This is the final week of the intensive Interferon treatment for my mom. It has been a wild ride and I know we will all be happy when it is over. But, this is by no means "it". She has 11 more months of Interferon self injected 3 times per week and we are waiting to hear whether she will have a 4th surgery and/or Radiation. So, yes, this is the Final Stretch in one sense but in another it is merely the First Step in her treatment.
For me this has been all encompassing. This time has taught me a lot about myself and about others. As I am the daughter in close physical proximity to my parents, they have been living with us and I have been accompanying my mom to her treatments and appointments. I always thought I couldn’t handle it. That I wasn’t strong like my sisters and would not be much help to my parents if anything were to happen. I wish I didn’t have to test the theory but I guess the good news is, I am stronger than I thought.
I have also had the pleasure and disappointment of learning about others. This has been a time where I have had little time for anything else, including myself, my friends, and my kids. I have likely missed returning calls, forgot commitments, and otherwise dropped the ball. I have also had to let others take the lead on projects and depend on people for help. For the most part, I have been amazed. Most people are very generous and so many of my friends have offered their time and assistance and support whenever I need it.
However, there have been a few who have seriously let me down. Like two "friends" who shall remain nameless who I had confided in about a very bad day and some concerning news from my mom’s doctor and they thought only about themselves and how this inconvenienced them because I was not going to be available when they wanted me to be. I have found that I just do not have the energy anymore to put into these relationships. I wonder if once my mom is feeling better whether this will change again and I will find myself able to see some benefit in these friendships. Or whether I will have had enough and will find my perspective forever changed because of this experience.
As I said, it is not over but this phase is and I am glad. It has been tough on my mom physically and on my dad emotionally. It is hard to watch someone you love suffer. But, hopefully, the worst is over. We’ll continue to navigate our way through this disease and its treatments and continue to look at every step as just another step closer to recovery.