Well, it has happened. You look at the stats and you know that you are fooling yourself if you think it won’t. And you are truly very lucky if it doesn’t. Yes, The Big "C" has hit our family. So far, we are very lucky. But, no matter what, life is changing course and my perspective has shifted. My mom has cancer.
I have gone through a whole series of emotions and I am sure I have not seen them all yet. A little more than a month ago my mom went to have a cyst on her back removed and, within a week, found out that the innocent little cyst was actually Melanoma – the most aggressive form of skin cancer. This cancer, like many, is sneaky and fast moving. It is often well on its way to other disastrous things before the skin lesion is even discovered.
I am happy to report that my mom’s was caught before it spread. Every indication so far from pathology to scans has indicated that it did not spread. However, due to its aggressiveness my mom will undergo aggressive treatment. For 4 weeks she will live at our house in T.O. and we will make the daily trek down to Princess Margaret Hospital for her dose of Interferon. Interferon is a protein naturally produced by our bodies to fight bad stuff – viruses, tumors, etc. This type of treatment kick starts the immune system into overdrive and can be effective in preventing a recurrence of the Melanoma. This type of treatment is still in its early stages but results so far look promising.
I am thrilled to be able to offer my mom a home during this time. I am glad she will be surrounded by those who love her in a familiar and caring environment distracted by her grandchildren. She may not be feeling that great but we’ll be here for her (whether she likes it or not!). Based on what we have learned, the side effects can range from fatigue and mild malaise to flu like symptoms such as fever and chills, diarrhea, headache, loss of appetite, and nausea.
With my mom’s healthy body and positive attitude I am confident that this will be simply a thorn in her side more than anything else. And really, that is what this comes down to. Her prognosis is good but our lives stand still for cancer. Especially for my parents. Newly retired living in a wonderful rural home and traveling around the world. This was not part of the plan. Living with her daughter for a month and spending every day at the hospital or traveling to Europe? You get my point.
So, as our lives stand still for a while to fight this beast I will keep you posted. Please send your positive energy to my mom!