My mom is really sick. Really, really sick. When her bad menopause turned out to be ovarian cancer, I was concern. As she got worse, I was more concerned. I did some reading and realized that things were quite bad. In fact, things really suck. This week she wound up in the ER because she stopped peeing. Just, stopped. They still haven't figured out why. But she got a blood transfusion, got a whole bunch of fluids, spent two nights and is back at home. Now they are worried that there is fluid around her lungs. She's having a hard time breathing.
When I gave her a bath last night, there was just nothing there, nothing except a GIANT fluid and tumor filled abdomen which is now over 40inches around and 19 inches from top to bottom (full term pregnancy size). I can count all her ribs, I can run my hands down each and every vertebra in her spine. Last week she got into the tub on her own, holding onto a towel over the curtain rod for support; she pushed away my hand. This week she grabbed for my hand as I guided and supported her in.
I don't know what I feel. Part of me wants to know what I am SUPPOSED to feel, although, the social worker side of me knows that whatever I feel is normal. I'm all over the map. My mom and I have never, ever, had a close relationship. I'm a daddy's girl through and through. But now, now here I am. Now I'm the support, now I'm there, I've gone from talking to her once a month to seeing her at least once a week and talking to her sometimes almost everyday.
My mom has started telling me things, things I wished I could have heard when I was a teenager. She told me on Friday while we were in the ER that when I was a baby and she would leave me in my carseat during church she ached to hold me again by the end. Yesterday she mentioned that driving me (and my sister) home from high school was something she really missed because she missed hearing all about our days. These are things I never knew. I always saw my mom as cold, and uncaring, and distant. Now she is lost and vulnerable and very proud of her social worker daughter (she kept telling all the ER staff that I was a social worker).
So I don't know what to think. Mom's cancer has brought us together in a completely new way. But it's all happened rather suddenly and in a rather tragic way. This person I'm getting close to is disappearing before my eyes, in some cases, very literally.
For the next while this blog may be more about cancer, or venting, then social work. I don't know. I really want to try and write, it's so good for me. We'll see. I'm not so great at putting my deepest feelings out there, better at describing situations, which can be therapeutic in and of itself I suppose.