Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bad News

Sorry, but I have bad news. I hate bad news. But you know, when I'm gone for a while, it usually means bad news.

My sister starts chemo this week. It is hard to be hopeful, but hopeful is what we have to be. She's been slowly feeling worse and worse over the last month. Now we know why. It was much easier to think she had caught germs from one of the kids but that was wishful thinking.

I want to be confident she will be fine, that this is a minor bump in the road and there is much road to travel still. The house directly behind us is for sale and we looked at it together a couple weekend ago- for a brief moment, I saw her in it, the kids running back and forth between the houses, a happy moment for all.

That's not going to happen. (Mostly because the people selling it are nuts and asking about 200K more than it's worth) House hunting needs to be on hold for a while.

I wish I could know, just know, what was going to happen. I honestly can deal with whatever comes our way, but a little heads up would be nice. Because instead, I start to write the whole story in my head, and I'm not what you would call an optimist.

How much do I tell the kids? The word "chemo" makes no sense to Jake, but the other two know exactly what it is. How do I frame it so they don't get scared- or is it ok for them to be scared?

How do I best support my sister? Do I play Suzy Sunshine? As if she wouldn't see through that in about half a second. Sometimes she wants answers, sometimes she does not. I want to be a good advocate for her and not push her to a place she doesn't want to go.

I have no answers. Just a lot of questions. She starts tomorrow so please send all the best loving, positive thoughts her way. She's a Jesus/God/Religion person- prayers are welcome, too.


Blogger Ms. Moon said...

This sounds trite but it will all unfold and the kids will be fine. I promise. We all have hard lessons to learn in this life.
I will send good thoughts to that seester of yours. And to you and all of yours, too.

9:58 AM  
Blogger N said...

Keeping all of you in my thoughts.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous lez zorba said...

Beware of that writing the whole script thing ahead of time. I'm like that too but I am learning that there is so much that can be done to favorably impact the storyline. Try and work the positive angles and I/we will be right there with you all!

10:51 AM  
Blogger weese said...

take each day.
my mom was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer in march of 09.
prognosis ..3-6 months.
today she complains about the lawn service, and shrub trimmers.
what i am saying is - you never know.
as far as supporting her and others. my mom and i always talked frankly and openly about cancer and dying and finances, and whatever else. lots of people walk on eggshells around people with illness. sometimes the person with cancer needs someone they can talk to...about cancer.

sending good energy - tho you have lots now.

1:48 PM  
Blogger No Apologies said...

I read your blog for many reasons, but mostly because we share some things in common. In the center of our Venn diagram -- queer, love of cooking (and eating), mothers (though I'm a mother to a dog, but I'm a retired middle school teacher and therefore have been mother to thousands over my 25 years in the classroom), a writer wishing to make more of a living at it AND I know all the words to every Peter, Paul, and Mary song, too and am also proud of that.

Anyway, I am so sorry to hear about your sister. Sending you strength and healing thoughts.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Ulla said...

My usual ten cents worth: Do not lie to the kids, tell them the truth, that she is very ill, and that the medicine is very strong and will make her sick.
When they ask if she will die, you have to tell them that she might. You really cannot lie to them, because if they can't trust you to tell them the truth, where can they turn with hard and scary questions?
With your sister be just as honest. Just sit still and listen, take whatever she says seriously, talk honestly of your own feelings, and be good to yourself also. You are not required by law or morality to turn into a saint or a ray of sunshine.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous donald said...

i sent cathy a note the other day letting her know my thoughts and prayers are with her. they are with you and the boys too!

12:54 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I just went thru the whole chemo process with my Mom.

Its hard....I always stayed positive even when I was terrified. I was honest with her about everything but sometimes told her only what I thought she could handle at the time.

I have been taking it one day at a time. There will be good days and not so good days. You cant really predict because the screwiest (is that even a word?) things happen sometimes. Nothing is certain.

As far as the kids go....I think honesty is the best policy but put in terms that they will comprehend.

Sending all of you good thoughts.

6:42 PM  
Blogger Rev. Bob said...

Since so much of a course of chemo is doing nothing, see if your seester wants to enroll in a class in community college or the learning annex. Whenever she can get out and about, she should get out and about. Be prepared for glitches and side effects, not in the chemo itself, but in the drugs they give to reduce nausea and discomfort. If the chemo is aggressive enough, be prepared to help your seester shave her head. You will hate this. Your job, waiting and worrying, will probably be harder than hers.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my 2 cents: definitely have her shave her head before chemo begins. if she waits, it may have more of a devasting effect when it starts falling out.

3:34 PM  

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