As any cancer patient knows, routine tests are all but routine. Even one who doesn’t worry about something until given something to worry about, can find herself riddled with anxiety regarding the “what-ifs.”
That was precisely what last Thursday was like for me, as my mom went in to have routine CAT scans done having been successfully fighting kidney and bladder cancer for over two years. Except the results weren’t what we’d hoped for.
Her cancer had metasticized into both lungs. Surgery wasn’t an option this time.
It took awhile for it to sink in. The first night I emailed a couple of friends but otherwise kept it to myself. I stayed strong that night. Then Friday I found myself crying off and on all day, sometimes out of nowhere.
It didn’t really come as a surprise to my mom or me. She successfully won her battle with breast cancer 17 years ago, kidney cancer 2 years ago (both through surgery), and was currently fighting bladder cancer through a non-chemotherapy treatment. Since her mom passed away from cancer before I was born, I think I always felt like it was just a matter of time before she would be in a full-blown battle.
Still, it’s my mom, and no matter how much of a shock that it wasn’t in my head, my feelings were completely new to me.
Within seconds I could mentally list others who had traveled the same road with their moms or dads. Yet no matter how many had walked the road I found myself on, I felt completely alone with my feelings.
I felt like I was on this highway that many others had traveled before me, yet not in the same car. I’m in my car, all alone, having no idea where this road is going to lead.
My thoughts ran the gamut. Everything from questioning to gratefulness. Questioning why now. But grateful that my mom has had 17 healthy years since her breast cancer diagnosis. Questioning why now that my children are so young, but thankful that my children have a close relationship with my mom, something I didn’t get with her parents because they passed away before I was born. Quesitoning why God let this happen, but knowing that he’s good even when I don’t understand.
In just one day – today – I’ve gone from being completely at peace, knowing that my hope is in my loving Lord and he is in complete control. And a few hours later I start crying at the drop of a hat.
Yesterday I found myself praying clearly one moment and a few hours later having no words. I think I’m going to find on this journey the power of others’ prayers. I know there will be times I won’t be able to find words to pray, but I know others will step in where I can’t find the strength and their prayers will be my strength.
If you know me, you know that writing is my outlet. So I may be turning to this blog more and more to share my thoughts and feelings along this road. I also want to share prayer requests so you can be praying for our family during this time.
Prayer requests: Pray for my mom to have a peace that passes understanding. She is absolutely the strongest person I know with a faith that doesn’t falter. Yet she has a huge heart and feels deeply. Pray for my dad. They’ve been married 46 years and she is everything to him. Pray for Matt and his family. The loss of Matt’s dad 3 years ago this month is way too fresh, too raw. Our families are close and this is hitting them hard as well. Pray for us as we meet with the oncologist on Tuesday.