Friday, August 3, 2012

August 1, 2012

My parents celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary that day.  My mum's facebook post said "42 years ago today I married a great man, today he gave me flowers, I gave him news of cancer...I like the flowers better".  Mum found out she had pancreatic cancer on their anniversary.  My parents have known each other since they were children.  My mother's brother was my father's best friend growing up.  My dad never had a lot of dates, but my uncle Al always wanted to go double with my dad so he would set them up together. 

There is no doubt in my mind my father adores my mother.  Less than 5 years ago my mother was diagnosed with skin cancer.  And I saw my father cry for the first time in my life.  She survived it.  The day they told her she had Cancer she said she made a decision not to let it be the death of her.  They put her on a year long regimen of Interfuron.  This stuff was brutal.  She got winded going up a flight of stars, she couldn't even keep up with me when I walked with her into a store, and she was exhausted.  But she went to work every day, she drove herself three hours to camp and she drove an hour to see her grandkids.  She said it would not kill her and it didn't.  That was then.

Now, we sat by her side while she waited to be sent in for an endoscope.  We have known there is a mass on her pancreas since Wednesday July 25th.  The doctors won't say "Cancer," it's like they're worried that if they say "Cancer" she will fall to pieces.  The longer they pussy foot around it, the worse we all feel.  A mass on her pancreas is not likely to be anything other than Cancer.  And she can handle the truth better than any human being.  Only one doctor was willing to hint at it.  Before they wheeled her in for her scope, the doctor leaned over her and said "You know what it is, and I know what it is, we just need to confirm it and stage it". 

I called my father from work to talk to him about the results and all he could say was "Bad."  He has no understanding at that point of the cancer only that she is in pain and she is sick and for him that is "Bad."  I drove over to their place after work and explained the staging and what I know about Pancreatic Cancer.  Unlike Dad, I am internet savvy, he still thinks that a black and white television was perfectly fine...why change to color.  I looked it up.  Because, I was curious about what we were facing...and found out that in the grand scheme of things I am next on the Pancreatic Cancer pony. 

Had it not been for genetics and the joy of heredity, Mum should never have had it.  She isn't even overweight, let alone obese.  She doesn't smoke, and doesn't live in a house filled with smoke.  She has had gallstones, but not pancreatitis.  She should never have gotten it...I should have. 

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