25 January 2007

Abby's Mom Update

This has been a process, not a series of events, so I haven't talked about Mom's Full Frontal Assault on Breast Cancer for a while.

Today she's having her fourth chemo treatment. Of eight. Which means she's HALFWAY THROUGH.

The treatments are two weeks apart. She has them on Thursday. She feels fine on Thursday and Friday. Then, very late Friday night or very early Saturday morning, the Giant Curtain of Feeling Like Shit descends. She describes it as the "world's worst hangover."

Saturday is the worst day, and she feels puny Sunday as well. It starts getting better Monday, and with the exception of little flashes of nausea, is good to go by the middle of the week.

Her hair is gone, which she's handled amazingly well. Not saying the loss was easy, but she was prepared and now, in fact, often masquerades as a redhead. She's working after the bad days, although due to the nature of her work, shortened shifts.

When this all started, she called me and told me we "had some bad news." I couldn't think of anything to say other than, "Oh, shit, Mom..."

But she went on the offensive immediately. No dicking around trying to find the most gentle treatment. They couldn't find a tumor...maybe it was only one breast... She wanted no part of the dithering. Mom's tough and she's busy and she has plans, so off with both breasts. Hell yeah, let's do the chemo. Let's be done with this, Mom said.

And now she's halfway there. More than halfway, really, when you consider the surgery and recovery time that preceded the chemo. I try to help by sharing what experience I have in dealing with things that suck. Divide it up into little pieces. Make a note of each one. You're an eigth done, that means you're 12.5% of the way there.

Well, now she's halfway. It's a long run, or a helluva long walk with a heavy pack she can't pass off and can't drop for even a second, but now she's at the part where all she's gotta do is turn around and walk back.

I'm immensely proud of her. For a lot of reasons. But the way she's handled this whole thing - it's something else. Go, Mom.