Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A few weeks ago my mom called to tell me that her doctor had discovered cancer in her uterus. The procedure to remove this cancer is to perform a hysterectomy, which she’ll have done tomorrow morning. They have told her it is stage 1 cancer, so we all feel optimistic that once the operation is done, she will be fine. But there’s always that nagging “what if” that digs into my brain before the results from any test comes back.

It has been a long time since I’ve heard my mom sound anxious. In fact, I can count on my fingers the number of times I have hear the type of nervousness I heard in her voice that night she told me. I know that my dad is anxious as well, although he would never directly tell me. However, he let slip his feelings while they were visiting a couple weeks ago. As we drove to Lowe’s for one of our many visits, he sat quietly in the passenger seat. Trying to break the ice, I quipped, “Hey dad, thinking about the Indians?” (who were, at that time, still in the playoffs). His reply was the most philosophical I have ever heard him.

“When you think about it, what does it really matter at the end of the day. How does that game really affect our lives? It doesn’t.” Then he went back into his stoic stare out the window while I waited for the light to change.

Originally, Mom was supposed to have this operation in two weeks. However, an opening became available and she decided she wanted it done right away. I can’t blame her. To have to wait a full month (like she would have had to) must be torture. Another positive sign about her cancer is that they felt the operation could wait. If it were more serious her doctors would have dope the procedure right away.

Not that this isn’t serious.

I may have issues with my childhood, but I love my parents deeply. Whatever mistakes they made are in the past and I have moved on. I find myself becoming more like my father in many ways. The stress that I feel about serious, life threatening issues somehow becomes bottled up, even when I don’t want it to. I am very concerned about Mom and Dad, yet I don’t feel myself gushing with emotion. I hate that. I’d rather be worried to death with my stomach in knots than have a short fuse like I’ve had around the family. At least with my emotions on my sleeve I feel alive.

For those of you who read this blog, please send out a good thought or prayer for Eleanor Malchus on Thursday morning. While they may say that this hysterectomy is routine, I assure you there is nothing routine about what she is going through.



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Jack Burden said...

Best wishes to your mom, who nursed untold legions through similar crises over the years. May she receive care every bit as good as she gave.