“We are not going to be morose about this”

“We are not going to be morose about this.”

This being the stage four cancer my mother had just told me she’d been diagnosed with about three months after getting a double-lung transplant.  “Ok,” I replied and, at the time, I meant it.  The next day, Veteran’s Day, I found an old Army recruiting video, posted the link on my Dad’s FaceBook page, and started writing him a note to go with it thanking him for his service to our country and, without going into an more details, for being a great dad and role model.  While typing this out, I guess it hit me that my mom was told she had one to two years to live (even with chemo) and what would my dad do when she was gone.  I cried for a few minutes before finishing the note, sending, and heading out to meet a friend –I was already late.

I’ve spoken to my parents a few times since that day –not any more or less than normal, really.  They weren’t able to come visit as initially planned for Thanksgiving because they weren’t sure how mom would react to the chemo which she’ll be getting every three weeks.  Unless something changes, they aren’t going to make it up as hoped for Christmas and I’m not sure we’ll be able to make it down to visit them now, either.  Life doesn’t really give a rat’s butt about our wants and desires sometimes.

The other night I was driving home when “A Song for Mama” by Boyz II Men came on.  I teared up a bit thinking about my mom not being around anymore.  I also started thinking about the quote I led this off with and I thought “Well, why the hell not?”  Maybe I won’t be all weepy and sad around her, but I’m sure the couple times so far aren’t going to be the last times when the realization that I’m losing my mother will hit me, and at those times, I should be free to cry, be sad, etc., as needed.

Then I actually started getting a bit mad.  The immune system suppressors she’s got to be on for the rest of her life (due to the transplant) allow cancer to grow/spread more rapidly which may explain why about three months ago when they removed her old lungs they found a spot of cancer on one, but didn’t see any in the rest of her body, and now it’s stage four.  The oncologist wanted to start some chemo back when they found it on the old lung, but my mom/parents decided not to do so since they didn’t see any in the body.  Looks like the oncologist knew what she was doing, huh?

So, why the double-lung transplant?  Because my mom smoked from as long as I can remember until she was diagnosed with Emphysema back in the early 2000s –over twenty years.  I can still hear the barking smoker’s cough that would signal the beginning to my mom’s day for years.  I was still mad as I thought about how my brother and I would blow on her cigarettes to make them burn faster while they sat in the ash tray or give her a hard time about smoking and how we learned in school that it was bad for her health.  Maybe the cancer has nothing to do with the smoking since she’d been off the cigs for years due to the Emphysema and it’s just a seemingly unfair turn of events to go from the joy of getting new lungs to the news that you’ve got cancer.  Regardless, my mom is going to fight it.  She may profess a “C’est la vie” attitude, but she’s a fighter.  Maybe we’ll get lucky again, as with getting the double-lung transplant, but we’ll keep morose to a minimum.

One more thing still has me mad, though… my dumb-ass brother still smokes!


3 Responses

  1. Hi Lorwynd…it’s good that you write. Maybe you shouldn’t keep these things bottled up. Hopefully you have someone to talk to. Maybe someone who waits for you to talk to her. She understands these things I’m sure and loves you.

  2. […] a call from her telling me that she’d been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, but that we were not going to be morose about it.  I cried there for a few more minutes, then composed myself and the rest of the email to my dad, […]

  3. […] For the last five years, it has also been the day after I was told by my mother that “We are not going to be morose about this“, her diagnosis of stage four lung cancer.  While it’s not quite an Internet meme, […]

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