Beeswax photos grammie made of her parents for me using the workshop over at Creativebug.
So, blogging about big hard issues can tricky for me. It's always a moving target—how I feel (which always changes) and the circumstances around the situation (which also change). The big hard issue happening in our lives right now (let's leave my multiple illnesses and horrible siatica on the sidelines for a bit, although I suspect they are related) is that Grammie, my mom, has breast cancer and is in the middle of a pretty difficult chemo treatment. I have told many friends about this and their stories have helped me so much—so many people go through this and it is so hard.
She was diagnosed right before Thanksgiving and had surgery in mid-December. There has been so much to process along the way. The tests, waiting for the results, the surgery, more waiting for results, the treatment plan, the treatment plan changing, the not knowing. Her team of doctors are wonderful, we feel very lucky, and I have her seeing my acupuncturist which is helping with chemo side affects. I am seeing her, too. We were hoping the chemo wouldn't be so hard on her, but she is getting the strongest one these first 4 treatments, and it's been pretty awful.
The levels of pain and sadness, and just fear, have been pretty overwhelming for me. Grammie is incredibly brave and strong. I am so lucky to be so close to her, both emotionally and physically. We see her every day and have for years, she is like a 3rd parent to our girls. Pete and I never were super excited to teach our kids about sickness and cancer, but of course it comes up, and I know how important it is to have them see me care for her. And to have them learn to help care for her and to see how we all care for each other. The cleaning, laundry, dishes, the checking in, the homemade cards, and endless kisses and hugs—I have 3 little nurses that are so willing to help and just radiate love to her. It breaks our hearts and is so special to see.
Her cancer has been caught early. We feel great about that. Our friends, both hers and mine, have been so supportive by checking in all the time, feeding us, trying to help in any way they can. My brother and in-laws have helped with the girls while I care for Grammie.
There have been wig jokes and tons of off-color humor. The questions from the girls are hard— but they are brave, and I need to be at least as brave as they are. There are books that have helped me and I will link to them soon. We still have to get though the chemo treatment (5 left) and the radiation afterward. Many days I feel really good, like we are getting through this and it will be okay, and then sometimes I have felt I was going to explode into dust out of sheer pain or anxiety. But then I don't. This is workable, I experience that every day.