortable moments, but together, you will be stronger and defeat the illness with your wonderful sense of humour.
Enjoy the hike, Val

Terri(TerriBoog) said...

Oh Doris, I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom. She is a beautiful woman with a lovely personality and I will send prayers up and good thoughts out for her. Enjoy your hike - sounds like a nice way to escape for a little while.

Pam said...

I'm very sorry to hear about your mom. I will include her in my thoughts and prayers.

Ellen said...

Your parents look too young to have children in their 50s. Sending positive thoughts your way.

Hugs,

Anna van Schurman said...

I'm thinking good thoughts for Estelle.

Deb said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I look for your posts and just figured you were busy with the end of the school, etc., so I'm sorry to hear about your mom. All my prayers and good wishes are with your family and mom.

Loraine said...

So sorry to hear about your Mom. My prayers and thoughts are with her and you, as you learn and grow through this difficult time.

Colleen said...

Wishing your mom and your family the best! I'll keep all of you in my prayers. :)

Siobhan said...

Your mom is in my thoughts & prayers, Doris. I'll light a candle for her next time I'm passing the cathedral. Big hugs, gf. Hang in there.

Katrina said...

Lots of good thoughts and prayers for your mom Doris! {{{{hugs}}}}

Love the picture of your parents and daughter too.

Annemarie said...

No, they certainly don't look old enough to be the parents of middle-aged children! My goodness, what a dreadful shock this must have been. I'm a positive thinker with plenty of spare thoughts for your mother and for your entire family. Hope the hiking trip perks you up a bit.
{{{HUGS}}}

Coni said...

Dear Estelle:
I'm headed over to Notre Dame's campus today to light a candle for you at the grotto. Prayers, happy thoughts, and good wishes for you are on their way from the Rich Sisters in Indiana.
Be well,
Coni

Brigitte said...

Doris, I love the picture you share with us.
I'll be thinking or you and your family and will be sending extra positive thoughts to your mom.

Patti said...

I am so sorry to hear about your mom and like Valerie said I too hope it is totally treatable. She looks so young and definitely not old enough to have grown-up grandchildren. Heck I mus be about her age and our eldest grandchild is only coming up 9 - my kids started a lot later than I did. Positive thoughts coming your way. Lots of Love Patti xxx

Robin said...

Your parents look amazing!!!! It is hard to believe they have 50-ish children. Your mom doesn't look much older than that herself. I will put her on my prayer list as I'm a firm believer in the power of prayer. I may not live "perfect" but I believe God has a perfect plan for us all. I technically was the "black sheep" of our family (gave my parents fits in my teen years and my brother was the "good kid") but I am a firm believer in prayer. now if you heard me cuss, you might not beleive that but it's really true, LOL!!!
I hope she'll feel well during her treatments; if she doesn't feel quiet right, tell her to speak up as there are all kinds of things they can do to make you more comfortable during the chemo. My SIL just went thru it with breast cancer (she's 44 and they have 8 kids). She had good days and bad but she's a survivor now of 2 yrs. Tell your mom to be strong and a good attitude DOES play a huge roll in her treatment.
Hugs for all of you,
robin

Shelagh said...

The first time to your blog, I send my thoughts and prayers to you, mum and the rest of the family. Prayer is a wonderful thing. God Bless Shelagh (Susan's mum )

Hazel said...

Sorry to hear of your troubles. x