Tuesday, September 4, 2012


One of the women I work with, her mother died the other day.  A person driving way too fast, possibly drunk, hit her on the street in front of her house at 1 in the morning.  And drove away.

I wonder who has it better- the quick death or the slow death?  I get time to say I'm sorry, I love you and eventually good-bye.  She got no time.  I have to watch her suffer.  Her mother died fairly quickly, not right away, but soon after.  I sit by mourning her while she is alive, and when she is dead I will mourn her even more.  She has only now to mourn, to grieve to feel pain.

Is it better to have someone die quickly- a band aid torn off in one rip, or to have more time?

I don't know...I just don't know.

Monday, September 3, 2012


I had my CT Scan today.  I learned the hard way, the contrast makes me puke.  I puked all over my shirt.  Apparently, next year, I have to tell them to slow down the contrast.  I wanted to look at her and say "you think there's going to be a next year?"  There will be a next year, I just wanted to be snarky.  I would rather puke all over myself once a year, then die of a pancreatic tumor.  I learned two things, they do not have Cherry Limeade flavored crystal light for my CT liquid and bringing a spare shirt is a good idea. 

The results are, I don't have Cancer.  Which I knew.  But now, I have to wait for the blood test to come back to know if I have the gene or not.  There is no doubt in my mind that I have the gene.  There have been too many people in my family, especially in my direct line of family- mother to daughter, granddaughter, to eventually me- great granddaughter, for this to be a mere fluke or just plain bad luck.

But my mother got even better news.  The chemo is working.  Blood tests have revealed that her enzymes are coming back to normal and that things appear to be getting much better.  It's not gone.  It's not going to be operable any time soon, but things are getting better.  She's losing all her hair, and she can barely make it through an episode on TV, she falls asleep a lot...but things are getting better.


Elizabeth Kubler Ross described five stages of grief.  Right now, I am in the Anger stage.  I know that anger helps no one.  That according to my mother, anger will not solve anything.  But I don't agree.  Anger is what we need.  I am ANGRY at the doctors, especially her cancer doctor who repeatedly asked her about her family history and completely ignored the fact that she is afraid of dying of pancreatic cancer, the cancer that killed several other family members. 

I am angry because she kept telling them she was afraid of it, but did nothing about it.  I only had to mention it once to my doctor and he was quick to start a game plan.  He set me up with blood work and a CT Scan, and is sending my information to the Cancer center and discussed my case with a person who works in genetics who recommended I be sent to see someone in Portland who works in genetic oncology- I believe thats what he said.

Five minutes and maybe five words and my doctor was quickly setting out the plan to keep me from finding out too late that I have pancreatic cancer.  I told him the one thing I was afraid of was that this is my middle age, and that I will die of this cancer.  He didn't even need convincing.  He didn't even question my fears.  He didn't even consider my age.  He just heard me.  I wish more Doctors did.