You Laugh, You Cry
Posted in Nourishment for the Spirit » Kathy's Blog on Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A lot has happened since my last blog.  I feel quilty about not doing an update for so long, but then I don't even know if anyone is reading these blogs (kind of like Amy Adams' character in "Julie & Julia"  when she started her blogs about cooking Julia Childs' recipes).   To refresh your memory, I was in AZ following my mom's second chemo treatment. 

For her third treatment, my older sister, Kelly, went to be with her.  For the first few days post-treatment, mom was fine.  They went shopping, sightseeing, and even had a 'Thanksgiving-type' dinner for neighbors because she had a  23lb turkey in the freezer she thought spoiling.   "Wow!", I thought, "her body is getting the hang of this! "  

That changed the next day when Kelly texted me that they were headed to the hospital because mom had a fever.  Her white blood cell count was low and while infections are very common, they have to be monitored closely.

This one had her down for more a week.  And when I say down, I mean down.  She didn't even want to talk to me on the phone when I called!  Her own daughter!  Although I can't blame her.... I tend to be a bit chatty and it usually involves talk about my kids.  (I suppose even grandma's have moments when they just don't want to hear it) 

She didn't want to eat or drink ANYTHING and after days of not wanting to leave her bed told Kelly, "I don't know if I can do this anymore".  My heart just sank.  What do you say to that?  I have no idea what she is experiencing physically or mentally.  Think, Kathy!  What can I say to encourage her?!

Through this whole process, since the day of her diagnosis, I have been so inspired by her positive outlook and bravery.  I need to be there for her.  Where's Deepak Chopra when I need him?!?!?  I reminded her of the book she read while I was there called, "Cancer on $5 a Day" by Robert Schimmel  He survived non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and wrote about it.  Mom would read some of the book aloud to me and we would be laughing so hard we were crying. 

We were also brought to tears when he shared a story about wanting to end his own life.  He wanted to beat the cancer before the cancer beat him.  When he told his father he was going to jump out the window, his father told him the story of surviving a concentration camp.  His father was walking in a line with other Jews when a little boy in front of him knelt down in exhaustion.  He was shot.  When the boy's father stopped to take care of his son, he too, was shot.  Robert asked his father how he made it through something so horrific.  His father replied, "One step at a time.  I had to just keep walking".   

I know that inspired my mom to keep fighting.   It was the inspiration she needed to make it through the day - one hour, one minute at a time.

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