I think the fact that my childhood was pretty carefree always gave me this residual, underlying hope that despite ongoing issues, things would be okay and we could continue to be happy. I'm slowly realizing this isn't as true as I had hoped or believed. Either that, or, it can't happen just yet.
I think money will always be an issue but I believe we can find ways around that. Plans exist. We're still wed fed and eat well. We still manage to go out and have fun. So money won't ever be the death of us, but it certainly cripples us. Arguments over who pays what. Urging someone to call up the gas company or electricity bill. Annoyances.
The more important thing is the medical side of things. Sickness. Health. Well-being. Fitness. I don't want to say I'm sick of taking care of my mom. She's given me life and I will forever be indebted to her. But it's becoming harder and harder being at home. My mom is a strong person, but that doesn't necessarily mean she is strong-willed all the time. She's weak and can't find it in herself to get up and walk around and be lively in the moment or in the day. I can't blame her. She's hiding. She shaved her head last night. I know it's really hard for her and I need to try and understand more. But it's so difficult. I could try to talk her out of this as much as I want, provide logical reasoning as to how worrying won't physiologically make her better but only more difficult for her healing. Encourage her, tell her stories . . regardless the outcome will be the same. She isn't phased or affected by anything I say. Her and my dad are the same person. So that's where I get my stubbornness from . . but hey, at least I forced myself to consider other options.
I believe cancer is one of the worst sicknesses. Not only is the disease process itself degenerating and difficult, but so is the treatment. Some (not all) diseases or conditions are treated with medication with ease. Not to say they aren't chronic or degenerating either, but take rheumatoid arthritis, for example. There are strong anti-inflammatories out there that can really do the trick with an extended-release tablet once a day. Or COPD. Inhalers, steroids, bronchodilators. I mean, surgery may be necessary. But for the most part, these don't really come with the same side effects as chemotherapy. The treatment process is just as awful as the disease itself, but it's so necessary and cuts the risk of relapsing significantly. My mom keeps calling it such an "evil" sickness. I couldn't agree more. That and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy are, so far, some of the most unbelievable conditions in my eyes.
Breast cancer deprives women of their womanhood. You lose your hair. You're forced to lose your breast/breasts. If the cancer is estrogen-positive, that means you need to have hormone therapy and be on a drug like tamoxifen, which essentially throws you into menopause so you can no longer have children, really. It really just strips a woman of her purest assets. Image is not everything. But the female body is equipped with a lot of beautiful features and secrets and emotions attached to every curve. Every flip of her hair, every look in the mirror. All that is gone two weeks into chemo. And if that's all you've known, you feel so so vulnerable when it is.
It's funny because it's a real test of a woman's character. And, again, deprives you of your womanhood. But my mom looked so beautiful last night with all her hair gone.
I was scared when that moment came. But she had the strength to go ahead and shave it off. And I smiled and she laughed a bit.
Things are difficult but that we will all get through them because we have no choice to.
Until the future.