Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Six Weeks

Six weeks ago today I was a hurting unit.   In more ways than one.

At the beginning of March I noticed a lump in my stomach.  I didn't really think too much of it but made an appointment to see my doctor.  A week later, she took one lookand  ordered a CT scan. 

Waiting for the results of those tests are never too fun.  I knew by the look on her face and the speed they got me in that it was going to be impactful news. 

There are words you don't want to hear from your doctor.  Especially when your Mom had Ovarian Cancer in the last year.  Those are the words I did hear:  Ovarian Mass and cancer.  They have no way of knowing if it in cancer or not until they actually get in there.  So we waited.  The mass ruptured.  I made it through the weekend until my doctor returned from a trip.

I told the doctor I wasn't worried.  My mom had Ovarian Cancer and finished Chemo and was doing great!  It's good to know it isn't a death sentence.

I didn't know it yet, but my mom was feeling sick again that week.  She was planning to come up and help at my house while I recovered but she changed her plans at the last minute and went back to Colorado to see her doctor.

Her cancer was back.  She had surgery the day before me.  I tried to keep busy that day.  I worked even though I didn't feel like it.  My dad called and said the news was not good.  The cancer was spreading and the doctor said she probably only had 6-12 months.  We were devastated.  I had a cold rush through my body and some angry thoughts towards God.

The next day, I told the doctor to take everything out she could.  I didn't want ovaries anymore.  Menopause is my 30's sounded pretty good compared to cancer.  She obliged.  My surgery went fine.  It was a borderline tumor that seemed to be contained to the one ovary.  The fluid from the rupture ups the risk a little but the outcome is good.  No further treatment  needed and follow ups every six months. 

I felt guiltily relieved.  As sad as I was about my mom, I was so happy for myself.  I want to live.  I want to be there for my family.  That's probably what scared me most about the prospect of cancer. 

It's hard to feel that way when my mom isn't getting the same opportunity.

I was pretty miserable for 2 weeks.  I did some puking and had an extended hospital stay.  The drugs were not my friends. I couldn't eat.  It was a crummy way to lose a lot of weight.  When I got home, I stayed in bed. 

I knew I needed to head to Colorado but wasn't up to it.  

We felt like 6-12 months was such a short amount of time.  They hoped to try chemo and return to Minnesota but she kept getting weaker.  Finally the doctor said, the cancer is taking over and it's time for hospice.

My sister and I jumped on a plane and got there 4 hours before she died.  I didn't want to go.  I wanted to stay in the safe cocoon of my house and watch Netflix, where I could pretend none of this was happening.

The rest of my recovery was spent at funeral homes, funerals, car trips and family. 

I went back to work this week because it's been 6 weeks.  That's how long they say it takes to recover.  

The incision from my surgery is healing, but it's still tender.  Soon it will just be a scar. 

It's been a month since my Mom went to heaven.  I don't think I feel the full force of that yet.  The scars from that will never heal.